Wasted Talent by Angela Melick
This is a journal comic so the basic premise is very simple; Angela Melick is first an engineering student and then a working engineer who also has a talent for drawing. The name for the comic, Wasted Talent, is one that I feel like a lot of people can relate to: having two, fairly unconnected loves/skills and ultimately choosing one for a career means relegating the other one to just a hobby. I feel like in some ways I'm doing the opposite of what she has and it's not precisely inspiring/uplifting but it's always very satisfying to see someone balance a very complicated life and then think "well then, I have a chance at doing this too!"
The story has small arcs and various callbacks as the years go by but by and large it's rathat consistent and new reader friendly enough that you could (theoretically) start reading from the current page while reading through the archives at the same time as well. There has been a bit of a shift in the humor as the years go by, apparently Melick still uses lots of silly words and phrases in her life but they don't crop up as much in the comic, but the humor never becomes any more subdued. There are still over the top, silly imagination spots for "well when you put it that way...." moments and just plain odd situations as well, in some ways it feels like "adult humor", the kind that you're more likely to laugh at the more experience you have with it
As I've mentioned before in other reviews, I have a hard time finding really engaging stories about young adults, people in their twenties and thirties, in regular fiction since most of them simply don't have the problems I do (I keep thinking about The Dead Key from last week and just how fake of a character Iris felt like because of how "unreal" her problems were). Melick doesn't have many of the same problems I do either but the personality of the comic makes it much easier to empathize and overall it's not only fun but a source of hope as someone whose not quite as put together yet. She has periods of weird employment, unemployment, and such but even those moments end up being more funny than sober in the end (her interview comic is immediately relatable). My one big qualm about the comic is that I have a bit of a hard time remembering any reoccurring side characters, I've noticed I have this problem much more often in journal comics where people appear very intermittently but thankfully it's not a hinderance here. As long as you can recognize Angela and her boyfriend-then-husband Trevor then you should be all set.
All in all, this is a very easily recommendable comic, I'm sure there are a few friends and family members of mine who haven't seen this comic that would enjoy it (who already read comics, trying to introduce a completely new-to-comics person might work might not). Much like with everything else I read/watch, there are webcomics I'm content to simply read once and forget once they're over and ones that I want to buy and reread over the years and Wasted Talent falls solidly into that second category, saying that the humor is funny even when you've seen it before feels like pretty high praise to me!