Perhaps my favorite aspect of webcomics is that it is within their nature to showcase the growth and improvement of their creators. Often pet projects and experimental in design, webcomics are the chance for young or inexperienced cartoonists to find their voice and practice their craft on their own terms. But it’s a special and beautiful thing when a webcomic brings together multiple talented creators who can take a simple premise and nurture it to blossom into a great story.
Which brings me to Sister Claire, originally conceived by cartoonist Elena Barbarich (online name Yamino) as a school project that has since taken off with great success thanks to time, patience, and the brilliant collaboration between Barbarich and her writer wife, Ash. In its early stages, Sister Claire was a comical farce about an innocent but bumbling nun named Claire who, after receiving a visitation through the toilet by a mysterious blue angel, is immaculately impregnated with the savior of the world. Along the way she must save her mentor Catherine from a terrible curse and learn the art of nun-fu, all while keeping her pregnancy a secret from her fellow nuns–and that’s just the start.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Never has the act of eating shrimp induced so much cringe, and that’s from someone who really hates shrimp.
Long before The Static Speaks My Name introduces Objective 5, it’s clear that there is something very, very wrong. You might be able to dismiss the painting of shrimp on the wall captioned with “My Babies,” but the boarded up windows and rows of static-y TV screens serve as a pretty unsubtle note of wrongness in case you’re the kind of person who really does refer to your pets as your babies. There’s even a room lined with identical paintings of palm trees to heighten the surreality and creepiness of your house. Turn the corner and there’s a noose on the washing machine, because that’s definitely a normal thing to keep around the house.
The Static Speaks My Name is not for the faint of heart. I’ve played creepier and darker games, but there’s an extra edge added by the first person point of view. Some scenes are blackly comedic, but even the bits that make you laugh at the absurdity contribute to the overall sense of unease that permeates the game.
At the risk of spoiling the game, here are some warnings below the cut:
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
“Look, who’s the talking bear here? Is it you? Are you the talking fucking bear? All right. So shut the fuck up.” —Quentin Coldwater
This line basically sums up how any twenty-something would react had they trained for several years in an elite magicians’ boarding school, spent a couple years boozing after realizing the real world didn’t have much demand for wizards, and then was dumped in a magical world of talking animals for no discernible purpose.
Forget Pottermore. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is the grown-up Harry Potter had Potter been played by Holden Caulfield. It’s bleak. It’s funny. It’s heartbreaking, because for all its whimsical games of welters, its magical school with the bee mascot stitched into uniforms, and rumors of a ghost girl stuck in a mirror, it feels so real.
Things don’t go wrong because the magic makes these kids neurotic–the problem here is that these neurotic kids have magic.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Andy Warhol is a household name, but for someone who was so mysterious and ahead of his time, it’s almost more intriguing to examine his muse. Edie Sedgwick’s silent screen test for Warhol is one of undeniable beauty, capturing a rare moment of calmness in what was seemingly an ever-changing and concerning life.
This video, in retrospect, carries an eerie quality to it that only manages to hit harder knowing the fate of the beloved woman who fills the center of the frame. However, one thing is as alive and apparent as ever in these 90 short seconds — an icon’s ability to charm the camera, even without speaking a single word.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Noah Cicero’s exquisite poetry collection Bipolar Cowboy dances between the fine line that divides love and mental illness, all while taking the readers on a roller coaster ride through the recesses of the human heart.
Most of his pieces muse on what it feels like to love someone with your whole heart. Each poem evokes incredible emotions, from the giddy joy of falling in love for the first time to the depression that comes with mending a broken heart. The emotionally-charged poems go on to explore how love is the defining moment of our lives, but if we experience heartbreak, it is difficult to keep going since we feel as if we’ve lost a part of us.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
Adult Swim’s 4 a.m. show devoted to weirdness and animation (the same show that brought us Too Many Cooks), premiered this mind-bending video for Dan Deacon’s ode to death, “When I Was Done Dying.” With the help of nine animators, including The Absolute fave Jake Fried, the epic video goes on a surreal journey through the afterlife. Flowing from one animation style to the next, the video is a sprawling opus that can be watched again and again. We liked it so much, we whipped up a couple of GIFs to highlight how stunning this thing is. Of course, you can watch the video in full below. Don’t forget to check out interviews with each animator via Off the Air’s tumblr.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
Jay McInerney is no stranger to the literary scene. In fact, his quick reading novel about the fast-moving, ever-changing lives of New York City (and the youth that inhabits it) is one of the few popularized stories that has ever made use of the second person perspective throughout the entirety of its text. I’m talking about Bright Lights, Big City, of course.
Mcinnerney’s masterpiece tells the tale of a man on downward spiral, riddled with drug use, depression, and all the tragedies that befall the young. This story hits home thanks to its voice, and while it’s certainly not a “choose your own adventure” book, it really gets YOU thinking.
After all, as its opening line reads: “You’re not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning.” Or are you?
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, March 26th, 2015||No Comments »|