The Webcomicker

Who watches the watchmen?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Man, it's been awhile since I've had an updates post. And boy am I behind. I've got a lot of new comics that I've been reading. So let's dive right in, shall we?

Fallen - I keep looking around for good comics drawn in the manga style, mostly because I enjoy manga a lot more than I enjoy American comic books (this is referring to published works, not webcomics). But the vast majority of webcomic manga out there is just fan service junk. It really is. Fallen, however, is not. It's got a different tone than most comics I read, very depressing and beaten-down. But it's an interesting story and and even more interesting world, so I picked it up. Of course, it hasn't updated since last September, so that's a bummer.

Full Frontal Nerdity - An absolute treat by Aaron Williams, of Nodwick fame. I've been reading this one for a long time, I guess I just forgot to actually mention it here. Aaron Williams manages to perfectly capture the essence of the geek without going over the top. The guys in this comic aren't parodies of gamer stereotypes. They're gamers. To me, reading Full Frontal Nerdity feels just like I'm sitting around the gaming table with my buddies.

Joe and Monkey - I don't know if I've mentioned Joe and Monkey here before, but it's another one I've been reading for awhile. This is another webcomic that reads like a newspaper strip, and is consistently on the same humor level as any newspaper strip I've ever read: it'll almost always make you smile but rarely make you lose control with laughter. And that's not a bad humor level to be at. The thing about Joe and Monkey that really stands out to me is the quirkiness of it. The characters aren't over-the-top, theu're just a little off-kilter. They're afraid of ducks, obsessed with getting a bucket down from the ceiling, and generally jusy quirky. It's a fun read.

Radioactive Panda - I honestly don't know what to make of Radioactive Panda. Is it a serious strip with subtle humorous undertones, or is it a humor strip with a thin veneer of seriousness on top? I'm inclined to think the second. But one thing that Radioactive Panda will never fail to be is whimsical. The artwork is almost pulpy in its brightness of color, but the bright colors are contained within very pronounced linework, which gives it kind of a unique flavor. And of course the current storyline, a parody of webcomics drama, is incredibly well-done. It's rare to see subtlety done well, but these guys know how to do subtlety. I'm impressed.

Templar, AZ - This one I just picked up yesterday after listening to the Digital Strips podcast about it (I'm not a big fan of Digital Strips, but I do listen when they cover a topic I'm interested in). It's amazing to me how much acclaim this strip has gotten when it's really still in the very fledgling stages of its development. I guess that's what happens when you have a good comic with a slow update schedule. Templar has been nominated for quite a few Webcartoonists Choice Awards, but the ones I think it really deserves to win are "Outstanding New Character Design" and "Outstanding Character Writing". While many people, including Spike herself, emphasize the town itself as a key part of the comic, it just doesn't read that way to me. What's a key part for me are the diverse characters which make up the town. Even the bit players in the background are obviously the product of a lot of thought and work. This strip is all about the characters, and the characters are quite unique.

The Angriest Rice Cooker in the World - I kind of read this one on and off for awhile, but now I've finally added it to my permanent list. The Angriest Rice Cooker is actually a really good fixed-art comic strip despite being even more fixed than most by having only one image, which is repeated three times. It's basically just a short rant by the rice cooker every day, but Connor Moran still manages to keep it funny and fresh. The only weird thing is that it's like barely a comic. Like Moran could just replace the little images with like a "rice cooker blog" and it would work just about as well. Which is an interesting idea, actually...

Unshelved - Here's another nice newspaper style comic. And, in fact, I'm actually a bit surprised that Unshelved doesn't run in newspapers, because it's really not a part of the greater webcomics community, it's tone very closely mirrors newspaper comics, and the type of readers it appeals to are much more likely to read a newspaper than to read comics on the web. If I had to make a pick out of all the webcomics I read for one "most likely to succeed in newspapers", Unshelved would be it. As a side note, the weekly summaries of interesting books to read that Unshelved provides are really annoying me, because they're rekindling my love affair with books, and I simply don't have time to fall off that cliff again.

So that's the latest that I've been reading. Links to all the comics have been added to the sidebar!


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