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Hmpf

The webcomics thread

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Hmpf    0

Okay. Webcomics. Which do you recommend? I read a whole lot, but I wouldn't recommend all of them - some of them are more of a guilty pleasure, or an acquired taste. But here's a list of the ones I wholeheartedly recommend. Just a list for now, as I don't have time to describe each. But feel free to ask. Oh, and there's a slight bias for two things here:

 

1.) Comics that actually tell a story, and

2.) SF/Fantasy-themed comics.

 

(A '*' in front of the comic's title denotes particular favourites.)

 

 

Short, finished series:

 

"Alice" by Lem:

http://www.frozenreality.co.uk/

 

"Fleep" by Jason Shiga:

http://www.shigabooks.com/shigabooks/csfolder/fleep.html

 

* "Irrational Fears" by Ursula Vernon:

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/uvernon/irr...ears/series.php

 

 

Moderately long, finished series:

 

* "Paper Eleven" by Dan Kim:

http://manga.clone-army.org/pxi.php

 

 

Long, finished series:

 

"Demonology 101" by Faith Erin Hicks:

http://faith.rydia.net/

 

* "It's Walky!" (and "Roomies!") by David Willis:

http://www.itswalky.com/

 

 

Running series:

 

* "Dicebox" by Jenn Manley Lee:

http://www.dicebox.net/

 

* "Finder" by Carla Speed McNeil:

http://www.lightspeedpress.com/

 

"Girl Genius" by Phil and Kaja Foglio:

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/index.php

 

"girly" by Josh Lesnick:

http://go-girly.com/

 

"No Rest for the Wicked" by Andrea L. Peterson:

http://www.forthewicked.net/

 

"Peter Pan" by Bill Mudron:

http://www.thegreencrow.com/

 

"Scary Go Round" by John Allison:

http://www.scarygoround.com/

 

* "Zebra Girl" by Joe England:

http://zebragirl.keenspot.com/

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Josh    6

Of those, I follow Girl Genius, Zebra Girl and Roomies (which is still going). I"ll have to post some more of my favorite webcomics when I have more time.

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Hmpf    0
Of those, I follow Girl Genius, Zebra Girl and Roomies (which is still going).  I"ll have to post some more of my favorite webcomics when I have more time.

 

Uhm... Roomies was finished in 2000 and was replaced by It's Walky, which ended in autumn 2004. Maybe you mean Shortpacked? Or Joyce and Walky, yet another comic by the insanely prolific David Willis. They're set in the same universe, yes, but they're distinctly different from the previous two (at least IMO).

 

Or maybe you mean College Roomies from Hell?

 

I think there's another webcomic or two with the title 'Roomies' out there, in fact, but no high-profile stuff.

 

Hey, cool... another Zebra Girl reader. Zebra Girl rocks.

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Josh    6
Of those, I follow Girl Genius, Zebra Girl and Roomies (which is still going).  I"ll have to post some more of my favorite webcomics when I have more time.

Maybe you mean Shortpacked?

No, but I do follow that one.

 

 

Or maybe you mean College Roomies from Hell?

I casually follow that one as well.

 

 

I think there's another webcomic or two with the title 'Roomies' out there, in fact, but no high-profile stuff.

It's the anthropomorphic one.

 

 

Hey, cool... another Zebra Girl reader. Zebra Girl rocks.

One of my favorite story arcs in that was the evil Harry Potter one. Which is funny because I'm a Harry Potter fan.

 

 

Since Saturday night/Sunday morning is the slowest webcomic day (because the fewest webcomics have Sunday comics), it's a perfect opportunity for me to check out the comics you've URLed....

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James    38

The thing with most webcomics is that they start off rubbish, go really funny for a bit and then make the mistake of thinking that the characters are more important than the jokes. This leaves me with a brief window of funniness in which I can recommend them, before people start clicking through and getting crappy strips.

 

For example, of all the lame webcomics I used to read religiously, the only one that was actually properly funny was Road Waffles, a story about three sociopaths driving across America. But that starts off very poorly. Will you bother reading it till it gets good? I doubt it, so here's a sample funny strip. Probably NSFW.

 

Or there's Achewood, which just stopped being funny for me sometime last year and never became good again. Why? I have no idea. Again A funny story arc - read from this point.

 

And there's always The Perry Bible Fellowship, which isn't as consistently good as it used to be but still hits the spot from time to time. Clicky.

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Josh    6
Okay. Webcomics. Which do you recommend? I read a whole lot, but I wouldn't recommend all of them - some of them are more of a guilty pleasure, or an acquired taste.

That's my situation as well. I'll just put down some that I follow, including some syndicated strips that are posted on the Internet:

 

First, I like Road Waffles, which James URLed above. There are three stories, so a pretty fair amount of archive material. I'm also follow Girl Genius, which Hmpf URLed in her first post.

 

Stories of people's lives (soap operas, sitcoms, call them what you will):

Penny and Aggie

Something Positive

Wapsi Square

Queen of Wands

9 Chickweed Lane

For Better or For Worse

 

Post-nuclear annihilation tale (mostly quite violent):

Post-Nuke Comic

 

"Guy" comics:

Filthy Lies

Liberty Meadows

 

'Tunes with much political commentary:

Candorville

Doonesbury

 

Lesbian-centered stories:

Jane's World

Dykes to Watch Out For

 

Straight up political commentary:

Oliphant

Tom Tomorrow

 

Action figure soap opera:

Alien Loves Predator

 

Technogeek stories:

Kernel Panic

Help Desk

 

Anthropomorphic stories:

Shivae

Cyantian Chronicle

 

A light, fun girl strip:

Devil's Panties

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Hmpf    0
The thing with most webcomics is that they start off rubbish, go really funny for a bit and then make the mistake of thinking that the characters are more important than the jokes. This leaves me with a brief window of funniness in which I can recommend them, before people start clicking through and getting crappy strips.

Clicky.

 

Well... to some people character is more interesting than humour. Most of the webcomics I recommended above aren't humour comics, and those that do incorporate humour aren't all *about* the humour. I think 'just jokes' gets very boring very fast. Besides, there's no reason character exploration can't be funny. It's Walky, one of my favourites, does both very well. Yeah, it got darker - but it never really stopped being funny, and in its best moments it was both at the same time.

 

Also, most of the comics I recommended above have above average art. In fact, most have very good art. Of course, two of them are print comics gone web. The rest, I'd say, are good enough to *be* print comics, at least in the independent field.

 

Ah heck, here's a few examples, just because I feel like it:

 

Zebra Girl:

http://zebragirl.keenspot.com/d/20021205.html

 

It's Walky:

http://www.itswalky.com/d/20030914.html (great example for a 'dark' character exploring strip that's actually funny - though you have to know Mike, the bandaged guy, to really get the joke.)

 

girly:

http://go-girly.com/?strip=3 (probably the most humour-centred comic I read)

 

Demonology 101:

http://faith.razornetwork.com/episode5/page147.html

 

No Rest for the Wicked:

http://www.forthewicked.net/archive/02-15.html

 

Girl Genius:

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/cgi-bin/gg...i?date=20051019

 

Paper Eleven:

http://manga.clone-army.org/pxi.php?page=68

 

Dicebox:

http://www.dicebox.net/chap2/images/1.2_FW_pg16.jpg

 

Irrational Fears:

http://www.webcomicsnation.com/memberimages/irrational5.jpg

 

Alice:

http://www.frozenreality.co.uk/comic/alice2/index.php?id=3

 

Peter Pan:

http://www.thegreencrow.com/pages/page29.html

 

Finder:

http://www.lightspeedpress.com/index.php?m...issue=38&page=6

 

I have very little tolerance for bad art. The story has to be really, really gripping for me to tolerate it, or the comic has to come highly recommended, if the story doesn't kick in immediately. Roomies/It's Walky was a borderline case in the beginning, though the art was never 'bad' per se, just not quite in a style I liked, but it evolved a lot.

 

 

(Nope, I didn't find all of these just now - I stole the links from another webcomic thread I made in another forum. :-))

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Hmpf    0
No, but I do follow that one [shortpacked].

 

Yes, so do I.

 

I casually follow that one as well. [College Roomies From Hell]

 

Me too. Really casually. Casually to the point that I've sort of lost the plot. *g*

 

One of my favorite story arcs in that was the evil Harry Potter one.  Which is funny because I'm a Harry Potter fan.

 

Yes, the MagiNet was my favourite arc, as well. I just love the idea of Jack-the-slacker turning into a 'real' wizard. And 'Jack the Plaid' is the coolest wizard name ever. *g* I really loved the Gandalf parody in that arc, too.

 

I should really try to write a Hellblazer/Zebra Girl crossover sometime. Hehe...

 

Out of the other comics you listed I read Alien Loves Predator (because the idea's just so strange, even if it isn't always all that funny). Oh, and I've read a part of the Devil's Panties, and will perhaps go back and read more. The comic endeared itself to me by having a Finder reference.

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James    38

Turns out I was wrong. Achewood is still brilliant. What was I thinking? Another great comic is Leisure Town.

 

There are also a handful of departed comics that I really miss. Like Superstar Car Wash and Questionable Tales. Can't seem to find them anywhere.

 

 

That is really, really good. That would make an excellent one-shot in some anthology series or something.

 

 

Is that a pun?

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Josh    6
Well... to some people character is more interesting than humour. Most of the webcomics I recommended above aren't humour comics, and those that do incorporate humour aren't all *about* the humour. I think 'just jokes' gets very boring very fast. Besides, there's no reason character exploration can't be funny.

Strips that do a gag a day, or multiple times a week, are hard to keep writing well. I also tend to like developing stories about people (or at least sentient entities).

 

I have very little tolerance for bad art. The story has to be really, really gripping for me to tolerate it, or the comic has to come highly recommended, if the story doesn't kick in immediately. Roomies/It's Walky was a borderline case in the beginning, though the art was never 'bad' per se, just not quite in a style I liked, but it evolved a lot.

I'm fairly tolerant of it, if I'm enjoying where the creator is going with the comic. Jane's World has fairly rough, simple art, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of that strip, and two women I"ve turned on to it are really happy that I did, one so much that she made an effort to seek out its creator, Paige Braddock. But while I'm tolerant, I figured that most would be less so, and a fair number of my favorites that I didn't put into my post above had funky art.

 

There's one strip that has really good art (the creator is a college-level art instructor in Austria), but I just don't think what he does with it was interesting enough to subject you all to it.

 

There are some creators who are good artists but who have nothing to say ongoingly. They have little or no story in them, and they can't do something humorous regularly. Their strips probably never really go many days. But I think they're a minority. The world of web comics are bursting with people who really do have something to say but who have marginal art skills. So one is more likely to run into a possibly interesting story with bad art than a faltering, beautifully illustrated strip, though I've seen those as well.

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Hmpf    0
I'm fairly tolerant of it, if I'm enjoying where the creator is going with the comic.  Jane's World has fairly rough, simple art, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of that strip, and two women I"ve turned on to it are really happy that I did, one so much that she made an effort to seek out its creator, Paige Braddock.  But while I'm tolerant, I figured that most would be less so, and a fair number of my favorites that I didn't put into my post above had funky art.

 

Oh, rough and simple doesn't equal 'bad'. Rough and simple can be done really well. It's just that with many webcomics, you can really see that the artist has little talent for drawing. Of course, it's kind of hard to define what's 'good' and what's 'bad' in art, yet I would still claim to be able to distinguish 'good' from 'bad' comic art fairly well, even if I can't articulate the criteria.

 

Trying to list some criteria:

- internal consistency of the artwork in general and the depiction of recurring characters and elements in particular. This includes things like the varying degrees of anatomical correctness, or let's say anatomical believabilty, required by different styles of drawing.

- variety: is the artist able to render his or her characters and settings from different perspectives, in different positions, in motion, with different facial expressions etc.? Though lack of variety can be a deliberate decision, of course.

- 'ease' of linework: This may be the most important point, but also the most elusive. I don't know how to phrase this better, but there's something about some artists' linework that really suggests 'amateur' to me, whereas in the work of others you get the impression that the lines were drawn with a certain... ease... suggesting the artists knew what they were doing

 

[EDIT] Just thought of another one: composition. Very important. Does the artist know how to use the space of the page or not?

 

 

There's one strip that has really good art (the creator is a college-level art instructor in Austria), but I just don't think what he does with it was interesting enough to subject you all to it.

 

There are some creators who are good artists but who have nothing to say ongoingly.  They have little or no story in them, and they can't do something humorous regularly.  Their strips probably never really go many days.  But I think they're a minority.  The world of web comics are bursting with people who really do have something to say but who have marginal art skills.  So one is more likely to run into a possibly interesting story with bad art than a faltering, beautifully illustrated strip, though I've seen those as well.

 

There are quite a few of those beautiful but boring strips. There's something to be said for the American comic industry's separation of the jobs of comic writer and artist... not everyone is equally good at writing *and* drawing. And yeah, I prefer a well-written, funny, exciting, moving, original strip with bad art to one with gorgeous art but no story/characters I can care about. But ideally, I'd like both at least competent art *and* good writing.

 

Needless to say, most of the strips I linked above I consider to be pretty good on both counts (with the possible exceptions of Alice and Paper Eleven. Alice is... very simple, and Paper Eleven is just confusing, although in an interesting way.)

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Josh    6

Here are a few new ones that I found since we last were posting to this thread:

 

Humor:

Bigger Than Cheese

 

Manga (set in a Japanese highschool):

Red String

 

Medieval weapons and martial arts adventure:

Shinkage

 

Modern war, urban violence and magic adventure:

Alpha Shade

 

A difficult to categorize story:

All Miracles Have a Price

 

Phantasy adventure:

The War of Winds

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JasonT    431

I second Dykes To Watch Out For and AlP in Josh's list.

 

The First Man by Juha Veltti. "It is a comic with everyday drama, experimental bits, shamanism and horror." Parts are stunning.

 

Bangungot by Tobie Abad, "a tribute to Neil Gaiman's Sandman", a description that doesn't really do it justice.

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Josh    6
For example, of all the lame webcomics I used to read religiously, the only one that was actually properly funny was Road Waffles, a story about three sociopaths driving across America. But that starts off very poorly. Will you bother reading it till it gets good? I doubt it, so here's a sample funny strip. Probably NSFW.

I follow that one now, starting with reboot 3. The writing is a bit different than at the beginning of the first strip, and I think the artwork has just gotten better:

http://www.roadwaffles.com/

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Josh    6
I second Dykes To Watch Out For and AlP in Josh's list.

Jason, I'm probably being braindead by not knowing which strip you mean by AIP. (ALP?) But I'm surprised to find another DTWOF fan here, especially a male one!

 

Tell me, what is it that you like about DTWOF? Do you know many lesbians in your non-virtual life? Do you have any characters that you particularly like or identify with, and how long have you been reading it?

 

I'm checking out The First Man and Bangungot now....

 

 

 

Addendum - Gack! Bangungot just exceeded it data transfer quota! I'll try later.

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JasonT    431

JOSH:

Jason, I'm probably being braindead by not knowing which strip you mean by AIP.

 

No, my bad; it's Alien Loves Predator. I used a lowercase L because I thought that was the convention, but in fact it's "aLp". Can't speak highly enough of that strip: it's technically clever, it's usually funny, it's a delicious slice of New York. I'd love a poster of this.

 

 

Tell me, what is it that you like about DTWOF? Do you know many lesbians in your non-virtual life? Do you have any characters that you particularly like or identify with, and how long have you been reading it?

 

DTWOF is well written and well drawn, visually charming, erudite, down-to-earth and often moving. That it's predominantly lesbian oriented is completely incidental. The only thing I don't like about it is that a few of the characters are very similar in appearance, so I occasionally have trouble following strips; that might be why I don't particularly identify with any of the characters. I've been reading sporadically since about 1997, I think — I recall reading in a work lunch break and getting upset by the dog-dying storyline. Back then it was only available online on comicazee.com. And I don't know any more lesbians than average, I guess :-?... it was a lesbian friend who suggested I might like DTWOF, but we've dropped out of contact.

 

 

Gack! Bangungot just exceeded it data transfer quota! I'll try later.

 

Heh. It was okay yesterday! I wonder if it's suddenly got a whole lot of traffic because I posted the URL in this thread? :biggrin: :icon_redface:

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Josh    6

Here are a few new ones:

 

Violence + T&A:

Marilith

 

Layla Lawler comics:

All of her Kismet comics

Kismet: Hunter's Moon (sf adventure)

Free Bird (a tale of quirky folk in modern Alaska, just starting up)

 

Fantasy:

Flux (a girl and her sword)

 

Science fantasy humor story by a tripped-out English guy:

Poisoned Minds

 

Political:

Day by Day (conservative, witty)

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