WEBCOMIC AWARDS

So I heard that the extremely respected, relevant-news-only source of information THE WASHINGTON POST is having this Webcomic Awards thing!

CHECK THIS SHIZ OUT!

Not to be outdone, I’ve decided to put together MY OWN set of awards. Now, I’m no Washington Post in terms of readership, but I do have a statistic that works in my favor. Of all of the “news” that the Washington Post has spat out in the last… however really long time it’s been going on… less than 0.1% of it has been about webcomics! Friends, 100% of my news has been about webcomics. And this is clearly the NEWS THAT REALLY MATTERS! (I’m thinking about using that right there as a new tagline, in fact!)

While I don’t have time to like, compile lists of webcomics for each category, or whatever, it’s probably more fair anyway because you can just write in your own vote. I mean if you want to vote that stupid Cow-Goddess shit in here, YOU CAN! It won’t win but YOU STILL CAN! And that’s the kind of FREEDOM that you only get from H!L!C! and not some crappy Washington Pist or whatever.

Please copy and paste this list into an e-mail, fill it out, and send it to:

heylookcomics@gmail.com

So on with the show!

This is a comic that I don’t hate with every fiber of my being:

This comic is like, cool. Or whatever.:

I think the dude or chick that does this comic is not that bad:

The characters in this comic are, you know what, just, whatever:

Fuck t-… look. Comic, dude.:

Comic that has the most readers who would vote for it in a bullshit poll:

My comic, which if I have one, I filled in for all of the above besides the last one:

Guys THANKS! I will totally love to tally these responses by next Whocaresday! Can’t wait to post the results!

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January 27, 2010. Articles, Humor, Webcomics. 5 comments.

Silent Crossovers

Hey guys! I hope you liked how I was going to post more and then didn’t make any new posts. I haven’t even updated my Twitter! But please feel free to follow me regardless.

I’m writing tonight about something that I am naming “silent crossovers”. Just so we’re clear:

-A normal crossover can be defined as characters or something recognizable from another webcomic (or, more generally, another ‘universe’ already established separately) appearing in a different webcomic (or other universe whatever). I’m on the fence about listing different universes made by the same author as crossovers… I mean, they are kind of, but they don’t capture the feeling I’m looking for. A real crossover should involve the characters being drawn into canon storyline by the (different) author of the other webcomic, and having it be a big thing. A stellar example would have to be the Ultimate Final Civil War Invasion Crisis Thing from Least I Could Do. Though I mean, that takes the concept of “having it be a big thing” and running as far as possible with it. Anyway, then we get to what I just said I excluded…

-Same author crossover! An example would be John: Examine Problem Sleuth Poster (though I can name about, oh, I dunno, four million from MSPA alone. LOOK, THEY ARE FLASHING RED). This is any kind of reference to past work, be it directly with characters or indirectly with little in-jokes, though of course if the character goes on to become a member of the NEW cast and it turns out that really this story is just set ahead in time from the last story, it stops counting. Even if you brought them back from the dead.

-A guest strip is also something! But this should be more obviously differentiated… it is done by artist A, for artist B, and appears on artist B’s website. That last part there is the big difference. I am not going to link you to an example of a guest strip, so if you’ve never seen one, YOU MAY WANT TO START READING WEBCOMICS HUH

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December 4, 2009. Articles, Webcomics. 1 comment.

Quick Thing-

Hey, I’m still on hiatus (midterms and planning for final projects and graduation, eechh!) but I just wanted to mention, have you guys see this comic called Love Me Nice? It hasn’t even got a dozen comics yet, but it looks really promising and it went on my main list right away. Check it out and see if you agree with me so far, and if not, hey, you won’t waste much time reading the archives!

Love Me Nice!

October 21, 2009. Have You Heard Of, Webcomics. Leave a comment.

Answers!

Well, out of 15 quotes from 15 different webcomics, there were only three that went unfound by you fine people:

1. You mean your plan to drive to the gas station and flash your girly bits at the attendant? Yeah. I have my doubts.

5. Time to pollute the city’s water supply… with killer bees!

8. By the way, careful with that pile of pillows at your feet.

Ready for the answers?

1. The witty Dewey Defeats Tarzan!

5. The spectacular Buttersafe!

8. The insightful Edmund Finney’s Quest to find the Meaning of Life!

Since it’s likely that y’all don’t read those three comics, since nobody got the quotes, you should definitely do yourself a big favor and check them out. I guarantee that you’ll like at least ONE of them. You gotta like those odds.

Also, I might be going on hiatus for a little while. We’ll see what happens. I hope you’re following Homestuck though, the end of Act 2 was amazing- I swear I watched it six times this morning.

Later!

October 12, 2009. H!L!C!, Have You Heard Of, Webcomics. 1 comment.

Find That Quote!

Hey guys, guess what! We’re gonna play a fun game! I don’t expect I actually have the readership to do this, BUT, whatever, right?

I’m going to list 15 quotes taken straight from webcomics around the internet right down here. Your challenge? Tell me what webcomic it’s from!

I will also say that it will have been a vaguely recent comic, in the last year-ish or so. And there are no repeated webcomics, but there MAY be repeated authors/illustrators or something. Answer in the comments… if you’re up for the challenge!

Ready… and… GO!

1. You mean your plan to drive to the gas station and flash your girly bits at the attendant? Yeah. I have my doubts.

2. Please remove genitals from floppy drive and hit ‘Enter’.

3. Kontsfack? But I never even submitted my portfolio, why would I get a letter from them?

4. We’ve been lured out and engaged by a white van advertising high-value supplies, only to be disabled and cut down by a heavily-armed military unit.

5. Time to pollute the city’s water supply… with killer bees!

6. What’s up brah? We just put some bros in your games, dawg!

7. A transporting gun?! Everyone needs that!! I’ll buy five!! I’ve never met you!!

8. By the way, careful with that pile of pillows at your feet.

9. I’m not convinced the locals are the architects of these old cities. In fact, they don’t seem capable of anything more than collecting junk.

10. I’m guessin’ somethin’ horrible happened to her and it left like a residue. That’s how come she drinks. I mean I’m not a doctor or nothin’.

11. Again, sorry about the attempted murder thing!

12. The hamster on the treadmill inside my chest needs his water bottle refilled. He’s a thirsty little guy!

13. Look, just don’t wander around on your own. Go back to your tents and we’ll wait for this to blow over.

14. What? You can see me?! Well that was a waste of five hundred million dollars.

15. but then when i think back maybe there are times when it seems like you know some things? like maybe you know more about a thing than you are telling me? i dunno.

ANSWERS

If someone has figured it out, I’ll list the right answer below here and say who found it first. If you don’t want to see the known answers yet, don’t click More!

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September 27, 2009. Webcomics. 9 comments.

More Webcomic Tips?

As seen in the responses to my first article, 20 TIPS for Webcomic Beginners, I am not the Only Webcomic Expert out there! I mean, not that I ever thought I was. That would be silly.

…*throws away a box of business cards*

Anyway, I thought I would direct your attention to the comments section of that post, so you can check them out! There are probably like at least 20 more contributed by fans, and most of them are really good. (I don’t know what you guys mean about #17 though. It’s totally there.)

In a little while, I’ll probably make some article that’s like… 20 MORE Tips for Webcomic Beginners or something like that, and I’ll use the ideas you guys and gals give me! I might not use the same wording though… that’s okay, right? That’s cool with y’all? I’ll give you guys credit for sure, but you see, the thing is, I just like writin’ them myself. Then again, if I can’t think of a metaphor more awesome than yours, well, we’ll see!

If you don’t have any tips in the same format I put ’em in, you can chip in with simple ideas, or things you’ve noticed that irk you about webcomics in some form or another, without putting it in the form of a tip! Everything’s good here. Please feel free to make more comments there, or on this post. And even once I make the second article, feel free to keep going. And thanks a bunch- with your help, we’re well on our way to the Nobel Webcomics Blog Prize!

September 26, 2009. H!L!C!, Webcomics. 1 comment.

“The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon”

Hey guys! Today I am going to take a look at The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon by Jamie Anderson. Mr. Anderson lives in the matrix in Australia, which explains to all the American readers why when there are cars in the comic, the driver is on the wrong side. I think that’s right, anyway, isn’t it? I’m sure it is.

This is a link to The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon!

So basically, Jack is this homeschooled kid, and it’s his first real school experience. Things seem pretty backwards, as a little gang of nerds led by a lead “hacker”, Craig, are basically in control of the school. Then Jack comes along and beats them all up. Twice. (More than twice, but “twice” sounds more dramatic.) There is a bunch of action and high school drama type stuff, mostly with his friend (and possible romantic interest?) Angel and her friend Cin. We’ve also been introduced to a vaguely secretive type of intelligence organization, and it’s crazy operative Max Facepuncher, and also Jack’s parents; his father is a tough and gruff type figure, while his mother is a playful but violent source of much of Jack’s ability to beat people up. Only when he has to, of course!

As always, I’m going to start off the review by talking about the layout. It’s a WordPress/Comicpress thing, and I have some problems with that layout style in general, which will be a separate post sometime! The title image is nice, though it doesn’t take up half the space it COULD, horizontally… not like that’s a huge deal or anything though. The update schedule is in the title of the page, which is a crafty place to sneak it! Yeah, basically I like it. For a Comicpress layout.

I like Jamie’s comments underneath the comic! They are short and not ranty and enjoyable to read! This is a good thing. He is doin’ stuff right. With the trend of creators getting Twitter accounts for their characters, Max Facepuncher has one; also there are some forums that are moderately active, so the comic is getting some sense of community! That’s GOOD! That’s a really great thing to promote.

God, I hope this review doesn’t sound ridiculous, I’m still hung-over. That being said, let’s get to the COMIC!

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September 26, 2009. Reviews, Webcomics. 3 comments.

Layouts for Webcomics

In my reviews, I’ve talked extensively about site layouts, practically as much or more than the comic itself. Maybe I should be focusing on the comic more, but layouts are pretty important you guys! But I understand that the comic should be the most important thing, and also, all layouts aspire to be the same thing: smooth, fast, presentable, clean. Sure, there are tons of different types of layouts out there, but they all have the same goals in mind. Contrast this to comics, which have any number of different goals, from “tell a story” to “make a gag” to “show some furries having sex”. Whether you’ve got a one panel gag comic or a five chapter wolf-on-wolf romance, you still want the layout to work nearly the same! So instead of wasting time on every review talking about this kind of thing, I’ll just write up some articles on the issue.

So what does a good layout need to have? (Note: I am only talking about the front page.)

  • The webcomic’s title
  • Advertisements
  • The update schedule
  • A small menu of links
  • The author’s blog or announcements
  • Buttons and other navigation
  • oh and THE COMIC

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August 27, 2009. Articles, Webcomics. 4 comments.

“Movies With Robots!”

I read this comic called Movies With Robots! by Robert Sifuentez because the author linked me to it on a forum! I admit that I had looked at it prior to this and decided not to even read it, but after said linkage, I did for this review. It ended up being a pretty good read.

Here is a link to Movies With Robots!!

That suggests a problem. The product (the comic) is good, but something else is unappealing. It doesn’t take much effort to figure out what it is: the layout. Think of it like a product on the shelf on a store. A camera, for example. You’ve got Brand X cameras, which are shitty and fall apart after 12 pictures, and Brand Y cameras, which are extremely excellent. They cost the same and you have no prior knowledge of the brands, just that the two boxes are next to each other. The Brand X box is flashy and exciting and aesthetically pleasing with tons of positive comments and descriptions of features. The Brand Y box is completely plain without any real pictures or descriptions or extras or anything. Like I said, you have no prior knowledge of the quality of the product, you’re just comparing boxes. Which one do you choose?

Most people will probably be attracted to the exciting looking one. Boring layouts and bare minimums just do not fly on the internet (with the occasional notable exception, which only works for certain reasons). The fact that this is a non-narrative comic also boosts the need for extras. There’s no storyline for readers to get hooked onto, there will not be dramatic character changes or shocking revelations, so there is no suspense or anxiety to check back when it updates. This is why everything else has to be smooth and appealing, to not give the reader any barriers to coming back. Having a graphic title and then smaller buttons, or a sidebar, or something, to get the comic a little further up on the screen, would also be nice.

An explanatory page would also be extremely helpful. Why is Robert doing a photo comic? It’s probably either because he can’t draw or he just likes taking photos better, and the fact that it’s the same photos points to the “can’t draw” line of thought–not that there is anything wrong with this! But his motivation, explained, would be nice to hear. Since, as previously mentioned, none of the characters will likely undergo any development since it’s not that type of comic (nothing wrong with this either!), character bios would also be pretty nice. They’re kind of taboo in narratives because revealing information should be done in-story for them, but for this kind of comic, it is totally super. I’m not sure if we need the twitter and the facebook boxes on every page in the archive- the homepage and the about page is fine for that, but you want the archive pages to load as fast as possible (of course, the ad is acceptable, but that’s expected).

So I have a few problems with the layout and the lack of additional substance beyond the comic, yeah. I think even if it means skipping the comic for a couple days, making the site a nice thing to look at is a good idea. Newspaper cartoonists never have to worry about “webpages” and “layouts” in terms of their careers, they have a limited space and they fill it up with their comic and that’s all they have to do. The internet, however, is not a newspaper, and there are a million more things to concern yourself with that will break your otherwise quality comic if you don’t.

Onto the actual comic.

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August 26, 2009. Have You Heard Of, Reviews, Webcomics. 2 comments.

“The Next Adventure”!

Hey guys! So I found a new webcomic that I really like the other day. Let me tell you all about it. It’s called The Next Adventure and it’s by Francesca Buchko, who incidentally apparently goes to college at a school about an hour away from my hometown, possibly alongside friends of mine who also go there. Cool! But that really has nothing to do with anything, sorry.

I am going to link you to it TWICE:

Once to the friendly page hosted on Comic Fury over here.

And once to the thing on Word/Comicpress over here.

Let me start off by saying I’m really not sure why she has two websites for the comic. The CF one is really nice and cute and besides a couple minor issues (no real front page, could use a better title image that links, better archive, customized buttons- I am being pretty nitpicky here), it is a really cool site to go on. The clear downside is that (as of this writing) it has 18 pages while the WP one is up to date with 54! That is too bad because the CF site is way nicer and cleaner and real and proper and stuff while the WP one is just like “oh yeah hey made some comics” and not very professional at all. I really hope she gets the CF site up to date all at once (or over a couple weeks maybe, like one a day until she’s caught up) and then scraps the WP site because it’s just not very good!

It does have a nice header image though, while that’s what the CF one lacks… hmm…

BUT anyway. The actual webcomic. TNA is really cool! The layout is consistent and extremely publishable, but that doesn’t mean that it gets stale! The framing is very good and creates a moving picture sense in your head, somewhat more like a movie storyboard. (This story could also probably be a pretty interesting movie, for that matter.) Her artistic skill progression from the first to the 54th is clear, but even still, the first pages are still really good. Looking through her blogs and stuff it’s clear she’s a great artist and even in the relatively simplistic style she uses for TNA, I’d say it shows through.

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August 25, 2009. Have You Heard Of, Reviews, Webcomics. Leave a comment.

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