Review El Goonish Shive by Dan Shive

Okay, the name is a mouthful.  I had to go into the FAQ section of the Webcomic to get an explanation from the creator.  I could explain, but I’ll just quote him as saying it is “…nonsense followed by my last name.”  However unpronounceable the title, the content is quite funny!

When starting to read a Webcomic, I start at the beginning. In their infancy, the first handful of strips are generally pretty bad.

This comic embraces the badness. What’s more is they embrace it in a decidedly humorous way.  How could you not appreciate that?!

Not only do the first few strips embrace the ‘suck’, but they do it in a way that is funny and familiar.  The simplicity of the drawing and it’s sharp wit works for the comic. In a way, it is reminiscent of one of my favorite comics, ‘Bloom County.’

There are other interesting similarities. Maybe a ‘guest’ appearance in the first slew of comics alone.  I leave it to you to discover them for yourself when you start reading!

Read for yourself at

Review of Derelict

Action Scene from DerelictThe first 64 pages of Derelict were un-put-downable!

I usually give a Webcomic 5 pages to hook me, but Ben Fleuter (the creator) has gotten me all the way to 154 pages without knowing how! Maybe it was the art; it’s gorgeous.

It might be because there is no meaningful dialogue until page 12. And even then it’s just the main character having a monologue. Before that performs a series of action.

The panels where the character reaches up to ‘catch’ a star works particularly well for me.

I have seen other artists attempt something similar and get nowhere near the import that this had.

Beyond the art, I find that Fleuter has surprised me.

The comic introduces to two thugs who stole the lead characters boat, abandoning her in a dangerous place. While they were making their escape, one says to the other that they had just done something bad. He references they could have taken the girl along with them if only they rationed the food.

I immediately assumed that these ‘thugs’ would run into our lead again. And though they would at first resent one another, they would be somehow forced to travel together. This would give rise to a deep abiding friendship.


They do meet again but … I can’t bring myself to ruin it for you. But it is sad. The point is, I was already emotionally invested in characters whom I had not known for 20 pages! I will be reading more of this, you should too!

Read the comic is at

Derelict the Comic