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Air Force Blues

August 13, 2009

I skipped yesterday’s post to go through the archives of today’s comic. I finished it late last night and decided to wait until later today to actually post about it.

I found this one yesterday while researching web comics to start going through. Though I’m not really sure how it popped up. Still, I’m a little glad I found it.

Background: This comic was founded by a Austin “Farva” May who is an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force. He started Air Force comics well before the Air Force Blues. However, those comics were stopped until he created the character Lt. Ken “Barbie” Dahl. The AF Blues archives start in June 2007.

The wiki on the comic says the Dahl was created in January so I’m not sure when the actual comic began but for the purposes of this the website and comic were started in June 2007.

The Comic: AF Blues is your standard three panel affair. Two set-up panels and a third with the punch line. It works well. May updates the comic every weekday and Saturdays. I’ve seen a few Sunday strips as well but for most part it’s a Monday through Saturday comic.

The art style I feel is very reminiscent of Gabe’s style from Penny-Arcade, or at least the character designs are.

Here are two images, one from Penny Arcade and one from AF Blues to see a comparison:

The Penny Arcade image is from the game that they created.

Now, I’m not saying that their similar styles are a bad thing (I don’t know or care if Farva has ever read or seen Penny Arcade) but I did feel like I was reading a comic with very similar stylings. Though I really enjoy the cartoony style that both artists use. It’s an enjoyable style to look at.

As far as the writing goes I do have to warn you this isn’t your typical web comic. It’s not based around video games, nerds (well sort of, a different kind of nerd if you will), or geek culture.

The jokes are written by an Air Force employee and they tend to be about the Air Force or military life in general. I’d like to think that someone in the other branches would get these jokes but I only know the Air Force so I can’t say for sure.

So, if you’re not in the Air Force, or don’t have prior knowledge of it, I would say that this comic might at time confuse you. The creator does take the time to try and dumb it down for his readers because I’m sure there are non-military readers but much of his material comes from his time in the service. There are quite a few inside jokes that you wouldn’t get unless you were in the military like all the jesting ire thrown towards AAFES and BX (shopping centers on military bases).

Still, May is pretty funny. I enjoy his jokes and even with the simple style it’s a fun read and it works.

My recommendation: If you have some time flip through the archives on this one. It’s worth a read. May’s art style is fun to look at and his jokes are pretty funny. Yes, like the comic above they sometimes use violence to make the joke but he’s no Buckley. He actually keeps his characters pretty sane (relatively speaking) and the jokes aren’t all violence based.


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