The wondrous world of (web)comics – Part II: Introducing a series.

You would think that having the topic all set and even the first chunk written out would ensure that this week’s post would make it on time. Life’s funny that way. But you don’t mind waiting, do you? This is, after all, informal chat. Or, rather, just me rambling and you enduring it for as long as you can.

So last week I rambled about comics, how they started and evolved, how their range of topics and characters essentially exploded. I will say this, Calvin and Hobbes is one of my favorite reads and it truly saddens me to think that there will be no more. But such go the legends. They come, conquer, then quietly withdraw. You will be forever missed, little guy.

But this form of art continues, and its number of exponents grows pretty much every day. Some are awesome, some are great, some are good and some are downright hideous. As I was trying to put my selection down, I realized that it is far too large for a post, and doing a part III and IV and so on until all of my picks are put in here would only serve to make this an extremely long and potentially boring tirade. So what I will do instead is sort my selections into topics like anthro, fantasy, zombie apocalypse, alternate history and so on. I ramble about the topic a bit and then present you with comics relevant to said theme. Obviously I won’t churn out these installments one after the other, as my goal with this blog has always been to keep the choice of topic varied from week to week. I got chunks of two installments in the oven, and the draft for one or two more in my head. I’ll release one every two or three weeks (the latter is more likely)

Least I Could Do, from Blind Ferret Entertainment. Created by Ryan Sohmer (writer) and Lar De Souza (art and color). This is one of the slice-of-life types, with Rayne Summers as the main character and a host of friends with their own woes and stories.  has been going on for quite a while, the only one, as I mentioned, that boasts a daily schedule. These guys do not miss a single update, and they don’t even rely on guest strips to keep up. How they do it is anyone’s guess, especially considering this is not the only webcomic they got on their hands.

This giant of webcomics has begun efforts to branch out into other media, with a card game already in the market and an animated series in the works.

Questionable Content, by Jeph Jacques. Another slice-of-life. This guy had no training whatsoever to begin with, he was a mere ‘office bitch’ when he started his webcomic, truly a shining example of how anyone can reach their dreams if they put their mind and muscle to it. With an archive spanning over a decade now, you can clearly see how his style of drawing evolved with time.

This comic centers on the life and misfortunes of Marten Reed and his social circle. Its trend is towards indie music and lifestyle with a touch of punk, lesbianism and a heavy dive into the intricacies of Artificial Intelligence (I’m looking at you, Asimov). Given the setting, while it is fairly easy to tell the geographic location where the story unfolds, it is pretty hard to pin it on a current timeline.

Girls with Slingshots, by Danielle Corsetto. This one started as a strip that the creator ran at her college named Hazelnuts (love the name) and it ties to the main character’s name being Hazel. Completely LGBT friendly, it features a lesbian relationship, a male gay transvestite, and a talking cactus with Irish accent and a mexican sombrero. Oh there’s also a chesty chick if that’s your kind of thing. Besides the possoble controversy of the comic’s theme, it is completely SFW.

All New Issues, by Bill Ellis (art) and Dani O’Brien (writer). One of the very few comics that remain on a black-and-white palette. Roster is pretty varied, starting with a three main(ish) characters: a graphic designer gal who is out of a job (Robyn), a short-tempered comic store owner (Jason) and his geeky, light hearted employee who has yet to fully grow up mentally (Todd). From there we go to a professional wrestler (Gavin), a kindergarten teacher (Dee) and a journalist turned blogger (Karen). This is just the tip of the iceberg though, as all these characters are fun and their interactions can get complex. SFW.

The fun story with this one is that Robyn from All New Issues is related to Hazel from Girls with Slingshots. They’re cousins, and Robyn did make an appearance over at GWS some time ago. Hazel gifted Robyn with one of the kittens her cat had with Choo Choo Bear (a cat from SomethingPositive, yet another webcomic which I do not follow so I cannot tell you much about it) and that would be Selina whom you can see plenty in All New Issues. It’s the only crossover I can recall where the character of one comic is actually related to the character on another comic. Not to mention the cat family spread across no less than three different universes. Neat, huh.

Punch an’ Pie, by Aeire (writer) and Chris Daily (artist/writer). This one is hosted on Keenspot. As their About page states, “this comic follows the life of Angela, a short, hot tempered, feisty twenty-something blonde, and the various situations and predicaments she gets into”. It starts off pretty nice for Angela, cozy job at a toy store, cool boss, solid relationship, or so it looks… until Heather, Angela’s girlfriend, breaks up with her. Hell ensues for a bit, but this story is a good example of how life can turn out good from the deepest misfortunes. As the comic goes on to focus on Angela for a few weeks and on Heather the following weeks, we can see that the former has gone from employee to manager of a toy store branch, and Heather has gone from waitress to accounting manager. Life goes on.

That’s all from me for this week, folks. Thank you for reading me, and see you next week.

mafalda_vietnam

Long live Mafalda.

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