Posts tagged webcomic
Issue: No More Heroes #1
Release Date: March 2012
Writer: Gordon Mclean
Artist: Caio Oliveira
Colorist: Goran Kostadinoski
Letterer: Kel Nuttal
When I was approached to review this comic, the premise instantly appealed to me. I’m a big fan of superheroes, even moreso when they’re flawed in some capacity. In No More Heroes there’s a lot of flawed characters. First you’ve got Dark Justice, whose death kicks off the whole thing. A random nobody, Sid, gets a text message asking whether the mysterious person on the other end should commit suicide. Thinking it’s a joke, and egged on by his buddies, he says yes. Turns out, the superhero Dark Justice was on the other end of the phone. Thus begins the heavy weight that Sid has to carry. Did he really convince a superhero to die? The truth isn’t so straightforward. He gets tangled up with Dark Justice’s unnamed sidekick, who has gone off the rails after his boss’ death, and Jack Slaughter, a lowlife who is actually at fault for the death of the hero. The storyline is just beginning and we will have to wait and see how deep Sid gets pulled into it.
For a beginning comic, this was actually done quite well. I wasn’t a fan of the few times the panels were colored, which is surprising to me since I tend to prefer color comics over the stark nature of black and white. However, the simplicity of the color absence helps to heighten the storyline for me. And it is a simple storyline, though not simplistic. For almost the entire first half the plot is carried mostly by action rather than dialogue. That’s a sign of good visual storytelling and one that will serve the creators as they embark on a future in the industry. There were some rough spots, such as the diner scene. Focusing on the mouth seemed to be wasted space to me. The panels are better expressed when layering is present. And the dialogue, in certain scenes, was not as smooth as it could have been. That doesn’t endear it to a more mainstream audience, but since it’s targeted toward the independent comic industry the standards are a bit more lax. Despite these rough-around-the-edges bits, the overall comic has potential and I’m interested to see where the storyline goes.
Check out more on this four-issue arc at the official website and keep tabs on these creators. I think they have a positive future in the comic industry.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Convention season has been getting rather hectic as of late. Personal issues and business aside, I have wanted to review some webcomics, and as I stated in my last post, I am going to do it.
That said, onward. The first comic I’m reviewing is Riot Nrrd, a comic that is not only a joy for me to read, but one that should prove more than enjoyable to all Nerds out there in Babeland.
Riot Nrrd is the creation of R.J. Edwards, a self-professed nerd who likes to geek out about subjects such as anthropology, linguistics and of course webcomics. The story is focused on a small group of college-aged geek girls from all walks of life, sexual preferences and identities. Edwards states that her comic is aimed at nerds from many walks of life and geekiness, and the prejudices they might face, be it from a disability, race, sexual identity or even fat phobias. While the story focuses on the romantic relationships, friendships and all the awkward and comic moments therein, she also highlights the different levels of geekiness each of the characters have, be it one’s first introduction to the boffer LARP lifestyle, to the planned webcomic featuring female superheroes that are not of the typical swimsuit model variety featured in DC or Marvel comic book titles, but genetically altered and powered roller derby players. What is not to love about that?
Edwards shows a cool angle on how the various fandoms and geekdoms develop in a character. My favorite example of this, as well as the strip that made me into a fangirl myself, is “The Metaphorical Puppyverse” where a main character, Wren, compares following favored television series to owning a house full of active and messy puppies. With the number of TV reviews on this and other sites, fans as well as blog readers and contributors alike can relate!
The artwork is done in Photoshop save for the first two strips that were made using the GIMP program. Cute and very linear, the style reminds me of the art in “Dr. Katz” at first glance. Reading onward, I saw that each character is very distinct, giving the story more realism and credibility.
This is a slice of life comic with a geeky twist, but what sets Riot Nrrd apart from other geek stories are the different races, ages, sexual identities, sizes and disabilities of the characters along with the prejudices they may encounter from time to time in the course of their lives and friendships. All the same, these characters are very likeable and very real geeks, the kind of geeks and people we would definitely hang out with if our paths were to cross!
You have your web comic opus ready to upload and publish to the world. You’ve decided on the web space you’re going to utilize to get it out there.
You’ve uploaded and published. Now what?
The World Wide Web these days is what it sounds like. World wide, and very highly populated. Now that your comic is out there, how do you wish to promote it if you want to go that route.
There is nothing wrong with starting small. Tell your friends, be it via word of mouth, or even through your favorite online community or social networking site. Even if you don’t like Facebook invites, and I often don’t in excess, don’t be afraid to make a page for your comic and invite friends to join. Some may recommend it to others. In that vein, you can also put a small button to ‘like’ the comic, but it would only take the reader to the Facebook page.
Join like-minded communities and forums online. Accounts are usually free, and you can promote, and even learn a few things through online discussion. I’d advise against too much promotion of your own work if it detracts from a different topic or just as basic netiquette. Some are ranking sites, such as The Webcomic List and Top Webcomics where comics are judged by member votes or by site hits. Some will allow members to become featured comics for a small fee. It’s worth looking into if you want a little extra exposure starting out. There are web comic groups on Facebook among other social networking sites or the option create one yourself as well.
With convention season starting for me tomorrow at Genericon, I have to point out that people like to see a face with the artist. Go to Comic and Anime conventions in your area. Depending on the event and venue, purchasing table space is not too cumbersome. If you want to cut costs and start out small, attend smaller conventions, many of which originated and grew from college anime clubs. In some cases, registration is included with your table space, and inexpensive at the smaller venues. One thing I’ve noticed at Genericon and conventions like it is a very relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. From there, you might to venture to a larger venue such as Otakon or Comic-con. If you want to vend at conventions, do a quick search for events in your area via Google. Wikipedia also has listings. From there, look at the convention website for artist information. It may take a little searching, but most have what you’re looking for or a contact email.
When it comes to promotion, the most important aspect is knowing your product. Don’t be afraid to talk about your comic, what inspired you to create your story and characters, be it online or in person.
So you are an artist with a vision. You decide to tell your story in comic form. You want to share your vision with cyberspace.
So, how to go about it?
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve read web comics on and off for the past ten years or so. They’ve been around in one form or another for the past fifteen years. I sat next to an artist who has first published his comic via geocities in 1997 at one convention. I’ve read a few strips such as MegaTokyo, and Twisted Kaiju Theater, who have their own web domain space and started around 2000.
There are ways and means to attain webspace, but one of the first things to consider is what space you will reserve on the world wide web.
If you go to the the webcomic list and take a look at the featured comic sections, the links will direct you to the profile page or to the comic itself. Some artists use blogging sites, such as Blogspot or Word Press. Both of these are easy to use and have a variety of templates. You can also sign up for free, which is always good if you are starting out, not sure of where you want to take your story, or you just want something simple and easy to use. Word Press also offers software called Comic Press which can be downloaded and offers a variety of layouts. I haven’t used it myself, but the comics look pretty clean, simple and effective. Some, an I’m in this category, purchase domain space through providers such as FatCow. You pay an annual fee, but you have to option of using templates, or programing the way you want your web page to look via HTML or XML or however you wish if you are a more advanced designer. Some sites also work with Word Press or other popular blogging sites. Look at the package deals offered. How much bandwidth space can you get? How many email addressed can you create? What kind of templates are offered? Do you have the options for e-commerce or online store space?
Whichever option you take, always shop around for what is best for you, and your wallet. You work well when your web space is easy to work with. I know that there is nothing more frustrating than finishing a strip and being unable to publish because you are having a hard time with your web account!
I absolutely love Hijinks Ensue. Trust that there will be a review from me one of these days. Until then, get into it with a little teaser.