*stares at the Thomas’ credits* Most comics mention the name of the character's creator in the byline. Brian Hess is an artist under contract with Action Labs Entertainment, the comics license holder in the US. Nicole D’Andria, who wrote this story and adapted the scrip for the earlier photo comics that were produced by Action Lab, is the marketing director and submissions editor for the company. Considering Zag teased the fans about original comics last summer, I wouldn't call this a rush job.
Hooboy. Here comes a long post.
My issue with Thomas’ credits is that his last name, Astruc, is spelled “Atruc”. I’m know that they include the creator’s name because of, duh, of course you’re going to.
My beef with Zagtoons as a whole is that they take things down to the wire. There’s often animation errors like Chat Noir having two batons, or having to reuse character models over and over again because of budget restrictions (ie that’s why Theo is a catch all character for jobs and why Alya’s dad is suddenly the Animan zookeeper even though they had no interaction at all in that episode, particularly when Alya decided to date Nino in the exhibit. Like what?)
Side note: Speaking of budget, there’s also my issue with the products they come out with that are obviously done on a very rigid budget. Many of the toys, frankly, look bad, but to get away from my opinion, come on, Look at this $30 Miraculous Chat noir ring that is literally enamel in a generic fill ring versus the actual miraculous. Would I pay $30 for that? No, and it breaks my heart because I want to.
Onto why I think this is a rush job:
Yeah, Zagtoon announced the original content comics a year ago, but that doesn’t mean they had an artist in mind otherwise they would have said it right then.
Brian Hess’ twitter shows he started working on the comic sometime in January which means he had around a Month, if that, to complete this issue before it had to go to the editors, designers, formatters, print shop, and shipping (because this was probably printed overseas meaning it needs about a month to get from printer to Action Lab to comic retailer).
Not to mention that:
A) Brian Hess’ artwork does NOT fit the aesthetic of the show at ALL. This is not by any means a slam on his artwork, but it does mean that they probably had to turn to him after the other artists they approached declined. And if you can turn a project around in a tight deadline, you can work in comics.
B) Brian Hess’ work, when he has time to work on it, is significantly better than what we got. Once again this screams that he had a quick deadline, not that he decided to cut his abilities in half for a show he doesn’t like. C’mon. He’s a professional.
C) To get technical, the pacing of the action, the set up, and coherence of the comic is… it’s frankly really bad. So many panels don’t make sense, and poor Alya is like IMPRISONED to the right side of a panel while looking at her phone. Lines of action are bad (like one kid literally has speed lines to say “Hey, I’m moving!”) It’s messy and, once again to be frank, boring to read. The pacing of some of his other work is beautiful, once again pointing to a short timeline.
D) As a friend pointed this out for me:
For a LaCrosse based akuma, why is there this watch just liked SHOEHORNED into this theme?
Answer: Because they can use duplicate frames. A time-bending lacrosse villain doesn’t make sense outside of “Oh shit I have two weeks to do this”.
So all my beefs with Zagtoon fall back on the company itself and not any of the artists or animators.