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Summer of Joy of Webcomics

It looks like summer is the time for webcomics reviews, ‘cuz they’re popping up like rabbits, son.

  • A reader of the Webcomic Overlook emailed me and suggested that I take a look at Rice Boy. I gotta say, I like that reader’s tastes, as Rice Boy, from a quick glance, looks great. Good ol’ Jackson Ferrell beat me on the review front, though, and he has glowing praise over at This Week in Webcomics. Check it out!
  • Meanwhile, Elle Dee takes a look at Ellerbisms and the honesty it takes to do a good journal-style comic.
  • Tangents takes a look at the admittedly off-the-beaten-track field of choose-your-adventure webcomics in Aetheria Epics. I haven’t read the comic yet, but I’m pretty curious as to how the system works, actually.
  • Delos at Artpatient.com takes a chance on Xylia Tales, which looks like some mystical Victoria era gaslamp fiction.

Delos also did a side by side between search results from Bing and Google. It turns out that this site is in the Top 20 results when you google “webcomics.” Huzzah! I shall now vow to bad-mouth Bing every chance I get until either this site shows up on their search engine or Bill Gates ponies up that protection money.

MPD57 stirs up the pot by posting an e-mail from a reader who suggests that Zuda have a separate section for experimental comics. Sounds reasonable to me, actually.

The first Zuda published book, Bayou, made the AV Club’s comic review section, by the way. It got a B grade.

It’s hard to know what to make of Bayou: Volume One (DC/Zuda) in its present form. The breakout offering from DC’s webcomics experiment zudacomics.com, Bayou reads like a story designed to fill unlimited space. Even at 160 pages, it feels like the mere beginning of a story, an impression only reinforced by some sketches of characters and locations not to be seen until later chapters. It also feels unsatisfying in its present form, but mostly because there isn’t enough of it. Set in Depression-era Mississippi, where the white establishment keeps racial restrictions in place with violence and miscarriages of justice, Bayou focuses on a black girl named Lee whose father is arrested after her white playmate disappears. Lee knows he had nothing to do with the event, however, and she goes searching for her friend in a world populated by helpful-but-cowardly monsters and malevolent forces straight out of an Uncle Remus tale. It’s a captivating, frightening environment, and while Bayou’s story sometimes suffers from poky pacing—or at least it feels poky, with so little of the story available so far—it makes for a provocatively sideways look at an ugly slice of American history…

And while we’re on the AV Club, they posted a blog entry in early May detailing why you shouldn’t pay attention to grading systems, as, most of the time, it’s pretty meaningless.

Finally, I was kinda disappointed that Joe Dunn was less than fully thrilled by Up (in the accompanying movie review). It’s OK to go against the grain … Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern is up there with you (no pun intended). But, seriously, man, you gotta see it without a bored nephew in tow. Those little punks ruin everything. (I have to say, I gotta agree with my wife that adults will enjoy this movie more than kids, so I kinda understand why they might get a little fidgety through the middle acts.)

Posted in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics