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Achewood by Chris Onstad. March 5, 2003.

Achewood by Chris Onstad. March 5, 2003.

Achewood is, without a doubt, one of my favorite things. Chris Onstad’s webcomic has influenced my sense of humor and my writing, as well as providing a model for truly unique self-published work that can can an audience and a rabid fan base.

In a piece on Deadshirt.net, Max Robinson examines one of the main magic draws behind the black-and-white comic – the language. Achewood slang has entered my vernacular, but it can leave the uninitiated scratching their heads.

It’s clear that Onstad puts a staggering amount of thought and effort into considering language when writing Achewood. Not only do his turns of phrase, his word choices inform the characters that make up the strip, they give the strip as a whole a flavor of it’s own; a lyrical energy that keeps us returning in spite of delays and personal hiatuses. I don’t know that you can totally explain why something’s funny but once you get past the initial language barriers of Achewood, there’s a sweet spot you enter as a reader, where the comic genius of Ray trotting out “Horse Dogg Maniac” is enhanced a hundred-fold because now you’re in on the joke.

“‘Damn. This is a thing, isn’t it?’ The Language of Achewood” at Deadshirt.net

“tereshkova” by Philip Bond / Flickr

Comic artist Philip Bond’s illustrated “portraits” of female astronauts are amazing. He describes how he started the project:

Working for months at a time just penciling a comic book I started these portraits to get a bit of inking and colouring out of my system. I shouldn’t say ‘portraits’, I’m not going for much of a likeness. Usually I’ll glance at a couple of photographs and then go off and draw a vague impression. Margaret Seddon is blonde, Judith Resnik is a bit barmy looking, that sort of thing.

“astronauts” by Philip Bond on Flickr