The webcomics blog about webcomics

A Subject Prime For Scholarly Debate

For three years now I’ve either drawn comics or written for them or read them. I’ve done speeches about their advantages and importance as a unique medium. I’m a devourer of archives and a harsh critic of half-assed attempts. Most of the speeches I’ve given have focused on the dichotomy of the community fostered on the web as opposed to print, and they’ve been well received by geek kids. For others, I’ve been speaking another language with cultural references and inside jokes that the audience members are none to happy to be left out of. The biggest complaints seems to be that it’s too overwhelming, there are too many to choose from, where do you start?

These comics that I read I hand out like drugs to friends and acquaintances; the first one’s free but the others’ll cost ya. You like Ctrl+Alt+Del, here, try some Gamer Lamer. Feels good doesn’t it? It’s like introducing two close, personal friends to each other, offering interests to spark conversation. “Allow me to introduce you to my friend Two Lumps. You’ll get along great, you both like cats.” “Oh have you met Chopping Block? No? Well you guys have a scary amount of interests in common!” Creating dreamy fan-kid love is rewarding. I’m a modern match maker.

The hard sells are the ones you know someone will love, if only they’d give it a chance. Society stereotypes have spilled over into the webcomic-verse, apparently threatening manhoods everywhere. When my male friend caught me reading Little Dee, his reaction included grandiose accusations about delicate female dispositions and more than a few unkind words as to my apparent preference towards dolls over video games. I informed him, as I am informing you, that Little Dee is very manly, totally aggressive and more action packed than he could imagine.

So where do you tell people to start? Is there a starting point or do you just close your eyes and point? Are the big names really the best or can we move past the “fame=good” equation? The problem of community has been on everyone’s lips lately, with a different opinion from everyone you ask. As the medium evolves, how will we all play a part? The answers, I think, are for someone more political than I.

I’ve always found that I am eager to recommend stuff that I am currently extremely interested in – and my motivation is as much wanting to spread the love as wanting a fellow fan to chatter with.

I don’t think I’ve ever tried to get anyone hooked on a strip. Hell, most of my RL friends and aquaintances don’t even know I have one. But I do quite like to pick choice excerpts from various comics and send them along to people I find them relevant to. So for example, one of my friends has a Sore Thumbs strip printed out and pasted on her bedroom door, although I doubt she’s ever visited the site, and probably wouldn’t understand the comic if she did. Other friends have been spontaneously gifted with Goats mini-comics, or been lent a few Scary-Go-Round collections. Do they then follow up on them? Hell if I know.

Last week a friend of mine reinacted one of the SMBC shorts in front me me. I wasn’t even aware they existed, yet I talk to Zach all the goddamn time.

Quite a few of my friends, especially the ones with full-time jobs, keep up with more webcomics than I will ever manage. And that can be mildly embarrassing.

Thank you for the kind words, i really apreciate it ^_^

-Brian wilson

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