Unless you count alcohol or caffeine, I’ve never taken drugs recreationally. When I was in high school, and early college, I was very self-righteous about this. I considered myself ‘above’ because I didn’t partake. I had firmly bought my own crap, in reality. We often consider self-righteousness a negative characteristic because we know that no one on this planet is that perfect. I had my vices in high school, and in college, and still do today. “You hypocrite! First remove the beam out of your own eye,and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
One thing I do still believe is that you can have incredible experiences and make transcendent art with only what’s in your head, no additives needed. Some look at reality through a different set of lenses. Some create their own realities in their heads, as rich as anything perceived in the real world.
I don’t know if the creator of our Webcomic O’ the Week, Thunderpaw, needs any juice to jumpstart their creativity, or if they’re ultimately au naturel, but I’d like to believe its 100% them. I admit that when I started reading the comic to review for today, I wasn’t immediately sold on it. The color scheme is intense, the world is rent asunder in terrifying ways, and the edges between reality and fantasy are obviously deeply blurred for the characters. But it is those same characters that pulled me in, made me sit up and pay attention. So far, Thunderpaw is the story of two brothers, who wake up to an apparent armageddon, and are trying to voyage home. The real relationship between the two brothers (who are anthropomorphic canines, as every character in Thunderpaw appears to be) presents a stark contrast to the horrendous destruction being visited on their world.
Their story, and the fascinating artistic direction of the work, would be enough for me to recommend Thunderpaw, but the comic is also an incredible demonstration of what webcomics can be, what they can do that really no other medium can. Most of the pages are animated to various degrees, and this added motion deepens the reality of the world and the story. Thunderpaw should be held up as a shining example of the diverse stories that are enriched by being told on the web, and I hope you’ll add it to your reading list.
P.S. If you’re reading list is looking dry, don’t forget that we now have a compendium of all the things we appreciate, compiled for your pleasure under our ‘Stuff we like’ page.