Last Friday, Jenni and Stefan swung by to inspire us with some of the hottest new and ongoing comic books... this week we're going digital. This whole Internet thing, not just a passing phase. The tubes are busier than ever with creators making brilliant webcomics. But... there are so many!
Fortunately, Laura "Lor" Graham and Sara Westrop are some ideas where new webcomics readers can start. Lor is a writer, brassist (I made up that term) and provides an extremely soothing Twitter presence at @LorGraham. [Also, we published her first, so ha! Wait for 1853.]
Sara writes and edits comics for a living with Markosia. Her new webcomic, FANGIRLS, is out now (and whole-heartedly recommended). You can hassle her for updates at @sarawezzie. This is Sara's second Friday Five. If she does three, she wins a toaster.
This got pitched to me by a friend with the following: “there’s a loud, brash, ginger Scottish faerie in this. I didn’t know you had wings.” Charming friends I have. The story follows a group of tartan-wearing faeries punishing a male human who has spilled the blood of one of their own. It is in its second issue at the moment, and as a Scot I find it entertaining.
This probably my favourite webcomic at the moment, the tattoo of one of the featured “Tiny Fairy” on my left forearm will testify to that. Drawn and written by the very talented Mike Lunsford, and follows the story of Fiona Dae, sucked out of our world into one that is one above normal step to the left. She discovers magic, creepy security guards, and teams up with a reformed dark mage and a guy who turns into a bunny every time he does something wrong. Highly entertaining.
This is a series of one-shot comics, rather than a continuing storyline like the others, but they are very silly, sometimes dark, and probably hit closer to the bone in some cases than others might. They’re writing by a collective, who seem to have a lot of fun with the comics. Little doses of happiness.
Another series of one-shots, but they speak so much truth! Little snaps of situations we find ourselves in, but probably wouldn’t say. Like how in Canada, beards grow when you’re having fun…
The writers/artists are refreshingly honest too; the website quite proudly states that it us updated “every now and then…ish”.
5. Penny Arcade
Yeah yeah, everyone has heard of Penny Arcade, but this is a series that amuses me, so I am including it here. Aside from their incredible charity work, and convention running, they provide a platform for various video series, and their comic strip. Commenting on happenings in the geeky world news, the main characters are the guys behind the site, and they express their sometimes odd opinions in enjoyable ways.
I can count, really, but when talking webcomics I have to add this one in. It’s by a very talented artist who does astonishing renditions of my characters, Sarah ‘Neila’ Elkins. It is very much in its infancy at the moment, but I know what Sarah’s stories are like, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Who wouldn’t want to journey along with a robot who shares his mind with a spaceship?
Honourable MentionI really am pushing it now, but it would be remiss of me to mention comics and not mention the one that really is closest to my heart. Not a webcomic, but a serial since the 70s, it’s the one and only Hagar the Horrible. Because I swear to all gods above and below the earth Chris Browne is spying on my family to write these stories. My Da is Hagar, and I think that is pretty damned cool.
So… putting together a list of my top 5 webcomics; this was nigh-on impossible simply because I read hordes of them and there are so many great ones out there!
But I wanted to bring you something to tickle your fancy on Friday, so I put together a Team America-style montage where I searched deep within myself to decide on my list, so here is the countdown… please imagine some "Top of the Pops" style music in the back ground as you read this.
At number 5 it’s the story of everyone’s favourite lovable monster GRONK!, drawn by the queen of cute, Kate Cook. The story follows the adventures of Gronk, the little monster who just can’t be scary. She leaves her home and bumps into human Dale who adopts her – adorable adventures ensue etc etc. Making up the rest of the cast are big slobbery dog Harli and the cat, aptly named Kitty.
Coming in at 4 is Teahouse, a sumptuous Yaoi comic set in a brothel that remains really rather pretty. Everyone looks lovely and has lots of sexy sex…. It’s basically a dirty soap opera played out in comic form.
Lots of unrequited love, scary looking sex aids, lusting gazes towards people who are unattainable and a filthy Prince Charming who loves a bit of bumming all grace the pages. Obviously this one is very much NSFW.
This week’s number three is Jonbot vs Martha; this comic is a bit special because it has its own theme tune! The story, in a nutshell, is in the strip below, showing how the art takes very much a front seat in this title.
Jon, while being a robot, is also a bit of a cock, so this webcomic is about his journey to becoming a better man…or manbot. But he never seems to learn anything. It’s on hiatus at the moment and I really hope it comes back!
Just missing first place is Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether from comic heavyweights Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett. It’s a brilliant slice of pulpy goodness. It’s got pirates, cowboys, floating ships, gun fights, treasure maps, corsets and kick-ass ladies sword fighting. The artwork is bright, bold and engaging and the story had me hooked from the beginning. I just wish I had more of it!
And in at number 1 is JL8 by Yale Stewart, which puts the DC’s justice league in nappies and gives them mandatory afternoon nap time. This little webcomic is an utter joy to read, with the dynamic between mini Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne seeing me squee-ing at the pages on more than one occasion. The best bit is baby Bruce enjoying his solitary confinement after being given a time out – Christian Bale could learn a lot.
And there we are! Almost a dozen ways to start wasting the rest of your Friday weekend February! Which are your favourite webcomics? Share the love in the comments below...