Split Lip Comics

By | Tuesday, October 07, 2008 Leave a Comment
Going with the whole Halloween/spook-fest attitude that comes with October, I'd thought I'd take a moment to look at a new set of online comics I came across recently, collectively called Split Lip. Split Lip are a series of comics by Sam Costello, drawn by a number of different artists. All of them would generally fall under the "horror" genre and, to some degree, follow the short story model of many classic EC books. The tales are short and unconnected with one another, a fact emphasized by the different artistic styles.

What I think is particularly interesting here is seeing how much impact a artist has on a comic. The stories presented on Split Lip seem to range a bit in quality. I think there's a general sense of improvement in craft from the earliest ones to the latest, and I think that speaks to Costello learning as he goes along. But there's some varying degrees of success, even the comics created roughly simultaneously -- suggesting that the artist's talents as a storyteller have a significant impact on the final execution. It seems a fairly obvious observation to make, but that all of the stories here are presented side-by-side with no gaps, the notion is rather pronounced.

Overall, the stories are reasonably well done. Obviously, the artistic quality ranges considerably as a new artist comes on board for each story, but some of them are quite good. (I'm rather partial to Clockwork Creature creator Kyle Strahm's work myself.) As I noted already, Costello's work improves over time. I think his earlier pieces aren't as successful, and I was even left just scratching my head on a couple. But his later ones work much better, and is a clear indication of where his talent is headed.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of the horror genre, so it's not a comic I'll be returning to regularly. But I think there's some good stuff for people who do enjoy that type of material. Costello is celebrating his comic's second anniversary this October by presenting a new comic every week throughout the month, instead of his usual one-a-month rate. If you're a horror fan, there's some stories worth a look.
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