Sunday 22 November 2009

Web Comics

I like web comics. I follow dozens of them, not all game related although most are. There is some great humor out there and here is a selection of my current favorites (the list is growing all the time).

The Unspeakable Vault of Doom is a quirky but very very funny Cthulhu Mythos inspired comic. True, stories of cosmic horror and tales of the old ones seem like a strange subject for comedy. But if you like your humor in five dimensions, this is the comic for you. If H.P.Lovecraft were still alive I think he would definatly approve of this tribute to his work.

The Order of the Stick is probably one of the longest running story arcs in comic form on the net. There are plenty of in-jokes about the rules and contradictions inherent in D&D that will make any player chuckle. There are also some great moments of slapstick guaranteed to make you guffaw - embarrassing if you're reading the strip at your desk in work. OOTS strips have been collected together into a series of excellent books (each with bonus material) which would sit nicely on any gamers shelves.

XKCD isn't a 'gaming' comic at all. Its mostly about maths and science but you'd have to be dead from the neck up not to enjoy the humor. One of my favorite strips has to be this tribute to Gary Gygax. As well as some great visual gags this strip is also full of excellent observational humor about the absurdity that is the human condition.

Billed as the Gamers comic strip it features the hapless Wargamer Larry Leadhead. Written with an insiders understanding of wargaming humor and sympathy for our poor dice rolls & shaky grasp of the rules. One of my favorites is why painters should never paint their last miniature. As with OOTS there are several book compendiums of Larry strips that you can purchase online. I feature a Larry Leadhead strip at the foot of this blog.

Another favorite of mine, and a web comic I have been following for years, is Dork Tower by John Kovalik, a fellow Brit now living in the US. John describes his comic thus "DORK TOWER is for anybody who’s ever played Dungeons and Dragons, who’s ever gone to a Star Trek convention, anyone who suspects that Anime is more than just a passing fad, or anyone who KNOWS one of these people." John has a large web presence with a Blog, a twitter page, and a Facebook page! He's also a very nice chap and not only signed my copies of his books but drew me a personal Igor portrait (my favorite character from the strip).

Last but not least are two comics, Nodwick and Full Frontal Nerdity, by Aaron Williams. Both have been around for a long time and, in the case of Nodwick, debuted in Dragon Magazine (issue #246 - April 1998). Nodwick is the long suffering Henchman in a disfunctional group of adventurers that most gamers will instantly recognise. Capable of carrying the huge ammounts of loot aquired by his companions nodwick is also employed to find (read 'trigger') traps. He spends a lot of his time being put back together again by the party cleric, Piffany, with the aid of large rolls of Duct tape.

There are lots of great webcomics that I also read (such as PVP and The Legend of Bill) but these ones are my personal favorites and keep me ammused (and sane) during the long dull work day!

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