Daily Archives: August 23, 2009

Special Post: Yes, Virginia, there are webcomics

Last spring, someone asked if they could ask me some questions regarding webcomics for a school project. I happily agreed. I thought the questions were pretty good and quite relevant. I probably would’ve forgotten about it if Ping Teo of Lonely Panel hadn’t posted an answer to one of her reader’s questions (about sprite comics, in her case). I thought she offered sound advice, and I appreciated that she posted her e-mail online. So, being the copycat that I am, I decided to do the same thing. The following is my unedited response to a student with all the questions.

Throughout, I’m peppering this post with pictures of the famed luchador (and movie star) El Santo (not Blue Demon, the guy whose mask I’m usually wearing) … mainly so you can envision me replying to every question while wearing a mask and looking very classy at the same time.


What aspects of webcomics appeal to you the most?

I’m an avid comic book reader, so I’m going to compare this comic books (and comic strips). The most appealing aspect of a webcomic is the accessibility. With most comic books, you have to dig through back issues to get the full story. With webcomics, there’s usually a button that puts you on Page 1. I can read the entire run of “Sluggy Freelance,” “Scary Go Round,” and “Megatokyo” without having to go into the store.

What aspects of webcomics do you think appeal to people in general the most?

In these economic times, never underestimate the value of free entertainment! Webcomics, I think, are really competing with blogs, Youtube videos, and message boards. So what do webcomic writers have to offer? Sometimes, it’s the writer’s unique spin on humor. Sometimes, its looking for a good narrative without having to spend too much time on the internet. Unless things have changed in the last three years, online novels still haven’t taken off, mainly because of the time commitment. Stories with visual aids (e.g. webcomics) seem perfectly suited for the “instant gratification” culture of the internet.

What do you think are the most important parts of a comic? (i.e. storyline, humor, etc.)

For me, it’s definitely the character development. I have to want to follow the characters through any situation. That’s because most webcomics will be published in a span of years. Why should follow a character for that long? Storytelling is important, too, but you can have an awful story with magnetic characters. I haven’t run into many webcomics that have “must-read” stories, but I have have run into many comics where I couldn’t wait to see what the characters were up to next.
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Metapost: Going on another hiatus … in style


Looks like what we got here is another hiatus.

Got another wedding to help out at this week, and we’ve got relatives coming in from out of town. (Always, these weddings!) A lot decorating, a lot of rehearsals, a lot of touring. The Webcomic Overlook should be back around the end of September. (Can’t quit now that I’m so close to 100 Webcomic Overlooks.) Thanks for checking out my blog over the summer! To occupy your time, I’ll be shortly posting an e-mail response that you may enjoy, if only for the pictures.

By the way: I’ve been hinting that I’ve been reading one of the reputably worst webcomics ever written. You may be wondering if I still plan on reviewing it. Answer: yes. Unfortunately, the comic is living up to its reputation. I thought I’d be done two weeks ago, but each page is pure torture. May God have mercy on my soul.

* – Above image illustrated by Argentinian artist Sol Rac. Full panel can be seen here at From Parts Unknown. Visit his MySpace page here.

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