Webcomics You Should Be Reading: ‘Something*Positive’
Randy Milholland is a very, very angry man. He distills that anger into the purest form of hate known to man, which he uses as ink. And with that ink, he effects a marvelous transformation of rage into humor, he creates Something*Positive.
Of course, as many an astute reader has noticed, “Your comic isn’t positive at all! It’s mean!”
S*P is based in Milholland’s real life, and follows the adventures of Davan MacIntire (obviously modeled on Milholland) and his friends as they find and lose love, perform irreverent musicals, play inventive role-playing games, deal with family troubles, and cause amusing property damage and extreme bodily harm to those who incite them.
Milholland also has a number of other comic projects. Those that are still updating appear on the main S*P homepage, and include: Super Stupor, a gag-a-strip comic about super-heroes and villains who are a bit more genre-savvy than usual; Something*Positive 1937-1938, which chronicles the life of Davan’s namesake, a friend of the character’s grandfather; Midnight Macabre, which follows stand-up comic Gaspar Baugh as he tries to revitalize a late-night horror TV show in 1981; and Rhymes With Witch, a collection of unconnected gags that have randomly emerged from Milholland’s brain. He has a discontinued project called New Gold Dreams, based on a roleplaying campaign introduced in S*P; and filler strips titled Life With Rippy, featuring Milholland and his “muse”, a talking straight-razor.
The introduction of Choo-Choo Bear, the malleable kitty
Davan is the universe’s buttmonkey, in what become Kim’s most well-known running gag.
A second disturbing cat, Twitchy-Hug, is introduced and eventually removed.
A crossover with Queen of Wands . The main character of Queen of Wands eventually joined the cast of Something*Positive permanently.
Aubrey’s business venture, the sex-line for Geeks, Nerdrotica.
Fred and Faye MacIntire’s perfect day
Drama: Medium. The world of Something*Positive sucks, and though the characters virtually always bounce back and pass the suffering on to others, actual pathos has been known to rear its ugly head.
Humor: Excellent, though dark and often offensive. Milholland makes no bones about slaughtering sacred cows, turning humor out of sensitive subjects. Viewer discretion is advised, but if you can handle most stand-up comedy (particularly George Carlin), you’ll appreciate this.
Continuity: High. Very few of the comics stand alone, and stories tend to weave around to different characters as exciting eents happen in their lives. This is one where it’s important to start from the first strip [link: http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp12192001.shtml] and do an archive trawl in order.
Art: A cartoon-ish line-art style that has improved as the comic has evolved. How detailed the background art is varies from strip to strip, ranging from detailed depictions of Davan’s childhood home to flat one-color backdrops.
Archive: Almost seven years, about 2000 page-sized comics.
Updates: Irregularly, usually 3-7 comics per week. The main Something*Positive strip tends to be a bit more reliable than the others. For most of the archives, Milholland maintained (or retroactively added) a five- or seven-day-per-week schedule.
Risk/Reward: The story is very slice-of-life, and like life, doesn’t have a real beginning or ending. Milholland has commented that he has an ongoing plan for all of his comics and when they’re due to end, but schedule slips have called that into question. The best approach is probably just to enjoy it while you’ve got it.