Ok. Everyone is preparing for ALA, but I have something I also want to share with you, the fine readers of YALSA Blog: Comics.
I recently created a pathfinder for Comics for one of my classes, which helped motivate me to write this post.
Webcomics started in the late 90’s with Sluggy Freelance, PVP, Penny Arcade, Its Walky, Mac Hall, and Megatokyo. These comics and many others made this style popular. Now there are over 6,000 comics online. These aren’t the regular newspapers cartoons either. Many had taken the infinite space available on the web and used it for stunning effect. One example is Once Upon a Table’s 500th Strip. The comics generally deal with topics relevant to gamers, and college students. Many use a more Manga art style. Since it is easy to read a comic you miss, many of these comics are serial. For more webcomic history read T. Campbell’s History of Webcomics.
It’s important to know about webcomics, because many are now being translated to graphic novels. For the more serialized comics, it is easier to read in a book format, because turning a page is faster than loading a webpage. Just like video games, these are culturally significant. Many deal with modern issues in a fantasy setting, and most of the artists keep a blog on the main page, where they can communicate with the readers. Two of the biggest holidays in webcomics is April Fools and Halloween. These two days artist do anything and everything they can think of to confuse the readers, from dressing the characters in others clothing/drawing different styles to posting fake legal papers on the blog.
One of the more popular comics is Dominic Deegan. The creator, Mookie, now updates everyday with color Sundays. A year ago he left his day time job, to focus primarily on the comic, and increased from a M-F schedule. He rarely misses an update without posting notice on the main page. Sometimes when he’s at a conference he will post filler art or have a fellow artist fill in.
Dominic Deegan has a very active fan community, but that’s true for most webcomics. For two years the comic was hosted on Keenspot, with free forums. The comic is hosted on a different server now, but the forums are still active. Every day fans will stay up until the wee hours of the morning to catch the comic, and be the first one to start the thread about it. Also the forums are used to have contests related to the comic. I hosted a trivia contest once, and There is a very popular caption contest(one entry). For complete oddness there is a word continuation thread that is active off and on. The forums are also used for general chatter. When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released people posted their progress in the book, and held discussions about the ending.
On Mookie’s site he has a link to a new comic that is just staring, and an entire page dedicated to the fan art. The fan art ranges from re-drawn characters, to colored strips, to new comics featuring the characters or the creator.
Dominic Deegan is a special webcomic, because in addition to using many puns, Mookie focuses on telling a story. Each year he hosts a panel at Anime Boston titled Writing Unique Heroes & Memorable Villains. His first storylines deal with a lonely Seer, who lives with his talking cat in the town Lynn’s Brook. He works as the towns seer answering those important questions of “Where are my house keys?”, “Why does it hurt every time I touch my face, arm, and leg?” by the townspeople, and the most important question “When will I be feed?” by the cat.
Soon Dominic has his door ripped off (literally) by a knight, and cursed with “Fish Falls on your head every time you smoke” curse. From there his adventures progressed, as the creator dealt with more controversial topics including rape.
posted by Jami Schwarzwalder