Monthly Archives: February 2013
Where did all the Zuda Comics go? DC’s experiment in the world of digital comics was a little short-lived but it generated plenty of concepts due to its elimination-style format, where several creators would put out eight-page sample at a chance for landing a contract with DC Comics. Short answer: they were scattered to the winds of the internet, appearing in secluded far reaching corners. It’s a shame, because there were some great story ideas out there with some great-looking art. There was an image of a steely-eyed young man in a prep school uniform that caught my curiosity recently, for example, and I owed it to myself to follow up.
Model Student, by Jake Bell and Joe Bowen, was a Zuda entry in 2009 that didn’t make the final cut. Joe Bowen, though, couldn’t quite let go of the concept so he returned to the story last year.
The main character is Kevin Thorne. He’s a high school student who’s had problems keeping his rage under control. He’s been kicked out of many schools for fighting. One more strike, and he’s headed to Juvie. His last chance is Vendrell Academy, a stately-looking prep school where the students wear ties and fashionable blazers.
I’m going to assume that, at some point in Chris McQuaid’s Celtic Shaman, we’re going to learn that a portal to the Forgotten Realms must have opened in Canada. There’s mystical creatures everywhere. The hero, a rugged loner named Mannix, punches his way through several of these creatures as he tours the country’s backroads: a sea monster in New Brunswick, succubi in Quebec, and an ogre dressed up as a mall Santa in Mississauga, Ontario. Fortunately, Mannix is a man blessed with magic powers, fists of steel, and a sexy genie named Dru at his side. It’s a light-hearted and breezy comic where shamanism is grumblingly referred to as “spiritual pest control.”
The most eye-catching aspect of Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life was its excellent use of the infinite canvas. The technique is often touted as the future of comics. It was well executed and tied thematically to a story about two robots traveling in the solitude of the solar system.
For the follow-up, author Kit Roebuck goes with something more traditional. The webcomic Opplopolis, which is really tough to find on Google due to its tongue-twisty name, feels very old-school. The panels are laid out like a traditional comic book page. The colors are solid and not very flashy. Character designs are retro, but from eras that are difficult to pinpoint with precision.
In fact, Opplopolis feels very much like a Vertigo comic published in the early 1990′s. Specifically, Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles… only not nearly as weirdly metaphysical. And that’s a good thing.
As a relative newcomer to Tumblr, I have only lately come to a surprising realization: animated gifs are everywhere. Like, on every single blog that has “F*** Yeah” as the title. They are back in a bigger way than when that dancing CGI baby was all the rage. (Readers under 20, please disregard this horribly dated reference.) I’ve also noticed that seeing a bunch of animated gifs in a row, usually recapping a segment on TV, is not unlike reading a comic.
So it should come no surprise that there are some webcomics out there following suit. Jen’s Thunderpaw follows two anthropomorphic friends, Bruno and Ollie, as they go on a journey that seems to fracture their very mental state. During the comic, looped animated panels make everything jittery and haunting. I can’t say Thunderpaw makes sense, exactly, but it’s long on environment and is pretty to look at.
(h/t to reader gosicht)