Dresden Codak :: Webcomic
Where can Victorian pseudo-science, historical pre-enactment societies, and a miniature Carl Jung all be found in one place? Dresden Codak of course! The webcomic Dresden Codak is the brain child of one Aaron Diaz, who opted for the name Dresden Codak in order to avoid being confused for the Latin sensation of the same name. The 24 year old Diaz is a freelance artist and cartoonist by trade, and currently resides in Mobile, Alabama.
The comic itself "is an illustrated celebration of science, death and human folly", and while it frequently borders on bizarre and pretentious, where else can you see Gregel Drexel's Copenhagen Interpretation Fantasy Camp and Nelson Mandela face off against alien apartheid? The story, by no means linear, focuses primarily upon the young and idealistic transhumanist Kimiko Ross, and her encounters with the surreal. She is accompanied on a number of her adventures by her friends, a miniature version of Carl Jung ("One of the fathers of modern tiny psychology. Famous for the development of tiny dream analysis, as well as the concepts of the tiny shadow half, tiny archetype, and tiny collective unconscious"), and Dmitri and Alina Tokamak, twins.
Two recurring characters are Rupert & Hubert, a set of Victorian intellectuals who expound on pseudo-scientific topics like the luminiferous aether. Also featured in the comic is Kimiko Red, Kimiko's Jungian Doppleganger (who coincidentally has the opposite Myers-Briggs personality type), and 'Lil Werner, a miniature version of physicist Werner Heisenberg, and his victory over Nazi physicist Philipp Lenard. The comic appears to have been influenced by another webcomic, A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible, but Diaz's illustrations and sense of humor are definitely unique.
The artist is also responsible for the creation of 'Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day', celebrated on December 8th, on which enthusiasts of the comic dress up, attempting to convince passerbys that they come from some far removed period in time without actually revealing they are time travelers. Diaz advises celebrators to do things like:
- “Walk up to random people and say ‘WHAT YEAR IS THIS?' and when they tell you, get quiet and then say ‘Then there's still time!' and run off.”
- “Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell ‘NOOOOOOOOO'”
- “Stare at newspaper headlines and look astonished.”
Dresden Codak is excellently illustrated, and while the subject matter can sometimes be both obscure and dense, I would recommend it for anyone looking for something both intelligent and entertaining. A background in physics and philosophy helps, but can be substituted for a quick Wikipedia search.