The webcomics blog about webcomics

A Terrifying Thought

How many horribly bodytype-inappropriate Isaiah Mustafa cosplayers do you think we’ll see in San Diego? On the other hand, anybody that manages to cart around a working shower stall will officially win everything.

  • With the latest wave of auction completions from the Web-Comics Auction for the Gulf Coast imminent, barring any wild jumps in the last minutes of bidding, guaranteed contributions hit at least $1552.37. Remember that less than a day remains to get originals from the likes of Nedroid and Kate Beaton, and all auctions will close in less than 72 hours.
  • Newest confirmed location for San Diego: Tom Siddell at the Archaia booth, #2635; be polite, he’s going to be about seven time zones out of synch.
  • I picked up the latest Megatokyo yesterday, and I have to say, I think I’ve got to fundamentally change how I approach this one. I’ve been following MT online for nearly 10 years now, through art and creative team changes, six volumes, four publishers, and I don’t know how many hours of reading, and something’s got to give.

    It’s not the update schedule (Achewood is at least as randomized, and there’s extensive psychological research that says regularity is less compelling than randomly-spaced events that drag us back in when we’re just about to give up) that’s putting me off; it’s not the art, which sometimes features a low enough contrast between foreground and background as to make action hard to follow (my brain can elide over those pages and just continue once the contrast comes back). No, it’s the decompression.

    This latest volume, comprising chapters 9 and 10, which took three years to produce, covers two days worth of story. The one chapter = one day formula means that in the past decade, we’ve seen less than a fortnight’s worth of days where things actually happen. Much like Brian Bendis-scribed comics where storytelling (and especially dialogue) get so stretched out that it takes longer to read a page than the story-time it’s meant to convey, Megatokyo has slowed to the point that I just need something to happen.

    It’s still going to be in my bookmarks; hell, I’m probably going to pick up book 7 whenever that releases — but I’ve turned off the part of my brain that worries where the overall plot is going. I don’t think I’ll get the reward of random, unconnected gags again, and I can certain appreciate the effort that Fred Gallagher obviously puts into each update, but I’m not reading it for the story anymore. And this leaves me curious — anybody else read stuff that they’re disengaged from, but don’t quit entirely? Answers on a postcard.

I’ve tried that approach with several webcomics, but inevitably whatever thread is holding me to the comic frays and snaps. There’s a point where I have to say “enough is enough” and end the relationship.

I stopped reading Dreamland Chronicles online for being too slow taken by the page. I still pick up the trades, though.

As for Megatokyo, I expect manga to be glacial in its plots. It’s a good part of the reason I stopped buying most of it. For Megatokyo, Fred usually manages to bring a page to a nice conclusion, which keeps me coming back. Like most webcomics though, I use their feeds to keep up with their updates. I only have five left that don’t use feeds.

Mine’s MegaTokoy too. I decline to remove it from my reading links for sentimental reasons: it was being gifted with the paperback Chapter 0 for Father’s Day in 2003 that led to my involvment with mainstream webcomics culture (instead of only drawing comics in webfanfiction culture) (which of course I still also do). But I haven’t been able to follow the story for years because I can’t tell any of the women apart, and I preferred the earlier, funny strips.

Shortpacked is one for me. I still laugh at it regularly, but the dramatic shifts in characters’ relationships that Willis does from time to time have all the emotional impact of watching someone arrange hypothetical chess situations on a board. I don’t care about the characters or story, except to the extent that they make me laugh. Which, for me, is enough.

RSS feed for comments on this post.