Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Elsewhere

Before I begin the more formal aspects of this review, I need to mention one remarkable thing about the highly recommended webcomic Elsewhere:  creator Stephen Waller draws this strip on the train as he commutes to work.  Heaven help the rest of our rankings should he actually do his work from a stationary location.  I can only imagine such work would be brilliant beyond tolerance, as the jostled commuter artwork is quite professional.

Done entirely in black and white, Elsewhere may best be described as a fantastical slice-of-life akin to Ugly Hill.  The circumstances are familiar, but the characters and reactions lie beyond reality in that place our imaginations wander.  Occasionally disturbing, it's never overtly so, instead requiring the reader to ponder the strip rather than simply relying on a visceral reaction.  It's unusual for short strip comics to attain an intellectual subtlety, but Elsewhere certainly does, whether by design or by the creators innate personality.

While the comic does not conform to a strict schedule, it updates frequently enough to maintain interest, sometimes several times a week, and as several comics are displayed at one time there's no need to click through to peruse comics you've not yet seen.

Fanciful, well written, visually pleasing, and certainly amusing, Elsewhere is a definite don't miss.