Don’t judge a book by its cover – Felinia Web-comic review

Felinia comic coverWhat exactly is Felinia?

In recent posts, here on Geekified, we’ve covered Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movies. They‘re big budget blockbusters, on which thousands of people work. But this time, I’ve decided to dive into a project that was created by a single person: Felinia, a WEB comic that can be currently found on DeviantArt.

How did I learn about it, you might ask (or maybe not, probably not?). Well, it was a lazy weekend day. I was browsing the Internet and decided to visit DeviantArt, a site I had long forgotten. That’s when I stumbled across the Felinia web comic. I found it interesting, and it had already had quite a wide following, so I thought: why not to give it a try.

The comic premise is: In the post-apocalyptic society of Felinia, divisiveness runs high in the cities and evil spirits called Shadow Wolves lurk in the forests. Part-wild, part-civilized, Blaze must navigate his world to discover where he belongs, his true purpose in life, and the truth about the world and his species – in order to stop these evil forces from overpowering him once and for all.

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The author of Felinia comic

The comic author herself is 18 year old jack-of-all-trades hidden under the nickname Rainy Bleu. She is behind the idea of Felinia. Everything you see there is done (most likely) by herself: starting with the dialogues and ending with the storylines and characters.

The world and art style of Felinia

Warning – very mild spoilers ahead!

Basically, Felinia is a comic about anthropomorphic (furry) animals.  Humans killed themselves and now the animals are in charge. This core idea loosely reminds Zootopia. But that’s it, the rest is pretty different. Instead of wide variety of animals, the comic mostly introduce us to felines (cats), foxes and wolves as the main characters. The creatures in the world are divided into city dwellers and forest dwellers – two polar opposites. As the name suggests, one part lives in cities, towns, villages and the other part in the forest as real savage animals.

So, let’s start analysing the comic from the very beginning. First thing you might notice is a gradual change of art style since Page 1. First, it is very basic and immensly different from what’s after. Some people might be even thrown off at the beginning. But, while reading page after page, I’ve noticed a rapid progression and improvement.

Snippet of 1st page of Felinia comic

In the first chapter, the character designs are pretty basic with only a few shadows. The backgrounds are also very simple. On some pages, the text is a bit hard to read. You can tell that the artist was still learning drawing techniques and trying to search for an art style of her own. But everyone has to start somewhere, right? On Page 7, there is a style change from manga-esque to more cartoony. That was a major change that paved the further look of the comic. Later on, after Page 15, there is another noticeable change, with characters having less flat colours and overall more fleshed out looks. From Page 26 and onward, the characters start to get a lot more various facial expressions. This was a breakpoint for me when I started to get more into the comic. And finally, after CHAPTER 5, the overall facial expressions and art style get a big overhaul. That’s when Felinia becomes an enjoyable experience and a pleasure to look at. Things really accelerate after that, with fluid, consistent and yet constantly improving art style.

Excerpt from Felinia comic

When you look back, you can really see how much it has improved. At the start of the comic, the author itself was 14-15 years old. Now she’s 18– and the fact that the art style matured together with her is really visible.

What about the story of Felinia?

Chapter 5 cover of Felinia comic

OK, let‘s continue. Next stop – storytelling. Just like art, the story development gets a lot better over time. If I am going to be completely honest, the first pages kept me going because it was just a little cringey. Without spoiling too much, I can say it’s about a girl that goes to live with a bad-ass man and leaves her past life behind. But because it’s about anthropomorphic animals, there are some interesting twists. When the protagonist, Blaze, gets introduced, you can start noticing some serious character development improvements – to the point when you even relate to the animals. I myself relate to Blaze a lot because in my childhood, I have also experienced parent break-ups, even nasty ones. And also, being an introvert, having a little bit of social anxiety and loving nature in general, I felt really at home.

Excerpt from Felinia comic

With each new page, the author strengthens her writing skills and it is very visible in the way the story progresses throughout the comic. If you‘re new to the comic and have a hard time reading the first few chapters, please, keep an open mind. It really gets better with each page. And in CHAPTER 4, things really kick off and get you hooked on.

Excerpt from Felinia comic

The author is thinking (though, to be honest, I can‘t remember where I found this info) of revamping the first pages. While I personally do await for new pages, I think it‘s a great idea to slowly revamp first two chapters of the comic. Both artistically and story wise. Well, at least the first one. Because not all people are as cool as me and get in straight away, if they don‘t find it interesting from the very beginning – even if we’re taught not to judge a book by its cover.

The characters of Felinia!

Main characters from Felinia comic

The characters in the comic have distinct, multi-dimensional personalties. The main character is Blaze – part feline, part fox. He had a very unfortunate childhood which shaped his very protective personality. At first glance, he might seem to be stubborn and come out as an asshole for other mammals. Despite that, deep down he is just a misunderstood creature with a rough exterior but a big heart, able to care a lot about his friends. This wasn’t discovered (by readers) until Rainy met him. That‘s another major character you‘ll see later on. Rainy seems a very positive and emphatic feline but inwardly she has a pessimistic personality.

The main character Blaze from Felinia comic

Most of the new characters are introduced late in the comic, after certain game-changing events happen to Blaze and he meets Rainy for the first time. In the last chapter it gets really interesting as Blaze meets a lot of new animals. This comes with hilarious dialogues and goofy characters. I‘m pretty sure most of people will find one or another character relatable. And I’m personally very curious about how Blaze, Rainy, Alex and other characters will evolve!

Conclusion: the future of the comic

I do recommend this comic to those who love anthropomorphic animals, comics or just want to read something new. If you have ever come across another WEB comic, called Zoophobia, written by a talented Vivienne M. – you’ll definitely enjoy Felinia. Well, at least I did.

While reading through the pages, you can really appreciate the creator’s improvement in art style and character development, as well as storytelling techniques. I’m really curious about Felinia’s future and eagerly await the new things the author will bring up next to the story!  🙂

Blaze and Mimi from Felinia comic

Right now the comic is back after a short hiatus. New pages are coming up (almost) every week on Mondays.

As usual, we’re very curious of your opinions. Make sure to share with us in the comment section below or on our Facebook or Twitter!

 

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