Tag Archives: funny

Girl Genius

13 May

A Webcomic Recommendation

The internet is filled with webcomics. There are one-shot joke ones and plot ones; beautifully drawn ones and ones based on stick figures. There is also a wide variety of quality when it comes to webcomics. While there are great ones of all varieties, my personal favorites are usually ones with high quality art and high quality story. If you enjoy traditional graphic novels and you haven’t checked out some of these then you are missing out on the newest home of the media. One of my favorite webcomics is Girl Genius. It is one of the best examples of the high quality of works you can find on the internet.

Girl Genius is a two-time winner of the Hugo for Best Graphic Story and it definitely deserves it. The plot focuses on the adventures of the titular girl genius, Agatha, as she uses her new-found talents and figures out where she fits in the world. Character is one of the best features of the story and Agatha is not only lovable but interesting to watch. She is not alone in this though because each character is bursting with personality. From Gil, the romantic lead to Zola, Agatha’s current nemesis, every character will make you laugh and draw you in. Girl Genius has a fun and fascinating cast which will keep you reading to find out what they will do next.

Aside from the characters, the setting is one of the stories best features. The location of the story seems to be an alternate version of Victorian Europe. This alternate version may come across initially as steampunk but it is slightly more complex then that. While it takes much of its aesthetics from steampunk (gears, brass), the powers of the Sparks seems to extend beyond the realm of what is possible in a normal steampunk setting. Sparks are basically mad scientists and they make up a large portion of the cast. They are each bestowed with a power called the spark. They use this to make anything from a classic ray-gun to biological constructs to performing nearly magical feats. Only those with the spark can complete such projects. The magical nature of their talents has caused the creator themselves, the Foglios, to refer to it as Gaslamp Fantasy instead of steampunk.

The art of Girl Genius is highly stylized but good. If you have ever seen the Brawl set Club Foglio or any of these magic cards, then you have seen Phil Foglio’s work. This stylized nature not only makes the characters distinct but makes it easy to understand the emotions they are feeling via their expressions. As well as being stylized, a lot of detail is put in to each frame. This makes everything look more interesting and adds personality to the world around the characters. As well as having high quality art, after the first volume (which is in black and white) the coloring is also top-notch. Though it has been done by many people over the years, each has brought a vivid use of color to a series which could be overwhelmed with browns and brass. The coloring job emphasizes the personality present in the world and the characters, ensuring that nothing ever appears dull in the world of Girl Genius. The stylized art and bright coloring make Girl Genius one of the best looking webcomics out there.

If you want to start enjoying Girl Genius, I recommend starting at the beginning which is linked above. Even if you don’t enjoy the whole weekly updates thing and prefer to read them chapter by chapter like a book, you will have nine years of updates to read through before you reach that point. You can also attempt to rent or purchase the published book form if you have an aversion to reading things on the internet. No matter how you read it, Girl Genius is a great piece of graphic fiction which I recommend wholeheartedly.



5 Nov

A Site Recommendation

Every Monday when I wake up, I skip reading my favorite webcomics and go straight to The Escapist . There awaiting me are two new videos by LoadingReadyRun . LoadingReadyRun or LRR as they are sometimes called is one of my favorite things on the internet. They are a troupe of geeky Canadians who write, shoot and act in a variety of comedic videos. Not only are these videos hilarious but they are also creative, clever and nerdy. One of the things I love about the internet is how it allows creative people to share their projects with the world. LoadingReadyRun is an ideal example of this. They release three comedic videos as week in three different formats as well as periodically putting out some other random entertaining ones. Their main staple, LoadingReadyRun, is a collection of random sketch comedy skits. This segment has featured a wide variety of entertainment over the years from troubles with time travel to a man telling a story about making a grilled-cheese sandwich. Aside from their weekly sketch bit, they also do a mock video game news show similar to The Onion and, a Mystery Science Theater 3000k-style bit featuring video game cut-scenes

On top of all this creative hilarity, they also do a yearly charity event called Desert Bus for Hope. In this event, they play the worst game ever made, Desert Sus, until people stop paying them. In the game, Desert Bus, you drive on a straight road surrounded by no scenery from Tucson to Las Vegas in real time at a max speed of 45 mph. Upon arriving you are given one point and then the process starts over again but headed in the opposite direction. There is no way to win and the car swerves slightly to the right constantly so you can’t even tape down the gas button and leave to make the trip. If you crash, you are towed back to your starting city in real time. The LoadingReadyRun Crew put themselves through this to earn money for the charity Child’s Play. Child’s Play is a charity started by Penny Arcade which provides games and other forms on entertainment for children in hospitals. Last year, LRR collected $140,449 dollars of donation and this year, due to their ever growing fame, I predict that they will earn even more. Aside from the busing itself, another part of the Desert Bus for Hope event is the Desert Bus Craft Along. People donate homemade items which get auctioned off to earn even more money for the cause. This year, a tetris-themed lolita skirt designed and sewn by me will be a part of the auction. I’m quite proud of it and if you are a nerdy lolita or just like different clothing, you might want to give it a look. Desert Bus starts on November 19th at 6pm PST. Feel free to tune in and watch them be hilarious while they torture themselves.

The LoadingReadyRun crew are creative, funny, geeky and giving people. Their comedy comes with my highest recommendation. Below are some links to my favorite skits and series to get your started but really watch any of their work to add a dose of nerd funny to your day.

Favorite series
Rapidfire I and Rapidfire II

Favorite videos
Bad News
Split Decision
Desert Bus Killed the Internet Star
A Sacred Duty
Pull Yourself Together
How to Talk like a Pirate
Eyewitness Accounts