Who says that artsy stuff has to be…well, stuffy? Johnny Wander is a fantastic artsy comic with a everyday-life vibe. Or, if you prefer, a slice-of-life comic with an artsy side. Think of it like drinking soda out of a silver-dusted, crystal glass. Or going to a fancy place and ordering a dirty-water hot dog.
Penned by super-sweet couple Ananth Panagariya and Yuko Ota (that’s them, above), Johnny Wander outlines some of the most wonderful and mundane aspects of life with roommates and a pesky cat. The strips are usually one-off stories featuring a quick peek into their world. Luckily, for the reader, these peeks are almost uniformly funny or, in the very least, amusing.
Aside from the short quirky posts, Ota and Panagariya have started exploring longer, more complex arcs involving more complex characters. For example, one of their most beautiful stories is The Girl With The Skeleton Hand, about a beautiful young woman with a strange appendage. The illustration in this arc is absolutely amazing, showing fantastic use of color and some really unique paneling. More than anything, it shows the potential that these two young artists have.
The art, as a whole, is pretty breathtaking, even when the comics are simple one-offs illustrating something fairly mundane, like a leaky basement or an freak injury. The writing is good (especially on the longer arcs), but generally not something to get excited about. Johnny Wander updates several times per week, depending upon the artists’ schedules, and is definitely worth a view and a bookmark!