Thursday, 13 December 2012

Some Winter Reading.

Hey Offbeatles!

 I hope you're all looking forward to whatever celebration of the Solstice you will be partaking in this year! (I am personally fond of Saturnalia). Even though term has ended, and Idioteque won't grace the Terrace bar for another 4 weeks, Offbeat hasn't forgotten you! And while we can't be there in person, we have scoured the far reaches of the internet for you. So without further ado...

...Here are the best webcomics you might not have heard of.

A Lesson Is Learned, But The Damage Is Irreversible.

Philosophy, drawn in Photoshop.

I don't want to say it's the best webcomic ever written, but it's certainly the one that I've never grown out of. Written by novelist and critic, Dale Beran and drawn by indie gaming icon David Hellman (best known for drawing Braid), the  explores some of the deepest concepts ever tackled by comics, all while being hilariously funny. What's more, the duo just returned from a 6 year hiatus, so yeah, that's kind of cool. If you're into comics, David's panel layouts will be a breath of fresh air from the usual design. Dale is also famous for THIS, which deserves a mention. The issues are usually self contained, or done in two parters, so jump in anywhere.

Read it here: A Lesson Is Learned, But The Damage Is Irreversible

Hark! a Vagrant.

Rejoice history nerds, there is a comic especially for you!

Written by the ever wonderful Kate Beaton, the comic is the best kind of immature, and while a lot of the humour revolves around historical figures and events, the comic is just as accessible to barbarians like myself.  It doesn't follow a story arc, but there are a few recurring characters and some short stories, but you can pretty much just hit "random" over and over without feeling like you're in the dark.

Read it here: Hark! A Vagrant.

Dresden Codak

An epic, dedicated to nerd culture.

Written and drawn by Aaron Diaz It's largely a rant about transhumanism and the fall of biological "man" in comic form. So, yeah. It can come across as a little preachy and over dramatic, but the stories are engaging and the characters are interesting. It follows major story arcs, lasting real time years as Diaz slowly produces a comic at a snails pace, and the characters remain constant throughout, so it's worth reading this one from the beginning. Terrifyingly well drawn, and pretty well written, the comic is fantastic to read, though lacks the sense of humour of most of the others on the list, it's worth reading for the art alone.

Read it here: Dresden Codak

Pictures For Sad Children.

Haters gonna make some good points.

Aside from being the subject of TUMBLR DRAMA, the bizarre and singular John Campbell likes to draw comics about stick men with low self esteem. It's bittersweet, insightful and often downright disturbing stuff, but never fails to be funny in the process. Apart from a weird storyline loosely based around T.S Eliot's "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" (yep) the comic tends to run in self contained stories or three panel sprints. The archive is catalogued from the first comic, but you can skip ahead if the story of "Paul Who Is A Ghost" stops making sense.

Read it here: Archive

Rice Boy

I'm still not sure what happened.

Rice Boy is a surreal fantasy epic written by Evan Dahm. It's incredible, and to call it "fantasy" is to liken it to a world of clichés and basement dwelling D&D players. It's more like the result of the best kind of acid trip, and is incredibly well told, constantly pushing the boundaries of the bizarre realm of Overside. It's definitely worth reading from the beginning, but give yourself a whole evening, curl up with some tea and I promise you won't regret it.

Read it, and associated stories here: Overside

Well that should be enough reading material for this Solstice/Wintermas/Fawnstold.

Have a good one!
Love Offbeat. x

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