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bLink 36

Online comics that bring bananas to your dawgs.

By Thom Wong 13 Jun 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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36th of 40 bLinks.

Other than purveyors of porn, the people who have benefited most from the internet are aspiring writers. Apart from blogs, there are online services that allow you to publish limited runs of a novel. And of course there are a million specialty sites, catering to ever more specific and esoteric tastes: poems about cats, essays on party etiquette, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction, for example. (Read the last one only if you don't mind letting your mind implode.)

Lately, I've been enjoying some online comics, a form particularly suited to the graphically intensive web experience. Broken Saints married flash to traditional static art and found a niche it's still exploring, leading to DVD sales and iPod compatibility. The site quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, winning awards at Sundance and encouraging a legion of fans to take pictures of themselves around the world wearing Saints gear.

By far my two online comic favourites are Questionable Content and Able & Baker. Questionable Content tells the story of Martin, an Emo-ish culture geek and his friends Faye and Dora, and their attempt to negotiate a world where musical choices mean more than political ones. The strip is especially interesting to see the artistic evolution of creator J. Jacques -- the difference between the first strips and the current ones is striking.

Able & Baker features a monkey and sheep who are volunteers in the space program. There is also a bipolar life coach hamster named Quincy. The strip is almost impossible to explain, but includes lines such as "It's like I've strapped banana cream pies to my dawgs, yo," and "Here are my plans for a koala bear rodeo this weekend." What can I say -- I have a soft spot for wicked one-liners. Definitely click on the archive and read from the beginning; it will be four hours well spent.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Tuesday and Thursday on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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