15 March 2011

Link Post 2: The Rehashening, Part I - Webcomics

The content of my original list of links was written two years ago now, since it was borrowed from my Facebook proto-blagging. I've been introduced to StumbleUpon since then, so there are a lot more things I have to share. My original intent was to do a one-off like the first post, but trying to get everything in became unwieldy, so I decided to split it up into two parts, Webcomics and Everything Else. We'll start with the webcomics!

The name of each comic is a link to its homepage. I've also included a little blurb about each, and underneath there's an example from the comic itself--click it to see it full size. For the one-off comics I mostly included an entire comic, while for the serials I included something else, either a single frame or some promotional art, since it's hard to summarize them with a page from the middle of a narrative. In any case it's hard to do justice to an entire webcomic with one example, so poke around in their archives to get a better idea of what they're like.

Amazing Super Powers - An off-kilter and usually pretty depraved comic. But also usually quite funny. Make sure you read the alt-text, and poke around until you find the other secret present on every comic to ensure you don't miss out on any of the funnies to be had. It updates Mondays and Thursdays.

Antics - This one pretty much immediately became one of my favorites. It's beautifully simple and absurd. You can figure out the basic premise easily enough: two guys, one (mostly) sane, the other not--non sequiturs ensue! It rarely fails to make me laugh, though. It's updated on Mondays and Fridays.

Axe Cop - Axe Cop is an internet darling by now, but the tiny hipster that lives inside me would like you to know that I've been following it since it first started and loving it ever since. How could I not? It's the imagination of a 7 year old brought to life by his 30 year old comic book artist brother. The over-the-top--often violent--but of course innocent musings of a prepubescent boy (like a truck that scoops up bad guys and tosses them into a fire in back) are brought to horrifying and hilarious fruition. The updates are quite sporadic these days as the retail print version of the comic is becoming the focus.

Basic Instructions - This one a definitely a lot drier and more subdued than the other comics I follow, but it's always good for a chuckle. It's presented as a four panel instruction manual on how to perform some basic task. Each of the four panels usually has its own punchline, which sets it apart a bit from other comics. It updates pretty frequently these days.

Buttersafe - This one is pretty much on its way to completely filling the spot that Cyanide and Happiness once filled for me, as the latter seems to be losing the heart I thought it once had to be nothing but shock humor and terrible puns. Buttersafe definitely still has a heart, though, and will often offer some extra emotional weight along with its dry or goofy humor. It's updated Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dresden Codak  - Here you'll find a combination of long-format and one-off comics. The first story is Hob, and the current one is Dark Science. I'm still not sure what my opinions are of the plots of either of them (Hob because I'm not into Singularity worship like it seems to be, and Dark Science because it's just begun), but they're certainly interesting and the art is lovely. Be prepared to be looking up stuff on Wikipedia as you make your way through, particularly with Hob. Currently Dark Science is updating sporadically, and another one-off will appear once in a blue moon.

Gunshow - This one is really out there. It's steeped in the ludicrous and the macabre, but it usually feels like there's a deeper, cogent point being made, even if you can't always discern it. It's updated sporadically.

Hark! A Vagrant - This is a charming little comic with a strong focus on history and literature. A lot of the references go over my head, but I love the humor. She also occasionally takes on pop culture, and sometimes will do autobiographical stuff in which she talks with her childhood self. And the miniature pony that crops up from time to time is always hilarious. It's updated sporadically.

Lackadaisy - One of the long-format webcomics. It's a fantastic story about the employees and patrons of a struggling speakeasy in Prohibition Era St. Louis. Yes, they're cats, but don't let that fact alone turn you away. It's got real characters and a real plot, both of which are quite good. And the art is fantastic, particularly in the most recent pages. It's a continuing story, so be sure to click on the archive and start from the first page. It updates a couple times a month these days.

reMIND - Another long-format comic. I'm still not sure how I feel about the storyline of this one, but the beautiful art has me hooked. I can't say a whole lot without spoiling things, but go ahead and give it a look and see what you think. It's on a break right now following the conclusion of the second chapter, but should start up again some time next month. It's updated on Mondays in the past, so probably will again once it restarts.

Rice Boy - This site actually has three long-format comics, two of them finished and one on-going. They're all set in the same fantasy world of Overside, but all deal with very different characters and have their own tone (and their own art style). The first was Rice Boy, about a strange little creature finding his place in the world at large. Then came Order of Tales, about a keeper of stories and the mysterious "woman" he meets. And the current one, Vattu, about a member of a nomadic tribe of hunters, is still getting started. The art is lovely and the stories interesting, even if not entirely original. If you're looking for a good graphic novel to sink into, I'd recommend all three. Vattu is currently updating MWF.

Scenes from a Multiverse - This comic is based on observing the lives of others on other planets throughout an infinite number of universes. As you might expect, they often prove to be strikingly similar to ourselves, and the comic has plenty of social commentary. It also has an interesting gimmick in that each Friday there's a poll for which destination you'd like to see again on Monday. The winner will get another comic, and the next four days will be new ones, with another poll on Friday. If a particular destination gets voted to a fifth appearance, it's taken out of rotation until there are five such destinations, at which point they'll each get an additional comic and that Friday's poll will be for which one gets an entire week of comics starting the following Monday. It normally updates M-F, but things are a bitty spotty now as the author is handling some things in his personal life.

Subnormality - Looming walls of text and pictures. There's usually a lot to get through, but it's usually also worth it. Most of the time they've got an optimistic core wrapped in thick layers of despondent and often nihilistic social commentary, but the sum is usually feel-good. It updates a couple times a month.

Three Word Phrase - This one's pretty out there, sort of in the vein of White Ninja. If you're looking for a point or a punchline, it's probably not for you. But if you're a fan of the absurd and inane, you might get a kick out of it. I've just started reading it, and actually have no idea what its update schedule is.

So that's it. Between this post and the last one, you're now aware of pretty much all the webcomics I follow. I didn't include a couple old ones that I'm losing interest in, nor did I include a couple new ones that I just found and haven't gotten a good feel for yet, but that's basically it.

At some point in the near future I'll put up Part II of this post with all the non-webcomic websites I visit, but I think I'll try to put up some actual original content before that, like the next Reginald "comic."

Hope you've found some new comics you like! :) 

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