QuickRecs 3: Webcomics

After careful deliberation, I’ve decided to make everything more confusing by using the same titling scheme as Act’s posts. This time I’ve taken a break from playing video games to rec some webcomics instead.

Dumbing of Age

Surprisingly dramatic slice-of-life with college students. The (incredibly diverse) cast struggles with faith, racism, mental illness, misogyny, and other conflicts as college life brings them out of their insular worldviews and forces them to consider a wider perspective. I thought the issues were discussed with a surprising amount of sensitivity and depth — also, the cast is overwhelmingly female and predominately deals with women’s perspectives and issues, which is highly unusual for the genre! It’s also by the same author as Shortpacked!, if you liked it way back when Farla recced it 3 years ago.

Awkward Zombie

Video game gag-a-day comic. Incredibly funny with a clever, sophisticated sense of humor — I found myself able to enjoy a lot of the comics even if I had no familiarity with the source. Predominately focuses on Smash Bros., Metal Gear Solid, and Fire Emblem.

Polokoa Quest

Have you checked out Keychain of Creation and Lunar Quest? If not, you should do that sometime. This is the author’s current project, in a totally unrelated universe. It was originally designed as a quick parody story with hilariously over-the-top fight scenes, but has since evolved into a shockingly sophisticated examination of politics, morality, and psychology. One of the things I particularly like is that, despite being ludicrously overpowered, the protagonist always chooses to devise clever, nonviolent solutions to the conflicts.

(Technically, this is actually fanfiction of another thing, AsteroidQuest — I think it’s pretty decent, just not as good as Polokoa. You should be able to understand Polokoa without reading Asteroid, but it’s worth checking out if you want to catch all the jokes and references.)

Leftover Soup

By the author of 1/0. The rambling, philosophical bent is retained, but now directed towards a more grounded, realistic slice-of-life narrative: a down-on-his-luck man gets into a car crash and has to live with a roommate to get back on his feet, and soon becomes acquainted with her very unusual circle of friends. The opening page and plotline look absolutely awful, but do try to stick with it. The story that unfolds is a fascinating examination of morality and interpersonal relationships, with virtually every character taking an extreme philosophical stance that is explored by the narrative. Notably, the story predominately focuses on the women, and they are the main drivers of most plotlines, though it takes a while for this to become apparent. Make sure to read the author commentary under each strip.

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