The webcomics blog about webcomics

…More Good Reading Suggestions?

I thought I’d start this week with a quick note of thanks. The list of suggestions on last week’s column was both interesting and lengthy, so much so that I’m still reading through those suggestions rather than moving forward too much further with the article I want to write about women in webcomics. Some of them—like Jennie Breeden’s The Devil’s Panties and Leanne Franson’s Liliane, Bi-Dyke weren’t unfamiliar to me, though I think The Devil’s Panties is probably one of the better-known webcomics out there, and though I’m much less familiar with Franson’s work online, I know her print collections well. Others, like Normal Life, and Planet Karen, I’d just never heard of. As a group of recommendations, they’re a wide range of different styles and subject matter, and not all are American, which is good. It’s always interesting to me to see what people recommend and why, and I’m glad for a diverse set of new things to read.

The comments, of course, raised the issue for me of wondering about how do people initially find the webcomics that they read and follow (and maybe this overlaps a little with earlier pieces about readership and introducing folks to webcomics)? Certainly, recommendations go a long way, be that a suggestion from a review site (there are lots of ’em out there), a link on a friend’s blog, or someone you know emailing you a link directly from a webcomic’s site. Sometimes this transmission becomes almost viral; someone emails you something you think is so cool that you blog about it and then email a couple of other folks about it, who in turn email a bunch of other people, and so on. Word of mouth (so to speak) is a powerful force.

There’s of course a more traditional method of recommendations: many webcomics have links on their main page to other webcomics that are by other creators that they A) read B) know and like C) are affiliated with, in some way (think of webcomics groups and subscription services) or D) all of the above. Sometimes you’ll get ads through Project Wonderful, which can be kind of interesting to see what webcomics are advertised where. (I found one of my favorite webcomics advertised over at Planet Karen, and then in clicking for more information about Project Wonderful, I found my way over here. Cool.)

Sometimes folks are introduced to webcomics through networking services, like ComicSpace, where creators can network with potential readers and other creators. Some of this networking happens through journals, blogs, and messageboards that the creators not only maintain, but often participate in as well. You can also sign up for feeds right to your blog, so that checking in with a number of different websites isn’t as much an issue, or be added to a mailing list that’ll remind you to go look when the site’s updated.

And some of it is simple meet-and-greet self promotion: going to conventions. Webcomics are interestingly hybrid, and as such have the distinct advantage of running in a number of different circles even though in most cases they’re nowhere near being completely overground or mainstream (wasn’t there a recent convention with a panel about webcomics that didn’t have any webcomics creators on it..?).

For example, anime conventions regularly include panels about webcomics, with webcomics creators, and though it may seem initially an odd pairing, there are a number of potential explanations ranging from the high degree of anime/manga available online to something as simple as the convention organizers overlapping interests (though who knows what might happen in the next 5 or 10 years). Webcomics creators and publishers appear at many comics and small press conventions, from APE to SPX, to Comic-Con and MoCCA.

So this week, in addition to the other reading, I spent some time poking around a review site that I stumbled across, as one does with sites on the Internet, and I found a webcomic called Minimum Security by Stephanie McMillan. (Her daily updates are on since her work was apparently very recently picked up by UFS, who, happily, have not asked her to tone down the webcomic’s political sensibilities). On her own site, they’re archived by year, and they’re all pretty political. It wasn’t something I went looking to find, but it was the most powerful one that I read in the time I spent looking around the site. I later figured out that I had, in fact, seen her work before—she’s the artist whose webcomic about a year ago published the telephone numbers of South Dakota Republican senator Bill Napoli. She later sold the original on eBay for over $2000 and donated all of the money to pro-choice causes; my friend Chris had emailed me the link to the webcomic in question.

While I don’t want this to turn totally into a political piece, particularly not with Monday’s anniversary, I thought Minimum Security was an interesting, distinctive webcomic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a very heavily politically influenced webcomic written and drawn by a woman. This isn’t something I’ve seen a great deal of in my reading, and I thought it was a webcomic worthy of note. Minimum Security’s fairly lefty, and anti-consumerist, and ironic, sarcastic, and smart, and worth having a look.

(& oh yeah, happy belated Pi Day!)

For me starting out, it was crossovers that introduced me to the wider world of webcomics. A friend had told me I should check out “User Friendly”, which eventually had a crossover with “Waiting For Bob”. Curiosity led me to that site, which had a link to (the original) Fleen.

The rest is history.

No one has mentioned Aeire yet, the writer/artist of Queen of Wands and writer of Punch an’ Pie, sooo…I’ve mentioned her.

Hey! Came here via my stats: thanks for reading Liliane and mentioning it here! Hope you’re enjoying the online stuff as well as the printed stuff. Certainly is less hassle distributing! And knowing people are reading daily gives me a boot in the butt to be productive. Great blog. thanks again!


FAMILY MAN, by Dylan Meconis, is among the best-drawn webcomics ever made and can be found at

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