Archive for the ‘Webcomics’ Category

h1

iApprove: St. Louis Ocarina.

April 21, 2009

A couple of years ago, I wanted an ocarina for Christmas.  Not just any ocarina, mind.  I had very specific criteria: it had to be inexpensive, and it had to be good.

St. Louis Ocarina (or STL Ocarina) provided exactly that.

The one I ended up getting was a 9-hole pendant.  It cost about eighteen dollars, and is incredibly flexible as far as pendants go.  (Blog post on that baby later.)  But that’s only a small sampling of what STL provides.  They sell everything from basic plastic pendants (for kids) to triple-chambered purple clay ocarina.  (I also want one of those one day.  Need money, first.)  Price range runs from cheap to extravagant.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly), they’re based in the US – a feature held by too few high-quality ocarina manufacturers.

Check them out for yourself at http://www.stlocarina.com/

h1

iApprove: xkcd.

March 31, 2009

It isn’t often that you find a truly nerdy webcomic.  Sure, plenty of webcomics are slightly nerdy (Weregeek, College Roomies from Hell), but very few of them dig deep into the nitty-gritty of nerddom.

xkcd has it nailed.

It’s a funny thing about this comic.  I have no idea whether the title is insanely obscurely nerdy or just a random string of consonants.  The art style is practically nonexistant (all of the characters are stick figures).  But the humor… the humor is witty with a level of elegance that one doesn’t typically find outside Mensa clubs.  (Speculation, unfortunately.  I am unsure that Mensans really have a sense of humor.)  One strip, for example, is dedicated to that crazy dream everyone has where they’re back in highschool and have managed to miss all their classes for the semester.  Other strips cover strange habits that the author has developed just to mess with people’s heads (such as adding “no pun intended” to the end of sentences that contain no puns.)  The tagline is “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language,” and the comic manages to touch on each of these subjects with solid intellectual wit.

Quick warning, though: some of the humor may not be appropriate for children.  Sex, though non-explicit, is an occasional topic.

Read it at http://www.xkcd.com/

h1

iApprove: Count Your Sheep.

March 18, 2009

As I mentioned  yesterday, one of the things I did while recovering from the Weekend of Beef was sit around and read webcomics.

One of those webcomics was Count Your Sheep.

Started in 2003 and written by a guy (!), Count Your Sheep is a comic about a little girl, her mother, and an imaginary sheep.  Starting with a simple premise (I can’t sleep; I think I’ll count sheep), the comic grew into a… well, simple, but very entertaining and cute series featuring the girl’s struggle with grades, the mother’s struggle with poverty, and the warm, fuzzy moments that make it all worth it.

It’s certainly not as epic as most webcomics, but it’s wort the read: http://countyoursheep.keenspot.com/

h1

iApprove: After Eden.

March 8, 2009

I’m going to do something really weird and approve a religious comic.

But After Eden is a little different from most religious comics (at least those of the Jack Chick variety).  In its effort to provide provocative, “zing-!” points against its enemies (evolution and skepticism) it does two things – reveal a lot of the sillinesses inherent in Biblical beliefs, and provide a shocking window into some of the things that Christians have convinced themselves are okay.

It’s a funny thing, really.  Back when I was a kid, I was told that Christians were the good, pure-minded people and that everyone else was deluded/had talked themselves into believing that bad things were good.  Looking back, I find a lot of those more fundamental beliefs positively horrifying.  For instance…

We’re all being punished because of a sin committed over 6,000 years ago by people we don’t even know and are only distantly related to.

And again.

Creationists accept every form of science except paleontology.

If they criticize your claims, it means you’re wrong.  If you criticize their claims, it means they’re right.

Humans are evil, smelly, sinful little monsters.

And again.

It also contains some strips that perform an amazing feat: no matter whether you read them as a creationist or a skeptic, they will confirm what you believe.  There’s a feat I can really get behind.

See more comics at http://answersingenesis.org/aftereden/view.aspx?id=27

h1

iLOL’d: Awkward Zombie.

December 13, 2008

Awkward Zombie is a comic I’ve been reading for some time now.  It’s written by a young woman gamer, and is a generally non-connected series that covers various funny things about video games.  And usually, it’s quite entertaining – about four out of five comics will generally make me laugh.  If it has one problem, it’s that the artist/author has cripplingly low self-esteem, which causes her to make annoying disparaging remarks about every strip she ever uploads.  And the art is a bit annoying sometimes; it seems that she used to be able to draw better.

Anyway, have yourself a lol over at http://www.awkwardzombie.com/

h1

iApprove: Alien Dice.

October 19, 2008

Nawp, not a free online RPG (although that would be cool).  Alien Dice is a webcomic about a human girl named Chel, an alien man named Lexx, and Lexx’s many “dice” — Pokémon-like creatures that rich people like to collect and pit in battles against each other.  Unlike other players, however, Lexx is also a die in the system — and to win his freedom, he must collect a full set of dice while fighting off any challengers who come his way.

One interesting feature of this comic is that, below each strip, a piece of story is featured that describes the strip’s contents with added detail (and often some extra story).  This allows the story to be told without dragging out the storyline through myriads of strips, and enables the author to keep in-strip dialogue to a containable level.  It’s an interesting story, mostly action and drama with occasional romantic undertones — generally a fun read, especially when one is lain up with a bum foot.

http://aliendice.com

h1

iApprove: Ozy and Millie.

October 17, 2008

A few years ago, my sister introduced me to a webcomic.  A very cute webcomic, about life and children and anthropomorphic animals.

“Sure,” you may say, “but there are a lot of comics about that.  What makes this one special?”

Well, aside from being insanely cute, it has a lot of other endearing qualities.  For instance, although there are protagonists and antagonists, the writer avoids falling into the “good guy/bad guy” trap; the characters simply are, although sometimes they have flaws which make them disagreeable.  And though the protagonists have flaws of their own, they manage to avoid being obnoxious by retaining the sort of innocence that children their age should have.

Also, Ozy’s dad is an eccentric Buddhist dragon.

Unfortunately, after many entertaining years, the strip is coming to an end.  But for the newcomer, the website features the entire series in its archives, so you can read all the Ozy and Millie that has ever been (or at least most of it).

http://www.ozyandmillie.org