I’ve trying out Comic Rocket, a webcomic tracking and reading site, and the first comic I loaded up was The Abominable Charles Christopher, a fantastic webcomic I’ve read at various points but haven’t caught up on most of this year. I decided to read it over from the start of the archives and it was well worth it.
It’s a funny webcomic alright but in it’s own way, a little weird. Like a family-friendly Twin Peaks. Strange things are happening in the woods of the man-beast Charles Christopher. There are all kinds of threads going that creator Karl Kerschl has largely kept moving forward over it’s three year run. The main character Charles is on a kind of spirit quest; there’s a crime drama boiling over the empire of the crooked merchant Sisi; a family bird with a mid-life crisis and a bit of a drinking problem; an insect psychologist; Vivol the Bear escaping from a Circus; and quite a bit more.
The constant however is Kerschl’s great art, technically skilled, but also filled with warmth and great characterization. The above shot of Charles Christopher first encountering the city of King Gilgamesh is pretty nice example of how Kerschl gives great thought and detail to his panel composition. The below shot of King Gilgamesh is just great as well. Gilgamesh is one of the best characters Kerschl has thrown into the stew of this comic.
I have a lot left to learn about Comic Rocket itself but so far I see a lot to like, starting with the fact that it has active management that appears intent on making this a business of some sort or another. To me that means they might stick around long enough to really make something useful to webcomic readers.
Once you have an account there, you can select comics to follow and then it saves your bookmark in the archives as you read. It has a “recommendation” box for other comics based on the one you’re reading. The owners of the site tweeted to me that it was based on users’ activity – maybe I can get more details on how it works from them at some point soon. It probably won’t work all that well until more stuff is in the system — right now after reading Charles, it’s recommending Dr. McNinja and SMBC — two popular comics that really don’t have a whole lot in common with this one.
One thought on “The Abominable Charles Christopher”
Thanks for your kind words about Comic Rocket!
Building the technology behind it has been my passion for several years now and it’s always nice to hear that someone likes the result.
Regarding recommendations: Comic Rocket will give you better personalized recommendations as you read more comics. If all you’re reading is The Abominable Charles Christopher, that isn’t much for our algorithms to go on. That said, we’re currently researching better recommender algorithms, and investigating which information about a comic is a good predictor of whether you’ll like it, so expect our recommendations to get better over time!
We appreciate your feedback on Twitter, by the way. The site is in beta, and we’re keen to get feedback on what’s awesome and what isn’t. Twitter @mycomicrocket works great, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.