Video games, books, podcasts, comics, tv, music, even philosophy or traditional art–as creative mediums, they all inhabit very different spaces, and I don’t want to ask us to argue over which is “best,” or which has created the greatest single work of art. Rather, I’m asking you to share one particularly formative work, one piece that you think is under-served by the general public, or one thing that you think fellow Waypointers would be happy to discover!
I know it’s tempting to barrage us with a whole lot of stuff, and I know I want to post a whole bunch of stuff too–how am I supposed to pick between We Know the Devil and Sufjan Stevens? Between Sandman: Overture and Welcome to Night Vale? That said, I’d request we stick to one real pitch per post, though you can feel free to come back later and try to introduce another thing to a new audience! (Honorable Mentions are cool, though. Feel free to add a line of those as an appendix, because I know I’m gonna, and this is my thread, so I can at least establish the direction we’re starting out in. Careful, this power’s going to my head)
You’re welcome to simply post a link or a name, but I also encourage you to give it a little description–what draws you to this thing? How does it excite you, expand your horizons, and/or subvert your expectations? Is it comfort food or something that pushed you to new ideas? Are there particular themes, characters, technologies, or ideas that the work shines light on in interesting ways?
I’d say take care not to spoil the work, and there’s absolutely no pressure to slap a wall of text up here, but a few paragraphs from you about why you care about a thing strikes me as the best way to sell that thing to other people, so–have fun!
Me first then, I imagine.
I think I’m going to lead off with Evan Dahm’s Rice Boy, a luridly colored, down-the-rabbit-hole style webcomic.
Dahm’s more recent work has matured a great deal, and his current webcomic is much more of a rigidly structured long-form epic. Rice Boy, his first major work in this setting, feels much more whimsical and playful–which is not to say it doesn’t have epic stakes, just that it follows in the sort of ad-libbed, travelogue style of Gene Wolfe and the like.
These comics are masterclasses of creating an alien setting that… nevertheless feels familiar, rooted in something, and using symbolic allusion to subvert Campbell’s Monomyth. For how free-form the comic feels in the process of reading, it’s also rooted in a very defined scope and arc, however, and Dahm ties it back together neatly for a surprisingly deft and stakes-heightening conclusion that isn’t satisfied to reassert the status quo.
As another plus, the comic isn’t super long! It’s 400 or so pages, a whole and complete work clocking in around a single broad graphic novel–I imagine it would only take a few hours to read from top to bottom. And from there, Dahm’s other works are readily and easily accessible on his site!