The webcomics blog about webcomics

Um, Your Honor?

Yesterday morning my presence in a juror pool was required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and while I ended up being excused for what must be one of the more random of small-world reasons (I had designed and printed holiday cards for the partner of one of the attorneys involved), it led me to come home and find out what comes up when you go looking online for “webcomics” and “jury duty.”

This idea worked out well; I’m still looking for new work to read since I’m determined not to write a column about the same webcomic more than once. (I don’t know how long that’s going to last, but I will name-check, relentlessly: High Maintenance Machine is back from hiatus! Hurrah! A new long work titled The Lower Kingdom from Bryant Paul Johnson is in the works! Hurrah! Gary got namechecked and pixellated! Hurrah! I got namechecked! Yikes!)

In sifting through the results, I found comics that extolled jury duty and others which used it as just one of many bad things which can befall someone, but I landed on John Rios’s Dead Days, which I’d never read before.

There’s a story about jury duty, obviously, but the comic, started in 2004, tackles a wide range of topics in relaying the day-to-day life of two college guys, like online social networking, cramming, superheroes, ridiculously funny wooing, car repair, and …icky girls!

The strip gets a little meta from time to time, as many do, but I really like the blocky style of the artwork, even in color, since it reminds me a bit of some of the other webcomics I read. It also wasn’t too difficult to read through the archives, since they’re well-organized, and the strip finds a good middle ground between 4-panel strips traditionally composed with an end punchline and longer continuing stories (as well as sometimes breaking from that 4-panel structure).

If only I’d found it before I went in for jury duty…

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