When I’m not reading regular funny books, I sometimes like to take a read on the very things that began the format I love so much. And while I’ll always be a fan of the newspapers who give us Garfield and Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, we’re lucky that the internet has allowed for anyone with an idea and a story to carve out their own little area of the web. And since I’ve been getting a kick out of some of these for years and others for only a couple of weeks, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.
Darths and Droids – Imagine that you are going to roleplay in some weird space fantasy adventure where there are glowing swords and a mysterious “Force”. Then imagine that you are the Game Master for such a game and you seem to barely be able to keep your players in line. And you just know that all the time you’ve spent on this really cool campaign is going to be undermined before you can blink twice.
Now imagine that someone, starting with the very first of the Prequels used screen shots from the Star Wars movies to create this little campaign… AND that they are just now beginning the Return of the Jedi (1192 strips later) and you can imagine this act of love and insanity and… well, it hits me just square in the funny bone, nerd bone, and other bones (this got weird…).
Start from the beginning and work your way through it, it is well worth it.
DM of the Rings – Take all that stuff about Darths and Droids and then change it so that it is Lord of the Rings based adventures rather than Star Wars based adventures. And instead of a Game Master who can’t always control his table, this one runs ramshot over his players many of the times.
Sadly, this one is finished, so no new episodes, but on the other hand you are sure to get a complete story out of it.
Real Life Comics – I wish I remembered what rabbit hole I fell down in order to find this one so many years ago. It started as a look into the life of one Greg Dean and his weird/crazy friends. Commenting on the strangeness of the day or whatever, it has also had such classics as having dopplegangers, evil “friends” bent on world domination, time travel, and others that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Oh and he talks to the creator from time to time… which is effectively a conversation with himself.
This is another with a rather large archive, but again well worth the various trips down memory lane.
Max Overreacts – I’ve come upon this one very recently, but I offer it the highest praise I can for a comic strip – at its best I am reminded of Calvin and Hobbes.
The basic setup is a young boy who clearly has an ability to be overly dramatic in his dealings with his family, friends from school, teachers, and even a potential little girl friend/enemy/crush. Whether Max is trying to figure out the answers to his homework via the use of his puppets or he’s organizing some weird Murder Mystery Dinner… it is all goodness.
I’m still working my way through all of the archives, sad to know that I will eventually catch up, but happy to know that I have some time before that happens.
Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic – Don’t let the name fool you. Yes, it is about fantasy creatures, and yes there are many of those out there, but something about the art, the little stories, the fact that we start off with our two main characters being a goblin girl and a Beholder Boy… who fall in love.
It’s sweet and funny and manages to tell a really cool adventure story (stories) in the meantime. And this is another one that has been going on for a long, long time.
John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program.
He also has a short story in the recently released anthology Beyond the Gate, which is free on most platforms!
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.