Next webcomic

Since I’m going to be traveling today, I’ll share another of my reading list.

Actually, I’m going to share two: the one I promised, and the one I want.

I promised a non-serial; one that did not require you to back up to read the story. Turns out I’ve got very few of these I follow but I did promise. XKCD has a fairly large following. More interesting is that some of the posts have turned into internet memes – you may have run across the meme without knowing the source. Two of these for example: Duty Calls and Money. It’s worth noting that there are a large number of misses: “huh?” and “not funny”. Yet there are enough to keep this on my list of regular readings.

Second is a serial – yeah, I know. A Girl and her Fed. Timing wise, if this were a novel, the author would be in the earlier part of the first sequel. The first page is here.

Straight from the FAQ: “A Girl and Her Fed (AGAHF) is the story of a nameless Girl who finds that she is being watched by government agents. She and the Fed assigned to watch her form a partnership and attempt to untangle a knotty conspiracy.”

Add supertech. and ghosts. and a talking koala.

Oh, and most important for the writers here: it’s a story, not art looking for a hook. There’s foreshadowing and misdirection. There is character development. I could see this, with little change that amounts to using words to make up for pictures, as a popular novel. Book one is 716 episodes. Book two (which begins with a 141 page novella/interlude) brings it up to 880. Make sure you have time.

Two comments. First, in addition to pushing the story forward with new episodes the creator is in the midst of a “reboot”. As you read the early comics you can see a small yellow arrow at the bottom right of each. If you click you can see the original. Usually it’s just artwork, sometimes the conversation is (slightly) changed. I am torn about the reboot. One of the things that pops this story out for me is that the early part is well-done but slightly obscure line drawings (a line for the mouth, marks for the eyes), and then characters get these awakenings (awareness of the world). When that happens we get fully drawn characters, and gradually we also get color. On the other hand, the fully colored reboot makes the comic feel more professional, more complete.

Second, “bitty bush” was not meant to be a remark on President Bush. The author decided around episode 600 or so that she should probably have used Nixon to avoid several real-world problems. On the other hand, bitty bush is so alliterative and feeds so many straight lines into the story…

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