Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Gods of Arr-Kelaan

I've been getting back into old webcomics recently, and stumbled upon one of my all time favorites that is still going, The Gods of Arr-Kelaan. It's a fantastic tale, and offers one of the most incredible, most in-depth created worlds I have ever seen. The premise got its start in a long, complicated process, the core of which is having no god for a character in a role playing game. Ronson, the most consistent protagonist of TGoAK, became the ideal lazy roleplayers god - he is apathetic, hates getting prayers, and spends his time drinking.

I'm unsure what happened to the game, but the setting moved on. A world populated by gods made out of everyday modern flawed folk (Ronson can come across as a much saner Homer Simpson, and on the whole is more redeeming than that) came into being, and in addition to the god of apathy, we have gods of wealth, knowledge (a former scholar), and a few of justice (one of whom treats his godhood as though he is a new superhero). The comic weaves in the origins of these modern folks godhood with several stories that develop the mere mortals, and how the populace of this world interact with a brand new pantheon of divinely gifted but rather less divinely driven people.

The story, while rather long, is worth a read from start to finish, and it reads differently than most webcomics. It's done in formal page layout, in a style that just feels like it should be thumbed through carefully before being stored in a plastic bag in a basement somewhere. The comic is actually available like that in print form, but what was the most exciting discovery is available here - to go forward, you'll have ti click and drag the corners of the pages. GO ahead and do this even if you haven't read any of the comic.

Got it?

Fantastic. This is incredible stuff, at least in my modest evaluation. It's "physically" turning pages online! This is so many degrees of neato-cool.


Joseph Lopez said...

I did as you recommended, and I am happy about it. Once I had voraciously consumed the web comics, I HAD to go to Comic Warehouse on Menaul to get some back issues I had been wanting, nay, mayhap LUSTING after. The comics there in the "bin" are half price of guide, so GREAT DEAL. I cleaned them out of Promethea, Top Ten and most other America's Best Comics. Alan Moore has been getting me out of my mental comfort zone since Swamp Thing in the 80's. Howard Rockman turned me on to a free issue of Swamp Thing back then, and my mental process has not been the same since!

As to GoAK, I never played the game but still thoroughly enjoyed the web comics. There is a mix of Shakespere and the Bible in the King's angst over his directive to kill his own daughter, as he sinks into God-induced paranoia. The Pantheon depicted in one of the cheat sheets on the web is very diverse, and felt like an amalgam of tongue in cheek references and spot on philosophical stances.

Thanks for the recommendation, sir!

Kelsey Atherton said...

I think the game that inspired GoAK was a small one, like the author and a few friends with a new campaign setting.

Also - for Alan Moore, Lost Girls is a must-read. It's epic, which is quite the statement given its "risque" subject matter.

Also, I only read the first issue of Ex Machina (which ties in well with the matter of yesterday), and have really been meaning to get more into it. The authors other book, Y: The Last Man, is also incredible