How Mary Worth Beat Superman

Anyone on the street will tell you that “comics” mean “superhero comics.” With the rise of Batman, Captain America and the Avengers from the back of the dingily-lit comic store, to the summer blockbuster every year (forever) that person on the street might even be able to tell you everything about their favourite Hero, without ever having seen a comic book.

By Yale Stewart – JL8 #2

Online, it’s a different matter. Sure, superhero webcomics exist, but how many of them do you see in a given ‘Top 10″ or ‘best of‘ list? How many of them do you read?

Not many – because Superhero comics lack something special, something integral to digital success: something comics like Mary Worth figured out a long time ago. Continue reading

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Queer Eye for the Comics Guy

If you’ve been on Netflix during February, you’ve probably noticed the revival of the early noughties classic Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – Netflix’s own Queer Eye has been getting a ton of praise from critics and audiences alike and seems well on track to be a lasting hit.

The show is notable for taking the Queer-positive message of the original series and updating it for the modern era: whereas the initial Queer Eye aimed to bring LGBTQI issues into the spotlight in a manner never seen before on TV, the modern incarnation is focused on normalising this presence and reinforcing positive attitudes in both the episode’s subjects and viewers.
Of course, this campaign has also long been a feature of webcomics: some of the greatest comic art on the web has either been created by LGBTQI artists/writers, and the themes of acceptance and tolerance, and deep explorations of sexuality and gender are common on the digital page. Below are only a few examples amongst dozens of webcomics which have elegantly and eloquently presented these issues to their audiences. Continue reading

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Questioning Content – Maxwell’s Demons and Alice Grove

Longtime fans of Jeph Jacques’ webcomic Questionable Content may have noticed the comic has taken a bit of a turn in recent years. What once used to be a story about a group of predominantly 20-somethings, their relationships and the indie music scene of middle America has become, in Jeph’s own words, “a comic about robots that want to kiss.”

So it’s no surprise that when Jeph started his new webcomic Alice Grove back in 2014, it quickly became a story focused around sci-fi themes as well. So far those themes have included everything from your everyday, run-of-the-mill AI uprisings and man-made nanotech, to spaceships, aliens (both pretend and real), and giant floating space trees. But since the comic’s earliest pages, the reader has been left with the question of how the titular town witch, Alice – and in particular, her abilities – fit into these overall themes. Until now. But although the descriptor of ‘demon’ might seem to fit the town witch we have got to know over the past few years, what exactly is a “Maxwell’s Demon” and how does it play into the overall theme of the comic? Continue reading

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Digital Strips Podcast 257 – Book Club – Order of the Stick – 4th Edition

The Disney Princesses, not excepting Mulan, of courseDo you, our valued listeners, believe it is ok for Steve to have a strong interest in the goings-on of the world of Disney princesses? Neither do I, and that argument is the crux of our first segment. Oh, and Steve is nice enough to keep us relatively on track with a comic recommendation as well:

We also squeak in a few news items before lacing up for the Book Club brawl:

Alright, it’s time for the fight. What better fight anthem to roll us into the fracas than the theme to Mortal Kombat 3, remixed by The Dual Dragon (Mortal Konfrontation, 11:15). Of course, if you want to just get back to the action, the second segment starts at 12:52.

If you’ve been checking out this Book Club, you know that Steve is the veteran with Order of the Stick and also the bigger fan of the two of us. I am excited to finally be reading this long-running, very popular webcomic for myself, if only to form my opinion about it based on actually experiencing the story. That said, Steve and I rarely agree on anything this comic does, which makes for an interesting conversation. Listen in, won’t you?

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Webcomic Interview Round-Up

RoundupBecause really, what else should a write-up like this be called?

Kate Beaton talks to Newsarama for a 2-part series (Part 1, Part 2)

The Boston Globe talks with Jeph Jacques, Jeffery Rowland, Rich Stevens, Randy Milholland,  and Michael Terracciano about the business of webcomics

At CBR, Talkin’ Comics with Tim sits down with Canaan Grall

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