First I've been working through the "Unshelved" archives. The archives are a bit of a nuisance to work with though... more on that later. "Unshelved" is a workplace comic, like "User Friendly"; and like the latter (and a few others, such as "The Suburban Jungle") it's normally a single-line strip with a bit of a punch line at the end. It's set in a library, and the main characters are the librarians (plus a mascot who's a few pages short of an index, an annoying teenager and a libertarian nudist lawyer).
Of all the web comics I've read so far it's probably the best suited to making the jump from web-comic to mainstream newspaper comic. The writers/artists have managed to keep up a daily schedule for the life of the comic (with a few "repeat" weeks while they're presumably taking care of Real Life). But the problem with the archives is that, unlike "The Suburban Jungle", which will display a week's worth at once, they will only display a single strip at any one time.
But the strips themselves are regularly funny and perceptive. Unlike many of the comics I read, quite a few of the strips are instantly funny even out of context. I've chosen some of my favourites. I know a couple of people like this, and can symphathise with the librarian. So true. I remember doing this with dry grass when I was young. Don't read this one if you are fond of squirrels. Been there, done that, ticked off the helpdesk request. This is just SO true, and should be shouted from the rooftops. The scary thing is, I also know this... and am really hoping the upcoming film does the story justice. Someone really needs to start up a band with that name. Oops. I can sympathise. Oh, to be able to tell people THIS at work. And we have had this problem at work a few times, as well. Oh yes, the World Wide Wait. We actually have a copier at work that does origami; for the last few months I've been asking the person looking after it to get it fixed. Classic. Brilliant. This one is so true it's been handed around at work. She should have got her story straight beforehand. Methinks someone is a Fantastic Four fan. The technophobe gets her revenge, again. I feel like doing this, sometimes. I SO want to do this some time. Some people just don't remember when Star Wars WAS cool. Actually, as a collector, I prefer ones that have already been through the mail. Amusing. And there's someone where I work that spends a bit more time than he should doing this. There's a generation gap at work here. Some people just don't have a clue. It helps to be able to speak to managers in their own language. I have the same problem with my book collection; that, and that I don't have a spare month to do the weeding in. I remember this song. And this one. Text messaging, `seventies style. Oh, for something actually going that I can play my old LPs on... This is as silly as some of the ideas I've seen at work. I remember `zines; I used to actually take part in an APA up until about four years ago when I spent a protracted length of time without any way to wordprocess documents and consequently got booted out for failing to meet the minimum level of activity. I should really connive with someone and do this to one of the managers at work.
For the last few years, every weekend they've done a special item like this one about a book that's impressed them. I chose this one as an example mainly because it's (1) funny, and (2) something I've read. (I'll really have to explain my pet theory that it's a "Thunderbirds" for the 21st century some time).
I've also made my way through the archives of a few other web comics lately. Girl Genius is probably the best of these. It's an alternate-universe, mildly "steampunk" story set somewhere in Europe in a society where a few people are born geniuses and consequently technology is rather weird and advanced over where it would have been in this universe. The story is good, but the style and detail of the art is what I really like about this comic.
For the first few chapters, the art is black and white and is an intriguing blend of Garrick Tremain-style draftsmanship and Mike Ploog-style ideas and detail. Later the art is in full colour and the Mike Ploog style continues. I'd definitely recommend at least a quick look at the art to anyone who enjoyed "Abadazad". This is not to say there's any pinching going on here - this story is original in itself and in fact possibly (the dates on this comic are a bit confusing) was being published before "Abadazad" started.
Plush and Blood: The Unstuffed is just starting - it's only a couple of dozen pages in so far - and I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to actually describe it. It's a sometimes Orwellian, sometimes noir and all too often wordless story about a world populated by animated stuffed toys in which a tyrant has discovered some sort of localised Anti-Life Equation and is mind-controlling most of the others. A couple of them have escaped and are leading some sort of commando raid into the tyrant's Evil Lair. The comic is sort of interesting so far but I really need to reserve judgement until the story's a bit further along and makes a bit more sense.
Lastly is probably the first real disappointment of this current web comics binge. I had a read of the first few pages of The Order of the Stick and just couldn't get into it. Perhaps if I'd ever actually played "Dungeons and Dragons" I'd have got more of the jokes... but as it is it just doesn't capture my attention.