The webcomics blog about webcomics


You so don’t want to know about the week I just had at work.

But midway through the week, the comics scholars discussion list I’m on got to talking about women in webcomics. Someone posted a long, long list of webcomics that were totally new to me, which shouldn’t surprise me anymore given what webcomics are and do. One of the most compelling things about webcomics is that anyone with the know-how and the tools can make his or her own with minimal fuss. It’s one of the things I love about zines and minicomics. Still, it’s interesting to me to sift through this long list of new things, and I thought I’d point folks towards three which particularly stood out on first blush.

There’s Hero, with its lush intro page. Described as “a story about a perfectly ordinary boy with no memory of the past and no urgency for the future who one day accepts a most extraordinary offer to travel to distant places and invisible cities,” Hwei Lin Lim updates the site with 3 pages every Monday. The design here is a little different from other webcomics I’ve seen, in that the narrative appears as a pop-up box when you rollover the image. It sort of struck me that I don’t remember seeing a webcomic narrated this way, and I think it presents an interesting challenge to how we think about webcomics and comics more broadly, and how words and pictures intersect.

Otter Soldiers just struck me as very entertaining and distinctive in its use of the written word: I really enjoy it when folks use their “about” or “introduction” page to do something a little different or unusual. For example, “This is a comic that was drawn by…Elina Hopeasaari so she’d learn something about how to draw comics before she starts drawing real actual proper comics. I would say it contains swearwords, killing people, and creatures with no clothes on, but parents don’t care about what kind of sites their kids visit, and the kids themselves certainly won’t click exit if I say there’s material unsuitable for them in here, they’ll just get more interested instead. So I’m not going to say anything.” And right here, from the get-go, I get this great sense of playfulness from this webcomic’s creator. It’s also written for a Finnish audience, not an American one, and though the FYI (see below) covers some of those questions a non-Finnish reader could have, not all of them are answered…and I kind of love that.

There’s a huge archive and a well-done character page, plus the FYI page (different, interestingly, from an FAQ–which is there, but as a subpage of the FYI) contains a great deal of information. I also really enjoyed reading in the FAQ about the technical guts of it, how Hopeasaari actually produces the work and with which tools.

Finally, there’s Faith Erin Hicks’ ICE, updated “every other Sunday night” with between 2 and 4 full pages going up each time. Good character page, clean design that’s easy to navigate, interesting color work and characters and pacing. I’m still working through the archives, but there’s something about this one which particularly stood out for me.

I’m interested, of course, to hear what people think about this question of format and narrative. In looking at something like Hero, where the narrative looks different from what we’re used to, perhaps, and something like Ice, which is a little more traditional and a little more familiar, maybe, contrasted with Otter Soldiers, where there’s a deliberate choice to have elements in the narrative which may need explaining for reader who aren’t Finnish. All three are interesting, well-done, and worth reading, and also seem somewhat different from one another.

Your thoughts?

[…] Trifecta …seen, in that the narrative appears as a pop-up box when you rollover … So I’m not going to say anything.” And right here, from the […]

Wheee! That was me, on the comixschl list. I just love recommending stuff to people; y’could say it’s a hobby of mine. *g* So, forgive my glee at seeing some of my recs spread around further. ;-)

(Sorry, no interesting thoughts re: your question; I’ve just come home from work and my brain is fried.)

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