First up. I'm not much for doing plugs, even when friends are involved, but this is a special case. Most people reading this will know about it anyway, but in case anyone here (1) remembers the old CG messageboard, and (2) is wondering what Qwaring is up to now... this is it. "Allos" has just started, but, as I understand it, it's going to follow a fairly normal Modern-Day Person as they find themselves thrown into the heart of the CGMB universe. It's going to be shorn of its copyright elements (so, unfortunately - or fortunately, depending on one's point of view - a certain vastly annoying cyborg isn't going to be making an appearance) but don't be surprised if some of our original characters make brief cameos. And as for how the story's going to go... your guess is as good as mine, I've left the proofreading up to people with internet connections better than mine... but, knowing Qwaring, the best thing I can suggest is: hold on to your hats. This is going to be wild.
For a lot of the month I've been working through the archive of Piled Higher and Deeper, which is a fairly bloody massive archive. But in its defence it's actually funny. It's a web comic about university students somewhere in America, following a particular group of students and their descent into perpetual-studentdom. Amusingly, the comic seems to be set in "real time", but the students themselves are still fairly much stuck where they are, finding new and ever more inventive ways to goof off and not get any actual work done. It's nothing spectacular, but it's good enough to keep reading despite all the Highly Educated Jokes Which Go Right Over My Head. As with a couple of others, I've picked out some of my favourites. Watch the students:
Etiquette, student style.
This sounds like the student version of the 3.30pm blahs I get at work.
Sometimes the comic bursts into parody, such as this sequence.
And the students are so hardworking.
Some of them have a sense of humour almost as evil as mine.
And they know about the internet.
Some of them care about the finer points of student fashion.
Some of them find out about irony the hard way.
And some of them even know how to read. See, comics aren't just for boring old blokes any more!
But all of them have the same goal.
They have access to the best technology...
...and know how to use it.
They have their support structures.
Some of them have similar problems with time zones to the ones I have.
But one important lesson they learn is budgeting.
Some of them would do well to have a go at Nanowrimo.
And I really should have patented my Chronological Filing Technique years ago, as I'd probably be raking it in by now if I had.
I've actually had a quick skim-read of a paper that was set out like this.
And the lecturers go to great lengths to fairly mark the papers.
Refer to comment two above this one.
Jazz Age is a bit different. It seems to have originally been a dead-tree comic called "Jazz Age Chronicles", published some time in the late 1980s. The archive starts with some modern web comics, then goes into an interlude with some of the original comics reprinted so that web-based readers can find out what all the fuss is about. It's set in the 1920s, largely among high society Somewhere In America, and as for the general tone and content... if you can imagine something about half way between the Indiana Jones movies and the "Ruse" comic, spiced with a definite touch of noir, that wouldn't be too far off the mark. (Note though that the earliest of these stories saw print a good decade before "Ruse" made its debut). I'm finding it an enjoyable read overall. It takes forever for each page to load, even on what passes for broadband in New Zealand (the writer/artist seems to have put a whole issue worth of pages up on each web page) but is worth the wait.
The time period of Lackadaisy may be similar to that of "Jazz Age", but very little else is. This is a very cartoon-style story about an illicit watering house during Prohibition, somewhere in the central United States. It's also an anthropomorphic story (most of the characters are humanoid cats of various varieties). Unlike some of the other anthropomorphic comics I've read, these characters act nothing like cats... as far as I can tell, this story could have been told about regular humans with hardly a word needing to be changed.
The story and dialogue are all right, but the art is what makes this comic stand out. For all that it's in a cartoon style, it's carefully drawn and well designed with a distinct "classic" sort of air to it. It's mostly rendered in sepia tones, which helps. Not a great comic, but an entertaining read and looking promising so far (it's still fairly new).
Currently I'm working through Pointless. This is another one written and drawn by a very young artist (I think he's about 20) who has ability beyond his years. The story is mainly focussed on the somewhat mysterious yet down-to-earth Cam, her brother and his girlfriend. There's something very odd going on - some mysterious shadows trying to break through dimensions and attack Earth - and the three of them are somehow involved in trying to fight them. Despite the title, neither the plot nor the details of the story can really be said to be "pointless".The dialogue is fairly average, although (as with the last panel on this page) it displays some wit and flair. The artistic style takes a bit of getting used to, but it's worth the effort. I'm going to keep on reading this one.