About Me

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Good evening, afternoon, or whatever time it happens to be there, ladies and gents! I happen to be Andy, who happens to be a freelance web designer, musician, writer, and whatnot.

Roman Catholic, student of tabletop gaming, and someday soon I'll have my own designs in the field!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Ye Olde Comics of Web

So, I've been advised to kinda mix things up a bit on the blog, so in the interests of doing so, I'm touching on some unique source material: webcomics (for the uninitiates, a comic on the web which updates at least a couple times a week). If you're any sort of respectable geek, you've heard of at least some of them. If you're not, you've possibly heard of some of them. That being said, I'm going to do a top 5 countdown of my favorite webcomics, along with a brief examination of why I like them.

5. Weregeek


Link: http://www.weregeek.com/2006/11/27/
Summary: A tale of geeks and their lives, interspersed with RPG experiences.
My Take: A very fun and interesting look at geek culture, this strip doesn't get old, even if here and there it slows down a little. References abound, from D&D, World of Darkness, and Shadowrun to Firefly and anime. This strip covers an incredible amount of ground, and it's still going strong.

4. XKCD


Link: http://xkcd.com/1/
Summary: A very strange conglomeration of nerd and geek, mixed with a bit of awkward humor...and a dash of romantic poeticism here and there.
My Take: I really want to meet the writer of this comic. He's a combination of the profound and the analytical, with his own quirky sides too. Plus, he's definitely a Firefly fan, which is a big plus. (a note to concerned readers: some of his humor tends towards the more "adult" side, so read with discretion)

3. Darths and Droids


Link: http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0001.html
Summary: What if Star Wars were actually run as a sci-fi hack of D&D? A screencap comic of the Star Wars films, beginning with Episode 1.
My Take: I stumbled across this comic via DM of the Rings, which utilized a similar idea, except with The Lord of the Rings. While that strip was immensely funny, Darths and Droids kicks it up a far greater notch. Not only is it a more substantial webcomic, it includes the players in this "campaign" as characters unto themselves, and often as the main characters. It spoofs both Star Wars and the conceits of D&D, but focuses most of all on the character interactions between the players (a genius who has no common sense, the rational player, the drama student, the powergamer...and the rational player's little sister). Bonus: Jar-Jar is finally a likeable character. Seriously.

2. The Order of the Stick


Link: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html
Summary: A misfit band of adventurers in a stick-figure world based off of D&D have epic adventures.
My Take: This is one of the best-matured webcomics I've read. What started out as a series of strips comically chronicling a dungeon crawl, poking fun at D&D rules the whole time...well...it evolved. By this point, not only does it contain great numbers of plot, but it also has great characterization, and manages to tie together both humor and story quite pleasingly.

1. Girl Genius


Link: http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021104
Summary: A "gaslamp fantasy", a melding of both steampunk and mad science, set in a world overrun by fantastical creations and devious plots.
My Take: From when I first came across this gem to its progressions in the current day, it's certainly developed into quite the tale of adventure, romance, and SCIENCE! The heroine is one of the most lively characters I've seen written in a long time, and her spark (heh!) and spunk do a lot to drive the plot. Did I mention the talking cat? Also one of the highest-quality webcomics out there, in terms of production value. (They were originally published as graphic novels)

Have a good rest of the week!

6 comments:

  1. :) So glad Girl Genius has the top spot! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I might write a letter of correction to the editor?

    1. Girl Genius started out as a comic book, not a full graphic novel.

    2. Girl Genius is CURRENTLY published as a graphic novel series; while it is first online, it is collected in graphic novel form for print publication. This is distinct from other webcomic-to-print publications (such as Weregeek, or Schlock Mercenary) in that Girl Genius is intended for full graphic novel presentation even on the web rather than being a published collection of "strips."

    3. Girl Genius won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Novel, beating out Serenity, Dresden Files, and other high-market contenders, and is poised to do the same this year as well.

    4. Readers of the blog can gain insight into writing RPG plots by studying Girl Genius due to its treatment of fantastic material, incredibly consistent backstories, and impressive use of the setup/payoff principle.

    Okay, Mr. Editor, so #4 isn't a correction. It's still good to mention. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. ;) Although in my defense on #2, I figured that for a brief summary, it was a bit too complicated to explain the switchoff.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And Looking for Group isn't on here?

    ....I think I can forgive you.

    ReplyDelete

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