Webcomic: Nature of Nature's Art
Animals have long been our cohabitants on this planet, but they have no structure in their lives apart from instinct.
Homo sapiens sapiens has dominated the landscape thanks to its unsurpassed primacy in communication skills. But what forces fueled this engine?
It is the power of Art which the animals turn to in solving this problem. Ambitiously adopting the title of "man," they are determined to control Art and create a prosperous society for themselves. But Art is not easily understood, its powers dangerous and meaning fleeting. For to understand Art, the animals must peer into the depths of their own nature, and excise the animal itself, becoming human. Just how incredible is this feat?
Alternative explanation in simpler English: in the future of an alternate universe, animals have evolved human-level intelligence, and are trying to develop a society comparable to that of humans. Just like humans, people have different opinions about what the best way to do this might be. Naturally this can result in fighting — both figurative and literal.
This is the idea behind Zachary Braun's Nature Of Nature's Art
: an experimental webcomic with martial arts, talking animals, plenty of big words, flashy special effects and potentially frightening imagery. It's also a character drama with surprisingly deep, psychological and difficult themes, dealing with such subjects as exploitation and insanity. And the art is spectacular, despite being drawn in oekaki.
So far, the comic consists of three self-contained story arcs, all of which have been completed. In order of publication, they are:
- 10%+: It is the year 2108. Meander, a maned wolf and college student, develops a metanoia (an innovative martial arts style) which allows him to focus his attention on dozens of things at once — but this turns out to be damaging to his mind. Meanwhile, two teachers at the same college have been working on a solution to an economic crisis: turn wild coyotes into mindless slaves. When Meander finds out, he is outraged. Cue the epic battle.
- Secretary: SV is an eccentric degu who basically wants to be famous - but in animal society, that requires inventing something which can be used to help it progress. His idea? Years ago, his tooth stopped growing after he was bitten by his older brother; he decides to try harnessing the power which stops it from growing. This leads him to enroll in the college, become markscraft to a jerboa called XZ, fight to keep his mind outside of convention, go into self-imposed exile, and discover a terrifying power. But what is its secret? What is malice, and what causes it?
- Lycosa: This arc is about SPIDERS. Specifically, it stars Lycosa gulosa, a "spider ronin" who's looking for her lost egg sack. Meanwhile, a group of spiders called the Venom 8 Team are trying to create some sort of internet-like information network... using egg sacks. Guess who's unhappy when she finds out that her unhatched kids have been stolen?
- Solar System: Several hundred years after the events of 10%, humans and animals have united their societies, and animal factures have been used to advance human technology in all areas of society. A small company's mission into space is interrupted by extraterrestrial invaders, and to get back to Earth in time to save it, they must meet and ally with the other sapient societies of the solar system.
- Wild Style: Not so much an arc as a series of gag a day comics. It's had cameos from Secretary protagonist SV and 10%+ protagonist Meander, but not much else to connect it the other arcs thematically beyond sapient animals.
- Pika: Braun's contribution to April Fools' Day, which proved so popular that it's now permanently up on the site. A Pokémon trainer takes a very unorthodox approach to training a Pikachu. (Be warned: it's all on one long page.)
In addition to the above, the author has stated that there is a complete but as of yet unreleased story involving ungulates, (presumably deer).
In addition, there is a print version of 10%+
which comes in six volumes, along with a seventh called The 10%+ Addendum
was also made into a print version, in four volumes. There's also a a print version of Lycosa
's prologue titled (we promise you) Untitled
, which comes with a car-themed calendar. Wild Style
is expected to become a print version.
The webcomic — which updates as often Braun can manage it, usually weekdays at minimum — can be found here
Tropes in NOFNA