Comic Strips on the Internet! How Novel!

hisuiconWhile I was at work today a thought suddenly dawned on me. Everyday after I clock the first thing I do is read my daily web comics. It is a ritualized activity for me that I do like most people have breakfast or a cup of coffee to start the work day.¬† But I realized a very important fact I never thought about before. I don’t really know anything about the web comics community nor have I ever really participated in that community despite reading web comics quite religiously.

hisuiconIt is odd because even if I do not immerse myself in a hobby I usually have some idea of the inner politics of a fandom due to nerd osmosis. (Nerd osmosis being the process in which you just passively pick up information about other nerd hobbies without much effort due to nerd interests intersecting on a fairly regular basis). But despite reading Sluggy Freelance for over a decade I don’t really participate in comic forums or even follow any of the artists of comics I read on twitter. I do follow several web comic artists like Kara Dennison, Magical Emi, and Anatole_serial but never because they are web comic artists. What about webcomics let me be so cursory about them when I usually get into the meta details of any fandom I am a part of?

hisuiconUsually when I enter a fandom I go to research the heck out of it. I look at the history of the hobby, what people like and dislike about various titles, who are the king makers and the pariahs, and what trends shape up the medium. But for some reason I log in every day with my web comics, enjoy what I read, and then think no more on it. Is it because web comics are just a diverse medium that I don’t see it as a monolithic fandom, is web comic fandom just a quiet fandom in general, is my daily time with each strip so short that I don’t feel the need to dig deeper, or is it something else? There has to be a difference but I just can’t put my finger on it. If any one has a clue please let me know.

hisuiconBefore anyone asks I will say that the web comics I regularly read are:

hisuiconBy the way if you want to plug your own comic, recommend me something, or just talk about the web comic community then leave me a comment below.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #101

hisuiconThe problem with webcomics is that if they have been running for a few years reading the back archives to catch up to the present can be insanely daunting. But if you start reading a good webcomic you will quickly notice a week has disappeared and you now have something new to read every week. One web comic that several people repeatedly told me I NEEDED to read is Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio. The series is a steampunk (I’m sorry gaslamp fantasy) adventure set in a war-torn Europe in which superpower mad scientists battle amongst themselves. Agatha Clay starts out as an average student at Transylvania Polygnostic University but after an eventful morning soon finds her awaking as a spark (aka a mad scientist) and embroiled in a madcap adventure all across Europe involving airships, a mysterious traveling circus, amazons, abominations (both living and mechanical), and everything and anything that makes for good swashbuckling adventure. The art is incredibility dense. There is always something going on in the foreground and usually at least 2 things going on in the background while never being cluttered. This distinctly rewards you for going back and reading chapters again. The story start off strong and only proceeds to pick up steam as it goes on and thankfully has been plotted out in advance. It has a large and extremely colorful cast and someone for almost anyone to latch onto. It is basically good in all the way that a webcomic could be good. I would have broken this review into smaller chunks but I read 9 years worth of comics in 1 week because it was so addictive. There are now 9 books of the collected series if you want to catch up offline. I might go back and review the books individually as I pick them up but I mainly just suggest you go and read any way you can.

I eagerly checked out the new Cartoon Network show Sym-Bionic Titan (eps. 1-2). It warms my heart to see more giant robot goodness this side of the Pacific. The series follows 3 aliens, strong-willed Princess Ilana, her newly appointed guardian the brooding Lance, and the faithful robot Octus who come to Earth fleeing a rebellion on their home planet. Ilana and Lance have the ability to transform into armored robots and they quickly find out that they along with Octus can combine. Of course monsters coming looking for them as they try to hide out, blend into Earth culture, and figure out the next step. There is plenty of action in the first episode, a little less in the second, but each has a good pace. The show takes little jibes at American culture, high school is all you can imagine, and it is amusing to watch our heroes try to adapt. I do hope to see Ilana be less rescued as the series continues. There is already some great plots arising as we learn about their home planet as well as an organization on Earth that already seems to know about our heroes. Great potential, great design, and great to see!

Continue reading