The webcomics blog about webcomics

Well, There’s a Satanist, And Some Toxic Waste, And…

Or, the alternative title: My Chronologically Awkward Review

My housemate doesn’t describe herself as a webcomics reader, exactly, even though she does have a number of regular comics that she reads on a regular enough basis. Though she’s emphatic that she doesn’t consider herself part of “webcomics culture” (whatever that means), she knows enough about it to point me towards new webcomics.

Take for example K. Fuhr’s Friendly Hostility over at Keenspot. I’d never heard of it and I was looking for a strip which discussed non-hetero sexuality (it is National Coming Out Day, after all). “Oh!” my housemate said, “Have a look at this one.”

“What’s it about?” I asked, after I typed in the address.
She paused for a moment, and so I started doing my usual clicking around when I go to a new webcomic. I usually look at the first page, see what the art looks like, and then I start trying to find out what I can about the cast (“coming soon”–d’oh!) and the author and other behind-the-scenes things to find a framework or some other kind of context for the webcomic in question. Sometimes I click through the archives for a while before I turn to the biography, and sometimes I decide to look through the other material before delving too deeply.

On clicking the author link, we found out that the author is named Sandra, who comes “from a large tight-knit Mexican family. I’m studying microbiology (virology emphasis). I like microbes more than people on most days, which is why I decided on a PhD instead of an MD. I’ve been in a serious relationship for some odd years. I have two ferrets and way too many stories inside my head.”

I thought, “Wow. Updating and working on a Ph.D…damn.”

I pointed this biography out to my housemate, who said: “Huh. It’s never occurred to me that it might be a woman, since the comic’s mostly about young gay men.” I raised an eyebrow. “Well, it’s not just about young gay men…” she said, and I figured at that point I’d just ask her what she liked about the webcomic, since part of what interests me most lately with webcomics is, as ever, why folks are reading what they’re reading–particularly if it’s something folks like enough to recommend, and then go back to the archives afterward.

While she noted the expressive nature of the drawings (which I have to second, as I like the way people’s emotions are portrayed), her real preference was for the dialogue, the witty banter between these varied characters. They’re likeable and smart. Even though the strip tends toward kind of choppy story arcs (which are very different from one another), the characters are endearing in their own unique ways.

“And Fox’s philosophy on sexuality’s kind of spiffy,� she added.

Okay, but what happens in the story? Why should I keep reading?

“Well, they get jobs. Weird things happen. The plot is a little choppy, and people tend to kind of disappear. And there’s a demon, but no other kind of supernatural magic stuff, aside from the Satanist being a Satanist. Also, there’s this whole long story arc about this toxic waste, someone comes after Fox and Derringer, and it’s very clear that all these characters have these complicated pasts but you never quite find out about them to the extent that I would like.â€?

There’s a lot there; the archives go back to 2004 and, obviously, I haven’t finished reading through all of them. But so far the work feels very familiar: the dialogue is snappy (makes me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the drawing style calls up, in ways, Japanese comics (sometimes; I think it’s do with how the eyes are drawn), and it’s another webcomic where you can really read through the comic’s shifting as the lettering becomes stronger and the art more detailed. It’s an interesting process to watch develop as you read. I’m still reading through, but it’s a decent way to spend a rainy Thursday night.

[…] Anne Thalheimer on K. Fuhr’s Friendly […]

Some other suggestions with non-heterosexual relationships:
Punch an’ Pie: by the author of Queen of Wands, Aeire. The two main characters are lesbians in a committed relationship and they are completely real people.

The Coffee Achievers: Two of the characters are lesbians. And there’s a demon in a portable cd player. And punks. Yah…um, it’s complicated. Written by Mitch Clem of ‘Nothing Nice to Say’ and illustrated by Joe Dunn of Digital Pimp. The series has ended but it’s worth a read.

Something Positive has one gay and two lesbian characters as well.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

if you’re wanting LGBTQ comics, prism comics has a number of great resources:

I’m a big fan of Friendly Hostility, and if you want another very very interesting read, you should check out Kagerou:

as well as many many others. If you ever have LGBTQ comics questions, send me an email, I’ll be happy to try to answer.


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