Saturday, June 20, 2009

What is this internets of which you speak?

One of the first memorable experiences I had with comics as an adult was stumbling on my first webcomic. I have no idea what it was called, and I only vaguely remember the story. I wish I could find it again, because it was pretty awesome and ended on a cliffhanger. It was some sort of futuristic sci-fi thing with a female lead and some fantastic art. This was, wow... ten years ago? Give or take.

Anyway, I never really got into webcomics again because I had trouble remembering to follow them. Once RSS feeds came around, I... well, took another year or two to figure out how to deal with them. I'm still sort of slow. But a friend of mine asked me last fall why the Hell I wasn't following some pretty fantastic webcomics, and I had to admit that I had no good reason.

This last winter, I was at the Gallifrey One convention (it's for Doctor Who, for the crazies out there who wouldn't recognize the word Gallifrey) and went to a panel on writing comics. There were some great people on that panel, including Marv Wolfman (squee!). Pia Guerra was supposed to be there, but had travel issues, so the panel was entirely male (though they even remarked at one point about how there should be more women writing comics). Anyway, someone asked the best way to break into comic writing and/or drawing, and the answer (besides the obvious "just start doing it") was to look at the internet as a way to get your work out there.

Not that I needed anything to legitimize webcomics. I've been reading fanfiction since 1995 (Xenafic, yo), mostly because mainstream publishing didn't (and mostly still doesn't) have the sort of stories I'm looking for (the gay ones). And then the Trek series Dark Frontiers was released, and I realized that I could get superior femslash* for free on the internet as opposed to buying it from the people who tried (admirably, I guess) to sell it to me. So I'm all about the internet as a forum of both amazing writing (speaking of Doctor Who, I've got a friend or two who ought to be writing about that show, because sometimes they seem to get it better than some of the staff writers), and amazing talent of many other types (oh Flickr, I heart you).

So I've got my webcomics. I feel like most of these are pretty non-obscure, but I don't know.

xkcd - because I'm a geek.
Penny Arcade - see above.
Questionable Content - which I'm still about 500 behind on, but which I love, because it's like. Life.
The Abominable Charles Christopher - because it's amazing.
Married to the Sea - because it literally makes me LOL about 4 or 5 times a week.
A Softer World - Not sure if it counts, but it's in panel format. And I love the photography and the irony and the randomness.
Dr. McNinja - I feel like the title of this makes it self-explanatory. Though I have to remember to go read it, because I've never found an RSS feed (seriously, I think I'm developmentally delayed in this department).
Curvy - [Explicit sex warning, yo.] This is my latest add (another recommendation from that same friend). It's awesome, super gay, and kind of fun. It's probably the most obscure of the webcomics I read, but it's one of my favorties.

So. That's it, really. I've noticed that webcomics tend to have a different feel to them than published comics, which makes sense. But I still miss that very-serious first webcomic I stumbled on a decade ago, that was basically a comic like I'd find in the store, but on the internet (Abominable Charles Christopher is like that).

If anyone has any recommendations for good webcomics of any sort (I'll try anything once!) let me know in the comments.


  1. Do you know Kate Beaton's "Hark! A Vagrant"? It's my favourite. Also I believe she was roommates with the "Softer World" folks here in Toronto until, like, yesterday.

    By the way: I only just discovered your blog (through the WFA link) and really liked your thoughtful remarks about reviews of Batwoman. And then I read the comments section and was even more impressed by your openness to @lovedatjoker's points despite her tone. That kind of adultness is too seldom seen in online forums. Well played!

  2. @Ken I was actually just recently linked to "Hark! A Vagrant" by a friend of mine. I'm definitely enjoying it. Thaks for the rec!

    And thanks for the feedback. It's taken me a long time to get to the point where I realize that most angry people are just trying to make a point (like I am when I'm angry) and it makes more sense to try to listen and calmly interact than get angry back at them. I appreciate that it's appreciated. :)