A Softer World
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 3, 2004 - 12:22
The Tart interviews webtoonists Brad Guigar of Greystone Inn (with a pun in the title similar to the April Comixpedia interview with Mr. Guigar.); Amy Kim Ganter, creator of Reman Mythology; Miktar Dracon of Unnatural But True; and Monique MacNaughton (who has worked on GAAK and UNA Frontiers).
Jiffy Burke offers Little Quirks and Oddities: 10 Tips for Webcomics and the Tart reviews several webcomics including: A Softer World, Broken Saints, Gun Street Girl: Waking the Witch, Mnemesis, No Rest for the Wicked, Queen of Wands and Something Positive.
Last but not least Trisha Sebastian talks to actor/writer Wil Wheaton. Cool!
As you may have noticed, the Comixpedia theme this month is "the death of newspaper comics", or webcomics that fall into a typical newspaper format. A Softer World represents one alternative to that whole subspecies of webcomics, since it represents everything a newspaper comic usually is not: subtle, understated and witty.
Also, it's not drawn.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 7, 2004 - 18:09
What was the name of that recurring bit on Saturday Night Live where Jack Handey (is that the right last name?) sayings were set to some soft, Hallmark-y scene?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 5, 2004 - 13:01
The Tart unloads a lot of webcomic reviews this month including looks at A Softer World; Broken Saints; Gun Street Girl: Waking the Witch; Mnemesis; No Rest for the Wicked; Queen of Wands; and Something Positive.
Death of the Funny What?
Now if I were going to be all knee-jerk about this, I'd be all about "out with the old, in with the new, the traditional comics page was stale and it's time to bring in some fresh blood, viva the internet, viva webcomics, viva endless chatter about the newest video card from Alpha Omega Corp and people getting off on their bloody brilliance by yammering endless about whether or not Green or Blue dragons spit acid in AD&D first edition."
But Jeebus Godot, let's take a look at what's replacing what, here.
Submitted by m_estrugo on February 11, 2004 - 19:43
Today, I went to an exposition about Romanesque art. I love going to these events as I'm an enthusiast of history of art and that stuff.
Anyway, the place had leaflets announcing upcoming events; one of these leaflets featured Roy Liechenstein's famous picture "Wham" for an upcoming exposition about Pop Art. I was curious and got one, to read about this interesting exposition and entertain myself in the bus.
"Pop Art is a 20th century art movement that utilized the imagery and techniques of consumerism and popular culture ... Pop Art favored figural imagery and the reproduction of everyday objects, such as ... comic strips."
Comics are part of popular culture. Comics are everyday objects, apparently as banal as a can of soup. Or, at least, that was the perception of comics in the United States around the half of the XXth century.
Ocassionally, some exceptional works were praised because of their beautiful art and/or its expressivity; anyway, the most outstanding comics of the XXth century, such as the daily strips "Wash Tubbs" by Roy Crane, George Herrimann's "Krazy Kat" or the fabulous "Spirit" by Will Eisner (oh, yes, I love older daily strips) were just a part of popular culture, and as such, nothing more but products to be consumed and disposed of rapidly, light years away from "the beauty arts" such as painting or sculpture, as banal as a Coke.
Or, at least, that was the situation on the last century on the US. And how it is now? Did this perception change on all these decades?
In my opinion, comics (and especially webcomics) are still part of popular culture, even if there's a growing number of creators considering comics more as a way of expression rather than a mere facility. This "comic as a piece of art" awareness has grown bigger on other parts of the world, like Europe, where creators have widened their point of views about comics, where comic conventions and new releases are usually commented on the cultural section of the newspapers, where libraries feature specialized sections for comics together with novels, poetry books and biographies.
But, still, even in Europe, comics are perceived by a grat majority of the society as just another artifact of popular culture, like fast food, sports events or TV reality shows. And it shows!
At the time I type this, the most popular webcomic around is Penny Arcade, a comic strip that narrates the antics (?) of two gamers. Not surprisingly, videogames have also became an icon of popular culture on these last decades. And the number of webcomics featuring either gamers or the characters of the same videogames they play or played has grown enormously, for the despair of some columnists. And, while it's true that there's a large number of artists trying to use comics as a means of expression, far beyond fashions and fads, the truth is that the number of banal webcomics out there outnumber them easily. Despite dreams and theories, at this moment, webcomics are part of the popular culture of the early XXIth century, and it's unlikely that they will become a "higher art" on the short/medium future.
With this, I don't want to satanize popular culture. Nor I want to say that we, webcartoonsits, are condemned to be "vaudevilians" for the rest of our lives. I just wanted to remember that, unlike some people tend to think, comics, and by extension webcomics, are still part of the popular culture, at least, for a while.
2003 was a pretty scary year. Whether you agree with it or not, war is a pretty terrifying thing. We lost another space shuttle, another crew, and – in a bad case of déjà vu – followed a flurry of finger-pointing in the aftermath.