The webcomics blog about webcomics

Nuts: Eaten, Butts: Better Believe They’re Kicked

I speak, naturally, of the ending of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with issue #50 in stores today; writer Ryan North, artists Erica Henderson and Derek Charm, colorist Rico Renzi, letterer Travis Lanham, editor Wil Moss, and a series of guest contributors put together the funnest, most heartfelt exploration of what it means to be a hero that the comics rack has seen since … I dunno, All Star Superman #10? And that was down to one perfect page, really, whereas North, et al, have made a habit of producing a better book each and every damn month, all from a character that was pretty much a joke when they started.

This is usually the point that I say my favorite project from favorite creators is the next one, because I always want to see them grow and stretch; in this case, I gotta say I’m going to be a bit wistful for the run of USG, and if it turns out to be a career high for any of the creative team, well that’s something to be pretty damn proud of. From the Kra-van to the pickable-path issue from a love that spanned decades to an elegiac moment of poetry, from a slapstick silent story to lessons on the history and practice of computing and engineering, the book was a wonder. Thanks to all who made Doreen Green the greatest superhero of any shared universe.

  • And since we’re talking about people whose stories got better with every installment (I have remarked in similar fashion about Giant Days and Octopus Pie), I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that there are other masterworks getting some love today. The AV Club, as I have noted, has some of the smartest writing on comics, particularly in section editor Oliver Sava. As part of their ongoing Best _____ Of The Decade retrospectives, they took this New Comic Book Day to announce their 25 best comics from 2010 to the present, and oh my are webcomics and those who make them well-represented.

    Right at the top of the list (and I don’t believe that it’s meant to be ranked) is Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu. It’s joined by the aforementioned Giant Days and Octopie, but also by Tillie Walden’s On A Sunbeam, Blue Delliquanti’s O Human Star, The Nib by Matt Bors and his merry coconspirators, Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton, Smut Peddler¹, and Margot’s Room by Emily Carroll.

    It’s worth remembering that the past decade has been an unbelievably rich time for comics, one where every month brings new work that would have been all time bests just 20 years ago. I could probably think of another 25 off the top of my head, but for now let’s just consider of the 25 listed (and you know the AV Club staffers sweated and fought to get the list that short), nine of them — nearly 40 percent! — were webcomics in their first presentation, or made by people primarily doing webcomics. Our weird, scrappy little corner of the medium has grown by leaps and bounds.

  • Speaking of webcomics and their place vis-a-vis traditional comics, is there anybody that’s made so complete a career progression as the indefatigable Jim Zub? He’s the consummate journeyman, hopping to titles that need somebody to reimagine them, or bring a listing vessel home safe to port. Give him a concept and step back, and you’ll get something great, bang on time, and written to the strengths of whichever artists he’s paired with. He’s on a Black Panther team book, and he’s just picked up another that makes 10 year old Zub bounce up and down with joy into alternate planes of vibrational frequency:

    As announced earlier today on Marvel’s Pull List preview video – in February 2020 I take over as writer on Marvel’s monthly CONAN THE BARBARIAN series with Rogê Antônio on pencils and EM Gist illustrating painted covers.

    I’ve read a bunch of I’m on _______ now! announcements from Zub and I promise you, none of them — not Avengers, not Baldur’s Gate — has held as much pure, uncut joy for Lil’ Zub with fantastic stories in his brain and stars and his eyes as freakin’ Conan. You can pick up his run starting with issue #13, out in February.

  • Finally, Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin sends along some news updates in the world of BD, some of which got lost due to proximity to Quai des Bulles, some of which has happened since:
    Yatuu’s Erika is now in English (the first pages, so far); previous coverage here. It was redesigned for smartphones, interestingly enough (well, Brice did it)

    Also, Rainette resumed from hiatus; previous coverage here.

    As a side note, if anybody is interested in becoming Fleen Senior [your geographical location here] Correspondent and letting us know what’s happening in comics in your corner of the world, drop us a line. FSFCPL got the gig by providing on-the-ground context for what was happening at Angoulême, giving our readers info that nobody else this side of the Atlantic had. We’d be happy to expand to other parts of the Wide World Of Webcomics.

Spam of the day:

Do you know the #1 deadliest health supplement?

Given that thanks to Orrin Hatch, the entire damn supplements industry is essentially unregulated and doesn’t have to prove that what’s in the bottle is what is says on the label, or even that it’s not actual poison, I’d say it’s a tie between every damn last one of them that exempts itself from FDA oversight.

¹ Specifically, the original 2012 anthology, which kicked off a new era for smut comics, for anthologies, and for Iron Circus. Not mentioned but worth remembering — this is where Spike invented her screw stretch goals, more money raised goes directly to the creators bonus structure, which has been widely copied.

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