The web has been a boon for independent comic creators. Anyone who has the impulse and impetus to create a comic can do so and have an instant publishing platform. This is a bit of a double edged sword, as the signal to noise ratio can make it a bit daunting to get started. Here’s a list of webcomics, some funny, some autobiographical, some on-going and some as discreet stories.
(This list is a bit long, and I’ve included a bit about each comic as well, so click through to read on)
Most of these comics follow a fairly traditional print format, and in fact, any number of them have been collected in print volumes, but some of them take advantage of the unique format of the web. Any number of them do take advantage of the ability to interact with readers quickly and both engage them and take into account user feedback. I’ll post a bit later a list of comics-related people on twitter, and there’s a whole section of webcomics creators, who are quite happy to hear from their readers.
One comic I’ve recently come upon that does take advantage of the web format is http://hobolobo.net/. It not only uses side scrolling and a variety of page lengths, but it also uses the scrolling interaction to create a sense of depth in the world the story is set in.
We had mentioned in the first class Garfield Minus Garfield, http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/, but I had also mentioned http://3eanuts.com/, where the fourth panel of Charles Schultz Peanuts cartoon is excised, leaving a comic full of pathos and existential despair. It’s funny. Really.
On going series:
http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/ From the website: “a comic that focuses on topics of social commentary, science, religion, philosophy, and lots of bacon.”
http://xkcd.com Proof you don’t have to be an amazing artist to make a successful comic! Stick figure humour at its best, since 2006. Chances are you’ve seen an xkcd comic before, but may not have known where it was from.
http://www.fantagraphics.com/up-all-night-by-michael-kupperman/3.html Michael Kuperman’s work was on the back of our first handout, and I’ve posted a link to an animation based on his work. If you liked those and want to see more, Fantagraphics hosts his weekly webcomic.
http://www.asofterworld.com/ A Softer World is one of my favourite webcomics. It doesn’t have a recurrent character, or any characters at all really, and it’s not drawn, but made of photography. I won’t try to describe it, instead I will give you two fine examples:
http://harkavagrant.com/ Kate Beaton’s wonderful historical comic! She covers everything from obscure Canadians to Tesla and has some hilarious takes on Wonder Woman mixed in for good measure. Just all around wonderful stuff.
http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/ Back in 2004, Danielle Corsetto started Girls with Slingshots. I have no idea what the title has to do with the content either, but it mostly follows two best friends, Hazel and Jamie, along with their various pals and other townspeople. It’s funny and irreverent and Danielle loves interacting with readers through her website and twitter.
http://www.questionablecontent.net/ One of my personal favourites. “Questionable Content is an online comic strip that is ostensibly about romance, indie rock, little robots, and the problems people have.” Made by Jeph Jaques since 2003
http://www.octopuspie.com/ by Meredith Gran is about Eve Ning, is a grumpy post-college New Yorker who works at an organic grocery store. We follow Eve and her pals as they try to make sense of life in their mid-twenties.
http://dresdencodak.com/ is a crazy, geeky, sci-fi romp with Kim Ross. Features some really ambitious artwork. Case in point: http://dresdencodak.com/2009/12/16/lantern-season/
http://scarygoround.com/ was Scary Go Round, now is Bad Machinery, both by John Allison. Bad Machinery is set in the same strangely supernatural town as the previous series, but follows a cast of school children who solve mysteries. It’s seriously better than that sounds.
http://www.sintitulocomic.com/2007/06/17/page-01/ Cameron Stewart is an Eisner and Shuster winning artist who has worked on titles such as Batman and Robin, The Apocalipstix, Seaguy, and Catwoman. This is his personal project which he’s been working on piecemeal since 2007. From the website: “A dark, neo-noir semi-autobiographical mystery thriller concerned with dreams, family, and memory…”
http://www.abominable.cc/ Sin Titulo is published as part of Canada’s TX collective. Another artist who is publishing his webcomic through the TX studio is Karl Kerschl. The Abominable Charles Christopher is the tale of the yeti-like Charles Christopher’s journeys through the woods, the friends he makes, love and loss. Unwittingly he’s been sent on a quest he doesn’t understand, but tries to complete anyways.
http://www.richbarrett.com/nathansorry/ I’d say the Nathan Sorry is in the same vein as Sin Titulo, so if you enjoy that, it might be worth giving this a read. From the website: “Nathan Sorry… was supposed to be in the World Trade Center on 9/11 but instead disappears with a new identity and $20 million that he has inadvertently stolen. Two months later he shows up in a small southern town, waiting for his opportunity to flee the country, but his shaky plan begins to unravel as he gets a little too involved with some of the town’s residents.”
http://www.rice-boy.com/ Set in an amazingly well fleshed out fantasy world called Overside, Rice Boy, Order of Tales, and now Vattu are epic tales. Evan Dahm’s work reminds me of Tolkien or Ursula K. Le Guin. If you’re interested in how you come up with a fully fleshed-out alternative world, Evan writes a tumblr, http://makingplaces.tumblr.com/, all about the subject.
http://www.buttercupfestival.com/ Ok, so Buttercup Festival isn’t maybe as ongoing as some of these other sites, but it’s been updating from time to time again, and I love it so, so I am including it anyways. Also, I am subjecting you to some of it.
There’s a class on autobiographical comics coming up later in the term, so I thought I’d single out a few here.
http://www.ellerbisms.com/?p=15 Probably the first autobiographical comic I read. I actually came across it from a review of a print collection of the strips. 2007 to 2010, Marc Ellerby used Ellerbisms as an outlet to work on his own art. He now mostly focuses on Chloe Noonan (available at Plan B Books down in Trongate, near Mono and the 13th Note)
http://theeveryday.adamcadwell.com/2007/05/01/the-everyday-1/ Adam Cadwell is actually a pal of the above-mentioned Marc Ellerby. He loves Vimto, something I would otherwise have been unaware of before moving to the UK. “The Everyday is an autobiographical comic that I draw about the little things in life that happen to us all… I was influenced and inspired to try writing about life mainly by Harvey Pekar who writes American Splendor and James Kochalka who does draw a comic everyday called American Elf.”
http://togalavant.com/040510-intro-part-1/ This one I really relate to. Kayla Hillier up sticks and moves to the UK for several months, only to fall in love with both the place and a boy from Manchester. I met Kayla at ThoughtBubble in Leeds a couple of years ago, and we had a nice chat about finding new homes in the UK. That has to be one of the odder parts of publishing part of your life on the internet, absolute strangers come up to you at cons knowing (at least some) of your life story!
http://www.americanelf.com/ As mentioned by Glyn (and Adam Cadwell) the life of James Kochalka, since 1998. (In the weird way life works, James lives in Burlington, VT, only a few hours from where I used to live. One of my best pals, Evan, is from VT as well. At a house party here in Glasgow last year, I met some musicians who also knew Evan. About a month later, one of them posted this American Elf comic, where James attends their birthday party. What?! http://www.americanelf.com//comics/americanelf.php?view=single&ID=43345)
http://www.darcomic.org/ Entitled ‘A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary’, it documented Erika Moen’s life for 6 years. Recently she has moved onto other projects, like the recently completed http://www.buckocomic.com/, but the full archives are online.
http://www.fartparty.org/2011/02/03/datm-pages-pt-1/ Drinking at the Movies was an autobiographical comic by Julia Wertz. Now collected into print volumes, a selection of the work remains online to get a taste.
http://www.johnnywander.com The only ongoing series I’ve included. Although not exclusively autobiographical, as it includes a few short stories and other diversions, it’s mostly about the life of artist Yuko and writer Anath. “Johnny Wander might be about life after college, being a kid, growing up and all the people you meet and all the things that happen in that brave new world.
Or it might be about something else entirely.”
The comics I’ve linked to up until now consist of hundreds of pages, but those aren’t the only works out there. Here are some artists who publish short stories online.
http://www.shigabooks.com/strips/fleep/scrollindex.html This was the first of Jason Shiga’s comics I came across, thanks to a link from Forbidden Planet’s blog. He has other stories available via the links on the left. He also wrote the amazing book Meanwhile—a massive choose-your-own-adventure-style comic.
http://www.nickstjohn.net/Home.html last year, a member of our class pointed us towards Nick St. John’s work, which is collected here.
http://blog.ryan-a.com/tagged/comics Ryan Andrews draws stories that are fantastical but entirely relatable at the same time. Nothing is Forgotten is one of my favourites, and a piece I used as a source for one of my own works.
http://www.bluebed.net/projects/bear/ Of all of Roman Muradov’s comics, The Lonely Bear is my favourite. The story of a bear who is so miserable that he develops a brain tumor that becomes his only friend.