By all practical metrics Aaron Diaz is very likely insane. Armed with an encyclopedic understanding of philosophy, paleontology, Tolkien, and anthropology, Aaron has elected to become a comic artist. He supports himself entirely with the craft of his webcomic and its associated merchandize, by breaking nearly every conventional rule of webcomicing save one, Make Good Comics.

Updates to Dresden Codek can take weeks, or sometimes more than a month. In 28 months, Aaron has delivered just 21 pages. Aaron pours over each page and seems to delight in presenting layouts that challenge the reader. His process for painting each panel is elaborate, complex, and time consuming. It makes my teeth hurt to hear him describe it. He spends an inordinate amount of time, while his comic isn’t being updated, on side projects that can never possibly earn him money. Like redesigning mainstream comic book characters, or drawing each of the main characters from the Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien’s collection of confusing and meandering story notes bound as a book and published posthumously. A book so dense and unendearing that even its greatest fans will eventually admit that it’s a bit much.

Despite all this Aaron has an enormous following, and for good reason, his comics are stellar. His command of the art in his webcomic is astonishing, probably because he approaches each page as a challenge that requires exhaustive research. When he decided the new story, Dark Science, would have an art deco setting, he acquired books on art deco design and architecture and consumed them like a starving man. His illustration, setting, design and lighting are superb. Each character is an individual with clearly defined characteristics and a unique identity. The stories he has crafted are complex, teasing his audience with morsels of secrets in a fashion that keeps them coming back for more. I’m betting you will too.