This week, something a bit different: the fantasy/comedy web-comic ARON'S ABSURD ARMADA by MiSun Kim.
There's millions of web-comics (probably literally), and I have read hundreds, many from start to finish as they were produced/published, many of which I still read and will continue to read as long as they are on-going (such as Sinfest and Something Positive). But here's the thing: like anything else long-running, very few web-comics, even the good ones, are consistently good. And by very few, I mean almost none. It's not the fault of the creators' necessarily - it's a difficult format and humor, which many web-comics fall under the umbrella of, is an especially difficult genre to pull off and keep pulling off consistently.
ARON'S ABSURD ARMADA does that. Does it brilliantly, in fact.
The set-up is fairly simple: Lord Aron Cornwall, the son of a duke, who is third in line for the throne of a kingdom that initially seems to be England, though the location/origin of which later becomes nebulous as the series strays from the original historical setting to a more fantasy-oriented one, is good-natured, adventurous and exceptionally stupid. And bored. Very very very very bored. His dream? To become a pirate. And when he expresses this to his doting mother (doting only to him; she's rather nasty to everyone else, including Aron's father), she buys him a ship, hires him a crew and sends him off.
And awaaaaay we go!
What follows are increasingly zany, ridiculous and hilarious adventures as Aron and company search for treasure, fight the royal navy (often Aron's childhood--and prior to the start of the series, only--friend, Lord Luther Nelson, who frequently contrives ways to let Aron off the hook), monsters, demons, gods, kings and often each other while going through who knows how many ships and constantly adding new and unusual members to the crew. Aron, the dullest knife in any drawer you can think of, nevertheless has a talent for attracting people - only they're frequently the worst kind of incompetents, such as: a chef whose food kills people no matter how hard he works at improving his cooking; a transvestite assassin slash hair-dresser with literal hair-growth magic who is mostly concerned with being the most-beautiful person in any group he finds himself part of; a phantom thief who is the most skilled thief on the planet, but who doesn't really like stealing from people cuz it isn't very nice; a witch who can create potions that can do literally anything you want them to - but will kill you the next day without fail.
It gets increasingly complex and silly as numerous characters are added, their stories woven into the main narrative (each arc of which usually take place over 20-30 strips at a time) and sometimes taking over entirely, as it transitions from a more or less historically-accurate late 17th/early 18th-century European setting to a more fantasy and/or sci-fi setting. No matter what the story brings, though, it's never less than hilariously zany and lightly whimsical.
The art is also fantastic, seamlessly switching from somewhat sketchy, but good-quality realistic manga-esque style to more SD cartoony styles when appropriate, and the interspersed standard comic stories (page to page sequentials instead of strips) give MiSun Kim a chance to show her artistic chops off.
There's really very little I can say about this comic that isn't complimentary. I just loved it and I know you will, too, if you give it a chance.