Archive - Nov 2003
Fish Muffin Scream Asphalt: Funny?
I remember with great fondness the first time I stumbled upon a totally surreal webcomic. I won't say which one, just that it was one of the originals, something mindbogglingly bizarre that, over time, picked up its own cult following and is now a Minor Institution among webstrips.
I knew my wife was the person I was going to marry two weeks before our first date. We got together for coffee as friends, talked until one in the morning, and I walked her to her car. As she drove off, an overwhelming peace came over me, and I knew down to my core she was the one. It wasn't like lightning striking or fireworks going off. It was as though I had just learned a new fact, like two plus two equals four or that water is wet. That's how convinced I was.
In an arena that's crowded with elaborate Sci-Fi themes, baroque fantasy themes and byzantine plots, it's refreshing to note that one of the best comics on the Web features two main characters who don't even have arms.
The main characters of Steven Cloud's Boy on a Stick and Slither are a sort of coalition of the limbless. Boy is either a multiple amputee or a sentient Pez dispenser, and Slither is a snake. In a boxing match, they're on equal footing.
The fact that neither protagonist can wear a wrist watch is mostly irrelevant to the strip, though, as they're essentially icons or stand-ins for any two people. They look like doodles from the corner of a Physics notebook, and conceptually, they're the same. They're symbols, really, and their visual representations are irrelevant, except as fodder for a self-aware gag or two.
I had to make a phone call today to the town of Hawthorne, California â€“ yes, to the town itself. The woman who acted as the town's agent was disappointed to talk to me. I'm shutting down a store in a famous chain there.
You probably know that a court can prevent shops from selling certain materials. Did you also know they can prosecute retailers for selling adult comics to other adults? That retailers can be prosecuted and convicted for selling obscene material even if those comics are in a separate part of the store from regular comics? Did you know that law enforcement and the District Attorney's office can make life very difficult for a private individual, for selling comics that are not obscene to minors? Did you know they can prevent you from drawing or creating anything, even if it's for yourself in your own home?
You'd know all these things if you follow the thrilling exploits of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. You'd also know that sometimes, but not always, justice wins out over stupidity and repression.
This is the FINAL installment of Comic-Fire! between Eric Millikin and Justin Pierce. Comixpedia would like to say a special thank you to both gentlemen for providing us with excellent examples of their creativity, good humor, and prodigious talent.
The question, in which we think about politics as it applies to the real world... sort of:
Arnold Schwarzenegger is the new governor of California. Does this type of Hollywood showmanship have its place in politics?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 28, 2003 - 12:58
I've learned quite a bit from the "Measuring the Webcomic Audience" project this year. Pushing it to the next level though will require talents and time that Comixpedia staff alone does not have.
The next step for the project is to obtain data from counters (and possibly server logs if creators provide permission) to generate another source of readership data to complement (or possibly replace) the Alexa and Ranking data.
There is a very similar project for blogs called "Ecosystem" (which you can see here) that may be the basis for this similar effort for webcomics at Comixpedia. Or it may make more sense to create a new system from scratch.
If you are interested there will be a dedicated message board on the forums and a mailing list for more active participants.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 27, 2003 - 17:41
Here's one riffing on LOTR at Ubigod's World. Post any other webcomics in the Thanksgiving spirit here.
Or maybe those webcomics you're thankful for?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 27, 2003 - 08:02
"In webcomics, I'm currently working my way through the Modern Tales lineup in alphabetical order. Most of them I read all the way through, though a few of them just don't interest me at all. Just got through No Stereotypes. I also regularly read a few standbys: Sluggy Freelance, PVP, CRFH, GPF, It's Walky, Clan of the Cats, Gaming Guardians. And of course, everything on Graphic Smash.
"In printed comics, I'm sticking with Strangers in Paradise for a little while longer at least, now that Terry's finally getting around to some of the stories I wanted him to write three years ago. Mark Waid just 0wn0rs Fantastic Four. The fanboy in me craves it, along with JLA/Avengers and a lot of Brian Michael Bendis' work.
"Textwise, I just got through Chris Sherman's The Invisible Web and a book of Harlan Ellison short stories, and I'm reading a whole lotta blogs, 'cause all the cool people are writing them these days. Only half kidding: they have a perspective that I miss from my college years.
"What's next? I want to finish off Preacher (yes, I know the series wrapped years ago) and pick up Cory Doctorow's new collection... I've read a couple of his short stories and he's an author to watch. Webcomics-wise, I'll keep working my way down the alphabet with Modern Tales, then start on one of the other collectives... probably Keenspot or Girlamatic.
"Yeah, I'm serious, I really do read all this stuff. Scary, huh?"
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 26, 2003 - 12:40
Over at Sluggy Freelance, they are running a special (until November 27th) on the 8th Sluggy Freelance book, "Fire and Rain" (in hard cover). Pete Abrams notes that his publisher, Plan 9, also plans to bring all of the Sluggy Freelance books out in a hard cover edition at some point.