Friday, November 14, 2008

Time to get right down to business: the business of webcomics.

First of all, I owe our regular readers an apology. Last Friday, I promised a weekend post from my fellow blogger Ari Collins. As no post materialized over the weekend, I talked with Ari throughout the week, and although he tried to find time, he couldn't make up the post. I made the promise to you guys. Not him. That wasn't fair of me, so: sorry. To both you guys and Ari.

But now, let's get to the weekly rounds! It's been a pretty good week for the funny.

Quite honestly, I think Penny Arcade has been on fire lately. In my humble estimation, PA has been hit-or-miss for the past year now; when they're good they're great, but at times they just don't bring the comedy like they used to. But recently? They've been on a winning streak. You've got this one from last week, with a punchline that is vintage Tycho. And then you've got this Wednesday's comic. I'm not even sure what that game is, but I certainly laughed out loud. Inconsistent reality in video games is always a good source of humor--heck, Katie Tiedrich of Awkward Zombie practically builds her comic on it.

But the point is, you can't go wrong with the past three or four weeks of Penny Arcade. Which two years ago would have gone without saying, but such are the troubled times we live in.

It's certainly been troubled times down at the Multiplex this past week. The videogame rivalry between the theater and Flickhead Video Store, journalist-snoop Gretchen's information-mongering "friendship" with Calvin, and assistant manager Allan's general sleazy laziness have all converged and come to a head. The result is bad news for Franklin, who's been breaking the rules with his after-hours video games tournament and betting pool. Catch up on the action and intrigue starting with Monday's strip.

It's always fun when comics pack more than one laugh into their space, so as much as I can appreciate the economy of a well-crafted newspaper strip, lately I've been gravitating toward long-form humor installments. And Wednesday's F Chords delivered. Ash interrupts Wade's recording of a bubble bath commercial jingle to deliver some awesome news. Practically every line in it is funny, building up to a punchline coup de grace in the final panel.

Similarly, with its extended tales of drawn-out catastrophe, Nobody Scores! never fails to amuse me multiple times per comic. And this week it's delivered two standalone disasters: one murder investigation (by which I mean an investigation into the benefits and drawbacks of murder) and one housing purchase gone horribly horribly awry. Plenty of comic suffering in each: well worth reading.

Then there's today's Cat and Girl. Cat tells Girl a bedtime story about the Mainstream, which thrived and thrived until it was defeated by the internet. The notion of counter-culture bedtime stories--and the scary things that keep counter-culturists up at night--is a funny and clever topic, and C&G's social commentary is sharp as always.

Since its return last week, Nothing Better continues with a new update, as Kat comes face-to-face with the force that tore the roof off her dorm. It's God! God looks stern and imposing, but not threatening; he simply asks Kat why she won't believe in him. Considering that this is probably a dream and therefore indicative of Kat's perception of God, I'm interested to see where this dream goes.

I also meant to note that Undwinder's Tall Comics has staged a recent return. A little bit of social commentary, but mostly just ridiculous humorous weirdness driven by its absurd characters. Unwinder's parents chain him up in his yard for trolling on the internet; hilarity ensues. Be sure to catch up on all the new comics.

Finally, we have another sighting for the God Watch: today's Calamities of Nature discusses theism, atheism, and agnosticism in down-to-earth terms. I am one of those weird guys who both thinks there is a god and thinks he has good reasons for thinking there is a god, but despite disagreeing with the comic on that level, I think it's a good comic. I mean, it does make the bigger point that adamancy of belief promotes conflict, and conflict sells, so you've definitely got people on both sides of the fence belting out their views to create marketable spectacle. Hey, it's worked for Richard Dawkins and for the folks at the Creation Museum.

So, that's a wrap for this week. See you next week sometime! And this time around, I won't make promises that I can't keep.

1 comment:

tpiro said...

I'm glad you could still appreciate my recent comic, even if you disagree with an aspect of the point of view. It means I must be doing *something* right for once.