Friday, September 26, 2008

The news this week is that Rice Boy was great.

That's actually not news, of course. Rice Boy has been finished for awhile now--like not just stopped or ended, but it actually reached the finale of its overarching narrative. A webcomic with a natural beginning, middle, and end, imagine that! A genuine story. And the "old news" that Rice Boy was great is not even new news to me--I finished reading it some three weeks ago. So why am I mentioning it? Because it was great and engaging and creative and I want to talk about it with you.

But that'll have to wait. For now, I've got a week-in-review writeup to write, and it's coming rather late in the day here. Thoughts on Rice Boy, maybe later next week. Right now, the writeup.

Let's start with today. Today's installment of Dr. McNinja simultaneously cracked me up and made me go "Wow," which it actually does fairly frequently. Honestly, it's been awhile since Dr. McNinja did that for me--it was starting to get all "Oh, the grocery chain owner with the big purple monster alternate form got stuck halfway into his transformation, and oh look, now his quadriplegic dad has turned into a giant purple monster that is still paralyzed, that's kind of unusual I guess." But today's comic ended with a total non-sequitur twist punchline that leaves you wondering, "How the crud did he know that?"

When you're piling on the weirdness, sometimes the best way to make things weirder is to throw in something comparatively normal. Go figure.

Next up, we've got Real Life continuing its storyline from last week with Alternate Tony and the plot hole. Tony's gunfight with his female counterpart gets interrupted for exposition in Tuesday's comic, and then in Wednesday's comic, Dave strolls in to deliver another interruption. Initially I was bummed--way to drag all the momentum out of your gunfight, Cartoonist Greg! But the gunfight didn't resume in Thursday's or today's strips, and instead we got another monkey wrench thrown into the equation. Female Tony ain't the only one out for blood, it seems. As it turns out, the whole storyline was well-paced, and my feeling on Wednesday just came from differing expectations.

Just goes to show, sometimes it pays to stick with a storyline and see it out to the end before passing judgment. Heck, that's half the reason I keep reading Sluggy Freelance! The other half is the puns.

Now, let's turn our attention to Starslip Crisis. In the most recent storyline, Vanderbeam has received his first exhibit job as curator aboard the Sai Kan: a collection of mask pieces. Interestingly, the artist himself has specified a detailed layout for the exhibit, ostensibly making Vanderbeam's job easier...but the artist has requested that the centerpiece of the exhibit be hung up across from the curator's bed. The centerpiece turns out to be a soul-harrowing monstrosity! And in Monday's strip, we witness Vanderbeam's first night sleeping across from the thing (I use the word "sleeping" loosely). Once again, a good storyline that gets better as you get into it. You can start reading it here.

And let's round things off with a clever setup and punchline from today's Dinosaur Comics. That's all I got, fellas. Tell me what you think of the storylines in Real Life and Starslip, or maybe drop me a comment and tell me what you enjoyed this week.

Me, I'm gonna go watch Iron Man on DVD with some friends now. Adios!


cartoonista said...

I've been reading Real Life for a couple of years, and this storyline is the first one he's done that actually has made me excited enough to come back to his comic before any other comic I read. I'm glad someone else noticed.

Starslip is, in my opinion, the best sci-fi comic on the web. And dang funny. He's doing so much with just the effect of a work of art on Vanderbeam, I can't wait until he introduces the actual artist!

I don't know if you also read Dreamland Chronicles, but the new chapter is also starting off with a nice bang, too.

Jackson said...

I'm in the same boat re: Real Life, Cartoonista. I haven't been this into Real Life in a long time. :)

Thanks for the Dreamland Chronicles recommendation, too. I'll have to check it out sometime.