The EGS reread began with a conversation. drcable first suggested the idea. My immediate response:
you know for all its fame I’ve never actually read EGS. I know back in the day it was one of the most popular webcomics around, and it may even be still running? I will take a look and see if it catches my interest. Come to think of it, I’ve picked up a few trans woman centered webcomics like Goodbye to Halos and Computer Love, but they don’t really have enough of a backlog yet to sustain a reread blog.
yeah it’s very queer and more than a bit trans, though not explicitly till recently. Strongly recommend.
I made some breif comments before beginning the liveread in earnest:
i’ll give it a try though the first strip definitely has a terrible case of early webcomic-itis with a self-referential strip about how bad the strip is (to be fair forgivable since it’s from like 2002! how do you keep a comic going for fourteen years?)
any estimate of how long it takes to get good?
this is painfully reminiscent of when I tried to do a webcomic. (I won’t bother linking now because most of the pages have gone offline and couldn’t be restored without some effort. I could probably retrieve them from the wayback machine if people want to look back and cringe though.)
The apologetic and overlong author commentary, meta jokes as a substitute for humour… I think I managed to avoid this level of casual misogyny but only because my comic featured no female characters at all.
After a certain point, I moved this from my main blog to a dedicated livereads blog. This marks the true beginning...
so yeah to start off we’re reading El Goonish Shive.
So far it’s the sort of shitty webcomic that schoolkids make. complete with misogynist humour, wobbly pacing, and dodgy shonen anime pastiches. I am told, however, that eventually it becomes good and trans. We’ll see.
The archive to this comic is about 2000 strips. My immediate thought was ‘that isn’t too many’, so you can see what Homestuck does to a person.
Anyway, the characters we have so far:
- Grace: a girl who can turn into a giant squirrel. apparently not overly bothered by Tedd’s creepiness. in squirrel form she has psychic powers. seemingly part of some shadowy group of superhuman figures, where she goes by a different name.
- Sarah: a friend of the protag whose characterisation seems to revolve around bad gender jokes so far. For example: she does not like ‘chick flicks’, she responds to unwanted advances and creepy jokes by hitting the man who said it with a large hammer of mild censure (this is an Anime Thing), and she’s brought in when the boys can’t figure out fashion. She doesn’t have a lot of caution around dark alleys.
- Tedd: a misogynist creep who constantly hits on people. Friend of the protag. Can do magic science shit. Has his gender often misread, so maybe the toxic masculinity is to try and reaffirm his maleness. All the same it’s unwelcome.
- Elliot: the protag. So far, entirely bland. Has generic superpowers that let him punch monsters but doesn’t think it’s a big deal.
- Dr Germahn: an exposition provider who is modelled after the stereotypical scientists modelled after popular images of Albert Einstein.
- Amanda: Dr. Germahn’s assistant. So far her role has mainly been to receive sexual advances and wield that fucking hammer.
Well, not a great start. But let’s see where it goes.