Category Archives: WCO Poll
There seems to be two schools of thought in how to present comics these days (and these include webcomics). The first is storytelling in the most traditional approach. Explain events using little comment boxes and exposition. It paces things out so you can get a somewhat complete story in around 22 pages or so. Generally, webcomics in this category are Spacetrawler and Order of the Stick. Simpler pictures, heavy on dialogue.
On the other end, there’s the “show, don’t tell” school or comics — decompressed storytelling. These are usually the ones heavy on mood and imagery. They take their time. The joke with some recent comics, for example, is that it takes 6 issues now for comics that used to take 1. (I think Bendis’ run on the Avengers titles are good examples of this.) In this category, more contemplative comics like Ectopiary and What Birds Know.
Both have their advantages, and it usually boils down to narrative vs. visuals. There are also plenty of comics in the middle ground. However, between the two extremes, which do you prefer: compressed or decompressed storytelling?
Sometimes, you really hate a webcomic. But it’s not the webcomic’s fault. Not really. It’s actually the presentation. I mean, this is 2013. Why do a lot of webcomics look like they’re on interfaces designed for GeoCities?
So, readers, I ask this question: outside of the comic itself, what are your biggest webcomic turn-offs?
If there were a thing such as “Webcomic of the Year” — you know, perhaps emblazoned on the cover of Time Magazine or some other archaic format — which would it be?
Would it be Axe Cop, which got its own animated series?
Would it be Hark! A Vagrant, which, despite being on semi-hiatus, managed to net its second Harvey Award?
Would it be Digger, which concluded yet won a Hugo Award?
Maybe it’s Battlepug, winner of this year’s Eisner for Best Digital Comic?
Is it Scenes From A Multiverse, winner of this year’s first ever Reuben Award given to a webcomic?
Perhaps it is The Oatmeal, which brought the internet to its knees with all the lawsuits and such?
Is it CAD, for pulling the plug, then putting another plug back in that looked slightly familiar but came in four different colors?
Or is it Order of the Stick for its ridiculously successful Kickstarter?
Maybe it’s none of these, and there’s another great webcomic in 2012 that deserves praise and accolades (or maybe jeers and snark like that one year Hitler was Time’s Man Of The Year). If so, speak up now, fellow friends, Internet Romans, and countrymen.
I know you’re a multi-faceted individual. A unique snowflake flitting around in this great big world of ours. And I know that comics ain’t the only thing you read…. OK, maybe it is. But I imagine, especially with the webcomic-reading crowd, that horizons are meant to be broadened.
So, readers, when you’re not reading comics, either the print or digital kind, what sort of printed literature do you ineffably find yourself gravitated to?
Of all the comics out there, Pete Abrams’ artistic style on Sluggy Freelance seems to never to visually change. Some people see consistency. Some people see stubbornness. Are you a fan of the art? Yea, or nay?
In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud takes a break from his black and white style to discuss color. He breaks it down thusly:
- In black and white, the ideas behind the art are communicated more directly. Meaning transcends form. Art approaches language. Example: Digger
- In flat color, form takes on more significance. The world becomes a playground of shape and space. Example: The Princess Planet
- With expressive colors, comics can become an intoxicating environment of sensations. (The downside, not mentioned by McCloud, is that these comics can take forever to come out.) Example: Unsounded
Early on, webcomics were primarily of the black-and-white or flat color variety. Now, though, more artistically inclined webcomic creators have entered the field, including some who are just dedicated colorists. We’re seeing quite a few more examples of the ones with expressive colors.
So, readers, which kind of webcomic do you prefer?