WEBCOMIC WEDNESDAY REVIEW: Immortal Nerd

Creator: Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen
Webcomic: Immortal Nerd

Summary: Nokia Isoevo has just turned twenty years old and been granted their immortality. The only problem is that, despite being destined for a career in law since childhood, Nokia wants nothing more than to study the internet of the ancient past. Their dream is to become a “Meme Archeologist,” and, in order to pursue that dream, they travel to earth, the unsanitary wild west of this futuristic setting in search of cats and/or videos of cats. Luckily, they find just that, and a friend and roommate named Piela. This comic follows the adventures of this group (plus others!) as Nokia struggles with their general laziness and understanding the vastly different culture of Earth.

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Story: Immortal Nerd has the type of story that begins with a character and turns them loose on an unsuspecting world. This is not an uncommon tactic when writing. Sometimes, these kinds of stories work and sometimes they don’t. After a while, the jokes have been made, the eccentricities of the protagonist have been exhausted, and the audience knows when the laugh track is going to play. Sitcoms often run into this problem, and begin resorting to increasingly outrageous ways to hold onto the viewer’s attention. Fortunately, Immortal Nerd doesn’t jump many sharks, but it does become a bit monotonous as the strips progress.

The characters are somewhat two-dimensional (though fun and light, none-the-less), and there isn’t too much in the way of a developing plot. This isn’t something that every webcomic needs, especially in the “comedy” genre, however Immortal Nerd relies a bit too much on its strange slice-of-life antics to carry it. Personally, I was left wanting a hook, more depth to relationships, or at least a few more jokes woven into the fabric of this narrative.

With that out of the way? Immortal Nerd has areas it excels in storytelling as well. For one thing, the pacing is perfect. It never begins to trudge too slowly or move too quickly to follow. Additionally, for a comic based on being a “Meme Archeologist,” the author (thankfully) doesn’t overdo the reference humor. When done right, reference and meta-humor can be wonderful things. When taken to its extreme, it begins to feel like the comic is trying far too hard to be “cool.” Immortal Nerd never tries to be anything but itself, and has a very unique quality thanks to that fact.

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Art: The art style for Immortal Nerd is not only unique, but it fits the strange, quirky nature of the comic very well. Nokia’s nervous smile quickly becomes endearing. And the cat (Doge), is adorable in the most heinous of ways. The quality of the art reminds one almost of a Wes Anderson film, the kind of thing that is acceptably strange when packaged together with the setting and characters. Nothing is normal, and that makes everything normal.

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As far as page layout goes, there’s not much to gawk at. But then, the comic doesn’t need much in the way of avant garde angles or innovating panel structure. It is a simple format, and it works well for Immortal Nerd. Chapters are long, vertical collections of scenes that make reading quick and easy, with fewer page loads thrown into the mix of things.

Conclusion: Immortal Nerd is the sort of niche thing that gets a small group of obsessive followers, but often fails to resonate with many larger audiences. Recognizing that, it is difficult to decide on a fair rating. In the end, I have to go with my personal opinion, as well as what I believe will be the opinion of most general readers. Immortal Nerd isn’t a poor comic, but it isn’t really for me. I did not dislike it, but I did not find myself wanting more. That said? If you yourself think you might identify with this kind of light, tropey weird? Then this comic might exceed your expectations! I encourage anyone interested to give it a try. I genuinely appreciate the work done here and hope that the comic finds that group of followers. And honestly, I couldn’t, in good conscience, suggest it should change.

That leaves us with…

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