15 December 2010

A Home for Scared People, by Chris Onstad

I cannot say enough good about Chris Onstad, Achewood, the characters, the stories, the genius. I have worn out the word "genius" by talking about him.

One indication of Onstad's skill (genius): I am much older than him, born during the Eisenhower administration. The Korean War and I are contemporaries. Achewood is more than a little contemporary, hip, and wrapped up in popular culture, which description would make lesser work not only inaccessible but completely undesirable to me. The world of Ray Smuckles, Roast Beef, Molly, Téodor, Cornelius, Phillipe, Nice Pete, Todd (a squirrel), Lie Bot, Chucklebot and Pat is not only attractive, it is addictive. Every time Onstad releases a new (free) web comic I experience a strong release of serotonin.

Therefore, it was not a difficult decision to purchase a new copy of A Home for Scared People, and I am happy that I did. It is a nicely done little book, hardbound and high quality, and contains many pages of original prose dealing with the background of some of the characters. In particular, the relationship between Ray and Beef is examined in detail, from its origins in high school.

We should all enjoy such friendships.

How Onstad keeps body and soul together I suspect has a lot to do with the efforts of his wife. One day, if there is any justice in the universe (there may not be), he will be rich and famous in his own right. In the meantime, I strongly encourage everyone to support him in every way possible. The world is better for his art.

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