In this week’s Webcomics Wednesday, we’re taking a short trip to a terrible future. Britt Sabo’s All Night imagines a world that’s come to a halt, leaving one half of the planet permanently in daylight and the other perpetually shrouded in darkness. That darkness allows vicious monsters to emerge, and they’re gradually creeping into the crepuscular borders separating day and night. Apart from a spectacular excuse to illustrate the story almost entirely in stunning sunset colors, this fascinating world-building sets a great stage for a compelling story about some magic-wielding misfit brown kids destined (it seems) to save the world.
The story opens on Clarence, a caster—someone capable of controlling the darkness creatures that are showing up in the daylight—who’s been called to clean up a particularly nasty one in the outskirts of daytime. The only trouble is this: Casters are subject to strict licensing rules, and Clarence is, well, a bit of a free-agent, and he’s not as capable as he claims to be.
Clarence hops in his old car and drives off in pursuit of the creature (avoiding further scrutiny of his licensing papers in the process), and as he’s zipping along, he sees a teenage girl passed out in the middle of the road. Anyone who’s watched a movie about car jackers will recognize that as the oldest trick in the book—and they’d be right.
After Clarence stops to help her, in short order, she knocks him out, stuffs him in the back seat, and hops in behind the steering wheel. The girl, Marna, is running away from something mysterious, and she’s accompanied by her late brother, Arliss, who’s sort of a ghost. Marna, meanwhile, has some caster capabilities of her own, though they’re raw and untrained, and Clarence sees an opportunity to team up, at least in the short term, in exchange for getting her to wherever it is she wants to go.
That’s all there is to the story at the moment, but the stunning artwork, expressive characters, humorous interludes, and tidy pacing so far presage great things to come, and hints of world-building generally and Marna’s backstory in particular add compelling mystery. All that’s well and good, but let’s not forget to talk about Sabo’s artwork, too, because it’s gorgeous. Just look at this panel!
With a masterful grasp of color and a cinematic sense of composition, Sabo’s desert scenes are a pleasure to look at, and their dynamic figures, full of spot-on gestures and facial expressions, contribute plenty of depth to the characters. At the moment, Sabo is updating this magic-tinged, dystopian adventure tale a bit sporadically, but stay tuned for more updates, because they’re likely to be a real treat.