Grace_chibi_reading M. Northstar Recommends - Compass in Web-Comics
M_Northstar | Dec 31, 2007

So then, we are at the very very tail end of this year. It is time to usher in a new year, and to lead the old one gently to its well-deserved slumber; and what better way to do that than by listening to me ramble on about yet another webcomic? What better way? Why, by having to *read* said rambling opinions, of course. That'll put an over-caffeinated six-year-old right to sleep, by God. So then, I cast my eyes over the line-up of my most-cherished comics, and the entry to catch and hold my gaze, becoming by virtue of this stroke of fate the last review of this year of the Lord 2007, is...


This day began pretty well for Jay Donnel, actually. Before noon had even rolled around there was Ginny, the sweet blonde looking admiringly up at him from under her lashes, clearly casting him in the starring role of her newest romantic fantasy. Then there was Phoebe, the spicy brunette, with that sardonically amused look in her eyes, and that infectiously sardonic grin on her lips, that told him if he'd just play his cards right...

The only cloud on the horizon was him being talked into a duel with the rival Kendo club to defend the honour of his wuss roommate, Tom, but that's not exactly a problem. Jay, after all, is the instructor at his club while the pugnacious punks he's facing are just a bunch of blowhards. And afterwards there's a buffet of sweet and spicey for Jay to choose between.

Unless, of course, a worm decides to crash the party. A ten foot long, fanged, eight armed, poisenous, fanged, man-eating worm from a parallell dimension. With fangs.

So the day that began so well deteriorates into Jay being swallowed by the worm and spit out like some latter day Jonah, a group of interdimensional entrepreneurs trying to perform a mercy killing on him, escaping by the skin of his teeth when Pheobe shows up to kick their asses, and then dying from the worm venom!!!

Fortunately, Jay gets better, and comes away from his ordeal older, wiser, and with nifty self-healing superpowers that'd make Wolverine drool, and the ability to perceive interdimensional gates. Now, as you realize, most people would take this opportunity to dress up in fetish gear and fight crime, but Jay, sensible Irish farm boy that he is, opts on a more classy route: the extra dimensional people he and Phoebe just met hire them for the lucretive but risky job of hunting down valuable objects across the dimensions, and our intrepid adventurers embark on a journey of exploration, magic, and Grand Theft Artifact, Indian Jones style.

Name: Compass
Author/Artist: Traci Spencer
Status: Updates 1 p/week

Style: Western
Format: Colour, Full page
Content: Continuous story
Genre: Fantasy/Contemporary adventure

[1 replies]
Grace_chibi_reading M. Northstar Recommends - Kid Radd in Web-Comics
M_Northstar | Dec 23, 2007

You know, last week, as I was walking somewhere, for some reason I came to think of one of my all-time favourite comics. I spent some twenty minutes in pleasant contemplation of the brilliance that was Dan Miller's Kid Radd. In due time, it occurred to me that although Kid Radd was not exactly old, having run between 2002 and 2004, it might still, in the hectic busyness of the Internet, be too old for some folks to have heard of it. So heartrending was this thought, that I decided on the spot that, old or not, concluded or not, this week's recommendation should be Kid Radd.

If you haven't read this comic, now's your chance. If you already have, post a reply with your best quotes and opinions, by way of the edification of your juniors.

Kid Radd

Meet Radd, hero of the classic 80's game Kid Radd. Entirely controlled by his player, Radd runs, jumps, shoots, and frequently dies, in order to defeat his evil older brother Gnarl, and rescue his babe-ular girlfriend, Sheena.

But that's only the beginning: one day, Radd's game is ripped to ROM and put up on the net, where it is promptly hacked by the Moderators, a society of do-gooder free sprites bent on liberating characters from their games. Wether they like it or not.

Radd, unaccustomed to having to set and achieve his own agendas for the first time in his life, finds his newfound "freedom", with its necessary but not so obvious limitations (not to mention the obvious but not-so-necessary ones) more of a burden than a relief. But, even as he finds himself rebelling in all the wrong ways against the expectations of a high paced, modern, society, changes are in the wind that may well *require* the services of a rebel, wrong headed or not, and Radd may just be the most well placed dork to take up an old role with new perspectives: that of a Hero Sprite trying to save the world.

Follow Radd's funny, epic, journey as he and his friends, aboard the rogue Moderator cruiser "The Highscore", seek to twart an evil bent on destroying cyberspace, and perhaps even all the world.

In art, minimalism is a way of life. Taking away one aspect of a medium and trying to see how much of its functions can be dispensed with, or be taken over by other aspects, grants the artist invaluable insight and mastery of his medium. Wether just a "silent" comic dispensing with speech balloons, or a Cubist painting dispensing with perspectives, artists are always experimenting with extremes. Yet, only the brilliant Dan Miller has ever excercised minimalism with a resource uniquely belonging to web-comics: bandwidth.

Arguing that the ever increasing bandwidth requirements evident in the bloated, modern, websites, catering almost exclusively to broadband users, was excluding a significant number of users, in 2002 Dan Miller set out to explore alternative ways of creating comics, and thus was Kid Radd born. Through the options offered by HTML and the GIF file format, Dan places pixelart elements either against other pixelart, or simple HTML-generated gradients, for a surprisingly sofisticated look. Creative use of occasional Midi-files and animated GIFs then trade a modicum of the freed bandwidth for action sequences that would make John Woo turn green of envy.

Wether you approach Kid Radd to be entertained by hilarious jokes, looking for a well-told story, or with an eye to web-site design, you are unlikely to leave unsatisfied. Or at all ;-)

Name: Kid Radd
Autor/Artist: Dan Miller
Updates: Concluded

Style: Pixel art
Format: Colour, one panel at a time
Content: Continuous story + fourth wall breaking side gags
Genre: Humour/philosophy

[7 replies]
Grace_chibi_reading Galaxion in Web-Comics
M_Northstar | Dec 13, 2007

Just when you thought you were safe, back I come with yet another comic recommendation. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on...


Life hasn't quite turned out the way Fusella Mierter envisioned it. Only a few years ago, she was a student at the premier Terran Space Academy on the Moon, surrounded by people of wit and charm. Today, although captain and sole master of the aged-yet-beautiful survey ship Galaxion, she finds herself constantly hen-pecked by an oppressive beaurocracy bent on punishing her for having an opinion and a conscience. Her friends - lanky, charming, ex-boyfriend, Darvin, and zany kid genius Zandarin - have abandoned her in their quest for less tyrannical climes, leaving her to fight against a campaign of assertive negligence.

To top it all off, the Powers That Be have selected her ship as the latest platform for an experimental drive that has already wrecked two previous ships, a politically charged assignment that - and the hits just keep on coming - will require her to relinquish command to a military official of dubious sanity. Can things get any worse?

Well, actually... about that...

You know, if it could just happen that the tech team responsible for the new drive included Fu's old mates, the rumors of the military rep's instability just happened to prove exaggerated, and the experiment just happened to throw Galaxion beyond the fields of known space, beyond the reach of the beaurocrats...

...This could turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.

Galaxion was self-published during the 90's, in the Salmagundi flip-book and a number of collections, where it gathered a devout following. Now, thanks to the Girl-A-Matic branch of Webcomics Nation, it comes to the web with a fresh new look. A treat for fans of Star Trek and Lois McMaster Bujold.

Name: Galaxion
Autor/Artist: Tara Tallan
Updates: 1p/week

Style: Manga influenced European
Format: Black/White, full page
Content: Continuous story
Genre: Science Fiction

[11 replies]
Rgejman Slow Forward Movement in General
rgejman | Nov 17, 2007

Hey everyone,

I hope you're settling into the new site nicely. I have possibly 50 CN-related todos before this site is back to pre-rails status. Barring that, I have a really good feeling about how the site is progressing. If there are any problems whatsoever, feel free to email me (bottom of the page) or post in our forums. I can't promise a timely response on code-problems (unless they're serious), but they will get added to the TODOs.

I want to thank all of you for sticking with us over the years and the problems and the solutions.

Onwards another 4 years!


[0 replies]
Rgejman Welcome! in General
rgejman | Nov 11, 2007

Welcome to Comic-Nation with Forums (redux). We've made a ton of under-the-hood changes that are facilitating the maintenance of this site. Bear with us as we keep moving forward.

Note: Forums aren't yet styled - sorry about that!

[26 replies]
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