Mice! Adorable, semi-realistic, beautifully illustrated mice. Mac Smith put the first page of Scurry up on the 17th of January 2016 and it doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the community loved it so much that Scurry raised over $100,000 on Kickstarter in October 2016 for a print run of the first book. Scurry is now 5 episodes in, and updates twice a week.
Scurry Webcomic Review:
Scurry is set in a dystopian future, where the humans have all disappeared. Human-centric narratives usually espouse a world that would continue on without us. But what if it didn’t? What if, instead, we follow a community of human-dependent mice that are beginning to starve in the wake of the apocalypse. After all, how can a house mouse live without humans to buy the groceries? So out they’ve gone into the long winter, searching for food as they skirt past the cats and hawks. Scurry is a gripping action adventure tale of bravery and sacrifice, change and death, centered around a little red mouse named Wix.
The mice treat us to a view of the apocalypse that is quite literally tiny. Their whole world is a house, a suburb. And now they have been abandoned. While some have an inkling that things are very wrong, their size has prohibited them from realizing the true scale of things. So they continue trying to live the life of the civilised mouse (not like those wild forest mice *shudder*), adhering to their societal rules while they wait for the humans to return. But how long should they wait? How long can they wait?
Scurry isn’t a laugh-out-loud sort of webcomic, though it does have its moments of dark humour – almost ingesting rat poison, for example. However, this doesn’t quite gel with those moments when the writing could have been better. Such as the very tropey conversation between “girl mouse” and “respected elder” of ‘yes, I care very much about the boy I grew up with’. Also, there is 1 obviously female character at the moment, and she is mainly kept protected. Sure, her dad says it is to help him, not protect her, but she has been kept in the whole time, not just this one time. I am hoping this will change considering that we are 111 pages in and barely scratching the surface of how epic this tale could become. After all, the writing in Scurry is generally good – with a nice pace ranging between character introduction, riveting action, epic excitement and curious exploration.
But what really makes Scurry, is the art.
The detail Mac has placed into every panel, from the cats to the microwave cable, is simply stunning. All the mice and cats have distinctive features that make it easy to differentiate between them, while still keeping to a natural colour scheme. The digitally-painted scenes have an atmospheric, almost mystical quality to them, giving credence to the talking animals. Mac’s skill is obvious in the various expressions and tones he is able to portray on a page. And he has the resume for it to boot, after working with big name companies such as Blizzard Entertainment (WoW).
If you enjoy stories about the apocalypse or talking animals, then I recommend picking up Scurry. There are a few kinks in the storytelling, but the art is beautiful enough to forgive most of it. And if you missed out on the physical copies, fear not as Mac has them available for pre-order. The comments section of the Kickstarter is also showing that the books have been delivered to satisfied customers – always a good sign.