hmpf: (fanatic)
Dicebox is back!

I was so afraid that it had joined the Choir Invisible of discontinued webcomics...

If you like worldbuilding, good character writing and beautiful art, do yourself a favour and check this out. It's one of the best. (For more examples of great webcomics, check out the ones linked in my sidebar here.)

ETA, to prevent confusion: the 'latest page' link currently leads to a fill-in comic by a different artist. For now, the latest installment of Dicebox is here: http://www.dicebox.net/chap9/outofamolehill_2.htm#page11
hmpf: (Default)
Fare you well, my friends - until May or so. Feel free to e-mail me, though; I will generally make an effort to at least check my e-mail, even if I drop out of most internet interactions. (Especially, feel free to e-mail me about fannish concerns; I tend to miss fandom a lot in my 'away' phases.)

One last bit of frivolity before I leave: I have to admit I'm considering ordering a copy of this just for the concept, although I'm not actually overly fond of either of the two components on their own... Sadly, I already filled my monthly "buying something just for the bizarre premise" quota yesterday by buying Towing Jehovah, which is about, well, towing the gigantic corpse of God. Last month's quota was filled in abundance by Afterdead, of course.

Speaking of which: Donna Barr has begun making The Desert Peach available online. The Desert Peach is a classic of the alternative comics 'explosion' of the 80s and 90s, and a marvel on many different levels - a complex and humane work about the moral muddle, the inner and outer conflicts and compromises that characterise individuals' lives in very nearly every social context and life situation, examined against the background of a compound of the worst contexts and situations people have managed to create (nazi Germany, the military, and war). If this sounds depressing: it isn't. Some of it is quite funny, in fact - but it's also deep and often unsettling. There are no easy answers; just questions, and then more questions. The characters breathe, and so do the backgrounds; everything feels alive and real. I've been particularly impressed with the depiction of Germany after the war, in the last few issues of the series before it morphed into the mindbogglingly psychedelic Afterdead. (I have the good fortune of owning most of the original series in print.) Those last issues remind me of the "Trümmerliteratur" (Wikipedia: "rubble literature") some of us probably remember from school, only... not. It is, of course, less focused on the whole "woe is us" aspect, which accounts for some of the difference. It feels less apocalyptic. The main difference, though, is perhaps the way in which the issue of guilt is handled, which... deserves an essay, sometime, I think. After my exams, maybe.

**

In other news: I had a wonderful night writing fic, the day before yesterday. Best writing session in ages - nearly a whole page in less than five hours, really moving the plot forward, all the way into madness. I'm still floating on that high. I should be really worried about my exams right now, because, to put it plainly, I'm in deep, deep shit due to some circumstances partly out of my control, but somehow I can't make myself care. Writing feels so much more important. *g*
hmpf: (Default)
Carla Speed McNeil is making you an offer you can't refuse: buy two books, get one free, all through March.

Since the best version of Sin-Eater is the new all-in-one hardcover edition, and the offer does not include that one, I would probably not buy the Sin-Eater trade paperbacks if I were you. Any of the other volumes, though, are fine - and it's one of the nice things about Finder that you can basically start at any point of the series - you don't need to worry about continuity or anything.

Here's a short guide to help you decide:

Read more... )

Whooo!

Dec. 17th, 2008 09:01 pm
hmpf: (fanatic)
Seems 'vague toe pain and what to do about it' is a topic that excites the minds hereabouts! ;-)

Thanks for all the replies. I don't have time/energy for individual replies today - my hour and a half of online time at work are almost over, and I'm also kind of really exhausted today. So, just a quick, err, heads-up on the toe matter, and other stuff:

1.) I've actually tried to go to the doctor today, only to find that he'd already left for his Christmas holiday. So I'll have to find another one (and pay extra) or wait till January. I am not *particularly* worried about the toe - I am aware that there's a 99.999% likelihood that it's something harmless - so I'm tempted to wait for January. Then again, the persistent pain is kinda annoying, so maybe I'll try a doctor near my parents' tomorrow after all. Oh, and to people who asked what the toe looks like, and how it reacts to being bent and prodded and whatnot: it looks completely normal, and has for all this time, even on the first couple of days when the pain was really strong; and poking, prodding, bending or pushing it with my fingers does not cause any pain beyond the dull ache that's already there.

2.) The next story arc, Torch, has begun at lightspeedpress.com. So far there's only seven pages, but they look seriously exciting. It seems that a lot of things that were only implicit until now are about to be made explicit. Carla Speed McNeil says that this is the beginning of the big story she always wanted to tell, and which will span the next three volumes of the series. So it seems that a lot of things are going to become explained, and a lot of dangling threads are about to be connected. I am excited and nervous - nervous, because it's kind of strange to be writing your thesis about what is in essence the prologue (or, in some cases, the epilogue?) to a much larger story that just happens to begin to be published as you're about to finish your thesis... A note to Finder newbies: from what I can see, this seems to be as good a place as any to jump in, and the seven pages that are up already give a surprisingly good introduction to the world of the comic, I think. I suspect that the story that's about to begin is going to feel a great deal more like an actual story than many of the previous offerings, which had more of a 'slice-of-life in a strange futuristic world' feel.

3.) I have figured out one small piece of the puzzle of why English is an erotic language to me. Specifically, why I enjoy *watching* people speak English: the "w" sound - a sound which does not exist in German - is essentially half a kiss placed on the air. 'course, it takes someone with nice lips to make this *really* erotic. (This finding brought to you by the scene in Miranda that has John Simm asking "why" four times in a row.)
hmpf: (fanatic)
This is a good time to head over to Finder to check the comic out. The latest story arc has recently been finished but is still completely online. It will disappear once the next story starts, so if you want a chance to read a full volume of Finder online for free (even if partly only in uninked state), *now* is the time.

ETA: Why you should read this:

- This is the comic that made me a comic reader, in early 2004. I fell in love with it after reading a review on a website (I think I was looking for a review of some movie), and bought several volumes right away. Never looked back.
- It is set in one of the most fascinating worlds I have encountered in fiction.
- You'll understand my whining about my thesis better if you know a bit about the comic it's based on. ;-)
- There are pirate farmers in the world of Finder. They live in giant travelling combine harvesters and harvest other people's crops. No, they don't figure in this particular story. I just love the idea...
- The architecture of the city of Anvard is very much like the architecture of my dreams.
- If you're interested in any of the social sciences, you'll find plenty of stuff to chew on here.
hmpf: (Default)
closely (re)reading all of Finder for thesis preparation has made me fall in love with the series all over again. I mean, how can you not love a comic in whose universe exists the following people:

"Huldres are farmers. They live in giant combine harvesters, rolling around the hills outside the cities, mowing the grain which, according to them, grows wild. Other harvesters take issue with their methods. Huldres are pirate farmers."

The sheer awesomeness of the idea of pirate farmers makes my mind boggle in the most delightful way. And this is only one of hundreds of weird, wonderful details.

Go here to read/buy.
hmpf: (Default)
but since it's currently getting thoroughly revamped, it's worth pointing out again:

North World by Lars Brown.

A webcomic about a wandering swordfighter in a world that looks much like 1950s/1960s America, only without television, and with slightly more up-to-date clothes styles. And an amusingly anachronistic (sub)culture of people who run around the woods armed with swords, hunting monsters. (Yes, the monsters are real.) If this premise sounds a bit bizarre, wait till the hero decides to attend his highschool sweetheart's wedding in his old hometown. Yes: it's Grosse Pointe Blank meets Dungeons and Dragons. Lars Brown, the author, calls the genre he invented with North World "plain-clothes fantasy", and that just about describes it.

North World is one of webcomics' bigger recent success stories. The author recently got a publishing deal for it with, err, I forgot which publisher but it was a well-known one (in the realm of comics, that is). He's using this occasion to rewrite and redraw parts of the - already finished - first volume, and, being a generous webcomicker, he's posting it all, page by page, to the North World website again. It's like a rerun, only better, because it's improved! *g* (It was pretty good to begin with, but you could see that the author was 'still growing', in places, and there were a few things that were a bit confusing, which will hopefully be cleared up in this new version.)

Lars Brown also endeared himself to me by being a Finder fan, something he has in common with the authors of some of my other favourite webcomics, too. :-)

Oh, and I recently updated the links bar here in my LJ (left column in my current LJ layout), so if you want a few more recs, do check that out. Or you could just click on one of the tags here, of course, for older recs. I can only encourage anyone who hasn't so far dipped a toe into the world of webcomics to try it - it was, to me, just as wonderful a discovery as reading fanfic.

Well, and now I'm off to make dinner.
hmpf: (fanatic)
Donna Barr's almost indescribably bizarre Afterdead, an amalgamation of her series The Desert Peach and Stinz (and pretty much everything else she's done), set in the afterlife/a far future, is now being posted to free webcomics site Webcomics Nation:

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/dbarr/afterdead/series.php

I'm afraid it's nearly impossible to get into without at least some knowledge of the backstory, though, but people with a very high tolerance to being confused might try it. Some of the backstory is available for download or as print on demand book from Lulu; some is freely available on Modern Tales; some is available for subscription on Modern Tales; and a lot of it is only available in the form of the actual back issues - the purchase of which I can heartily recommend, btw. Go to Donna Barr's website for more info.

I am...

Oct. 22nd, 2007 11:38 pm
hmpf: (fanatic)
ridiculously intrigued by this development:

http://www.lightspeedpress.com/index.php?module=Finder&func=pub&issue=40&page=75

Rachel meets Brom. I've always liked Rachel. I've always liked Brom (even before I knew his name *g*). They both have - probably - extremely different images of Jaeger in their heads. I always like it when very different images of the same person "collide"... This should be interesting. ;-)

I'm wondering if I should be nervous because of the emergency room setting. But Brom doesn't seem to be worried, so I suppose not. And, well, this is Jaeger, so...

To those not already reading Finder: Carla Speed McNeil recently published a new, smaller-format collected hardcover edition of Sin-eater 1&2, the two first volumes of the series. This is also the storyline that introduced Rachel (and her entire, interesting, broken family), so it should get you ready to read the current story. (And if you want to know more about Brom, you should get Five Crazy Women, which contains a long conversation between him and Jaeger. About Jaeger's sex life, no less.)

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