Category Archives: all ages webcomic
Out of the Eisner-nominated titles, Ben Towle’s Oyster War is probably the one we’d most conventionally associate with the term “webcomic.” By that, I mostly mean the layout. This Will All Hurt is a metaphysical zombie comic where all the pages of the chapter are laid out vertically. Bandette is available as a digital comic on Comixology, the preferred format for the big piracy-averse publishers and arguably not really a webomic. Our Bloodstained Roof is a short story (most webcomics have runs longer than four installments), and Ant Comic is a bizarre little creature that looks like it would be more at home in the pages of an alternative magazine.
Oyster War, on the other hand, is a webcomic webcomic. Handy navigational buttons at the bottom of the page, familiar layout with a snazzy title header and sidebars, and a sensible pace of one page per post. It’s about as standard-looking as you can get on the no-frills WordPress format. There’s benefits to trying something new — in fact, it could be argued that because they’re more experimental, that they’re more deserving of award attention.
Oyster War shouldn’t dismissed, though. Mainly because it seems to have earned Eisner consideration on the merits of it being good.
Some weeks ago, I solicited the readers for links to their comics or recommendations to webcomic that they liked. There were plenty of fantastic entries, some which I mentally bookmarked to slot for a review some time down the line. This is the first one, recommended by reader
Why Piti Yindee’s Wuffle: The Big Nice Wolf? The reason is perhaps quite shallow: it was really, really pretty. I mean, the header shows a big yet cute cartoon wolf with a white volleyball under his arm that turns out to be a chicken. Look, people, there’s no big secret to getting me to pay attention: I’m like a moth to flame when it comes to cute things.
After man first set foot on the moon, young kids dreamed of voyaging to other planets. After all, if human beings can put their footprints on soil not of this earth, how hard can it be to, say, go to Mars? As it turns out… very hard. Universe Today estimates that the journey would take 250 days. And that’s the nearest planet. How long is it going to take to get to the moons of Jupiter? To the rings of Saturn? Heck, are we even going to get out of the solar system?
So we resign ourselves to the fate that most deep space exploration is going to have to be conducted by robots and computers. Like Voyager 2 and it’s ground breaking tour through the outer planets. Or Mars rover Curiosity, journeying the red planet to unearth new scientific discoveries. Is it as thrilling as Neil Armstrong hopping off a lunar lander? Maybe not. At the same time, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a pang of empathy when the Spirit rover got stuck in sand. Sure, it was just a piece of machinery. And yet, it had sort of anthropomorphized into a poor little explorer stuck on a weird alien world.
James Anderson’s Ellie on Planet X is the story of one such space probe. this one, though, is a whole lot more adorable than anything assembled by NASA. Well, maybe except for Sojourner. That one was pretty darned cute.
This is the part of The Webcomic Overlook where I reminisce nostalgically like an old man. My grandpa had World War II, my dad had his childhood in the Philippines. Me? I have video games.
I remember, way back when, as a bright eyed kid playing in the arcade. I remember playing Pac-Man. I remember playing Space Invaders. And I remember especially playing Frogger, which was the only cartidge I ever owned to play on our Atari 2600. I remember trekking Toys ‘R Us just so I could buy a Ninendo so I could play Super Mario Bros. (That Nintendo was later stolen by burglars who broke into out house in Detroit, but that’s another story.)
I even have fond memories of the Saturday Supercade. That was the Saturday morning cartoon series that featured the animated adventures of Space Ace, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Frogger. For some reason, though, I can only sorta remember the Q*Bert segments, which, at the time, I though were so very wrong because Q*Bert talked. I also remember the Pac-Man series, back in the day when Atari was still trying to convince us that the dude was had retro Mickey Mouse eyes and a hat.
What I’m trying to say is … I been playing video games for a long, long time.
And I have never heard of friggin’ Bravoman.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have some very sad news: I’m cancelling Mars Week. I knw you were looking forward to the parades with a giant Marvin the Martian balloons, a public reading of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, the contest to think up with a better Martian rover name than “Curiosity,” and free Mars Bars for the kids.
But I only have myself to blame, really. Earlier this week, I thought to myself: “Self, why don’t you finally review that other Mars-themed comic? Uh, what was it called? Red’s Planet?” It was a full-proof plan… until I reached the end of Red’s Planet and realized it had nothing to do with THE Red Planet. Fortunately, though, I have no regrets reading Eddie Pittman’s Red’s Planet. I’ll come right out and say it: it’s the most delightful webcomic you’ll ever read about Mars that will turn out to be not about that at all.
Do you like seeing the DC Comics’ heroes as little kids? Sure, who doesn’t? There was even a whole episode of Justice League Unlimited devoted to that very concept. Well, cartoonist Yale Stewart goes head-on with the Justice League meets The Muppet Babies concept in his too-cute-for-words webcomic Little League. It’s the DC comic universe de-aged and seen mainly through the eyes of the World’s Finest Tykes: Li’l Bats and Li’l Supes. Together, they must engage in epic battles with villains like Lex Luthor (leader of the big kids), deal with mandated costume changes, and play the deadliest game of them all — dodgeball.
Webcomic short stories tend to make a big splash with two audiences: the people who read Reddit and the judging panel of the Eisner Awards. In 2009, for example, a whopping three short stories were under consideration: Speak No Evil, Vs., and The Lady’s Murder. A fourth, Bodyworld, was longer, but structure to come to a finite ending. It’s a format, that, in a way, is more appropriate of an award that bills itself as “The Oscars” of comics. There’s a complete story, a more cohesive theme, and character progression… things that Oscar-worthy movies are typically judged by.
This year, we also have three short stories vying for the Eisner. There’s Sarah and the Seed (which I looked at here), perhaps the shortest work every submitted for Eisner consideration. There’s Bahrain (which I took a look at over here), which muses about politics in the titular country.
Then there’s Outfoxed by Dylan Meconis. Ms. Meconis has, perhaps, more webcomic-cred than the authors involved in this year’s round of Eisners. Her previous works, Bite Me and Family Man, have taken a look at classical horror elements (vampires and werewolves) in historical settings. There’s nothing of the sort in Outfoxed. I mean, maybe a werefox… if that’s a thing.
Some time ago, I was helping some folks clean up an old building downtown. I was there with my wife and a fellow helper. It was getting late… and our companion did the one thing you should not be doing when it starts getting dark: she started telling stories. Namely, that she had seen ghosts here.
She told us of two occurrences. She said she once saw a young girl playing near the pulpit. She seemed like a little girl who was just playing around, laughing and giggling and the like. The girl ran off to the back room. The lady went to check on the girl, but, as you might guess, the girl disappeared. The other ghost she saw was a soldier. The lady had done some research, and she found out the building next door was once an infirmary at the turn of the 20th century. She said that these ghosts weren’t dangerous. They were, in fat, rather friendly. She wouldn’t have thought them to be ghosts except that when she’d run after them, they’d disappeared.
Now, maybe I’m not the type of person who believes in ghosts. Maybe I had nothing to be afraid of, since it was made clear that the ghosts were harmless. Friendly or not, though, you best believe we shut off the lights, locked the doors, and got out of that building as fast as we could. The very otherness of a non-corporeal being is enough to get your hairs standing on end.
Zack Morrison knows this. There are many ghosts in his webcomic Paranatural. Some are dangerous. Some are not. But even the friendly ones possess the sort of innate creepiness that makes you want to lock the doors and get out as fast as possible.