Since starting university I’ve gotten Internet access in my room. This is pretty much THE SHIT, but it has had some negative side effects, namely I don’t ever sleep any more, I just surf the net all the time. In my wonderings I found a little known gem called Nerf This. And I really do mean little known, for some reason it has no Wikipedia, no Tv Tropes page and only one post on Reddit. It’s also extremely hard to find out anything about it on the because as soon as you type NERF into google it throws up a thousand websites about guns that shoot little foam bullets.
Nerf This is pretty classic webcomic stuff as far as the formula goes, it has a Scott Pilgrim-esque adorable idiot-jerk who is still adorable main character. It also includes the obligatory ‘cute’ thing in the form of Mooty (who is unbelievably cute). Where it got my attention initially was the amazing artwork. This guy puts out fantastic strips like this EVERYWEEKDAY. When compared to most other webcomics, such as Diesel Sweeties, xkcd or Dinosaur Comics which mostly focuses on dialogue it’s a nice change to read something where the pictures could almost stand as fine art by themselves. The creator of Questionable Content gets lots of praise for the constant improvments to art, but Nerf This really ups the ante, it has only been going for two years but the art has changed so dramatically that when I clicked the first button I thought I was reading a totally different comic to the one at the end (check out how it looked not all that long ago here).
The tone of the comic has also drastically changed since the beginning. Originally a lot of the humour came from the absurd shock factor, similar to Cyanide and Happiness. But as the comic departed from its cartoonish roots and took on a more realistic tone (I can’t really call anything about Nerf This serious). The jokes that were funny when the strip was more cartoonish would now be much less acceptable, although this now means that lesser shocks have a greater impact (like when Chase doesn’t realise what he’s using to do an impression of a walrus is actually.. well..).
Nerf This really walks the fine line between being strange enough to do insane things, yet it’s also real enough that you can relate to the characters and feel empathy for them. Most of the characters also enjoy pretending that they’re from the 1920’s which can only be described as awesome. The scenes with Monty and the talking animals are also some of the cutest things that I’ve seen on the Internet.
I really don’t understand why Nerf This isn’t more popular than it is. It defiantly holds it’s own against Questionable Content in humour and annihilates it in the looks department. Perhaps it’s because it isn’t as grounded in reality people find it difficult to relate to the characters. Another draw back for it is the ads that it runs on other websites don’t really get across what kind of comic it is. Actually the ads set off all kinds of NSFW alarm bells.
In short, Nerf This is now my favourite webcomic as well as one of the most addictive things I’ve ever read. I went through the whole thing in one day and everybody that I’ve shown it to loves it. Although to be fair I’ve only shown it to people who I know love crazy over the top humour.