May 2, 2012
Not quite sticky, not quite serious, very much fantastical.
Our Little Adventure is a webcomic by Daniel Landolt, springing from the same creative ooze as Remember on the Order of the Stick forums (though quite a ways after the original webcomic boom that Remember came out of, starting in 2009). The story is set in a rather typical fantasy setting and centers around a group of human adventurers, beginning with a fighter, ranger, bard, sorceress, and rogue, later also acquiring a wizard and barbarian (character sheets are available). Unlike a lot of such comics however the focus is much more on comedy and the fourth-wall of roleplaying games (Dungeons & Dragons in particular, as is perhaps commonplace in webcomics, save the odd MMO comic like Looking For Group’s original focus) than on any dramatic or serious plotline (though plotline there is indeed, with the quest to obtain a powerful magic artifact).
Artistically, the comic shows its roots in the Burlewan style, particularly in facial expression. There is the occasional break from the standard order of Burlewan expressions, such as to include sclera and iris rather than just iris, which to be honest does not fit much at all with the rest of the comic, but the instances are so far between it’s a gripe hardly worth mentioning. Where the art diverges from Burlewan noticeably is in the extremities of characters, drawn full-bodied rather than with the black sticks that characterise stick figure styles in general. This means a lot more work is done in posing characters, in order to maintain appropriate thickness and not have things look anatomically bizarre. Generally speaking whilst the characters look a little strange when seen only from the shoulders up (as in their banner on Order of the Stick), the art is done pretty well and the characters are rendered with attention to detail and very effective use of mixed border thicknesses (that is, the outlines of different elements are of varying sizes). Character designs also change over the course of the comic, which has thus far reached over 300 pages, Angelika the Rogue being the most obvious example. Positioning of features like mouths and eyes could use a little work, but nothing too major to really ruin the comic.
Story-wise, things get a little complicated. The group gets together in the opening pages, Emily being a much later addition, and then a plan is hatched, which the group has been somewhat meandering along on for much of the story’s run. In all, I’d say it suffers quite a bit for being so lacking in progress despite the substantial archive, but otherwise the writing is pretty decent. Dialogue, though often covering much of a page in walls of text, is done pretty well and appropriate chunks are devoted to the appropriate characters with interactions between them being handled rather nicely.
Overall, whilst it has its flaws I think Our Little Adventure is worth a look. Personally, I would start with the more recent pages rather than going with an archive binge, though you may miss a few references. The comic updates irregularly, with new pages 2-4 days apart normally.
Suggestions for other webcomics to feature are always appreciated!