The Surprisingly Grim Fantasy World Of Unsounded

Unsounded

Unsounded is a bright and animated fantasy story that covers some surprisingly serious and sometimes very grim topics. Beginning as an adventure featuring the young daughter of a king of thieves and her undead guardian, it quickly takes many twists and turns when they encounter a band of kidnappers. Taking place in a rich fantasy world that has seen some dark times, Unsounded mixes in occasional mechanical contraptions making for a curious world to explore.

One of the interesting things that caught my eye about Unsounded was how Ashley Cope literally makes the occasional scene leap off the page. With the clever artwork on the site that borders each page, it’s easy not to notice at first. As you read on, you’ll notice at times the artwork goes beyond the borders or just simply darkens to emphasise the current setting. I’ll leave you to discover other moments on your own, but it is quite a nice touch that makes the site, and not just each page, a work of art.

At it’s core, Unsounded is much more about character development I found than any of the gritty topics that do arise. Perhaps that’s even the point, it that as dark as the story can become, you do tend to have conversations to get caught up in to put those moments out of your mind. This could be a possible social commentary, or just something that I’m reading far too much in to. I do plan to share an interview with Ashley soon and I’m sure we’ll be discussing lots about the comics overtones.

It is interesting just how caught up you can get into the conversations that occur. Some of them are fairly easy going such as the rogue girl Sette and her undead guardian Duane just bickering at the start. Though these moments do come up often and it doesn’t feel out of place. You’re spending time with these characters and occasionally experiencing more so casual conversation. The fact that Ashley can keep these moments interesting is what makes Unsounded a professional production. Don’t get me wrong, there is action too! Some of which benefits from those border breaking effects, but the star of the story is usually the time you spend just with the characters in it in more relaxed moments.

Mentioned in an interview with RantingDragon.com, Ashley notes that, “None of the horrible stuff is ever meant to be exploitative,” and I think that shows in how the story is presented. Unsounded may not be for everyone since as she puts it Unsounded‘s world is like our own and grim things do happen. It really is a story that is up to the viewer’s discretion to continue reading. There are comical moments, and there are dark times. If you prefer stories where kids are always safe and no harm ever comes to them, Unsounded isn’t a story for you.

Aside from these dark scenes and occasional profanity, it’s quite a wondrous adventure. The comic itself is a detailed fantasy world with many different concepts. It’s a thought out world and it’s more than obvious Ashley has a passion for what she has created. Style wise, the art has a nice curve to it that you really don’t even notice the improvements as you read until you look back. Not to say that the start is in any way not wonderful, but the comic does become more richly colored as the story goes on. In a way it reminds me of some artwork from similar detailed 90’s comics, and I do mean that in a very good way.

If you’re looking for a new adventure to take and the occasional serious tone doesn’t put you off, Unsounded is a new story waiting for you to explore. We here at Top Web Comics are also happy to say it has been high on the voting list as well. Don’t forget, if you’re a fan of Unsounded, be sure to vote often!

You can read Unsounded on the comic’s official site UnsoundedComic.com and be sure to stay tuned for our interview with series creator Ashley Cope herself!


2 Comments

  1. DemonDan February 5, 2014 5:30 pm 

    That’s a beautiful art style. And you’re right, the character development is excellent. This is a good find!

  2. DemonArchives February 5, 2014 6:19 pm 

    Agreed, the “animation” flow was a tad hard to follow from panel to panel for me, but the art itself was gorgeous… It did seem to change color styles a little bit through, but that is to be expected with a web release :D

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