Category Archives: Comics

Queen of Wands

A little while back, Chris noted his discovery of the excellent Questionable Content, one of my long-time favorites, on his LiveJournal. This led to a discussion of webcomics in general, and Chris wound up pointing me at Queen of Wands, of which I was sadly unaware. It’s a solid story, well-told, and if it occasionally threatens to stray into soap-opera territory, it displays flashes of outright genius often enough that I find myself not minding too much.

I have two all-time favorites. The first takes an idle thought I periodically have during allergy season — “Plant sperm! We’re being inundated in plant sperm!” — and runs with it. The second introduces a variation on a song from The Lion King that you’ll be hard-pressed to get out of your head for the rest of the day.

Angry With Flavor

I have no idea what Megagamerz is all about. Well, almost no idea. I’m pretty sure that Jon Rosenberg, of Goats fame, is in one way or another responsible for this supposed brainchild of Diablo the Satanic Chicken.

Actually, I suspect that the whole point is to be about nothing at all. In that, it reminds me strongly of Jerkcity, only with snappier writing, more Dada, and substantially less homoeroticism.

Mister Sleepless

…is Warren Ellis’s sometime nom de plume, mainly when he’s blogging crazy shit that comes to him late at night, but it would also be an apt description of me at the moment, ever since an ill-advised Caramel Macchiato before Sin City on Saturday night threw my sleep schedule into disarray.

Maybe being Mister Sleepless seizes you with a powerful urge to utter the words “Choke on my fuck, Commissioner Gordon” regardless of who you normally are. That would certainly explain a lot, or at least why I was muttering that to myself, and giggling, incessantly as I stumbled around the apartment in a drowsy stupor yesterday afternoon.

Quid Pro Quo

Dirk and I have an Arrangement: I lend him comics I think he might like, and he lends me comics he thinks I might like.

It works out well: I got to introduce him to Transmetropolitan, The Red Star, and PS238, while he’s exposed me to Barry Ween, Powers, and, most recently, Wake.

Powers, with its tendency to leave you feeling like you caught the middle part of a three-part episode, can frequently be maddening, but for sheer inventiveness and visual panache, there’s no topping it. Plus, periodically an arc like “Forever” comes down the pike, and you suddenly realize the payoff for having endured six trade paperbacks’ worth of sometimes-disjointed storylines.

Wake, meanwhile, is distinctly French, insofar as it’s about a vast nomadic fleet of spacecraft crewed by a multitude of races, many of whom seem intent upon sleeping with each other. Still, it’s entertaining, even if you have trouble deciding at times whether you want to see the heroine triumphant, or just bitch-slapped.

But I digress. One wrinkle in the Arrangement is that each of us is responsible for acquiring subsequent volumes in “his” series, regardless of how eager the other might be to read it. Thus it was that the other day, Dirk informed me, “The third Red Star trade paperback is out. You need to get it, so I can read it.”

If you’ve never seen The Red Star before, it’s something of a revelation. The series’s hallmark is the seamless blending of hand-drawn characters with stunningly-detailed CGI sets. In the skilled hands of its creators, it works astoundingly well. The result is, essentially, hardcore porn for geeks, something so visually lush that it probably defied printing technology just a few years ago.

The newest volume, “Prison of Souls”, brings the protagonists to the brink of a climactic battle with their enemy’s champion. Dirk has it now; when he’s done with it, I’ll be unleashing it upon Bill.