Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Fun in Babylon: Girls with slingshots

I feel guilty about finally looking at Girls with Slingshots, it's the hidden webcomic that I've neglected in favour of reading genre strips. Sometimes its easy to lose one's faith in slice of life strips, the parameters  centre upon what 'life' mean and they can become mere humour strips that are sugared with sentimentality. GWS is a strip that deals with externalities of average sexed-up twenty-something American life.

The current link to Wapsi Square on the site is quite telling because the scheming girls that are the central characters remind me of something that's a rarity in Webcomics: a female-centric strip.So, it's a slice of life strip and I can't shake off the resemblances to Butternutsquash, but the difference is there's an underlying jaded slacker vibe that's a welcome change. A lot of the time humour strips only deal with the geek world view, it's why I can't stand gamer strips such as PVP or Penny Arcade. I'm not willing to make the mental leap to pretend to laugh at inane binary jokes.

The opposite happens where a hipster strip like Questionable Content lays on the indie music cred as a conversation piece, it dates easily and Jeph Jacque's taste in music is a narrow kind of indie. In opposition to this, GWS is general enough in its parameters to work on numerous levels. There's angst, a talking Irish cactus to operate as a mascot, boy trouble and enough non-sequitur humour to lift this up from drab predictability. It's a subtle substrata of unmined existence that gives us something joyous and chaotic. Check it out.

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