Today’s post will be quick, as I’m in the middle of conference mania, and also of a major overhaul of my thesis focus and methodology. Because I’m a bit tired of both monsters and the Victorian at the moment (hard to believe, I know), this week I decided to briefly share a couple of somethings related to my other great research love, the post-apocalyptic. Romantically Apocalyptic and Gone with the Blastwave are two webcomics that I’ve followed for a while. They’ve both got a lot in common, at least on the surface: masked protagonists, post-apocalyptic setting, black humour, and a gruesomely whimsical attitude towards war, death, and destruction. Both don’t have much of an overarching storyline, preferring to focus on snippets and vignettes. And honestly, I think they’re both beautiful.
Gone with the Blastwave was created by Kimmo Lemetti, and follows a group of (largely) unnamed red soldiers fighting groups of blue and yellow soldiers in a ruined city. Why? They can’t really remember. They spend a lot of the webcomic killing time in grimly humorous ways.
Romantically Apocalyptic started up (on DeviantArt) at around the same time, though I actually discovered it long before I came across Gone with the Blastwave. Its creator, Vitaly S Alexius, has suggested that both are indirectly inspired by the comic ‘Goodbye, Soldier!’ by Juan Gimenez from Heavy Metal. Romantically Apocalyptic follows the exploits of The Captain, Pilot, Snippy, and a supplementary cast of survivors, after what seems like a nuclear winter.
Unlike Gone With the Blastwave, Romantically Apocalyptic is made using Alexius’s own photographs, which are painted over in Photoshop.
Each has its own aesthetic, and its own brand of dark humour. In Gone With the Blastwave, this darkness (and its corresponding humour) often comes in the form of actions, as the backgrounds are quite spare:
In Romantically Apocalyptic, on the other hand, it’s often the contrast between the darkly rich backgrounds and the inane action in the panels that creates the humour: