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Wandering Ones again

A conversation with a skilled artist friend of mine with a solid grounding in anatomy brought to mind a webcomic I used to read back in the day. Clint Hollingsworth's The Wandering Ones is a post-apocalyptic comic set in the Pacific Northwest that frames a sci-fi and mystical story with a detailed discussion of outdoor skills. Sweet. It's also one of the longer-running webcomics, with continuous updates several times a week since April 2000. Also sweet…

Hollingsworth's anatomy, especially in the early strips, is distractingly bad, which is what made me think of this serial. However, the rest of his art is great, with a style that deliberately pays homage to Mark Trail and Prince Valiant without being too derivative.

Hollingsworth misses updates pretty regularly and doesn't maintain a buffer. However, he compensates by having what I think is some of the strongest filler in webcomics; varied, high-quality and designed to hold the reader's interest until the story arc can resume. I honestly can say that these filler pieces are almost as much fun for me as the webcomic itself, unlike some I could name. Mad-libs? Really?

The writing couldn't be better. The webcomic plays out as a continuous sharp contrast between the folksy, practical ways of the Native American clan that is the focus of the story and the outrageous and bizarre setting and characters that make up their world.

For some reason I can't for the life of me remember, I quit reading The Wandering Ones many years ago. One of the recurring themes of this serial is that almost everybody does stupid things, and that the way to handle this is to get over it and not do it again. Lesson learned. Fob

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