In my last article, I wrote about the problems facing the designation of the "comics medium as art," and the value of changing that conception to one viewing the "comics medium as a language" – visual language (VL).
Say, did you know science-fiction fans like Star Trek more than they probably should?
Not only that, but Republicans are unconcerned about the poor, gay men are stylish, and Italian men are good lovers! It's true! And those are only the first few revelations you can get from sampling our pop culture!
In the days before I discovered webcomics, I worked an office job where I generally had at least a couple of hours each day when there simply wasn't anything useful for me to do. Of course, I was still expected to look busy. I couldn't exactly put my feet up and open a book. In fact, when I wanted to read, there was really only one place I could go. And that was â€“ you guessed it â€“ the bathroom. Yes, I confess â€“ I too have spent many hours hiding in the loo with a book.
Creators make webcomics. Cool tools make the webcomic community go round. Here's to the geeks, the code monkeys, and the computer science students who come up with ingenious hacks to help creators automate publishing and fans find a webcomic's latest update.
I - Finders, Keepers!
As everyone knows, chief among the benefits of producing an independent webcomic is the freedom from any sort of editorial input or criticism. In the absence of the editor's stifling presence, a comics creator can maintain a pure artistic vision, and is thereby free to reach his or her full potential.
That seems to be the prevailing opinion, anyway. That editors might actually have useful skills and services to offer is a little-considered possibility.
Faith Erin Hicks' quietly built mountain of accomplishments should serve as a prime example of the value of doing your own thing. With over 700 full-sized comic book pages under the belt, Hicks' long-running webcomic epic, Demonology 101, is finally wrapping up what has turned out to be a 5-episode story arc, spanning across the last 5 years. D101 garnered two WCCA awards in 2003 – Oustanding Writing and Outstanding Black and White Art – while also being nominated for Outstanding Art, Outstanding Character Development, Outstanding Long Form Comic, and Outstanding Dramatic Comic.
In the interview that follows, Meaghan Quinn speaks with Hicks on the origins and the process of Demonology 101; she also speaks about future plans, and gets a few sneak preview details from Hicks about a Fanart and Fanfic contest being held to cap the series end.
"Any female[...] has had to work ten times as hard as her male counterpart to be accepted in their organization. She will be more able, will react quicker, and will generally be much more dangerous. Kill her first." -- Starr, "One Man's War," Preacher
Girl geeks may never have had it better, but that doesn't mean we're altogether finished yet.
Webcomics have wasted no time in taking advantage of the unfiltered, uncensored, and plain uncontrollable nature of the Internet. Webtoonists have also in their own small way acted out like smaller-scale rock stars, now and again trashing a virtual hotel room. In the spirit of celebrating the abuse or stretching of good taste, artistic boundaries, and/or common sense, we present our somewhat brief and arbitrary list of 17 notorious cartoonists. Some get the nod for a one-time act of notoriety while others continue working on their lifetime achievement awards even as we go to press.
Over the last twenty years, the Western world's attitude toward nudity in forms of pop culture has shifted toward a more liberal attitude at an unprecedented rate. Images of nude bodies and sexual themes that used to be confined to either underground or exploitive â€“ i.e., pornographic â€“ venues have today become a mainstay of most primetime programming and blockbuster cinema.
A recent Comixpedia.com discussion attempted to gauge whether the same trend can be detected in webcomics. With the advent of the Internet and its infamous gray legal waters, the passive bystander might have expected a proliferation of nude comic strip scenarios.
The business of syndication as we know it today began in the nineteenth century when many newspapers, especially in smaller cities and towns, found it tantamount to impossible to maintain a large enough staff to do anything other than gather and report the local news. Therefore national organizations sprang up that sold national articles, columns, and anything of interest to the smaller papers. These syndicates allowed a small paper to carry high-quality national content and a highly varied selection of features, in spite of the small staffs they maintained.