I love comics. All kinds. I like the ones in the paper, I like my brother's old super hero ones, I like those on the internet. And to be honest, I don't think well-written (not to mention well-illustrated) comics are appreciated enough. Granted, movies like The Watchmen and Scott Pilgrim have boosted comic-awareness, but how many people who went to see those movies were aware of the comics before they were pushed into the spotlight by major studios? And what about those unsung heroes on the internet?
There are so many good ones out there but, since it's the internet, there is so much other media that it's easy to miss a real gem. I think the best way to find great reads is to look at the links page on your favorite website. If a writer/artist you like likes something, it's usually something up your alley. Another way to find them is word of mouth. Or blog.
Hence the purpose of this post. Combining good writing, storytelling and drawing is an exceptional feat. To be honest, I've settled for the first two because sometimes a bad picture is more delightful than a Rembrandt. My favorite webcomic is Something Positive, so named because the writer/cartoonist's best friend encouraged him to do something positive. And so, he created a comic about a dour, sullen man and his violent, furious female best friends. Originally semi-autobiographical, S&P is now its own world, including things like Canadian trapdoor alligators, a bunch of preteen girls going on a killing spree, and a semi-liquid cat that has invaded other comics and even impregnated another cat. The babies have now joined other comics.
Randy Milholland has taken something that started out as an after work activity and made it his job, something I'm sure all writers can aspire to. The reason he was able to quit his job and work selling his merchandise is because A) he is a damned good writer; B) he is a damned good story teller, often leaving hints and just plain surprising his readers with revelations; and C) he works really hard at it. He made S&P work by updating every day, going to cons and connecting with his fans via reader gatherings and later, Twitter. You want to make a career as a writer? Follow his example. Except maybe avoid the intentionally antagonizing your fan base thing he sometimes does.
To all the webcomic writers and cartoonists out there: I salute you. And in honor of your hard work, I will be tweeting you for follow Friday. If you're interested in good reads, follow me here: http://twitter.com/#!/jefishere.
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