Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday... Quickies.

I thought of a really bad pun for Thursdays but I'm not using it because I'm not twelve. *giggles*

I Phone, You Tube on Brainless Tales. Eons more creative than Marvin's inane IckyLeaks. It's not enough to coin a pun. In fact, if you make fun enough characters out of the brand names, you do not need a pun. Watch and learn, Marvin. Or evaporate in a cloud of smoke. Please.

Also from Brainless Tales: Pipe Dream. I love how it's a bearded man. Possibly a pirate? Do pipes really like such men? Interesting idea.

In the strange and wonderful life of Kinoko Fry: too much rice - or the exact right amount?! Also, the lettuce is half full. How much do I love this? A lot.

Mike's Convenience - ha ha, those old timers! They start every sentence with "when I was your age"! That's so funny we don't need a joke here.

(x, why?) - ha ha, those women! They have impossible demands! Poor undemanding men, what are they gonna do?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shameless Fangushing.

T-Rex's personal diary becomes a NES game in binary. This was hilarious - although I wonder if it weren't funnier if we were shown, not told. Qwantz's strength and weakness is that the images are always the same. In fact, I think this gives Ryan North no easy way out; the pictures are seen-before, so the content has to be really good. The mental image of the game is, once again, brilliant. I admire him.

I also admire The Oatmeal, whose "this is the internet in winter 2010" post inspired Tumblr to get a fail whale type error image. Straight from this post. This is awesome. The adorable Tumbeasts now greet us when Tumblr is down.

And to end our fangush o' the day, American Elf's James Kochalka has been picked Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont. Congrats! Once you finish making the grapefruit peel candy. There's something adorable about this, both in his priorities and the childlikeness of his attitude. But I'd still be pissed off if I were the agent. His cat is apparently also pissed off, for no discernible reason. My cat does that too. Don't take it personally.

Finds of the Day

Browsing the Webcomics list again, let's see what I hit upon.

2816 Monument seems interesting. It's a new comic, and we've got setup: a guy is looking for a roommate, and the first applicant is Captain Kittyface. I thought the "Meow?" was hilarious. However, quite a few strips are just setup with no real joke. I'm not super excited about the smoking joke either. This could get interesting, and I'll probably keep an eye on this strip.

A Town Called Alandale - the latest strip doesn't really give me any idea of what this is. The previous one seems more interesting: someone's been turned into a duck. I could have done without the "a duck?!" repetition though. The funny thing to me is the deadpan expression on the girl's face. This strip, where the duck-changing happens, is nicely paced. I love the sunglasses on the duck. This also seems like an interesting comic.

Almost Cute confused me, so I flicked a few strips back to find this reference-to-other-webcomics one. It's confusing, especially with the umbrella-ella-ella ending. But I kinda loved the whole "your sexuality is questionable" dig at QC. Heh heh. Ah, looking at this longer, it seems to mock how similar most webcomic characters really look. Heh heh, some more. I'm liking it.

Angry D. Monkey. Awesome name but - what the fuck is this? I.. huh... *stares* I feel like I'm trapped in someone else's acid hallucination.

The Brightest Comic. Hmmm. The dialogue doesn't seem any more enticing than that of QC. On the other hand, I like the girls' bodies and especially faces; they're not your typical webcomic babes. I kinda feel at home looking at them. Nice work there. Of coufse, there's a comment on the brown-clad girl's boobs, so I'm not sure if it's meant to mock her physique.

This is a very depressing comic, apparently about some kind of monster apocalypse. But the mood, the tone, the narrator's voice! It's like reading a story. I really like it. Not sure where it's going, but it seems really creative. Hughmanity - check it out.

That's all I can take at once. Might make another one of these later today or tomorrow, or might not. It seems like you can click on about ten comics, give or take; the newness and different-ness of it all gets overwhelming. Lots of great comics out there for sure!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Multiple Monday Musings

Shameless nepotism: my boyfriend Toby discusses Question Duck briefly in his tumbrl. I don't have much to add, so just linkage!

This week's QC has involved some new backgrounds, a singing fairy princess, and a café populated by dark-skinned doppelgangers. I'm really not sure what to say. In one way, it's a change of pace; it shows Jacques wants to develop the strip, and he's clearly worked hard on this. I may gripe about the stories, but I'll never claim he just doesn't bother with the strip. The backgrounds look alive and colorful, there's something new to look at, which is enjoyable. On the other hand, although I laughed at the fairy princess, I'm still not sure if this takes the comic far enough in a new direction.

xkcd is being awesome: The world according to Americans, and the nananana chart. I love how Finland is a part of "Scandanavia" on the map. The nanana chart reminds me of how xkcd introduced me to Katamari Damacy and its amusing, cheerful Japanese pop soundtrack.

Sinfest did a silent Sunday, which I always love. There's quite a lot going on, though, so it took me a while to get. I love today's strip even more; right-wing Christian militia madness and Sarah Palin. I sometimes wonder if Tatsuya Ishida is really vehemently against Christianity, or just approaches it with this intellectual, yet warm irony. The strip can be read both ways.

On the subject of religion: don't apply way too much logic or your head will explode. Also on Kinoko Fry: the good dog, the bad dog and the ugly dog. :D

Finally, Buttersafe ponders on the moth's attraction to a flame. I found the philosophical pondering fascinating, more so than the silly punchline. I recently had a conversation with someone about how elks walk under cars because they can't comprehend how fast a car moves. The ones who learn how fast cars move tend to die. So it's impossible for them to warn the other elks. Maybe this is also true of moths?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

QC Rant O' The Week

Maybe I give you coffee, maybe I give you PUNCH IN THE FACE. OK, I did laugh at that, and the blood splattered on the window pane. Today's strip offered some fun new visuals. However, as always with QC, I have a pet peeve to pick at. This time it's the idea that Marten has to find a new regular coffee shop. I've always hated this cliché on sitcoms: how the protagonists have to meet somewhere outside the home, so they pick a favorite coffee shop and get every breakfast, snack and dinner there. No matter how broke or unemployed they may be, they eat and drink out all the time. The reason, I always thought, is that you only have to make so many sets. Sitcoms are usually done with a tight budget. No such constraints in comics.

I can see the point of Marten visiting Dora's Café of Doom, because, well, he'd get a friend discount. Also, a busy entrepreneur may not have a lot of time to sit at home with him. But he is doing what, part-time work at a uni library? How much could he possibly make in a month? Surely not enough to sit in coffee shops all the time, drinking overpriced beverages.

The funny thing is, I wouldn't gripe if Marten's new hangout was Mars or a weird temple for an unknown deity, or something else that's creative. It just bugs me that Jacques borrows sitcom clichés for his setting, banter and events at times. Comics don't have to resemble sitcoms.

This was my QC rant of the week. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Notes: My Favorites

Lovelace and Babbage Against the Organist - the Finale!!! Very exciting. (I love how Babbage doesn't mind notes, as long as they're not expressed in noise form.)

Guy friendship can be odd and painful, at Sinfest.

This Abstruse Goose took me a while to get. It might be because I'm drunk. But then my boyfriend isn't, and he didn't get it either. I think I get it now - he wants to see the stars better, so he leaves the party. Which is kind of awesome.

At En Vaan Osaa!: I loved this little thing, it's like old-timey photos turned into a manic comic. Norpatti, the author, is a vegetarian; I'm not, but I still think people who call vegetarians childish are LAME.

American Elf is back to really cute childlike strips. I really liked today's strip where Oliver, quite nonsensically, decides to trample over his daddy's drawing in the snow. Awww. I also love his doggy hat.

The farmer's pride doesn't depend on the farm size, at Buttersafe.

And Ursula V has some flower seed ideas:
Berserker Bluebelles
Delerium Daisies

What can I add? Awesome, awesome, awesome.


I don't often read or write about the plot-based comics, because I seem to have no energy to get into them. But I wanted to give this one a chance, because it's by the awesome Ursula V, who invented the LOL WUT pear - or the Biting Pear of Salamanca, which is the real name.

I haven't read very far yet. It looked dark and strange at a first glance. But then I read the text -and it's about a wombat on a digging spree, and it sounds really philosophical and awesome. Start here. Hallucinations plan on eating him. And he ends up in a Hindu temple. This is a very interesting beginning indeed.

The art is black and white, with lots of emphasis on black. The wombat protagonist manages to be so very cute, even if the general tone of the images is dark and somewhat scary. This is true talent.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Report: My Favorites

Qwantz asks another important question: Is there life in space? If so, why not in the form of puppies?

A somewhat disturbing nature comic at En Vaan Osaa! On the one hand, it's about an animal's eye randomly falling off. On the other hand, it's the circle of life: one animal's lost eye is another's dinner. So all is well, I guess?

Question Duck is lured into a trap with a particularly sparkly donut. But he still asks a question! (What does a purple donut taste like?)

Ughhh giant bugs! Yet they kinda look cute, like everything in Kinoko Fry. Also, I really want the floating bear and bee to visit me for stress release purposes.

Elevators are awkward. I'm not sure I get it, but I still kinda love it. Buttersafe rules.

This American Elf was really dull. It's like - you keep your beer out to keep it cold. So? I know many people who do this in Finland in the winter. Maybe it's just unusual in the US, or maybe he really had nothing to write about. It reminds me of that strip where he drew how his crap looked in the toilet bowl.

So I may not love every strip, but the idea of Kochalka quitting Elf upset me. My boyfriend also seemed upset. Is he serious? Would he really quit such a long-standing comic? Aren't we going to see his kids grow up? I know he can't go on with the strip forever, but it's so addictive, I can't imagine my everyday life without it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grumpy Comics Reader Strikes Again.

QC may be my "comic I love to hate", but Mike's Convenience is quickly gaining more foothold in my heart as "the comic I love to hate the second most". Today's offering has a kid saying "What's up bra". Mike says nothing. End of comic. That's not a joke, it's not even a... I don't even know! I could get really hooked on a comic like this. It takes all of two seconds to look at each strip and decide it's a dud. 

As a chocolate-loving fat woman, I find this strip offensive. I'm not sure what it's trying to be, but it's just an annoying depiction of a chocolate-eating fat woman. Ugh. And I'm not sure what to say about the poem. It could be awesome and surreal, but I can't get into the world of this strip. It bugs me when this happens. Some surreal stuff is great and dreamlike, some just seems to be from another planet I don't live on. Although this isn't strictly surreal, it's more like a comic universe I don't know parodying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And I know there was fat hate in that one but it doesn't have to be repeated. 

It seems near-impossible to get into comics by reading the Webcomics List, because so many of them are plot-heavy, rely on knowledge of the story and have small details you need to look at many times. I seem to prefer one-off strips and rarely get into long stories. Does that mean I'm dumb? 

However, I love Brainless Tales and the candle who enjoys making candles. On that positive note, it's good night from me.

LOL WUT - The Origin. And Other Awesome Stuff.

So everyone has seen the LOL WUT pear, but I had never come across the original image, which is both cuter and more awesome than the LOL WUT thing. It's The Biting Pear of Salamanca. Which is apparently posing for a chipmunk's photo. So awesome.

This artist has many beautiful surreal drawings, sometimes with hilarious stories underneath. It's very random and strikes me as kinda similar to my comic attempts. (Except with 100 x better art.)
The Radish Wore Goggles.
Steampunk Rooster.
The Hare in the Road. (bears a resemblance to Kinoko Fry's stuff, perhaps?)
The Hedgehog's Balloon.
Battle Hamster Raid.
The Pearaphim.

I have no words. These are just too good.

Weekly QC Rant

 I don't buy Marten's Mom. I just don't. I don't have the best experience of pornstars-as-mothers, but really? "I habitually sleep with men who could be my sons"? And you tell this to your son WHY? And and... I dunno. This whole "Marten's Mom is a porn star" thing feels so fake. Marten was supposed to be the character based on Jeph himself, right? (Or was he?) The one who hates his job and loves indie music and bla bla. It just doesn't seem very likely that he
a) has a mother who's a porn star
b) is not ashamed of her mother the porn star
c) acts this way about women and sex and life in general if his mother is a porn star.
It's a weird retcon like Faye's father's suicide. It just doesn't work. You can draw it and you can tell the story but it's not believable. It might be if QC were more of a surreal/ silly humor comic. It might if weird stuff kept happening and it didn't try to be both rad and all about sex AND a relationship comic with realistic dialogue.

Also, relationship/sex puns are unfunny and the comic frequently stands at a still where nothing at all happens and no one says anything interesting. Yet I continue to read it every day. WHY?!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Drive-By Notes, Part 2

Flu strikes again: the son of the flu. But no fear, because Webcomics List is here, and I'm way overdue for another post about random comics.

(Not Quite) Daily Comic. "I'm so goth, I was born black!" Um, isn't that offensive? Or is it? Actually I'm too white to say. The drawing style of that one reminds me of a picture my grandmother had on her wall. It was made in black lace and portrayed a gentleman in a top hat and a lady with a parasol. Maybe that impression is intentional: traditional imagery, unconventional message. The previous one is also interesting: a girl dressed in a traditional dress hunting a ghost at the graveyard. Very dark and strange. Are we meant to identify with the girl's evil expression? Is she on the good or bad side? This one, on the other hand, is just disturbing for various reasons. Oh, it's only milk. But still. This is... strange. A weird and interesting comic.

Mike's Convenience. I read several strips, and I'm not sure what to say about this one. I recognize the wish to write about your own job and share the dullness with the world. I get the dull look of the comic and the Paint-esque font and everything. But if you make your main character a zombie who stands in one position with one look on his face in all strips, you're not making me like him. The customers may be idiots, but the clerk should be above their level.

Not sure what I think of Out At Home - it's a character-based comic, which may mean it's really funny or kind of dull. I haven't read enough strips to know, but this one with the various Christmas cards made me laugh. A nice way to show the characters' personalities, plus mock Christmas card traditions. Also, the rhyming card comes dangerously close to what I write on mine...

Peticanoe is another very interesting-looking strip. Careless erasership costs lives! I love that visual idea, and the idea of a stick figure drawing another stick figure. Also, Facebook: it's... just like this, really.

Panthera also piqued my interest. This Captain Planet reference is awesome.  "We made warm, bubbly mud." The drawing style is reminiscent of old school cartoons, so it's fitting. Then there are one-picture strips that look more like anime. All in all, not sure what to make of it. I'm not a huge fan of anime, mainly because it's all over the place, but I do love a comic reference back to my childhood. I'll probably check this comic again.

Hungry Roots: I haven't been reading, but I enjoyed this "thank you for reading" pic. Great mood, lots of attention to detail. It made me check some of the other strips. But I didn't get what universe it was on, or what the story was. It seems well drawn and minimalistic, but I'm not in the mood for plot-comics today. I may not really be into fantasy strips anyway, because I seem to pass on them all. Maybe it's a taste thing, or maybe I should give them a shot? Feel free to convince me I need to read fantasy strips.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cute Overload.

Question Duck, why must you be so cute?

Popping a CD in the microwave brings much excitement.

Bath time with a gleeful dog/ship toy. And squinting at "brushie brushie". Stop, I'll melt!!

And as if that weren't cute enough, Kinoko Fry wishes us happy new year by doing the tiger dance. But remember: don't try things at home! Especially the sex bit. Rabbits - cute but lame? Not sure if I agree. Tigers are more fierce, I must admit. This strip reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. I recall Hobbes had the praise song for tigers - maybe several versions? - and a general belief that tigers are more fierce and handsome than any other creature on Earth, especially compared to humans.

Other cuties of the week:
I love how James Kochalka draws the ladies at Eli's school as colorful groupie creatures. They're all staring at him like they have a huge crush on him!

Dog comforts owner over at Sinfest. Note that the cat, who caused his misery, couldn't care less. The dog is even willing to give up his bally. For a little while.

...And then I looked at Buttersafe. The perfect antidote to overly cutesy feelings. I must say, the new year's comic there is even more depressing than usual. Yet somehow brilliant. I haven't seen this idea before. That's why I love Buttersafe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Utterly Random Notes.

QC this week: OK, Marten's mother's reaction to Dora is surprising. But since I always find something to criticize - Dora's physique is very odd. Firstly, her breasts seem to vary in size; they look much bigger than they should in panel 3. She's almost two-dimensional in panel 2, so there's no way her breasts would be that large. Also, if the shirt is long on her, as it is in the other panels, it should not rise that high in panel 1.

Question Duck, on the other hand, continues to be adorable. Goldfish crackers! And - what is polyester made of? I love the duck's smile in panel 2, like he doesn't care if his master is dozing off at the computer. He's there, ergo, a question might be asked! It's the attitude of every pet. "Oh, you're here? Good. FEED ME." Only Question Duck feeds on questions.

Pets may also cyber-embarrass you, like on yesterday's and today's Sinfest.

I feel like I should think of more to criticize and not just bash QC all the time. Frankly, I do think Sinfest's four-panel style is a bit small and cramped for a webcomic. Webcomics can break form, because they don't have to be confined by the newspaper strip space. But the stories have been consistently good again lately, after a short slump, so I don't really want to complain.

The girl in this comic is just like my boyfriend. He will have no under 192 kbps. No wonder he often identifies with xkcd. I'm becoming nerdier because of him, though; as soon as he showed me this strip, I knew what they were talking about. I like the signs saying "Sale!!!" "Sale!" and "Sale?" I feel like there might be a hidden mathematical joke there - something about them being decreasing or.. hmm? Maybe I'm overthinking this. (like a true nerd might!)

We are the red umbrella. This Marc Johns reminds me slightly of Russian children's books my mother would read to me (no, she's not Russian, she just knows Russians). If you haven't seen any, think of "Worker and Parasite" on the Simpsons. Just about that jolly and cheerful illustrations. So - negative connotations, but the red umbrella is really pretty awesome in its randomness. Except that now I'm relating it to the Soviet Union, and Worker and Parasite, and it seems to really make sense why it's a red umbrella, and why there's the we spirit. Oh dear! I don't mean to ruin the comic for everyone.

In a similar vein, Kinoko Fry continues to amaze and confuse me. There's Submameen and... an octopus with Rubik's Cubes and an eyepatch with an eye... You can click on "random" below, but every strip seems equally random and genius. This is like something out of my dreams. (Not that my dreams are genius.) (Well, why be modest? They are. Holy mental fireworks, Batman.)