Oglaf, a free web-comic, takes readers on a humourous and sexual journey through a fantastical medieval world. Released weekly, Oglaf offers either single and one-off strips or multi-page, more connected comics. The ‘main’ character, namely the one who has the most appearances in the web-comic, is the Apprentice Ivan who we meet in the first comic on the site. Other characters that make somewhat regular appearances are the Snow Queen, the Mistress (to who Ivan is indentured), Greir (a wandering mercenary) and Sandoval (a visiting Ambassador of the Mistress). While having no set storyline, these reoccurring characters nevertheless tie the world together.
Oglaf is not centered strictly on the sexual, as the blurb of the book states, ‘there’s like twenty or thirty strips… that aren’t dirty at all.’ Despite being a very sexual and admittedly pornographic web-comic, at heart the comic is predominately humourous. It is in these non-sexual comics that we can see this shining through.
What I really like about this web-comic is the openness with which it explores sexuality. Oglaf includes straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and mythic sexual encounters openly. Nothing is treated as too ‘taboo’ or ‘offensive’ and I applaud the non-issue of it all. Sex is also not given any sort of shame connotations as we see no distinctions made between heterosexual encounters to that of the non-heteronormative ones, and we do not have any sort of preachy message shoved down our throats. Sex is just there. Simple as that.
Aside from being such a hilarious and enjoying read, I feel that what I like most about this web-comic is the respect we have given, nothing is held back from readers. Love it or leave it, I think that Oglaf is one of the better and hugely more enjoyable web-comics out there.