Lemme Tell You About Webcomics – Part 1

Welcome! Come inside, my friend. It sure is cold out tonight, isn’t it? Here, let me take your coat. Would you like something hot to drink? Settle in over here, by the fire.

Milk and sugar, right? OK, here you go.

So. You want to know my life story. How I became who I am, eh? You want to hear of the crooked path of ill-made decisions and forlorn tragedies that have led to my weather-beaten door? Well, stormy nights always were the best for stories.

Do you smoke? No, of course not. I hope you don’t mind if I do; I’ve always found a solid corn-cob pipe good for my thinking.

Lean in close. It all began with my first love – before Annie, may her soul rest in peace; before women; before the sea, even – my first and one true love . . .

. . . webcomics.

13. xkcd

No list of webcomics can be complete without xkcd. Self described as “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language,” Randall Munroe’s decade-running stick-figure-based comic has garnered a massive following. Following a gag-a-day format, xkcd offers things like: a visualized map of the internet, a discussion on real map projections, a concerningly large number of comics about velociraptors, and sad comics about loss and longing. Perhaps most significantly, xkcd has this enormous gem of exploratory whimsy.

Truth be told, I don’t like xkcd all that much; while it has its high points, on the whole I find a lot of its emotion forced, and some of the nerdier humor simply goes over my head. Still, it’s a big deal, and so deserves a spot on this list.

12. The Last Halloween

The Last Halloween is a horror webcomic about the end of the world as we know it. Through gorgeous black and white art, it tells the story of a world in which humanity teeters on the edge of extinction following the death of its only protector against the monsters that dwell in the shadows. It’s earned its spot on the list thanks to its beautiful art and creature design, interesting world building, and because I really really like Halloween and spooky things.

If you have a low tolerance for creepy stuff, I’d recommend skipping this one.

11. Bouletcorp

Boulet (the pen name for Gilles Roussel) is a French artist and comic writer, and Bouletcorp is his site: half webcomic, half visual blog. Here, Boulet offers stunningly rendered and poignant musings on the beauty of the universe, nostalgia, and roommates. Even if his English is shaky at times (it’s not his first language), Boulet’s beautiful art in comics such as this earn his spot on the list.

Boulet is French, though, so be aware that there’s some adult material here.

Join us next week for beartatos, chicken nuggets, and Irish-American ninjas, in Part 2.

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6 thoughts on “Lemme Tell You About Webcomics – Part 1

  1. I think webcomics are so cool. They’re a great way for indie cartoonists to put their work out there. Also amazing for longer ones that run like grphic novels. I’m into this webcomic, Nimona. It’s about a shapshifting girl who lives with an evil inventor guy in a world that mixes the medieval and futuristic technologies. It was published in graphic novel format in the spring. The art is so whimsical and funny. You should check it out.

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  2. This is really cool! I hadn’t heard much on web comics before this. Okay, in fact, I haven’t heard anything at all about them until today. It sounds like they’re making more of an impression on the web as time allows them.

    I wonder: what are you thoughts on their future? Do you think that they will be more popular in years to come?

    Also, if they do gain popularity, what would cause that shift? What about “web” comics could help the medium?

    Great insights!

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    1. Long term, I think web comics will largely replace comic strips – or, at least, comic strips will move to a web focus.

      I think the value of web comics is their low barrier of entry – anyone can make one, as long as they have an internet connection – and the fact that they provide a censorship-free venue for artists to create what they want.

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  3. I don’t know much at all about web-comics, but I’ll definitely check these out. I have heard of xckd, and I think he’s absolutely hilarious! Thanks to him I won gift-giving this past Christmas because I bought his book for my brother, whose sense of humor is completely in line with the author’s.

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  4. I have been an on-and-off fan of xkcd. I think he’s pretty funny, usually, and some of the sadder comics I have found moving, but I think he can be kind of navel-gazey. But hey, who isn’t, amirite? I think the form is neat, cause it allows for a lot of freedom, but the 2-pages-a-week format I think can really impact the storytelling for a long-form comic. I know one particular Kris Straub has discussed the difficulty of pacing Broodhollow, because what could be a couple weeks of suspense while it’s being released is only a few moments when one reads the archives or when it comes out as a book.

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