May. 4th, 2013

effex: The path that rocks (The path that rocks)
I said, way back in 2010, that Rice Boy was a beautiful comic but bad about female characters ('it's also needlessly, obviously lacking in women (and the, like, two that are there are stereotypes)'). I've been rereading the Overside stuff* because it's kind of a Big Deal in webcomics and I, dunno, felt like I should? Because I love webcomics and want to talk about them.

Anyway, my opinions on Rice Boy and Order of Tales (which I hadn't read before) haven't changed much - they're lovely and strange and... pointed, I guess? With strong central themes. And not great about women. Order of Tales' main (almost only) female character is a walking plot device - there's lip service about her not wanting to be taken any where, about wanting her own path, but in the end... I was ready to be really pissed about it. Or at least wearily disappointed.

ButI Instead! I moved on to Vattu (the story currently running) and holy shit, someone must have talked to the author, and/or he did some learning, because there are women flipping everywhere. The protagonist, the titular character, is a girl! There are women who are fighters, priestesses, princesses, chemists, toymakers, members of a secret society, who are well rounded, distinct, with full character arcs... ugh.

Vattu is an excellent comic in other ways as well - it's about empires and expansionism and colonialism, about questioning authority and tradition, and, mmm finding and keeping ahold of yourself, maybe? Anyway. You don't need to read the other Overside stories to read Vattu and, while it's on-going, there are 422 pages to read before you're caught up. You should read it!

* Overside is a world - a storytelling device, really - created by Evan Dahm. A bunch of stories, including Rice Boy, The Order of Tales, and Vattu are set there. It's published as a webcomic.


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