Deep in the ocean dwells a world of wonder, magic, and danger. Mer-creatures of every species live, love, and fight for their homes against colossal enemies like crabs, eels, and even clams. This is the world of Kappa, the undersea webcomic created by Wendy Martin.
Kappa tells the story of a young merboy of the same name, set apart by his shimmering, shiny gold scales. In a setting where survival depends on evading predators, Kappa has learned many things to keep himself safe, as hiding is not often an option for someone like him. While sleeping, he is discovered by Muccus and Marl, a race of octopus-like people who can use magic and turn invisible called the Näkki. Seeing his knowledge of predators as useful, they take him to their queen in hopes that he can help them reclaim their kingdom from a giant crab invasion.
Martin, who enjoys stories about mythical creatures in general, created this comic because she felt something missing from already existing popular mermaid stories. “It’s always like this sea creature or mermaid traveling to the surface and exploring the human world,” Martin explained. “But I thought that the mermaid world would be so interesting and I wish stories would just stay there.” Martin went on to credit the video game “Shadows of the Colossus” as inspiration for the size of the enemies in the comic.
Martin, who is the writer and the artist of the comic, manages to create pages without any outside help while working around her day job as a waitress. “It’s a labor of love,” says Martin. “I really am passionate about it so I hope I can keep it coming.”
As for the story, this is only the beginning of Kappa’s adventures. “This first part of the arc right now he’s [Kappa] kind of going to make peace with the Näkki and kind of find his place with them,” Martin says. She explains that the bulk of the story will be dealing with a cult of merpeople, whose goal is to eliminate anyone in the world that uses magic. Martin alludes mysteriously to Kappa helping the Näkki deal with past issues while urging them make allies. “He’s going to learn that these octopus people – the Näkki – they really like to keep to themselves, and therefore they haven’t really made allies with anyone, and that’s going to be a big issue since there’s this cult that is forming and searching out magic users and trying to destroy them.” Martin says she has long term plans for this story and with any luck, Kappa will continue until the end.
Kappa is only fully available to read on the Kappa comic website, but for any fans interested in sketches or progress shots, as well as other art by Wendy Martin, she also has a Tumblr account. To date, she has never printed or sold physical copies of her comic, but Martin admits it might be a future prospect. Until then, Kappa up to date online and fully worth the read!