Monday, 24 July 2006

Busting up da flow: Combustible Orange

I'm not a real big fan of Penny Arcade and I don't think Becky and Ben from Combustible Orange are either. As for lyrical analysis: it looks like Tycho is going all 1992 west coast on us, the rhyme scheme is basic but the clothes are skankily wiggerlicious. The bling is pretty good though, if you're going to front on the bling you have to go hard or go home ( I mean, Flava Flav rocks his clock like a drunken telemarketer and everyone loves him.)

I really dig the clean design of the CO website and after the 'reboot' the linework has become more mature and the humour has become far more subtle. It's essentially a dig at the comic industry, thus, the Jhonen Vasquez piss-take was also pretty apposite (heh, stabbity stab!)

Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Does the bandage on the face mean he's a shit rapper like Nelly?

As an Australian I'm proud to see some antipodean influences on an American dominated internet. Anyway, it looks like there might be a new webcomic collective coming up! Koala Wallop is going to collect together a number of webcomics that I'm currently excited about.
It will contain webcomics such as:
Dresden Codak New surrealism and beautiful, evil science.
Perfect Stars Bitchy fashion and Wildean languor shouldn't work in a webcomic...but this does.
I am a rocket builder Really clever use of hyperlinks.

(Seriously, Nelly goes platimum or whatever and Bun B gets the consolation prizes? Make it stop...)

Dirty pixels: In the webcomic ghetto

Abstract: This is an examination of how a webcomic's popularity stems from its friends.

If you look at the structure of webcomics today it's clearly the smaller collectives that are the most visible,
Keenspot still continues to lumber on, dutifully creating a monochrome slather of unconnected webcomics. The boutique collectives such as Dumbrella, Boxcar, Blank Label and Dayfree Press, all band together, it's a team effort that pays off via goodwill.

A number of the more popular webcomics based on these collectives are the result of years of work, they're more established and they're the product of 'trainee strips', John Allison could only start on Scarygoround after Bobbins, really. The trainee strip isn't a conscious decision, the web-cartoonist merely moves on from it when they realise it is not flexible enough for their new ideas.

The first hundred strips are pretty tough for the web-cartoonist and sometimes painful for the reader, just look at the first unsophisticated 100 strips created in Questionable Content or Sam and Fuzzy. Persistence wins, If Bobbins started now in this new competitive environment do you think it would be as popular as SGR?

There's a whole skanky underbelly of unloved webcomics out there and sometimes I feel guilty for sticking to the comics created by the more experienced webcomic creators. I guess my 'discoveries' section is my way of assuaging my guilt. The collective webcomic critical consensus has already created a canon of webcomics and a number of webcomic in that canon are on the boutique collectives. I know they're dependable but I'm wondering how the next generation is going to get through the undergrowth.

Saturday, 15 July 2006

Elephants beware! Girly: Part one - The Sidekick

I copped this last week, it collects the first 122 Girly strip and gives them a thematic wholeness that you might not otherwise perceive. This is a good thing because Lesnick has always added a moral proportion to his characters and I guess Girly is his attempt to create something of emotional intensity after his 'trainee strip' Cute Wendy ended. He does chaos well and the fluid mangaesque style creates a comic that can easily move between joyous and sorrow in an eyeblink

Reading through these strips as a whole, one can see that there's also a sense of moral proportion underneath all the hijinks and japes. Aside from some additional art in the margins there aren't that many extras and at first it feels odd to read two strips per page but once you get over that,you'll be reminded why you fell in love with this hyperactive strip. If you're not a convert then this is a good way to get into a crazy adventure.
(and not in the juvenile Neo-Soul-coffeetable Gnarls Barkley style either) adventure.

Monday, 10 July 2006

Print/web comic crossover: Flight 1

Okay, perhaps I'm a little late here but I think that Flight 1 is perhaps one of the slickest print trade paperbacks I've read in some time. The paper is callandered really nice so the colour really shines through to create something fully shmik. It also got me back to looking at Kazu Kibuishi's Copper and I appreciate that. It's a fusion of print and web comics, Kibuishi has edited the collection and if not completely thematically in tune, it shows a sense of adventure that most comics don't possess. Ideas swirl around and there's no bog-standard fuckwit gamer comics here, just the fantastical and the magical.

Most of the artists have art-sites as opposed to webcomics or otherwise write strips intermittently. Interestingly, Scott Mccloud is also present as a mentor and isn't as pretentious as he usually seems. A good introduction to some talented artists that are somewhat unknown.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Sad without the Emo: Neilcomics

I recently discovered Neil comics and I think it's a good source for print comic gossip. Okay, maybe overall the archives might be a little small but I like the melancholic disposition displayed here. Most of Neil's comics are on Girlmatic and this is essentially a clearing house for news and gossip.

It's a little photo-heavy and is filled with industry chatter but I'm a convert because the stuff he did for Flight is pretty amazing. Look under
'Stories' for his comics, he makes up for the small amount produced by his sincerity.He's also pretty funny as well, the Sacco and Zetti stories are the visual equivalents of summer. Now, if only Jhnonen Vasquez were so upfront instead of putting up hack websites with no content.