I managed to spend two whole days at Anime Boston without seeing any anime at all. In fact, they should really retitle it Anime and Webcomics Boston, as there was a strong webcomics presence in Artists Alley and I saw some really interesting work. One of the highlights was chatting with artists J. Dee Dupuy and Dan Hess about their webcomics.
Dee was promoting her new webcomic, Singularity, which just started this weekend. 'It's a flat-out, no holds barred, no apologies made romance,' she said. 'It is absolutely the sweetest story. It is so far from OniKimono,' her comic on Wirepop.
Singularity is a romance between men, but Dee insists 'It's not yaoi. It doesn't have a lot of violence and angst. Well, it has a bit of angst.' And not a lot of sex, either; she says it's 'kind of all-ages. There might be a chaste little kiss.' Dee is the artist behind Singularity (under the nom de comic Rascal Paradyne); the writer, Kels Fritzman, wishes to remain anonymous, she said, because it's 'not their regular gig.' They plan to update on Fridays, and the comic is free.
You can find Dan's comics at his website, Venis Productions, and his four-panel comic Angel Moxie, which is complete, lives there. Dan recently finished cleaning and re-lettering Angel Moxie, and he has posted the original and improved strips on the same page. It makes a powerful argument for hand-lettering. Realms of Ishikaze is hosted on Wirepop, where it is updated on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
I hadn't really paid much attention to Wirepop, as the subscription model scared me off, but Dee and Dan say it's the best got the best interface there is, and current comics are free. The archives are what costs you, and even then, the fee is only $2.95 a month.
One of the best things about Wirepop, Dee adds, is that it's selective, so the comics hosted there are pretty good. In fact, Rivkah Greulich had a comic there and Svetlana Chmakova and Queenie Chan both have current comics on the site. 'For a while, Tokyopop was just hovering on the site,' Dee said, 'skimming off the cream.'
The group is a very loose collective. 'It's not like Girlamatic or Modern Tales, a community,' Dee said. 'Wirepop is just a bunch of people who happened to meet at the same time.'
'People who like to make manga and hope to get paid for it,' Dan added.