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Sunday Morning Funnies: Away From Reality

Amanda Miller

Sunday Morning Funnies is your weekly list of WoW-related web comics.

Each week, we're featuring a regularly updating WoW-related web comic from our list. This week, we're shining the spotlight on Away From Reality:

Away From Reality (AFR) is a comic by Erik Jensen. Professor of ancient Mediterranean history by day, WoW-player by night, he has been creating AFR comics since 2007 but adventuring in Azeroth since 2004. It is made using software programs such as Poser, Bryce, GIMP and Paint, and most comics take 2-3 hours to do up (not counting the days or weeks spent with the jokes percolating in the back of Jensen's mind, of course).

Jensen aims for humor and accessibility, so new readers can jump straight in and won't feel lost. The tone is light and on the occasions when the comic is critical, he tries to keep it fair and maintain the silliness. Most of his inspiration comes from his own play-time, but he also gets ideas from engaging with WoW-related media.

The comic is grounded firmly in World of Warcraft. The characters are living in a game and they know it; Jensen often draws on this contradiction for comedic effect. The characters themselves are ordinary; they don't have the latest gear, they struggle to level up, they suffer defeats and setbacks.

Alaxia and Gord are the main and original characters. Gord is the group's go-to tank, a prot warrior, and the comic's everyman. He means well, he tries his best, but life just keeps kicking him in the face – but he doesn't let it get him down. Alaxia (a druid), on the other hand, is sweet, optimistic, and therefore easily disappointed.

Morgatha was the third major character to be added, and over time, has developed quite a strong friendship with Alaxia. A typical warlock, she is snarky, impatient, even violent – except with Alaxia. According to Jensen, she's also the most openly sexual, and can be counted on to deliver the dirty jokes.

Hurgon, a healer, takes everything personally. Perpetually depressed, he's the "Eeyore" of the group. He's also a bit oblivious, which certainly doesn't help. He shares a "friendly antagonism" with Gord, although they are united in their annoyance and frustration with DPS.

Targe is less sophisticated but makes up for it with his "unfailing enthusiasm." He also possesses some interesting characteristics, which Jensen describes as "child-like." For example, his boundless imagination allows him to achieve things that others cannot, simply because he doesn't realize it's impossible.

Finally, there's Thizzible, the role-playing Jewish gnome who started out as a one-off character but won Jensen over and became a regular, rounding out the main cast of 6.

AFR has been going strong for half a decade and shows no signs of stopping. It updates once a week.

And now, for this week's comic list:

In comic news this week, Gratz is celebrating posting comic #300! Congratulations! The 300th comic took three days to complete, and features lots of fire.

What's Shakin' is back this week, as Coffin is feeling much better, thanks to some good sinus meds (but will be out next week, thanks to going out of town, which I suppose is a good excuse). And The Gnomish Investigation Agency is also back, which hopefully means that the computer demons were slain (or whatever was going on there).

If you don't usually check out The Trolling of Azeroth (it's newish!) I recommend its Maps comic. It's funny and pretty accessible to casual players and casual readers of hilarious things alike. (You can click on the images to make them more readable.) NPC is also on the list this week with something a bit different. There are no cats (I know!) but it somehow manages to be cute anyway!

Finally, do you like the art style over at From Draenor With Love? Are you going to BlizzCon? Do you want a BlizzCon badge that consists of a watercolor painting of your character (and digital file) and also a separate nametag (possibly despite not going to BlizzCon)? You're in luck!

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