North World: The Legend of Conrad

Aug 13 2008

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For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to figure out how to describe the online comic North World. And I can’t.

That’s one of the reasons I like it. North World has elements of a fantasy story—the protagonist wields a sword and confidently fights creatures in the wilderness. But that’s crossed with a very normal, modern world of cars and coffee shops. It’s a modern world with wildernesses that contain spirit bears.

Not long into the story, the protagonist returns to his hometown, a place he never wanted to come back to. He left it a mess, and now he has to face it. Which means he has to face himself, and the choices he’s made. And he doesn’t like them.

He loves fighting in the wilderness, but he’s alone. And here with his family and old friends…he realizes everyone is together and happy. And he’s not. In running off to pursue his dream, he burned his bridges, and he’s beginning to realize the folly of that.

An unusual sort of story, and now that I think about it, I realize it’s quite similar to Zot!, which I just finished (and heartily recommend to any human). It pulls together the supernormal and the everyday, without debasing either.

An achievement, if nothing else.

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