REVIEW: ‘Stand Still. Stay Silent’ is a gorgeously addictive web comic

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The cover for "Stand Still. Stay Silent." Image courtesy of hivemill.com

Web comics are my one of my favorite things for many reasons, and I just binged “Stand Still. Stay Silent” this past week. Yes, you can binge read something.

I like web comics because they’re convenient. I can read them on my computer (which makes it really easy to use them to procrastinate), and they’re free. Most web comics are serialized, and their creators update on the same day of the week.

I like that because I can get on and read one page at a time and follow along with a story. The only hard part is it can take a time to catch up to the current point of the web comic if it is ongoing. “Stand Still. Stay Silent” started in 2013 and its current page count is 974.

That’s right, in the last week I read 974 pages of a web comic because I just couldn’t look away from the story that creator Minna Sundberg is telling.

“Stand Still. Stay Silent” is the story of a dystopian society where the surviving population of the known world is located in Ireland, with other small settlements in other Nordic countries. It’s been 90 years since the rash illness took hold of the world, leaving terrifying creatures to inhabit the Silent World, the area outside of safe settlements.

Sundberg introduces six main characters who are on an exploration into the Silent World to explore its territory and to collect books and other materials to bring back into society. This band of misfits is quirky, and it’s hard to pick a favorite because they all bring something different to the story.

Due to the constraints of this review, I don’t have enough time to talk about all of the characters, but I think my favorite Lalli Hotakainen. Lalli is a Finnish mage who works as a scout. He experiences feelings of alienation more than anyone else in the comic, and he’s such an expressive character that it was easy to love him. But honestly, I felt the same way about all of the characters.

The most masterful part of “Stand Still. Stay Silent” is the world building. Sundberg brings in informational pages to help us understand the lore of the society that exists after the end of the world. Her world includes mages and trolls and assorted other threats that she explains super well. She even builds miniature language lessons into her comics.

This comic is also one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever read. Many novels and graphic novels don’t have incredibly detailed backgrounds and line art, but Sundberg luxuriates in the details. I was constantly in awe at just how well-drawn this comic was. If you appreciate art, this comic could definitely be for you.

If I could think of flaws of this comic off the top of my head, I would share them with you. But, I’m just so enamored that I can’t come up with any. It’s also difficult for me to critique this story more heavily because Sundberg isn’t done with it yet. She just finished the first adventure of the comic and is getting ready to start the second. I’d love to come back and review this story more completely once the comic is complete.

The second adventure of “Stand Still. Stay Silent” is scheduled to start in late October. When it does start, Sundberg will update Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. You can binge “Stand Still. Stay Silent” at www.sssscomic.com. You’ve still got time to finish the first adventure before the next one begins, even if you don’t binge quite as fast as I did.

Macy Davis is the assistant culture editor for the Collegian and a senior in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com

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Macy Davis
I'm Macy Davis, assistant culture editor. I'm a senior studying English with a minor in mass communications and journalism. When I'm not reading and writing (both for class and for fun), I'm a member of the nationally ranked K-State speech team. After I graduate I plan on pursuing a graduate degree in library science.