THE HUNT (WEBCOMIC SERIES)
Creator: Lucid/Danielle Keller (@llllucid)
Publisher: Lucid Publishing, WEBTOON, Tapas
WHAT IS IT?
A skeptic and a die-hard believer accidentally stir up an ancient evil and wicked magics while ghost hunting in this mature-rated boys’ love supernatural webcomic series.
Think Teen Wolf meets your favorite ghost hunting show, but gayer.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Strange things are happening in Nokomis Valley, but all Avery can think about is joining the exclusive Ghost Encounter, Inc. After roping in his middle school best friend Rhys, who recently returned from a study trip abroad in Romania (and got super hot), the two break into an old asylum for some good old fashioned ghost hunting. Rhys has moved beyond the belief of the paranormal, but his RBF and pessimistic attitude do little to deter Avery’s goals. The security guard, however, may pose a bit of a problem. Oh, and the spooky ghost hand that picks up Avery’s camera might also be cause for worry.
Avery’s simple passion for all things paranormal brings about repercussions unlike anything the sleepy town has ever seen, as the number of missing students increases, spells of “possession" overtake Rhys, and dark entities begin to crawl out of the woodwork. All the while, the old friends can’t seem to come out and admit they like each other, making each night of poltergeist panic unnecessarily tense. As our duo partakes in a will-they-won’t-they for the ages, ancient evils set their sights on Avery and the truth behind Rhys’ aversion to the moon may change the course of their relationship forever.
Lucid’s story of BFFs rekindling their love of ghost hunting is wicked, humorous, and downright fun. The core themes of romance and hauntings enhance the underlying mystery that plagues the sleepy town and its residents. Avery and Rhys’ established relationship is felt immediately and the development over the series is well-paced and believable.
The character designs are brilliant. Each member of the cast is unique and has a distinct style that falls into a sort of modern witch/dark academia or alt aesthetic that fits with their personalities and interests. The otherworldly beings are phenomenal and have a haunting yet modern look about them.
The use of color and texture is top-notch. The intense moments are filled with a glowing, spray paint-like texture while moments of comedy feature adorable repeating patterns of ghosts and tombstones. Everything is saturated in deep tones and the webcomic has a genuinely eerie aura about it, but doesn't come across as dark for darkness' sake. The illustrations and small details are clearly legible and stand out against the environments.
The lettering in the series noticeably enhances the emotions and theme of each page. Everything is legible, a variety of styles and colors are used to help sell the tone and it absolutely works. Conversations are laid out in a natural flow reminiscent of the iconic style used in Oxenfree, which enhances the realism of the dialogue and helps engage readers in the scene.
The series is incredibly funny. The natural banter between the characters, set alongside Avery’s absolutely oblivious nature and Rhys' struggle to keep his cool, makes for some incredible moments of humor.
The choices used for the sound effects are impactful. They have a slight “neon-sign” vibe to them and cover a wide range of styles to help sell the scene and enhance both the incredible color palettes and paranormal atmosphere of the comic. They are perfect when used to showcase non-human entities interacting through their ghost hunting equipment, too.
The cast has a great line-up of LGBTQ+ characters that are written and represented well. They are portrayed in a manner that feels realistic and their queerness is prominent but not their only feature, they have personalities and depth to them. It’s really refreshing.
The mixture of supernatural and paranormal themes and genres in The Hunt is well balanced. It can be hard to pull off bringing in werewolves, ghosts, and spell casting without being overwhelming, but Lucid has managed to integrate each piece flawlessly, creating a believable world in the process.
A lot of care was put into the "ghost hunting" aspects which I, personally, really appreciate. The tech and tropes used are accurate and it raises the webcomic to a certain standard that hardcore fans of the ghost hunting world will immediately notice and applaud.
A small detail I absolutely love is how Avery’s band-aids keep moving locations. He’s shown to be immensely accident prone and the shifting of his bandages as time progresses and injuries accumulate is such a great addition to his character design.
The recently released physical copy of part one (a whopping 95 pages) looks stunning. With assistance from webcomic veteran Midgart (@midgaardian), the transition to print is basically flawless. The colors are rich and deep, the exclusive NSFW bonus chapter is excellent, and the sketch and reference gallery is enlightening and humorous. Overall, it's well worth the price.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
CW: Strong language, violence, adult themes, strong scenes of a sexual nature (all of which is uncensored on the official site), and frightening imagery. Absolutely recommended for an adult audience only.
The editing/censoring needed to keep things acceptable for WebToon and Tapas ends up removing full panels and entire pages of their scripting in some of the later pages, so it is a more thorough and enjoyable experience on the official site (again, for mature audiences only. As long as you’re of age, go read it on the official site or Patreon).
On a technical aspect, if you type in the website it automatically brings you to the most recently uploaded page, which can cause possible spoilers (speaking from personal experience). Though the "Start Reading" link easily takes you to page one, going into a brand new series for the first time only to be thrown deep into the story can be a bit jarring.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Who doesn’t love a good binge session of ridiculous paranormal TV? That’s the same kind of feeling you get reading The Hunt. It brings about a similar joy those of us who grew up with shows like Ghost Adventures craves to this day (as someone who has seen every episode of all 25 seasons of GA, it gives me so much serotonin), and fans of IPs like Scooby-Doo and Sabrina will find a familiar comfort with the themes and cast.
Lucid, creator of other boys' love titles Avialae and River St, has a deep understanding of what BL fans crave while bringing some much-needed mature, yet good-natured, humor to the genre. The story of an oblivious but well-meaning idiot and his hot, not-quite-boyfriend (who may or may not be a werewolf) as they battle the forces of evil and raging hormones is simply addicting.
The series merges several paranormal and supernatural themes into a well-crafted tale of magic and otherworldly experiences, one that is grounded in a realistic setting that almost anyone can relate to. It's a bit witchy, immensely eerie, and a genuinely fun read. Geared for an adult audience without being dark or toxic in its romance, the captivating mystery at the center of it all continues to grow without losing any of its charm or intrigue in the process. With two updates per week on Tuesdays and Fridays, The Hunt is a must for fans of supernatural romance, and the beautiful physical edition is a must for collectors of eye-catching comics. You can keep up with updates on the official Twitter account, @thehuntcomic.
HOW DO I READ IT?
MissLucidComics (Physical Editions)
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