SHILOH, SEASON 1
Writer: Kit Trace
Artist: Kate Flynn
Editor: HB Klein
Publisher: Self-published (Webtoon)
WHAT IS IT?
A supernatural thriller full of mystery and intrigue.
Think Hellblazer meets The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
A woman is found murdered in the streets of Shiloh. What’s odd is that the victim is the famous inventor, Charlotte Perry, who was declared dead years ago. Witnesses say that it was the notorious Marked Man, an assassin known for the unique scar on his neck.
The case is headed up by Callahan, a rookie from the upper echelons of Shiloh known as the Colony, and her jaded veteran partner, Barrett. They begin interrogating witnesses, but one of them, a young girl from the lower districts named Sid, lets slip that she knows the Marked Man. Terrified of the implications, Sid runs to the sewers with Callahan and Barrett hot on her trail. Callahan will soon learn that everything is not as it seems in the city.
Kit Trace’s writing works well to maintain the reader’s interest. Little nuggets are dropped in each episode that slowly reveal more of the mystery surrounding the plot.
Kate Flynn’s paneling is well-paced. Panels are drawn in unique shapes and patterns with borders that flow into the black negative space, making Shiloh a seamless read.
The color palette chosen for this story perfectly displays its dark mood. Everything is mostly muted, saving brighter colors for the more dramatic moments, making them have quite an impact.
The lettering masterfully takes advantage of the endless scroll format of Webtoon. The tails of the balloons often connect in a smoky, twisted pattern and are the biggest factor that makes the panels feel continuous.
Shiloh’s inner workings and lore are built into the conversations between characters and completely avoid any narration or info dumps. The reader never feels like relevant parts of the world go unexplained.
Negative space is used well. There are intentional long pauses between panels and slow fade-ins peppered throughout which reinforce big moments and keep the comic from feeling repetitive.
Each character is unique and interesting. While there are good guys and bad guys within the story, all are tinged with a bit of grey.
The monster design is fantastic and really makes them feel intimidating. Flynn largely accomplishes this through her contrasting, angular linework.
GIFs are employed splendidly in this work. They are primarily used to depict supernatural moments, but toward the end of the season, one particular panel contains a GIF that is a genuinely shocking reveal.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
The art is wonderfully detailed but is sometimes overly busy. In some action scenes, it was hard to discern what was going on, and a blank background might have been more effective.
With multiple overlapping stories, there are times when multiple episodes focus on one group. Some readers may find this frustrating as they have to refresh on what the other characters had done episodes ago.
At the end of the season, the final reveal would have been more effective if certain information was reinforced more throughout.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
This webcomic masterfully demonstrates the new frontier the internet has brought to comics. It is one of, if not the best, greatest examples of how to write a comic for a mobile device with the capabilities of the technology in mind. The art uses many techniques, such as connecting word balloons with winding tails, slow fade-ins, and even GIFs and music that could only be accomplished on Webtoon. Having the art styled in this way makes the story extremely enticing and enjoyable. Readers are kept on their toes not knowing which panels might suddenly be moving images, or where the next stretch of black space might lead.
The art and story are a happy marriage. Shiloh is written to be a shining beacon of a city that is only enjoyed by the affluent. The dark and dreary bowels outside of The Colony are given to the underserved where their very lives are at risk from otherworldly forces. With each episode, more and more of this darkness is revealed. Readers with an insatiable curiosity will love the slow-burning worldbuilding that occurs in the panels of Shiloh. Anyone else who simply wants a stunning pillar of Alan Moore’s philosophy of writing comics that do what only comics can (albeit only what webcomics can in this case) will likewise be enthralled.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Bastard by Carnby Kim & Youngchan Hwang
Hellblazer by Simon Spurrier & Aaron Campbell
Seven Deadly Sins by Tze Chun & Artyom Trakhanov
If you like the art:
Spirit Hunter by Yoon Hyun-Seung & Bang Seung-Hyun
Van Helsing vs. Dracula by Pat Shand & Michele Bandini
Grimm Tales from the Cave edited by Chris Fernandez, Chris Sanchez, & Brian Hawkins
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Kit Trace (Writer) & Kate Flynn (Artist) – @rednflynn (shared Twitter account)
Kit and Kate were nominated for a Ringo in 2021 under the “Best Webcomic” category.
Shiloh is their first major comics work which they have been working on it since 2012.
Kit was crafting dark stories even as a youngster with most of her comics experience coming from manga.
Kate grew up reading mostly webcomics and non-Marvel or DC books and was always fascinated with medium causing her to pursue art.
HB Klein – Editor
HB serves as an Associate Editor for Webtoons and has edited many of their top title including Purple Hyacinth, In The Bleak Midwinter, and Not So Shoujo Love Story.
They are a multifaceted creator and have also contributed to multiple anthologies and webcomics as a writer and letterer.
HOW DO I BUY IT?
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Shiloh characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Kit Trace & Kate Flynn or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.