Moth City Season 1: Part 1(Flying Whities/mothcity.com/, $0.99/Free) is militaristic fantasy but of a different sort. Set in an alternate version of the 1930's, the titular city is a curious place located in South East Asia, an industrial city run by an American tycoon, dealing primarily with the surging Chinese Communist government. The first issue (available on Comixology or free at the series website) is centered around a chemical weapons deal between the city’s tycoon and a Communist General, which is a sketchy exchange at best. Writer/Artist Tim Gibson comes to comics from cinema storyboarding with a unique take on storytelling, working in an abstract chronology where the story will jump back minutes or days without notice before resuming the conversation-at-hand. It’s a little mystifying at first but it gets one’s attention and once the rhythm is established it becomes quite easy to digest.
Gibson’s illustrative style is inelegant, but unique, and it conveys information smoothly and smartly. Fans of Matt Kindt or Jeff Lemire will be right at home in Gibson’s muddy, earthen world (his colour sense is what I groove on the most). Like Marvel’s “Infinite Comics” digital offering, Gibson takes advantage of the format by layering his panels with multiple “takes” giving the illusion of motion, one of the most alluring additions digital comics brings to the table. As well, the programming that backs these comics allows the creator an increased control over the reading experience, pacing the panel reveals and reading order that contribute something else unique to the reading experience. Gibson uses both of these techniques masterfully, moreso than any other digital-only I’ve read, and with a story whose purpose isn’t to just show off these things. It’s great stuff.