Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Comics #1 - intro post/ Keith Knight

So while I fantasize that people might actually read this bizzatch, I'm thinking it'll be fun to focus a Sunday post every other Sunday (or maybe every Sunday, depends on how many I can think of that are worth celebrating), on comics.

I am a huge comics nerd. HUGE. My dad used to mention it as a point of pride that I was the only girl he knew who ever read newspaper comic strips - he'd read the paper after work and automatically hand off the comics section to me when he was done, ever since I could read. I love comics and cartoons, the combination of story-telling (English nerd WUT) and art is just wonderful to me. Even though I wasn't into the superheroes when I was younger, I still liked hanging out in comic book shops, even if all I bought were the Archie Digests (and KATY KEENE! OMG I loved Katy Keene, probably because I loved drawing/designing clothes when I was young als0). The joy of comics has grown to include superheroes on occasion, with Daredevil being my favorite title, but mostly centers around graphic novels and webcomics. Not too much in the fantasy arena, either - I really love people who illustrate human stories, autobiographical or not.

On that note, I want to share a dude who I don't share with people enough. You may have heard of him, and even may have confused him with the guy who draws "Boondocks" (Aaron McGruder), as he often likes to joke.

Keith Knight, author of "The K Chronicles", "(th)Ink", and "The Knight Life", is the bomb in bomb diggity. I've been reading him since the early days of college, so that would be about, oh... 7 years? At least? Unfortunately, I don't remember how I discovered him, but all that matters is that I DID, and I've been getting weekly giggles ever since. I even bought his "Complete K Chronicles" collection to catch up on the older strips that I missed out on, and I giggled my way through it - and frequently re-read it as well! Now he's delivering daily giggles in his syndicated comic strip, "The Knight Life".

So why, exactly, do I adore this comic strip so much? Mainly his sense of humor. For one, his drawing style conveys a casual sense of fun to me - he's not trying to make cartoons look human, he's making humans look like cartoons. He makes clever little puns, hilarious little jokes, and sight gags as well. He's just FUNNY. Whether a witty one-liner or a well-told story, I almost always laugh at his newest comic. He makes his everyday semi-bohemian life seem full of amusing anecdotes, and his reflections on his family and his past are also entertaining and identifiable. He's also a new(ish) father, and his comics about raising his son are also funny and warm.

Here's a cute example: (Clicking the comic itself takes you to his Buzzle page, where you can look through a good chunk of his archive)
As this comic also displays, he leans similarly to the left, politics-wise. Which is something I also agree with, I will admit, so if you're not really into political comics, I'll admit that not every one of his comics will appeal to you. Not every comic is an anti-right-wing political reeming - if anything, I'd say his comics are 33% political, 67% his own life experiences/funny stories, depending on the hot-button issues, in The K Chronicles. (th)Ink, his one-panel a la "The Far Side" weekly comic, is much more political, though, and might not be to everyone's tastes. On the opposite side of that, his daily syndicated comic, "The Knight Life", is much less political than his weeklies, due to needing to "play in Peoria", so to speak, but still retains a great deal of humor and fun.

I'll admit I have a personal bias towards him, as a lot of his early comics focused around living in SF (a city I have much affection for). He just seems like the kind of guy I could enjoy a few beers with (well, I'd be drinking cider or wine, I hate the taste of beer) and I'd leave with sore cheeks from laughing. Since to find him would equal stalking (and I still haven't been able to go meet him, sadly, as I chickened out the one time I could have, and the other times I've been busy with other engagements), I'll happily settle for reading his weeklies and dailies, and feeling like he's telling me a really funny story - and drew it instead of writing it just to give me a little extra happy.

Check him out!

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