App-Roxy-mately a Journal Comic? ProxyRoxy, reviewed by Kelly J Cooper

Roxy Liao’s ProxyRoxy is not your typical webcomic. In fact, she’s not even trying to create a comic at all. Through funny, cute, strange, and occasionally impenetrable sketches, she illustrates her daily blog and illuminates her mood in ways that words could never capture.

Liao is a native of Taiwan and regularly mocks her own English, but in actuality she rarely makes mistakes (although it took a little while to figure out "longly" is "lonely"). The vast majority of her blog is made up of illustrations with little or no explanation, but which definitely depict a mood for each entry. It’s only really been this year, starting in January that’s she’s begun to include long paragraphs about herself and her life. And Liao certainly lives a pretty interesting life.

Using everything from doodles to more complex flash-based holiday cards complete with soundtrack, Liao adds pictures, color, and occasionally sound to her journal-style review of her life – and the various links to interesting sites that she finds, particularly those related to illustrators.

Some great moments from her blog include the whimsical Hugh Manatee and Melancholy Calamari’s Big Adventure, the Twelve Principles of Animation (start here and scroll up for the rest), a great one of Roxy battling a giant fire-breathing lizard, Roxy on a rainbow smiling at a birdie, and an alphabet to break bloggers-block (scroll up for the rest). Most of the lettering around her sketches is typed, but the occasional word balloon is readable.

Liao does not limit herself to doodle-blogging, either. As an animator-in-training studying at De Anza College’s department of Film and Television, she also has several short animation pieces (all with sound) on her personal web page, as well as a gallery of artwork that is astonishing in its breadth of character. Her animation work is cute and clever, with such fanciful curiosities as a Starbucks’ coffee cup that dresses up and dances, the three pigs shilling for the IRS while the wolf waits outside, and a fabulous samurai. Her gallery pieces range from a startling realistic charcoal sketch to a cute little penguin looking up at a fanciful sky full of art.

The blogger link brings the visitor to about a week’s worth of Liao’s blog, but the archives, which start in May of 2002 and are organized by month, can be found on the top left side of every blog page, very easily accessible. Even if you’re not interested in a stranger’s journal, go check out her illustrated blog and enjoy the little visual moments she creates.

And don’t worry – Liao doesn’t write that much. As a smiling Roxy illustrates "Drawing is fun" and a cranky Roxy follows-on "Writing is not."