I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of another amazing online comic. It’s called Awful Hospital and it’s kind of brilliant. It was featured on Geek and Sundry recently which was testimony enough to make me check it out. It drew me in pretty quickly because of the bright, vibrant visuals and the unique (to me) set up.
Stylistically, it’s got a The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy vibe going on – as smartly pointed out by Matthew Charles over at Geek and Sundry. It is, frankly, a pretty gross comic – at first glance it just looks a little crazy pants. If a comic full of blood, guts, spleens and snot is not your cup of tea – well, I don’t blame you – that sounds like terrible tea. But somehow Jonathan Wojcik, the creator of the comic, manages to make the ickiest things seem pretty darn funny. And perhaps more importantly – the story his comic is telling is good enough to keep me interested between the ewwwwws.
I love the overall layout of the web comic and how it feels so immersive – through stylistic choices and added elements, Wojcik makes you feel like you are actually a part of the story as you are reading it – with titles that look like old text based computer games where you have to type in your desired action ; and social media-esque dialogue that sort of makes it look like you are reading a Facebook conversation between a green lady and a spinal column. Within the main body of the comic is a plethora of detail that you can take in with lots of small moments of brilliance in addition to the humor that can easily be enjoyed at a glance.
I’m only about 50 comics into the story, out of almost 400 to date so the comic is neither brand spanking new nor so old as to be intimidating to try to get caught up with. A nice place to join in.
I love it because: Aside from being an incredibly smart comic known for uber-geeky references that sometimes go over my head (luckily my Engineer husband can usually explain those to me), this comic is filled with tiny pockets of all the feels – and reading it feels like you’ve been let in on all the best inside jokes.
Been around since:1997 – and yes, you should probably go back to the beginning and start there.
I love it because: Pete Abrams is a master story teller. Aside from just having a handful of characters that you will fall in love with (trust), Sluggy is filled to the brim with adventure and intrigue. Fans of science fiction, fantasy, love stories, talking animals, Evil Santa Claus, books of magic and more will want to be in on this one.
Pro tip: I realize that 17 years of comics is a lot to take on. Check out the new viewers guide before really diving in.
Been around since:2002 – this is one you can jump into from current date or go through the archives and gorge yourself on all the comic goodness.
I love it because: I’m kinnnnd of a book nerd and that makes this comic everything in my opinion, but even if you don’t harbor secret fantasies about working in a library (or actually do work in a library- lucky) this comic is just plain old funny.
Been around since: 2009 so it’s basically a baby. You’re welcome.
I love it because: It’s kind of like hanging out at my husband’s work without actually having to do that. I was basically born and bred in this lifestyle of computer geek culture – my dad and my husband might as well be main characters in this comic strip, so it’s basically home.
Pro tip: Savvy readers will note that Bill Barnes is the illustrator for both Unshelved and NIH.
I love it because: A newcomer to the block, this comic is kind of the polar opposite of Seasonal Depression. These comics are usually short and to the point and the illustrations are sleek and gorgeously simplistic.
Pro tip: The author of this comic has a pretty strong Twitter presence.
It’s about -547 degrees outside right now where I live (or 4 degrees with a -20 windchill) but it’s been that way for long enough now that I think we’re supposed to consider it normal and just keep on keeping on. While I hide inside and pretend it’s June, here are some cool things I found online recently that you need to check out before you check out (+15 bonus points if you get that reference):
Geekologie informed us that Neil Armstrong had a secret stash of moon souvenirs! This is especially interesting to me right now because my son just did a big research project on Neil Armstrong that culminated in him dressing up like Neil and pretending to be a wax figure of him at his class’s Wax Figure Museum last night. Also every time I read I read about the items he stashed I start thinking about The Berenstain Bears on the Moon – anyone else weirdly in love with this book?
Bored Panda told us about a guy who secretly went around and created his own book sections at a local bookstore. Categories included things like: Meals You Intend To Make, But Never Will or Things That Scare Me (in which he moved books from other sections like The Expectant Father and a memoir by Regis Philbin among other things).
You might know that I’m Rainbow Rowell’s #1 Super fan (i.e. I really like her books) so it should be no surprise that her recent interview with TIME magazine about her newest book, fanfiction, 50 Shades of Grey and that quote from Franzen delighted me.
I’m kind of adoring this comic by Maritsa Patrinos of Seasonal Depression. Maritsa gets straight to the heart about what it takes to get girls interested with building toys like LEGOS. The answer isn’t juice bars or LEGO Shopping Malls or pretty pink anythings. It’s far more simple than that (I’m gonna make you read her comic to find out her answer – it’s worth it).
Now I do think there are plenty of girls out there who are like “Hey, we’ll take pink stuff, too.” My daughter is a suuuuper “girly girl” and loves anything pink and sparkly. She’s a princess loving ballerina who strives to take care of butterflies when shes a grownup. But she’s a normal human girl also and is just as interested in going on amazing epic adventures through time and space with her brother and loves battles between Wonder Woman and Batman and digs the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So while the color pink won’t hurt with her, it’s not necessary either to keep her interested.
That’s kind of the point. Stereotypes are just that – stereotypes. They don’t tell the whole story and they shouldn’t tell the whole story. Allow yourself and the people around you to be wonderfully complex individuals. Let us surprise you.