The webcomics blog about webcomics

Doctor. Ninja. Ghost?

So the word on the street is that Dr. McNinja is dead. Manny has shown up to take his spirit, so surely he is wormfood, yes?

Well, no. This is a comic, and this is the titular character we’re talking about here. Surely the rational explanation is that McNinja has two spirits, one doctor and one ninja, and they are  going to be granted permission by death to avenge their sticky end. I mean surely that much was obvious.

All that trivial business is, however, just a distraction from the “meat” (NOTE: this is a clever pun) of this week’s McNinja story, which answers that age old riddle: Gorrilla or Raptor?

Will Dr McNinja resume corporeal form? Which exotic species will emerge triumphant? How can a skeleton have a moustache?

All these questions to be answered in up coming issues of Dr McNinja (I hope), Stay tuned!

Chalk it up to being bitter (or maybe just tired), but I find it extremely annoying that cheesy superhero-comic-dramas like McNinja and The Non-Adventures of Wonderella seem to win such universal, unceasing support from around the webcomic community seemingly instantly. Meanwhile, a hundred thousand other comic artists have “paid their dues”, so to speak, and toil in unending obscurity, simply because they haven’t chosen to focus on a current cliche among webcomic users (“He’s a Doctor AND a Ninja! At the same time! And his sidekick is a gorilla!”) or pick silly nicknames for their criminal masterminds (“Ooh Ooh! It’s Hitlerella!)

I mean, it’s one thing to get noticed through making a quality comic day in and day out. It’s another entirely to win instant fame and be noticed simply because you give your characters witty names.

Not to detract from the quality of the aforementioned comics.

But personally I’m getting a little sick of drawing a five-day-a-week comic and not sticking out from the crowd simply because I didn’t name my characters “hitlerella” or give them sombreros, guns, and large moustaches. With that in mind, some random comics that deserve to get noticed for being intesting, despite their lack of frills and/or famous authors:

a divine dramedy

haiku circus


Cigarro and Cerveja

Sorry to get all peevish. I get like that sometimes.

Yes, by DrMcNinja is freaking HILARIOUS.

Plus, what’s wrong with picking a recognizable hook to get people to look, then smacking them in the face with pure, unfiltered funny and getting them to stay with you?

I would be more upset if he used a cheap cliched hook like that and then followed up with something subpar and still got recognition.

Also: Apparently he took offence to people deciding that was Manny.

While I disagree with most of what Lucas wrote (except to agree with the sentiment that Fleen’s nonGarys write too much about the better known comics), I have to say that three out of four of his recommendations have now made it to my regular reading list. I won’t say which three.

On the other side of the spectrum from “obscure and not critically noticed” is the category “larger readership, but not critically noticed”. My personal favorite in that group is Dominic Deegan.

And that’s obviously not Manny. He speaks in the wrong font.

I sympathize with Lucas, although I think it’s mostly human nature to gravitate towards the familiar, and well-done comics with an instant hook will get an audience much faster than well-done comics that are somehow unfamiliar or might require more reader investment to enjoy. I know it takes a lot of time for me to add a comic to my reading list, even if I think that a particular comic is a good read, and I would probably be more likely to follow where there was something I could instantly connect to.

On the flip side, there’s a danger that a new comic artist could get dismissed if he or she uses cultural references and in-jokes, and I’d guess that even popular cartoonists who riff heavily on other material might not be given the same respect as popular cartoonists whose work is more self-contained, regardless of the talent involved.

That said, I’m looking forward to the next few installments of Dr. McNinja.

I agree with Michael Kinyon’s comment that Fleen’s non-Garys write WAY too much about the better-known comics. Fleen has been my favourite webcomic news site since the day it launched, but now it just comes across as though webcomic artists are paying you people to write advertorials or something.

^ Essentially, Ornerboy’s comment is the one I wanted to put the stress on. Except that it was all, like, midnight, and I had worked all day. So, I was feeling tired and ranty. And uploading my comic at the same time.

In retrospect, I guess I should have made more out of the fact that I dig both McNinja and Wonderella myself… it just surprises me when comics get so much HYPE instantly after launching. I mean, there’s nothing saying that they’ll even stick around for any period of time (and knowing the amount of internet comics that die quick deaths, it’s not likely)… meanwhile, there are really good unexposed comics that have been running for years, you just have to LOOK.

I wish Fleen did that, considering it’s more in line with their mission statement, is all, rather than hyping the same comics over and over.

Since I have apparently had such success with recommendations: another one>

It’s like a 1900s newspaper cartoon for modern readers.

RSS feed for comments on this post.