ZAP! – Comics in SpaceIt’s been a while since I did a review of a web-comic. Zap! has been on my site for years, linked in the sidebar as one of my favorite web-comics. So, I guess it’s about time I write out a review for it.
I’ve been a fan of Zap! since probably 2004 or 2005 – though the comic was started in 2003.
I’ve always been in love with the art style used for this web-comic. It’s true that the art started out a bit rough but it’s progressed through the stages of development that I love to see in an online comic. I thoroughly enjoy watching an artist grow and perfect their craft (though any “artist” whether illustrator or writer or musician will always say there is never any “perfection,” you just keep learning.)
Now imagine my surprise when, after five years or so of being a fan, I only recently discovered that the creators of this awesome comic come from my very own home state. I’m pretty psyched about that, though I couldn’t exactly explain why. It doesn’t really change anything.
But yes, I call this comic “awesome.”
“Why?” you may ask? Well, do let me tell you.
Zap! seems to embody all of my favorite science fiction elements while simultaneously ignoring all the very aspects I hate about science fiction. It’s a win-win for me. It’s like seeing all the flash and bang without all the engineer’s behind-the-scenes explanations. Now, I like to know “How It’s Made” and “Who-Dun-It” as much as the next nerd, but I also like to relax and enjoy the ride when I’m being told a story.
And yes, this comic has a storyline – it’s not one of those daily, random funnies that many web-comics seem to be (though I’m not saying those are all bad, either.)
This comic is like a healthy dose of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly all mixed together. And if you read it and you’re a fan of sci-fi, then you may have an altogether different comparison. I feed off what I know. Zap! is a story about a poor fella named Zap, who happens to find himself the most recent target of the Galactic Earth Federation. Of course, that puts him on the run. Zap meets up with the rest of the cast by stowing away on their starship, which just so happens to be picky about who captains her.
The journey truly begins when the Excelsior chooses Zap as her new captain. Let the antics begin.
There is a well-balanced load of both humor and seriousness in this story. I love how each character is given a distinct personality that is displayed through their mannerisms and behavior but also through their literal depiction – simply put: the way they’re drawn.
The action scenes are beautifully represented. The art contains just as much intensity and suspense as you’ll find in the story. The coloring is remarkably well-done. There is a beautiful contrast between the vivid, bright colors and the more subdued tones. And though I do like bold lines, I also love the subtlety with which this artist draws their characters. It’s very clean and yet detailed, without being cluttered and over-done.
Everything about this comic seems well-balanced to me, which is a huge draw for me. I love to find comics that have a high-quality artistic style accompanied by a high-quality storytelling ability. It’s a rare find, but they are out there.
The only words of caution I have are these: The story has the ability to suck you in and hook you, but Zap! only updates once a week. Once you’ve sped through the archives and caught up to the current releases, you’ll find that once a week feels like an eternity. But fortunately, there are worse drawbacks a comic could have.
I highly recommend this comic. It’s definitely one of my favorites. I even have the first issue on my iPod, so if you’re interested in reading it on the go…
You can find the full 3 issues on the Apple Store for your iPod Touch or iPhone for $.99 a piece. Or you can visit the official store on the Zap! webpage HERE!
Check it out! Zap!