04 January 2013

Web Comics of the moment

I read quite a few web comics, and have also been experimenting with the paid e-comic services such as Comixology and JManga, since I rarely buy the physical ones any more due to the immense amount of space they end up taking*.  JManga turned out to be not worth the money for me, both because their selection is full of sub-genres of manga I'm not interested in, but mainly because 90% of it is region-locked against icky Australians.

But the web comics are there for everyone.  It's always fascinating to watch them grow from their clunky, learning-to-draw beginnings (or swish, polished beginnings), so here's my current bookmarks for those who are looking to read online:
  • Candi.  Comic book artist in college.  You'd be surprised the number of web comics with this self-same concept!  This is 90% non SFF, but with a telepathic flying ferret and Vendetta Squirrels.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Delete.  Hey, I have to read at least _one_ gamer web comic.
  • Oglaf.  Severely, severely, totally NSFW.  But very funny.  [Loved this artist's previous work, Platinum Grit, and hope she finishes it one day.]
  • Goblins.  Funny, D&D from the POV of the monsters.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court.  While I think this story has lost some momentum in the latest book, it is still a very intriguing magic and strange tech story.
  • Plume.  Slowly releasing as a web comic, but also coming out in paper format (thanks to Kickstarter).  Stylish Old West and Artifacts of the Indiana Jones variety, with revenge theme.
  • the adventures of superhero girl.  It's tough trying to make it as a superhero in the shadow of your over-powered older brother.  [On hiatus at the moment, but presumably coming back eventually.]
  • Runewriters. Relatively recent, featuring a shapechanging runewriter, a deaf girl and a very grumpy magician.
  • Minor Acts of Heroism.  The super-powered children of super-heroes.
  • Not a Villain.  Post-apocalyptic plus virtual world game story.  One of my favourites of the moment.  Artist makes a joke of her relatively unpolished style by giving her character drawing skills which...need improvement.
  • Blue Milk Special.  The cynic's version of Star Wars.
  • Shadowbinders.  Another relatively young comic: an alternate world steampunk and magic story.
There are other webcomics I used to read but ended up fatigued by, such as Order of the Stick, MegaTokyo, and Penny Arcade (which I'd dropped before the dickwolves thing, and now couldn't be bothered with).  And there's Girl Geniusxkcd and Hark, a vagrant!, which all seem so widely read I don't think they need links.

Along with all these, I've been quite taken by Korean web comics lately.  Korean manga/manwha I've encountered in the past hasn't been to my taste, but the web comics seem to be an entirely different kettle of fish.  [The web comics have a hit-based income, so they fall into more of a grey area than reading pirated scanlations of paperborn work - just make sure to visit the original pages of new issues before reading any scanlations.  Still would be nice if there was a donation structure - I often donate to the Western web comics, but there's no mechanism for these except clicking at the moment.]

My two favourites are:

Tower of God.  A tower (where each level is basically a continent) which is said to grant wishes if you reach the top.  Much competition involved in getting there.  This is primarily the story of Baam, a boy born in darkness who wants only company.  With so many characters - plenty of interesting females - you're sure to hit on one you really like.  This is immensely detailed and multi-layered and fascinating.

Kubera.  Called "a story without villains" (which, given the wholesale slaughter, I'd say was debatable), it revolves around a girl named Kubera Leez, who has the 'name of a god' (and all the potential power that goes along with it).  She's entirely ignorant of that, though, and starts as a fairly standard 'inflated ditz who is strong' type, but is maturing interestingly (and the flashes of her tortured future self are interesting).  But the array of characters (gods, suras, humans, human mages, mixed-breeds) around her are fascinating, and most particularly Asha, the one-armed uber-mage who saves Kubera's life...but perhaps only to fulfil her plans for revenge.

So that's it for my current web comic roster.  Anything interesting to recommend back?
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* I have an entire bookcase of comics from back when I was collecting mainly Vertigo comics.  I really should do something with them - I know that my complete collection of the original Star Wars series is worth a fair bit.

8 comments:

  1. Hmmm let's see what do I read...

    "Full Frontal Nerdity" - which is a gamer comic revolving around 3 (well technically 4) guys who play DnD together who may or may not actually dislike one and another quite a bit and make lots of pop culture references. All the time.

    "A Distant Soil" - technically this WAS a print comic, that's been on hiatus since forever ago, that the creator put online as she restored the pages (over 1000pgs) to garner interest for when she finally is able to reprint the whole series (in better quality) and finish it off (supposedly a new issue is due out in April!). Space Opera where sexuality is flexible, family issues are world spanning, and pretty outfits are horrible people. Warning for language, nudity, same sex pairings and many mentions of the sexual deviancy of a people with god like powers.

    "New Adventures of Queen Victoria" - Using clipart, old images of Queen Victoria and her brood and paint the jolly ol'lady gets to hazard many fun adventures (like what IS the etiquette for serving tea to a terrorist on your birthday?)

    "The Dreamer" (by Lora Innes) - Girl may or may not be time traveling to the Revolutionary War era of America and may or may not be having a grand romance and may or may not be delusional as heck. Plus fairly accurate history! Mystery! Betrayal! I found this as a print comic and then continued with it online.

    "The Dreamland Chronicles" - Another one that I found as a print comic its done in a unique style--its all static images, but static images of 3-D models. Fantasy (possibly even High Fantasy given the High content of Elves and Pixies and Golems), one boy's imaginary adventures as a child turn out to be real life danger as an adult.

    As for non-american comics, almost all of mine have now been licensed domestically (Bride of the Water God, A Bride's Story, Nisekoi, Silver Spoon...) except for "7 Seeds" by Yumi Tamura. Its about several groups of survivors who awaken to an Earth centuries after a devastation. Its so much more then that, but revealing too many of the plot points ruins early reading (as the series gets more complex as it goes on).

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    1. I've read bits of A Distant Shore, follow Silver Spoon, used to follow A Bridge's Story and 7 Seeds. Never heard of many of these others. Thanks Lexie!

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    2. :) Considering I found a couple new ones thanks to your list seems fair made.

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  2. "Girl Genius" http://girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php Publishes MWF. Steampunk. Graphics the best I have seen on the web.

    "Schlock Mercenary" http://www.schlockmercenary.com/ The adventures of an amorphous carbo-silicate mercenary in Tagon's Toughs.

    "Dilbert" http://dilbert.com/ Gotta see the panel for 04 Jan 2013.

    "Non Sequitur" http://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/nonsequitur/ Danae's stuffed toy horse speaks, so that qualifies as fantasy, right?

    "Freefall" http://freefall.purrsia.com/ The misadventures of Sam Starfall, a nonhuman something-or-other. We don't know what.

    "Freier Fall" (Freefall auf Deutsch bis Episode 568) http://www.glasswings.com.au/comics/freefall.de/index.htm

    "Pearls Before Swine" http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine Not SFF but very good.

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    1. I get the Non Sequitur desk calendar each year. :)

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  3. too early to say, but divine bells is shaping up to be interesting.

    have you followed all the side stuff from kubera, like the short story betw. season 1 and 2?

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    1. The Finite? Yes, I read summaries of that. Will check out Divine Bells. :)

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  4. You should definitely check out lackadaisycats.com, avasdemon.com, and thefoxsister.com. All three have fairly short archives and great artwork and writing.

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