I mean, Happy New Year!
I usually get a little contemplative at the New Year; it seems a decent opportunity to both survey the past year and think about changes for the coming one. It was about a year ago that I was first put in touch with the Fleen folks (read: Gary), and so I thought maybe this post ought to take a quick look back over the previous year, as a refresher on what I read and liked. I think I’ve learned a fair piece about webcomics over the course of 2007, and I have some favorite webcomics finds from the year. I met a whole lot of webcomics folks (and I finally met Jeph Jacques, and the world didn’t end). I survived MoCCA, didn’t get sued, and ended up with a lot of t-shirts. So, yeah. Go webcomics!
But in reading through the archives, my first thought was Holy crap! I completely overwhelmed myself! I figured I’d go poking through the archives, review a little, and try to come up with a witty year-end round-up kind of thing, especially after reading ComixTalk’s People of Webcomics 2007 list (which struck me as kind of a weird list; I’ll leave more discussion to you folks and to Gary, but…yeah, weird, no?).
My math skills are not the awesome, but in the past year it looks like I wrote about nearly 40 different webcomics. I’m not counting the ones I just mentioned in passing or name-checked more than once, or the ones with which I was familiar before picking up this gig. Of these forty-odd, a few, like Tom Humberstone’s lovely Vented Spleen and Juan Santapau’s breathtaking The Secret Knots, are ones that I visit from time to time; they aren’t daily updates. Natasha Allegri’s Normal Life is another. One series ended–Mike Luce’s quirky, funky Fite!–and a handful of the other columns were either about one-shot series, like Israel Sanchez’s Saturday, or the body of work of one artist (such as Mark Burrier or Sarah Morean).
There are, however, a few with which I’ve kept up on a regular basis, and I was trying to figure out why that was. Why those webcomics? I mean, I like webcomics. I spend enough time on the internet; it’s not like it’s tricky to navigate. But in looking back through the archives, I found that there were some that I really enjoyed, like Kelly Vivanco’s Patches, that just fell out of my head (or my browser, I guess). There are a few others that I’m not following, just because the narrative didn’t catch my eye the same way the visuals did. But what I realized is that the ones I follow most regularly are either the ones with feeds, like Box Brown’s Bellen!, or ones that update once per week (cue Teaching Baby Paranoia) and I can remember to check back in. One of my favorites, Matthew Reidsma’s High Maintenance Machine, actually started selling original art within the last month; I could not resist.
I’ve actually spent the time since Thursday, when I was originally going to post, re-reading many of these webcomics, like Karen Ellis’s astounding Planet Karen, one of my favorite finds from this year, and catching up with the series I’ve missed (holy crap, Scene Language, I missed you! & congrats Corey Marie & Tod!). And, actually, I think that’s apt: instead of spending time writing about them, I’m actually closing the year reading them.
I can’t wait to see what 2008 brings.