Ted Naifeh

Night’s Dominion: Season Two 1 (August 2017)

Night's Dominion: Season Two #1Night’s Dominion returns with a reasonably sturdy start. Writer and artist Ted Naifeh juggles multiple plot lines, cutting between them abruptly. However, he opens the issue with a storyteller recapping the previous season; it gets him some goodwill for the later impatience. Naifeh’s art is a little hurried and he does introduce a whole bunch of characters right off, but he’s got a good pace to the issue and it ends with a lot of promise. Of course, so did the last time he did a first issue of Night’s Dominion.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 6 (February 2017)

Night's Dominion #6I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’ll be back for more of this comic. Even though the first arc is a mess–and this accelerated wrap-up issue, which plays more like a movie trailer than a comic book, isn’t really successful, Naifeh does do some serious damage control and potentially plugs a lot of leaks.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 5 (January 2017)

nightNight's Dominion #5And then the dragons show up. I suppose the “regular” cast returns too, but the dragons are a bigger deal. Naifeh doesn’t do the battle scenes well, not the big ones. The lone guy going out to fight death knights, sure, but he doesn’t do the scale. And there’s lots of underdeveloped filler. Night’s Dominion finds ways to misfire during misfires.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 4 (December 2016)

Night's Dominion #4I’m not sure Naifeh is aware people read other comics besides Night’s Dominion. This issue is a bunch of battle scenes, a bunch of characters, a bunch going on; I have no idea what any of them have to do with the other. There’s some excellent art, but it’s a messy, messy jumble. Naifeh’s either rushing or expecting way too much of his readers.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 3 (November 2016)

Night's Dominion #3There’s a lot of intrigue and a lot of characters, but Naifeh gives the Night a good plot. It’s independent of all the riffraff she’s been hanging out with, it ties into the opening cliffhanger resolution, it moves through the issue. It’s overfull, busy, but fairly strong.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 2 (October 2016)

Night's Dominion #2Naifeh expects a lot from the reader, just in terms of keeping up with the story. There’s not a lot of content, just a lot of action and expository banter. The art’s imprecise and the characters are way too thin. The series is already stumbling too much.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Night’s Dominion 1 (September 2016)

Night's Dominion #1Here’s the strangest thing about the first issue of Night’s Dominion–it goes on forever. Ted Naifeh goes on and on and on trying to setup the story and he never quite does. He raises a lot of questions, but the hinted answers aren’t really as interesting as they need to be. The one time I thought he was going to do something crazy, he doesn’t. Instead he introduces Batman.

Because Night’s Dominion is–according to the editor’s note in the back–a superhero comic. Just one set in, basically, in a Conan setting. The art’s good, because it’s Ted Naifeh, and even some of the banter between the characters is good, but there’s not a story yet. Whatever ideas he’s got for the comic haven’t gelled quite yet. The Night is this master thief who operates in the city. Batman’s kind of her nemesis, making her Catwoman.

Speaking of Batman and Catwoman, didn’t Naifeh pitch a great Batman comic to DC once and they turned him down? I sort of remember some art.

The Night herself is an interesting character… when she’s not being the Night. When she is the Night, she’s just dealing with a bunch of morons who don’t think a woman can do the job. Again, it seems like Naifeh’s trying too hard to make the comic work.

Obviously, I’m not giving up on it after one, but it’s not off to the start one would hope given the creator.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 8 (March 2015)

Princess Ugg #8Well, Naifeh sure does wrap up Ugg nicely. Oh, he hurries it a little to be sure. There’s no reason he couldn’t have stretched this issue out to two and it would’ve done a lot better for the other princesses’ arcs and the diplomatic stuff, but it’s impossible to hold it against him or Ugg.

The conclusion is unexpected, sort of obvious, rather intelligence, rather empathetic. The only thing it’s missing is an appearance from Ülga’s professor, who’d be proud of her. Naifeh is rushing, no doubt. He cuts scenes short in the epilogue too, I just realized.

But again, it really doesn’t matter. Because Ugg brings a tear to one’s eye and Naifeh gets there sincerely. Somehow, Naifeh’s able to bring surprise after surprise and for it all to come across naturally. Like he’d been laying the groundwork for it all along.

Naifeh brings Ugg and Ülga home well.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 7 (January 2015)

Princess Ugg #7Naifeh seems like he’s forecasting quite a bit of what’s to come in Princess Ugg, which is fine. The comic has seemed somewhat listless and wandering, but this issue has Naifeh not just giving readers an idea of the situation beyond Ülga’s school, he also gives her a real supporting cast.

Her fellow princesses finally stick up for Ülga against the evil princess, who’s revealed not just to be an evil in a Mean Girls way, but actually evil. Naifeh gets in all the information he hasn’t been giving the previous issues in a few sentences here. Combined with a transcendent surprise sequence, it’s probably the best issue of the comic, if not the most entertaining.

The characters are getting far more complex, with Naifeh still able to fit in crowd-pleasing moments. Ugg has had its bumps, but Naifeh’s more successful turns more than make up for rough patches.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

Princess Ugg 6 (December 2014)

Princess Ugg #6Naifeh unleashes Ülga in battle, which leads to some decent pages, but he doesn’t let her do much fighting. The story keeps getting in the way. There are a lot of plot twists for just one issue–the worst being how her nemesis is nasty to Ülga even when she’s saving the day–and the ending is a little too light.

It’s an amusing issue and has a decent presence, but as the conclusion winds down… it’s clear Naifeh didn’t really have much story to tell. To tell the issue right, he would’ve needed twice the space, maybe three times. There are a lot of little battles and all those plot twists.

He doesn’t seem to like drawing the battle scenes, which is problematic since he’s showing how perfect Ülga is for them. And he gets downright lazy with the art on some of the bad guys.

Ugg’s got problems.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Ted Naifeh; colorists, Warren Wucinich and Naifeh; letterer, Wucinich; editors, Robin Herrera and Jill Beaton; publisher, Oni Press.

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