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My Webcomic Heroes: Kid Radd

December 19, 2013

So, I read a lot of webcomics, and there are a great deal of them that have had a very formative impact on me. Both generally as a person, and specifically towards my decision to make a webcomic of my own. I wanted to share some of my favorites as I gear up to get back into my comic on 1/1/14.

The next comic on my list is Kid Radd by Dan Miller.

Kid Radd ran for two years between 2002 and 2004. An 8-bit comic, with little bits of animation thrown in. So I read a lot of sprite comics, and there is still definitely one more on my list. Technically, Kid Radd isn’t really a sprite comic because all the sprites are unique (i.e. there was never a Kid Radd game).

From the page itself, “This strip will follow the exploits of Radd, heroic dude and all-around cool guy.” Kid Radd has the same hook as one of my childhood television series, “Reboot”.

“What if all the characters in your computer are actually living, sentient beings.”

Beyond that though, Kid Radd is a delightful blend of SitCom humor, intense action, and philosophical musings.

The characters in Radd have all managed to escape their original games, and have tumbled out into the makeshift civilization that these retro video game characters have constructed around themselves. However, many of these characters have never known life outside the game and have to grapple with their perceptions of personality. How does a hero sprite who has known nothing but running and gunning, come to grips with just being an average person.

Miller is very clever about making each of his characters confront the same question regarding their identity. Struggling to choose between the prescribed identity they were given or forging a new persona. For almost every character this struggle is not only central, but also unique.

We’re shown these characters in three major setting: their game, normal work-a-day life, and then grand adventure. The intensity of how these characters’ roles affect their actions is a palpable meaty core, that drives both the emotional arcs as well as the plot. The moments of character realization and growth are also major moments that move the plot forward.

An excellent webcomic, and like 8 Bit Theater it also follows an impeccable understanding of scale and stakes. The animation is novel and innovative, but I’ll admit a bit unusual. All told, though, I cannot recommend Kid Radd highly enough.



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