|Yet more web comics
||[Oct. 8th, 2007|09:49 pm]
The absolute classic of this batch is Get Mediaeval. Like Freefall, it's a fairly basic strip comic telling a continuing story. In Get Mediaeval's case, the daily punch-line very much takes a second priority behind the continuing story.
This doesn't mean it's all story, though. There are a lot of "special occasion" strips scattered throughout the story, ranging from character pin-ups to major projects such as the "Battle of Hastings set to the tune of Jack and Dianne" sequence I linked to a couple of weeks back.
The story features most prominently a group of aliens, humanoid to the extent that they're indistinguishable from regular humans. This is probably a Good Thing as, while on the run from the intergalactic Mob, they crash-land in 14th-century France. Which is probably a fairly good idea on their part (the 14th century being about the last time in history the French are more civilised than the English...) Other aliens end up scattered about the place (one in a prison in Constantinople, one in rural Japan, etc.) and much of the amusement of the story comes from their attempts to Fit In to the (comparatively) backward planet they've landed on.
One recurring theme of the series is how that nothing has really changed all that much. The Mob the aliens are running from isn't all that different from the Mafia of popular stories. Celeste, probably the most consistently entertaining of the mediaeval part of the cast, isn't really all that different from a certain type of Young Lady today in her wearing of black and overly dramatic behaviour (She's Going To Be A Nun And Never Get Married).
One thing I do notice is that there's a complicated balancing act going on between historical realism and the story being a fairly light and comic story. The writer/artist definitely has a serious knowledge of history, and doesn't compromise from a fairly realistic portrayal of the Middle Ages, but unlike many modern writers, doesn't dwell on the negative unduly. Most of the mediaeval characters end up being fundamentally decent, especially for their era.
But it all boils down to this being top quality entertainment with a bit of interesting mediaeval history thrown in for good measure. It's regular (unusually for a web comic, it updates every day, and there is very little "filler" - and most of what there is, is "special occasion" bonus type material) and it's got a set finishing point (some time in the not too distant future, the story is going to end). Highly worth reading.
Short notes on a few other comics I've read and enjoyed:
Altermeta has only just started, and I've not really got much of an idea where it's going to go yet.
Lytherion Legends is not much further in to the story, and it looks like it could be interesting - apart from the dialogue, which I'd guess to be a translation of a German original (the ".de" in the URL is a bit of a giveaway) and which I'd also guess to not have been checked by a native English speaker.
Lunatic Chaos is another werewolf story, this one with distinct Alpha Luna influences (which aren't evident in the current page, which looks rather hastily sketched...) and with teenage characters who are less obnoxious than many such.
Carpe Diem is an anthropomorphic soap opera, and isn't a bad story, although its archive can be a bit annoying to navigate (the pages seem to jump large parts of the story at random; I found it easiest to keep the archive index open and check now and again that I'd not missed any sections). Caution: some of the main characters are gay and this is reflected in some of the sub-plots. If this sort of thing is likely to put anyone off reading the comic, they'd be better off finding something else to read instead.
Cross Time Café is nonsense. Deliberately so, therefore it's not a bad thing. It's random characters from half a dozen or so web comics (the only one of which I'm familiar with being Freefall) moonlighting at running a Café. Amusingly (and deliberately out-of-continuitily). It's most amusing when the shenanigans involve Sam Starfall (actually knowing what the character's like in-continuity helps). Going by the copyright disclaimers, most of the people who's characters are being pilfered have pitched in with stories at some time or another, and the general atmosphere of "let's be silly with our characters" makes up for all the jokes and character bits I don't get. There's only one caveat about this comic, but it's a big one: a lot of the archive pages appear to have multimedia content which tries to load players or suchlike onto my computer, and when it realises I don't have them and am on a s-l-o-o-w connection, immediately reverts back to the previous page. Those pages need some fast work with mouse buttons to navigate through.