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Sinbad: The Webcomic

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I think it was someone in the Darths & Droids forum who linked a few weeks back to Sinbad Comic.

It's another screen-capture webcomic; this one is “based on the incredible, incomparable, and inexplicable 1989 Lou Ferrigno film, Sinbad of the Seven Seas.”

But unlike Darths & Droids, this one has nothing to do with roleplaying games. Instead, it just messes with the movie's storyline and characters.

I've never seen the movie, and don't intend to. (I gather the comic is slightly more fun if you have, but then again I gather the movie is awful.) But I'm mostly quite enjoying what the webcomic author (“Sam”) is doing with it.

For example, apparently the movie has a Princess Bride-like framing device in which a modern-day mother is reading the story of Sinbad aloud to her daughter. In the webcomic version, as we see in the first episode, the daughter is entertainingly smart and bloodthirsty:

But Poe is one of America's most famous writers! Clever and dissolute, during his short but frenzied life, he wrote some fifty stories about the existential uncertainty of the human condition!

. . . And what it's like to be buried alive!!

Sam has made some changes to the visuals as well as to the plot. Most notably, he's added a new character to the cast: a CGI kid named Charlie, who says things like “Snargleblomp, baby!” and leaps off of things and hangs about in the spaces between panels.

Sam also has fun with formats and styles. For example, episode 14 (from Prince Ali's point of view) is a black-and-white film noir pastiche. (“Her words burned like a plug of tobacco hiccuped up the nose.”)

One of the best parts of the comic is the evil Jaffar, who makes some of the best faces in evildom. And has a bit of an ego: “Falling in love with me is inevitable, really. I've done it myself.”

There've been 73 installments so far, and the adventure is well underway, but I recommend reading through the archives from the start; it doesn't take long. Also take a look at the comments section under each strip, which sometimes includes notes from the author.

It has slow bits, but even those often end up being entertaining. For example, at one point Sinbad and his crew consult an oracle known as the Lonesome Dude; the buildup to that scene felt a little slow to me, but then the oracle turned out to be able to predict the very near future, which is one of my favorite bits of the series so far.

The strip is updated twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. I don't enjoy it quite as much as my two current favorite online comics (Darths & Droids and Girl Genius), but it's usually fun and often quite funny; worth reading.

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