Saturday, 8 January 2011

The gods must be crazy: Gastrophobia

Gastrophobia is a hyperactive incursion of ancient Greece shunted directly into your corneas. Visually, it's quite arresting. The gags are mainly visual with lots of accentuation and strong, fluid line work, Onomatopoeic sounds (thunk!!!) and way more motion lines than I've seen in years of reading webcomics. This is not a subtle strip. It's an overpowering splatter of pie to the face and is quite digestible.
If the street smart Amazon wonder woman Phobia is the muscular fulcrum of the strip then her son Gastro is the clown prince. The relationship between mother & son is a tad dysfunctional, more like slapstick partners getting caught up in 'wacky' adventures and 'hijinks'.  If you want a long term storyline with a consistent canon then this isn't for you.

But don't be too quick to dismiss this strip as its strength lies in its ability to jump quickly from idea to idea, breaking the fourth wall and evading any sort of seriousness. There's no pretense about anything too long-term, more like short connected bites of evanescent humor in an alternate version of ancient Greece.

The cutesy/surreal vibe might not be to everybody's taste but the characters are pretty endearing and the pop-cultural references hit with smart bomb efficiency.

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