By Ngozi Ukazu
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am in love! This love was developed by a webcomic called Check, Please! I’ll calm down now…
The story is about friendship, hockey, bros, and most importantly baking. Check, Please! follows Eric Bittle through his college experience (hopefully beyond). He was a figure skating champion, who has a vlog and is a pâtissier. He got into the hockey team in Samwell University in Samwell Massachusetts. The story is broken down in form of years and it is currently in Year 3. Bittle relates his story in form of a vlog. The videos are supposed to concentrate on his baking but he does speak about his experiences on the field with his teammates mostly.
Other characters in Check, Please! include the older and more experienced players from year one. The new freshmen players of subsequent years are introduced with the start of each school year. Therefore, there is a constant influx of new characters. Oluransi & Birkholtz are the funniest ones in the comic and are very conscious about their friendship. There is Shitty (no, I am not swearing) and he is amazingly chill character. Jack Zimmerman is an ambitious and has had a major development as a character.
However, the web comic is not limited to the main story line alone. There are snippets of team members, Ransom & Holster, explaining hockey terminology and breaking the fourth wall. They create hilarious situations and produce funny skits that break the tension between the events of the comic. These mini stories do advance the main story line, making it both an entertaining and an educating part of the story. I learned more about hockey from Check, Please! then I did from living in Toronto for 4 years.
The art of Check, Please! is adorable but diverse. It shows the different designs based one different personalities. The colours are light and pastel creating a light and vibrant atmosphere. The web comic shows that the characters are not always perfect and they may have the silliest faces. Also, the choice to make the eyes of the characters big creates an innocent atmosphere, which is ironic for some characters and highly appropriate for others.
The other amazing factor in Check, Please! is the use of the technologies afforded for web comics. Some of those include the use of gifs, social media, and the ease of movement. The format gives life to the comic in so many ways. Also, the movement between the panels is fluid and enhances the experience of the story, especially when you binge read it! That is if you go through the updates to start from the beginning rather than then clicking “Start the Comic”. The story can be translated into a physical book, but it strives in this medium!
Check, Please! was a recent discovery and has been an entertaining experience. This is especially true when exploring the extras like the sketches and the tweets.