The webcomics blog about webcomics

Speaking Of Niche Strips

So “school” is a pretty popular location for entertainments of various types. It lets you attract kids (and their hefty allowances) as a primary audience, because it relates to their everyday experience. If you set said entertainment into the “high school” setting, it lets you attract creepy borderline pedophiles (an undertapped economic cohort) as a secondary audience, because it lets you put (possibly underage, or meant to be) oversexualized fantasy objects into key roles. It even lets you recontextualize traditional adult entertainments making them “fresh” and “hip”, leading to mystery, melodrama, horror, soap opera and the rest. And they’re almost always from the perspective of the kids. ‘Cause teachers are boring, man.

Or, at least just like the rest of us. Work is absurd sometimes. Lessons come from unlikely places. And sometimes, there’s little triumphs to be found in the misfortune of others. Thus, actual teacher Robert Anke’s new webcomic, Running In The Halls. It’s a bit awkward to navigate (being based in WordPress), but the archive is small so it’s not too bad for now. The art is a bit primitive, but already showing more detail in later strips than earlier ones; give it a year, and it’ll probably look as good as Unshelved. The humor follows the classic setup-setup-pause-punchline of the newspaper comic strip, but still manages to keep an absurdist edge. 

Presumably drawing from classroom experience, Anke is sharing with us a taste of being a teacher; one gets the feeling that much of what we’re seeing is taken from the best you won’t believe what happened to me at work stories that we all share with our friends over sophisticated adult beverages. And that right there is the universal message of Running In The Halls: teaching’s a job (just like yours), kids are kids (no matter how many antennae), and the right words can put you in a good mood all day long. Keep an eye on this one; it’s clearly just finding its legs, but in a year, it could really be something.

You hit my message on the head. I couldn’t have articulated it until I read what you wrote. Thanks for the read, the review, and the nod to the potential. Nice site! Great resource!

[…] That was almost as far as I got, because Hitmen For Destiny is, sad to say, damn ugly. Not merely primitive in its art, but really, really, eye-hurtingly painful. Holy Assmaster I thought, it’s User […]

[…] from the past: Robert Anke, whom you may remember from the miserable annals of this page (where he is duly enshrined), would like you to know that he has collected all his […]

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