Daily Illuminator

October 26, 2018: Webcomics I知 Reading (Part 1/2)

    All of these comics have kept my attention for a long time, which means they all have deep archives. With the exception of xkcd (which I'll talk about tomorrow), there is no point in jumping into the current strip, any more than you'd start reading a novel in the middle. Give yourself a treat, or a week or two of treats: go back into the archives, start with Strip One, and watch how the story (and the creative talent) develops.
    Most of these comics can be backed with Patreon or the like. If a comic brings you a lot of enjoyment, please consider supporting it, either with Patreon or by buying some merch. That way, we all get to keep reading.

Schlock Mercenary
    A funny/dramatic space opera about transhumanism and blowing stuff up. I've been a faithful Schlocker almost since it started, and it just keeps getting better, both in art and story. It updates seven days a week, like clockwork. Howard Tayler is author/artist, Sandra Tayler edits, and Travis Walton colors.
    As a bonus, Howard frequently posts very cogent film reviews below the comic. He's also created Planet Mercenary, a thoroughly fun RPG set in the Schlock background. I've played it and the experience was great; I wrote about it in an Illuminator last year. And being a fan of Howard's led to my meeting him, which eventually led to his illustrating Munchkin Starfinder, so it was all a big win.

A Girl and Her Fed
    It's a little bit into the future, and things are weird. The government created a corps of cyborgs; the chip in their heads lets them master any information system. Nobody expected them to start interfacing with ghosts. And the hyperintelligent-koala project didn't go quite as expected, either.
    Two full-page color updates a week from author/artist K.B. Spangler, who has also published a series of novels exploring the background and filling out some of the secondary characters.

Stand Still, Stay Silent
    The newest addition to my regular reading. A beautifully painted, post-apocalyptic story with powerful overtones of magic and horror. The forum commenter base is enthusiastic and tries hard to read the author's mind, with very mixed success.
    Author/artist Minna Sundberg normally updates SSSS with (at least) a full page, four days a week. Right now, it's between chapters, but it'll be back. And she's working on a game!

    A gamer from our world is summoned into a universe of magic – or is he in the middle of a game instead? It's certainly game-like. If only he could figure out the rules . . . and gradually he does, and as he does, he finds exploits. And puns. Many, many puns. Some of which can kill you.
    Rob Balder writes Erfworld; Xin Ye pencils it, and Lillian Chen inks and colors. The comic updates most Tuesdays and Fridays. Sometimes it's a full-color page, and sometimes text with an illustration or two, and sometimes it's a page from the protagonist's notebook. It works.

More tomorrow. So . . . what are you reading? Got recommendations for me? There's a forum thread below.

-- Steve Jackson

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