As the sun sets on 2017, we thought it would be a great time to look back across the year of webcomics we’ve had here at Digital Strips and highlight what we loved, what we didn’t get to keep up with (although we wanted to) and what we’re going to be watching closely in 2018.
To kick things off, let’s talk about the comics we thought were (particularly) great this year:
This slice-of life comic by Anthony Holden, covering the shenanigans his family of six gets up to on an everyday basis, was first brought up by Steve in Episode 474 of the podcast, way back in March. The comic has been hitting solidly since then, delivering a signature mix of the adorable and the hilarious; Holden’s style and the sheer physical presence of his characters make this a visual treat in addition to the hilarity of the writing and situations, which had us all laughing out loud at one time or another.
If you’re like Jason, and you hate cats and all they represent then you might like to be reminded of this deep-seated loathing each Friday with Tom Fonder‘s peculiar cartoon about a terrible, terrible cat (in human form). Picture the worst traits of your least favourite feline and the type of boss who casually asks you to put in a full Saturday of unpaid overtime combined in a single creature and you’ll get the gist of this comic. First mentioned in the podcast back in Episode 473, this has also been kicking goals all year, and continues to bring the funny.
In a blog post back in May, we highlighted this love story revolving around the characters of the Zelda series for it’s unique melodrama and soap-operaesque storytelling. Since then, this webcomic has become and remained one of my guilty pleasures – with faaaar more pleasure than guilt. With its absolutely gorgeous art, attention to small details of the (many) video games’ lore and exploration of the growing romance between the comic’s main characters (and the familial relationship with the young girl Rinko), this comic earns my own pick for favourite amongst those I’ve stumbled across in the past year.
But with the year passing behind us, we find ourselves looking to the future and the wealth of webcomics still before us. Here’s a small taste of what we’re looking forward to reading for the podcast and the blog in the year to come:
This often-irreverent gag-a-day comic by “Cale” has been on the DS radar for a little while now – back in May, our blog post “Webcomics – for all or for some?” linked to a post Cale had put on his own website discussing ways creators can make their webcomics more accessible to blind readers. In 2018, Steve and Jason are bringing their collective expertise to the comic itself as part of the main DS show, so look forward to hearing their thoughts and perspective!
This phenomenal online manga by Shilin Huang might be better known to some of you by its previous title of “Blackbird,” by which it was known for nearly six years. Covered by Steve and Jason as part of Episode 379, in October 2014, we’re revisiting this comic for the blog in early 2018 to talk about magic systems, worldbuilding and expressing a depth of history in a fictional world.
Finally, we want to give a special mention to two comics that we really meant to keep up with over the past year, but for one reason or another… we forgot. The first is The Middle Age by Steve Conley – this comic was highlighted in Episode 482 of the podcast and was missed by Jason in particular when he realised he had forgotten to keep up with it throughout the year. The second is one of my own forgetful regrets, and that is Kelly Turnbull‘s Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. This comic is always gold, and the only consolation I get from realising I forgot to keep up with it all year is the fact that I have dozens of updates to binge on in the new year!
So that’s a snapshot of 2017 and the Digital Strips that we enjoyed and are looking forward to in 2018. What were the comics you discovered in 2017 that made the whole year worthwhile? Did any of the comics highlighted by the podcast this year resonate with you and turn you into a regular reader? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below or on Twitter, and – until 2018 – remember: don’t eat the clickbait!