Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Nineteenth Century Industrialist

The Nineteenth Century Industrialist is... different. Half story comic, half gag-a-day, the strip seems to relish defying both convention and definition. The premise is simple enough, factory owner Hiram Thorpe is in the wrong century - but rather than conforming to the times, he continues to live as though he were still in his own. A century not exactly known for it's human rights and environmental championing.

Don't mistake the premise for a story line though - it's more of a launching point, a stage prop even. The comic itself is pointless... but pointless by design. It's not as though the creator set out to write a cohesive story and simply failed, the chaos is clearly intentional and actually well done. Each of the characters has a fairly straight forward and easily discerned personality and that offers enough consistency to tie each individual strip to the others.

The humor isn't exactly dry... it's sort of laced with an inherent sadness. A sense of entitlement that clashes with our current cultural norms in such a way that a humorous skin is formed. I do realize how unflattering that sounds, but I do enjoy the comic. It's not a laugh out loud frolic, but it's general mood alone makes it worth reading.

The artwork is a zany simplicity. Stylistically sketchy, the line work lends an added dimension to the anatomy bending physiology of the character designs and the sparse yet appropriate backgrounds. Slave Labor Graphics fans are likely to notice what seems to be the creator's primary influence as quickly as I did, in fact, I'd be shocked to learn my initial impressions were incorrect.

The comic is hosted on Comic Genesis and utilizes OhNoRobot for easy archive searching. The web design is sparse, but easy to navigate and devoid of distraction. I would be appreciate a bit of information in the form of an About page, but I suppose I can live with the mystery for now. The Nineteenth Century Industrialist updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Jump on in, the century is fine.