Amongst Us is written, drawn and created by Shilin Huang. Veloce and Blackbird share a calm, mostly peaceful existence going through their day to day experiences. They take the things that life sends their way always with each other. Their stories are a mix of upbeat humor and simple heartfelt emotion.
With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year the comic book review load is a bit thin this week. Since I have a bit of downtime I wanted to take the opportunity to share another wonderful webcomic I managed to fall into some time ago. As it is a gem easily missed if one doesn’t know where to look I figured I’d take a moment to introduce you all to it.
Amongst Us follows the lives of its protagonists as they go about their daily lives. Normally this kind of comic wouldn’t grab my attention. But I stumbled upon creator Huang’s art on Twitter ( @Okolnir) and discovered this delightful gem. By the end of the first strip, you have an excellent understanding of the two characters. Blackbird is energetic, upbeat and lighthearted. Veloce is much more subdued. She is the embodiment of “speak little, say much”. And while Blackbird wears who she is much more on her sleeve, when Veloce chooses to show herself you never doubt her energy and passion is easily as deep as Blackbird’s.
For the bulk of Amongst Us, there is no particular plot to speak of. The series picks up as the couple return from a vacation. From there they quickly settle into the real world and the obligations that await them. The routine of modern life is shown in a wonderfully entertaining light. Huang’s talent for comedic presentation is unsurpassed in my experience. Taking full advantage of the flexible nature of the manga style of art Haung goes all out to give the humorous moments of the book all the punch her considerable talents can muster.
While lightheartedness is never far in the stories of Amongst Us it is the series heart that makes it true comfort food for me. Haung takes the seemingly small moments and turns them into something truly special. Her mastery of lighting and perspective brings the full weight of these tender moments to the for. The only way I can think to adequately describe the effect is that she draws the images the way you might remember them. When viewing these moments it is like she has applied the emotional lenses of the characters experiencing them to the panel itself. This gives the panels a feeling most of self-experience. As if you are going through these wonderful moments with them.
The other area where Amongst Us shines brightest is whenever music is present. With a degree in performance piano, Huang’s love of music combines with her passion for art in some truly striking moments. And with both her main characters skilled in their own instruments ( the cello and violin respectively) there is ample opportunity to see this gorgeous fusion of interests throughout the story.
The combination of laughs, love, and beauty that infuses these panels has made it a deep loved space for me. With the recent stories going back to when Blackbird and Veloce first met I can’t imagine those feelings will change anytime soon. The days can get hard sometimes. When they do I am always happy to jump online and seek some comfort among these wonderfully crafted stories. It is heartfelt, happy and absolutely magical. And I hope it never changes.
The combination of laughs, love, and beauty that infuses these panels has made it a deep loved space for me.