2/17/2012 - Sam and Fuzzy - Sandra and Woo

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You know how to tell when a habit has become really bad? When you can't hide it anymore from friends and family. So far in the last week I've told several friends that I have been not sleeping Thursday nights, with the added question: is this a bad thing? I didn't get much of an answer, but the first time they were drunk so I understand if they didn't really think too hard about it. Speaking of, I'm thinking of uploading on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to help combat this problem, I think moving my week around a bit would really help me concentrate and not procrastinate. So, sometime soon I may begin updating on a different day, I will hate breaking my near-perfect record of updating every Friday for the last year and a half but sometimes sacrifices must be made.

In Family Matters we have our first instance of family mattering! I guess, mainly it's just Son using "Family!" as a battlecry for Daughter fessing up. Also it was Valentines day, so a few people give out cards to the people they love, hopefully they're not complete surprises. And at the end Daughter finally decides to make a brave confession, so next week I have to figure out how the Family handles it! Then in My Mind of Murder we have our epic fight, father against son in a titanic duel of combat lances and ... oh, it is over already? So, it turns out being a fully-trained Guardian makes you a bit better in combat. Oh well, sucks to be ... wait, did he ... ? Then Helio has a long discussion with a very powerful man about the benefits of having a meek side, which I had a hard time ending! After all, the Father just could not be pursuaded!

Sam & Fuzzy
by Sam Logan

Home: samandfuzzy.com/
First: samandfuzzy.com/1

It's a common misconception that every story ends up exactly how it was first envisioned, that it hasn't changed or gone through previous versions. A certain character may have lived before in another story, in another world and with another life. Settings and premises get re-used, sometimes enough that they may be called a franchise, even when there is little continuity between them. Fantastic stories generally take time to develop, time to become fantastic, but we usually don't see that with mainstream publications because those previous versions are never shown. Not so with the Internet and webcomics, where early mistakes are more often seen, remembered and occasionally even glorified. Take the past of this comic: our heroes started out as a pair of society-criticizing man and small bear thing, working as taxi drivers and occasionally causing havoc. The guy was constantly worried, and with good reason, his best friend the bear was about as dangerous as a lightsaber is to a normal person and twice as real. They made fun of sweater pants, politics and reviews … but then the plot hit them like a sack of bricks when the guy took a gig too big for him. Several ninja mafioso later and he needed a new job, only for that to end up with him becoming heir apparent to the mafia ninja throne. He defeated record studio executives at their own game, re-envisioned a secret empire and finally found in himself a sense of responsibility and purpose. He would help people! Help people with things too weird for normal everyday society! Perhaps he began as a simple voice-box for the artist to speak of the world's ills, representing every guy who has been broke in a dead-end job and with a series of bad relationships … but today, he is the protagonist of an awesome webcomic about a world a bit weirder than our own. The art has evolved like crazy, still a black-and-white comic, you should definitely read from volume zero if you have the time but the more-recent material has a few decent jumping-off points too.

Why you should read this: The (slightly silly at times) ninjas, some of whom are basically just dudes in ski masks while others were hardened killers from birth. The schedule, not many comics can update this frequently and stay this good.

Why you shouldn't read this: If you have an aversion to the macabre and bloody, there's been several segments of extreme violence and at least one reoccurring disembodied head. This comic definitely has some social views to express, mostly through outlandishly evil corporate executives but more generally in making fun of human foibles.

Other cool stuff: It's pretty cool how many ways you can browse the archive, while the Features page has all the old Christmas "specials" and guest comics … all of which are in the archives already. Buy a book and you get free stuff from the members club, buy a shirt and you'll have something witty to wear! Or go read the spin-off comic, featuring the adorably violent Skull Panda, definitely not a side project of this comic's artist.

Sandra and Woo
by Powree and Oliver Knörzer

Home: www.sandraandwoo.com/
First: www.sandraandwoo.com/2000/01/0…

The talking animal trope always raises a few odd questions, beyond the obvious, "How the heck did that happen?" Does learning to speak a human language make it more difficult for that animal to communicate with other animals? Do the sounds they produce sound like anything a human would normally make? Does speaking Human-ese change their behaviors or attitudes, does it make it possible for the animal to understand human emotions and concepts? Language being so important to the human species, does speaking cause the animal to become in some sense human, in the same way that a human with wings might be called a bird? In this comic, our resident talking animal is a raccoon who finds a home with a human family as their pet. He and the daughter soon become fast friends as the duo deal with bullies, friends, family and love. Both have obvious love interests, both are missing family members and both form only a few close friendly bonds with others. So far this comic might sound family safe, and to a large extent it is, but there is some dark or adult humor; the raccoon makes the girl a laughingstock at school when he uses her online profile to Like a few internet videos of raccoons having sex, and if not for the girl's sword-master friend the raccoon would have been wolf chow in a recent story of a river-rafting trip gone bad. Another major element of the comic is parody and shout-outs to other popular franchises; Calvin and Hobbs is an obvious inspiration at several points, and the Final Fantasy games get several mentions. Story arcs can be anywhere from a page or two, to epics ranging over ten or twenty pages, the art is very professional with a newspaper feel and color is being added retroactively by the new colorist.

Why you should read this: The comic seems to pride itself on realism when it comes to nature and animals, or at least comic-world realism, so you'll learn a few things, mostly about raccoons. For the pop culture shout-outs, they make up about half of the comic's material.

Why you shouldn't read this: The love interest stuff can be anywhere from over the top (why do the twelve-year-old kids keep making out?!) to super sappy. The political views expressed, especially centered on the people of Burma; it's not a bad thing to talk about but it is very depressing, especially if all you wanted was a lighthearted comic.

Other cool stuff: The cast page is great for listing a character's first appearance, if a bit short. The Artwork page has some nice wallpapers and other short comics by the artist, but the coolest thing is that you can see the sample work from other artists interested in drawing for the comic back before it started. There's a few other great comics on the Links page, or you can go read this team's fantasy comic, titled Gaia.
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