Ben Saint Artist Spotlight: Obscurity on the Weekly #1

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Photo: Ben Saint, Saintcomix.com

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You’re reading obscurity on the weekly, a home for obscure things retro to modern. This week, the spotlight’s on Ben Saint, a digital artist whose primary focus lies on his excellent library of web comics.

Saint’s work can be found chiefly on his website saintcomix.com, although he also has a YouTube channel, and a Twitter page @itsallsougly. Additionally, he often appears on the Pro Crastinators Podcast and has a secondary YouTube channel he shares with his girlfriend Jackie.

“The White Lion”, although not bad by any means, is unquestionably my least favorite of Ben Saint’s comic library. While entertaining in its own right, “The White Lion” showcases neither the emotional potency, nor the thought provoking nature of his later works. In this way, its brevity is both a blessing and a curse, getting it out of the way quickly, yet failing to inspire any emotion, barring mirth.

“The Vapors”, however, is an entirely different story.

I have a categorical attraction toward arrogant or pretentious characters, and Vincent of “The Vapors does not disappoint on that front. While the condescending jerk is far from a brand new idea, Vincent stands out due to the focus put on the anxieties and hang-ups beneath the facade. He may come off as insufferable to some, but Vincent gets a pass from me.

Vincent may be my favorite character from “The Vapors”, but my favorite aspect overall is how the sullen tone interacts with the comedy. “The Vapors” consistently causes me to flip from a smile to a sigh in a single panel. Saint’s ability to communicate an emotion so quickly and effectively is the highlight of his work, and it never gets better than in “The Vapors.”

Photo by Ben Saint, Saintcomix.com
The Champion’s first panel

Or at least that’s what I thought until I read “Brunswick.”

“Brunswick” is an experience. A fantastic experience at that. Being the second short, published in 2016, it’s amazing how much Saint can pack into just 26 pages. “Brunswick” is certainly not for everyone, but if the concept interests you at all, it’s something that must be viewed firsthand. The nature of the story prevents me from elaborating much here, but “Brunswick” is Saint’s magnum opus in my eyes.

Last but not least, we have “The Champion”, which as of yet, has only half a chapter out. “The Champion” certainly looks promising, but as the half currently available ends just before the climax of the first chapter, it’s hard to make a clear judgement. For an action comic, the art style has a very distinct wide-eyed style of character designs, contrasting the more serious designs of most action focused works.

Which of Ben Saint's works do you like most?

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Ben Saint, as usual, uses strong facial expressions, which work surprisingly well for the story. The highlight of “The Champion” for me is the striking framing and composition of frames, beautifully exemplified by the very first panel. I eagerly await the release of more.

That covers everything Saint has released so far. What did you think about Saint’s comics? Which was your favorite?

Be on the lookout for more Obscurity on the Weekly.