The webcomics blog about webcomics

Webcomics Storm Warning

Noticed on Little Gamers this morning, a link to The LJ and an essay by Josh Lesnick on webcomics art (focusing on what Mr T identified as the most popular strips according to Alexa). This is the sort of thing that’s prone to blowing up into a poo-flinging festival, given that a) art is pretty much the definition of subjective; and b) people like what they like (even, God help us, sad eyed clowns and Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light).

It’s a subject that Lesnick is passionate about (the guy’s consciously reinvented his style in a quest to make it better), and he mostly avoids saying that particular creators are wrong in their designs, but I don’t think he’s going to change any minds and at this point, the best he can hope for is that people actually read the damn thing and try to understand his points before crapping on him. Oops, too late.

There are some thoughtful refutations of some of Lesnick’s arguments in there, but for the most part it’s breaking down as Wow, this was good or Wow, you suck, so you might want to skip the comments and just read the critique. For those falling into the latter camp, keep in mind that while it may appear to you that Lesnick’s essay was unsolicited, that doesn’t mean that the creators will find it unwelcome.

Less contentious things:

  • Dave Kellettt and Kris Straub, COME ON DOWN! (scroll down for priceless pics)
  • The SDCC shopping list gets larger: Wapsi Book 2
  • Lost in the Minifleen shuffle: Joe Chiappetta’s Silly Daddy (maybe the great-granddaddy of journal-type comics) is turning 16.
  • Nearly 300 episodes of a random-generated photo comic that I hadn’t heard of, but it reminds me (probably intentionally) of Found magazine, and that’s always a good thing.
  • Matt Buchwald (full disclosure: he pays us $0.20/day for that button ad over to the right) hit 500 strips at Fodi yesterday, so congrats are due.
  • And, lastly, News Free Comics. Hmmm.

I thought Lesnick’s essay/rant/whatever here was pretty accurate. Though he is definitely holding comic art to a particular standard or sensibility that isn’t necessarily universal.

I liked the essay, and I don’t agree with all of it. I learned from it, which is more than I can say of most essays of this type, which usually fall into “everything sucks but the things I like, and everyone’s too dumb to realize it” or “everything’s special in its own way, so I’m just going to hand out high fives and buddy hugs.”

It seemed like a pretty fair essay. The only thing I noticed about it that I don’t hold with is Lesnick’s antipathy toward “geometric” art styles–obviously, he prefers a looser line, and he uses it well, but I don’t think that something cleaner-looking is necessarily soulless.

Hey, there was no malice in the crits, so that’s pretty damn good right there, especially for the internet.

I thought it was a pretty well-written critique. I didn’t necessarily agree with everything he wrote (as Josh and I are not clones) but I certainly found his thoughts on my artwork helpful.

Least impressive webcomics storm ever!

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate any kind of nod in my direction, but man… If I received half the amount of news posts and blog links to a Girly comic I really nail as I do for my somewhat controversial Livejournal posts, I’d be a happy guy. =|

Since I posted the article, I’ve gotten a few requests from artists for me to critique their comic. I’ll get to those eventually, but for now, I’m honestly burnt out on this. The next several posts of mine dealing with webcomics will involve what I said just now: Me pointing out when other webcomic authors really nail their comics.

And by that I mean, when they post a strip or page that’s particularly impressive. I don’t mean them having sex with their comics.

Though if they do that, I’ll report on it too.

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