Noses Optional

Noses Optional

Kristy Bourgeois and Sara-Fred Rickert

86 pages

Update Status: Dead. TOD January 2009

Noses Optional is a cute little webcomic collection that the authors made for a senior project. I’m not entirely sure what that it, but hey it gave us this. It’s not really involving, but its funny. Well, if you like video games and Final Fantasy it’s always funny. If not, then only occasionally. But let’s face it, if you’ve never heard of FF then there is something seriously wrong with you. It’s a slice of life comic but it does involve a lot of the “ooh lets make a webcomic” humor that starts off many series. It just continued. Plus, I am secure enough in my masculinity to say that I find the art style adorable. It is. So sue me.

There are a lot of filler things, plus the “inker” left the comic about 30 real strips from the end, so it’s been rocky for Noses Optional. But they do form enough in-jokes and stories to still be legit, eh? Just don’t judge it by the most recent strips, jump back to the beginning.

Or maybe I just have a soft spot for nerdy girls.

…Ok, I do. To the nth degree. But hey, it’s still funny, eh?

In short, the archive may be small and filled with “oh i didnt have time” material, but short also means quick to do. I’m not sure if it will continue in the future, but it could! Maybe. Kinda. I hope so.

Note: The blonde one is female. Yeah, you may have guessed that from the name, but she’s referred to as Fred. Hell, I didn’t even know it until she showed up in a tube-top. Yeah, I know! Surprising.

P.S. I don’t care what you may think, caffeine is not an adequate replacement for sleep. You may be conscious, but it impairs your thinking skills. Want proof? See above.  ♥ Catalyst

Nobody Scores!

Nobody Scores!

Brandon Bolt


Pulmonary embolism, possibly tachycardic

“Heeeeeeey guys! I gots an idea. Let’s take an artist, a businesswoman, and a nut in the same apartment and see what happens! It’ll be great!”

Yeah, sure. The sentences above have probably been uttered before every bad sitcom ever created. And they all were horrible.

But what if they were good? I know, it’s insane, but stick with me here.

Enter Nobody Scores!, a daily arc-less comic revolving around the above three characters in their journey to spiral out of control into the top-shelf kind of crazy. Chaos theory ain’t got jack on this.

I hesitate to describe the normal plot ideas because they tend towards utter madness, but you can imagine them from the characters. The businesswoman is the Machiavellian, anything for a buck type. The artist goes the postmodern route and tries to art-ify everything. The nut is jut batshit crazy and occupies herself by doing death-defying things (usually. Not the “things” part, the “death-defying” part. Good thing for magical “oh we need her” medicine!). There are quite a few social commentary notes that the comics are based on, but they’re usually not shoved down your throat, unlike some of the comics. I’m looking at you, Sinfest. Anyways, put them all together and you get a hectic mess. It’s pretty damn funny, though.

It’s also nice in that the comic was good all the way though the archives, which is fairly rare for long-running comics. Good show.

The art is pretty good, like most of them, it doesn’t add a ton but it doesn’t take a way. Still, pretty good.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for some absurdity, read Nobody Scores! It’s good people.



Jeph Jacques had better damn well be heading somewhere with his plotline.

Annnnnnd a very special LICD? I guess we’ll find out…

Outside the Comics

I highly recommend the musician haina, she’s really fantastic, for the most part. And check out the link below, it’s quite an epic flash movie.

Hark, A Vagrant!

Hark, A Vagrant!

Kate Beaton

254 pages

Updates Semi-regularly

Oh my, the nerdiness. Oh so much nerdiness. I LOVE IT.

Hark, A Vagrant is written by Kate Beaton, a history major that worked in a museum. That should say enough about the content of the comic, but I’ll write it anyways. Hark is a arc-less comic, with each comic being based on some historical figure, event, or other thing. For the most part you can understand the humor with a high-school level knowledge of history (if you paid attention in class) but you will definitely need to wiki some of the people or places to understand the full humor. Beaton attempts to explain a bit of it in the notes below the comic, save common people such as Robespierre or Emperor Norton, but others are sometimes left ambiguous when they shouldn’t be. Now, I’m not saying that she needs to hold our hands, oh no. It’s just that you’re going to have to work for your laughs. And they said staying awake in history was lame.

But for those who do get it, it’s freaking hilarious. The new takes on the old world, as well as emphasizing the absurdity of the actual events. Like the prose phrase “Reality is stranger than fiction”, you’ll probably find more humor in simply researching the info than anything else. For example, imagine if you’ve never heard of Robespierre before. Suddenly, you’re introduced to this ultranationalistic, homicidal maniac who rules France for a bloody period of revolution. That’s AWESOME.

As for the art, it’s sketchy but not detremental to the comic. It’s also sometimes used as little silly sketches just for kicks. Beaton will sometimes make “lunch break comics”, quickly drawn nothings that aren’t all that funny, but they are fairly rare. Also, although the majority of the comics are one-plot-per-page, she’ll occasionally release series of short dailies on a spree. Overall, it won’t find it’s way onto the Louvre’s wall but it’s still pretty good. Better than any crap I could ever do, heh. Although I must applaud her ability to do caricatures, the faces look very much like the real people, which is not a simple task.

I really can’t do it justice. It’s just one of those things.

At any rate, if you enjoy history in any shape or form, then you will probably like Hark, A Vagrant! as well.

Romantically Apocalyptic

Romantically Apocalyptic

Author: Vitaly S Alexius

Updated: Semi-regularly, but does put out regular artwork on DeviantArt

21 pages

Here is a comic you may not have heard of. It follows around the Captain and his underling Sniper as they traverse the wasteland of the United States after some cataclysmic event (assumed The Bomb) occurred. It explores the life and times of someone who lived through the bomb, from crazy cultists to giant worms. There really isn’t much of a plot, and the archives are kind of short, but the little stories are definitely worth checking out and the artwork is stunning.

The idea of light living on beyond the Bomb is actually rather rare, most depict it as a horrible, deadly place. It is actually quite refreshing to read a comic that puts a humorous light on it, or at least sticks to the part where their brains aren’t melting. Still, the Captain is hilarious in his obliviousness to the devastation around him, either by choosing to live lightly or haven been driven completely insane.

I actually would recommend looking this comic up on DeviantArt more than using the above link, as while the site is nice for the comic it does not include all of the background/teaser drawings that he has made, which is quite a shame.

Art: 5/5

The artwork in Romantically Apocalyptic is absolutely amazing. The characters are very realistic, and the backgrounds show a landscape that is as beautiful as it is desolate. Truly, art is the only way to describe it. If anything, the art is what really makes the comic

Plot: 3/5

The plot isn’t exactly overreaching, there isn’t much of one outside the stories held on each frame, plus a few short arcs spanning a few pages. At the release of this review there may have been a larger plot brewing, but that remains to be seen. Still, the short stories are enough to hold your attention at the very least. Interestingly enough, the series was originally a simple collection of unrelated stories based around the Captain, it wasn’t until later pages that the author went back and integrated Sniper into the originals. Example being that the first page had Captain talking to a random wanderer, not Sniper.

Characters: 3/5

The characters are flat, but interesting enough to again hold your attention. What can you expect from a short archive like that?

Romantically Apocalyptic is a great comic as long as you aren’t expecting a plethora of story lines or characters. But just take one look at the art and you will be hooked, I guarantee it.

P.S. Check the author out on DeviantArt, he’s really quite good at the whole “apocalyptic” thing





Updates regularly

Take Calvin and Hobbes. Now, take out the sleds, the tiger, the costumes, pretty much everything that made it good. Congratulations, you now have Nicky510. With boring humor that may have been funny in the age of Dennis the Menace, this comic falls far short of what I would waste my time with. The story is boring, with the smart kid and the wacky kid against the world (sound familiar?) and their parents. In fact, some scenes seem shot-for-shot the same as Calvin and Hobbes, with the mom in the floppy hat gardening while the dad tries to light the barbecue, badly. In this day and age, this comic belongs with Family Circus, back in the 60’s.

Art: 3/5

Average art, relatively well done but lacking in color or particular style.

Plot: 1/5

Poor humor in boring arcs. Like I said, see C&H, just not Watterson’s classic appeal.

Characters: 2/5

The characters all fall into the classic archetypes, which allows them to fill their needed roles, I suppose, but also doesn’t allow for dynamic progress.

Overall, I would steer clear of this comic. Trust me, I read it so that you don’t have to.

A Softer World

A Softer World

Emily Horne and Joey

541 pages

Updates regularly

This is an interesting example. The first thing one would notice would be the that aesthetic style of this comic is based around pictures covered with text in the form of typewritten cutouts. Sometimes the backdrop matches the text, sometimes not, but it’s all very odd (in a good way, I would say). As for the comic itself, it isn’t a plot-driven story, but instead the dark thoughts of the authors put into comic form. Topics include things such as death, childhood, relationships, loneliness, and so on. There isn’t an overreaching storyline, or even any plot or characters whatsoever, but hell its fun.

The stories aren’t long, only a few sentences per page, but they concisely tell a deeper story than what’s simply there. An example: “Every night I slip powdered peanuts in her food/ she isn’t really allergic/ but pretending calms me down”. Now, that speaks of a whole story, but is simply hinted at in concise sentences. Why write a paragraph when a sentence will do? (This being said as I type type type away) Always a bonus. Also, as you may guess from the quotation, the stories are fairly tragic. They are really not designed to amuse (unless you have that kind of humor… hey they’re kind of funny, right? Right?) but instead to depress, or perhaps inspire in a schadenfreude sense.

Plus, you find humor in odd places around the site as well. For example, the site does not have a “Random” button. Well, it does, if you can see it… (The button is labled “fnord”, which is a reference to The Illuminatus Trilogy, where “fnord” was a word that was taught to all children. The idea was that it became associated with feelings of discomfort in childhood, so that the kids both could not see the word and would subconsciously feel uneasy.)

If I had to sum up SW, I think that I would put it this way: “A Softer World is the voice in the back of your head that says that stepping in front of that bus would be pretty painless. The voice that says ‘Yeah, she may cheat on you, but you can get her back’. That the social norm of caring whether that guy down the street lives or dies is a rather silly one”

Yeah, that voice.

This is a pretty dark comic, I will give you that. Yes, you may not like it. Yes, it may make you angry or depressed. But remember: If you’re emotional towards it, then it is doing its job. It’s giving you emotions that you couldn’t express before. And you know what? You get some pretty bitchin’ quotes out of it too.

As for the comic as a whole, I must admit that the lack of story structure was not engrossing and I was not pressured to get all the way through them. They are good, but I doubt that anyone will just sit down and crawl through all of them without getting bored. Not to mention that the best ones always get copypasted to an emo’s myspace anyways.

Overall: 3/5

Original and good at times, but not engrossing enough to hold attention. While hitting fnord will net you some good times for a while, it simply lacks the lasting power that many have. But like I said, it’s all in your taste.

P.S. ZOMG: it finally happened. Hot Marigold-on-Angus action: Questionable Content. Of course, if you’ve never read it, then you probably won’t understand. But for the love of all available gods, read it. Read the whole damn thing.



Smith and Hepting

4 years

Recently dead, with promises of future comics

Ah, yes. Slackerz.

Take one part video game humor, three parts internet humor, one part movie references, one part social commentary, and add random yet funny recurring characters to taste. Mix well over low heat. Once baked for 30 minutes, remove fourth wall. Serve hot.

Slackerz is one of those things, a comic that you’ll either love or hate. The characters are more developed than most recurring creatures in these random, daily-style comics. And they’re not just “oh look, Joe is back. That crazy fellow. Capital!” kind of jokes, either. For example, take McHampster, who regularly advises kids to do things such as (in his introduction comic) snort crack and put salt in their eyes. This, of course, speaks to the stupidity and sheep-like nature of kids, but its a goddamn humor webcomic, not a master’s thesis. It’s just funny.

Most of the humor is based around over-exaggerating the reactions of the people and the narrator, but it’s done well. Although it does sometimes get a bit “Oh look a clown NOW ITS A DOG oh sh*t its a roflolcopter”, that kind of problem is rare. It’ll keep you coming back…

Well, at least it would have. As of today Slackerz was declared done, although the authors say that they are going to bring it back in a few months. Yeah, and my cousin’s going to go back for his bachelor’s degree after he hikes around Europe. It may help that they’ve been doing it for so long, and therefore have something of a vested interest in it, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

At any rate, it’s definitely worth a read. Most of the references need nothing more than a basic understanding of popular geek culture, so I think most of you should be fine. I mean, who hasn’t seen the Matrix or played/heard of a Zelda game? Crazy people, that’s who. And we don’t talk about them.

Again, read it.

The Zombie Hunters

The Zombie Hunters

Jenny Romanchuk

9 chapters, 246 pages

Updates regularly


Yeah, we all love them. No, don’t even try to say you don’t. Don’t think about it for a god damn second. You love zombies. Whether it’s the Night of the Living Dead shufflers or the Left 4 Dead intelligent mutators, popular culture is filled with zombies of every shape and form. The backstories vary as well, from “Oh noes a necromancer” to “Oh noes a virus” to “Oh noes… hell screw the plot, let me shoot something!” (see most modern horror movies for reference to this case). And, of course, they’re oh so much fun to kill in interesting ways.

Enter The Zombie Hunters. The hunters mentioned in the title are a group of people who have been infected with the virus that would turn them into zombies, but still retain their human form and minds. The best way to describe them would be “carriers”, but they have the potential to turn. Their jobs, since they are already infected, is to go out into the zombie-filled cities and scavenge supplies for themselves and the uninfected civilians that are kept in the military safe zones. It’s all degrees of thrilling heroics while they go hunting, plus decent story to keep you reading in the interim.

The backstory is pretty well developed, with detailed descriptions of the setting, virus, characters, and types of zombies available to read. Actually, the zombie types are pretty cool, they are all quite different (although you can definitely see the inspiration of L4D) and include the Hunter, Basilisk, Spitter, Berserker, and so on. They all have different personality and physical traits, and some include the ability to learn from their experiences. It’s all quite developed. And, like I said, the interpersonal exposition that always goes on between the violence in these kinds of stories is interesting enough that you won’t get bored halfway through.

The art is detailed and bloody. Almost every zombie is soaked with blood and featuring some horrific injury ranging from complex fractures to acid-burned limbs, all rendered in wonderful detail, as it should be. Put the kids to bed, folks. The characters are fairly well-drawn and the background detailed, and everything is well-colored (including the pestilent blood, I like, I like). The comic is set up in graphic novel form, so you might have to skip through the credits at the outset but it’s a small price to pay.

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes violence, or blood, or gore. Aka to everyone.

Don’t even try to deny it.

Oh, and ZOMBIES!



Kris Straub


Updates regularly

Chainsawsuit falls into one of those categories of “Pointless but funny” and yet pulls it off. The art is simplistic and the stories strange, but it is done in a good way, not simply a lazy one. Although there is no coherency to the flow of the comics, recurring characters such as the chefs, Cthulhu, etc. are present.

I do enjoy when authors do this, whether it serves as a distraction from the main plot (See CAD‘s Players 1-4 or QC’s Sweet Tits/Yelling Bird),  or serves as a way to tie what would be nothing more than utter randomness together (such as Joe Love Crappy Movie’s secret agent or Grimace). Utter randomness is very hard to pull off correctly, and few do it. I should rephrase that: few do it *well*.

Some of the humor is kind of boring, a step up from puns at a time. Most of it revolve around the “normal situation turns fantastical in a violent/silly” way, and it usually works. The whole “bait and switch” might not keep you for hours, but it’ll hold you for a while with saying “one more page”. One of the best ways to see if a comic is any good is to read a few, then a few more, and a few more, then before you know it you hit the main page. Chainsawsuit is one of the good ones in that you can read it front to back without thinking “Hmm, I could be doing something else, but I guess I’ll do this instead”. Its always just one more… just one more…you get the point. However, the humor quickly fades the second time around, so don’t expect it to be a classic favorite.

Straub does delve into popular culture every once in a while, mostly into video games and movie, but they typically are mainstream enough that you can get the joke just by watching commercials. So many commercials…they haunt me…

Overall: 3/5

At any rate, I’d say that chainsawsuit is worth checking out, at least for one run through. Like I said, it won’t be a huge, lasting impression, but if you are bored and have a hour to burn, it’s worth crawling though.

Somewhere Different

Somewhere Different

Mayura and RedRaine

About half a year


This may be a comic to keep an eye on, depending on where the story is taken. It’s fairly new, so very little has happened past the first chapter, but it could turn into something interesting. Or, like I fear, it could turn into mindless romance. The start already centered around a boy, the third wheel, being tormented by his dating friends’ lovey-dovey attitude. The “about” page describes what will be the future plot, but I’ll leave that to you lest I spoil the limited story. Like I said, this is something to watch, but I’m not holding my breath.

The art style is a basic kind of manga, although I do give the artist some leeway due to the new nature of the comic, so again we’ll have to let it develop. There is a lot of filler art, which is kind of annoying. I understand that it isn’t always possible to draw up a comic, but c’mon people. If you can draw an intricate picture, then you can draw a simpler comic.

Still, the comic holds promise, perhaps we’ll have to revisit it later.