Tag Archive: Webcomics

When I started the Weekend Webcomic spotlight my plan had been to share all the webcomics that I enjoy with my small group of readers. It also can act as a bit of an archive for myself so that even if I drift away from one of the comics I read, so that I might, one day, find it again.

I have pretty much done that and more. After about the first 20 comics or so I branched out and started hunting down great new comics that I’d never read before, which was like a weekly bit of discovery for me. However, it takes a LOT of time to find a new, quality comic on my own. Not only do I have to search around for one, but also have to read through the archive to see if the comic is actually good. The usually means I read through a few bad comics before I find one that I like, which can take several hours. Frankly, I don’t have that kind of time anymore. Between the toddler, work, craft projects, home maintenance, and setting aside some time for myself, I just haven’t been able to come up with the time to find new comics on a weekly basis.

So, I’m now going to keep my Weekend Webcomic spotlight as an occasional spotlight for when I find a new comic that I think is worth sharing, but I won’t be going out of my way to find one every week.

If you’ve enjoyed the Webcomic spotlights, I apologize. But currently I have only one comic in my “to check” pile, as supplied by Lyle, but have not had time I was willing to devote to checking it out. Once I have checked that out, though, I’m entirely out of material until I stumble across some more.

I’ll still be putting up one post every Saturday, but it will be of a more bloggish nature. I’ve also got an idea for a more tenable periodic spotlight for the weekend, so I may give that a try. My Monday’s Game will be sticking around as I still have hundreds of games I could share, and Wednesday Geekcraft will likewise be sticking around because there are new geek craft projects tossed up on the internet on a daily basis, and they are surprisingly easy to find. Those two spotlights take far, far less time to research and write, so expect them to be around for the extended future.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

This week’s webcomic is Awkward Zombie by Katie Tiedrich.

Awkward Zombie is very much like another favorite of mine, VG Cats. The comic focuses on one-shot video game comics. I find the humor quite good, but, like VG Cats, if you don’t play a fair number of video games, you may not understand all the humor.

For my part, I greatly enjoy this comic. It has a lot to offer for the video game aficionado. If you aren’t into video games, there’s still a lot here to laugh at, but some of the jokes may pass you by.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

This week’s webcomic is Wondermark by David Malki !.

I consider Wondermark to be the Frasier of webcomics. It’s made from the scans of 19th-century woodcuts and engravings which are arranged out of context and given text (speech bubbles). The language used in the comics is often complex and very formal, though the humor itself tends to be more accessible. It’s your standard no-plot gag-a-day strip, so you can jump into it, have some fun, and then wander off without too much investment.

I’m rather surprised it took me so long to learn about this comic, as it’s been around since 2003 and has a rather large following. I perused the archive (I.E. read about 60% of it) and found that while I wasn’t rolling on the floor with laughter, I was certainly chuckling pretty often and enjoying myself, which is more than enough for me to include it here. So go check it out, you can even pretend that reading it makes you smarter!

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

This week’s webcomic is Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner

I was recently (three days ago) introduced to this comic and, frankly, I have no idea why I hadn’t heard of it before. This one’s right up my alley.

SMBC is a gag-a-day strip that often focuses on geek/nerd humor, much like XKCD.

Of course, it makes less sense when transcribed to RNA, which is why it took so long to track down.

SMBC has a lot of good stuff. I took a brief (2 hour) look through the archive and ended up laughing so hard that my wife was fearing for my sanity. Go check it out. Now.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

This week’s comic is Invisible Bread by Justin Boyd, co-creator of Left Handed Toons, which was WW#13.

[Insert some kind of representative picture here]

Invisible bread is the follow up to Justin’s earlier project Draw Until It’s Funny. He brings the same slanted, ironic humor that makes Justin’s other projects so enjoyable to read. He uses the same style of extruded stick figures as he’s previously, so not a lot new there. In this case, however, not having anything really new is not a drawback as the humor is solid and the art is merely there as the medium for that humor.

I am never, ever again letting a dog give me kisses.

If you’ve read and enjoyed Left Handed Toons you will certainly enjoy Invisible Bread as it’s really just more of the same humor that you’ll find over there. If you’ve never heard of either, go check them out. Now.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Weekend Webcomic #33: Gaia

This week’s webcomic is Gaia by Oliver Knörzer and Powree, who also produce Sandra and Woo, which was WW#11.

Gaia online is a very new comic to the scene, in fact it’s been running only about three weeks at this point and has only 21 strips to its name. I don’t even know if I like it yet; however, I think it has promise.

Gaia interests me because it’s a bit of a new take on a collection of genres. It’s a mixture of Fantasy Action, High school Romance, and a sprinkling of Magic School (E.G. Harry Potter). I’m not usually very excited about those last two, but if done well I could see myself enjoying Gaia. I think the part that really got my attention was that the romantic rival of the main character is not painted as an arrogant, egomaniacal jerk. He actually seems to have a code of honor and the only real reason he’s hated by the main character is due to the romantic triangle.

So give Gaia a look. I, for one, am interested to see where it goes.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

The weekend’s webcomic is Fanboys by Scott Dewitt.

This is a sad one today people. Today I dig up the corpse of Fanboys.

Fanboys was started in 2006 and was another in a long history of gamer comics. It didn’t offer much that was unique to the genre, but it was pretty funny and by that merit alone did I read it.

Unfortunately, in 2010 Scott stopped updating the comic regularly and it seemed all but abandoned. Even so, the archive and website was still there to peruse for the newbies. Sometime since I last checked it (probably early 2011), the site was updated and the archive stripped out. What used to be around 300 strips is now about 35. I feel entirely depressed about that since it was such a good comic. I can hope that maybe Scott is slowly uploading all his old stuff, but I have a feeling Fanboys may be in the death throes of full abandonment.

There is still some good stuff over in the archive, but to go through it feels very much like picking the last bits of meat off a carcass. So today, I mourn a decent comic soon destined to the oblivion of legend.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Ideas without skill

One of the biggest drawbacks my love of comics and webcomics has is that it fills me with lots of ideas for webcomics of my own. The issue there is that I lack drawing ability; which is a shame because most of the ideas I have would only work as comics, so writing them as a book isn’t really a good alternative.

I’ve come close to doing comics twice. The first time was when I got into sprite comics as a way to work on my ability to storyboard and put together a comic without necessarily being able to draw it. That went fairly well, my plots made sense and I was able to successfully harness my somewhat slanted and dry humor to create a rather funny set of strips. Eventually I got busy with life and dropped the webcomic. However, during the production of that comic I started to practice drawing.

In a crude way I started drawing single character sketches and began to refine a bit of a method while starting in on one of my old comic ideas. It was a pretty worthless method, but it was working OK and allowed me to start exploring with better methods. My characters started coming together, so I drew a series of 5 strips as a pilot idea for a comic that I called “Inner Child.” At that time the drawing was pretty horrendous, and looking back even now I cringe. However, over about a six month period, I continued to practice and refine, and it started to come together to a point where it began to look nearly good, or at least began to approach a style that could undergo a final refinement before being ready to go with. I produced two more strips and redrew one of my previous strips with the newer method. At that point, I got busy and had to set it aside. And I have remained busy for the last 6 years, or at least have not had the gumption to pull out my drawing pad again.

I very much want to be able to draw, but I realize that it takes a lot of work to get good at it (indeed it’s suggested that you need 10,000 hours practice to boast proficiency at something). Not only that, but I learned bad habits during my trails of teaching myself to draw. So to start again I must necessarily tear down my method and replace it with a more robust and repeatable method (such as drawing out character positions with representative shapes before going back to flesh out actual features). That’s a long road that I realize will take a few years of my life of daily practice to approach something similar to a working proficiency. It’s something that I really want to do, and something that I know can be done with constant practice and work, but I have a toddler and many other pursuits that I like chasing; so the idea that I’ll suddenly find an hour or two a day that I can use to noodle around with a pencil is somewhat unrealistic. Yet, I will continue to pine for the skill to give shape to my ideas.

-Confusion is a state of mind.

Weekend Webcomic #31: TwoKinds

This week’s webcomic is TwoKinds by Tom Fischbach.

Twokinds is one of those comics that is almost a guilty pleasure for me. So much so that I debated even including it on my blog here for fear of riling up the four or five people who read on a regular basis. However, given that I HAVE enjoyed the comic quite a bit, I figred, “What the hell, I’ll post it.”

TwoKinds is an unabashed anthropomorphic/furry comic, so those who are disgusted with such should probably wander away for the duration of my post today. Might I suggest heading over to Library of the Damned and catch up on my work over there. For those of a more eclectic taste in comics who decide to stay, I shall continue.

TwoKinds was started in 2003 and is self-categorized as a “Fantasy Manga” that updates every Wednesday (well, most of the time). In truth, the categorization of the comic is wider than that. I would consider it equally part of the action/adventure and romance manga categories as it is a fantasy manga. It is also clearly a anthro/furry manga, and attempts to classify it outside of the category are people trying to kid themselves. For those who enjoy such manga categories (as indeed I do) there is a lot to like in TwoKinds.

The comic primarily follows the story of two characters. The first is Trace Legacy, a man with amnesia whose sordid past acts as a continual counterpoint to his more chivalrous and understanding present. The other is Flora, a Tiger Keidran (demi-human, anthropomorph, furry, whatever term you want) whom Trace saves in the forest shortly after he awakens with amnesia. The story revolves around Trace both trying to discover his past, and avoid the ramifications of it, as well as the forbidden romance between him and Flora. There are other core characters that help flesh out the plot, such as Keith Keiser, a Bastid who was banished by his people, and Natani, a Dog Kiedran assassin who joins the party through a series of misadventures. These form the “core four” that is a tried and true adventuring party size in Manga (indeed 4 seems to be a pretty common group size in Manga, though 5 and 3 are also pretty common).

Like some of the more fun adventure Mangas (Inuyasha, Trigun, Get Backers, etc), TwoKinds manages to keep a focus on deep plot development and character exploration while still being fun and humorous. While the comic can be quite serious at times, it never looses the fun, light-hearted feel that makes the comic enjoyable rather than over-bearing.

The comic has many adult themes as well as regularly occurring pseudo-nudity of many of the anthropomorphic characters; those disturbed by such things should pass TwoKinds by, as you’ll likely be upset by those recurring themes. However, those of a more stalwart disposition will find a lot to like in TwoKinds and I highly recommend checking it out. As always, I shall let the comic’s actual merits determine whether or not you decide to add it to your weekly reading.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

Weekend Webcomic #30: Flipside

This week’s webcomic is Flipside by Brion Foulke.

Flipside is quite a different comic than most of those that I’ve put up thus far. The majority of the comics I’ve done have been humorous comics at some level or another. Flipside, on the other hand, isn’t really aimed at being funny. Rather, Flipside is an action manga; that is it focuses on action, story telling, and drama. It has a few one-liners, but for the most part the comic is true to its genre.

Amusing, but not really funny.

Flipside is a serial comic made as an action manga, though one could argue that it’s not a true action manga since it is not made in Japan and is produced in English. It’s a pretty pedantic argument, though, so I’ll leave that discussion for manga purists. The comic predominantly follows the adventures of two women: Maytag, a jester with two personalities (one a fun-loving over-the-top jester, the other a shy, soft-spoken woman), and Bernadette, a quiet and compassionate sword master who refuses to kill.

This comic is a relatively recent addition to my reading, and I’m actually still getting caught up on the archive. The comic has been running three full page updates a week for seven years, so there is a LOT of comic to read. Like most action/drama comics (such as Marvel or DC comics), it’s fairly heavy on dialogue, so expect quite a bit of reading on any given page. As a fan of Manga, and comics in general, I’ve enjoyed reading Flipside immensely. The action scenes are well done, the dialogue is natural (for the most part), and the plot is rather gripping. Even so, I realize that this comic is definitely not for everyone. There are lots of mature themes, violence, and occasional nudity. So, not something I’d let a young person read.

If you’re a fan of manga, or action comics in general, you may want to give Flipside a try. I would recommend completing the first story arc, “Two Women,” in chapters 1 and 2 before reading Book 0. Book 0 is an introduction to the comic of sorts, but is more of a “pilot” for the series. The art, writing, character development, and dialogue in Book 0 can be rather hit or miss as the ideas and methods for producing the comic were in their infancy at the time. Book 0 is certainly worth a read, as there are canon plot points and character development there that helps better understand the comic as a whole, but it shouldn’t be read until one has a better familiarity with where the comic ended up after Book 0.

As always, I let the work stand on its own merits, so if action comics are your cup of tea, go give Flipside a read and see if it’s for you.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?