Addressing the ever-shrinking credibility of rock journalism since 2007. With a sasquatch.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Screen Shots: Web Comics

Biggie Boobie Chan

Web comics are a relatively new internet phenomena. Web comics, at varying degrees of complexity, are growing in popularity. What was once the refuge of a handful of cranky cartoonists, with objectionable art skills and even worse social skills, is gradually becoming a recognized story-telling medium.

In 2011, even the powerhouse comic publishing companies of DC and Marvel have introduced new all-digital lines of web based titles to capitalize on their decades of back issues. This is much to the comic fan's advantage because some bygone titles are incredibly hard to find (Warren Ellis's Starjammers #1 for instance) and all of these comics stay in Mint condition.

The officiousness of the web comic began in 2005 with a new Eisner award category going to Brian Fies' painfully autobiographical Mom's Cancer. The following year in 2006, the publication of Gene Yuen's excellent American Born Chinese as a web based comic signaled that web comics were becoming legitimized and fast showing showing signs of becoming a medium-unto-itself.

Sakana by MAD
The sharply drawn and scripted web based series "Sakana" by MAD.

This trend of creator-driven comics hasn't stopped wave after wave of "sprite" comics which do the opposite in kind of an homage to being 10 years old. The problem is most of these sprite comics are created by 40 year-olds addicted to television.

To be definitive, Sprite comics are: made up of badly swiped character art that has literally been ripped out of NES games and then plunked into the worst story-telling possible w/no original plot at all.

Oh Baby Jesus, my eyes!
"Blake And Moon Light Enter a hotel". An example of a sprite comic by ZoneTh.

This is the low end to Gene Yuen's "high end". The difference being a much better level of artistic integrity, attention to craft and original story-telling. What is most interesting about web comics is found in the "middle level" of web comics. These web comics with their own raw or refined style capitalize on frenetic drawing ability, individual P.O.V. and sometimes really bad taste.

A worthy and hilarious selection of this "middle layer" of current web comics includes:
  • Biggie Boobie Chan (PG-13) An outrageous manga "spoof" comic shabbily rendered in pencil with text punched in via computer that makes Family Guy look tame in comparison.
  • The formidable KREETOR is a sword and sorcery epic with amazing art told in a Medieval Planet of the Apes setting.
  • My Zombie Days is an incredibly well drawn Russian language zombie apocalypse told from the point of view of a man infected with a case of zomboid fever.
  • Schizian is a truly, truly bizarre and stylistic story of a young woman's monstrous hallucinations.
  • Toilet Genie is at the high end of the toilet-humor-w/dynamic-art-books with well over 3,000+ dutiful subscribers.
  • Between Gears is a beautiful autobiographical account of an artist's life.
  • GLOOM features the formidable art chops of David Newbold as applied to demons and vicious Dark Age battles.
  • Instant Comics is a very original graphic novel with several stories about a young woman, aliens and her dreams. This last web comic easily bests most printed work in bookstores and shops today (that is, work that wasn't printed by Fantagraphics).



Radio Free Albemuth said...

Hi there >3
Thanks for posting about 'MZD', i am really touched ^^.

Gargantuan Media said...

No sweat. It's a rare thing to update the overworked zombie genre like Zombie Days artist, Bloodrizer has. A 1st person zombie story w/wild hallucinations and written in Russian with English translations ain't exactly on the Direct TV lately...

Radio Free Albemuth said...

Oh, silly me, I should've write that I am author )
I'm glad you like it. I'm trying my best to keep it interesting and fun, stay tuned )