This is another one of those comics that I’ve been impressed by and have been meaning to give it its due. Makeshift Miracle began as a webcomic in 2003 and is now back, thanks to MM writer Jim Zubkavich (of the equally entertaining, though different entirely, Skullkickers from Image) has been promoting it by asking, well…anyone to read and distribute it as a PDF or CBZ. It seems to be working, as new readers are doing just that, me included. I don’t read any webcomics regularly, so having the entire chapter in one place is, like the art here, very attractive. This revisitation has seen Zubkavich enrich the story, with the addition of new art by Shun Hong Chan.
Zubkavich touts this as a publishing experiment, hoping to build an audience online before it hits print from UDON (publisher of Zubkavich’s great Street Fighter comics) mid next year. Webcomics such as Axe Cop and Dr McNinja have found a paper home at Dark Horse and with the impressive work on display here, this deserves just as much success as those two series.
This isn’t a comedy however. Zubkavich has proven he knows how to do that with the aforementioned fantasy Skullkickers, so with Makeshift Miracle he focuses on drama and mystery. Titled Impact (a term which will surely have more than one meaning in future instalments) this debut focuses on high schooler Colby Reynolds. He’s sick of the selfishness of those around him and has started a private blog to let his frustration out. It’s this diary which acts as the narrative device for the loner and gives us a glimpse in to who Colby is. Before things become too introspective, Colby follows something guiding him from within to a valley-set town, which he declares to be, “calm and beautiful,” and that is an apt description for Shun Hong Chan’s art.
Zubkavich wisely pares down the text on each page, giving the visuals the focus. Chan’s art is as light and delicate as a soufflé, and the fact that it’s not realistic or flamboyant makes it even more dazzling. The delicate, watercolour-like approach and restrained manga flair make this fit snugly into the fantasy/drama feel it’s striving for. If you like Dustin Nguyen’s art, you’ll love this.
Not much happens, story-wise in the first 18 pages of this debut chapter. Essentially Colby travels, thinks about his family (with nice black and white flashbacks) about his family, goes to a quaint town in the middle of nowhere, and sees a beautiful naked woman fall like an asteroid at his feet. Zubkavich so far wisely puts the spotlight on Colby and the girl and it’s more than enough to be captivating.
The second chapter of Makeshift Miracle began in early November and is updated twice a week. You can download chapter 1 right here.