Friday, July 11, 2008

Uhhgh...mfff. Nerghh. What time is it?

It's time for a review of the week in webcomics.

Let's start off with two of my favorite M-W-F comics, Gunnerkrigg Court and Penny and Aggie. In premise, these two comics have just about as little in common as conceivably possible: one's the science-fantasy adventures of a stoical little girl at a weird, mysterious boarding school, and the other's this down-to-earth teen drama thing with lots of hate and friendship and other interpersonal emotions, and no fantastic stuff whatsoever. But in their current storylines, they have one thing in common: plays. And I loves me some Shakespeare and some swordfights, so these are welcome developments.

Sinfest this week has turned its focus on Pooch the dog taking coolness lessons from Percy the cat, which means that this week it moves from "comic my mom would not enjoy" to "comic my mom would enjoy." Sinfest really is a peculiar comic: it's certainly edgy and sharp and crass, but it has a definite newspaper-strip sensibility to it, and not just in presentation. In spite of the characters' egoism and debauchery, a lot of its humor hinges on a theme that would be right at home in the funny pages: the notion that in spite of our well-crafted veneers, we're messy and flawed and we really just want to be loved.

Except for Percy, who, like all cats, is too cool for school.

Anyways! Let's talk about cartoonists going absent and returning from absences. After a rather quiet several weeks, Joe Dunn returns to the urgent business of loving crappy movies. We celebrate his return with much rejoicing! Yaaay. The most recent comic about Wall-E is particularly good.

Even as Joe Dunn returns triumphantly, Brandon Bolt of Nobody Scores is giving his comic its yearly vacation, but not before leaving us with this wonderful gem, illustrating the inevitable, hilarious fallout between longtime friends Jane and Sara. When Nobody Scores returns from vacation, it will be fresh and re-engineered for maximum calamity. We eagerly await its return!

I'll be danged if Monday's Cat and Girl didn't make me laugh out loud. C&G often uses this formula for a strip, wherein Girl gives a very serious, earnest conceptual dissection of a shortcoming of modernity/postmodernity, and Cat's final line is an apparent non-sequitur that actually relates to the topic at hand in some absurdist fashion. And C&G creator Dorothy Gambrell generally has the chops to fill the formula with interesting content, so I'm a fan of strips like that. Tuesday's topic was mystery: in the Information Age, what remains that hasn't been mapped out and served to us on a Google platter? As it turns out, Cat himself is full of mystery. Now go read that comic, okay?

One final quick note: I was a big ol' fan of The New Adventures of Captain S during its first-season run. Captain S is a webshow that parodies and pays tribute to both Captain N and 90s sitcoms in equal measure. There's no second season yet, but there is currently an all-new webcomic-format tale, updated weekly. You can start reading it here.

Okay, and that's a wrap! See you next week. Time to go do productive things now.


abbreviatedman said...

Jackson (and Peter), this blog is awesome. Can I help? Maybe we could each update once a week or something? Also, I've added it to the "Our Projects" on Air Theremin, do you have any other projects? Man you are awesome, man.

Jackson said...

And Daniel Echt! Don't forget Daniel Echt!

I will be in contact with you, Abbreviated Man.