Only four pages in, Tony Cliff’s Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant already has me hooked. The art is absolutely gorgeous, taking the ligne claire style a step beyond simplicity — just look at the drawing of boats in the water lapping on the second page to see what I mean. The story is exotic and promises to be filled with adventure; here is Cliff’s capsule description: “In 19th-century Turkey, an officer in the Janissary army must struggle to repay a brash adventuress for saving his life, even though she was the one who endangered it in the first place.”
Just four pages are up right now — it’s a conversation between two characters in a tearoom — but Cliff promises four to six pages every Saturday. A portion of the book was initially offered in print, but only in black and white; Cliff plans to publish the entire 160-page book online and eventually in print as well.
Since I often harp on bad webcomic site design, so I might as well point out when someone gets it right. Not only does the site look great, but everything you need is right up front and easy to find: Background information, FAQ, social networking tools, subscription feeds, even downloadable images in case you want to promote the comic on your blog. Does this work? I picked up on the comic from Fleen, and Gary heard about it from Kean Soo’s Twitter, and here I am writing about it (and using the handy promo image), so I’d say yes. Only one criticism: The comic is slightly larger than my browser, and the navigation arrows are at the side margins, so at first I couldn’t figure out how to get to the next page. Once I noticed the scroll bars, however, all was good.
One more thing: This comic comes with its own tea recipe, for something called Blood of My Enemies Tea. The needle has just fallen off of my awesome-meter.