The Kea's Nest

The Kea is a well known, cheeky, mountain parrot from New Zealand. What better name to take for myself to comment on the funny drawings I find online?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Swords and Sorcery.

That's touching.

And carries just the right amount of humour in it.

Order of the Stick is one of the best fantasy stories I've read in a long time. Comic or not.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sliding into disrepair.

(Technically I'm an hour into Saturdya but I figured most of you were still living in the past and wouldn't mind so much.)

I've only sporadically been following Day By Day, and it's not because I don't see poltics in quite the same terms they do. It never quite hooked me and, today, I noticed something that might have shown me why.

Today's comic is set on a beach, with a redhead in a bikini. And I wondered 'Why?' There hadn't been any mention of beach going as far as I could tell. The characters weren't talking about beach related subjects. It just seemd like a way to get a female in a bikini onto the scene. Which isn't necessarily bad, but idicated a strange mindset to me. One of the stangest things I've noticed in newspaper comics is the strip that has a really crap pun placed in speech bubbles around a naked chick in a bath, perhaps with her man taking off his shirt as he walks in. The cheapest form of humour. It'd be sad if Day by Day was slipping into that.

Also, the time saving aspect of the art seems to me to be too clear. The characters are beginning to look like cut outs that get placed on the canvas then have words placed around them. Chris Muir does seem to be able to put together a more interesting image, but so many time saving buildings or faces that look the same in every comic are showing up that I feel a little cheated. Again, this is something that isn't necessarily bad (PVP appears to have templates, StarSlip Crisis does if I remember correctly, and Dinosaur Comics is a prime example) but it adds to the other problems I have.

Now, granted I'm not the audience for the political humour that is being dished out here, but am getting confused by some of his recent strips. I enjoy reading more conservative cartoons usually, such as Cox and Forkum, because I get the point of view even if I disagree. But I just don't know what Muir is talking about recently.

I guess I'm saying Day by Day comics is a strip that is losing what little interest I had.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Apologies and two that made me chuckle today.

Zach Miller kindly pointed out that my single issue with the recent kidnapping storyline was a mistake. Way back here the same newspaper headline is visible. Chronologically it seems close (not long after they arrive at the playground the kidnapping takes place (although it put them in a perfect place for such an event to happen, now I come to think of it)) but it's quite a few comics distant which is good. If you actually read the comic closely like I obviously didn't then the strips in between serve to put that information into the back of your head, maybe leaving you with a slight concern. Exactly what I was trying to say I wanted yesterday.


Now that's a beautiful guest comic. I must take a good look at Silent Kimbly soon.


Asterix as a Roman toady? Where do you creators get your wonderful ideas?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I love RockStar. It's the closest reality TV has come to creating something I want to see, namely heavy music and hot chicks. And it blends the two into one glorious whole.

And in my depraved search for more images of some of the hotties on the show (and previous material from them and the guys too, but let's not pretend we don't wanna see hotties...) I found this.

It's a comic strip review of one of the contestant's gigs from before the show. And it's funny and well drawn and interesting. So I go to the homepage of this creator and what do I see? A link list that could mirror my own interests. Including a huge variety of webcomics.

And an interview with the guy making the next Philip K. Dick movie. In comic form of course.

Oh this blog is going in the bookmarks and I mean now!

Seriously. Dangerous When Awesome.

So, let's see how Joe and Monkey has progressed since the last time I mentioned them. I saw that a dark phase was in process, thinking at the time of the eleborate and possibly terrible revenge that Kleptobot was preparing to take on Megan. Then she was kidnapped.

The next strip upped the ante considerably by refering to a newspaper headline 'Another Missing Child Found Dead' but I didn't like this prop. I thought it seemed kind of clumsy to have a child dissappear and then 'discover/remember/etc' that there had been child killings going on. I would have liked to have been aware of the problem already, so I was worried about Megan. Although having her snatched so suddenly was effective.

From there we have seen a sequence of action that was perfectly timed. Despite having to wait between each update, just the right amount of movement was captured each time to feel like a discrete comic but also without losing the impetus that makes such a sequence interesting. Excellent work.

Then, today, Monkey gets aggro.

I was going to say that this violent promise was really pushing the comic down some odd avenues but then I noticed a discussion on the livejournal feed (from the man behind Theater Hopper too). Apparantly Monkey comes from Hell, something that was discovered in a different comic that is no longer online, hence the title 'Lost Continuity.'

I'm not sure how quickly we'll be able to get back to the bucket gags, the kidnapping of a young girl and the thought of her murder can't help but have huge influences on characters behavior (unless they are cardboard characters, which I merely mention as a possibility). But I get the impression that even those gag fuelled days might be different now that we've been introduced to demon monkey in this continuity.

I also wanted to say that the sudden switch seen in Kleptobot has been a great character touch. He's had some strange mentions while I've been watching the strip, he always appears to be going for the violent reaction, great for comedy. But I thought the build up of his revenge was dangerous and then it was turned against the kidnapper. One could be confused by this, wondering why he would care about Megan enough to save her but go to such lengths for revenge against her? There's a few answers but I like this one (probably because it's mine?): He's protective of his revenge.

He may not like Megan, but dammit, she's his enemy to get revenge on, not for anyone else to mess with. That strange attraction that we see in the movies so often, where the two who don't get along end up together. A dislike that becomes possession, a sort of caring.

I've been really enjoying this, I can't wait to see what comes next.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I even got a merit certificate. My best mate wanted to kill me.

I've done this.

I've been enjoying seeing Toothpaste for Dinner turn up on my reading list. It reminds me of the sorts of doodles my friends and I used to entertain each other with in the backs of our books during school. Sometimes insane, sometimes kind of plain, always worth a smile, sometimes worth a belly laugh that makes the teacher look at you and you have to pretend to be coughing or something.

I'm not sure if everyone will have the same reaction to that last one. Let me know what you thought of it.

Excellent comic.

Three for one

Man, I've been running around getting ready for a new semester and didn't get a change to link to a few poignant cartoons on friday.

I was going to mention Bunny's timely and thought provoking cartoon that seems directly related to the current/continuing violence surrounding Israel. I figured I'd leave my own comments on the situation out of it for now. The cartoon carries all the important things.

But Kate got to it first anyway.


There is something about this particular A Softer World comic that touches me. I think it manages to capture some of the confusion modern men might feel, unsure of how they should relate to woman, stereotyped into a sexual relationship but aware of so much more.

It makes me think of the way people accuse me of flirting with people but I feel like I'm just being a friend. I've never had anyone on the receiving end claim I was flirting, so I've not worried about it but it seems like a dischord in the way society operates.


Finally, a bunch of storylines come together at Medium Large, revealing that the pill people go around making drastic changes to comic strips to improve them. I love their idea of shifting the focus of the Garfield comic to Lyman myself.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

But if Twin-Linked means two barrels, and I hit, why does it only cause one wound!?

Turn Signals on a Land Raider is a rare thing. A webcomic about Warhammer, the table-top wargame by Games Workshop. I say it is rare because, although there have been various comics that address the games, they tend to fall by the wayside, unfortunately.

Obviously it shares attributes with other physical (as opposed to digital) gamer comics, such as Dork Tower, but I think the closest resemblence would be Order of the Stick. Like OotS, TSoaL features characters who are very much aware of there place in a game and will refer to rules as part of their battles. Unlike the OotS, the characters aren't existing in the Warhammer universe with an awareness of how it works but are actually the miniatures used in the games. We see them being painted and handled regularly.

Most of the time I find the humour is very much directed at those who already understand and probably wouldn't transfer so well to 'outsiders' but since Dawn of War came out maybe that understanding's spreading a little.

Anyway, today they make the best sort of Monty Python tribute gag, the obscure type that fits so well with the characters that you wonder just how long the set-up was planned. Those soldiers are part of units called the pointy sticks you see...

While looking for some other examples of wargaming comics I found a few others I might keep on the reading lists. I'll mention them if there's a particular reason later...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

And I thought the OmniTaser was a throwaway gadget design!

Is it just me or is Sluggy getting good again?

Oceans Unmoving never quite hooked me in, although I keep meaning to go back and try it again. But the follow-up stories such as Wayang Kulit and Stick Figures in Spaaaaaace have been cool and interesting (I loved the shadow puppets, it reminded me of class projects from school. Those things are awesome).

Most recently there's been a wine-tasting party, cows, costumes, mistaken identities and outlandish gadgets, all intersperesed with Bikini Suicide Frisbee Days which used to remind us of a time gone past but now seem more like what the gang has been doing recently.

It's reminding me why I'm determined to get the books and introduce my family to Sluggy. It's something we could all enjoy.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Galaxy Convey? Seriously?

I can't remember whether it was in one of the sdiebars that go with Home on the Strange or on his LiveJournal but I remember reading an essay by Ferrett recently that talked a bit about gags in comics online. He wrote about how he had been writing to set up the punchline just like so many classic newspaper strips had (and influenced him in the process). But he had realised that there is no real need to wait til then to include funny and you did just as well putting jokes wherever they worked.

I think today's Shortpacked is an example of that. The actions of the unnamed chick, the facial expressions, and then finally the three outbursts all focused on different things. I was chuckling by the time I read the words Galaxy Convey.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Actually, Zeeland was a land near Denmark or something.

Yay, New Zealand references! That don't call KiwiFRUIT Kiwis!

That is all. Thank you Cat and Girl.

Friday, July 07, 2006

If only he'd stop using that cursed slang.

And so it would appear that that bloke over at The Webcomicker really seems to have some sort of Starslip mind, able to see what's going on in that scifi museum warship at early, early stages.

He thought storylines would slowly begin to come together (though from Straub's comment I think others will move apart and new ones will arrive to keep the varied suspense) and here they do. One of the more disconnected storylines has begun to twine with a charcter who did have a direct contact with the Fuseli.

One of the things I'm not clear on is when this meeting is happening. Afte rthe time police stuff and the Starslip Crisis, I'm wondering if this is something earlier than the meeting, later, or simply a totally different universe where the Fuseli never came by.

It'll make for interesting developments.

People don't think you can write about fiction that hasn't happened to you? Isn't that, y'know, part of the definition?

I admit it. I don't actually read most of the Dinosaur Comics. I tend to glance at them and move on. Glancing at a static image comic might seem like a bad idea, but because of the way North distinguishes between offstage characters via fonts and includes titles and narration sometimes, you can get an idea of just how loony the comic is or how much it plays with a concept just from that glance.

It's a good thing I paid attention today. The novel concept that T-Rex outlines is something that I would absolutely love to read, it reminds meof the concepts behind such stories as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Without a Clue.

Speaking as someone who likes books, a novel like this would be like some form of crack, I can just iamgine it now. Is North going to do it? Or do I have to find someone else to provide for me?


For a cartoon whose motto apears to be the barmy and affable Caution: Dangerous When Awesome Joe and Monkey has taken rather a dark turn with this business of revenge from Kleptobot. Today's kidnapping of a young girl captures the point exactly.

I'm not saying that Miller intends for us to assume the worst of what is happening. This isn't the recent girly/rape thing again. This is just a dark tone that is rather unsettling. As Girly went on to show that the darkness wasn't quite what some may have thought, I expect this to move back out into a lighter phase eventually.

Until then, I'll think hard about that motto.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Now there's a rebel.

Of course the nudist from the library wears a suit at the nudist colony. What else could he do?

Strip Poker on a Nude Beach. Ow.

There's something insanely brilliant about the team behind Wulffmorgenthaler.

Recently they redid their website which, unfortunately, meant I was unable to regularly get onto it in order to see the drunken, minute, goodness.

So I've been catching up. There's been quite a run of good stuff there recently. A long time ago I printed off a cartoon of theirs that had Sisyphus watching TV. What was on? It could only be reruns.

Only so many twisted minds would realise that and also see the link between sock puppets performing versus socks doing what socks are meant to do in terms of reality TV.

It reminds my a lot of those classic comedy shows like Monty Python or the Goons. While comprehensible jokes with punchlines are perfectly valid (the joke here is not that the worm is pushing out and talking, its that the host is 'extremely irritated' at the doctor's interest) it is much more interesting to jsut find something totally bizarre and mix it in.

Most of these comics, however, would probably benefit from dropping the little text box that runs along the bottom. Mostly they just rephrase the joke although there are times when a little clarification is needed (Sisyphus being a classic case. There's no way to know who the guy in the toga is without a title). Try looking at those jokes without the text box just looking at Garfield without his thought bubbles. Sometimes the bizarreness begins to get away on you but, as a whole, the jokes remain intact or only lose a tiny part of their humour.

Then there's the ones like this that aren't hugely funny but are jsut great concepts, both text and art.

Wulffmorgenthaler. It's got something for everyone.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Appropriately, he eats blowfish last.

So, now we see the end of Moresukine.

It was an interesting livejournal/comic project to watch, though it suffered from somehow not showing up on some friendslists. That was a pain.

However the art and the concept were brilliant and made for one of the most interesting travelogues that one could hope to read. It delved into strange corners that most people passing through might never have found.

It reminded me somewhat of Azrael and his Gaijin ELT blog. Neither searches for humour but just the little differences that show up.

Someone asks him to do a new project in Cambodia. I'd liek to see anyone doing this project again, anywhere they are not at home. Let me know if you find one.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So, what do we call that, Earth Opera?

Still not a lot to say. I'm going through the back numbers of Radioactive Panda. (because I don't usually) due to his recent announcement. Johnson is going to be wrapping up RP roughly around the beginning of next year. I felt sad as I read that, because RP looks cool and has been really funny so far.

But then he goes on to explain that he is going to start a new project, with defined beginning, middle and end, that appears to be some form of subterranean space opera.

Apparantly he started RP to practice drawing. I must say, he's gotten good, IMO. Though he started off better than I would have.

All I can do now is salivate and wait.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Mondays always slow over here. Everyone else is still on weekend.

Nothing much to say really. I just noticed that my Sluggy feed hadn't been updating (neither has my Perry Bible Fellowship) and what does that say about my priorities?


I was impressed to see the peanuts spoof on PVP towards the end of last week (so I guess I should have mentioned it then...). And not just because this one made me guffaw.

When I read webcomics I notice that some seem to take shortcuts (totally understandable IMO) and reuse templates or something. But by so accurately translating his characters into Schulz style, Kurtz was letting himself show off a little bit of the artistic skill he's worked on over his time doing webcomics. And that's nice every now and then.

It seemed like the sort of mimicry we might expect from Checkerboard Nightmare, kudos PVP.


This is a good idea. Not only because I'm starting my teacher training in a few weeks but because... Well, alright, that is the main reason.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I forgot to mention in my post about Ted Rall's interview that he mentions what he thinks good cartooning should be. It's in context of him discussing Chris Ware of whom I haven't seen much, but I can totally understand the intent form what I have seen.

"...deliberately making things obtuse and difficult is counter to the spirit of what is supposed to be a populist medium. Anyone should be able to read comics. The concepts can be hard. But the structure and presentation should be as straightforward as possible."

I don't think it's easy to argue with that. Given a visual medium which relies upon its ability to evoke thoughts with fairly simply lines, surely Rall is right? But would Ware argue that using every available image possible and bringing as much together as possible is a good way to build upon that experience?

I haven't seen many (any?) webcomics that become very very complex. Their stories may be convoluted and their artwork detailed, but nothing that brings in so much as to be potentially as off putting as some sort of drawn James Joyce.

Anyone seen anything like that? Anyone willing to create something like that?