Anything but Ordinary
I have a bunch of comics I follow. Their links are tucked away in several folders on my browser and they are all categorized according to what day(s) they post. Now, I’m not really sure how I came across most of these comic strips over time, but most likely I was probably initially attracted by the look of the strip. I’ve mentioned before, I’m a visual person and a good looking strip will catch my attention every time.
That’s what brought me to Ordinary Bill by William Wilson, and this strip is anything but ordinary.
Ordinary Bill follows the adventures of a young cartoonist named Bill, his girlfriend Isis, their cat Dakota, and their lives in a Northeast coastal town. Together they take on mundane things such as dishes, laundry, and paying bills, until those moments are interrupted by the occasional battle with fearsome squirrels, vindictive clams, and yes even space aliens (this being the latest, strange story arc in progress as we speak).
The artwork on this strip is what caught my eye first. I love, love, love Wilson’s style. Ordinary Bill is done in the traditional black and white four-panel format with an occasional multi-panel Sunday color strip. The style and flavor is very reminiscent of Watterson’s; loose artistic pen strokes and line work. His character design is fun with Bill almost never without his backwards hat, and Isis with her head of flowing hair, both characters are instantly likable. I have been led to believe these characters including the cat are based on Wilson’s real life.
The writing moves story lines from normal items to the most bizarre. Bill gets himself into situations that range from throwing snowballs at passing cars (something we’ve all wanted to do), going toe-to-toe with nut throwing squirrels (something we’ve all wondered about), to dodging killer robots (something…well few us have had experience in). And all these situations flow effortlessly from one to the other so well that you don’t even question it. In fact, Bill himself reacts to these predicaments as though they are normal everyday occurrences. Bill’s cat ponders life, and vindictive clams kidnap Isis for revenge… all in a days work.
I love this strip. It’s one of my top ten comics I follow. And I find I go to it not only to read it during the week, but to seek inspiration in both art and writing.
Ordinary Bill can be found in two places. On GoComics.com where you’ll get the latest posts, and on his own website www.ordinarybill.com where the posts run one day behind GoComics. He posts every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and every other Sunday – in color.
Good stuff. Check it out.