Friday Five Feed

Friday Five: 5 Wonderful Webcomics Now in Print (And They Say That Print Is Dead!)

Ellerbisms-13Say hi to Jamie, who is leading us through the wicked world of webcomics...

Webcomics, they’re a tricky beast.

The spiritual successors to daily newspaper strips, given the entire scope and resources of the World Wide Web in which to spread their wings. Just keeping up with a tiny fraction of what’s available can amount to a full time job and, for luddites like me, they represent a unique problem: I want to read them, but books are just so darn nice!

Luckily, some very nice people (publishers, mostly) have collected some of top webcomics into print editions. Here are five of my favourites:

Ellerbisms by Marc Ellerby (published by Great Beast) 

Ellerbisms came out in 2012, but the comic itself began way back in 2007 and charts Marc Ellerby’s own life, specifically his relationship with Anna: the girl he never thought he could have, then had and ultimately lost. Autobiography is a common genre for webcomics, the daily, or near-daily, nature of them being a great way to chart day-to-day experience. What sets Ellerbisms apart is the charming honesty of its warts-and-all storytelling. Ellerby himself is not always the hero here, but that doesn’t mean he’s the villain. There are no villains in this story, there’s just life. This honest account is tied together by Ellerby’s disarmingly simplistic artwork: simple lines construct amazingly expressive faces, with quirked eyebrows and slight frowns saying so much more than words could, the art belying the raw emotional punch this comic carries.

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Five for 2015: 5 Signs of the Animal Apocalypse

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Today's post is from Special Operative Fleur, who is serving in the front line in the battle against furry armageddon. We have only ever known war. /eats bacon sandwich

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One of my favourite film scenes has always been the battle scene in the cartoon version of Animal Farm (1954). Goats being camouflaged as walls, geese ambushing people from haystacks and donkeys kicking people in the face – it's great. I'm a bleeding heart pacifist, war films bore me and you couldn't pay me enough to go paintballing, but there's something about animals reigning terror on man that makes me very happy. 

Animals have always challenged the rule of man, but in 2015 they escalated hostilities. Tell your family you love them, go out and stock up on catnip, and prepare for the animal apocalypse.

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Five for 2015: 5 Great Games of the Year

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With the new generation of consoles finally coming into their own this year, it's been a great 12 months for blockbuster games. Here's the five which gave me the most fun - and in return, I've given them good write-ups. It's actually about ethics in end-of-the-year listicles.

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Five for 2015: 5 Shining Social Media Moments

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This week's guest is author Kim Curran, helping us end the year with a bang! Take it away, Kim...

2015 has, in many ways, been goddamn awful. Just an endless barrage of humans being utterly shit to each other. Quite often social media is criticised for bringing out the worst in people, of stoking the already ravenous fires of hatred and fear. Studies have shown angry posts spread the fastest across social channels and we all know there’s something about the anonymity offered by the internet that turns even reasonable people into trolls. And then there’s the smuggery. Oh, god, the smuggery.

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Friday Five: 5 Gifts You Can Give Everyone

It's the holiday season, a time of warmth and joy for many of us - but not all. If you don't already make annual donations to your favourite charities, this year is a great time to begin - it doesn't have to be much, because truly every little bit can help. If you don't know where to start, here are a few suggestions.
 
Please post more in the comments.

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Friday Fifteen: 15 Great and Bookish Gifts for the Holidays

Crime WritersTis the season! What follows are fifteen bookish things that make lovely gifts. Books that are more than their (very good) text, but are also pleasing to the eye, charming on the shelf, and even have a wee bit of distinction about them. A signature, a slipcase - maybe even a bookplate or two: all help make excellent books into extraordinary presents.

(And, also, as always - we're not paid, we're not prompted and we don't take affiliate links, etc. etc. These recommendations are from the heart, not the wallet.)

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For lovers of crime and the classics, Sarah Weinman has carefully edited the spectacular Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s and 1950s. This is an absolutely gorgeous boxed set from the Library of America, containing recognisable writers such as Patricia Highsmith and also lost (brilliant) authors such as Margaret Millar. 

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Friday Five: 5 superheroes I want on my football team

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Right, my actual football team and my fantasy football team both suck this year, so I need some sort of distraction. Which means - naturally - trying to think of which superheroes would make the best football players. 

The rules, because what's the point of thinking about this unless you overthink it?

  • No weapons or external 'bits'. So surfboards, repulser beams, grenade launchers - out. Armor is ok, because that's on you, but you can't use it to shoot stuff from your hands or whatever. Natural defenses - claws and teeth - are fine.
  • No pulling in stuff from off the field. (Also known as the 'Magneto Rule'.) You can't use your powers to bring on bleachers or chairs or passing 747s or anything like that.
  • You have to fit on the field. So Galactus is out, and the all-Celestials defensive line is a no-go.
  • Flight is ok, but the rules of football apply. You have to land with feet inbounds, etc.
  • I think that's it. Further rules may apply when I think of them.

With no further ado, presenting five members of my imaginary team...

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