The webcomics blog about webcomics

What On Erf Do You Mean: “My Language”?

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.

Sex and Wiz Rollins? I’m So There

To start off the new-year, I decided to interview Wiz Rollins of Bad Shape and Yirmumah. This is gracious of Wiz, especially when most of his time is consumed with writing comics and straight chillin’.

Fleen: First off, I understand that you are now writing for Yirmumah. What is it like to work with D.J. Coffman?

Rollins: Contrary to internet lore, D.J.’s a pretty easy cat to get along with. He’s straight forward and willing to try new things-so long as there’s a good reason for the newness. I mean, if I were to say “Yo, got this idea. Let’s drop Drew and Calypso from the cast and make Tappy, the Tapdancing Ass, the main character,”…well, that’s not gonna fly with him.

Fleen: Coffman has a rather loyal fan base. How have the fans reacted to the partnership between you two?

Rollins: They guy’s readers are beyond loyal. Some would not only take a bullet for him, they’d catch it in their teeth, swallow it and then bust said cap in the would-be assassin’s ass-from their ass. Ass-on-ass violence. That’s the kind of loyalty you won’t see in Dilbert fans.

So, when D.J. first contacted me about writing for Yirmumah, he laid it out like this… I really dig your stuff (meaning Bad Shape) but the fans get the final word.

Fortunately for me, Yirmumah readers are a lot like D.J., straight forward and willing to try new things-so long as there’s a good reason for the newness. I think our collaborative work has given them all the reason they need, ’cause, so far, the fan reaction has been positive.