The Belfry WebComics Index

Freefall

CID:101 Subscriptions:629Readers this Week:590
Frequency:Semi-Weekly
Url:http://freefall.purrsia.com/
Genres:Comedy, Drama, Furry, Romance, Science Fiction
Description*:An alien con-artist named Sam and his naïve robot Helix have a space ship that couldn't possibly take off under its own power, even if they had a magic wand. They can't get one anyway because this is a sci-fi story, but they swindle the next best thing: Florence, a genetically-engineered humanoid wolven engineer! As the ship slowly becomes fully spaceworthy, read their very eccentric viewpoints concerning the humans around them and their society. Will the repairs of the ship "Savage Chicken" be completed before it is wrecked again?

Oh, did we mention 451 _million_ (and growing) robots with increasing self-awareness and independence?

mirror at http://freefall.glasswings.com/
* Descriptions are user submitted and might not express the views of the admins of this site, or of the comics creators themselves.
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Entry Added:Sat, Sep 9, 2000
Entry Modified:Thu, May 5, 2016

Reviews: 5   Average Rating:
 

09:16pm 08/31/2012
 
Hard science for the masses
Sci-fi writers are often faced with the dilemma of whether to emphasize the science or the fiction of their universe, with various pros and cons associated with each. Mark Stanley is a writer gifted with the ability not only to stand firmly on both sides, but to seamlessly integrate the academia with a fun and easy-to-follow storyline. Weighty debates on robotic consciousness, the nuances of a fledgling ecosystem, and ethics both human and alien are interspersed with, and even propagated by, pie fights, pickpockets, and other assorted mischief courtesy of Captain Sam Starfall. Even as Freefall addresses scientific and social issues readily pertinent to our own world, it does so in a candid, light-hearted voice familiar to layman and intellectual alike.

The importance of meshing these two spheres is demonstrated by the characters themselves. At story's start, Florence and Sam are practically antithetical, one a hardworking ship engineer and the other an opportunistic con-man; but it's a complementary contrast, and as time goes by their experiences enlighten each other. Florence injects Sam with a much-neglected sense of greater social responsibility, while Sam breaks through Florence's rigid deference to authority, enabling both to combat Mr. Kornada's diabolical plot. Sam may have depended on Florence from the get-go, but even the engineer more than once finds herself in need of the crook.

With its simple style and gentle humour, at face value Freefall could easily be mistaken for a strip out of the daily paper; but one of that rare breed that educates as much as it entertains, examining the hard questions of the universe through a vibrant, mostly unassuming, and often irreverent cast of characters both flesh-and-blood and steel-and-silicon. For readers who can tolerate a slower pace of plot, Freefall offers a new stage for the old philosophers.
05:54pm 05/18/2011
 
Still original, and still great.
Freefall has managed to remain fresh and interesting despite its (for the internet) incredible thirteen-year run. Mark Stanley has maintained a high level of humor and storytelling and combined it with some fascinating philosophical questions regarding science, ethics, and the question of the relationship between intelligence and liberty.

I also get a kick out of the fact that it has taken thirteen years to get less than a month along the FREEFALL timeline!
02:14am 12/01/2008
 
Clearly superior
This long running, regularly updated comic, has been giving a little dose of light humoured science fiction story telling every other week day, with occasional breaks, since 1998. In it's ten year run, it has only ever improved.

It combines good clear art work, with strong story telling, and a gentle sense of humour that will appeal to almost anyone. It is one of finest examples of furry comics, online or otherwise.
08:24am 11/18/2008
 
"Understanding the scope of the problem is the first step to true panic"
With just 3 main characters, you would think there are only so many ways to get into trouble, but you would be wrong. Sam survives only because his enemies fight over how to get rid of him and encompass just about every party of the 40k human residents on the planet. Well worth the read, and the archives fly by.
02:26pm 08/11/2008
 
Essence of Charm
I've been reading Freefall, going through the archive, and I can't think of another comic that's ever charmed me more. For me, the initial hook was Florence, the Bowman's Wolf girl engineer who's the star of the show- I know now that I'm an abject furry because I am just like the robots in the strip and can't help but throw my arms wide with cries of DOGGY! Florence is adorable, and also drawn with marvelous appeal, an exercise in iconic masterfulness. There are so few lines, but they're so perfect at times that you don't want more.
But there's another side that's hugely important, but so subtle that I feel it takes an experienced writer to spot. Freefall is brilliantly written. It has a tone that's as well established and dedicated as, say, 'Sheldon', though not identical to Sheldon- Freefall's tone is warm and appealing, thoughtful and often a bit nerdy and innocent. It's utterly family friendly, but furries will get a huge kick out of how wolflike Florence 'feels' as a character- she really is spot-on and thinks like a wolf, albeit an affectionate one.
The thing is, the dialogue is deceptively simple- so is haiku poetry- Freefall occupies a tidy, friendly little comic strip place and the dialogue walks that line with exuberant poise. It owes more to Asimov or Clarke than to 'Blade Runner', and even when it takes a topical shot it refuses to be 'dark' or 'edgy'.
It's like Florence herself- charming, uncomplicated, kind, trustworthy- and if you as a reader can be equally open-hearted, you may find yourself crying DOGGY! too :)
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