Pick of the Week: Calamities of Nature

Hello all, Dawn here withmy first “Pick of the Week”, this week’s being an old favorite of mine “Calamities of Nature” by Tony Piro. Within a few minutes of perusing Tony’s site, the realization of the intelligent mind behind these thoughtful, existential and profound comics will hook you for good. This isn’t your average gag-a-day goofy little comic strip– these characters touch on life’s touchy subjects: science, religion, politics, philosophy, with a side of  bacon, for good measure. And many have taken note of Tony’s creation– Calamities was a finalist for the best webcomic of 2010 by the Washington Post, among other honors in it’s existence since 2007. The quirky 5-some of Aaron, Alp, Ferdinand, Harold and Raymond… whom can only be described as colorful alien creatures… provide the reader with many questions, points of view, antics, inventions and like I said…. bacon.

Well, they don’t LITERALLY provide you with bacon, otherwise this would be the Pick of the Year! Get on that, will ya Tony?

Some of the dialog in the strips may be daunting at 7am pre-coffee, so be sure to have your brain in full gear before diving into Calamities of Nature….heck, I have a hard time sorting THIS one out in my head after 2 cups today!

Tony definitely speaks his mind, regardless of hot button issues and those “polite company subjects” cartoonists tend to shy away from. The blend of science and politics with the “Global Warming Debate”, for instance…..

To lighten the mood or take a break from the touchy topics, we get to see the latest wacky inventions by Alp…

Oh well, so much for steering clear of the “touchy-feely” topics….

If you’re wondering how relate-able these bizarre alien creatures can be, certain strips will really hit home for us fellow comic creators with an amazing focus….

Being that we often see Aaron and Harold walking through nature pondering life, humanity and beyond, sometimes NATURE is the conversation. Ah, silly mother nature with her pretty little acid snowflakes.

Finally, an amusing spin-off within the Calamities universe is the addition of “Lil’ Calamities”, which takes our 5 heroes back to school, family, and growing up in this off-kilter world. Plus, they’re freakin’ adorable, d’awww.

Calamities of Nature takes your average 4-panel gag-a-day comic to a whole new level. It’s political without being an editorial comic, it’s commentary without losing depth of character, it’s scientific without being elitist, and doesn’t beat around the bush. Calamities is for those of you who wished the newspaper comic would grow up, stop playing it safe, and not dumb itself down. And, for those of you who reeeealy like pig products.

Give Calamities of Nature a whirl, bring a cup of coffee and your thinkin’ caps. And some thick skin, Tony’s gonna tell it like it is.

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4 Comments

  1. Dawn, I just recently discovered Calamities of Nature about 6 months ago and it is one that I thoroughly enjoy. Excellent choice for POTW.

    Tony does a wonderful job with the relationships he build between his characters, the story lines, and like you mentioned he says it how it is without coming across as forceful. Your statement of “…those of you who wished the newspaper comic would grow up…” definitely fits this perfectly. It’s an excellent read for anyone. Oh and if you find out if Tony’s giving out any bacon let me know. Mmmmm…..Bacon…… 🙂

  2. Great choice. I really like the strips you use to illustrate your article. For more of Tony’s insights, friend Calamaties of Nature on FB and receive science tidbits that regular people can actually understand and get excited about.

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