Webcomics

I’ve been reading webcomics for several years now. I think it started with Ctrl+Alt+Del or maybe the discontinued Mall Monkeys, which is still readable thanks to The Wayback Machine!).

I only follow one comic that originated in print media: Dilbert. To be honest, it’s not laugh out loud funny, but sometimes it just hits the right spot with its sometimes violent office humour and makes me chuckle. Like this one:

Another long time favourite of mine is Cat and Girl, which is another hit or miss type of thing. It’s not always meant to be funny, but some sort of social commentary, I guess. Here’s one I liked:

There are also a few webcomics that can be seen as classics, even though they’ve existed for much less time than Garfield or Calvin and Hobbes. One of the most popular is xkcd, which has its strips voted very high on digg on a regular basis. There’s one thing about xkcd, that I’m not sure everyone knows: If you hold the mouse on top of the comic you get a little bonus sentence, which usually tops it off quite well. Try it!

Another great one is Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It pretty much goes in the same category with xkcd, in that is has some smartsy humour, which sometimes is beyond me. Might be the funniest one I read, because it surprises me regularly with TRUE HILARITY. The latest one succeeds at that:

Continuing with the smartsy ones, here’s DOGHOUSEDIARIES. It often compares men and women, and sometimes it’s just a graph, and the humour is often observational. The style is similar to xkcd, in that it’s simple and to the point (and it  has the “secret” hold-your-mouse-on-top-of-image-for-extra-content). I’m not saying that everyone could draw this, but it won’t take you five years in art school to be able to draw these images. It’s the content that matters:

Spud Comics reminds me of classic newspaper cartoons in that it’s more dull than funny, but I keep following, because of gems like this:

There’s only one purely skeptic/atheistic comic I follow and it’s called Jesus and Mo. Mo is short for Mohammed and Jesus is well.. Jesus Christ. It also features The Barmaid, the voice of reason, and Moses, the voice of new age spirituality gone horribly wrong. It pretty much always makes fun of Islam and Christianity. (WARNING: CONTAINS IMAGES OF MOHAMMED… You’ve been warned)

The next one is a bit esoteric. POPSTRIP is the longest comic I know. As in that the average amount of panels per strip is somewhere closer to 50. This is a shorter one though:

AmazingSuperPowers is a new one for me. It’s really well drawn, which sets it apart from the stick-figure webcomics. Here’s a strip containing some tongue-in-cheek social commentary:

Cyanide & Happiness may be considered offensive by many, and it doesn’t really hold punches. They also make videos, which are hilarious, but here’s a comic:

That’s it! All the comics I read on a regular basis. Phew, this post took ages to write. Hope you find a few ones you like and maybe you’ll continue reading in the future!

Review: Alice in Chains – Dirt

This week’s album review is of an album I feel like I might be listening to a lot in the future. Dirt is the second album released by Alice in Chains way back in the year of 1992 (when yours truly only was 6 years old). I’ve never really gotten a grip of Alice in Chains before. I always liked the songs Rooster, Would? and a few others, but somehow interest beyond that eluded me. One evening I decided to give it a shot, though, and I listened to Dirt thoroughly and realized it is AWESOME. My current favourite tracks are Them Bones, Rain When I Die, Hate to Feel and God Smack.

I think the element that fascinates me most about this album is the same element that I really love in Nirvana: None of the songs sound the same. There are a lot of cool, experimental things found in every song, e.g. Them Bones has the 7/8 guitar riff, God Smack has the weird vibrato vocal, the unconventional rhythm and stops in the Hate to Feel chorus, etc. Every song has something that sets it apart from the other songs, which keeps the album interesting all the way through. The lyrics on the album deal with war, addiction and other gloomy themes, so it might be a bit of a downer, if you’re in a happy mood.

Track listing

1. Them Bones
2. Dam That River
3. Rain When I Die
4. Down in a Hole
5. Sickman
6. Rooster
7. Junkhead
8. Dirt
9. God Smack
10. Iron Gland
11. Hate to Feel
12. Angry Chair
13. Would?

Album review: Myotonia – Myotonia (2007)

Myotonia is the self-titled album released by Myotonia, a 5-man band hailing from Oakland, California.  The band quit playing together in the end of 2008. I discovered this album a few years ago when looking for new music on the internet and having never heard anything quite like it I didn’t really know what to think. The only band I could think of that was close was Meshuggah.

Having listened to the album for a few years now I’ve come to this conclusion: This album is without doubt one of the tightest, loudest noises ever recorded. The album’s first track begins with a full band assault of your eardrums. No intro that slowly builds up, no basic guitar riff times four and then the band comes in, just an explosion of sound. The music has complex structures with slower breakdowns, where everyone seems to drift apart from each other, only to join together in another blast of music. There are new things to hear every time you listen to a song; so many elements that go unnoticed until you’ve listened to a song several times. Another interesting things are the rhythms, relying heavily on Meshuggah type odd timings, that at first seem to make no sense, but once listened to several times you’ll find the patterns. One of these realizations happened to me while listening to Got Cat, which has one of the most awesome outros recorded ever. The intro of Got Cat has a beat of 7 + 7 + 2, which took me some time to figure out. Anyway,

There was a time when I listened to nothing else but this album for hours, which is physically fatiguing, and I noticed I was getting headaches… which only shows how awesome this music is. 😀 This album has inspired me as a musician a lot and I think everyone who likes progressive metal, extreme metal or anything like that, should give this album a listen. At least check out a few of the songs for free on Myotonia’s MySpace page, and if you like the songs you can buy them on iTunes or Myotonia’s CD Baby page.

Track listing:

1. Total Protonic Reversal
2. Got Cat
3. Industrial Melanoma
4. Alligator Fukhaus
5. Art of an Exit
6. Tunnel Gag
7. Media Vision
8. Reverse Birth Tactics