Tripping Over You
Written by Owen White
Illustrated by Suzana Harcum
Review by Hafsa Alkhudairi
I first opened this webcomic back in 2011 when there were fewer pages and I fell in love. My friend told me that since I hate romantic stories but love romance in the everyday sense of the word, I should read Tripping Over You (TOY). Here I am telling you that reading it would make your week that much better. There may not be as many pages as an issue or it may just be glimpses into the story rather than the full picture. After reading so many pages, you become attached to the characters in a way that is uniquely soft a nd exciting.
The comic itself was first written in 2008 and is still on going making the current pages still in 2009. Tripping Over You started out as a way for the artists to spend time together and explore their relationship with each other through this medium. So the comic reflects their relationship in some ways as well as explore the issues they face as a couple. It does address sexual themes without being explicit on the site proper (they do have a store for that if you want those). This helps them keep the site at a PG13 rating. So teenagers to adults can read this and start to understand not only their feelings or situations but those of the people around them.
What Suzana and Owen have done is create a story that moves in the past and tells a romance story that is genderless transcending societal confines. However, the story, starting in 2008, is one about two men’s journey with starting a relationship to maintaining it through the ups and downs. The main characters are Milo Dunstan and Liam Schwartz. The former is bubbly and excited about life in general. The latter is anxious and caffeinated (reminds me of myself). Their dynamic works because one reminds the other about the other side of life and that it is not perfect but could become so. Tripping Over You is simple and full of family and friends supporting each other or fighting with each other. As if the arcs are snippets of their lives together showing a progression of character and experiences. It is low on drama but still addresses issues that any couple may face, though it does address specific issues that same sex relationships may face as well. And this an abundance of the story waiting to be read, if you haven’t started already!
What I love about webcomics, especially that spans through time, is that there is a clear progression and development of style and talent. The art goes from blue and white panels with rough edges and mostly angular lines to colorful panels with smooth edges and more detail. In the beginning, the art was more of a backdrop and a setting for the characters to move in. The designs other than basic features were vague but adorable. However, they served their purpose as a vehicle to show the reader the beauty in simplicity. It is a testament of creativity that, in combination with the story, the comic was still compelling and is still relevant and will continue to do so. With time, and as the story gained its colors, the character, the atmosphere, and the setting gained more precision and more personality. Now, the designs serves their purpose as a vehicle of the creator’s adaptation and experience and the story’s progression and maturity. As the characters grow, the art grows with them showing the complexity of people’s life as they grow older and take on more responsibility. If you are wondering what they use for the art, they use Paint Tool SAI with help from photoshop!
Webcomics are easy to read once you are able to navigate the website it is stored in. The good thing about Tripping Over You’s website that it is simple and to the point. The home page has the latest comic with a blurb from the creators underneath. This comic could be considered a flagship in contemporary literature because the characters, Liam and Milo, have Tumblr blogs, which refelcts their personalities. They are canon and not live because of the time difference (OH MY! We’re talking to the past!). Also you can totally send asks and interact with the characters. The webcomic has a Twitter on which you can engage with the story or with the creators. They have a Facebook page where you can see their events and see what conventions you can see them at! Finally they have a shop, which isn’t inherently exciting, but you can buy accessories and shirts or you can get Vol 1 and 2! Yes, they have a physical book for those of you who are attached to your paper copies!
Read it or Buy it! This story is what we need to see the softer side of comics beyond fantasy/superheroes or social commentary. This is a snippet or everyday life that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It shows the happy moments and sad ones in a safe environment so that you can experience it without having to commit to a relationship! It’s like a breath of fresh air and I encourage all of you to participate. If you love this comic like I do, please support them on Patreon as well!
Hope you read it and enjoy it as much as I did and do!