A Year of Cool Comics - Day 9

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here's the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at Chris Onstad's Achewood...


Achewood is a web comic by writer/artist Chris Onstad following the comic misadventures of a group of anthropomorphic animals and stuffed animals (but, for the purpose of this piece, let's just pretend that they're all human, okay?).

The "main character" (as much as anyone is the main character) is Ray - he is crass, but generous with his money and friendship. He is "worldly," which usually just means that he knows lots of stuff that you would never ever think you would want to know, but occasionally actually does come in handy.

Roast Beef is Ray's best friend, and the pair are basically the "co-leads" of the strip. Roast Beef is married to a "woman" named Molly.

Other characters in the strip are perpetual five year old Philippe, Cornelius Bear (the oldest and most erudite of the group, a writer who finds himself working some extremely sketchy jobs for a writer as talented as he), the sensitive Téodor and the often belligerent (but always interesting) Lyle.

The comic is typically absurdist humor and often just has one-off strips.

Occasionally, though, Onstad will break from both of these - both by having longer story arcs and also by having serious strips (to wit, Onstad's take on Roast Beef's often crippling depression are brutal).

Okay, let's take a look at some strips to give you an idea of how cool Achewood is.

I mentioned Cornelius' odd jobs? Well, check out the time he became the Closed Caption Writer for the Spice Channel...

Here's a bit from early last year (which was a particularly good year for the strip) where Road Beef helps Téodor pay the rent...

Here's young, naive Phillipe's take on 2009...

Here's a taste of a longer story arc (it begins with Ray talking to Cornelius about something Ray is quite good at - coming up with ways to make some money)...

Finally, we end with one of the most notable Achewood comics I can recall. Over the years, we've gotten glimpses of Roast Beef's horrible childhood. On the following strip, Onstad does a great job of showing just how awful the guy's life as a kid was, while also showing how bad his depression is nowadays...

Be forewarned: this strip is BRUTAL!

Hmmm...you know what, that was TOO brutal! Let's end on a happier note, with one of the most popular Achewood strips of all-time!

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