There is a comic out here on our vast internet that has secured a fond place in my heart, but yet fallen to the way side of many web comic discussions. I am referring to Blank Label’s, Ugly Hill by Paul Southworth. In his strip Mr. Southworth has created a loveable cast of characters in a familiar made up world where all the basic rules of our own apply. The format he has chosen is that of a standard gag strip three to Five panels long (horizontally). All Strips are drawn with just the right amount of detail and design for the level of seriousness he attempts to achieve, and each of these strips is colorized equally tastefully. The character designs show that Mr. Southworth has a working (if not strong) knowledge of form and consistency so that we can imagine each character at any angle after only seeing them in one or two. The gags themselves are cute and at times poignant without falling to the realm of preachy or stuffy.
Recently (May 23rd) Mr. Southworth announced in his blog that he had reached the one-year milestone of posting his strip (one year and six months of actually drawing it though), and judging by the looks of things he has several years left in him and his characters. I know that for many sites, a year or several years is hardly a milestone, but in my own eyes (particularly knowing my own difficulties with it) maintaining a steady strip with few or no slip ups for the time of one year is quite a feat.
As our dear Daku the Rogue (and our own eyes) have shown us, comics here on the internet sometimes die. The good ones and the bad ones for whatever reason have bent harshly or even folded under the rigors of Regular Strip Vs. Life. It saddens us all when a bit of entertaining nonsense leaves us, myself particularly. (I’m still crying about Drew Weing’s Journal Comic.) So it’s refreshing to know that there are some fledgling strips of high quality that have gone a good distance and look as though they can venture even further.
Kudos to you Mr. Southworth. I love your strip, and I’m so happy you could share it with us for as long as you have. I hope you have many more years of Ugly Hill to come.
For those of you who have not read or never heard of it, I urge you to go now and take a look. It’s nice and I’m sure you won’t regret seeing it. If you like it enough, his first book “Eyes of Liquid Rage” is on sale now at LuLu.com.