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REVIEW: SpiderForest Web Comic Anthology vol 5; Creatures


REVIEW: SpiderForest Web Comic Anthology vol 5; Creatures

Book Title: SpiderForest Web Comic Anthology vol 5; Creatures

Book Description: This latest collection, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, is the fifth anthology SpiderForest have published. It contains nineteen stand-alone short stories with the common theme as the title suggests being creatures, be they mythic, anthropomorphic or real, tiny to enormous, friendly to fierce. It is worth a quick consideration on the SpiderForest Webcomic Collective itself. Founded in 2004 this longstanding organization is a not for profit, creator/member/ volunteer run group whose emphasis is on providing a mutually supportive community that allows creatives to grow and develop. It has no ‘house’ style or genre and it is home to a divergent range of unique creative offerings. Check out their website Just as the genres of the nineteen stories differ so does the manner in which they are delivered, from visually driven with little or no dialogue to the more traditional cartoon with balance of art and dialogue. The artistic styles are equally varied, as is the context of each story, covering for example combinations of myth, magical worlds, comedy, romance and sci fi. The humanistic themes covered are equally diverse (but positive) including love, friendship, care giving, protection and religion -plus philately! .

Book Author: D D Randall

Book Format: Paperback

Publisher - Orgnization: SpiderForest Webcomic Collective

Publisher Logo:

Illustrator: Lee Colagiacomo

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  • Story
  • Interior Art
  • Cover Art
  • Dialogue
  • Mechanics
  • Editing


The anthology contains nineteen very different stories all set under the general banner of creatures. It is clear from the collection that SpiderForest encourage and support their members to create in and develop their own unique styles. There is certainly no feeling of edges being rounded off or editing to create an assimilated quality. Nonetheless, the stories didn’t jar with each other nor feel out of place when set side by side in the anthology.

With the wide range of subject matter covered by the collection there’s certainly something present for all tastes and ages  but in particular it’s worth highlighting that  the content is child friendly, there’s no sex, only very limited/ mild swearing in one story  and nogratuitous violence.

I didn’t fully understand all the stories but they all had some part within them that was enjoyable be that the story itself, the art work or the feeling conveyed etc. Some of the stories were contextually very clever.

One other thing that struck me was that despite being shorts they did all have characters that faced and overcame some sort of problem/conundrum with transformative consequences. Sometimes when I read short stories, I find that they do not clearly hit all these key features.

The art styles both cover and internal were very diverse but each in it’s own way was strong and helped deliver it’s storyline well, again the diversity of style helped enhance the uniqueness of each piece.

At 142 pages and containing nineteen unique stories the anthology is  very good value with a wide audience appeal and I will certainly check through the website more closely and look forward to seeing future anthologies from the SpiderForest Webcomic Collective.

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Since I was a young child I enjoyed painting and drawing, it’s a wonderful means of self-expression. Equally, I have a long-standing interest in the sci-fi and horror genres. I post regularly on Instagram as gritstonearts. My current postings are from my first attempt at a slipstream-based graphic novel, First Person Revocation.

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