Posts Tagged ‘ Webcomics ’

Webcomics Roundup for 2012

Look at that: It’s been more than a year since my last webcomics roundup. I guess I should probably stop pretending these are monthly. I don’t keep up on webcomics quite as obsessively as my other interests, so I will probably never be offering extensive thoughts that often. I do still read a lot, though, so I plan to keep offering updates from time to time. Here are thoughts on and links to some of the webcomics that I should have been talking about over the past year.

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Webcomics Roundup – On Broadcasting

A few weeks ago, Warren Ellis posted his thoughts on the current state of webcomics. In short, he drew a line between “webcomics”, which are freely available, and “digital comics”, which people must buy through a service like Comixology. He regrets, but understands, the fact that attention seems to have shifted away from webcomics in recent years, as people realize that selling them up front is still the best way to make money. The problem is that only webcomics have the ability to “broadcast” themselves. As soon as a webcomic is updated, it’s “surrounded by an expanding sphere of URLs and shortcodes, of RTs and Likes and +1s” that you can’t get from the other side of a pay-wall. The implication is that webcomics offer a free, no-pressure space for artists to develop masterpieces, but that the most skilled people are going to need to migrate over to the digital comics side in order to survive.

My thoughts about this are below the fold.

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Webcomics Roundup: Pushing the Boundaries

What makes something a webcomic? For the most part, the answer is obvious, but the actual significance of webcomics might not be as clear-cut as their literal definition. I first realized this years ago when a comment on the short story site Hitherby Dragons said that most people visited it as part of their daily webcomic rounds. I’ve fallen years behind on Hitherby’s stories (tragically – it used to be one of my favorite websites), but that thought has stuck with me.

Here are a few other sites that stretch the definition of webcomics.

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Webcomics Roundup: Complete Stories

New webcomics are exciting, of course. But there’s a certain appeal to completed ones, too. An entire story is waiting for you to read it at any pace you like! Besides, it can be reassuring in a way to know that the artist was confident enough to bring their story to an end instead of dragging it on until everyone lost interest. For that reason, this article is going to focus on three notable webcomics that completed recently. The entire archives are there to read, and for free, giving you something to do while you wait for their new series to start up.

(I know, it’s been several months since my last “monthly” webcomics article. I’ll catch up on some new comics next month.)

Below the fold, Bobwhite, Great, and FreakAngels

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The Wormworld Saga: A Profitable Webcomic?

I just read the first chapter of the webcomic The Wormworld Saga. It’s too early to tell how good it is yet, but there is definite promise. The setup hits all the clichés of the “imaginative but damaged boy discovers a fantasy world”, but it has a great feel for the childish wonder that should drive such stories, as evidenced in the hidden room at his grandmother’s house. The painted colors are a little chunky and occasionally lifeless for my taste, but the art is undeniably skilled. And the real selling point is its infinite canvas, with each chapter being a single long, long page that the reader keeps scrolling down through. The first chapter doesn’t always take advantage of this, but it does create an absolutely stunning opening, as the downward scrolling leads from the sky to a kingdom below the ground, which morphs back into a real-world scene. And while that glimpse of the other kingdom is the only time this chapter leaves reality, I absolutely love this fanart which uses that same canvas to slowly reveal more and more of an impossible world.

But the content of the webcomic itself, whether it ends up being good or bad, isn’t what motivated me to write this. Instead, I’m fascinated by the way Daniel Lieske, the creator, is hoping to make money from his story.

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Webcomics Roundup: The Great Return

Achewood is backI didn’t start reading any new webcomics in February. For me, the biggest news was the promise of a return from two established comics that haven’t updated in a while: Achewood and Mugwhump the Great.

Achewood, of course, needs no introduction. For nearly a decade now, it’s been one of the best (if not the best) webcomics out there. The clean lines, strong characters, and the unpredictable plot directions make this a consistent treat. So why am I not that excited that it’s updating again?

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Webcomics Roundup: January

I’ve decided the best way for me to cover webcomics will be with a monthly article. In contrast to my normal posts, I won’t be assigning grades here. The new comics are generally too incomplete for a fair review, and of the established ones, I’ll only have read through their archives if I really liked them. Therefore, most of the ones I talk about will already be cherry-picked as an A or B comic. I’ll reserve letter grades for things like books and movies, which (1) I’m likely to complete even if I don’ t like them, and (2) usually cost money, so it’s more fair to point out the ones that I don’t like.

I was undecided at first about whether to categorize webcomics with print comics or to keep them separate. They’re obviously related mediums, if not the same, but in practice, they have very different audiences. I did eventually decide to categorize them together, though. (Use the “webcomics” tag to find just those posts.) This month’s subject matter is what made the decision for me: The three most notable new webcomics in January were all created by established names from the world of print comics. The boundary between the print and web worlds has definitely become more fluid.

Below, I’ll discuss Gingerbread Girl, Ratfist, and Bucko.

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