Romantically Apocalyptic opens as a rather silly and quirky webcomic about a few people who have survived a global nuclear holocaust later in this century. This group is led by the Captain, a mysterious and possibly genderless person whose life is run by the knack of always finding the odd and the unusual, and loving every minute of everything. The Captain’s companions are known affectionately as Snippy, Pilot, and Engie, each in a seemingly different stage of sanity (or insanity). They are all covered in gas masks and winter coats, and the best way to tell the difference is by looking at the colors of the goggles.
The webcomic starts out simply enough: the characters roam the decimated streets of New York City alone, chatting with skeletons, riding in dead trains, and other ridiculous adventures. But after the first ten episodes or so, something begins to change. What had been innocent fun starts to gain serious meaning. The challenges grow more interesting and exciting in every area, while the Captain’s innocence and quirkiness keep everything amusing. Clues are revealed about the characters’ pasts before the apocalypse, and certain mysteries grow more pronounced—such as the Captain’s gender or the unknown secret of the Captain’s mug.
By now, about two years after the webcomic began, it has matured into a seriously gripping adventure with an ever-growing throng of fans. It keeps up a Doctor Who style sense of adventure and quirkiness with the old-fashioned humor of the ‘70s TV show Get Smart. It is entertaining, exciting, and mysterious, and keeps becoming more so.
At this point the comic has grown so popular that a YouTube movie might be in the works. It would be a simple enough adaptation—most of the work in the illustrations is directly photographed and then edited much in the same way it would be in a film. Already a couple of previews are available, but there is no telling when they might come out with the movie. For now, fans will have to make do with the webcomic, added to each Saturday, and its printed counterpart. There are problems with some of the web pages loading and sometimes the font is too small and/or grainy to read comfortably on a computer screen, but otherwise Romantically Apocalyptic is very well done and creatively put together. As the story continues to pick up, it will be a lot of fun to see where these characters go and what happens—and how the mysteries will be revealed.