One of my favourite webcomics, Rice Boy, recently concluded after a staggering two years and 439 pages. Finishing something. Man, I wish I could do that.

Rice Boy is the story of the titular “rice boy,” a small, innocent, limbless thing living in a surreal world filled with bizarre and dangerous creatures. His adventures begin when he is sought out by The One Electronic, one of my favourite fictional characters ever: a long-coated robotic man with a monitor for a face, which flashes early 20th century footage to roughly correlate to whatever mood he’s in.

Rice Boy and The One Electronic

T-O-E and his comrade Calabash have been tasked with finding the messiah by God, who has kindly allowed them to live for as long as they please until they accomplish their mission. So far they’ve spent three thousand years becoming increasingly disillusioned by countless false candidates, who often go mad with power and wreak havoc upon the world. Rice Boy is the latest in a long line of failures and fuckups – but T-O-E has a good feeling about this one!

The One Electronic and Calabash

So begins an epic and intriguing voyage into the creative fantasy of writer and illustrator Evan Dahm. His art is not great, I’ll say that up front (I suspect this may be partly due to time constraint, since his side projects are often of a much higher visual quality). It’s Dahm’s wild imagination that makes Rice Boy a gem of a webcomic. This is fantasy as it’s supposed to be – creating fresh concepts and ideas, not retreading stale old genre tropes that wore out three decades ago. Throw determinist philosophy and religious parables into the mix and it’s a winning combination. Go ahead and spend the small hours of a rainy night reading through the archives – one of the technological age’s greatest pleasures.

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