Webcomics You Should Be Reading: ‘String Theory’
Have you ever wondered why mad scientists are so intriguing? Many of us can’t help but be fascinated by this type of character. Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Horrible — they are all brilliant, eccentric, and villainous. We know their experiments and actions are in terrible taste, but they’re so darn crazy that it’s fun to watch them work. They are like a train wreck, as in you know they’re bad but you can’t look away.
The infuriating yet lovable Dr. Herville Albert Schtein is among these mad scientists. This quirky genius is from Beckey Grundy’s webcomic “String Theory.” The story takes place in a late 2050’s alternate universe, where the Cuban missile crisis went horribly wrong. The story focuses on the laboratory in which Dr. Schtein and his fellow scientists work with plasma wave converters, super magnets, and fluffy test rodents.Very technical stuff. The webcomic begins soon after a deadly lab explosion, which leaves Schtein with two new things to look forward to: a pair of bio-mechanical eyes, and a replacement assistant. However, Schtein’s excessive jerkiness discourages people from staying in the same room with him, which is an obvious problem for his new assistant, Delia Osgood. Though Schtein is the best-of-the-best, his superiors are losing patience with his behavior. He must set aside his disdain for people if he doesn’t want to be canned, or worse, one-upped by his arch rival Professor Langstrom.
Schtein may be an ass, but we can’t help but want to see what will happen to him next. Grundy’s character-based story draws readers in, and does a great job of making an unlikable person, surprisingly, likable. The plot has interesting twists and turns, but this webcomic seems far from over. It feels like Grundy has quite a bit of story left to tell, and I am personally looking forward to every update. Mood wise, the plot goes up and down. There are comedic moments along with several sinister situations. Perhaps a better way to describe it is that the basic plot is serious and mature, but a layer of lightheartedness keeps it from getting overwhelmingly dark.
The first half of the story is in black and white, though some color was thrown in on occasion. The more recent pages have been in full color, which is lovely. Well, as lovely as the gloomy atmosphere allows. The character designs are great, and Grundy has a talent for making them distinct and fun. Emotions are captured very well through the character’s expressions and behavior, and they are a delight to watch in action.
If you’re looking to get a fix of mad scientist adventures, I’d recommend “String Theory” for your reading pleasure. I don’t envy this Schtein fellow, what with him being neurotic and disgruntled, but it sure is entertaining to watch his mind at work!