Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Warning! Do Not Read! Warning!

Yes: there are still hidden corners of comicdom, filled with unique and mysterious and wonderful things, and you can find them if you look and your papers are in order.

Within free range comicdom, where tourists are assigned two machete-toting guides and a pith helmet, the increase in good webcomics blogs has revealed some of these areas, and depending on where you surf, some reports may be old news. For those finding out about them for the first time, however, great treats (perils) await.

Virus Comics is a rich site of one (zillion) dystopian vision(s), and thank Zobibbibab I seem to be immune to the virus, because I am frequently overwhelmed by a desire to lick the art.

Creator Winston Rowntree (most certainly his real name, regardless of what is claimed elsewhere) is so quiet you can hear him thinking, even miles away. Reflect for a moment, if you know him at all, just how many people do not, and the peril they are in. Run through town with a megaphone, trying to warn them, and laugh ruefully as you are cavity-searched and incarcerated. You tried to warn them. They'll get theirs... heh... heh...*snort*... heh...

Hurry and bail me out, because his main strip, Subnormality, is having its second birthday. You should read the mail he's getting. A lot of people (humanoids) seriously dig this dude's comics, and aren't afraid to say so. In writing, no less, though we can assume the signatures are fakes and they are wearing false beards.

Winston jokes about a reputation for writing comics with too many words. (I think colleague fluffy was most recent to weigh in on this) and his strip's (strippers) birthday episode borders on being a story as much as a comic. Luckily, he can write, so if you allow a slower pace, your time is not wasted. The most recent episode, "Ethel Blackmore, Horror Fiction Lady of the Night," is a bold example, and an instant favorite of the literate readers.

Notably, the words slow down the comic. This is how I read comics, dedicating more time to the art than most readers, and the verbal landslide finally puts text and picture on even ground.

Sometimes, the words are camouflage -- part of the background but with a lurking beast within:

Why do I like this guy's (not his real gender) art (not his real job) so much? I've got a Dadaist (not a real word) streak, and a taste for the macabre, and I have bored my friends with endless retelling of my assertion that a pretty girl with a prominent scar is more attractive than a centerfold. Lost in my ranting is my real point: characters should have character. I tire of comics that pander to current ideals, and Winston doesn't do this. He invents new ones. He can make your brain entertain sexual scenarios you never, ever considered (sometimes considered momentarily).

Here's Winston having fun (slack) and revealing his true (false) surrealist side:

Also lurking on the site: additional comics by Smith-Jones (not his real false name) and links to wonderlands from an alternate universe ultranet.

My favorite part of all: the best material so thoroughly steamrollers the stuff that we would be fed by sweaty webcomic poobahs (dissimulators), its existence is like the arrival of a world-saving secret weapon.

I remember when many things were this good: British TV, gum ball insert cards, children (they once played outside and built forts and fought bitter wars). This is here and now and if you embrace it with all your tentacles and live, you are surely one of the elect (people who don't give a rat's ass about voting).

Warning: May cause spontaneous head-launching.

All art copyright Winston Rowntree; don't argue, just give it to him and shut the damn gate.

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