You're all, "It's too quiet, guys." Instant weird shit
November 6, 2013 8:16 AM   Subscribe

String Theory is a character-driven serialized comic book published on the web and written/illustrated by Dirk Grundy (Twitter cat feed). Following the adventures of grumpy, socially inept super scientist Dr. Herville Schtein, it is set in an alternate timeline where "the Cuban missile crisis went terribly wrong," the Cold War never ended, super scientists and super powered individuals run amok, the American Southwest is an irradiated postnuclear desert, " not doing so well," and Chicago... Let's not talk about Chicago. It is about failure and families and how we all kind of mess each other up a little, but only because we care. It's kind of sad. But also kind of funny. Think Venture Brothers with the satire and comedy turned down, and the characterization and plotting turned up. Oh! There is also a very cute talking cat, if that helps sell it for you.

Note: The art and storytelling evolve quite a bit throughout the series, and the plot begins in earnest in Chapter 2. Chapter 1 is something of a fakeout, and something more than a fakeout. You'll see.
posted by byanyothername (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Welp, that's another evening that's going to be wasted archive diving. Thanks a lot.

(No really, thanks.)
posted by MartinWisse at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2013

Out of editorial mode: in some ways, it kind of makes me imagine what we'd get if Jhonen Vasquez had continued making comics. The tone, writing, art and premise sometimes have a Vasquez-ish feel, but it's more refined and mature. Also, sometimes the jokes are the saddest moments.
posted by byanyothername at 8:45 AM on November 6, 2013

There Leonard's the asocial one.
posted by Lorem Ipsum Wilder at 9:06 AM on November 6, 2013

I'm glad for the extended explanation, because I'm on page 12 and nothing has happened except for people talking about themselves and each other, and then on page 13 somebody starts going to an orientation session in which people talk about things, and while I'm not generally a Michael Bay stuff I do kind of like an occasional "something happens" in my mad science/adventure comics.

I'll tough it out for now, but when your comic starts with a bunch of people talking about something really exciting that just happened, instead of showing that exciting thing happening, it kinda gives me doubts.
posted by Shepherd at 9:12 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I got to page ... seventeen? Eww. (Looks to me like our scientist ran to the bathroom to quick rub one out vis a vis his new assistant -- he later claims it was coffee -- and I'm done.) Sorry I didn't make it to the talking cat.
posted by which_chick at 9:23 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

just read through all of it. i thought the first couple chapters were pretty awful. but i guess the story is finally getting somewhere and i'm curious where it's going. not sure it will go somewhere that's not also awful though.
posted by yeoz at 10:26 AM on November 6, 2013

I kind of can't decide if this is an incredibly sexist comic, or if it's depicting an incredibly sexist character for later comeuppance, but either way I'm not enjoying spending time with this incredibly sexist character.

Ah, just got to page thirty-seven where the female character inexplicably kisses her boss who's been nothing but terrible to her for the first thirty-six pages -- yeah, I'm pretty much done.
posted by ook at 10:30 AM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

Guys: Dr. Schtein is a not-nice person. Sorry I didn't clarify that; I thought it was obvious (I mean, he even looks kind of stereotypically evil!). While he's not-nice, he is weirdly sympathetic and interesting to learn more about. That's how Osgood feels about him: pretty much, "This man is insufferable and awful but what a fascinating disaster his life has been."

So, yeah, to be clear, it's a story about an unpleasant, kind of misogynistic, totally broken human being. It's not a wink-nod-amirite misogynistic story, though.
to quick rub one out vis a vis his new assistant
He's peeing. Or, maybe, pretending to. As an excuse to get away from Osgood. Because he does like and oddly respect her, and that's making him hardcore uncomfortable. Because he's weird.

I included the little note for a reason. The art and story set up certain expectations that the comic later demolishes. If it helps at all, read Dr. Schtein in James Urbaniak's voice. That's basically what the intention is.
posted by byanyothername at 11:02 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Man that's good. I can't wait to see where this is going.
posted by mfu at 12:25 PM on November 6, 2013

Yeah, I was reading Dr. Schtein's lines in Rusty Venture's voice by the second chapter.
posted by tdismukes at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2013

Color me intrigued.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:52 PM on November 6, 2013

My daughter introduced me to String Theory, and I liked it up through the major plot turn of prison. After that, I've lost track.
posted by doctornemo at 9:59 AM on November 7, 2013

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