The webcomics blog about webcomics

What Did You Do For Halloween?

Yeah, I know it’s July.

But last week I was given a flyer (not by the author, but someone whose work I like and have written about previously) advertising a new webcomic called Haunted, by Joshua Smeaton. The copy on the promotional postcard asks, “What did you do for Halloween when you were 12? Trick or treating? Go to a costume party? Or run from psychotic ghosts bent on ripping out your soul?”

It’s a little too early to tell where the story’s headed since right now there’s only a few pages up–the first batch of which are in Latin–since Smeaton’s focusing on spreading the word about the project before he goes to regular once-per-week updates starting in August. So far I like it a fair bit; the coloring’s very compelling (especially on those exterior images of the house), the quirky font work reminds me of Sandman: Brief Lives, and the prologue caught my interest and I will check back see how it progresses. It was pitched to me as something for kids as well; there are a bunch of kids Scooby-Doo style on the front of the promo postcard investigating shadowy figures behind a nearby door so I’m guessing that it’ll be a kid-friendly comic. But it’s still early, so I can’t yet say for certain where it’ll go.

But in poking around the website, I found that this author also does a diary comic (an example of which you can see above)! It’s already pretty well established that I’m something of a soft-touch when it comes to diary comics. About his own work, Smeaton writes, “In August of 2002, I attended the San Diego Comic Con with my friend Dennis. He picked up a book called “The Sketchbook Diaries” by James Kochalka. I thought it was a brilliant idea & I’ve been doing my own Cartoon Journal ever since. My grammar is pretty bad my perspective is crap and my character likenesses are even worse. But I think it works. ”

I found it kind of weirdly charming, actually. The archives go back to January 2004, so there’s a fair amount to read since they update daily. It’s basically Josh’s life, complete with job stuff, housemates, a dog named Moose, travel, movies, drawing comics (it’s kind of neat to see the progress he makes on Haunted show up in the diary comics), and so forth. A neat feature that I haven’t yet seen with many diary comics is links to the actual pictures he’s referencing, or referring to within the strip. I certainly enjoyed the time I spent looking around the site, and I’ll certainly go back to check out Haunted when it goes to regular updating next month.

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