Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Webcomic Wednesday #8: Dear Toadington

The original intent behind Webcomic Wednesday was, quite frankly, that we'd do them more often than we have. We haven't had one of these since the Homestuck review last June. The thing was, Kuurion got me into reading Homestuck at about that time, and I thought I'd be able to do my own review of it by July. It hasn't worked out that way because I still haven't finished Homestuck; it's incredibly complex and staggeringly long. So I just ended up not writing any more of these. Until now! Today is a Wednesday, and I'm making myself do this.

But I'm going to ease myself back into doing these with a softball review of a comic I love without reservation: Dear Toadington. It's made by two brothers, James and Jefferson Miller. The closest thing it has to a plot is shown in the first strip:

After that, each of the comics is titled "Stories About...", where each comic is a separate story being shared with Toadington. The whole setup is sort of like "Robot Chicken," except that I actually like Dear Toadington. I was made aware of it the one and only time they advertised with Our World as (and I'm paraphrasing from memory) "the webcomic for the discerning gentleman amphibian." At the time, this was the current comic. It's still one of my favorites:

It's smart and it's sick. I haven't liked, or even understood, every single Dear Toadington comic, but when I do, they're usually defined by those two characteristics.

It's rare for the people who pass through the warped lens of a DT strip to show up more than once, but there are exceptions. The Millers themselves appear in a number of comics (especially the early ones) and Daedalus, of mythological fame, appears in "Stories About History's Greatest Inventor," "More Stories About History's Greatest Inventor," and, as of this week, "Even More Stories About History's Greatest Inventor." His inaugural comic is a perfect demonstration of the Millers' sense of humor. Daedalus is tasked with building a labyrinth to contain the minotaur. The word "labyrinth" is normally used as a synonym for "maze," but in truth it isn't. A maze has dead ends in it; a true labyrinth is just a very long path. King Minos has his doubts when shown the blueprints, but Daedalus is sure that nothing could ever walk the whole two miles of the labyrinth and escape. Naturally, he is wrong.

The world of Dear Toadington is invariably childish but often hostile. In one comic, for instance, a man is shown walking down the sidewalk and is then randomly set upon by crows, with "CROWPOCALYPSE" written across the bottom of the page. In another, a different man walking down a different sidewalk arrives at a "sidewalk closed" sign, pops a Mentos in his mouth, and is shown in the last panel wearing a bomb vest in a standoff with police. In the series' most random cartoon to date, "Stories About Awkward Conversations," we see the Millers eating in a diner and discussing a Choose Your Own Adventure book when a sad looking clown comes up and puts a bloody handprint on the outside of the window. They both look at it, and then James asks Jeff again which adventure he chose.

Kuurion doesn't get Dear Toadington, something I have never faulted him for. Dear Toadington is not something that can be gotten 100% of the time. But, fortunately, they have a Twitter feed, which you might find useful for narrowing down why you aren't getting something in particular.


  1. My favorite comic! :D
    Also the alt text contains some of the better punchlines in the comic.

  2. I know! I love the alt text. Sometimes, it almost tells me what's going on.