This is my first post on my first attempt at writing a web log, or “blog”. This blog has a purpose, a theme. I’m interested in and a fan of web comics and here I will write reviews and opinions and links to interesting comics that I find on the web.
The current state of the classically printed comic strip is in a sad state. Newspapers have traditionally been the the main source of such pop art, but space is extremley limited and in most cases shrinking fast. While only a handful of artists ever really get printed in the coveted space of newspapers the content of their work is still subjected to editors’ whims of what is appropriate or funny.
Faced with the grim reality of the current state of the business behind comic strip publishing thousands of young and new artists are turning to the internet to get their work in front of a wide array of eyeballs, unfiltered and uncensured. Some are good, some are brilliant, most are unrefined and amateurish. But, unlike in the world of publishing, a great deal of experimentation with the medium is being done, risks are being taken, creativity is flourishing, all online.
So, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off my first post about web comics a mention of the man who is credited with launching this new art form into legitimacy. Scott McCloud is the author of Understanding Comics, a graphic novel exploration of the comics form. In 2000 Scott also wrote and drew the follow up book Reinventing Comics. He wrote about the potential of the web for displaying comic art in new and interesting ways the printed page simply couldn’t facilitate. His site currently has some of his latest web comic experiments available
Finally I can comment on something that takes up at lest 30 minutes of every morning. No matter one I am suppose to be doing when I join the other cattle in my cube farm I make sure to start off with visiting my favorites and then surfing the web for any new ones.
I can still remember the days when I would wake up Sunday mornings waiting to read the Sunday comics. Now a day such an experience will probably never happen again. When I open to the funny pages or skim through the articles for some political satire I find two kinds of strips. The first are the funny ones which I read 10 years ago. Take a look at the good ones, Foxtrot and Calvin & Hobbes are my favorite, and see how they are from 1994. All the rest are poor water down versions of boredom with not a single piece of wit unless it is stolen from the classics.
The answer to my dilemma has been the www. Once again I can find fresh new strips dedicated to an endless array of situations and people. These new artists draw or write anything they want and recently there has been an explosion of great ideas. The first hurdle they have to overcome is very similar to advent of TV news. With digital strips having been around for maybe 10 years it is hard to compare them with juggernauts that are Peanuts and Doonesbury. Let us not push them aside though as we all know that the nightly news is now considered just as prominent as the printed word.