Thursday, April 18, 2013

Misfile

The Tell All Image
Webcomics are an odd medium. Much like everything that's been converted to the internet, they're much shorter and normally much more freeform than traditional comics. There is no short supply of webcomics. There are even many good webcomics. Most of them are sort of one-offs, with one joke and no continuity. The comics that do have a continuous story arch, aren't normally that good. The quick hit-and-run style of the internet doesn't work well with well-structured, well-written literature.

So it's surprising that Misfile is just so well written.




Ash, as he appears on the cover
Misfile has a few main characters, but mainly revolves around Ash. Ash is a young boy, or at least he was until an odd series of events that changed him into a girl, and thusly changed his past to shape around this difference. Emily, a young lady just about to leave high school, is also affected by this event and is suddenly two years younger, and her life has changed to mirror her missing years. This concept is fun and introduces a lot of very neat ideas.

Specifically, the event itself is a little hackneyed and dumb (like most of the original concepts in the comic) but everything around it is so well written and exciting, it's very easy to forgive and forget. The tl;dr is that heaven exists and every event is kept track by a large filling warehouse. Heaven has a fail safe to prevent misfiles from causing major issues and so Ash is a girl physically and no one knows any different. The rest of his past (more or less, the differences are interesting stories of their own) is the same.
Emily and her headband
I can't stress this enough, other than some original concepts and the backing story, the writing is phenomenal  I know that sounds weird, like those things are the most important, but they're really not. Character development and issue discussion and introduction are all amazing. It's really hard to believe that it's so well written. The comic doesn't pull punches either, some of the topics are really deep (like gender identity, which isn't a surprise but it's not the only issue discussed). It's handled really well too and nothing feels over represented or overbearing. Nothing is shoved into the reader's face and everything that happens feels organic.

The worst part of the comic is really the original concepts. There are these forced bits with angels and demons and heaven and I'm not sure what it really has to do with the comic. I'm sure the writer, Chris Hazelton wants to balance the comic out and not forget about heaven and angels altogether (which is good writing practice, honestly, I just really kind of hate the substory and the comic would be better without it, mostly). There are also a lot of weird Japanese cultural references. They're unneeded and very weaboo, but rare and generally apropos of the situation.
A hot, underage bisexual Asian chick, so if that's what you needed to read this, here you go

Misfile is many hundreds of pages in, so going in cold you'll have a wealth of content to absorb. Once finished with what's already there, you'll be happy to know that Misfile updates every weekday and promises to keep this pace up for years to come. It's easily my favorite comic today, and probably the only one that's so well written.
 

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