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Friday, August 25, 2006

 
More Shiny Distractions
I have decided my readers don't have enough to keep them entertained, and I should therefore addict them all to online comics, if they aren't already. I do this out of the goodness of my heart. It is not at all an attempt to keep them placated on those frequent days when I haven't updated. Not at all. I don't know why you would say such a thing. You have such a suspicious mind.

Erm, right, yes, anyway, they're over there in the sidebar for future reference, but here's an explanation for why I chose the ones I did. I am a sucker for attractive art, intriguing storylines, and intellectual humor, so I tried to choose ones for public consumption that fit these bills.

Frazz is quite possibly the best newspaper comic strip running right now. An outdoors enthusiast, low-key intellectual, and a songwriter, Frazz works as an elementary school janitor, and has many witty conversations with the kids and teachers. The most notable of the students in Caulfield, who dresses up as a literary figure every Halloween and objects to the kind of reading the curriculum considers appropriate for his grade.

Sinfest is also in comic strip style, but it'll never make the newspapers. It's got God doing hand puppet shows, the devil trying to buy souls at a lemonade stand, a dragon representing a more Eastern take on religion driving them both crazy, and a host of more terrestrial characters doing their own things.

For my book nerds, Unshelved. Now we know what working in a library is really like.

Wapsi Square features good art, attractive women, a dog, the Aztec god of alcohol, some guardian spirits that once destroyed the world but are now trying to be human, and maybe a vampire. And they all live in Minneapolis.

Real Life, is, well, about the artist's life, except occasionally his friend Tony builds a time machine, or a dimensional door, or a space station. Many very geeky references, which you may begin to see is a theme.

Penny Arcade is an internet staple for gamers, but I read it as a non-gamer anyway. Their comics are often very strange, and they sort of pride themselves on pretty much never having any continuity, but if you have a certain bizarre sense of humor, they do enliven a MWF morning. My main reason for reading, though, is a sense of kinship I get from reading Tycho's newsposts. There is a man who likes to play with language perhaps even more than I do. Whether or not I care about the game he's talking about, I still get a kind of shivery pleasure from his prose. You gotta admire a man who will use proper capitalization and punctuation while typing an entry from his phone.

Though I was late jumping on the bandwagon, MegaTokyo really has me hooked now. I love how the two main characters see entirely different versions of Tokyo based on their personalities, but which clearly coexist. Also, because Piro (the artist, not the character) used to be an architect, the backgrounds of his panels are always amazingly accurately detailed. Kind of weird how seeing a very innocuous but clearly drawn standard Japanese apartment light fixture can make one nostalgic. Also, he apparently has another comic that he actually concieved of before MT, and it's set in Sendai! He totally needs to get on that. Except he needs to finish MT. I may have a long wait.

Applegeeks started as a vaguely real life college comic, but due to the main character's basement lair, the invention of a robot girl, superhero aspirations, and a trip to Tokyo with MegaTokyo crossovers, it's sort of gone beyond that. Oh, and there are ninja squirrels. (And this Applegeeks Lite strip kind of expresses my feelings about the usefulness of my MA.)

And Vicious Whispers is just too cute and bizarre not to share. It's new, so the archives take all of about 2 minutes to read. I'm particularly fond of Feebs and Turnips.

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