Nimona: sweet, funny fantasy webcomic about villains, sidekicks and so-called heroes


Noelle Stevenson's "Nimona" is a great, lighthearted (but full-throated) serial fantasy webcomic about the complex relationship between heroes and villains. It's well into its ninth chapter, and is slated for collection in a graphic novel in 2015.

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Christopher Columbus: raping, murdering, enslaving, genocidal pedophile


The latest of The Oatmeal makes a pretty compelling case for hating Christopher Columbus, whose achievements ("discovering" America, sailing from Europe to America, proving the curvature of the Earth) are all BS. More importantly, though, is what Columbus did do: launched a campaign of genocide in order to terrorize indigenous people gold-mining slavery, a program buoyed up by mass slaughter, mutilations, and systematic sexual slavery of girls as young as nine or ten.

Matthew Inman, the Oatmeal's author, proposes celebrating the life of Barolome de las Casas, who also set out to slave and murder his way through the New World, but changed his mind, took the cloth, and spent 50 years defending indigenous people. That's a nice idea, but if we're going to celebrate the struggle of indigenous people against genocide and slavery, maybe the right people to celebrate are the indigenous heroes and victims of Europeans, not Europeans who thought better of the unconscionable, no matter how thoroughly they repented.

Inman cites Howard Zinn's excellent People's History of the United States as a primary reference for the piece, and I concur: Zinn's work and those derived from it (like the graphic novel and the audio of dramatic readings) are important and fantastic works.

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Grim infographic future: everything will be tall, with meaningless graphs

In Tall Infographics, XKCD offers a dystopian prediction for the future of information, in which all crucial data is offered in stupidly tall infographics with lots of meaningless diagrams.

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DRM standards, the harmonica version


As the Internet comes to grips with the news that the World Wide Web Consortium has decided to press ahead with DRM in HTML5, here's a timely strip from the Flea Snobbery webcomic (excerpted above).

Harmonica (Thanks, Guido!)

How to talk to your friends about giving up coffee


Today on a very special Diesel Sweeties webcomic installment, an important dialog for coffee-drinkers to practice with their faithless peers.

NO EXIT : diesel sweeties robot webcomic & geeky t-shirts

Asteroid named after Randall "XKCD" Munroe

Holy. Smokes. Randall "XKCD" Munroe has had an asteroid named after him. Good old 4292 is big enough to wipe out life on Earth, but alas, its Mars/Jupiter orbit is boringly stable. Still, there's hope it will decay eventually, and create the splash Randy deserves!

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Decrypting Rita: science-fictional webcomic about parallel worlds and doomed romance


Egypt Urnash sez, "'Decrypting Rita' is a SF comic I've been working on for the past couple years. It's about a robot lady who's dragged outside of reality by her ex-boyfriend; she's got to pull herself together across four parallel worlds before a hive-mind can take over the entire planet. It's a slickly-drawn story that plays around with narrative in ways only comics can do; those four parallel worlds run beside each other on the page, twining around each other in various ways."

It's a damned good read, but I had trouble with the type-size on my laptop display -- maybe one to save for your bigger screens.

Decrypting Rita (Thanks, Egypt!)

Diesel Sweeties music humor book: I'm a Rocker, I Rock Out.


Rich Stevens from the wonderful Diesel Sweeties webcomic has released a new collection of music-themed strips called I'm a Rocker, I Rock Out. The Venn diagram above (available as a t-shirt, of course) pretty much nails Stevens's theme and humor here: a dry and extremely funny look at the strange relationship between taste, art, music, culture and identity. I laughed my ass off (when I wasn't wincing at foibles I recognized in myself). The thematically linked strips are a great idea -- reminds me of the old MAD Magazine anthologies. Below, some of my favorites from the book.

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No robot will ever...

Today's XKCD strip, Reassuring, wittily illustrates Kevin Kelly's Seven Stages of Robot Replacement, which start with "1. A robot/computer cannot possibly do the tasks I do" and heads toward "5. OK, it can have my old boring job, because it’s obvious that was not a job that humans were meant to do."

Be sure you go to the original for the tooltip punchline.

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Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant: swashbuckling graphic novel


Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a new graphic novel extending the adventures of Tony Cliff's beloved, swashbuckling webcomics heroine Delilah Dirk. Set in 1908, this volume opens with the hapless Lieutenant Erdemoglu Selim reporting to the sultan about the new prisoner he's just gotten through questioning: a woman adventurer who claims to be the daughter of a British diplomat, skilled in many of the world's swordfighting techniques, fearsome fighter and adventurer, and expert escapologist.

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Diesel Sweeties on "Internet Detox"


If you or someone you love is contemplating an "Internet Detox," Diesel Sweeties has some important perspective for you.

XKCD on Google Glass countermeasures


XKCD's Randall Munroe brings the funny in an especially intense and eeeevil way with the latest strip: Anti-Glass.

Making sense of "Beanish," XKCD's synthetic language


As was noted, the amazing, 3,000+ installment XKCD story Time featured a synthetic language (with its own script) created by a linguist for the story. Deciphering Beanish is a blog where the language is being slowly, surely made legible.

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Astounding backstory behind XKCD's "Time"


A week ago, Randall Munroe finished "Time", XKCD's long, running, slow-updating, 3,000+ frame comic telling the story of two people who discover an impending superflood that would destroy their society. Randall's explained in detail what was going on there, from the geology of the thing (it's set millennia in the future, amid a civilization denied the ability to jumpstart itself by the paucity of remaining fossil fuels, and the flood is modelled on a real event that sealed off the Mediterranean Sea five million years ago) to the fictional language the upland culture speaks (designed by a linguist, and still mysterious).

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Randall Munroe finishes "Time," the 3,099-panel XKCD serial


Randall Munroe has finally finished Time, his 3,000+ frame slow-motion animation that began life as wordless, enigmatic single-panel XKCD installment. Since then, the panel has been slowly, slowly updating itself, running out its course over several months. Geekwagon has collected the whole series in an easy-to-control window, and the story, taken as a whole, is a beautiful and odd existentialist parable touching on the discovery of geographic knowledge; cultural first contacts; environmental disaster, friendship and ingenuity. (Thanks, @dexitroboper!)