What You Should Have Read This Week
Submitted by PhilSandifer on January 8, 2006 - 19:21
Five strips, chosen with reckless idiosyncracy, that you should have read this week.
Lots of webcomics come out in a given week. Heck, lots of good webcomics come out in a given week. But also, in any given week, there are also a few strips that you just plain have to read - that, if you missed, you didn't really read webcomics this week. These probably aren't those five strips. But they're still five really good strips from the past week.
Monette's living on her own has been set up for a long time now, and it's a major moment for a character who was first introduced to set up what remains one of Davan's most bitter punchlines. But a big part of the setup for this move was the storyline where we saw her relationship with Lisa become more strained, as she began to recognize that she would have to leave Lisa. So to have Lisa suddenly show up in California is on the one hand the sort of vertigo that Milholland does so well in his strip - where the rug suddenly gets pulled out from under the reader. But on the other, unlike most of those moments, it's not clear what to think here - is this good progress for Lisa? Backsliding for Monette? Both? Neither? Milholland is throwing the reader a plot twist without telling the reader how to react to it. It's a gutsy thing to surprise the reader with uncertainty.
It's tough to find two funny strips that are as far apart as Irregular Webcomic and Daily Dinosaur Comics. One is a classic four-panel gag-a-day, continually invested in bad puns and geek culture. The other is a sly subversion of what comic art is, driven by a manic intensity in the writing that drives hard to be so bizzare its funny. And yet here, David Morgan-Mar hits the balance perfectly - capturing Ryan North's rhythm of writing and turns of phrase, but still fundamentally being an Irregular Webcomic joke.
Yes, it's now a week and a day old. But nobody who does Winsor McCay these days gets what is the most striking and amazing part of his work - how massive the scope of his page is. Garrity gets it here, in a cool hybrid of a century-old style and modern tricks of layout (Characters appearing multiple times in one panel, infinite canvas). The result is a comic that is absolutely a webcomic, and absolutely a McCay pastiche - one of the best I've ever seen.
I love the creepy child in Scary Go Round. I think he's funny as all get out, and captures the weirdness of Tackleford like no other plot device. And now he's back, and even creepier than ever. And he's right back where he started - things were going to change. Now they have changed, and creepy child is back to tell us that. Oh no!
I have no defense of myself here. I like the giant panda strips, and I am man enough to admit it. Even when they are bad giant panda strips, I like them.