Friday, November 16, 2007

I’m alive and doing fine

I've been out of commission for a few days with a knee sprain. The Oxycodone manages the pain quite well, but does little to enhance my withering writing skills.

For no particular reason at all, other than it amuses me, this post takes a look at web comics. It seems to me the "funny pages" in the local newspaper are less funny than I recall from my Jurassic youth. Dick Tracy, L'il Abner, B.C., Nancy, Peanuts, Gasoline Alley, Pogo, Steve Canyon, and Prince Valiant were my favorites as a kid. By the 1970s and 80s, my attention was drawn (pun intended) to Broom-Hilda, Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, Garfield, For What It's Worth (much better than Mary Worth), Dilbert, and Doonesbury.

These days, the talented, creative cartoonists are found on the web.

Paul Taylor's Wapsi Square is a multilayered treat. On the surface, the storyline focuses on a group of cute young women trying to live their lives. Below the icing, some very surreal storytelling that will have you believing the End of Time is less than 1,900 days away. It is a sometimes convoluted plot that has been building since 2001.

Chris Muir's day by day strikes me as a modern day Doonesbury (from when that strip was less preachy) of the Right. I consider day by day one of my daily "must reads." This strip is running seven days a week.

Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content tells the stories of a group of young people who hang around a coffee shop. Beyond that, any resemblance to "Friends" is coincidental. The latest storyline, for example, involves a robotic boyfriend J. Jeph has just passed the 1,000 episode mark.

The very talented Danielle Corsetto has recently expanded her girls with slingshots to five days a week. Like Wapsi Square, the main characters are endowed with attractive and ample protection for their pectoral muscles. A touch of the surreal is provided by another major character, a talking (and mobile) cactus. Danielle is also the talent behind the The New Adventures of Bat Boy in the now defunct Weekly World News (okay, not entirely defunct, the print version is no longer a temptation at the grocery checkout, but is still published online.)

Starline X. Hodge (pronounced "Star Lean") offers us Candi, and it is deliciously funny. The title character is a college student dealing with all the drama and comedy that is college life. The drawing style reminds me a little of the old Archie comics from the 1960s.

A new comic I just discovered (thanks to a plug by Danielle Corsetto) and that I think has great potential is in genre of Magic Realism is kukuburi by Ramón Pérez. His is a once a week strip that is just now digging into a plot following weeks of character introduction and scene setting. The artwork is in a word, awesome.

So there you go, boys and girls. Take some time to back away from the blogs and fill your head with some visual entertainment.