Sunday, March 15, 2015

Templar, Arizona

"Men go crazy in congregations
They only get better one by one."

Sting - All This Time

Ah, crap, not another stalled webcomic. Breathe, damn you, breathe! Don't die on us!
And just when it was getting... heh, nah, Templar was always good.

No elves, no giant robots. Not a college comic, not a gaming comic. Not a pop-culture clutter of vampires and switchblade-wielding bunnies. Yet Templar dodged the "slice-of-life" pigeonhole as well by widening its scope from central characters to a maelstrom of social movements butting heads in a city delightfully unworthy of being called realistic. In simple terms, Templar's a place where everyone's militant about something. Anything. Pick your poison: freedom, equality, sex, drugs, music, construction, destruction, bloodsports, the apocalypse, veganism, truth or the old gods of the Nile. The main character could very well die on the next page and the story would easily, seamlessly shift amongst the supporting collage of slogan-chanting head-cases. 'Nother crop o' lunatics comin' right up.

In the desperation for creative novelty, it's easy to forget the distinction between surrealism and sheer randomness. Complete abstraction does little to promote thought. It fails to jar existing thought patterns out of their traditional stream-beds. Templar, in its lively flutter of cannibalistic ideologies, memetic life playing itself through its human hosts, is not unreal but surreal, presenting viewers with a constant barrage of human abnormality turned up to eleven, yet still coexisting. Well, not just that. No-one in Templar would be content to merely exist. They co-depend, co-inflict, co-repress and co-empower. In many ways Templar embodies the idealized city as cultural center, focal point of human advancement, Babel gathering its bricks and mortar, inseparable from its vibrant, proactive dwellers.


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