Eternal Night is the story of Ronja Melday, a young woman who is transformed into a vampire against her will so that she can fight bad vampires. But Ronja is still growing and learning about the world. Will she fall in love with Dark Garrety the rogue vampire who transformed her?
Eternal Knight is made by prolific creator Coolcatcomics who enjoys weaving this tale of teenaged angst and dark humour using Pixton a comic utility tools that allows creators to create comics with predesigned sprites. Pixton is used by educators and amateurs who want to create their own comics and storyboards. The irony here is that the default elongated look that Pixton gives all of its stock characters does look like the typical Goth and emo teenage vampire type that populate romance in the genre.
Is the creator more important than the tool is the question that should be asked in such cases? Could Coolcat produce different comics if Pixton was not used as an authoring tool? Pixton limits the storytelling possibilities of amateur comics makers in that there is little variation in camera shots or in the designs of characters. Emotions are also very difficult to translate through the app.
Coolcat makes up for these gaps with a strongly worded story that explore the varieties of emotions of many characters. Coolcat is very invested in the story and releases new episodes frequently. Before soon, the comic feels like an ongoing soap opera with little spaces where new readers can jump in and start following the drama. At 700 pages-long, it feels like one has to start from the beginning to get the most of the story.
This is a common problem with long form webcomics. Creators have to be reminded that they must offer opportunities for new readers to jump in easily from time to time. Niceties like recaps and chapter breaks can help a lot. In Coolcat’s case, even these would not help much as all of the stock characters make it virtually impossible to differentiate them. There is not enough incentives for the average reader to invest in the story as much as the author. This is a challenge for Coolcat that should be addressed.
Tools like Pixton make it easy for creators with a story important to them to release them. But it also shields the creator from having to communicate clearly with readers once barriers such as art and visual skills become irrelevant and something that cannot change. I would strongly suggest to Coolcat to start drawing the next chapter of the story without Pixton. It will improve the story, regardless of the creator’s skills, and will possibly help readers feel more engaged with the material.