November 8th, 2008


comics recommendations

My friend B/ asked about online comix.

I spent a few minutes trying to put some ideas together, and I thought I'd share.

well, for good silly steampunk ("gaslamp fantasy") fun you might want to try Girl Genius [beware, huge timesuck].
And for graphic design creative stuff, for some reason Kukuburi comes to mind today. And I'd also point you at Top Shelf 2.0 for a sort of anthology/sampler of really quite remarkable stuff.

Still in paper and worth going to a dead-tree version? Finder [lightspeedpress], by Carla Speed McNeil [new pages available online]; Bone, by Jeff Smith. Love and Rockets [Fantagraphics], by los bros Hernandez. Only comics I still buy in floppy pamphlet form? Echo, by Terry Moore; RASL, by Jeff Smith (yes, same guy who did Bone).

On the more web-comicky stuff:
questionable content has become like Friends for hipsters, only with better acting, more reason to care about the characters, and funny. so I guess that's not much like Friends at all. I really like it, partly because i kinda love the people.* Multiplex is a sitcom about people who work in a movie theatre. Octopus Pie is brilliantly-well-expressed slice-of-life "about nothing" about hipsters in Brooklyn.

Cat and Girl is brilliant political/social commentary. So is Nobody Scores! only the latter is wacky as well as bitter. WTTF is... odd. and pointedly a little bitter too. WE THE ROBOTS is a much-funnier remake of what Dilbert wishes it could have been, except everybody's a robot.

PhD comics is a gag strip about being a grad student. Medium Large [by the author of Sally Forth!] is three times funnier than Sally Forth and vies for the role of the new Doonesbury with Sinfest. Unshelved is a gag strip about being a librarian. The Knight Life is a gag strip about... being Keith Knight. xkcd is... the ultimate smart-guy-who-works-with-computers comic.

Order of the Stick and Weregeek and Dork Tower are all comics about role-playing games. The latter two require more familiarity with the existing pantheon; the former only Dungeons and Dragons.

okay, that's something I intended to write down for a while; nice to put it in one place !

*If you get started on Questionable Content, and go back to the beginning [a long way: more than 1200 pages in this] please note that the first 500 pages or so have a terrible terribly uncomfortable sex-isnt-happening-so-its-funny bad uncomfortable essentialist guys-want-it-girls-withhold-it sexual politics driving the story; please trust that around strip 500 things change and somehow the writer realized that's not where he wanted to go, and all of the characters become more human for it. for those who've read it, page 509 puts the nail in the coffin on the old politics.