|The last batch of web comics for the year
||[Dec. 30th, 2007|08:11 pm]
Normally I've been able to write at least one decent (for me, at least) review in each batch of comments on web comics. This time it's a bit more difficult as, of the comics I've been reading over the last month, none has really stood out as exceptional. This isn't to say they aren't good reading - just that I can't really find a hook to write anything more than "yeah, this was good reading" about them.
About the closest there was to a standout was Sorcery 101. This comic is a refreshingly "different" take on the "supernatural" staples - vampires, werewolves, wizards etc. The main character of this one is Danny, a British teacher living in America (although - and it's not actually explained in the comic, but only in the character background information, which is essential reading to understand the comic - the countries are named differently and have different histories; the existence of the supernatural has obviously caused many other divergences from the "real" world). And when he isn't teaching, he's back at night school, learning... magic. He hasn't got particularly far yet, and he isn't particularly patient, but he's definitely not incompetent. (A long way from being the next John Constantine, though).
And if that wasn't enough, he's somehow managed to get himself bound to a vampire. This doesn't seem to be unduly affecting his life yet. However he's boarding with a werewolf, and his wife and daughter, and that is affecting things somewhat. Particularly when he has to babysit (said daughter takes after her father; mind you, she would probably be a bit of a handful even without the tail and supernatural climbing ability).
The story so far has been quite serious, with a couple of long-ish stories and sundry vignettes, but it isn't all doom-and-gloom. It goes into quite a lot of detail about the everyday problems of the supernatural beings, and actually gets quite creative at times. I'd quite recommend this comic to anyone wanting a decent supernatural action read; but I'd strongly advise to read up on the cast background pages (and click on the "Short Bio" links while doing so).
The Class Menagerie is yet another American college comic, and yet another anthropomorphic comic. What makes this one stand out are the characters. They're quite original and not stereotypes, and none of the main cast seem overdone or two-dimensional. The comic's been finished for quite a while but the archive's still up. The reading order looks like it's been messed around with a bit, though... the first third of the archive is fairly generic, but the remaining two thirds covers two years in the lives of the cast fairly comprehensively.
Apollo 9 seems somewhat in the spirit of Red Dwarf, but comparatively muted. It's decent reading, and quite amusing, but hasn't really hit its stride yet (and seems to be on hiatus at the moment).
Two Way Mirror is similarly on hiatus and not having hit its stride yet. It's also recommended for mature readers, but for all that (and an annoying tendency to have half-finished pages in between the actual story pages in the archive) it's still definitely good reading. Another of a batch of anthropomorphic comics, this one has quite an original take on the genre.
Roomies is quite an odd comic. Yet another anthropomorphic story - this time in the spirit of The Odd Couple - the story hangs together perfectly well, but there seems to be quite a lot of crossing over done with The Cyantian Chronicles. The problem with this is Roomies is set on Earth, and that it's an important feature of the Earth seen in The Cyantian Chronicles that it isn't anthropomorphic. But if this comic is looked at as if the Cyantian characters are original and just happen to have the same names, appearance and personality of the characters of The Cyantian Chronicles, then the story hangs together quite well. (It also helps a bit in that Roomies is much less serious, although not completely absurd).