Heading into the long weekend, I thought I’d check out some of the Ignatz Award nominated online comics and among them is The Isle of Elsi by Alec Longstreth. This is an unabashed kids’ fantasy adventure comic, and if you noticed something about the title you might be able to figure out what the gimmick is here.

(And yes, we already featured this in A Year of Free Comics, but given its Ignatz, I’m giving it a longer write up!)

The hero, Rex Jargon Jr, or RJ JR, as he likes to be called, is a lad in a fantasy village that seems to be set at about 1900 technology and fashion. RJ JR’s love of wordplay is always getting him into trouble, and blurting out puns at the worst moments gets him bullied at school and costs him a job at the mill where his father worked – and commited some mysterious heroic acts. However when RJ JR gets a job at a library, things begin to heat up, and dragons and wizards begin to appear.

This is a pretty simple but also simply nice comic. The writing is a bit sharper than the art, but it all goes together in a delightful way. Adults who share this with kids won’t be too pained, and if you’re looking for some free kids comics this should fit the bill.

Longstreth has been making these comics since 2016, and there are several shorter adventures on the site, including

R.J. Jr. in The Dragon’s Librarian
Draziw the Wizard in A Menagerie of Messengers
Nogard the Dragon in The Search for Spinoza
Sally Sanders in The Egalliv Examiner

Have you figured out the gimmick yet?

Longstreth is a CCS alum and a well known comics educator. He was previously nominated for an Ignatz for his autobio comic Phase Seven. He successfully Kickstarted a print version of ‘Isle of Elsi’ earlier this year, and it should be available in December if all goes well. ANd you can read more about him at his blog.


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