This particular article deals with two separate web comics, the quasi-modern-genre Least I Could Do and the satirical fantasy comic Looking For Group (www.lfgcomic.com). The reason they are both being featured in the same article is that they are written by the same writer, Ryan Sohmer, and drawn by the same artist, Lar deSouza, and both comics, for me, rank only slightly below 8-Bit Theatre, if only because Least I Could Do follows a genre I’m not as interested in, and Looking For Group is the relative new kid on the block.
Don’t misunderstand, though, both are fantastic, both in story and artwork.
Least I Could Do consists of daily comic updates, seven days a week; Monday to Saturday, the comic is a four panel affair, easy enough to read quickly before heading off to work or school. On Sunday, they post up a larger comic reminiscent in structure to old Sunday paper color comics, and familiar in art style to Bill Watterson, as it portrays the main character, Rayne Summers’, childhood. Considering Ryan Sohmer has referred to Watterson in at least one of his comics, this similarity is likely meant as a tribute, and that just leaves me all the more approving of it.
The humor in Least I Could Do is decidedly adult humor, with the protagonist, (loosely speaking,) typically bouncing from one woman to another. While there aren’t any overtly graphic scenes in the comic, there’s plenty of innuendo, and several of the jokes do push the chauvinistic line; still, it’s meant to be taken as fictional, and hardly an endorsement to the sort of behavior Rayne Summers finds himself in.
The narrative is typically divided into subplots, with a few knock-knock non-sequitur comics acting as filler in between each. These subplots can range from the relatively mundane, like a visit to Vegas or New York, to the fantastic, like concussion-induced fantasies of Rayne being Batman/Aragorn/Encountering-The-Ghost-Of-The-Still-Living-Keira-Knightly, etc.
The plot further benefits from frequent dropkicks at the fourth wall, as the characters admit freely that they know they’re depicted characters, and more than once they’ve griped about their writer and artist in the comic. This knowledge typically results in a few things not typically found in real life, like talking llamas, hair magically growing back, etc.
A strong supporting cast of characters, each with a distinctive personality and approach to handling Rayne’s, er, peculiarities, lead to plenty of hilarious dialogue, but usually the funniest character in the comic is Rayne himself, as he tends to handle most situations in a, er, unique, fashion. For example, one of his ideas for how his friend could make a marriage proposal;
“Okay, let’s try this. You get down on one knee, right? Look her in the eye with love and affection, and that’s when I release 1,000 doves into the sky. Then I release 1,000 monkeys with slingshots to fight the 1,000 doves, with you eating the heart of the lone victor.”
“Proposal concept number fourteen; Under The Sea.”
The comic has gone through a few artists since its genesis, and as such its art style has altered over the years. Currently, artist Lar deSourza’s depictions of the characters and backgrounds are clear and well-drawn, though his real prowess with art shows in the next comic to be reviewed, Looking For Group. Although the artist’s skills might be slightly limited by the formatting of Least I Could Do, he is nonetheless quite capable of depicting whatever genre of character or setting Sohmer happens to come up with.
Tune in next time for my completely biased look at Looking For Group, the second half of the Sohmer/deSourza collaborative fruits.