You probably won't recognize the ancient Greece of David McGuire's webcomic GastroPhobia from your grade school textbooks. An exiled Amazon warrior (and single mother) and her precious son inhabit a Greece filled with dine-and-dashing ghosts, frustrated monsters, and unrepentant silliness.
Yes, GastroPhobia elevates silliness to an art form. Phobia forms one half of our titular crew, a former Amazon warrior turned barbarian huntress who wanders the Grecian forests with her pudgy, smart-mouthed son Gastro. But the woods of this version of ancient Greece don't hold mere Nemean lions or Erymanthian boar. No, Gastro and Phobia encounter a far odder creatures: a monstrous version of Bambi, warrior mockingbirds, time travelers, and, of course, those magical pretty ponies.
Despite McGuire's talent for juggling anachronisms, GastroPhobia is at its heart a screwy sendup of Greek myths and legends, and there are sly references to the labors of Hercules and Zeus' propensity for seducing women in animal form. And that poor Sphinx only has one riddle, and everyone already knows it.
McGuire clearly has a great love for graphic storytelling, from century-old newspaper strips to early Disney animation to manga, as well as an affinity for bad jokes, and all these strands blend neatly into the best kind of ridiculousness. The tails of slaying minotaur and Iron Chef – I'm sorry, Bronze Chef – challenges are already amusing, but they're made even better by the site gags and happily terrible punchlines (not to mention the feet flipped in the air when said punchlines are delivered). It's a rare creator who can tell a bad joke well, but GastroPhobia will make you glad there were so many bad jokes back in ancient Greece.