Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reading Materials: Webcomics Edition 2


Once I did blogpost on favorite webcomics of mine.  Well, I didn't get through all that many... so here we are again with another trio of personal favorites.

Webcomics are interesting as internet phenomena go: those who make them rarely can live off of them, they tend to go in directions printed comics or newspaper comics won't or can't, and they cost nothing to consume.

Its a unappreciated art sometimes.  Just a reminder about webcomics then: if you like one, and you can find a way to get money back to its creator(s), do it.  Always give them a bit of money.

Because they most likely have none.


Blindsprings: Still relatively new, Blindsprings has a unique art style and a bit of cuteness about it that makes its story feel all the deeper.  The main character appears to have spent her existence in the spirit world, for centuries as a price for someone else.  But then circumstances cause her to go back to her world- one that has gotten far worse than she remembered it.

Blindsprings combines the feels of Avatar: the Last Airbender with a world that tastes like Fullmetal
Alchemist
meets Harry Potter, with more than a little darkness to be found where you don't expect it.  Only a 130ish pages at the moment, it is a fast read.  The creator has a Patreon page too, if you find you like it enough that you want to give back.  Its a deep enriching world, one I'm afraid to spoil here- check it out and let me know what you think!

Goblins: This is a older webcomic, one of those that has lasted for a looong time.  It also has one of the hardest working artists.  It is a detailed, graphic in its violence, and charming in its humor.  The humor is very based in the solid bedrock of tabletop gaming tropes and DnD.  But Goblins doesn't ask forgiveness for that, and its consistency in style makes it one of those webcomics that you could spend hours, and I mean hours, reading.

Goblins, at first, focuses on a warcamp of Goblins in your normal tabletop RPG set up.  Except, at a
certain point, the Goblins instead decide to become adventurers themselves.  Then things get even more interesting.  Like Order of the Stick, its early popularity comes from its ties to tabletop gaming- but later on, the story progresses enough that it carries itself on without needing that.  It has its own
world, its own high stakes, and its own characters whose failures and successes resound with you.

And when they fall, you really do feel your guts wrench in sympathy.  Because they will fall.  It does have a Patreon as well, if you like it enough.

El Goonish Shive: For me, EGS has long been a page I look at it.  Its one of the oldest webcomics I follow.  Its simple, somewhat weird and stuff happens.  Even the name makes one go... what?  EGS launched a Patreon last year, showing how popular it is to those of us who follow it.

EGS follows a group of teens in a locale called Moperville.  The skill of the creator has changed over the many years its been online: if you ever want proof how skill can change and improve, go to the first EGS comic and read up to the last year or two.  There is a massive difference.  EGS also employs more than one strange plot device, with characters shifting genders or changing forms all the time.  But the best thing about EGS is its charming humor.  Where Subnormality sometimes is strange sometimes to make a point, EGS is strange until its humor brings you back.

EGS doesn't weird you out.  It keeps going, offbeat at times.  And its unafraid to be honest about relationships.

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Two of these webcomics are fairly old; the other isn't as old, but all three share a similar facet.  They all make use of interesting characters.  Interesting, offbeat and not entirely "standard" characters.  EGS isn't afraid to have gay or other characters; Goblins is based on characters that normally would be NPCs and the main character in Blindsprings is a young girl.

But all of them are interesting characters.  There is no easy template to make a character interesting.  These are characters who have lives, relationships and act.  Key is that word: they act and do things.  THAT is something I like about them.  Not reacting, not being passive but trying to do what they want or think is right as best as they can...  ...that makes these rewarding stories to read.

It is a important lesson to retain.  Characters should be taking action, not being passive witnesses.

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Ok, that's my load for this post.  I hope you enjoy these webcomics.  If you got any webcomics you like, please feel free to go ahead and let me know in the comments!  I love learning about new webcomics- my list is always growing!