Over The Counter
Are you reading The Rack? If not, why not? This hilarious and surprisingly touching webcomic about the employees of fictional California comic shop "Yavin IV" is my new obsession; I'm rather sad that I zoomed through the archives so quickly, and now have to wait a week to find out what misanthropic indie obsessive Lydia, unreconstructed Silver Ager Danny, emo boy Rick, fanboy Aaron and their manager Jerry will do next. Swinging with ease from snarky commentary on the industry to wonderful soap-style character arcs, Kevin Church and Benjamin Birdie write and draw like a jazzed-up, demented combination of Friends, Seinfeld and The Simpsons, with Church's pitch-perfect dialogue wonderfully complementing and offsetting Birdie's clean and cartoonish linework. The artists comment on each strip, too, and while they strive to come off as hipsters, it's pretty clear that they have affection for their characters, and for a broad swath of comics genres (in addition to ongoing storylines, they also do weekly "staff recommendations" that illuminate the characters and poke fun at a lot of fannish cliches). Read it. Read it now, and never see that guy in your local shop buying the Admiral Ackbar figurine in quite the same way again.