Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Link List: Web Comics

My latest find is Gaia by Oliver Kn√∂rzer (Novil) and Puri Andini (Powree) has only been going for about a year, so even with regular publication (hurray!), it's not very far into the story, but it's a promising start. It begins just as final exams are beginning at a large and elaborate academy that apparently teaches both military and magical skills to its students. The focus is on a small group of friends and rivals is taking their exams and somewhat nervously planning for their futures. Unfortunately, the last night's celebration is interrupted by an attack that leaves several dead and one framed (probably) as the assailants' accomplice. Several of the others set out to rescue her, recruiting allies they know little about and… that's where it ends, so far.

The characterization is strong and the story intriguing, and my only regret is that I've caught up on it, so now I have to wait for updates. The art is sort of manga-ish, which means everyone has huge eyes and, to me, looks about twelve. I'll get used to it. People who actually do read manga or watch lots of anime will look at me cross-eyed and say "What's the problem?"

For another, more thorough review (the one that brought Gaia to my attention), see Io9's review.

Girl Genius: Always, forever, and still. It's a steampunk (or as the Foglios call it, and who's to argue?) "gaslamp" fantasy. Mad science really works; the trouble is mad scientists are all, without exception, some level of crazy. This can be hard on everyone else. I have raved about it elsewhere, but thought I'd include it in this list because it's good. Really, really good, with lots of suspense, loads of strong, well-developed characters, and plenty of unpredictable insanity. Also, I had to remove the link and image in my sidebar because various feeds thought that was my image, and it isn't, so I'm sad that I can't remind everyone of its awesomeness incessantly any more.

A particular favorite panel lately was this one. Tarvek is such a gentleman!

Girl Genius comes out regularly, three days a week. That's not nearly often enough, but I suppose the Foglios have to sleep sometime. They also make strange references to having "lives" over on their livejournal and Facebook pages.

The Order of the Stick
by Rich Burlew. What if you lived in a Dungeons and Dragons type world with all the role-playing rules and regulations and rolls of the dice this implies? What if you knew it? The Order of the Stick is a crazy, fun, and oddly absorbing (I never knew I'd get this attached to stick figures!) comic featuring the adventuring group, The Order of the Stick, as they struggle to save the world from the evil lich, Xykon. One of my favorites, and one easy to show even non-gamers, is Their Concierge Service is Heavenly, which has a wonderful, terrible pun included.

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