Regular readers of this site – both of you – would probably assume that the mere idea of a “web comic” would be exactly the sort of thing to set a Prick off on a rant about the dumbing down of society, how “adults have no business reading the funny papers”, why nothing beats reading the Russians to explain the human condition, and while we’re at it, GET OFF MY LAWN!
And normally you’d be right. Except, that is, when we’re talking about Chris Onstad’s Achewood, which for about ten solid years there from 2001 provided a glimpse into an alternate universe populated largely by cats (I know what you’re thinking, and no) of various stripes: rich, depressive, alcoholic, angry and gay, and their range of friends (naïve otters, Russian robots, dirtball squirrels). Get started reading this sequence about a party in a toilet. Or this great story arc concerning a fight between Subway franchisees – which leads to one of the darkest ad storyboards of all time. Or learn the legend of the Great Outdoor Fight: Three days, three acres … three thousand men.
(I own a Great Outdoor Fight t-shirt and once, while paying for some prawns down at the fish markets, the young man at the till got all excited: “Dude, is that a real fight!?”. I almost didn’t have the heart to tell him. Sadly, the Achewood shop never sold this promised, promising watch.)
Beneath its bizarre premise, Achewood is genius, hilarious, deep, culturally literate, subtly observed, and about as addictive as Oxycontin-flavoured bacon.
For a variety of reasons, all good and legitimate and to which this site is personally exceedingly sympathetic, Onstad and Achewood ran out of gas a couple of years ago and we thought the good times were gone. But no.