Like I’ve said before, there’s a loosely knit community of webcomic artists that show up at various east-coast (and occasionally west-coast) conventions who know each other to varying degrees. If you see the names of a few comics pop up in a sidebar of one webcomic, chances are they trade jokes on twitter and are booth neighbors at places like Connecticon or NYCC. In fact, Nedroid is done by Anthony Clark, the guy who colors Dr. McNinja, which I reviewed a little while back. When I met him I asked him where the hell he got all his jokes from, because to me it seemed like goddamn calculus.
Seriously, Nedroid is probably one of my favorite comics. It started out in 2006 as just another experiment, random little comics of stick figures making quirky jokes. Within a few months it started evolving its own canon involving Beartato (a bear shaped potato or a potato shaped bear, I’m not sure) and Reginald (a bird that almost never flies possibly owing to his massive ego). Supporting characters like that shark-dude Harrison or Rudy show up from time to time for additional comedy, and mostly it’s just one-off comics. They do story arcs occasionally but they’re not the kind that impact the universe they live in at all so it’s easy to forget. They’re still enjoyable of course.
The jokes from early on are hit-or-miss but eventually they develop into a consistently funny style, usually a setup followed by some kind of absurd non-sequiter or tangent. Usually the best comics are the ones where they start with a normal premise, bounce off a tangent or two and end up at a totally bizarre conclusion. Other types involve the characters’ personality limitations interfering with their ability to catch jokes or just defying common sense. Whatever type of joke format he chooses, Clark shows an aptitude for executing it well and making you laugh. Well, I do anyway. Maybe you don’t because you removed your hippocampus or whatever part of the brain does that stuff that makes you laugh at jokes. As I said before, sometimes I think he’s got a cursed book in a basement somewhere, and when he wants to come up with a good joke he just cracks that open because I rarely see the punchline coming even when you know what format the joke takes.
Early in its existence the art style was pretty much napkin scribbles but eventually he settled on an art style he liked and it’s great to look at. Every now and then there’s color but mostly it’s a soft monochrome blue our characters run around in. Characters are simple and fun to look at. Beartato and Reginald have a pretty limited set of expressions (Beartato being a bit more expressive than Reginald) but that doesn’t really matter since just their default appearance is amusing enough to work for any joke. In spite of its simplicity Clark can add a ton of detail to a comic at will, but he rarely needs to since the style he has is already great and unique. Of course even if he does scale up the detail it’s still recognizable.
My only gripe with this guy is that he doesn’t update as often as he used to. It’s probably a schedule thing, what with doing Dr. McNinja and living a normal life and all that. Still, I enjoy this comic and I look forward to more of it. Go and put this one in your bookmarks bar. I mean, it was good enough for mine, so why not yours?
Well okay I understand if you take issue with the frequency of updates JUST DO IT ALREADY
TL;DR: Nedroid is a funny, well drawn and lighthearted comic where the jokes always surprise you. Go read it.