From Pictures to Prose

Webcomic authors are creative people – who can’t always be constrained by the number of words one can fit into a comic panel.

Although Lord knows the constraints haven’t stopped a creator or two from time to time (Rich Burlew, Order of the Stick #282)

As they grate to narrate, more than one webcomic artist has dabbled in the time-honoured practice of the novel – not only for collections of their comics, but for fully-fleshed works of fiction or non-fiction that either tie into their webcomics worlds, or even stand fully apart. Today, we’re going to look at a few webcomic writers who’ve crossed the comic page’s gutters and tested the idiom that a picture is worth… well, you get it!

Ryan North’s ‘How To Invent Everything’

Ryan North, best known to webcomic fans for his long-running Dinosaur Comics, is in no danger of extinction himself should he be thrust back to the time of Pteranodons! In September 2018, Ryan released his comprehensive guidebook: How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler. Here, North brings his long history with science, maths and philosophical thought together in a quirky and informative step-by-step instructional on what it would take to build modern society from the ground up.

Kelly and Zack Wienersmith’s ‘Soonish’

Moving from the past to the future, Zach Wienersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal fame partnered up with—appropriately—his partner, the scientifically-brilliant Kelly Wienersmith to look ahead at the emerging technology we can expect to arrive… ‘Soonish. This book has both the potential to be thrilling or terrifying, depending on how you feel about working for an actual robot boss on your near-orbiting asteroid…

The many works of Ursula Vernon / ‘T. Kingfisher’

Usula Vernon, who’s epic Ballad of the One-Way Hole (“Digger“) first came to the attention of the podcast way back in 2014, has had a long and successful career in prose as well as pictures. Writing under the Nom de Plume of ‘T. Kingfisher’ so that… well, Vernon says it best:

In order to never again have that horrific experience where I find myself running in slow motion across a library crying “Noooooooooo…!” as the well-meaning librarian hands a seven-year-old boy a copy of The One Book With The Torture Scene, I write for adults these days under the pen-name T. Kingfisher. It’s just easier for everybody, particularly for my nerves.

Ursula Vernon, on writing books for adults

Vernon has been prolific, with eleven adult novels and NINETEEN books for children under her belt; far too many to list, but you can find links to them here!

Do you have a favourite webcomic author who has written a novel? We’re always looking for the next good read over here, so be sure to leave us a note in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter so we can check it out! And until next time, always remember: don’t eat the clickbait!


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