Tuesday, 6 November 2007

All things must pass

I've always had a fondness for Brain Fist and now that the end has come it would be an entertaining experience rove through the archives and see how funny a strip that uses a confined template format can be. Obviously it's been done before but I don't think anyone has reached into the recesses of melancholy and created a strip that was worthwhile and sickening simultaneously. These are little parables wrenching out of the murk of archetypes and made into something fucking hilarious and sad. Some of the strips are as close to 'literature' as I've seen within the web-comic stratum. At least the strip *aheh* goes out with a bang.

Another strip that is coming close to an end is the ever bodacious Hellbound, this strip has always taken goofiness to the nest idiotic level but the energy is what sells it as a viable comic, Xepher has managed to keep this paeon to massive  infinite canvas storylines and keep it regularly amusing. Even if Stuff Sucks and Sore Thumbs are wrapping up,  this is the strip that always tempted me when I shouldn't have been reading wsebcomics.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

On the make: Make with the funny

I have a certain fascination with idiocy, I relish tricksters and magic and the only webcomics that have ever really drawn me in are the whimsical meanderings from geek-bot humour. Make with the funny is an Australian strip that reminds me of Nazi High. You couldn't call it a role-playing/ gaming strip because the interests displayed here are wider than the typical dreary dice fuckery I've seen before. The artwork is stylised and has clear cartoony lines that have improved since the beginning.

This is a deft mixture of slice of life and droll gamer jokes, the Australian bakground doesn't detract for other anglophones, the culture is general western fuckery, making connections between stupidity and everyday life. Where Nazi High kept on the stupid switch far too tight this works because it mixes together all those cliches that work: the gamer drooling over a new pair of dice, the renting game, the average life you lead. I usually keep away from anything an iota close to a gamer strip like the gibbering plague but this is a good mix that introduces gaming as another way to goof around into the surreal. While it occasionally veers into the average too much it certainly works as a good distraction.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Broken bones and broken hearts

The threads are starting to stitch together: to the few perverts who don't consider Megatokyo a requirement for life (Don't worry, come the revolution you will all be crucified in public) We've finally got some narrative on the relationship between Yuki and her goofball lover. I've been waiting a long time for this space to be filled, (mainly out of hope the schoolgirl-Piro relationship thing doesn't get all skanky on me!)

Yuki is being drawn into a web of intrigue and magic and Miho is the glitch in the system of Megatokyo that typically crosses over between Piro's increasingly shrinking 'normal' world and the chaos of the ningas and the magic girls and the zombie hordes. This dichotomy has existed since Megatokyo began and I believe I can see a tipping point between what Piro sees and what he needs to see to examine the world beyond his romantic meanderings. Finally we will the crossover when the truth seeps out into reality and chaos in the flesh starts smoking a cuban cigar.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Black poison blues: Spoiled

I have many habits, smoking, drinking and swearing at cats in Hebrew are amongst them, within the context of this blog my worst habit is reviewing strips that have barely started. Spoiled by Luz is only four strips young but I think it has some clear potential. It's a surrealist trip into modern city life. It feels like a very personal exploration of what it means to be human and poetry seems to interweave amidst the words. There's a political motive behind the strip but it hasn't sufficiently emerged as yet. The linework is crisp against a beige monotone and the narrative looks as if it might develop into something quite interesting.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Blurred Vision: Apophenia 357

Ghastly's Ghastly Comic was the never the most subtle of strips but within its genre (tentacle-pleasure-fiends leering at women) it had a certain cachet. His newer strip Apophenia 357 might have the name of a noxious disease but it is instead an invigorating addition to the plethora of webcomics now current . This is a strip that forces you to think, to make the connections and symmetries where none seem to exist.

In the introduction Ghastly gives the reader a background to the distortion he is created:

Apophenia is the condition where one draws connections between things which are, in reality, unconnected. Conspiracy and End Days theorists often suffer from Apophenia and it is also a common symptom of schiziophrenia. It is also often the way we learn about and interpret new things.

This is a lot darker than Ghastly's previous efforts and the reader interaction recreates webcomics as a possible community as opposed to the author as veritable God for geek-bot fan boys. The reader is forced to create sense out of the strip, Ghastly also states that the narrative of the strips are not determined by him, he is a vehicle for our desires. The artwork is fairly childish and sketchy but the concept behind this strip saves it from being mere chaos. It resembles a series of rebus, symbols forced together, while it's not something you can read and switch your brain off it is an interesting and worthy addition to the web.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Waving not drowning: Mostly Water

I'll say it then, Journal webcomics are typically utter banal rubbish, well, yeah, okay, American Elf is perhaps an exception, but I like the attitude in this webcomic, even though it's all blogger hosted and primitive. It's the attitude that gets me. There's little flickers of surrealism here, little parts of everyday tragedy and even though in its introductory stages this is a fruitful exercise in everyday static.

Still, it's the usual bullshit, work, music, the way we miscommunicate and given some time this could be a little supplement to read when you need something a little more surreal than Malfunction Junction. This veers into the otherworldly and that's what keeps me reading this. This is hopefully going to be a good injection into the nervous system.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A politically incorrect eulogy: Nazi High

I can't show you any strips from this webcomic as the site as been disabled. In effect I'm writing a eulogy for this strip. It was pure silliness, it was juvenile chaos in mangaesque style and it was a worthy excursion from dense narratives of the genre webcomics I typically read. It had the same reboot system as Penny Arcade where the joke's the thing and nothing else mattered.

Nazi High was a politically incorrect strip, but then, frankly, most decent webcomics are. The beginning was rather primitive but as it moved into its stride creatively the artwork revealed a smooth sheen to accompany the sickness in the storyline. Only Hellbound has the same attitude towards viscous and vicious violence. One of the myriad of worthy webcomics that lie forgotten.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Updating and dating are overated: Voids

"I don't know if I love him or despise him; I just can't stand Death Cab for Cutie, that's why I left him, I couldn't take it anymore"
(Overheard in De Biers last Friday night, I swear to God!)

There's one webcomic I've forgotten, a worthy contender for Emo webcomic of the decade, I despise Emos, as an Australian i view them as a slightly uncouth version of an emu, lust hidden by noise and disease. Voids is a webcomic about the vagaries of existence, the secret love you foster, the Ipod failing, the cold winter's wind. Voids is a representation of Reaganomics, voids is the heartache you feel deep inside, Voids is the misplaced love you have for someone undeserving.

It's not a new strip, but it deserves attention, at first glance it's an indie comic transplanted onto the web, the stillness of lonely hipsterism surpasses Questionable Content, the lo-Fi existence is contained here, the zines in the box, the vinyl lying on the floor, the mispent youth with its needless pain, it's all here, the cruel joke you made to your best buddy when you're drunk.

The slow pace drew me in, the artwork is a certain ratio of random emotions contained within good minimalist linework. To be frank, it follows the a storyline out of nothing, just tangled relationships and quips and one-liners. This is the 21st century in all it's ambiguity and I'm glad a webcomic like this exists in the midst of all the furry bullshit and nerdcore fuckery.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Shattered glass: The broken Mirror

The Broken Mirror is a collaboration between Elanor Cooper and JJ Nas, the style here is of a long term project, it feels far more of a novel than a webcomic, the mixture of tragedy and hope is an adept feature rarely emphasized within the webcomic 'slice of life' fraternity.

The strip balances a near Impressionist use of shading to create an intensity and diversity of colour. I thought JJ Naas was a decent illustrator from Desert Rocks but the addition of colour and shade here are some of the more fully textured I've seen online.

The strip is segmented, the first section has an emphasis on loneliness and teenage alienation. The emotions here are raw, bullying and failed relationships, the little failures and breakdowns. This is offset by the Technicolor childhood shown, displaying a welcome dexterity in tone. I get the impression there will be a series of preludes to the main narrative - The characters have already been formulated and will slowly be unfurled into the main strand of the narrative. I always prefer a long term approach and Cooper is nothing if not ambitious in this attempt at true slice of life. Better ambition than the inane babble emanating from Keenspot.

This is not a genre strip, in effect it is an examination of life looking at the slow construction of existence. Where the plethora of slice of life/college/geek strips so common online deflect the mystery and boredom of human existence into manageable segments punctuated by gags. I know I typically rant on about the iniquities of the majority of webcomics available but it's webcomics such as The Broken Mirror that restore my faith in the medium. It's far too easy to escape into mere surrealism.

This is evidently a long-term project intended to be created in small sections of real time by using silence as punctuation, it allows a meandering 'camera' to follow someone resembles a film. Typically the very nature of the webcomic this affects any reading of any text, the narrative is broken up by the update schedule In order to get an audience it is far easier to aim for the gag strip, the recurring cliche, the flat characters within a storyline that can ultimately be accessed in any place in the archives. This strip is willing to be sometimes boring, willing to pace the narrative to get the right result.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Less than Zero: Zero Hunters

Garrick is a vampire hunter in Zero hunters, the genre requires hunted and hunted in the same manner a zombie flick is typically a badly designed examination of class warfare. The strip veers between mere genre technicalities, the phrase, 'A unit so top secret, only a handful of people outside the department know we exist' is a trite nothing, The British Tv series Ultraviolet has plumbed the depths of vampire fiction, Buffy practically rebirthed it into popular culture. The Blade series...uh...I don't like swearing online. So, we've seen this before, the trenchcoat, the attitude and the noirish narration. A broken hero all world-weary without anything to lose, the lonesome apartment with its half empty liquor bottle, the newbie 'straight out of the academy' joins the hero on a journey to destroy the seething feeding frenzy created by the undead.

The artwork is a redeeming feature, good tone and texture, there's a reason why there's a long list of collaborators here, the colourist is vital to any graphic novel - compare the first collection of Preacher to the last volume, the decreasing lack of depth was disturbing. This isn't the case in this strip, if the linework is sometimes primitive the backgrounds are well executed.

The anger evident in the protagonist is another step forward. The animality of vampirism here is a direct contrast to the delicate lilac whisperings of Anne Rice, here we find a portrayal of the vampire as a link between mankind and the primordial beast. Still, the strip is a mix of badly phrased prose and some very deep emotions, these emotions curdling at the bottom of this strip, the night the protagonist's wife and child were taken from him. The arch-enemy, Drevald, tells our moody hunter on that night, 'I've given you the gift of hate - and hatred is an amazing thing.' This exposition works because innocents are involved, children, women, affected in feeding rituals in languor by vampires dressed like gothic bondage gear hookers. The violence is unusual for horror webcomics and while the 'lets do this' guff palls somewhat I still found this testosterone-filled horror-show worthwhile. This a good mixture of a webcomic and I'm willing to ignore the cliches evident here and enjoy the dark side for a while.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Darkness creeping into your mind: The Trip, Undead nigh Alpha

One small addition to realism in webcomics I've been looking at is The Trip, less than twenty pages in its interest is in the use of photography to create a detailed grainy look, no characters as of yet but there's already the hint of horrors to come. I'm hoping there's more of this strip primarily because of the use of landscape and darkness intertwined into something that should be quite interesting.

Undead Nigh Alpha is another sci-fi strip I've become absorbed with; the sketchiness and pallor of the artwork, criminality where future Martian society blurs into cyberpunk surveillance which merges into horror, even if the narration is somewhat overbearing there's still an underlying morality that focuses the story. Not many strips here either but a good edition what could be an equivalent to Saturnalia.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Get yourself Connected: Eye Trauma comics

One strip that has impressed me is the equivalent of a webcomic short-story, the one-shot, Circuit breaker, takes the spaces were divide our day into and uses them and extends them in this short morality play. The connections the protagonist uses aren't that different from how we normally have processed time since the industrial revolution. The strip uses the premise of a man plugged into various activities, the mind seemingly takes control of physical needs. I'm impressed by the swirling colours and delineated lines. Small, short and bitter, no explanatory notation and no extended Channel Zero style cyberpunk hacker bullocks. Just a brief message about how we're all slaves to something in the end, no matter what the choice.

The other work Damian Duffy and John Jennings have created are also noteworthy, little bitter hacked up coughs of spite in an all too septic world, the various Hole series in particular is a delightful to behold. As with Circuit breaker, there's a moral to the stories and an anger present here making Eye Trauma a disciplined little group dedicated to bringing something more mature online.

Saturday, 31 March 2007

The Jetsons redux: Destroy Dystopia

Cyberpunk has always been at the edges of sci-fi, usually more politicised than the average space opera, typically they are attempts at distortion of societal roles, a vision of a fractured future where public space is infiltrated by corporations and all that's left are the outcasts and rebels.

Destroy Dystopia is one such attempt to translate this into webcomic form, the artwork is a hazy sketchy excursion into the other side of the future. The future is not a series of delineated smooth bliss, here, technology and grime merge, bodies melt into mutation and crime, sin has a metallic aftertaste in one's mouth and this strip for all its simplicity and violence edges into darker territory. The punk in cyberpunk denotes a mis-en-scene where corporate interests have extended from Thatcherite languor to a space where corporation and government are typically one.

If the moody anti-hero/adventurer line is something we've seen before, I was drawn in by the use of shading and tone, it veers from somewhat primitive portraits to dense backgrounds. If Momento Mori is far more sophisticated then the exuberant fun of this strip almost makes up for its lack of intellectual vigour. I like the dirtiness here, even if this isn't at the cutting edge of the genre, appropriating its surface to cover a stock-standard adventure story.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Even monsters have hearts: Eekeemoo

I have a reprehensible relationship with kitsch and cute things, part of me yearns for gothic monochrome the other part desires I buy a line of stationary called smiggle, it's full of greens and bright blues that probably shouldn't enjoy, but do.

I suppose, Eekeemoo, is a mixture of those desires, I like the monotone and the simplistic storyboard aspect of the strip. Its wordless sense of wonder, set in an nameless world with no internal logic, works on a deeper emotional level than what looks at first like anodyne cuteness. It's almost as if a rebus puzzle has been posted online. The rounded quality of the linework looks deceptively cute but its based on alien geometry and an unknown world so it evens the strip out into something that delves into that tingle of adventure one feels that they are entranced by the unknown. The narrative doesn't make sense, it start in media res and allows the reader to work out what is happening in its particular slow-motion direction. This is a work that borders on the sublime with its lack of words and emphasis on the narrative. Even though it hasn't hit 20 strips yet it is a worthy edition to the worthy fantastical webcomics available online .

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Rapid Eye Movement: Popcorn Picnic

Popcorn Picnic is possibly the first 'Cinema strip' to impress me, it's wordy and doesn't just focus on the standard geek-boy staples of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. It's also wordy and snide (sarcastic is too much energy) and that's enjoyable. Chris is willing to take the swirling morass of pop-culture from his head and transplant it onto the screen. It's intelligent, more of a an examination of movies using characters rather than anything particularly plot driven. It's like a mannerist game that uses the characters as exposition of current films. It still works well as a concept, allowing the reader to fully geek out with the two main characters.

The artwork is smooth and shmik and it breaks the fourth wall in an enjoyable piss-take. Film characters are remoulded into perverse pastiche. Chris Shadoian is taking the piss, playing around with filmic sensibilities and just having fun. This is a fluid and worthwhile strip that has finally filled that film-geek strip part of my brain.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Val Kilmer remade as human: Niego

Niego is an irresponsible strip, half slice of life, half skanky surrealist pop-culture melange. It worked though, the cheesy gags about Val Kilmer could have gotten old real fast but they didn't. The strip was sometimes crude, but it was an worthy measure of crudity, a joyful silliness that I have missed. Surrealism is a word often bandied about, however, in the case of this strip it is a skilled combination of character driven plots and pure puerile fun. It uses swearwords like a spice, skanking up the mix in a webcomic universe of geek-bot humour. It makes webcomics look like they're created by normal people.

Going over the archives I've been thinking how it's odd that so many webcomics veer on the side of good taste, perhaps Sluggy Freelance as a classic slice-of-life strip has family friendly precursor descending through to the trite bleauggh of You'll have that. So, when Niego came back in December last year I was pleasantly surprised. It hasn't quite hit its stride yet, but it's already showing the irreverence and piss-taking I'm used to reading. This is a welcome return to a stalwart of the webcomic community.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

The ties that bind: Netherworld

Out of the many books I've read the Bible is one that is most scorched into my mind, I was once a Pentecostal, and as a basis for archetypes it does a swell job. I've always pitied the Atheists who were brought up atheists by Liberal parents. The Bible provides so many archetypes, a tapestry of figures, a mythology to mirror and even supass the Norse Eddas or Greek myths. If only as a story the Bible works and it also makes for a good basis for a narrative.

Netherworld is an apt supposition of the mundanity of everyday existence inserted into an off-kilter mirror image of our world (Serenity Rose would be a good comparison). Now, I'm not merely continuing with the theme of the afterlife from last week, this strip is based on our world after a great flood, there's a seediness implicit in the setting here, a land-locked equivalent of the Waterworld universe. The repercussions of the flood are reinserted here, Esperanza is a society just like ours in what looks to be a post-apocalyptic world. If the promise to Noah was predicated upon the fact that there would be no more floods, then faith in the biblical narritive is moribund, Netherworld is created in a world where the covenent that the Christian faith was based on has disappeared.

It's an interesting premise and creates a grimy forsaken atmosphere that I really dig.
Elamparo is aiming for an examination of belief here, in the faq he admits to be a promiscious genre-mixing whore. Sometimes the strip seems to be a proxy for E's own examination of faith, though this doesn't create one of those allegory ridden 'novels' that some Christians have plagued us with (C.S.Lewis' Pilgrim's Regress anyone?) The influences are here as a backing, not a catch-all basis for the strip.

In any case, I think the emphasis on the fantastical supersedes the genre boundaries here.
If the linework of the characters reminds of you a manga's sharp lines then the backgrounds are a textured and detailed haze. I'd never thought shades of grey could work this well on a webcomic but they do, lending the strip a certain elan. The introduction of colour into the strip adds a bejewelled virtuousity here when used. The dream sequences and the quotations frame the strip as something that is breaking and entering into profundity. I don't know if that's an altogether good thing, but at the moment all these mysteries and clues have got me hepped up and I'm waiting to see what the strip brings in the next bout of updates in the Northern Hemisphere summer.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

All of death's a stage: A Divine Dramedy

(I did a mini-review of this strip some time ago but there was a muck up with Firefox's formating so I had to scrap it.)

Usually when I purchase dead tree comics I focus on the gothic and the strange published by Slave Labor Graphics and Oni Press. I have never felt the inclination to blather over fucking Spiderman and the hordes of spandex clad bogan louts. A Divine Dramedy should follow Agnes Quill and go for a deadwood cross-over once it builds up a sizeable archive because it follows that particularly wry approach to darkness for which I am the target market. This strip examines 3 'friends' as they find themselves in a a graveyard. They're dead, but death is just the begining...(I had to put that cliche in there, I'm sorry.)

In the begining the state of being post-mortem was mined for weirdness and laughs as the central trio of 'friends-enemies?' explored the afterlife and its numerous fluid quirks. It also allows what could be deemed a 'slice of life' webcomic to buck the trend. There are still gags here but these tend towards surrealistic sight gags based upon the afterlife. If the afterlife isn't all that different from the absurdities of breathing there is still the remains of friendships and simmering hatreds from their previous existence.

Recently the strip has been living up to what looked like a coy little reference to Dante's torpid epic to Beatrice. There is drama here amidst the baroque Lethe of death, how to make a living, how to keep up with the jonses. Likewise, from its sketchy origins, the strip has gone for an increasingly realistic vein of linework. Tierney is taking something I'm always in favour of complexity and emo storylines so this appeases my sensibilities. Don't worry, it's not Fall Out Boy Emo, it just looks as if the strip is aiming for examination of the bread and butter problems of human interaction. Still, It's hard to tell so far as Tierney has only just begun to inject some thematic muscle in the storyline. This is going to be hard after he built up the afterlife as an ornate glass menagerie of wierdoes and talking rabbits. Now that we're seeing glimpses of human emotion as opposed to goofing around it will be interesting to see how this is handled.

(Musical Accompaniment: I know I'm lifting this from Jimmy Tierney's profile but I think Interpol's Antics is a good selection for this strip. Far more rougher and angular than Turn on the bright lights, death will never sound so apathetic.)

Saturday, 3 February 2007

In space no one can hear you scream: Banished!

I suppose one can blame the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy in my upbringing but i think
Banished is part of a tradition of space opera spoofs that work quite well online. The clearcut linework is refreshing. The first strips are primitive but then there's a progression into something light and succint with depth and colour you don't typically see online with the artist changeover. So, Ryan Smith has created something goofball style playful but it has also segued into a decent narrative that hasn't neglected the strips's strengths.

If the strips orginally mines the absurdities of science fiction then the progression to the strip's most recent updates shows some nous, a lot of webcartoonists merely restart their strip - though this isn't a Cerebus syndrome overly serious venture, the fun is still omnipresent within the upgrade - resembling classic Sluggy Freelance, if a little constricted in its narrative. I like the interplay on genre-specific trends, if gamer comics can burn up cable in their pursuit of Leet jokes then Banished needs far more recognition.

Rak is the long-suffering malcontent anti-hero stranded on Strix 13 and Timbo is the robot optimist and using this dynamic the strip takes on a lacksadaisical adventure. Space Opera can provide a broad canvas for a creative team to look at anything they desire, for better or for worse, Smith and Anderson have not fallen into the trap of mere parody, they use science fiction as a origin, not a destination, and they have come up with a rather silly character driven webcomic that is consistently enjoyable.

(Musical Accompaniment: Be your own Pet - self titled - Raucous energetic indie spazz-out rock - perfect music for the monotony of a spaceship ride)

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Some Velvet Morning: Flatwood

I neglected this strip when I first came across it some time ago, even now going through the archives, Flatwood looks too cartoony at first, a weird chibified experiment, but, then, typically the first 30 strips of any webcomic contain dodgy artwise. This sketchy linework later coalesces into something distinctly sinister and smooth. The animation above the strip with the blinking eyes and the black background creates an all-over aesthetic for the strip that is quite welcome. The outlines of the panels are fluid, melding into the ever-present darkness, this is a reading experience with a design in mind.

If the narrative is strictly linear than at least its direction is that of discovery not gag driven cycles that infest the gamer and slice of life strips that make up the majority of webcomics. It resembles adventure more than horror, in fact, the ambiguity present about identity and place put forward something close to a dreamlike state, magical realism or speculative fiction with the addition of horror elements. This sense of disorientation is heightened by as the strip has turns of surrealism and sometimes segues into pure streams of consciousness. Lately this trend has created a webcomic that has increased in both levels of artistic merit and surrealism, resembling a well made rebus puzzle.

The young man who awakens in Flatwood has a number of questions about identity, whether this is a stage of death and the little critter he finds is a goofball version of Virgil in Dante's inferno or a denotion of the evil that is all around him, I like this wayward aspect of the strip, it ignores the usual trends in favour of the narrative. I still don't know what's fully going on but I've accepted the rules implicit in the strip in order to access the spine tingling senseof adventure in this distinctly morose landscape. This strip will take time to process as you go through it but Zac's emphasis is on the lengthy portrayal of how identity is unravelled amidst chaos. This is a solid example of the ignored genre webcomics that deserve your support.

(I did have a post about the Broken Mirror but for some inexplicable reason that website has been hacked - why? Do Islamic terrorists like good story-driven webcomics?)

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Cutmarks are just so passe: So Common, so Cheap

'I wish my lawn was Emo - then it could cut itself': A slurred quote from Jojo Eildelberg, the local drunk

Emo kids have taken over from Goths as being representative of sordid teenage angst and unrequited lust and misery. They usually get a bad rap from the outside world so it's interesting to see a webcomic that deals with the subculture, written by an obsessive Emo kid and funny to boot. So, if Indie gets Questionable Content and Punk gets San Antonio... then Emo's webcomic presence consists of this relatively unknown strip called So Common, So Cheap.

So Common, so Cheap, is an examination of High School through the eyes of Kyle, an Emo kid with a lot of problems. I can't tell you why I like this strip, the artwork certainly helps with its thin lines and mangaesque sweetness and light. Kyle could be any number of Emo kids you see skulking about in the city, however, what this strip does is take the ennui of that existence and stretches it about into something that reaches entertainment value through its high octane tunnel vision. Admittedly, it does rely on a lot of Internet 2.0 Social networking kind of stuff - MySpace and such, but then you carried away by the internal logic of the strip. It takes the piss out of the plethora of identities on offer today.

Certainly, the sole creator, Ziggy, sometimes suffers from the constrictions of the viewpoint of the genre but primarily this is a wider examination of the various youth culture tribes in the western world. Moreover, it's a self-aware strip that plays around with the current fluid uncertainties of pop musical genres and is able to give an honest and informed opinion about a subculture most of us jeer at. Sure, this will date easily but it will also stand as a testament to the tenacity of humanity in its ability to mix self-mutilation and supressed eroticism.

Musical Accompaniment: The Cure: Disintegration. The closest thing I've gotten to really mopey music and angst.