Not long ago I reviewed Minus, which remains a phenomenal strip.
Some of the discussion arising from that brought to light that Koala Wallop, the collection that Minus was a part of, did not recieve nearly as much attention as it rightfully should. Intrigued, I poked around the other strips on the site, and lo and behold, found myself quite taken with them.
The one that most caught my eye – in much the same vein as had Minus itself – was Dresden Codak.
Dresden Codak is, similarly, a hard comic to describe. Both philosophical and fantastical, each strip is generally a self-contained clever adventure following the principles of wit and whimsy. A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible is mentioned as an inspiration, and the influence is clear. A Lesson Is Learned may be in absentia these days, but it’s legacy lives on in Dresden Codak and many others who follow in it’s footsteps.
You know, I like this genre of comics. I like it a lot. There seems to be more and more quality comics emerging that deal in the absurdly profound, in surreal humor, in both intellectualism and childhood innocence, and their presence is a damn good thing.
Dresden Codak only cements my feelings on the subject. The material is both beautiful to behold, enjoyable to read, and intensely thought-provoking. I like my gag strips, sure, and I love my comics that tell a deep and emotionally powerful story… but the ones that leave me thinking really are gems found few and far between, and all the more important for their rarity.
The greatest strength of Aaron Diaz (the genius behind Dresden Codak) may be the ability to tell a powerful story in a single moment. It is in this that I see the strongest influence of A Lesson Is Learned, and Dresden Codak may be the only comic able to pull of the simple story just as well. A single strip can contain laughter, philosophy, and a heart-wrenching story.
And as with A Lesson Is Learned, the art plays as strong a part as the story. The scenes come to life with brilliant colors and gorgeous images. Each page is a full dose of webcomic goodness.
The only downside? The archive is small, and updates seem to be on a monthly basis. Each update is a world of awesome, but they are few and far between.
Still – there are worse things than to have the quality of a comic leave you desperate for more. Dresden Codak is another font of genius, and all the more proof that Koala Wallop has something special going for it.