What do you get for the person who has everything? Great webcomics! Jason discovered the precocious adorableness of Sedna and brings news of new Gastrophobia comics, while Steve finds out that his co-host still doesn’t quite get Order of the Stick and falls in love with his first magical girls story, Sleepless Domain, all over again. It’s the most wonderful podcast of the year!
What a year 2018 was for Digital Strips! With dozens of new and returning Webcomics featured in the show, and of course the massive milestone of hitting FIVE HUNDRED EPISODES in March of last year, it has been a long, loving look at this medium which only continues to get better and better.
As Steve and Jason highlighted in their 2018 retrospective podcast last week, many of those dozens of Webcomics were particular standouts, with several making it to our fearless hosts’ personal pull lists and others eliciting vows to return and catch up on their ever-growing backlogs. Some, like Mary Cagle’s ‘Sleepless Domain’, have even reinvigorated the show’s very obsession with comics on the web.
Likewise, the DS Blog crew (okay, it’s just me) has been following the recommendations of the show, finding Webcomics of our own to read and examine, and fall in love with. Today, we’re going to look at a few of the Webcomics that topped our lists for 2018, and some that we can’t wait to follow into this new year.
The aforementioned comic by Mary Cagle was Steve’s pick for 2018, being exactly what he was looking for to reinvest himself into the world of Webcomics and all it can offer!
Don’t let the title of this one fool you! Katie Cook’s (yes, cutesy) brilliant webcomic about a young girl who turns out to be quite special indeed, you’ll also be hooked by the comic’s brilliant and engaging style, writing, and characters.
Steve McCranie’s interstellar epic was high on Steve and Jason’s watch list throughout 2018—and mine, too! I’ve kept up with this one every week through 2018, and next to one I’ll mention later was the breakout favourite of the year. Go read it, it’s great!
Although it hasn’t updated as much recently, owing to the creator (Dan Martin) working to turn the comic into an RPG video game (yes, really!), this was another standout for Jason who enjoyed its sharp humour, clever writing and well-executed punchlines.
A Problem Like Jamal
One of Steve’s picks for the year, this webcomic by Tauhid Bondia made it to the top of his list due to it’s excellent exploration of important themes and it’s unique perspectives.
Although this one didn’t make Jason’s list, it sure made Steve’s and Mine! Another which I have kept up with through to the present, this story by Boredman about the four horsemen of the apocalypse (and, lately, what became of their horses after their ‘retirement’) is a well-crafted read with an excellent visual style.
The Sword Interval
Although the podcast crew noted it way back in 2016, this crossed my own radar for the first time last year, and ties Space Boy for top spot on my personal 2018 list. Ben Fleuter’s tale of humanity’s struggle for life amidst a post-apocalyptic magical and monstrous dystopia is just incredible, and is certain to be the subject of one or more worldbuilding articles here on the site in 2019.
Tales of the Unusual
Still recently on my mind after Halloween, Seongdae Oh’s creepy series of short comics makes my top list for 2018 due to the sheer pants-dampening discomfort it brought me when I CONSUMED it’s archives! Seongdae has great skill at building tension, even through the language barriers of translation, and his art style is creepy as heck to boot.
So there you have it! The not-quite-exhaustive list of our top Webcomics for 2018. Were there any mentioned on the podcast or the Blog that you’ve been keeping up with? How does your own personal list stack up to the one we have here? We’d love you to drop a note here in the comments and tell us—or you can always reach us on Twitter or on the Facebook Page. Until next time, here’s looking to a bright 2019 full of Webcomics and many, many hours illuminated by our screens. And while you’re reading, remember—don’t eat the clickbait!
And just in time, too – with October winding down, we’re getting closer and closer to that time of year where Webcomics and their creators take on the dark powers of the night to theme all webcomic things Halloween.
In fact, if you’re on Twitter, you might already have noticed one of the October trends that have remained part of the webcomics landscape since the practice began back in 2013: Halloween-themed name changes.
It didn’t take long for the trend, which started across various writer and celebrity accounts in the first week of October 2013 then gained popularity following the #SpookyCelebs game on that year’s All Hallow’s Eve, to spread into the Webcomics community. Creators such as Jeph Jacques and David Malki jumped in early (and are still in the game) and were joined by a growing host of others that have continued to make Webcomic Twitter a spooky place each October.
Whilst the practice still spreads across a number of other Twitter communities – such as the aforementioned writers and celebrities – Webcomics have the distinct advantage of their art to help differentiate their changes from others’. Many creators have taken to updating not only their names for October but also their profile pictures and colour themes to give off just the right spoooooky vibes!
Below, we’ve compiled thirteen (ooooh!) accounts which are still playing along five years later for you to check out and follow – Have you or your favourite creators spookified your Twitter names this year? Continue reading
Not content to just talk about comics on the web, this episode features some digital books about comics on the web. So meta! Or something. Enjoy talk about Launch Party (formerly on Kickstarter) and Hit Reblog (now on Comixology) and then hear about a new comic coming from the Brothers Weiner as well as a look at Mary Cagle’s Sleepless Domain, a comic that takes some interesting twists and risks that you won’t be expecting (unless you’re spoiled by this episode, so be warned!).
We’re solving mysteries, gumshoes! Like, what happens when DS Alumnus Brigid Alverson interviews John Allison? Will Steve and Jason finally contribute to a Patreon thanks to Adam Huber’s Sunday comics plans? Will Steve cry about the ending of Let’s Speak English? And will anyone else care about Jason’s gripes concerning Binwin’s Minions? The answers are here, find them if you dare!
Celebrate Shark Week like it’s Shark Week because it SHOULD be Shark Week (thanks, Katy Perry)! After a brief Super Bowl recap, we check in with Hypersonic Music Club by Hiroyuki Takahashi and Patrick Macias and Let’s Speak English by Mary Cagle. Then, we dive into a couple of new-ish comics with Kat Swenski’s Behind the GIFs and a new take on a classic; Ultimate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nick Arganbright and Eryck Webb.
The midshow music is provided by Rob Gasser.