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American Elf free for all
December 8, 2007 11:00 AM   Subscribe

The archives of American Elf, the celebrated online comic diary of cartoonist and rocker (audio) James Kochalka, are now free. There's the occasional NSFW-ish cartoon nudity and swearing.

A previous post was dominated by a debate over the wisdom of his old strategy of offering the current day free, but charging for the archives. Problem solved!
posted by hydrophonic (26 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was considering posting this myself. Yay, American Elf!
posted by freem at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2007


American Elf? What? Another Kucinich post?
posted by wendell at 11:05 AM on December 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


You just added "-ish" to get around the trademark, didn't you.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:12 AM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kickass.
posted by ORthey at 11:12 AM on December 8, 2007


this makes my day!! it's like early christmas. yay.
posted by ifjuly at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2007


I'm reading them and I'm wanting to laugh, but I'm not laughing, and I really want to. He does rock well.
posted by wsg at 11:18 AM on December 8, 2007


Heh, I was just about to post a follow up about this to MetaTalk. This is so excellent. I highly recommend subscribing to the RSS feed.
posted by Kattullus at 11:24 AM on December 8, 2007


Your favorite webcomic is not my favorite webcomic. I started at the beginning and read probably a month's worth or so... out of those there were three or four that I would call the amusing; the rest were all... huh?

I'm guessing I'm not in his target demographic.
posted by Doohickie at 11:32 AM on December 8, 2007


I'm with doohickie. I did spend five minutes or so trying to be interested.
posted by Pants! at 11:46 AM on December 8, 2007


American Elf is not meant to be a funny, it's an autobiographical strip that's only sometimes funny in the way that life sometimes is funny. Think of it as a comicblog. I want to dredge out the Eddie Campbell quote I had as a part of my post on American Elf: "Beginning in 1998 Kochalka took the form of daily strip and imbued it with a life that has been missing from it for a long time. Since then he has made sure his daily round is not finished until a strip is done. Another thing I like about it is the way he carefully avoids any taint of 'continuity'. There is no story here, just the eternal incidentalness of life as it is lived."
posted by Kattullus at 11:48 AM on December 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


American Elf is like eavesdropping at the mall.
posted by found missing at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just spent the past few days reading this in its entirety. I'd only been reading it daily for a few months, so there was much I'd missed. (And, of course, I still haven't seen any of the pre-2002 stuff).

Reading it en masse, I feel like I "get" it so much more than I did when I was just reading it each day, though I enjoyed it then as well. It's a disarmingly honest portrayal of the best and worst of life's small moments. I especially feel for him when he loses his temper--I have those moments, when I'm the worst version of myself. Those are the moments I want as few people as possible to know about, and he just tells the whole world.

Every time I would leave it and come back, it would conjure up different things. A character would remind me so much of someone in my real life. Or I would (finally) see his influence on other people I know who draw comics. Or I'd be overcome with just how universal a single person's experience can seem sometimes. I just find it so easy to relate to.
posted by lampoil at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2007


He's also the 'Monkey VS Robot' dude. You will never get enough of that.
posted by doctorschlock at 12:41 PM on December 8, 2007


Let's not forget his immortal Hockey Monkey song.

AND IT'S 1! 2! 3! THE KIDS LOVE THE MONKEY AND 4! 5! 6! THE MONKEY'S GOT A HOCKEYSTICK 7! 8! 9! HAVING A GOOD TIME YEAH...
posted by Kattullus at 12:48 PM on December 8, 2007


Let's not forget his immortal Hockey Monkey song.

That song rocks!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:45 PM on December 8, 2007


American Elf? What? Another Kucinich post?

(affecting cheesy Colbert sorcerer voice) He's a pocketmasta!!

Dear god, the writer's strike can't end soon enough.
posted by JHarris at 3:12 PM on December 8, 2007


Dear god, the writer's strike can't end soon enough.
And dammit, wendell's not in the union.
posted by wendell at 3:46 PM on December 8, 2007


Hockey Monkey is good, but it's no Britney's Silver Can.
posted by freem at 4:12 PM on December 8, 2007


Aw, these are adorable. Thanks.
posted by painquale at 8:45 PM on December 8, 2007


Kattullus helped me get this comic. It's indie-cute. It's that 30+ bald guy who hangs out with teenagers and listens to NPR and is in a band.

I still don't get Lesbia. Maybe it's a different Catullus.
posted by stavrogin at 9:25 PM on December 8, 2007


American Elf is not meant to be a funny

Then.... why is it called a comic?

comic:

1. of, pertaining to, or characterized by comedy: comic opera.
2. of or pertaining to a person who acts in or writes comedy: a comic actor; a comic dramatist.
3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of comedy: comic situations; a comic sense.
4. provoking laughter; humorous; funny; laughable.

FAIL
posted by Doohickie at 10:10 PM on December 8, 2007


You're right, it's not a comic. Mr. Kochalka calls it a "diary strip".
posted by cazoo at 10:40 PM on December 8, 2007


Actually, he calls them "little strippers."
posted by hydrophonic at 11:49 PM on December 8, 2007


Good to see this. Kochalka is, to me, the very definition of "twee." In spite of this, I think it's a brilliant bunch of picto-drawings. Now I can read them all, and want to strangle Kochalka even more.

KOLLLL-CHAAA-KAAAAAAGGGHH!!!!
pant, pant, pant
posted by not_on_display at 6:55 PM on December 9, 2007


Doohickie: Then.... why is it called a comic?

I think you're not getting the crucial difference between *a funny* and *a comic.* Comic as noun has long since lost the direct association with jokes. I mean, Superman... funny? Batman... funny?! Cul de Sac? Funny!

stavrogin: I still don't get Lesbia. Maybe it's a different Catullus.

Goddamn Lesbia... she used be all lovey-dovey, but now she won't give me the time of day. I think I'm gonna havta write some poems saying she's a whore. Otherwise my manhood's gonna be severely compromised.
posted by Kattullus at 11:12 PM on December 9, 2007


Then.... why is it called a comic?

Imagine living in a world where words can have more than one meaning. It would be quite terrifying
posted by ZippityBuddha at 12:49 PM on December 10, 2007


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