So when two so very different people as Howard Tayler (upstanding SLC family man destined for heaven) and Jon Rosenberg (insane NYC whackjob headin’ straight to Hades) both tell me to check out a new webcomic, I figure there’s gotta be something there. And when said webcomic shares a collective with Order of the Stick, is written and drawn by established creators, and is opened up under a Creative Commons license that allows remixing, then it’s pretty much a no-brainer.
Thus, Erfworld. It’s every fantasy, RPG, and gamer geek trope rolled into one, with Giant Magical Elvises (Elvii?) and speech impediments thrown in for good measure. Short version: the idiot Lord Stanley, attempting to conquer the world, has managed to decimate his own forces by putting a series of prettyboys in high military offices. His chief magic slinger, Lady Firebaugh, has a plan to import the ultimate tactical genius (from whatever dimension) to take over the army and prevent Gobwin Knob from being destroyed.
But it looks like they got Parson Gotti, a semi-depressed gamemaster/webcomics creator who works at Kinkos and waits for marshmallow peeps to get good ‘n’ stale before eating them. Clearly, Parson getting imported into a fantasy game world is the key setup of the story, and we’ve only just gotten there (Balder and Noguchi have taken their time setting up the world and its rules), so there’s lots of potential in front of us.
Given that the plot is just getting started, what I’m really digging most right now are the little details and touchstones that populate each page; it’s hard to tell if a magic communicating hat that accepts messages with a POOF and delivers them with a FOOP was Balder’s idea or Noguchi’s, but it’s hilarious. Likewise, keep an eye open for obligatory Tolkien references, IM without technology, poop jokes, turn-based game references and comically oversize weapons, graphical memes and leetspeak, more poop jokes, Watchmen references, and Tron references with more cleavage than Jeff Bridges ever dreamt of.
And what the hell — if you actually followed all those links, you’ve read most of Erfworld already, so you may as well read the rest. It’s good stuff.