the three cents.
A fun new webstrip from indie screenwriter Holly-Rosing and artist to watch Hu, the Boston Metaphysical Society is a steampunk trip into an alternate 1890s New England. A Lovecraftian thing has been lurking about, and detective Samuel Hunter is determined to prove it responsible for the murder of his wife some time before. Unfortunately, his obsessions also cost him the life of friend and teammate in the Boston Metaphysical Society, Andrew O’Sullivan. Luckily, O’Sullivan has a daughter, similarly a medium and of spiritual photography skillset…
Some might say the genre of steampunk is dead and buried, but with a mystery this engrossing, who cares? Among the supporting cast are Alexander Graham-Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla (of course), and Harry Houdini, comprising the secret association known as BETH, so the possible roads this series could take are indeed promising. I personally appreciate the insinuations of Edison being the hack that he likely was. Although, the inventions will apparently take a second chair to the paranormal, supernatural elements of horror and suspense, which is well and good, as is reality-bending in general.
Hu’s art is a sketchy and dramatic execution, and though judging from her online galleries this appears to be but one of many styles for her, the grim darkness absolutely suits the content here. However, the “big bad” seen early on could have had more thought go into its design, I feel. The coloring is the real high point in the art, by my standards, giving extra depth and shadow to the growing mood of uneasiness within the story. The Kamaputra-Caeli combo smartly fills in details and dimension, and it will be fun to see them unleashed on the otherworldly monstrosities later on. And Peteri of course, is the ringer in the group, here going for something more stylized than traditional word balloons. I’m not sure yet if I really like the effect, but it does add to the professional polish, overall.
Along with the regular updates are occasional prose novellas available for the larger e-readers, fleshing out side-stories to these characters and the alternate history of their Boston, Massachusetts. The first focuses on Andrew (before his death, although one postmortem might be interesting as well), and another is on the way. This is a neat idea, as a dozen or so faces may need more breathing room for proper introductions. Again, this is all relatively new, so it won’t take long to catch yourself up to date on this thriller of a premise.