It’s back to school time, which has me hopping around like a bunny on crystal meth. I work at a school, so had many, many long days behind me. For most of the rest of the world, however, August is a time of bittersweetness. Even folks who don’t operate on an academic schedule any more know that summer is waning, and autumn is coming, and it’s time once more to prepare ourselves for a slide into winter. Continue Reading
So here’s the thing. I like porn.
I don’t talk a lot about liking porn, because you’re not supposed to come right out and say it. "Man, what a beautiful morning," you never say. "I think I’ll have a cup of tea, and maybe go down to the market, and when I get back I’m going to enjoy the bounties of porn that are my birthright as an internet consumer." People would look at you funny if you did, and your boss would stop letting you have complimentary coffee and donuts in the morning.
But I do like it. And most of you probably do too. We might not be cheerful about it – we might not march into gas stations with our head held high, grabbing the latest magazines off the rack and marching right up to the gas station attendant to make our purchases (that might be the one situation in life where you are that concerned about what a gas station attendant thinks of you) – but we do like it.
Which leads us inexorably to porn comics, which I don’t often talk about either. Continue Reading
"Column? (She said, smiling.)" read the email from the editor, sending me into a deep well of despair over the state of this month's column. These columns are notoriously late, often handed in mere hours before the issue is supposed to go live, much to the chagrin of the editors, I am sure. The reason for this is as much the result of procrastination as hope. Hope that there will be one large news event worth writing about, something meaningful that will tie together the smaller events from the month into something bigger.
In July, a lack of significant events was not the problem. Continue Reading
I think I can summarize it in one sentence:
Webcomics should be free.
I’ve talked, a few columns back, about Superguy. Superguy was (and still is) a mailing list for amateur fiction, started in the late eighties. Not really ‘fanfiction,’ since the stories and characters were original, but instead a wholesale satire on superheroes, Superguy let people who loved the media, or loved humor, or just loved typing a chance to build an audience, create, experiment, learn the craft of writing, and in general build whole new worlds. Also, there was a supernatural talking fish.
UK folks are all too well accustomed to Americans getting all the big cons. Alternative Press Expo? San Diego? It’s just not fair. So, when the UK Web and Minicomix Thing rolled around again this year, how could any of us resist? Finally, we not only had something the Americans didn’t, but we had it *first*.
Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques is a stylish, indie-rock sitcom. Marten, a young, navel-gazy music nerd, finds himself with a dilemma: a hot, sassy woman with subcultural clue has moved into his apartment. And she’s not interested.
Coffee, relationships, banter, youth. You know the drill. It’s a good drill, with sharp bits, tight t-shirts, and occasional references to bands you know absolutely nothing about.
Quasi-autobiographical comics come with a risk alert stamped on the box: "Warning: may be needlessly introspective, self-conscious, ceaselessly overnarrative." "Show, don't tell" becomes "Tell, tell, then show your head. And other heads." The desire to impose story upon life, unassisted and unmitigated, pollutes the anecdote. (Alternatively, one might simply make everyone housemates and inject giant robots, at which point all bets are off.)
As a practicing liberal foreigner, I often seek out topical gaming humour with political undercurrents and boobies. Substantial, voluminous, unAmerican boobies. Those boobies should be attached to hot anime chicks, like the ones which are popular with the teen girls who shop at bookstores! They make me feel like Ben Affleck —
The jaded webcomics consumer is well familiar with the idea: a creator takes extant intellectual property, then makes it her own. The high-profile example of digital sampling sticks out from the music world, and Apocalypse Pooh developed a cult following in the late eighties and early nineties. Executions may vary in quality, but our readers are likely familiar with the convention of game-based sprite comics by now, and the dreary ire they’ve been known to draw.