Daily Archives: February 18, 2009
From the desk of El Santo, a.k.a. Captain Nihilist:
If you chased me down, trapped me in an abandoned wine cellar, tripped me with wire to land me in a hollowed out pit, flipped open your John Locke Limited Edition Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, and demanded of me, “What is the most important thing in you look for in webcomics?”, I’d have to reply: “The characters. Please put the knife away, you psycho.”
More than anything, characters keep a webcomic grounded. The comic may go through shifts in art style. The story may evolve from a horror story or a gaming comic to a teen romance or an office humor strip. But it you keep your characters true and engaging, I’m usually happy every step of the way. It makes the webcomic memorable, even if I’m grasping to remember certain plotlines. Print comics have been sticking by this principle for decades. This is why I know that I like a decent guy like Superman because he’s a great character … but hell if I know what he’s be up to in the last ten years.
So I decided to take some time to look at characters. This is aimed at both critics and webcomic creators. I’m going to be posting excerpts from one essay in particular, so all accusations of me being myopic are probably true. Folks looking for reviews might also enjoy reading it, as it will deepen your understanding. If not, come around next week for my take on a highly popular romance comic.
“OK, Captain Nihilist,” you sneer. “What in the heck makes a good character?”
Read the rest of this entry
- Notorious webcomic creator Scott Kurtz, of the Eisner-Award winning PvP, will be hosting the Harvey Awards (h/t The Beat). Also, according to Comics Worth Reading), the Webcomics Weekly podcast was goofing on awards ceremonies this week. Interesting choice of MC, methinks. Are the Harveys trying to drive home the point that webcomics are rising in importance? Or were they simply charmed by Mr. Kurtz’s snarky yet comfortable speaking style? (Crazy mad trivia: not all comic professionals are good public speakers.)
To be honest with you, I don’t really follow the Harveys. Every time I hear it mentioned, I think it’s named after that invisible rabbit that Jimmy Stewart always talked to. Wikipedia says that, unlike the Eisners — which are voted on by a five-person panel — the Harveys are selected by an open vote among comics professionals. So it’s sorta like the SAG Awards to the Eisner’s Oscar. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about previous award winners in the “Best Online Comics Work” category:
- 2006 American Elf, by James Kochalka, http://www.americanelf.com
- 2007 The Perry Bible Fellowship, by Nicholas Gurewich, http://www.pbfcomics.com
OK, so I guess that’s a better selection than the Eisner’s, and Lord knows that PBF needed some sort of recognition. Still, meh.
- Dean Trippe (of Butterfly) and Evan Bryce decide to take a look at the current administration in their new webcomic, President Awesome. The press release says “President Awesome is a weekly political comic about President Barack Obama! Basically, it’s The Daily Show meets The Far Side, but you know, way better.” I don’t know how Daily Show you can be when you’re calling the comic President Awesome already. (h/t The Beat, again)
Of course, if you’re not too optimistic about the current presidency, cartoonists will oblige in gruesome ways.
- Meanwhile, the Floating Lightbulb takes a good look at the art of Winston Rountree’s Virus Comics. An excerpt:
Lost in my ranting is my real point: characters should have character. I tire of comics that pander to current ideals, and Winston doesn’t do this. He invents new ones. He can make your brain entertain sexual scenarios you never, ever considered (sometimes considered momentarily).
Also, are you telling me Winston’s not really a dude? Ya fooled me, Winston. YA FOOLED ME.