The webcomics blog about webcomics

Not Ryan Estrada. Really And Truly.

But before I go too much further away from that topic: for the record, I am dead impressed. That’s amazing and kind of crazy. Please keep sending in webcomics suggestions; I’m still trying to build up a little bit of a buffer of reviews while I start work on some items for future columns, including (with any luck) a post-SPX interview with Matthew Reidsma about webcomics, more about webcomics and print, and maybe a piece ramping up to SPX….and my cool new bumpersticker, maybe.

Anyway, after a little time away from the computer (which was ideal and exactly what I needed, despite the grief I got from a bunch of my comics-minded colleagues at a recent get-together), I returned from my digital sabbatical to find an email from a friend of mine recommending Michelle Au’s Scutmonkey. Scutmonkey is a comic series (available online as well as formerly in print–I think it’s sold out at present) that Au started in the spring of 2003 about medical school and residency and such. It’s a fascinating (and wickedly funny) peek into a world most of us likely know very little about. Her FAQ section pretty deftly handles any ethical twinges you might be having (in theory at least) about the subject matter, and she’s got such a great sense of humor about the weird quirks of her job that’s it’s almost impossible–for me at least–to stop reading. Part of it are the quirky expressions on some of her characters, part of it is my autobio bent, and part is because it’s just weirdly compelling to me. It’s easy to read and interesting.

While Au is primarily a blogger, her blog does have her comics posted (and current ones, mind), when she isn’t busy with lots of other things (including, yes, really being a doctor. How awesome is that?). She also has two Scutmonkey submissions–“The Great Escape” and “Burn Baby Burn”–written by other folks working in healthcare, one of whom makes a grand escape and the other by a ‘beeper doc’ frustrated by particular restrictions about ways to convey instructions.

Again, Scutmonkey’s another webcomic I’d never seen (though, on that topic, I have to point you toward this cool article by Adrian of Count Your Sheep fame, which I totally enjoyed reading). I had an almost instant affinity for Scutmonkey because it visually reminds me so much of this zine called Velvet Grass that I loved, years and years ago. Au’s linework is bold and accessible, and at no point does any of the medical stuff sail over the heads of her readership. Even the ones which seem like they’d need some kind of medical context knowledge, like “The 12 Types of Med Students,” are more than able to stand on their own and are well worth the time it’ll take to have a look.

You need to add a .com to the Scutmonkey URL.

Usually, I’m not the sort to click on banners, often just dismissing them as visual chaff. But recently I’ve been clicking on random ones, just to see what kind of stuff I might be missing out on.

Also, I’ll throw my comic up for dissection, purely for kicks. Thine appellation it is called, and I’m always too sheepish to post it anywhere. But here goes; I’m clicking post before I get a chance to change my mind!

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