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November 1, 2013

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November 1, 2013

Birthday comic! My birthday, that is. And by an astounding coincidence, it was also my turn to be Spiderforest's Comic of the Week, so I guess I get the gift of new readers. Hi, new readers! Have a seat! Leave a comment! I hardly ever bite.

Since I am in fact Comic of the Week I'm going to take the opportunity to give a shout-out to some of the comics I've been reading of late:

After Daylight. Vampires are immortal (until killed), territorial, predatory creatures who say 'change' in much the same tone of voice as your maiden aunt says 'knickers' and work together with all the dignity and grace of a bagful of cats. But that's fine, as long as the food sources don't believe you exist... or come up with fancy ways to tell you from them... or start posting about it all over this strange 'Internet' of theirs... there's a lot of urban fantasy set in a time after the supernatural becomes common knowledge, but not a heck of a lot set during. This is the during. Even if you're a bit burnt out on vampires (aren't we all), do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Al'Rashad. This comic is sort of like if someone took Beowulf and threw him into the Arabian Nights. And that's before the giant undead bone monsters show up. Excellent characterization, meticulous worldbuilding, and an outstanding ear for the epic tone -- seriously, do yourself a favor and read this.

Paranatural. It's hard enough being new kid in town. The last thing Max needs is to be adopted by a possessed baseball bat that lets him start seeing ghosts and brings him to the attention of the Activity Club, a group that might be mysterious and sinister if they weren't all so effing crazy. And that's just day one. Paranatural is one of those rare comics that does zany, not just well, but superbly, and the dialogue is one of my weekly treats.

And finally, there's Harbourmaster. Webcomics has an unfortunate tendency to give the future a Hollywood treatment: plenty of space battles, laser guns, and shiny CG dumped on top of societal structures and mores that are pure 20th century. (And yes, I realize it's the 21st century now. Apparently, they don't.) In this atmosphere of frenzied stagnation, Harbourmaster is a breath of fresh air. It's an understated comic about a colony co-run by humans and the hermaphrodite Aquaans, kept deliberatly small to avoid encroaching on the native life, and by Hollywood standards all the really interesting stuff (the space battles, for instance) are over and done. But there's a quiet tension lurking below the day-to-day life, a sense that in the pleasant but oh-so-careful interactions between the races, the cultures, the people, you're seeing the stuff that makes space battles... or ends them. Really a quietly brilliant comic, and worth far more attention than I suspect it gets.

And now I've given you all plenty of weekend reading, so I'll go back to self-defensive eating of the kidlet's Halloween candy. (Seriously, if she ate all of this stuff, her wee heart would explode. It's For Her Own Good. And also mine.)