The webcomics blog about webcomics

Really Real

Got an email detailing an interesting new role for webcomics — museum outreach. On the Lower East Side of Manhattan one will find tenements — block after block of sometimes improvised housing that served the vast waves of immigration since the days of the Civil War. It’s where you will find the Tenement Museum, which seeks to document and inform on the immigrant experience. And now they have a webcomic.

For Real is a webcomic documentary about the lives of three modern-day teens, their lives, their families, and their ambitions. It’s sort of a journal, sort of a biography, sort of an interview, sort of a Studs Terkel book, but what it reminds me of most is David Isay’s StoryCorps oral history project in pictures instead of audio (appropriately, one of the original StoryCorps StoryBooths is located in Lower Manhattan).

For Real is credited to Marianne Petit and Tracy White; the comics have a single visual style that, while not credited seems in line with White’s Traced. Traced uses a mixture of panels, text, and digital tricks (the kind that make McCloud all warm & fuzzy inside) to tell her stories, and while For Real has a similar approach, it seems to be relying mostly on the illustration. The home page promises that For Real will include stories of immigration from the past century, so keep an eye out for updates.

And how’s this for a wacky coincidence? The Tenement Museum was once the place of employment of a woman named Lynda, who has been somewhat related to webcomics herself. And while it’s been a while since she’s made an appearance, her influence on webcomics is significant (in that her providing of beer was a major influence on the development of Goats).

On the off chance you really don’t care about immigration history and personal history, how about memes? Hooray for the Basques!

Edit: See? Basques are the new hot thing!

[…] comics and features the resumption of the Evolution storyline. White’s done some interesting docu-comics in the past, is working on a graphic novel, and was Ignatz nominated a few years back, so give it a […]

[…] been a bit more than three years since I first came across Tracy White’s Traced, and now she’s got a book out; thanks to Gina Gagliano (who sets […]

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