I realised I haven’t posted anything about what I’m currently reading for a long time. Hence, here is a post… with a difference. The ‘serious’ stuff that I’m reading (some paeds anaesthesia from Smith’s and Miller’s; The Naked Pilot by David Beaty, a work on the human factors in aviation safety; and “Come Up and Get Me,” Joe Kittinger’s biography of the early days of the space race) is all fascinating, but I have to admit that a lazy Saturday afternoon does lead me to partake in a guilty pastime: online comics. I’d thought I’d share a couple of my favourites, in case you’ve never met them and are missing out.
The byline should give you a pretty accurate idea of why I love XKCD; the dry quirky humour and occasional poignant cliffhangers tweak the chords of my soul. It’s usually irreverent, often irrelevant, sometimes requires me to hit Google or Wikipedia to understand (and learn something new) and occasionally lends a new perspective to something I’ve barely thought of before:
Go on, click the image to see it full size… brilliant.
If XKCD catches your fancy, it’s worth making a good pot of coffee and going right to the beginning of the archive and reading it all. Armchair discovery between laughs and groans. Oh, and don’t forget each and every mouse-over text.
QC is a tale of 20-to-30-something existential angst in a world that is almost exactly like ours, except for some minor differences… like computer AI’s have become sentient and live amongst us as companions. Some of the content is indeed questionable, but the characters are so beautifully delineated and have grown (and grown on me) over the years to the point that I can’t stop reading it. You have to start at the beginning to have much home of understanding what’s going on…and have a reasonable tolerance for occasional profanity and butts.
Almost equally worth browsing is QC’s online store: where else can you buy a “Cogito Ergo Nom” T-shirt?
Boy-oh…how do I describe AGAHF? Let’s see: A secret government research program into brain-implant chips crashes headlong into a few special people who can see ghosts and then ploughs through the paranoia workshop at a conspiracy theorist’s convention. Don’t know how to brief you on the talking koala with a genius IQ. Yet another comic that has been going for years and absolutely requires you to start at the beginning to have any hope of understanding what is going on, it is part political commentary, part action story with a philosophical treatise woven throughout. Oh, and there’s humour. Go figure.
While I’ve been reading these three for the longest (and most consistently), there are some great stories and webcomic out there to suit any taste. Give it a go 😉