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Web Comics: Real Life Comics

June 12, 2008

I apologize for this being so late today. My brother’s graduation started late and didn’t end until 1000 last night. I’ve been doing family things all day today. 

Enough of that. Today we’ll be taking a look at Real Life Comics. Tomorrow in the afternoon or evening I’ll be updating with information on the popular PvP online by Scott Kurtz. I will also provide information on what to look for next week. I’m thinking that from now I’ll most likely update in the evenings. If I post earlier it will be because I have the day off from work or I’ll be busy in the afternoon. Keep checking back though, I’ll definitely be sticking to the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday schedule unless otherwise noted like this week. 

Background: Real Life Comics was started in 1999 by Greg Dean, who at the time lived in Sacramento, California. He recently celebrated his 2000th comic. The comic was started as something of a hobby by Dean who put himself and his friends into it. Real Life is the interesting progression of Dean’s life, through his comic, his readers have seen him lose one girlfriend, gain a wife, move from Sacramento to San Francisco and in the past year, move to Lockhart, Texas. He also quit one job, attended and graduated from Culinary school, and worked in a restaurant. It’s quite the journey to follow. Dean updates Real Life Monday through Friday and occasionally he throws a Sunday comic into the mix. 

Dean used to go to conventions in California but it hasn’t been determined what he will be doing as far as those are concerned now that he is in Texas. We’ll have to wait and see. However, he has been doing an annual Real Life readers get-together in North Carolina. Unlike Megatokyo, Real Life only has one collection of its comics in book form currently. Greg Dean does sell t-shirts, character figurines now, and some other Real Life memorabilia. Also, unlike Megatokyo Dean updates regularly and only occasionally misses his day. 

The Comic: While the basic story of the comics follow Dean’s life it isn’t wholly non-fictional. For example,  he has created storylines where he and his friends time travel, fight the CIA, and others. The character Tony lives in and owns a giant “evil” space station. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t have comics that don’t mimic his life. Sometimes he uses them to talk about experiences he has had or just to let readers know what’s going in his life. 

Primarily, the comic reveals Dean to be very involved in gaming culture. His characters love World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons. They also play video games on their 360s and various other PC games. Sometimes his comics show him visiting Fry’s Electronic Store and dealing with store clerks. 

Stylistically, Dean’s characters haven’t changed their look since he began. Over the years he has added color to all his comics, and the backgrounds have become more complex looking. His characters though look relatively the same. Dean actually is one of the few artists, if any, that I’ve seen who don’t draw their characters with pencil and paper first. He has exclusively used MS Paint for his comic since the beginning. Despite that his characters look pretty good and Dean has managed to make his characters action poses and still poses more complex as he has learned to master the program. 

My recommendation: I’ve enjoyed this comic since about 2003 when I clicked a link on another webcomic that I was reading at the time. Real Life is usually funny to me. I enjoy the culture that they talk about and I’ve always found it interesting following Dean’s life. It’s like a weird autobiography. I’m giving this a three. It’s a fun little comic that I enjoy following. 

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

Scyo.

P.s. I’m thinking of adding pictures to my posts to break them up and add some color. If you like this idea e-mail me at syounker [at] uoregon.edu. If you don’t, same thing. Thanks. 

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