Friday, May 8, 2009

My life, my love, and my lady is COMICS

Hey kids, sorry for the lack of posting. I'm secretly hoping that you're still working through that huge vampire movies list I had a while ago and you haven't noticed how slack I'm being. If you have noticed, pretend that you've been struck down with a severe case of amnesia, and you're navigating through the lies and government conspiracies to find your true identity and how that mysterious drowned lady ended up in your living room.

A while ago I promised some webcomics and Against Me!, and I totally blanked on that promise, and for that I am truly sorry. I got swept up in the excitement of comics, a thing that gets me SO EXCITED, I will ramble on and on, and I better not be driving because I may just go right off the road into a ditch, and then where will we be? Dead without comics. TRAGIC.

So, here's something you may not know about me. My love for comics extends into the wonderful world of WEBCOMICS, comics on the web. The INTAR-WEB. The fantastic thing is that these webcomics are FREE, and are very often done by folks with so much talent that I would rollerblade across the country to be able to do what they do. And I hate rollerblading (murder on my poor ankles).

As a kid, my favorite part of the day was sitting down with the entertainment section of the newspaper and lightly chuckling to myself as I read Garfield, Zits, Foxtrot, Dilbert, etc. (but never Family Circus. Family Circus is never funny, not ever.) and then performing mental seppuku while filling out the crossword puzzle.
As a side note, the dudes that come up with the crossword puzzles are total dicks. One day, the puzzle is a little difficult, but you manage to fill the whole thing out without asking someone else for help, looking it up in the thesaurus, or dialing that hotline for the answers. Then the next day you're lucky if you can answer 3 across and 27 down. Dicks I say. Filling me with the hope that I'm not a complete idiot, and then rubbing it in my face that I am indeed that stupid. But I digress.
Then one day I realized that Odie has disappeared, Jeremy is a total jerkwad to his parents, Paige is probably still in the 8th grade because her face is glued to her textbook with a healthy smear of drool, and Dilbert should have killed himself a long time ago. What used to be really funny or at least interesting to look at was no longer worth the effort to move my eyes down the page.

I went to college and discovered high-speed ethernet and WEBCOMICS. Here were artists that were actually clever and interesting, uncensored and intelligent. HOLY COW FOLKS, this must have been what the Renaissance felt like.

There are literally hundreds of webcomics out there, and, chances are, there's at least a healthy handful that will capture your heart like they have mine. These guys work their talented behinds off to provide their audience with awesome things, usually forgoing sleep and a social life in order to do it. Many actually make this their living (just barely), but even more do this AND a "real" job. It ain't easy, but they make it work.

So, I'd like to highlight some lesser known, but still ultimately awesome folks who make my day brighter. I tip my hat to thee, ladies and gentlemen. (Yes, I'm actually wearing a hat at this moment, you can't see me tipping it, but I assure you I am.)

by Rosemary Mosco

Rosemary has both short, one-panel-ish comics, as well as longer comics, and they are both adorable and amusing drawings about nature. She doesn't have a whole lot available, but what she does have is just lovely.

by Kate Beaton

Oh my, I have such a lady-boner for this awesome chick. You know what's awesome? Learning about history, and laughing about it. I wish I could give this wonderful Canadian all my monies and be surrounded by her comics all the time. Not only are her history comics great, but she also has a kick-ass series "Conversations with My Younger Self" where modern day Kate chats with her potato-shaped kid-self. I can't wait until I can take an extended vacation up north and get to know these folks, because apparently they all live hundreds of miles away from me, but hang out with each other on the weekends ALL THE TIME.

and the comic that set the internet alight with Star Trek nerdiness...

by Sylvan Migdal (may or may not be a pseudonym)

I haven't had a chance to check out her other works, but "Curvy" has me eagerly awaiting her weekly updates. The art reminds me of old-school underground zines, and is both wacky and demonstrates excellent draftsmanship. The storyline involves an other-dimension princess, unwanted marriage, minions, a candy land, and hostile invasions. I will warn you, however, this comic has graphic-ness: cursing, boobs, and sexins. If that's something that makes you uncomfortable, that's okay, just keep walking.

Woot! Comics!

So, Against Me!. I really enjoy this band; they bring the energy and song stylings of good ol' fashioned punk (political and brutally honest, with singing so hard it hurts your vocal chords to listen to), but actually have command over their instruments and vocals. I find this hard to find, so I was excited to get to see them in concert. And guess what? They sound just as good live as they do on the records! Wahoo!

I don't think I'm as into their early work as most of their fans are, but there are a few gems from each of the albums that completely rock my socks off and which give a preview of the really bitchin' albums still to come. An old street kid I know says that they've sold out since they were signed onto a major label, but I find that their sound has matured and they're willing to try new things. In fact, their new album is very nearly an excellent dance record. Give it a listen, and see if you like.

Some of my favorite songs:
Scream Until You're Coughing Up Blood from Reinventing Axl Rose
Cliché Guevara from As the Eternal Cowboy
Miami from Searching for a Former Clarity
Don't Lose Touch from Searching for a Formal Clarity
From Her Lips To God's Ears (The Energizer) from Searching for a Formal Clarity
Pretty much the newest album, New Wave, in its entirety

Hot dog. I think it's my bedtime.

1 comment: