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29 August 2012

11 comics I liked in 2011: Part 2 : Ben Towle's "Oyster War"


EDITORS NOTE: I'm over "best of" lists.  I came to the realization that I personally only read them to see if the list agrees with my opinions and if it does not then I instantly forget about it.  I assume that I'm not the only one that sees them this way.  So instead of a meaningless list I am posting a series of eleven individual reviews of comics I liked in 2011.  These comics will be reviewed in no particular order.  It was not my intention to wait until late in the year 2012 to post about these 11 comics but, events occurred.  Thank you for your patience.  Thanks for reading.

Oyster War by Ben Towle
Webcomic available for free right now on teh intronet

Oyster War may be the most complete ongoing webcomic I read in 2011.  (And in the present tense days of 2012 as well.)  Excellent drawing, cartooning, storytelling, layouts, writing, dialog, character design, colors, letters etc. etc.  All the things a great comic needs are there.  The comic is a mix of historical fiction, folklore and cartoon comedy adventure.  And not just any kind of adventure, nautical adventure!  Popeye meets Patrick O'Brian.

Towle draws so well he could have just drawn a different boat picture on each page and I would have been happy but the characters are also very interesting.

Love this guy!

And the rest of the cast is great as well.  The first few scenes where the Captain recruits his team are perfect.  This is the most playful work I've seen by Towle so far.  Both in the characters and the plot.  Every panel is crammed packed with fun. Just look at all the back ground details.  Cool looking boats and houses.  Cool looking back ground characters.  Every panel is thoroughly thought out and fully realized but none of it feels calculated.  It feels like a solid tangible living cartoon world you could visit.  You can really get lost in this thing.

A big part of the fun in following Ben Towle's Oyster War is just following Ben Towle.  Ben just can not stop him self from being a teacher so he is always sharing great behind the scenes process stuff.  If you follow Ben on twitter and/or G+ as you follow Oyster War you can see sketches and sneak peaks in pretty-close-to real time as he is making the comic.  I personally think Oyster War will eventually be a print classic so it is super neat to get to see it being built from the ground up.  You should probably go do that.  

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s.  Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind.  I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
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