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Comic Review: Magipunk

Posted by Sian, Jan 2016. Matt Loffhagen, Kotor Comics owns rights to cartoon imagery displayed on this page.

Magipunk is an exciting web and print comic about space pirates Runt and Candy who steal a vintage ‘magic era’ crystal powered space ship. Matt Loffhagen's futuristic Magipunk world seems to have progressed on from an alternative Victoriana steampunk age. 

At a glance, you may think ‘this looks a bit like Futurama’, so whilst there are spaceships and adventure, I can assure you that Matt brings us brilliant British wit and wisdom. However I do debate Candy’s logic that the Earth has become radioactive as people have overused microwave ovens… I like to think she was joking for the sake of Runt’s dim wittedness. 

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Once you have read this review you may be interested to read an interview with the Magipunk creator, Matt Loffhagen

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Magipunk is all about good fun. Whilst Runt reminds me of Cosmo from Fairly Odd Parents, Candy is a bit like anarchic Panty from Panty and Stocking with Garter belt. Although character artwork may look similar to these cartoon titles, Magipunk’s characters have heavier outlines which helps them stand out in the foreground of frames and convey their personalities. Runt and Candy are a walking recipe for disaster; Candy has flamethrower whilst Runt has a spoon…

The story for Magipunk follows the duo as they make friends and foes across the galaxy. This concept, in itself is simple plot device and allows for just about any scenario to unfold, after all space is infinite. The central plot revolves around life on the space ship, exploration and escaping or facing up to troubles. For instance, there are the revenge seekers who prioritise the well-loved tradition of tea drinking over tracking down the duo, who are declared as fugitives in the early part of the plot. 

Beyond the printed copy for part of the first chapter for Magipunk, the storyline which continues on the web, remains true to the theme of piracy and takes many random turns for pure amusement. Diversions are not wasted and help the reader find out more about Magipunk’s characters. This becomes addictive in the same way as does for discovering more about Serenity’s crew in Joss Whedon’s Firelfly. 

Magipunk is definitely worth reading if you are a fan of adventure and like little fun and clever jokes. The layout of speech bubbles in the print copy is easy to follow, but the appearance of black speech bubbles with greyish text can be hard to discern in some places. This aside, the consistent good quality of the digital artwork is impressive. Matt has shown that he has put time and effort into imagining and creating backgrounds from the very first comic frame.  

The attention to detail with this comic is admirable, for example, Runt and Candy’s costume designs change from those on the first page to different ones on the second page. This is a nice simple idea to show a shift in time within the comic. It can be easy to maintain the same clothes for a character throughout the same comic or your everyday cartoon. Candy has the best costume design with a cute brown corset and skirt. One of the most original character designs is Mr Tabbykins who is a humanoid tabby-cat with a moustache, suit, tie and good hair. He looks adorable and very fetching.

Overall, the attraction of Magipunk as a comic is that it provides a wonderful sense of adventure, with comic frames filled with innovative ideas. Magipunk consistently shows a respectable and professional quality on the smackjeeves website which regular comic readers can appreciate. Feel free to click on the button below for an interview with Matt Loffhagen, creator of Magipunk.

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