The best webcomic you aren’t reading

Unsounded, by Ashley Cope is a long running fantasy webcomic that updates 3 times a week. It features full colour professional quality artwork and has a deep, engaging story and characters. And since it is only advertised by word of mouth, chances are you are completely unaware of it.

Unsounded stars Duane Adelier and Sette Frumaggem. Sette is a young girl with a tail and a temper, a bratty thieving little goblin that many readers find hard to relate to. Duane is apparently a more engaging sort. A well spoken, civilized wizard tasked with protecting this little sharp toothed brat.

That is, until you find out he’s a zombie. A member of the living dead. A revenant. An ex-wizard, pining for the fjords. With an unfortunate hunger for the flesh of the living, that he mostly keeps under control. Mostly.

How Duane came to find himself in this predicament is only one of the many plot threads that are eventually revealed in this unfolding story.

The world of Kasslyne where Unsounded takes place is one of the most carefully put together examples of world-building you will find in modern fantasy. A product of decades of online role play and experimentation by it’s author, it holds together in a way almost no other fantasy world does. Fans can enjoy reading the accompanying wiki or bugging the author on social media for answers to their questions, or they can read the comic and piece clues together as more pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

The artwork in webcomics is no longer as dire as it used to be in the early days, but even from the beginning the professionalism of the artwork quality in this title has stood head and shoulders above it’s peers, and like many webcomics the artwork has improved in the course of the telling, but already having started from a very high standard it has only grown more intricate and detailed.

Valerian and Laureline are just not very nice people: Valerian Movie review

I am quite a fan of Luc Besson and I have read (though not exhaustively) the original Valerian & Laureline albums his latest movie is based on, so when the movie was announced I was looking forward to another fun sci fi experience along the lines of The Fifth Element.

Then the reviews started to come in and the news was not good. I however decided to give the movie a chance and see for myself, so off I went to the cinema.

Unfortunately, the reviews were right. It’s a stinker. Let’s see, from my perspective, what went wrong.

(Some spoilers beyond this point, although frankly this movie isn’t the kind where you’re being denied any surprises by reading about the plot in advance…)

Continue reading “Valerian and Laureline are just not very nice people: Valerian Movie review”

A Stray 3 mirror

The website for the awesome webcomic Astray3 by Eldon Cowgur has gone offline, and since I took it upon myself to make a backup copy of the site once it went into hiatus, I have put a mirror online at this location

If the author wishes me to remove this mirror I will of course do so, but there is no infringement intended.

(Pages 306-37 missing from the archive, scraper error if anyone has them I’d be happy to add them)

UPDATE: The author has blessed the mirror and provided the missing pages, also the comic is set to return early next year. Yay!

Vexxar review

Vexxarr is an alien member of the Bleen race, militaristic conquerors of a quarter of the galaxy. He is tasked with conquering planet Earth single handedly, and things do not go as planned in this long running webcomic by Hunter Cressall.

Unfortunately for our would be world conqueror, humans prove a touger nut to crack than expected and he is captured, and then the hijinks begin, as the Earth appropriates his ship’s technology and uses it against the Bleen.

The comic is basically a comedy, a sort of character driven sitcom with an overarching plot involving the efforts of the Bleen empire to punish Vexxar for his failure on Earth. While the individual strips always carry a punchline or at least a comedic beat, the overall narrative is serious enough. Cressall makes a point about changes having consequences, as a contrast to the classic Sci fi “sitcom”, Star Trek. Where Trek would always reset to the status quo after each episode, Vexxar’s adventures always incorporate new and increasingly complex elements into the story.

Vexxar’s artwork shows the usual quality progression in long running webcomics, from crude but serviceable to a polished but simple full colour.

Freefall review


Freefall is a long running (since 1998) strip format hard science fiction webcomic starring an anthropomorphic wolf and a larcenous squid alien spaceship captain


A recently settled colony world (“planet Jean”) with a small human population and millions of sentient robots.


The squid alien Sam Starfall swindles his way into obtaining a competent engineer to fix his dilapidated spaceship. The engineer in question, Florence, is a biological artificial intelligence, a  genetically engineered humanoid wolf created by the famed Dr. Bowman. Bowman’s wolves are prototypes and as such very rare. Florence’s destination was another star system, but Sam’s trickery had her defrosted and left behind by the colony ship she was travelling with.


Florence: Bowman’s wolf. Engineer. Good dog.

Sam Starfall: Alien kleptomaniac squid, starship captain. Grand Felon.

Helix: Robot. Gentle soul.Sam’s partner in crime.

Sawtooth Rivergrinder. Terraforming Robot. Amateur detective

Qwerty and Dvorak, robot nerds

Self owned and eclectic, Qwerty and Dvorak are exponents of the new breed of fully sentient robots that are coming online as their brain architecture matures

Winston Thurmad. Vet. Florence’s love interest.

Despite his parent’s spacer genes Winston is a confirmed dirtsider, being fully employed in the less glamorous side of the terraforming process, the introduction of parasites to the ecosystem.

Mr Kornada. Middle management. Antagonist. Idiot.

Dumb to the point of self harm, Mr Kornada is nevertheless well adapted to his middle management niche, and is sufficiently cunning in his own way to cause a lot of trouble for those around him.

The mayor. No nonsense politician. Non stupid antagonist.

Edge and Blunt. Overzealous robot recyclers. Semi-antagonists.


Freefall’s style is simple, unpretentious. Flat colouring, simple shapes, stereotyped poses and expressions, no unnecessary flourishes getting in the way of the story.


Generally updates M-W-F like clockwork. One of the longest running, more reliable strips.

Science fiction comedy

Despite the “soft” look of the artwork, Freefall is probably one of the hardest science fiction comics you’ll ever read, from orbital mechanics to neural architecture, every single concept that is brought to bear is handled with systematic rigour. Despite this, the comic is anything but dry, maintaining a light tone throughout, even while discussing complex issues of philosophy or physics.

Artificial intelligence and 3-laws style robotic safeguards are one of the major themes of the comic, as Florence discovers a conspiracy behind an attempt to control the enormous robot population on the small colony world.


Freefall is a highly entertaining  read that will make you smile and think at the same time. The long running plot that has been building up for the last few years is coming to a head so it’s a good time to dive into the archives and catch up.