The webcomics blog about webcomics

Fleen Guest Column: Anne Thalheimer In, “Zombies! Goblins! Evil Schemes! Pretty Drawings!”

Editor’s note: Another guest piece from Anne Thalheimer; she’s continuing her explorations through webcomics, bringing a newbie’s eye to all and sundry. You can submit these too, you know. Contact link is over there to the right.

Now, I like writing critical pieces as much as the next person, and, as I’ve said before, I’m a little new to the webcomix party. So I thought I’d alternate the more critical pieces with something a little more, well, fannish. I’m trying to read widely in the field (so, you know, feel free to point me in the direction of one of your favorites if you want; I’m open to reading suggestions).

I’ve made mention of some of my favorites in earlier columns, like Natalie Dee and Exploding Dog and, of course, this. I’m a fan of Cat and Girl, which I first read in minicomics form, not on the web (it’s weird to be admitting that being a comix geek kind of turned me on to webcomix in the first place, especially in still thinking through David Malki !’s recent article.

I have a few webcomics that I read on a regular basis; I started out reading Overcompensating because I’m a bit of a fan of the autobio. Even if it’s fake. Or kinda fake. Hell, he draws tattoos on his comic self the same way I draw mine on me! Then I got sucked into reading Diesel Sweeties, which I like (especially in airports), in large part because of the weird titles that R Stevens uses for each of the installments. (Full disclosure: these two work down the hall from me and made my company’s wacky holiday party way more entertaining, so I’ll probably always be nice when I write about ‘em).

But when I think of Diesel Sweeties, I think of t-shirts. In an earlier column I advocated supporting the webcomics you read by buying merch (or sending fun party favors), and so I naturally thought of the only other webcomic whose t-shirt I’ve bought: John Allison’s lovely little Scary Go Round. It’s one of my current most favorite things online as well as from Old Blighty (other favorites in that category being Ribena, chocolate vending machines in tube stations, and my friend Lesley).

Scary Go Round is one of the few multi-panel webcomics where I can read loads of the archives and not feel like my brain’s been sucked out through my eyesockets. Part of this is no doubt because I find that the art and the text are both really compelling; vivid, unique art with grand coloring and catchy dialogue (snappy English-isms! Yeah!. I want to keep checking in to see what happens to the characters — the pacing’s perfect and the narrative’s delightfully weird. I’ve been thinking about the folks who report problems forgetting to click and check in on updates of their favorite webcomics; Scary Go Round just isn’t one of those for me. It’s actually one of those webcomics where I linger, looking at the background details (the posters, for example, in the background are especially nice touches). I’m still working through all of the chapters, but I fully intend to make good and read the whole thing. It’s also interesting to see the difference between the work that’s hand-drawn and the work that’s done on the Wacom tablet, since I find the hand-drawn work more visually captivating. One of these days I’ll just suck up the shellacking the US dollar is taking and buy one of his books, because I’d just love to see how Scary Go Round looks in print.

In addition, the website also has a hugely amusing “aboutâ€? section (called “the true truth”) as well as this little gem from the Extras section — you have to admit he’s got killer taste in music).

And I love my t-shirt (& just for you, Mr Lowrey, it’s bloody great!).

Fleen thanks Anne once again for her contribution. Hey, am I the only one that sees a girlfight of Wgnerian proportions coming? Wicked Bob has bewitched both Dark Esther (who has a mean right) and the formerly mini-Winters (who has a five-star gun show and a temper to match); once great friends, they’re now at each other’s throats due to malevolent forces and love of The Boy. Add in a little Armageddon, and nothing good can come of this — except more great storytelling. Also! Remember when I said that Esther had the sweetest smile? Her sorrow here absolutely breaks my heart — Allison’s ability to express emotions continues to astound.

I think you and I read the EXACT same comics. Bizarre, innit?

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