• So I hear you’re bored.

    That's okay. Some of history's greatest heroes were once bored, and they went on to do great things. You? Probably not so much. You might be able to score a coffee from Starbucks or something if you can get out of bed before they close. In the meantime, why not read some of these sweet entertainment reviews? Maybe you'll find something to help you fight back against the boredom. Maybe you'll find coffee. Probably not coffee. But maybe.
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Dresden Codak: I feel so insignificant

The day has broken and I am seeing the world for the first time. All that was before were scribblings in the dark and the cackling of fools.

Behold. The web comic need not be a quick laugh and crude scrawling. It can be more. I used to think I had a wild imagination and crazy dreams. In truth I am as pedantic as the old man who guards the tubing seeking to tap my wallet for the benefit of little more than the Walls. But there is hope. Where xkcd is my gateway to modern science or Hark, A Vagrant! is a gateway to the past, Dresden Codak is my gateway to creativity and philosophy. For 10 years I have longed for that leather-patched professor sitting in some local coffee shop discussing Faust and Calvin with all who dare to sit at his table. Dresden Codak does not meet that need, but it stirs a hunger that was long dismissed. Continue reading

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Sock Puppet Army: IRL for English majors

EDIT: Holy expletive deleted Batman! Apparently Aldernon Nick Hamilton took my critiques to heart because just 24 hours later the site is clean and mean and a bit easier to navigate! Actually, much easier to navigate. The archives even work now. Although Hamilton hasn’t added his name to the about page yet, it would seem a change is in the future. SWEET.

Unfortunately in today’s environment this is not limited to English majors, so many of you know the scenario. You just graduated college, your eager to start your career and six months to a year later you find yourself  jobless and penniless. And where is the quickest place for a college grad to make a buck? Why, it’s your local neighborhood restaurant!

Sock Puppet Army follows a recent grad named Jack as he begins his slide into the depths of the restaurant biz. It’s very much an insider joke kind of comic, but for everyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant SPA nails the experience. I’ve been our of the restaurant business for three years now so going through the nearly four months of archives has dredged up an array of old memories. To be fair, no one ever gets out of the restaurant biz, they just get out of the fight and sit on the sidelines. Or switch teams depending on your perspective. I was a server and bartender for just long enough to get comfortable so I don’t have the grizzled 1000 yard stare every time I hear the words keep the change. I still look back on those days fondly, which is probably why I enjoy SPA so much, because once you get past the server solidarity there’s not much left to like about this comic. Continue reading

Ellie on Planet X: Dr. Suess’s 80’s Saturday morning time slot

Oh hello. What brings you here? Friday? No, it couldn’t possibly…Oh. Oh my. Well I really hadn’t prepared anything. No, wait. There is one thing I’ve been holding back. It’s a bit on the, well, childish side. A cute little comic called Ellie on Planet X. More of the whimsical child and less of the obtuse.

It’s on the list of new web comics for 2010 and it quietly slipped under my radar until recently. The jokes are simple and well delivered, often focusing on the absurdity of the situation. But what is this situation we find ourselves in? Well, I’ll tell you. The author, Mr. James Anderson, is of the firm belief that he works for NASA’s Mission Control  on a secret project which until recently was under complete control of one Dr. Strang. A mad scientist of the sort that believe in teaching children by bringing them to the subject at hand, including history. Many of the missing doctor’s projects have been locked away likely never to be seen again, but one project has been closely monitored for the last 30 years and finally paid off eight years ago. Unfortunately we’re only just now receiving the data. Anderson has the important job of chronicling this data for the masses. Continue reading

Girl Genius: Adventure with a 50% chance of blowing itself up

I'll learn the organ! Then they'll see! THEY'LL ALL SEE.

Whoever said ignorance is bliss probably wasn’t standing on the edge of a crater that used to be a small village, nuked into oblivion by a mad scientist’s botched experiment, but you know what?  They should have.  Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio of Studio Foglio, is one of the most  immersive webcomics you can find on the net, complete with believable characters, bizarre situations, impossible science, and a massive world that gives you the feeling that you’re only seeing a fragment of the madness.  It’s what the 1800s would have been like if people in the 1800s knew how to create gigantic death robots and society was filled with mad scientists. Continue reading

Oh Goodie!: sex, drugs, and rock and roll without the drugs

Meet S.P. Burke

Some of our readers may recall that I promised to discuss S.P. Burke’s Oh Goodie! after meeting him at the Cincinnati Comic Expo about a month ago. He was kind enough to answer several questions I had about him and his work so we will actually have artist quotes today. So, pop in your Fugazi album paint your fingernails black and enjoy!

Now, I’m not about to pretend to be any sort of hipster or elitist. I enjoy a variety of music, but I have never benefited from living in a town with a large happenin’ music scene. Burke, while he may be no hipster either, has had the benefit of living in Chicagoland and experiencing the many great and wonderful things that city has to offer. One only has to read his currently unspooling rocktober sidetrack starring Eddie Van Helsing to see he’s got the pedigree.

Fortunately for us he is in the process of compiling that experience in comic form. Continue reading

Hark! a vagrant: History without the dust

Now I’m sure there were a lot of history buffs who read my XKCD review and said “Physics and math and linguistics are all well and good but what about history?” Good news! There’s this super lady in Canada. She draws a history comic called Hark! A Vagrant.

Of course being a comic, it’s not your dry 1789 this and Magna Carta that. There’s a lot of liberty taken with the characters that make up the history of the world. Like XKCD there are many instances I find my self curled up reading Kate Beaton’s comics with a copy of Wikipedia close at hand. A dying fire keeping me company and revealing the mysteries of the text.

Continue reading

Rooster Teeth comics: Diversification isn’t always good

Are you a halo fanboy? Do you own every Halo game from Combat Evolved to a pre-order of REACH? Then you’ve heard of Red Versus Blue. You’ve probably played griffball. Have you read the Rooster Teeth comic from the creators of RVB? Oh, well then you can skip a couple of paragraphs. For the fortunate ones, let me just say, lay off this one. It’s just awful. You remember when you were a kid and your dad would give you the paper when he was finished with it? You’d quick flip to the comics section and read all your favorites like Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. Then after you had you perused all your favorites you dwindle down to the likes of Marmaduke and Dennis the Menace. The Rooster Teeth comics fall squarely in the latter category. There are some occasional one liners but you read it because it’s Tuesday or Thursday and you’ve read all your favorite comics for the day. Continue reading