The third webcomic by Michael Poe, perhaps best known for Exploitation Now, his second webcomic. Poe's previous works (the amaturish, to say the least, Babylon Jones, and the aforementioned Exploitation Now) are perhaps best characterized by their utterly blatant and unapologetic fan service, and also by a seeming lack of direction. EN in particular did a 90-degree twist most of the way through and turned into the story of two characters that were more generally popular than the two it was originally about, to the almost complete neglect of the founding characters.

Errant Story is markedly different. Though there are still moments where we know that, yes, this is still the same old Poe, it seems clear that the point is not the money shot anymore. It is an attempt at a real goddamn story, with plot, direction, and characters we just might actually care about. It takes place in a fairly straightforward fantasy setting -- magic, elves, kingdoms, and the like -- and follows (at first, at least) the story of Meji, a young half-elven chick as she, well, tries to take over the world (and who also has a familiar: a flying cat named Ellis). She runs across some other people in the journey: Ian, another half-elf who is seeking the same source of power she is, but for somewhat more philanthropic reasons; and Jon, a human gun-toting assassin who generally just kicks butt, and is now just following the two half-elves (or errants, as the somewhat peculiar backstory calls them) around for various reasons.

And what a backstory: the outlines of a mythology, epic battles in the dim and distant past (and perhaps some in the near future), racial prejudices as old as the races themselves, and a healthy dose of sex jokes, just so we know it's Poe.

The art is worth mentioning: Poe has come quite a long way since the days of Babylon Jones. He's been doing this for some years now, and I expect that by the end of this current story he'll be better still. As webcomics go, there are few better on the drawing end of things.

Occasionally it seems that Poe could use with an editor (or at least with some proofreading), but on the whole I have nothing to complain about. This is not, I would like to warn, the sort of comic where one just pops right into the current comic and tries to figure things out. If you're going to the site for the first time, scroll down to the "First" button under the comic and try to ignore the current action going on. Start from the beginning and wonder, like everyone else, who all these bit characters are that Poe keeps introducing. Ah well. He'll get to them eventually.

This is one of the several webcomics I keep up with regularly, and for good reason. I recommend it (though I'd have to warn that it may be occasionally Unsafe For Work).

New comics are posted three days a week (barring delays), on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The comic can be found at http://www.errantstory.com.

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