In webcomics, "the funny" is a rare commodity that too often sadly gives way to a focus on characterization and plot. Pure gag comics can be hard to find since creators often decide, despite starting in the humor aisle, that the plot department is where to be. It’s pretty refreshing then to find that Bigger Than Cheeses by Desmond Seah is, was and hopefully will always be a gag webcomic.
Ten days after 9/11 (which would make it 9/21, for those of you with some arithmetical deficiencies), Goats took the first step towards returning to normal life. They didnâ€™t do it with a long, poignant speech, the way David Letterman and Jon Stewart did. They did it with a short acknowledgment, and a joke.
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.
There was a time, back in prehistory, when the key to a popular webcomic was lots of computer-programming jokes. Then cheesecake art. Then video-game references. Then, when the competition started growing fiercer, computer jokes and cheesecake and video games. Those days are long behind us, and aren’t we as a people better for it? Today, the secret to webcomics success is Cute.
It's easy to say things like Art is Expression. Or Art is Perception ...is Catharsis ...is Truth. (...is etc.)
But here's the not-so-easy conundrum: when you allow others to take a peek at your Art, how are they supposed to react? How are they supposed to give an opinion? More specific to this publication, how are they supposed to give a review?
Think about it – who out there is perfectly at ease saying they’re qualified to render a critical judgement on Expression, Catharsis, Perception, or Truth?
American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka compiles five years of Kochalka's journal comic into one volume. Most narrative artforms engage in at least some bit of hyper-reality, that is condensing stories to leave out the boring or nonessential parts. What can we make of a book then, that is comprised entirely of bits and pieces, and is just as likely to leave out important events as include them?
There are certain webcomic genres that seem to dominate the online world as much as the superhero genre dominates print comics. Any simple search will yield a seemingly endless list of gamer comics, college life comics, fantasy comics, slice-of-life comics â€“ the web comic genre list goes on and on. But itâ€™s quite a different thing to search for comics that deal with the self as source â€“ or what is more commonly described as autobiographical. Aside from examples created by well known webcomic authors (for example Scott McCloudâ€™s My Obsession with Chess and James Kochalkaâ€™s American Elf), most webcomic creators seem to pass over this method of conveying a visual story.
Thereâ€™s a very good reason for this â€“ itâ€™s hard to do, and you can louse it up easily.
The gentle art of eavesdropping. The fortune (or misfortune) of being talked to by random strangers. The vast panoply of a major North American urban center. These are the social aspects that all come together to make m@b, created by Matthew Blackett. M@b is Blackett’s opportunity to give a weekly three-panel view into his Toronto neighborhood, and how he reacts to that view.
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.)