Tag Archives: webcomics wednesday

Webcomics Wednesday: Awesome New Webcomic Discoveries

Wow! I’ve been so lazy about recommending new webcomics for you guys to check out! But then again, I’ve been reading a lot of webcomics so I have TONS of new discoveries to show you.

But first, some webcomics news:

Erika Moen has returned to webcomicking with Bucko, a webcomic drawn by Moen and written by Jeff Parker. It’s a murder mystery with dick and fart jokes, so I imagine it will be quite funny, much like DAR! was.

Michael Jonathan restarted Eros Inc. this past Valentines Day! I am rejoicing because I fell in love with his charming webcomic right as it went on a hiatus and was pretty sad it didn’t update regularly for a number of months. Welcome back, Eros Inc.!

Now onto the newer discoveries…

First of all, if you aren’t reading Faith Erin Hicks’ The Adventures of Superhero Girl, you are missing out! It’s a comical look at superheroes, where a superheroine can be a practical girl-next-door, a nemesis can be a cynical guy on the street and your archenemy tries to steal a job interview from right out under your nose. Hicks is a seasoned comic creator and got her start in webcomicking drawing Demonology 101, which was an early favorite of mine.

Dicebox is an interesting (in a good way) webcomic I stumbled upon. At first I wasn’t sure if it was recommending material, but it is actually quite interesting and beautifully drawn by Jenn Manley Lee. It follows two older female vagabonds who planet hop and get into all sorts of interesting misadventures. I really like the dynamic by the two main characters, they’re married and have that used-to-each-other married couple feel, but there’s still mysteries and secrets they keep from each other to make the story interesting.

Jonny Crossbones is an fun, mystery webcomic, very much in the vein of Hardy Boys novels, but a little more grownup. It’s cute, quirky and well-paced. The comic seems to have just come off a long hiatus, so I’m sure the extra traffic would help encourage creator Les McClaine to update more.

Heading into an old-time-y vein, Oyster War by Ben Towle, is a recently started webcomic about battling oyster pirating in mid-1800’s New England. I really like the way the comic is drawn for some reason. I’m glad it’s not realistic or wrought with super-detailed art. The cartoony look is appealing.

Finally, The Unsounded by Ashley Cope is the best fantasy webcomic I’ve read in ages. Right down to the beautiful art, comedic characters and the presentation. (As you are reading some of the later pages, watch the surrounding website.) I don’t think I can describe the story in a timely sentence or two, but the world-building is fantastic.

Happy webcomic reading, everybody!!

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Webcomics Wednesday/Guest Post: 10 Tips for Beginners

Today, Tamar Curry is filling in for me with a fantastic list of basic tips for anyone thinking of starting a webcomic. Tamar has been creating webcomics since 2002 when he and some friends began Blue Zombie, a tale about adorable undead assistants. He then went on to briefly draw Silent Journey, which I wrote, and now works on Lumia’s Kingdom, a story about a girl who suddenly finds out that she is royalty and will be crowned as the first queen of a very  dysfunctional country. I promise you that despite the fact we’re dating, I didn’t force Tamar to write this post. (Or even suggest that he should.) He’s just awesome like that.

Take it away, Tamar!

~~~

So you say you want to do a webcomic?  Been kicking around this awesome story idea in your head for a few months?  Okay, a few days… Dare I even ask, more than an hour? Well, regardless, you can easily Google lots of info about what to expect when you start.
But I figure I could give you a bit more advice.  Cuz, ya know, maybe it’ll help you out a bit.
So, here are some things to keep in mind when starting a webcomic:

1) Draw as often as you can.  Comics are a visual medium and you need to be able to convey that through your art.  Your art doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be consistent (and trust me, if you put effort in and draw frequently it WILL get better with time). Also, don’t get overly detailed with your art because you have to be able to draw scenes and characters over and over and over again.  Is your lead female wearing a very pretty and ornate dress to a dance? To start, make it look like an actual dress that a girl would want to wear, but don’t need draw evenly spaced patterns on every inch of the fabric.

2) Let people know when you’ve posted an update. Ideally, it should happen on a regular basis, but life doesn’t always go that way. In which case, you have several tools at your disposal for spreading the news when a page does get posted: Facebook, Twitter, email lists, etc. RSS feeds are a godsend.
3) Don’t let bad comments (or lack of comments in general) get to you. Lack of feedback doesn’t mean your work sucks and even if you get an email that says otherwise it doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. Also, just let things simmer down a bit before you send a reply to that guy who claims you have no sense of pacing and that your art makes his eyes bleed. The war of words ends fastest when you simply choose not to respond.

4) Have a backup plan.  Seriously, shit happens. If your site is hacked or the service goes down, have a way to communicate with your readers to let them know what’s happened. If you are collaborating and one person can’t pull through or leaves, it’s up to you to pick up the pieces (assuming you still want to continue the project).

5) Know the ins and outs of your hosting services. What you may be able to do on Comic Genesis might not be as easy to tackle on Drunk Duck or vice-versa. If you’re just starting out, it may help to first try a service that caters to webcomics and make sure to read the fine print to see if there’s any restrictions. If you’re more experienced in web technology, you may want to purchase professional hosting. In any case, know what your getting into and what you are capable of doing with your website and if you’re allowed to do it.

6) Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Please don’t add “awesome” javascript-driven effects when I click on links. And no, I don’t care if it *is* the official soundtrack for when your work is turned into a movie, I don’t want to hear music play when I load up your site.

7) Design your website so that people can find what they want easily. When searching for links to pages becomes a scavenger hunt, you’ve failed. I will dedicate more of my attention to a webcomic with minimal page design  than one with an ornate website if the former is easier to navigate.

8) Tools do not make the artist. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need the latest version of Photoshop and a Wacom Cintiq tablet to produce a webcomic. You don’t need Dreamweaver to construct a decent website. The things you will definitely need in abundance is patience and persistence.

9) Choose the scale of your comic wisely. Many people start theirs with the intent of telling a grand epic stretching some 500+ pages long only to find themselves quickly bored with it and finding excuses to pursue other projects. If you have a similar problem, it might be better to do short gag-a-day comics or something relatively non-sequitur.

10) Finally, keep in mind that you are making a webcomic for yourself as much as (or even more so) you are making it for others to read. If you find that putting out content is becoming more of a chore than you’d like it to be you need to step back and evaluate the situation. Perhaps you need to change it up a bit or go in a new direction. Perhaps you need to take a break. Either way, remember to have fun with what you’re doing. How you feel about what you do will be reflected in your work.

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Webcomics Wednesday: New Favorites Link Dump!

Things are still busy in my neck of the woods, but I wanted to try and squeeze in a Webcomics Wednesday post. Sorry it’s not more in depth than a link dump post.

Still, I rather like all of these, so let’s get sharing!

I Think You’re Saucesome by Sarah Beacon is like a personal diary of Sarah’s struggles with her weight and her body image, as well as what she eats. It’s really kind of life-changing to see it done in comics. It makes me feel a little bit more confident in myself when I realize that half of the time I’m my own worst enemy.

Evil Diva is about a young devil who just wants to be good, but it’s kind of hard when your entire society is made up of super-good angels and super-bad devils! A fun, high school adventure story with plenty of mythology, comedy and action.

Wasted Talent by Angela Melick is a cute auto-biography comic that starts during Angela’s days as an engineering major in college and have recently included the Vancouver Olympics and getting marriage. It is adorable and funny even to non-engineers. Just trust me on this one.

I R Lolita by est-et-zen is a new webcomic, so it doesn’t have too many pages up yet, but it’s a funny look into lolita personalities and attitudes. And now it’s starting to build itself a little story. As a former lolita myself, I enjoy it’s simultaneous cuteness and self-deprecating humor. And Waffle-chan.

And finally…

His Face All Red by Emily Carroll has been getting passed around the internet a lot lately and for good reason. It’s short, but it’s amazing. Scott McCloud posted more information about the creator, who has a bit of a scattered online profile, on his blog. I am totally enamored with Carroll’s sensual faces and bodies.

And, as always, please share your favorite webcomic reads. I’m always looking for more!*

*Disclaimer- This does not guarantee that if you pass me YOUR webcomic that I will a) like it or b) review it on this site. Just so you know.

 

 

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Webcomics Wednesday: When Webcomics Go Bad

I didn’t start this weekly feature to bash on webcomics, although sometimes…

I was reading a page of Sister Claire (a fantastic, tongue-in-cheek webcomic about a nun-in-training who gets chosen to give birth to god’s next savior) when I was intrigued by a Project Wonderful ad on the page. And then I stumbled upon one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in webcomic form.

Olympic Dames is about a bunch of teenage girls who are suddenly impregnated in their dreams by some ancient Greek gods, judging by the fact that Pan orchestrates the whole event.

What follows is something that does have fairly decent art (for a relative amateur) had this person not decided to be so lazy that they never got further than pencils and breaking the fourth wall to tell the readers that they were too lazy draw a car or a group of people. Aside from that and some very wacky spinal anatomy, the art’s alright.

What really sucks is the story. Not only does the idea of a bunch of teens being chosen for immaculate conception bother me to no end, the writing is just confusing as hell. The transitions suck so hard that at first I couldn’t make heads or tails of the story and I only read through approximately 6 years of it because I knew I had write this post. I wish I could say the writing improved over time, but the improvements are minimal because their execution is still terrible. If you read it, you’ll know I’m right.

It’s pretty clear to me that the creators, or at least the writer, are either pregnancy fetishists (not necessarily the sexual kind of fetishists, but they certainly enjoy the idea) or they thought this up in high school when getting pregnant sounded like the craziest idea ever.

Either way, I’m disappointed. In Sister Claire, the pregnancy is gradual and isn’t even the main focus 0f the webcomic. Instead, the main character Claire takes part in a larger battle between good and evil, has zany adventures and is challenged. Any deus ex machina the creator throws in are handled with aplomb, like it’s the most natural thing in the world to the “deus” side of the equation. In Olympic Dames, the girls wake up so pregnant that half of the people who look at them assume they’re two seconds shy of their water breaking, their parents don’t notice a thing or are conveniently missing, their teachers are informed it’s for a scholarship and the pregnant students have received  extraordinary super-powers. Pan, the person behind the pregnancies, forgets to do stuff like get the girls out of gym class and is often flustered when the girls confront him.)

What’s even more incredulous is that out of the four girls who are impregnated, only one is truly depressed by her sudden change of state. The other girls either brush it off, are only pissed for a second and one has even been yearning to get pregnant to the point where she falls asleep with pregnancy suits on because she loves the idea so much. On top of that, after an attack on depressed girl and her unborn children, the others show her that she has to accept her “responsibilities” until the end and she learns that her childhood friend has suddenly realized his love for her and her ginormous baby belly.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful thing and clearly some people can approach it with that same respect and wonder, but this webcomic just makes me feel totally squicky about it. On top of that Olympic Dames, has super-lazy art and a confusing plot. There’s nothing good about this webcomic unless you’re the type of person who gets off on Octomom. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was created solely for that purpose.

What’s the worst webcomic you’ve ever read? Why is it awful?

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