The webcomics blog about webcomics

Stepping Out

So one of the things I’ve been working on recently, which I hope to mention more fully shortly, has required me to think about webcomics ceators in terms of what they do that isn’t webcomics. That’s a terrible sentence, so just consider the panel held at NYCC 2013 titled Beyond The Webcomic wherein Kate Beaton, Christopher Hastings and Ryan North talked about how they were bursting with creative impulses beyond just webcomics. Or, as I put it in a piece of writing that you may be able to read some day:

Having won their toehold in one medium, creators expanded outward into prose, children’s books, animation, short films, feature films, theater, sketch comedy, new media, games, apps, and academia; if there was a channel for expression, webcomics creators moved into it, applying the habits of hustle and invention that they’d developed. Whatever the next disruptive change in comics might be, they weren’t waiting for it to show up and leave them behind; they were going to go find it and make it theirs.

I kinda like that paragraph; the original even has a footnote in it, because that’s how I roll. It’s been on my mind because of the recognition that webcomics creators have been getting for things they’ve done that aren’t webcomics, like the news that STRIPPED is going to Angoulême, or the fact that two webcomickers have made the list of Best Books of 2014 at The AV Club. And before you say, Yeah, we know, you wrote about it the same day as the STRIPPED thing, this isn’t about comics. It’s about (what some would call) book books, without those filthy, degenerate pictures that cheapen everything.

Well, kinda. One of the honorees is What If? by Randall Munroe, based directly on the webcomic of the same name, but it’s more a general nonfiction book than a comic. At least, there’s not a story there. But the other is The Martian by Andy Weir; it’s his debut novel, but he previously created both Casey and Andy and Cheshire Crossing, making him a webcomicker since small times (although not for about six years or so).

We’re just at the start of this expansion, with tremendously creative people who feel no need to be creative in only one mode of expression (c.f.: also on that list at The AV Club was Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, aka frontman of The Mountain Goats), and I say it’s a great thing. I create neat things is an even better way to describe your job than I make cartoons and put them on the internet.

Spam of the day:

Do you suffer from KIDNEY DISEASE?

No. Next!

Totally agree! Creative people should go create all sorts of stuff! I like to think webcomics is a gateway to being able to get other good creative output noticed and appreciated.

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