Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rabbits Can't Count Higher Than Five -- But I Can

I should have been more clear, in my post yesterday, that I wasn't naming "My Top Five" webcomics, but "Five of My Top" webcomics. I was focusing more on putting together some thoughts that would help my answer my question than on sharing the webcomics love.

There are, most definitely, more than five webcomics on my "must read" list.

I read Diesel Sweeties every day. And, to keep with the theme of yesterday's musings, I should add that I'm not quite sure how I heard about it. Oh, wait... yeah! I saw the t-shirts for sale at the Beguiling! And they were smart, and funny and ironic, and about robots. And I thought, "Well, if the comics are as good as the shirts..." They are.

I get my daily dose of Doonesbury online now. So I never need to buy a newspaper again.

As Tara points out in her comment on my post, our friend Sean Bieri runs the always funny Jape weekly at (part of the Modern Tales family of web sites that are also home to both Galaxion and Xeno's Arrow). We've known Sean since 1994 or thereabouts, from many Artists Alleys at many Detroit and Chicago comic cons.

Another friend who migrated online from the world of print is the brilliant Carla Speed McNeil, whose awe-inspiring "aboriginal SF" series Finder appears online before being compiled into trade paperbacks. We know Carla from many conventions when were all slogging through the mud of the self-publishing trenches.

And of course, the wild steampunk adventure that is Girl Genius, which I have adored since it was printed on paper, back in the day. I've been reading Phil Foglio since his 'What's New, with Phil and Dixie' strips ran in the back of issues of Dragon magazine. And that was in the early and mid-80's. Crap. I'm old.

Oh, and I read the gamer-geek workplace sitcom PvP, although I get annoyed with Scott Kurtz once or twice a year. Not because of the strip, which is consistently amusing in a low-brow, Family Guy sort of way, but because he writes something in his comments section that makes my blood boil. But I always get drawn back in, because his strip is just that funny. I think I heard about it from my old friend Michael.

And I've been getting back into Sinfest, via a recommendation by another old convention chum, online comics reviewer Johanna Draper Carlson. Sinfest is like a philosophical hip-hop frat-boy version of Bloom County.

I figured a list of five would give me enough to go on in terms of figuring out what draws me to a webcomic -- and as you can see, the same reasons do keep coming up in my other favourites, including yesterday's sixth mention, Rachel Hartman's Return of the Mad Bun.

I consistently follow creators that I appreciated in print when they move online. Reviews, criticism and commentary play a big role in drawing me in. Word-of-mouth is vital.

As I begin thinking about how to get more people to read both my existing webcomic and my upcoming webcomic, I'd like to hear from anyone else who has thoughts on the subject.

What gets you to try a webcomic?

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