Surreal, bizarre, and beautiful are the three words that came to mind when I set out to write this week’s pick of the webcomic Romantically Apocalyptic. It is the chronicle of the Captain, an absent-minded boss of various henchmen who may have played a part in the cause of the post-apocalyptic future they now reside. At times, it’s funny. At times, it’s touching. At times, it’s disturbing.
Most of all, I love the art. The use of digitally painted real actors is a refreshing change from the hand-drawn monotony of the comic world. If you are going to start reading, start from the beginning. The story is strange enough without trying to pick it up from the middle.
Admittedly, I’m a little late to the game with this one. It’s easy to miss a gem or two in the web-comic treasure chest that is the web, but there’s really no excuse for me to feature Gutters this far into my Web Picks. Like Let’s Be Friends Again, Gutters is a comic for comic fans. Unlike LBFA, Gutters uses a variety of artists tackle relevant topics about the characters we love and the industry that profits from them.
A perfect example is the most recent strip inspired by the release of a Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight comic written by Damon Lindelof. Artist “Hawk” mashes-up Batman with Lindelof’s best know property, LOST, resulting in the entire TV series solved in ten minutes by the detective in tights.
If you like meta-humor and know the in-jokes of the superhero biz, Gutters should be a tri-weekly stop for your browser. They update Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
I’ve recently been on the search for the perfect webcomic and what I’ve found is…there isn’t one. At this point you are probably thinking, “wow, way to sell that web pick, Grundy.” The truth is, I couldn’t sell my love for any particular web comic to a universal audience. Some appeal to a family dynamic, while others work quite blue. Some appeal to science nerds, while others are for gamers. There is literally something for everyone out there. Lucky for me, ESO readers are a self-selected, niche audience and I think I found a site that is perfect for you.
Gene Gardens is a weekly webcomic by Shawn Granger and Jorge Mongiovi. New episodes go live on Wednesdays at http://www.genegardens.com.
Time has almost run out on the small blue planet, and the human race has been split into two; the mutants and the clones. Nations regrouped and reformed, the United Americas and Asia Proper being two of the emerging super powers. The wars now centralize on the hoarding and stealing of DNA, the most prized commodity on earth. Countries frequently raid one another just to steal DNA samples and clones for breeding. In Asia Proper cities the bored youth have created neo-traceur gangs, organized from stories of free runners from the 21st Century. Two in particular are big in the capital Alliance, the Le Parkours and Yamakasi. Through their eyes we learn of hidden agendas, sublime plots, and schemes that may end up breaking this already fragile world.
Gene Gardens is a story about people surviving any way they can in a ruined world they didn’t create. It’s the human experience, cloned. Gene Gardens is like a Takashi Miike sci-fi graphic novel…if he did that sort of thing. Lots of gratuitous sex, over-the-top violence and crazy situations. This is definitely for mature minded people.
“I’ve been working on Gene Gardens since 2004 and then Jorge joined me in 2007,” says Granger of the project. “It takes us a while to get it just right. I have struggled with just the right vehicle to bring out Gene Gardens and finally settled on first publishing as a webcomic. It should allow for a more community interaction, which is one of the main threads throughout the Gene Gardens universe. I’m excited to see what happens. I also would like to put out chapters in digital form and maybe even print them eventually for fans who don’t want to wait for the Wednesday updates.”
New Gene Gardens pages are posted every Wednesday at http://www.genegardens.com.
Gene Gardens is recommended for Mature Audiences.
In the long-running webcomic Multiplex, cartoonist Gordon McAlpin documents the lives and loves of a group of movie theatre employees as they bicker, argue, get along, get it on and yes, watch movies too. After five years of twice-weekly strips, Multiplex is making its way to print with a collection of the earliest strips called Multiplex: Enjoy the Show. Using a deliberately clean style that is halfway between Chris Ware and Southpark, Multiplex has grown a sizeable online fan base and McAlpin is looking to take the next step.
Read the interview with Gordon McAlpin
In November, Image Comics is launching “Emitown,” a 400-page two-color graphic novel that assembles cartoonist Emi Lenox’s autobiographical webcomic in one massive collection. In “Emitown,” the Portland, Oregon-based comic book author and illustrator routinely documents her daily adventures through a mixture of straightforward narratives and surrealist, metaphor-heavy vignettes, all of which are designed to invite readers to look at the world through Lenox’s unique point of view.
Read the story here