is a webcomic
written and illustrated by Aaron Diaz
. Described by Diaz as a "celebration of science, death and human folly," each comic generally focuses on a concept or theory
from modern and postmodern philosophy
, or science (particularly quantum physics
). Concepts are presented with a surreal degree of reality, generally to the chagrin of its chief protagonist
, Kimiko. For example, in " Summer Dream Job
", Kimiko is given a job in her dreams, for which she receives payment in real life. Before long, dark-suited government agents arrive and inform her that she is profiting from creative energy without her ideas being processed by Corporate America
and therefore violating federal labor laws
, proceeding then to deport her from her own subconscious
It is currently in a long-running sequence called "Hob", involving Kimiko discovering a post-Singularity robot, and its retrieval by people of the future for whom Earth had been destroyed in a war with the artificial intelligence that took care of the planet.
Dresden Codak is a founding member of the alternative webcomic collective, Koala Wallop.
In a comic on October 26, 2007, Diaz announced, "I have decided to go full-time with the comic. My regular day job ends in a week."
- Kimiko "Thunderbolt" Ross: The most commonly recurring character in the strip, she often uses science and technology that is beyond what we currently possess to solve simple problems She has a particular knack for manipulating spacetime. As an INTP, she generally seems to deal with extraordinary circumstances (speaking to an Egyptian god about the superposition of Schrödinger's cat) better than mundane ones (speaking to boys). Her name may be a reference to Thunderbolt Ross. (She was formerly named "Kimiko Kusanagi," a highly probable reference to the main character of Ghost in the Shell.)
- Dmitri Tokamak: A friend and assumed classmate of Kimiko's who can usually be found admiring her scientific feats or engaging in video games or table-top RPGs with Kimiko and his twin sister,
- Alina Tokamak: Twin sister of Dmitri and friend to Kimiko. The Tokamak twins are, cosmetically, loosely inspired by Captain and Mary Marvel. Coincidentally, they also possess super powers, seemingly based on the Wonder Twins-- albeit replacing aspects of scientific concepts for animals or water states.
- Tiny Carl Jung: A tiny version of Carl Jung, responsible for helping to found tiny psychology. He seems to live with Kimiko, or at least to associate with Kimiko and the Tokamak siblings closely.
- Rupert & Hubert: A pair of Victorian intellectuals who in Rupert and Hubert moved to a magical palace on the moon to escape the insincerity of the world's leaders. They are less frequently recurring than the staple characters of the comic, and spend their time discussing scientific issues in the surreal manner typical of the comic.
Themes and influences
Tiny Carl Jung
, a miniaturized version of the famous psychiatrist, appears as a recurring character.
Although Jungian concepts and themes often appear in modern popular culture (see Influences on culture
), this is likely the first time Carl Jung's likeness itself has appeared as a recurring character (albeit in a travel-sized form).
" Phantoms of a Lost Muse" is an homage to one of the artist's greatest influences, the webcomic A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible.
Kimiko seems constantly concerned with the ability to evolve to a state in which death no longer exists. In early several sections of the 'Hob' storyline she refers to ideas of humans merging with technology and in effect becoming "Immortal" Kimiko sees the ability to die as a weakness in humans and even refers to it as if people die purposefully to hurt people
A recurring theme is also that of "Historic Preenactment Society" in which groups of people enact battles which have yet to be fought. Whilst it is mentioned that Alina is a member of the society early in the 'Hob' story line the society is introduced later 'preenacting' the 2nd Moon War According to the store section of the website the "Historic Preenactment Society" began "In the harsh winter of 1872 First Naval Lord Sydney Dacres was found frozen to the side of an Moroccan merchant ship entering New York Harbor. Upon thawing his person revealed a small book entitled 'Things That Have Not Yet Been But Probably Will.' Included inside were various predictions of historical events of the next century as well as instructions that each should be enacted on a clear day in front of an audience of no fewer than thirty-seven people. Intrigued by the notion, local scholars formed the first chapter of the Historical Preenactment Society."
In 2007 T-shirts and hoodies bearing the logo of the society went on sale
The comic is a favourite of The Perry Bible Fellowship
creator Nicholas Gurewitch
The comic's highbrow patter is distinctive: internet pundit Lore Sjoberg
described it as "Little Nemo in Higher Education Land."
, while the pseudo-Victorian pseudoscience of " Traversing the Luminiferous Aether with Rupert and Hubert
" amused the editors of the science magazine Seed
Dresden Codak has also been criticised for its slow, sometimes irregular, updating schedule.
- 2007 Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Nominee for Outstanding Layout.
- 2008 Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards Nominee for multiple awards:
- Outstanding Artist - Aaron Diaz
- Outstanding Layout
- Outstanding Environment Design