Applegeeks is another of the comics I came across at ConnectiCon, though it’s one I’d actually read recently. The comic itself is divided into the primary story-comic and a thrice-weekly black & white strip used for jokes and whims. That’s not to say that Applegeeks itself doesn’t delve into whimsy and silliness from time to time; it does, and quite successfully. The main comic updates more randomly, however, and often has spectacular artwork and a storyline that borders on the surreal.
The catalyst that drove Applegeeks from jokes to storyline has to be Eve, an Apple-based android created by Apple-afficiando Hawk. Fortunately for Eve, she rebelled from Hawk’s computer control soon after her initial activation (else he’d drool all over her as an Apple product). Still, this led to two separate storylines which shifted Applegeeks’ storyline from humorous to dramatic, with the story remaining a tad more serious with the aftermath of the second Eve storyline.
Interestingly, the artwork itself shifts with the story style, with an anime-feel to the art when the story is comedic in nature, and a shift toward realistic imagery with the advent of a serious storyline. Indeed, during the height of the Eve storyline, Mohammad Haque’s artwork was firmly grounded in the realistic style (this is perhaps ironic seeing that it was revolving around an Apple-technology android with plasma shields and the like). However, it’s the characterization and interplay between Hawk’s friends that truly makes this comic worth reading, whether in the height of a storyline or during a one-shot humor piece.
Comedity is a surreal comic that bounces between jokes and story shorts. Indeed, sometimes you have no idea what direction this comic will take, and strips that appear to be precursors for short story segments end up as oneshots, while others that appear destined for one-shot fame (such as when Garth and Larom decided to become superheroes) end up with actual storylines.
Yet for some reason, undoubtedly the utter chaos behind the whims (and behind the character of Garth himself), I quickly fell in love with the comic. (Perhaps it was the Muse. I know that Muse, she taunts me frequently.) Still, Garth Graham manages to bring his characters to life (partly due to their being inspired by real-life people, no doubt) and then to get me to care about these characters. And that includes the multiple aspects of Garth lounging around in his head.
That’s a key part to this comic, the insanity that lies in Garth’s head and the various aspects of him. Sometimes we (and for that matter Garth) aren’t quite sure where reality ends and his reality begins, and how much a part of that insanity his friends are. And that is what the comic is: insanity. It’s a fantastic sort of insanity, but it’s madness nonetheless.
Back when I started reading print comics in college, I came across an often-hilarious manga-style comic called Ninja High School, by Antarctic Press. NHS was a breath of fresh air compared to comics even in the 90s by Marvel and DC, and even though I stopped reading it a decade ago, I remember it fondly. I was reminded of NHS when I started perusing the archives of Paradox Lost, which is about the adventures of Trent Bengal and an assortment of people around him.
However, while PL may have hot female aliens and ninja girls, it has a story quite unique to itself. Early comics bounce all over the place with only traces of a plot, but after an industrial espionage attempt by Jekka, the ninja girl, we get drawn into a fight scene lasting eight updates. When you factor in that RL was updating weekly or worse at this time (with frequent fan-art to cover missed updates)… well, RL is popular from the sounds of it. I just wonder at times how this came about with an update schedule that falters early on.
For that matter, we also go eight updates for a conflict set in outer space with the alien girl, Tira, as she faces down against two space pirate ships that easily outgun her. And unfortunately, the comic has bounced back and forth from hiatus to update to hiatus again. The artwork is beautiful (if you like manga; I do), and the characters seem interesting enough. But without an actual update schedule, I can’t honestly suggest this comic for more than a quick read and checking up on every month or so.