Replacing Errant Story?

Because it only took Viking-Sensei three years (and the approaching end of Errant Story) to come up with a better name for "General Discussions"

Replacing Errant Story?

Postby RGE » March 22nd, 2012, 8:24 am

Graybeard wrote:To me Errant Story has been so superior, at least for the last couple of years, to almost all others in its genre that I'm not sure how to replace it, even as a temporary measure until Errant Tales start up. Would people be OK with a new thread in the "Errant Rambling" forum to discuss that question of (temporary) replacements in the same genre? It probably fits better there than here, and I for one am very interested in the "what now" question.


I've got three suggestions for people who like Errant Story:

The Bean is a serious and epic fairy tale for all ages, so there are no sex jokes in the forest of Darkleaf. Or any other jokes either, as far as I can tell. People even die, that's how serious it is. Recently an old and apparently evil elf appeared, and isn't that really what Errant Story is all about? Those old, evil elves.

Unsounded is about a scary little mutant troll girl and her faithful attack zombie. Together they travel to a location which they have yet to reach, and they joke and have fun all the time. Limbs fly, places get blown up and the attack zombie sulks and pouts about tragedies from his past. Yep, all fun and jokes. It looks wonderful too. The little girl sometimes teases her attack zombie for being in love with her, and thus being a 'child lover'. So I guess that makes it "not for kids". That, and the red blood. I guess it's not all fun and jokes after all.

Drowtales has been around for long enough that I would think that everyone would already know about it. But since it's an epic story filled to the brim with evil elves and grimdark war, I don't really see why anyone who reads Errant Story wouldn't also enjoy Drowtales. Though, if one is already reading it, it couldn't very well become a 'replacement' for Errant Story.
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Graybeard » March 22nd, 2012, 9:18 am

Thanks for getting this started, and for the initial set of suggestions.

One that I have found to have immense promise for the same combination of thought-provoking world building on the one hand, and wry humor on the other, is "The Meek." Unfortunately, that one is once again on hiatus while the author grapples with a job in the Real World. Not the least impressive of Poe's achievements with Errant Story is that he actually finished the durn thing. Most webcomics with this ambitious a scope don't end gracefully. If "The Meek" ever gets going again, it'll be a worthy successor, although not a replacement. If.
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Itterind » March 23rd, 2012, 4:04 am

This is wonderful, thank you.

I haven't heard of those two at the top, the latter one I've tried to read at times but been turned off by, I'll give it at least a hundred pages to convince me this time. :')
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Drannin » March 23rd, 2012, 1:24 pm

I USED to read Drowtales, but... I dunno, just got sick of it. Didn't like the setting or some of the concepts behind it, I guess. I'll look at the first two, though.
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Labrat » March 23rd, 2012, 4:20 pm

Goblins. It took a few chapters to stop being shit in the beginning but since then it became an oddly drawn ball of magnificent. You just have to get to the jailbreak or so before it really hits its stride.

Don't expect something like Errant Story though. It has a completely different style.
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Itterind » March 24th, 2012, 4:58 pm

Plus it's preachy as hell.

It's been a good long while since the last lecture though. Overall a smashing comic. : )
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby Graybeard » March 25th, 2012, 7:02 pm

Thanks for the ideas, everybody; this has been interesting. However, none of the things you've mentioned remotely approach filling the Errant-Story-shaped hole in my life, and RGE, no offense, but I'm going to home in on one of your recommendations to explain why.
RGE wrote:The Bean is a serious and epic fairy tale for all ages, so there are no sex jokes in the forest of Darkleaf. Or any other jokes either, as far as I can tell. People even die, that's how serious it is. Recently an old and apparently evil elf appeared, and isn't that really what Errant Story is all about? Those old, evil elves.

Well, the whole point is that "those old, evil elves" aren't what Errant Story is -- was -- all about. And that's why it's so hard to replace.

Fantasy fiction, regardless of format, has a pronounced tendency to partition the world into Good and Evil. That's been true for as long as the genre exists, and in its own way, it's one of its attractions: the eventual triumph of Good over Evil makes for satisfying escapist reading without delving too deeply into the fact that the world really isn't that way. However, in other (arguably more) ways, it's the form's Achilles heel. The Black and White Morality meme only has just so many variations that can be used to create interest. Sure, it may be unclear for a time whether a particular character is one of the Good Guys or the Bad Guys, but eventually things get nice and tidy, the Good Guys Win (or not), and it's back to the same old formula.

Errant Story has never been that way. See the (apparently recent) TV Tropes meme, Morality Kitchen Sink; it could have been written around this story. The vastly more nuanced view of morality that prevails here makes for depth to the characters that I have never seen any other webcomic achieve, and have seen very rarely in any fiction form. It also makes for attachments to the characters that are deep and intense. It's hard work being an Errant Story fan -- hard work of a very good kind. I don't see that in any of the webcomics people have been suggesting, although I might be missing something.

Keep those suggestions coming, and please, if you think I'm paying some of your favorites short shrift from the standpoint of depth, defend them -- I'm more than willing to be proven wrong.
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Re: Replacing Errant Story?

Postby RGE » March 26th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Graybeard wrote:Well, the whole point is that "those old, evil elves" aren't what Errant Story is -- was -- all about. And that's why it's so hard to replace.

I'll admit that I was exaggerating there. I mostly recommended The Bean because it had a lot of things in common with Errant Story, such as black and white art, detailed world, 'old magic' coming back to haunt the new world. Superficial stuff like that. If I had known that it was grey-shaded morality that you wanted I would have recommended Juathuur instead. And I probably should have recommended that one anyway, since it might have even more in common with Errant Story than the other comics I recommended. It's actually my favourite webcomic too, largely because of its shades of grey. And yet I still had to be reminded of it in this context by looking at Slamlander's list. :roll:

Then again, I don't think that even Juathuur goes that heavily into the moral nuances. Much like in Drowtales and Unsounded, Juathuur has characters with various motivations to do various things. And it wouldn't be much of a story if some (or a lot) of those things didn't go against the things that other characters want. That's pretty much all I ask for, as I'm usually not particularly interested in deep discussions about the morality of the conflicts.

As for hard work, I'm too much of a slacker for that. So I never really build any deep or intense attachments to characters. Unless thinking that a character is really, really cool counts. But that doesn't take any work. It's entirely possible that large parts of Errant Story have been wasted on me, and that my detachment from humanity makes it impossible for me to make a good recommendation to you.

But I do read The Meek. Whenever it updates. :)
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