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Oglaf


URL: www.oglaf.com (totally Not Safe For Work)
Creator/s: Trudy Cooper, Doug Bayne
Run: 2009(?)-current
Schedule: Sundays

Website: Like Widdershins, this comic has horizontal pages, which means that a reader can go through the whole thing without ever having to scroll. It's a fun format that makes archive-binging a breeze.

The Archive page is the site's main feature, and it offers convenient indicators for readers, such as which pages contain cursing or nudity. Some of the notes are also kind of funny, which makes the site another source of humor instead of merely an index.

Lastly, the comic has its own Wiki, which is "an effort of fans and Oglaf enthusiasts." A webcartoonist has it pretty good when other people go out of their way to work on their website stuff.

Writing: Oglaf's the No. 3 most popular webcomic, behind xkcd and Gunnerkrigg Court, according to Piperka, and while it's mainly known as a sexy webcomic, it has terrific writing to go along with its boobs and dicks. Here are three of the main reasons why this webcomic's so fun to read.

Originality. Combining fantasy with sex jokes is a refreshingly novel concept. While the creators don't have a particularly great sense of humor, I was eager to keep clicking on the "Next Page" button because the jokes and situations are unlike anything I've seen in a comic before. For example, a notable amount of gags revolve around enchanted penises, and while it's more gross than sexy, it's a wild alternative to the Dungeons & Dragons-style magic usually found in fantasy webcomics. The creators also find ways to add a perverted twist to famous Disney/fantasy characters, such as Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and the Snow Queen, and mythological creatures, like centaurs, gorgons, and nymphs, and while these gags aren't ever all that funny, they're always at least a little clever and thoughtful. Another thing I'd like to point out is that while a lot of pornographic webcomics try to milk sexual situations for as much drama as possible, all of the rape and sex in this comic is portrayed as purely based on lust. It's a fun and entertaining approach, as webcartoonists are often very clumsy when they try to incorporate drama and romance into a sex scene.

Diversity. A lot of the porn webcomics out there only focus on man-on-man sex (aka yaoi), but Oglaf offers a surprising amount of variety, making it sexually appealing to different demographics. I'd estimate that the material's 40 percent heterosexual, 40 percent man-on-man, 10 percent woman-on-woman, and 10 percent whatever else (such as bestiality), and it feels like everyone's turn-ons are covered to an extent. The racial diversity's notable as well, as there are several black characters that appear in the comic. As fantasy stories are stereotypically based on medieval Europe, usually either everybody is white, or there will only be one "token" black character thrown in to diversify the cast a little.

World-building. This comic provides a coherent fantasy setting where its inhabitants are brazenly comfortable with nudity and sexuality. There's also an unusual social structure present in which a group of aggressive, dominatrix-type women have power over the surrounding territories. Despite Oglaf being a gag comic, the setting receives more attention than in a lot of serious fantasy webcomics, which can sometimes get too wrapped up in their action and drama to establish a proper context. The presentation of the comic's perverse environments also makes the section with the secret town of virgins that much more appealing since the contrast is so severe. I credit the creators' strong storytelling abilities that they're able to work these fantasy elements into their comic without detracting from the humor and pacing.

A lot of reviewers have chosen to approach Oglaf as a porn comic, but I think it's somewhat underappreciated as a great fantasy comic as well. The creators had a novel idea to blend several genres together, and they executed it brilliantly, creating a unique and remarkable webcomic as a result.

Art: The creator's perfect at drawing pornography, and she's had plenty of practice at it, as she started working on Platinum Grit in the mid-90s, a series that's "noted for sexy drawings of girls," according to the comic's Wikipedia page. While Oglaf has an introduction page clarifying that it's intended as "sex comedy" rather than pornography, it's safe to assume that the comic's sex appeal has contributed to its popularity.

I'm impressed by how realistic and anatomically correct the illustrations are, as the comic avoids the cliché of having women with impossibly big boobs and tiny waists. The most prominent female characters actually all have relatively small boobs, with the minor characters being the more conventionally attractive ones. And despite the heavy focus on anatomy, the creator never shows any sign of struggle at drawing men, women, animals, and monsters in a variety of positions and perspectives.

Similar to Insert Image, the creators chose to only update their comic once a week, while gives them time to make longer, more detailed pages. The backgrounds and coloring are excellent, and the story-like jokes that result are more elaborate and visual than those in webcomics with three- or four-panel strips.

Overall: Oglaf has earned its reputation of being one of the best webcomics. The creators have a knack for telling stories and coming up with ridiculous characters, and while the gags aren't great, there's more than enough boldness and creativity here to keep the comic from ever getting boring. And when it comes to the pornography -- the comic's most notable aspect -- I can't think of any other webcomics that handle it with more diligence and skill than this one. If you haven't had a chance to read Oglaf yet, you're missing out.

5/5

2 comments :

  1. Oglaf is great! I thought I wouldn't like it since I'm not into porn comics, but the lack of melodrama makes it so much better instead of reading about angsty teen characters being angry with each other for having sex with so-and-so.

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