In the variety of things we’ve geeked-out about, recommended, and discussed here on Comparative Geeks, we somehow have missed talking about webcomics!
For years, webcomics like Penny Arcade and PVP-Online have been a major face of geek culture. But while the commentary, and near-blog quality of these comics have talked about the culture, many others have functioned more like comics as well, with an ongoing story, and with little or less to do with real life.
Many webcomics have been going strong for many years, and show no signs of stopping. Others come suddenly to an end, when the authors run out of ideas, or maybe failed to take off. It’s amazing, really, how many people can actually do this as a full-time job – though it is kind of like visual blogging, and plenty of people make a living blogging too.
What I’d like to do here, though, is recommend a couple of webcomics that are complete: finished stories, start-to-finish. One is Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, by Mookie, and the other is 8-Bit Theater, by Brian Clevinger. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, and instead just give you a sense of both comics! Because I think both are well worth the read!
Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire
Dominic Deegan is a webcomic that I was often heard to say was some of the best writing going on at the time. Carefully balancing humor, puns (which may or may not count as humor…), violence, romance, fantasy elements, explorations of good, evil, order, chaos, and balance… Dominic Deegan was high-brow, low-brow, and just a downright good time.
I should admit, I kind of got behind in all of my webcomics a couple of years ago, and have not caught up on Dominic Deegan! It finished recently, and I’m working my way to the end. Holly’s finished it, and said it was great.
Dominic Deegan worked through a number of storylines, not always racing forward with the plot, but sometimes taking time to explore the characters, give back-story or show us what was happening elsewhere in the world (or the planes), and as an ongoing daily comic, it occasionally had the sorts of guest-posts or art showcases you might expect. This also means that reading through it with it all available means you can gobble up the plot without having to wait, like we often had to!
To intro the plot a bit, I suppose, Dominic Deegan is the story of a Seer, Dominic Deegan, who, using a crystal ball, does scrying into the future, to other places, wherever and whenever. He’s really good at it, and he has a family with powerful magic. Dominic meets up early on with a young woman named Luna who, due to having orc-like fangs, has ever been looked down upon, and ridiculed, and hates her self-image. The adventures of this duo, and their friends, family, and enemies, carry us through years of comics!
If you are looking to get going right at the start, here’s the link: http://www.dominic-deegan.com/view.php?date=2002-05-21 The art updates quickly over time, but the goodness is from early on!
If you maybe read it before and didn’t finish, or are wanting to re-read, here is the table of contents: http://www.dominic-deegan.com/contents.php
8-Bit Theater is a parody re-imagining of the original Final Fantasy, in all its 8-bit glory. The story moves through the locations of Final Fantasy, and includes the major characters. Even the villains, who end up far more amusing than menacing.
The story especially revolves around the good guys, though, and especially the main four-person party, and the White Mage who parallels their journey. The four main characters are the Warrior, who is archetypically powerful and idiotic; the Black Mage, who is vaguely competent and completely evil; the Thief who steals everything not bolted down (and much that is) and is also a racist elf; and the Red Mage, who, as a Jack of All Trades, is a master of none – not that he’d ever believe that! And there’s White Mage, who is an overly pure, prudish character.
If you are looking to read from the start, here’s the link: http://www.nuklearpower.com/2001/03/02/episode-001-were-going-where/
For 8-Bit Theater, I also have a few selected comics, my very favorites from many years back. A five-episode swing with the characters at their very best, everyone matching the archetypes they represent, with some of my favorite lines too: “Weak noodly arms,” “I’m safe, probably forever,” and of course, “Shoomp.”
Which is probably just slang.