Language in Comics – The Web Variant

Posted on: 20. April 2009

Hello to a new week!

I profusely apologize for the lack of articles last week – I set the initial bar of how often I would post during the week rather high, so I’m dialing it down a bit.

The topic for today is also a break from the usual – it will still deal with language, but in a more, humorous form.

I introduce to you, Achewood. A webcomic, yes, but oh what a genius comic it is. The first thing you will notice is that Onstad, the writer, focuses less on perfectly drawn and penciled characters – he has his own distinct style, but one would not be lying by calling it rather crude – but this is not the main appeal of the comic (although it complements the humor immensely).

No, what really makes this comic one of a kind is its intricate storylines, its character developments, the interaction between those characters, and just the way Onstad focuses different aspects of his personality in different comic characters – Philippe, who is five, might be a manifestation of past juvenile naiviety, or Ray, the (arguably) main protagonist of the comic, the carbon copy of an accomplished man with lot’sa fun on his mind. Pat, the asshole everyone knows (and has a little bit inside of himself) but still hangs out with, God knows why; Roast Beef, the extremely shy and correct cat that is so self-conscious and depressed that he can’t even swallow toast; Téodor, the original main protagonist and foremost cooking expert (also, ’sometime‘ nudist; Lyle, the drunk with many hidden stories and problems, but an overwhelming urge to drink whiskey and vomit in a straight trajectory; Mr. Cornelius Bear, the oldest and most traditional (preferring the ‚British way of doing things) of the lot.

I realize that I haven’t mentioned all the characters, and to do that I would shift away the focus of what is actually important – the comic. Read it. All of it, if you can – it really adds a depth to everything that makes your favorite TV show seem shallow in comparison. Funny, dramatic, just plain awesome, Achewood has it all, and believe me when I say, this is the best webcomic there is.


edit: I just found this forum post by editor James Wong that explains very nicely how Achewood grows on you. Oh, and don’t look at his avatat, trust me.

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