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Webcomic Roundup 2011

The internet is a fantastic tool for procrastination, and my preferred way to waste time is to browse the seemingly unlimited number of webcomics. Here’s a quick look at some (but not all) of the sites that have distracted me the most over 2011.

Dresden Codak is stunningly drawn with a seemingly vast and intelligent story at its heart. They aren’t many tales about a world overtaken by scientific dogma and the consequences of the singularity. It suffers slightly from the lead character being more interesting than the story. Needs to update more often, however.

Girl Genius on the other hand, also looks lovely and is updated three times a week. The ongoing story continues to twist and turn, and is epic in scale. The world, one of steampunk, mystery and monsters, and is lovingly described throughout the comic. It often suffers from being a graphic novel in serial format, and actually works better in paper format than on the screen. (I’ve got some of the paper and ink versions, they’re very nice.)

Gutters, Least I Could Do and Looking For Group are all ongoing projects by one Mr Ryan Somer. Least I Could Do is essentially a raunchy sit-com, and despite being one very
long cock joke, is never the less quite entertaining, though I do wonder about it’s long-term stamina. Looking For Group is an ongoing fantasy story (like Girl Genius or Goblins), with a stronger focus on humour rather than adventure. Gutters is the more interesting of
the three; it’s a series of one-shot gags about the comic industry, and is hilarious to the right sort of nerd. Somer has apparently received a few cease and desist letters about it, so he’s clearly annoying the sort of people he’s set out to annoy, whilst delivering the funny.

Myth versus Superscience tale Gunnerkrigg Court continues to ramble along at its usual pace, and this is its biggest problem. I’m not sure where it’s going, and I’m not entirely sure I care anymore.

Luke SURL is a regular gag comic which never fails to make me laugh or groan. I’m a sucker for puns, and for silly little flaws in narrative logic. Addictive, though something to binge on rather than read regularly.

Scenes from A Multiverse does what it says on the tin. It’s a surreal series of flights of fancy that never fails to entertain, and is far superior to the artist’s previous project, Goats. In many ways, it’s Goats without poorly thought out plot-arcs, and that suits me just fine.

Questionable Content continues to be a long, tedious sit-com with talking robots in it. It’s never been as funny as Diesel Sweeties, and yet I’m more likely to come
back to come back to QC time and again, because it’s so easy to pick up and get into.

XKCD continues to be fairly hit and miss. Randy’s best gags are those based on his personal experiences; heartwarming gags, often bitter-sweet. The strip is at its worst when it’s being clever for the sake of being clever, rather than yelling “Isn’t science awesome”. I can’t shake the feeling that XKCD is in slow decline, which is a pity, because when the author is celebrating romance, mathematics and language, it’s rather wonderful.

Finally, Zebra Girl has finally found it’s groove by dipping into the surreal and dreamlike. Which is good, because it never fails to be interesting, even at its most self-indulgent.

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