Take, for instance, this past Sunday's Sinfest. It's a clever recasting of the current socio-economic/political situation as Star Wars Episode III: with the US as (Uncle) Samakin Skywalker, Liberty in the role of Padme Amidala, and Jesus as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Devil corrupts Samakin by turning him to the corporate side of the Force, resulting in the death of Liberty (sniff). It's witty and well-illustrated, so go check it out.
Here at TWIW, we've been following storylines from a couple of the big dailies for a couple of weeks now: Real Life and Starslip Crisis. Over at RL, the mess that started with Tony, Fem-Tony and the Plot Hole continues to escalate: as the Government Agent crashes the party (having gone indie), Tony breaks out the Battlemech. I totally enjoyed the original storyline that introduced Tony's Battlemech--and maybe it's just because he's working on the comic full-time now, but Greg's mecha-drawing skills have become dramatically more realistic. Not only is this some of the most engaging material from Real Life in a long time, but it's also some of the most artistically impressive. And true to form, today's comic revealed yet another twist to end the week on a cliffhanger. You've got my number, Greg Dean.
So, while the Real Life storyline continues, we turn our attention to the conclusion of Vanderbeam's ordeal with the horrifying mask exhibit at Starslip. In the end, Vanderbeam's solution amounts to chickening out--and Starslip moves on. A couple of strips from this week interested me, in which Vanderbeam and Jinx muse amusingly on the topic of a higher power. Even the normally light-hearted Starslip Extra has Vanderbeam contemplating the elegant cosmic functioning of stars, a little Starslip spin on the teleological argument. Vanderbeam might well make a case for a Cosmic Designer based on the order in the universe, but his tenuous grasp of astrophysics riddles his mini-monologue with scientific inaccuracies...which Jinx calls him on. In the second philosophical Starslip strip, Jinx's alien thought processes (and other processes) deliver the humor, as Vanderbeam inquires into the deepest beliefs and convictions at the core of the Cirbozoid's being. Bill Watterson once said of Hobbes, "An animal perspective sheds some light on religious questions," and apparently the same goes for space aliens.
Over at F Chords, Kris Straub delivered another strip that was interesting to me, if for no other reason than it contained old people. Turns out that Ash owns an apartment in a complex largely inhabited by senior citizens. Ash's neighbor Oscar seems like a nice ol' codger, and I hope we get to see some more of him. In this strip he's mostly there to provide characterization for Ash, but he may get some development of his own down the road. We'll see.
In other news, Thursday's Book of Biff was not just good for a laugh, but also well-crafted. The art on this one is nothing complex, but I think it's really effective. The varying line weights and quasi-isometric perspective really make that cement block look like it's hovering surreally over the sink basin, which is what really sells the punchline for me. I seriously enjoyed the quality and efficiency of the art.
And now, in the interests of time, let's wrap this up with everyone's favorite...
Update Boxers and News Briefs
- @Penny Arcade: Mega Man 9 returns the series to its roots, and it likewise returns gamers to theirs
- @Penny Arcade's Fallout 3 comic series: The vault-dweller has left the vault, puppet in hand, and now braves the dangers of the wastes
- @Shortpacked!: Rock Band Week begins here
- @A Softer World: a deeply personal address to our nations future
- @My Stupid Life: the classic lightbulb joke, for web cartoonists. Too true, too true.
And that's a wrap for this week. The promised in-depth look at Rice Boy is in the works; my plan is to start reading through it again tomorrow, gather topics to talk about and comic pages to link to, and work on the entry as I get time next week. Ari will see you on Wednesday, and I'll be back next Friday with the usual rundown. Thanks for tuning in, guys, and have a good weekend!