The grim side of DC's Zuda Comics program is its swiftly growing graveyard. With 10 competitors every month and only one winner, that leaves the vast majority of promising webcomics in arrested development. Each story has eight pages to make its case -- and if voters aren't feeling it, page nine won't be around the corner anytime soon.
This month's Zuda Thunderdome includes the new comic from Harold Sipe and Buster Moody, Maintaining Bohemia. The team behind Screamland, Fangoria Magazine's Best Horror Series of 2008, turn their attention to a truly terrifying subject: art school. In their hands, the black sheep of higher education gets a scathing group critique from the janitorial and security staff that keeps the place from falling apart under the weight of its own pretensions.
Sipe's writing pulls out the laughs as well as the knives (there are at least two "oh, snap" moments on every half-page that rang true for this art-school dropout). Moody's artwork is, well, moody; his expressive caricatures convey an atmosphere that amplifies the dark, cynical humor. This is a wild webcomic that pulls out the stops, hopefully we get to see what comes next.
You can read Maintaining Bohemia for yourself over at Zuda Comics. If you like what you see, be sure to vote for it, lest we are kept waiting for that ninth page indefinitely.