Created by Tom Dell'Aringa, our subject today is a Sci-fi humor and adventure webcomic by the name of 'Marooned'. John, an astronaut, and his sarcastic robot companion, Asimov, are introduced to us shortly after being stranded on Mars. Their rocket completely out of fuel, they're introduced to a number of alien life forms inhabiting the red planet.
Now, when a webcomic makes me laugh on the first strip it's a pretty good sign. I've found that webcomics can sometimes take some time before being hitting its stride. Thankfully, the sarcastic robot concept never gets old in webcomics and Asimov hits the ground running in strip #1.
The comic shifts between Gag-a-day and plot-a-day whenever the need arises. At a little under 100 strips, the comic has just tackled its first major story arc involving a maniacal robot with what seemed to be a doomsday device of some kind.
My uncertainty as to what the device was brings me to my one complaint about the strip. The whole evil robot plot-line came out of nowhere and confused the hell out of me. John and Asimov were talking about him like I was supposed to know who he was and I actually went back through the comic to see if there was some reference to him which I missed. And I never really got what he was trying to accomplish or why it was so dastardly. Ultimately, it turned out there was no hidden back story other than what has been alluded to by John and Asimov and his goals are probably yet to be revealed.
Oh... but the art... ::le sigh:: 'Marooned' has some simple, but extremely beautiful coloring work. The introduction to the underground city was very impressive. Tom has done quite a bit of experimentation when it comes to the style for the webcomic, and it pays off in the most recent strips. His current iteration adds more detail to the line work while the colors look like they were painted with watercolor. It's exceptional work that delivers more than what one could ask for from a webcomic like 'Marooned'. I hope it stays just the way it is.
Let's skip the usual comments on sites running ComicPress and jump right to where I compliment the other aspects of the design, ok? Well, the page background and header are wonderfully done and give the site a nice aesthetic that compliments the webcomic perfectly. Even the rss and contact buttons on the right column show the extra effort that was put into making the site more than just a ComicPress site.
Other than that one small, but jarring, issue mentioned above, 'Marooned' remains a solid and amusing webcomic with enough style to keep it afloat while it finds its feet. And I have no doubt about this webcomic's staying power. It hits all the right spots; it can be clever, smart, fun, and beautifully rendered. If Tom can keep that going, he'll do fine. So, go have a read and give Tom some props while you're there.
Captain John and his robot companion Asimov have landed the first manned mission on Mars. But they are out of fuel, food and patience with each other.