The webcomics blog about webcomics

Resurrection Strip

A while back I wrote about comics that were some of the best but had fallen by the wayside and hadn’t been updated in months or years with no notice from the artist. One of those comics was Fallen, written and drawn by Aido. At the time I told you that this was a unique storyline, straight out of the imagination of its creator, and that the dreamy art style left deep impressions on its reader. The last update was in September of ’05 and there hadn’t been so much as a guilty apology for not having updated in so long.

Well, that all changed last night. After what seemed like an eternity, Aido has finally offered up another update. Her art style has changed a lot, and I think it lost just a little bit of what made Fallen feel so dreamy and imagined. Don’t get me wrong though, it is still beautiful art work and the characters themselves seem hardly changed. I hope this means that we’ll be seeing Fallen regularly again, and that this isn’t some bored, half attempt to feed her fans. I’d like to think she misses us as much as we miss her.

The Creative Process Revealed

Today’s Two Lumps reexamines a universal truth you learn in most art appreciation classes and British literature classes. Many great masterpieces in literature, music and art can be directly attributed to an artist’s opium addiction, hallucinations, insanity or blood poisoning from paint. We feel compelled to look at deeper meanings in these works, but the truth is we need only go as far as our nearest Introduction to Psychology class. It’s nice to see Two Lumps back to their regularly scheduled programming after what seemed like an eternity of literature rewrites.

Today’s Oratory Is On Function

I don’t have to tell you all about how wonderful Family Man is or how talented Dylan is or how I’d sell my soul to any number of devils to have that kind of talent. No, no, that can all go without saying. I’m all a-quiver with anticipation after last weeks nearly risque sleeping behavior between the brothers.

I’d like to draw your attention specifically to today’s comic though. After weeks and weeks stuck in the same night the comic begins in, we’ve finally moved on to the next day. This is where we’ll start to see things move a little quicker, I think. With updates spread out over the course of a day rather than many updates depicting a 10 minute time span which makes the comic feel as if it were at a stand still. Timing is a very tricky thing that artists have to juggle. To do a scene justice you must spend plenty of pages and thorough dialogue. Should you spend too many though, readers start wondering when things are going to actually happen and the exposition or the build up of suspense will finally climax.

On a final note I’d like to draw attention to Dylan’s use of text bubbles in the last panel. Text bubbles are often just bits of white space breaking up background art. But not here. Here the text becomes symbolic of action. Here, the text and the balloon become an artistic tool to experience noise, loudness/softness and tone. Dylan never fails to use her whole page to her advantage and that is an impressive feat.

My Secret Dark Humor

Speaking of secrets, I’m going to share one of mine. It’ll probably cause some bristling, though that is not my intention this time. I’ve got a religious mean streak. I love comics and stories and artwork that play around with well known religious themes and mix things up enough to cause serious discomfort in those around me. It’s a guilty pleasure. There, now you know.

Today’s Thingpart’s dark humor made me giggle delightedly. The same part of me that secretly plans for the inevitable zombie attack and plays Betrayal at the House on the Hill as if it were a guide to life finds no end to the literary enjoyment in the devil and his endless pursuit for human souls.

Joe Sayers torments the children in his comic in the most exciting ways. It reminds me of the print comic Arsenic Lullaby or the RPG Little Fears. I believe there’s a little bit of twisted in everyone.

Shake It Like You Mean It

So I was reading through some comics yesterday when I couldn’t help but notice the Keenspot news box featuring Candi, shaking it like she means it. I couldn’t help myself but to click and suddenly 6 hours of my life are gone and my Algebra homework remains untouched.

I hadn’t read Candi before, but a vacation in her archives proved to be a comic I could read regularly without shame. Don’t let the beginning art fool you though, the evolution of artwork not only becomes uniquely Starline’s, but the characters themselves crawl out from behind generic art work once the details start showing up. The early work is painfully cut and paste with only a few changes to represent eye movements and the like. If there is any of that happening in the last six months, I couldn’t tell. I love these characters; they could have been any one of my friends nine years ago when I first started college. Sometimes they remind me of my friends now.

There’s plenty of rump shaking in this comic. Sometimes it touches edgy material and sometimes it explores it with the naivety of the characters. I’m especially proud of the character development. There are characters in this comic I really can’t stand because I know people who are like them. Girls like Laura make me crazy and Candi’s blindness to her boyfriend Alex’s personality grates me like no other pet peeve.

So glad the news box was there for me yesterday. It always knows just how to distract me.

The Honest And Serious Non Sequitur

My Livejournal account has turned into a hub of RSS feeds and something I almost never post on. Sunday morning at work I was catching up on my feeds and was delightedly surprised by Sunday’s Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller. More often than I’d care to admit I’ll read Non Sequitur and the comic goes right over my head. I always feel like there is something profound or at least clever that someone more cultured than I would recognize. Still I am compelled to read it daily.

Sunday’s comic was in this wonderful soft pastel coloring as if it were lifted straight from a children’s book. The comic, however, is serious and dark and hopeful and painful which feels unlike any emotion I’ve ever spent on Non Sequitur before now.

Danae is speaking to a man about the numbers tattooed on his arm. He answers her pushy questions but the answers bring her to tears. There’s a lesson here, or a memory maybe that our world has collectively forgotten and Miller almost touches it. This was a great comic.

I Miss Good Cartoons, But This Helps

When I was a kid, like most kids I imagine, I spent something like 6 hours in front of the television on Saturday mornings watching cartoon after cartoon until the sports commentators came on. Cartoons these days disappoint me in such profound ways because of how I remember my generation’s treasure chest of animations. The reason I mention this little corner of my childhood is because the comic Chili’s World by Santiago Casares reminds me of cartoons that I used to watch. Characters and story snippets that used to leave me in stitches.

It’s partly the coloring and partly the character concepts that ring nostalgia in my head. See there’s this penguin Chili who is in love and has all the wonderful goofball characteristics of a boy in love and he has a friend name Lenny who is a Lemming who apparently missed the great cliff run-off so Lenny hangs out with Chili and contemplates life. There’s also this cat who kind of scares me and yet I’m pretty sure he’s my favorite character, his name is Mac and he’s magically insane. There’s also a determined turtle and a head strong hare and a white rabbit and Alice who has abandoned wonderland for Chili’s World where it’s not quite as crazy and she can just be her tomboyish self. It’s like the Hundred Acre Wood if everyone just did a little bit of acid first.

Oh My Bob!

It was on a friend’s advice that I checked out The Book of Bob because she told me, and I quote, “You’re going to love the pants off this comic.”

When I checked it out I couldn’t exactly figure out what part of it I was suppose to be head over heels for. It seems a little bit funny and the art is nice on the eyes, but I just didn’t feel swept off my feet by it. I seem to be in the minority though, because this comic gets nothing but positive comments from its readers who are just blown away by it. It sort of has a Perry Bible Fellowship or ThingPart feel to it, but I don’t know. It’s like the time when Pulp Fiction first came out and all my friends were crazy about it and I was the only naysayer who thought it was overrated. Maybe the truth is I’m just not cool enough.

The greatness that is Bob is over my head, I suppose. But the website design is superfun and I anticipate Bob’s following to continue growing. It’s just that kind of comic.

Sometimes We All Need This Kind Of Distraction

I found Melaines Choles first, though I don’t remember where. It was when I was working on my own comic art project and I was frustrated and very tired of dealing with plot lines and plot holes and plot filler and characters who made me crazy. I found it the day I was ready to tell comics to go to hell and go back to writing freelance journalism all the time instead. Melaines Choles, a configuration of people and stories and plots that may or may not go anywhere but have a very central emotion that I cannot describe or exactly replicate, was found just in time to stop my vain attempt to change directions with my art. It was just the random, uncomfortable and deliriously inappropriate comic I needed at the time.

I didn’t read Nathan Castle’s other comics at the Nude Rollerdisco of Comics until much later when Melaines Choles stopped being updated as often. I liked Great and Small, especially the art but also the writing. There is this natural impression in Castle’s writing that suggests he’s telling these stories as anecdotes very late into a party when most people have gone home and everyone has come down off their social high to enjoy conversation and gossip passed off in scholarly tones. I never feel like I’m reading his stuff so much as being told while I listen, beguiled.

I could never get into Squid Gidion, but I still read Seamonster. It has the same strange underlying emotion that Great and Small and Melanies Choles offers, but with a linear storyline and reoccuring characters. Seamonster is so voyueristic.

Castle’s stuff still gets me through writer’s block.

Thank God For Culture Clash – The Book

I’m still gross and sick and barely functioning today. I spent most of the weekend sleeping and heavily medicated. I did not leave my bed long enough to read any comics online, sorry guys. No good news today; I’ll try again tomorrow.

While being pathetic and whiney all weekend, I did get a chance to read through my new copy of Candorville’s book Thank God For Culture Clash which arrived on Saturday morning.

The book is wonderful funny and filled with all our political woes and missteps from the past several years. I like how Darrin Bell deals with race too, a subject that makes anyone who finds the jokes funny instantly uncomfortable with themselves. Bell tells us in no uncertain terms to get over ourselves, we look ridiculous. I am already plotting a serious plan to convince the super-conservative newspaper of my city to bring Candorville to their pages. We’ll see.

I bet the book will be even better the second time I read through it when I’m not stoned on decongestants and Nyquil.