Usually, the Comixpedia waits at least a year to review a webcomic. It's only fair, since most creators are still developing their voices in the first 6 months and figuring out what they can do with a pen and ink or Photoshop. If you were to judge some of your current favorite comics solely by their first offering, you might never have kept reading.
Dungeons and Dragons is a great game and a terrific innovation on war games, but it has a dark side. First there was that Tom Hanks movie. Then the game spawned a whole category of fiction that is no less than a crime against humanity.
As you may have noticed, the Comixpedia theme this month is "the death of newspaper comics", or webcomics that fall into a typical newspaper format. A Softer World represents one alternative to that whole subspecies of webcomics, since it represents everything a newspaper comic usually is not: subtle, understated and witty.
Also, it's not drawn.
A friend summed it up this way: "Achewood is just ... weird," she said. She obviously liked it -- maybe because it is weird, maybe because it's also so familiar.
If you've ever been in an online game, you've probably watched two barely literate guys duke it out using the chat functions. The typical lame insults are usually thrown around. One guy is a pussy. One guy's mother is a whore. It's basically a nerds' table slap fight moved from the high school cafeteria to the Internet.
In an arena that's crowded with elaborate Sci-Fi themes, baroque fantasy themes and byzantine plots, it's refreshing to note that one of the best comics on the Web features two main characters who don't even have arms.
The main characters of Steven Cloud's Boy on a Stick and Slither are a sort of coalition of the limbless. Boy is either a multiple amputee or a sentient Pez dispenser, and Slither is a snake. In a boxing match, they're on equal footing.
The fact that neither protagonist can wear a wrist watch is mostly irrelevant to the strip, though, as they're essentially icons or stand-ins for any two people. They look like doodles from the corner of a Physics notebook, and conceptually, they're the same. They're symbols, really, and their visual representations are irrelevant, except as fodder for a self-aware gag or two.
In the weeks after Sept. 11, when anthrax was flying through the postal system like AOL free samplers, and flags suddenly sprouted from every crack in the ground, pop culture balled into a foetal position and rolled under a table. You were there, too, so you canâ€™t deny you saw it. American pop culture briefly became nothing less than a 24-hour, instantly-updated funeral service with occasional breaks for scary news stories about "dirty bombs."
Every comedian had a somber speech about being unable to make jokes. Talking heads debated the patriotism of disagreeing with the President. The editor of Vanity Fair, stretching that magazine's authority just a bit, officially declared irony "dead."
That's when David Rees started tearing it all apart with the caustic sarcasm of Get Your War On.