Saturday, 30 June 2007

Waving not drowning: Mostly Water

I'll say it then, Journal webcomics are typically utter banal rubbish, well, yeah, okay, American Elf is perhaps an exception, but I like the attitude in this webcomic, even though it's all blogger hosted and primitive. It's the attitude that gets me. There's little flickers of surrealism here, little parts of everyday tragedy and even though in its introductory stages this is a fruitful exercise in everyday static.

Still, it's the usual bullshit, work, music, the way we miscommunicate and given some time this could be a little supplement to read when you need something a little more surreal than Malfunction Junction. This veers into the otherworldly and that's what keeps me reading this. This is hopefully going to be a good injection into the nervous system.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A politically incorrect eulogy: Nazi High

I can't show you any strips from this webcomic as the site as been disabled. In effect I'm writing a eulogy for this strip. It was pure silliness, it was juvenile chaos in mangaesque style and it was a worthy excursion from dense narratives of the genre webcomics I typically read. It had the same reboot system as Penny Arcade where the joke's the thing and nothing else mattered.

Nazi High was a politically incorrect strip, but then, frankly, most decent webcomics are. The beginning was rather primitive but as it moved into its stride creatively the artwork revealed a smooth sheen to accompany the sickness in the storyline. Only Hellbound has the same attitude towards viscous and vicious violence. One of the myriad of worthy webcomics that lie forgotten.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Updating and dating are overated: Voids

"I don't know if I love him or despise him; I just can't stand Death Cab for Cutie, that's why I left him, I couldn't take it anymore"
(Overheard in De Biers last Friday night, I swear to God!)

There's one webcomic I've forgotten, a worthy contender for Emo webcomic of the decade, I despise Emos, as an Australian i view them as a slightly uncouth version of an emu, lust hidden by noise and disease. Voids is a webcomic about the vagaries of existence, the secret love you foster, the Ipod failing, the cold winter's wind. Voids is a representation of Reaganomics, voids is the heartache you feel deep inside, Voids is the misplaced love you have for someone undeserving.

It's not a new strip, but it deserves attention, at first glance it's an indie comic transplanted onto the web, the stillness of lonely hipsterism surpasses Questionable Content, the lo-Fi existence is contained here, the zines in the box, the vinyl lying on the floor, the mispent youth with its needless pain, it's all here, the cruel joke you made to your best buddy when you're drunk.

The slow pace drew me in, the artwork is a certain ratio of random emotions contained within good minimalist linework. To be frank, it follows the a storyline out of nothing, just tangled relationships and quips and one-liners. This is the 21st century in all it's ambiguity and I'm glad a webcomic like this exists in the midst of all the furry bullshit and nerdcore fuckery.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Shattered glass: The broken Mirror

The Broken Mirror is a collaboration between Elanor Cooper and JJ Nas, the style here is of a long term project, it feels far more of a novel than a webcomic, the mixture of tragedy and hope is an adept feature rarely emphasized within the webcomic 'slice of life' fraternity.

The strip balances a near Impressionist use of shading to create an intensity and diversity of colour. I thought JJ Naas was a decent illustrator from Desert Rocks but the addition of colour and shade here are some of the more fully textured I've seen online.

The strip is segmented, the first section has an emphasis on loneliness and teenage alienation. The emotions here are raw, bullying and failed relationships, the little failures and breakdowns. This is offset by the Technicolor childhood shown, displaying a welcome dexterity in tone. I get the impression there will be a series of preludes to the main narrative - The characters have already been formulated and will slowly be unfurled into the main strand of the narrative. I always prefer a long term approach and Cooper is nothing if not ambitious in this attempt at true slice of life. Better ambition than the inane babble emanating from Keenspot.

This is not a genre strip, in effect it is an examination of life looking at the slow construction of existence. Where the plethora of slice of life/college/geek strips so common online deflect the mystery and boredom of human existence into manageable segments punctuated by gags. I know I typically rant on about the iniquities of the majority of webcomics available but it's webcomics such as The Broken Mirror that restore my faith in the medium. It's far too easy to escape into mere surrealism.

This is evidently a long-term project intended to be created in small sections of real time by using silence as punctuation, it allows a meandering 'camera' to follow someone resembles a film. Typically the very nature of the webcomic this affects any reading of any text, the narrative is broken up by the update schedule In order to get an audience it is far easier to aim for the gag strip, the recurring cliche, the flat characters within a storyline that can ultimately be accessed in any place in the archives. This strip is willing to be sometimes boring, willing to pace the narrative to get the right result.