This is my little payment to comics that have given me hours of entertainment, and may not get the attention I think they deserve. They may have a few (or even 10s) of thousands of viewers, or just 10, but in any case they are awesome and I think deserve a looksee. I've been meaning to do this for a while. The new site (still being built) as this as its own little section, but for now only 1 will show at a time and then disappear forever. Into the mists...
First up is Monster Pulse! [ http://www.monster-pulse.com ]
This has been held of my list of 'regular views' on the comic page, just because I knew it should be the first here. It's...it's just great. I have trouble knowing where to begin. It often comes off as cute, with its big round faces and noses, the cartoony-at-time actions, but never too much. Endearing. Then it will take a hard-right into dark places, with respect and a realistic outlook. The art is simple, but awesomely effective for what it conveys. The character designs are spot-on in personality and art. New characters are brought in naturally, or when its a stark point it that is done with purpose.
Magnolia Porter does such a great job of presenting characters and a story that is open and free and you want to care about and feel good in, but also remembering that people are confused and normallacy means having issues. She holds you well in that area between fun and playful, touching into thoughtful and awkward/personal anxiety, before reminding you (very light-handedly) that light-heartedness we can see doesn't have to extend farther than the surface. And then, every so often, she runs you into a wall of dark, sad, angry, violence. In that same way that, just every so often, a newpaper story reminds you that even though your loved ones are fine, your job is going well, and the sun is bright...someone lives with an abusive stepfather and will be malnourished for the next 5 years....oh, and their brother got murdered in a bad drug deal. It shocks us, but not by being shocking. Not because she creates a horror we never imagined, but because she presents scenarios and human actions that are so common. We just hate thinking about them.
In summation, it is something you can easily slide into as a casual viewer, but really appreciate artistically. Everything feels done with a purpose and neatly put together when you step back and analyze it, but that step-back out of immersion never happens unless you force it. The world, the characters, everything feels natural. A story unfolding, and one you care about. You really can't ask for anything better from a comic.
I could go on and on, but it'd be better to read the story. It's one of few comics I really hope everyone experiences. 'Reading' is too light of a word.