Comic review: A Doemain of Our Own
Welcome to the first of what I personally hope will become a series of comic reviews. When I say "comic", I mean comic and webcomic strips, not comedians. After all, there is only really one comedian in the furry fandom that I am aware of and I have already made clear my dislike of this particular ranting moron in previous issues of The Furtean Times.
The first strip I am reviewing is A Doemain of Our Own. Last year, the first collection of strips printed in "dead tree format" entitled simply A Doemain of Our Own: Volume 1, consisting of strips between 1999 and July 2002 won the Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work", beating other respected webcomics such as Ozy and Millie and Gene Catlow. The second collection of strips titled Shift Happens, with strips between August 2002 and mid-November 2005, will no doubt be one of the favourites for the award this year as well.
Doemain is humorous, yet at the same time poignant slice-of-life strip, focusing on the life of homemaker and part-time artist Sue Hartland, a female deer (or 'doe', hence the name) based on her creator, Susan Rankin. The strip starts with Sue and her newly-wed computer programmer husband Eric moving in to a new neighbourhood. The strip itself contains rather universal humour, with little offensive content. Later issues also contain cameos from other webcomic characters, most notable Vinci and Arty, who become the Hartland's neighbours.
One notable thing about the strip is the way the art progress as the strip goes on, a point that she stresses early on in Volume 1. Rankin states rather openly that her early strips were not of excellent quality saying, "Everyone begins somewhere and, in the beginning, it'll look like crap." However, there are some edits in the books, with coloured strips being printed in black and white.
Next are the storylines that appear in the strip. As this is a slice-of-life webcomic, much of what happens in the strip are experiences that have happened to Rankin. For example, there is a story were Sue has an operation which leaves her unable to have children. However, the most notable story is Sue and Eric splitting up. Here, Sue interacts with Rankin, who basically appears in the form of her pen hovering above and drawing on the paper, talking to Sue via captions. The strip talks about the whole issue of the relationship movingly, yet quickly and also amusingly, featuring a cameo from Jack, the furry Grim Reaper himself, whilst Eric is now a pile of "eraser boogies" in an urn.
Currently, the strip now has Sue with a new romantic interest, Bennie the tiger, with the two characters moving in together. If you want to see what happens in their relationship, you will not be able to see it online for long. Rankin has announced she is stopping the webcomic, although Doemain will still continue as a printed comic, released at irregular intervals.
Overall, I would say this is a very good strip, which almost anyone can enjoy, containing a mixture of themes that will have you both laughing and crying - certainly worth a read.