Draconia Chronicles

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Cheesecake.jpg
CODE YELLOW: CHEESECAKE
(MODERATE NSFW WARNING)

The following comic desperately wants to be porn without actually being porn. Contains more fanservice and fetish fuel than any actual sex, usually patterned off of bad harem comedy anime. It may not even have full nudity (at most may contain exposed boobs), but your teacher/parents/coworkers will surely give you some odd glances if they catch you seeing this. View with caution.

Cheesecake.jpg
Original review author: Long Tom
Webcomic name: Draconia Chronicles
Author: Current version: Razorfox. Black-and-white version: Story: Donnie Sturges, Art: Danny Valentini, Shades: Jen Starling, Letters: Jason Cumberledge.
Start Date: January 3, 2005
End Date: Ongoing
Genre: Anthropomorphic Fantasy, Action, Drama (The author's own description BTW.)
Defining Flaw: At first it was simply a mediocre cheesecake fanservice comic, then the author really blew everything to shit by making it look like Equestria of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series.

Rating Summary

Art: Wiki.pngHalf.png

Mediocre animu art to begin with, but at least it suited the grimdark story about war and violence and intrigues and betrayals. But later the author introduced pastel coloring to his artwork and completely scuttled the atmosphere.

Storyline: Wiki.pngWiki.png

Trite and banal fantasy story; it is really secondary to showing naked or near-naked anthropomorphic female characters.

Characters: Wiki.pngWiki.png

As trite and banal as the story.

Miscellaneous Details: Wiki.png

At least it was possible to take the webcomic somewhat seriously at the outset, but the author would later destroy even that.

Overall: Wiki.png

From bad to outright ludicrous.



Background

It was brought up on the BWW forums and I volunteered.

Downfall

The webcomic was poor to begin with, but when the author introduced Equestria-style pastel coloring to the artwork, it destroyed any meager merit the webcomic originally had.

Story and Plot

Summary by the author:

Since time immemorial, Dragons and Tigers have been at war. While the war’s original cause or causes have been buried under the blood of countless generations of warriors and civilians alike, an unending thirst for revenge drives both sides now, and each side seeks to vanquish and perhaps even eradicate the other from the face of the earth. Through a rather large cast, The Draconia Chronicles regularly shifts focus from one camp to the other, and to various factions within each one, to illustrate both the solidarity and divisiveness of the conflict.

The "About" page provides the story in more detail if you're interested, but it's obvious that the plot is of no real importance and this is just meant to be a cheesecake animu comic. The all-female cast and their almost total lack of clothing is a dead giveaway.

Art review

The art was originally passable black and white animu with greyscale shading; figures had good body proportions and showed proper motion. Unfortunately the faces were the weak point; they looked too human to suit dragons or tigers and their features were too small in proportion to the rest of the figures. The "bosoms" on the dragon figures also looked ridiculous, but presumably required to let the audience know they were girls. The characters are mostly naked except for a few token scraps of clothing to cover up any nipples or genitals. On the tigers, that is; genitals on dragon characters are simply omitted a la TwoKinds.


Sample from an early page


The webcomic became colorized starting with Chapter Three. While the tigers do look better in orange, for God knows what reason the author decided to make the dragons in a variety of pastel colors a la My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic! I mean, this is supposed to be a harsh story about war and violence and intrigues and betrayals, yet it now looks like Candyland!


Sample from a later page


But even this is not the worst part. I mentioned how the faces looked too humanlike for the animal-type characters in this scenario.


A tiger face from the later era
At least Tom Fischbach of TwoKinds can draw a passable tiger face!


Now the faces truly look hideous! Preposterously large eyes which consume a third of the face, and preposterously short, fat snouts which consume the lower two-thirds. The teeny tiny noses and mouths only amplify the ridiculousness. This is on all the characters BTW.

Writing review

The story depicts a few pages of what the tigers are doing, then what the dragons are doing, then back to the tigers, and so on. Eventually they meet.

As mentioned above, the plot is best described as a "generic fantasy story", clearly made up as it goes along, and equally generic characters whose only real purpose is fanservice. The story is serviceable but not really important as far as the webcomic is concerned.

Author biography

The author describes himself:

RazorFox (real name Danny Valentini) is a largely self-taught cartoonist who has been drawing since 1995. Starting off as an aspiring comic writer in 1994, repeated failed attempts to secure the services of an artist drove Danny to pick up a pencil and learn to do it himself. Initially influenced by the works of Fred Perry (creator of Gold Digger and Legacy) and Rumiko Takahashi (creator of Ranma 1/2 and Inu-Yasha), Danny specializes in an anthropomorphic-flavored manga style which has been described as that of classic 1980s anime. Danny’s works have been published by such companies as White Lightning Productions, Antarctic Press, Shanda Fantasy Arts and Angry Viking Press, in addition to self-publishing the Draconia Chronicles calendar series since 1999. His artwork is mainly a hobby, albeit a very passionate one, while he supports himself through an undisclosed-yet-perfectly-legit full-time job which pays his bills.

Don't quit your day job, bub.

Conclusion

As Razorfox describes, the whole shebang started off as a series of dragon-themed calendar pictures, then added to the calendar series was a story of dragon ladies at war with tiger ladies, then the decision was made in 2005 to make everything into an actual webcomic.

The webcomic was mediocre fanservice at the outset, but at least it had the proper grimdark atmosphere to go with the story about a long war between the dragon race and the tiger race. But colorizing everything in bright pastels destroyed the atmosphere and any possibility of taking the webcomic seriously anymore.

Links