Webcomics Are Still the New Blogs: A Bit More on Achewood

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I’m going to add a short addendum to my Achewood post the other day, since it got mad comments, and I could use the traffic.

Most of the comments were people saying, in various eloquent ways, that Achewood is awesome. With which I concur. Someone pointed out that I didn’t mention the blogs for the various characters, which is totally true. Achewood’s creator, Chris Onstad (did I even mention his name?), on top of writing and drawing the strip, maintains blogs in the voices of his various creations. Which, you know, holy crap, I can barely blog as myself, and I’m not even fictional. (Roast Beef also publishes a zine called Man Why You Even Got to Do a Thing, and Nice Pete has written a couple of books.) The sheer richness and vitality and thought-out-ness of the Achewood universe, the living detail in which it exists and evolves, are just remarkable. The only comparable undertaking I can think of is the Homestar Runner universe.

A lot of people posted favorite strips and story arcs. I guess I’ll call out a few of mine, some of which I mentioned last week. My favorites tend to be the sad ones…

Roast Beef goes to the moon.

Ray goes to Hell. There is balm in Gilead.

Nice Pete Takes Off with Philippe. Beautiful. Nobody does rain quite like Achewood.

Cartilage Head. In which Ray is exposed as a coward. Some of that beautiful art I mentioned.

The Great Outdoor Fight. Three days. Three acres. Three THOUSAND men! There’s some disturbingly gorey art in this sequence, at least by my wussy standards, but otherwise: rude. (And I’m sorry I called Beef a loser. I just meant — never mind. In this one he says a true thing about nerds.)

Philippe goes searching for his lost couch at the transfer station. Philippe, a 5-year-old otter, is the baby of the Achewood family, and there’s something brilliant about the way he’s written: very sweet, but occasionally selfish and spiteful, the way real little kids are. Please don’t read this unless you’re prepared to cry. Actually cry. To love, to hurt! Is life!

(And just to clarify: I’m a staff writer at Time, mostly doing this blog in my spare time. It’s just me, no editors, so you’ll see it deviate in places from the usual Time style and Time voice and Time editorial tone.)