The webcomics blog about webcomics

Fleen Book Corner: CL

So the fine men and women of the United States Postal Service finally got me my copy of Howard Tayler’s first Schlock Mercenary book today (postmarked the 15th, I swear they were faster when they sponsored Lance), so look for a review in the coming days. Also, if rumors are to be believed, the long-awaited and completely non-controversial The History of Webcomics may be dropping in the next day or so; that one will probably take a bit longer. And today, it’s City Limits, the latest webcomics-artists-anthology, this one edited by George Rohac and Katy Ullman.

Like its predecessors, Flight and Disposable Parts, there’s a theme to this collection, although perhaps a bit less abstract than stuff flies or robots. CL focuses on a fictional city made up in a room full of creators at last year’s Otakon (many of whom may be seen here), which leaves a bit of room for crossovers — a bit of background gag in one story becomes a foreground plot point in another. This is a nice touch, and it would be nice to see if these little nods become a regular feature of creator anthologies.

Like all anthologies, it’s going to be somewhat uneven in tone and style, and no two people are going to agree on what the best parts are. You got horror (funny from Mookie Terraciano, creepy from Dan Kim), dumb action movie fun (in three parts from Brian Caroll and two from Ryan Estrada), science fiction (from Bob Gandy and Haque/Panagariya), and so forth. There’s probably something here to your taste and something that makes you go meh.

One thing though, and all future anthology editors should take note: not all the work reproduces equally well in the B&W printed medium. Justin Eger’s moody, somber story is well served by Rickey Winrick’s art in Reunion which probably looks great on a screen or color repro, but here the shading is muddled a bit around the edges. Similar issues and a distracting pixelation affect the splash pages of Bob Gandy’s contribution, No Moving Parts. By contrast, Mohammed Haque does his usual magic in Disconnect — the man knows how to get the thinnest lines and subtlest shading differences to display clear and sharp.

And if you clicked on those links above, you probably can’t see the flaws that I mentioned — maybe it’s an artifact of paper, maybe it’s to do with the source materials not having a high enough resolution, maybe it’s just that somebody produced a pre-press master on a day with an “R” in it — but it seems a shame that the image quality isn’t uniform throughout. No idea how to fix that, but there’s lots of people that read this that have prepared work for press; perhaps they could enlighten us.

The weird thing? I haven’t heard a WHISPER about that book since it came out, except from a few close friends that confirmed it really does exist.

I think the Internet tired itself out on this one.

Possibly because the publisher didn’t feel like advertising. Just a guess, though.

Looking for something else, I stumbled upon this page. Thanks for checking out City Limits; it seems like forever ago.

It was also my very first attempt at making sequential art. I have learned a TON since then, about resolution, sizing for print, line weight, and more. I think (hopefully) my art has improved. Thanks for a trip down memory lane. Cheers! -rcg

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