Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Comic Depression

For the longest time - about as long as I can remember being aware of the art form - I have wanted to be a part of the team that writes a webcomic. The first reason is pure arrogance: I often want to do things right that I see done wrong. Actually, this can get really frustrating when I experience something that has maybe, the smallest seed of quality and I find myself obsessing over how I'd do it, and how I'd make it good. A lot of webcomics... well, they're clearly written by artists who think they can write, rather than writers who think they can draw (the latter, when I have to choose between the two, is the one that I prefer).

The second reason is that I love dialog, I love character development, and I love plots. While I have a good visual imagination and like deciding on the appearances of things, it isn't my favorite thing to do. Frankly, I get stressed out trying to figure out how often to reincorporate so-and-so's appearance, such-and-such's smell, the fact that what's-her-bucket has a pet weasel-hawk.

So basically, writing a webcomic means that I get to do just all the fun stuff and none of the less fun stuff? And also it's serialized, long-running, and full of potential? What's not to love? You'll notice that I don't want to get a job in the comics industry, and that' because I do like writing descriptions. I'd feel incomplete if all I did was plot character arcs and write dialog. But, as a project, as something to do (along with everything else I do) it'd be... glorious.

Despite my rather arrogant and cynical description of the webcomicist's art above, I do read a number of truly wonderful webcomics:

  • Collar6: It's ridiculous, it's absurdly kinky, and the setting seems like an absurd mix of a modern version of Exalted and a bondage fantasy... but I like it. Take from that what you may.
  • Digger: The comic's own tagline says it best: "a wombat, a dead god, a most peculiar epic." I remember wanting to read this one back when it was on a pay site, and how happy I was when it finally went free.
  • Drowtales: I've been meaning to write a longer ode to this comic, which actually has done a great deal to cure my elf rage. Seriously.
  • Girl Genius: Does anyone not read Girl Genius? Really?
  • Keychain of Creation: Like ORder of the Stick, but younger and for Exalted.
  • MythAdventures: The team behind Girl Genius, bringing Robert Aspirin's creation to the screen. Top quality stuff.
  • Order of the Stick: Rich Burlew's gently mocking presentation of a D&D-themed fantasy world is practically required reading for fantasy gamers everywhere. This story manages to oscillate perfectly between humor and drama, with real characters, really developing, in a hillarious and absurd world.

Unfortunately, I have never made the acquaintance of my opposite number - an artist with lots of time on his or her hands, eager to bring my mindchilds to life.

But some day. Someday...

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