Friday, July 8, 2011

5 webcomics writers should read

If there's one thing I can safely say about writers, it's that we really love stories. Sure, we're partial to books, but it's not like you don't see us promoting movies and tv shows too. Hey, sometimes we even throw shout outs to video games and comic books. The one thing, however, that I've never seen a writer recommend is webcomics.

For anyone who doesn't know, a web comic is basically a comic that is serialized page-by-page on the internet. For free. If the comic gets a pretty big fan base, the writer/artist will self-publish copies or get picked up by a publisher. Both of which are obviously pretty sweet. It's a good way for aspiring comics to get their work out there.

But yes. There are webcomics that you should read. You should read them as a writer and you should read them for fun, because that's what they are. Fun. Either way, there are a bunch out there and today I'm going to tell you about five of them. So here we go!*

Hyperbole and a Half
A lot of you already know about this one. If not, it's a collection of life stories told through Paint-style illustrations. Paint as in the crappy drawing software that comes with most computers. This sounds a little dubious, but if you want to learn how to make people laugh via timing and precise storytelling, this is the place to go.

Thief-brat Sette is on a mission and she's dragging the undead Duane along for the ride. The characters in this comic are so well-rounded and have such strong voices that anyone could glean something from a quick read-through. The fantastic art and gorgeous world-building only make the ride more enjoyable. Definitely one of my favorites.

Cucumber Quest
Wherein rabbit children go on a classic fantasy adventure. I particularly love how sweet and colorful the artwork is, not to mention the story, which is both earnest and okay with making fun of itself. It's a good reminder to the struggling writer that sometimes it's okay to step back and get some enjoyment out of your work. 

Johnny Wander
A varied comic that switches between colorful shorts and excerpts of the daily life of some college grads. Not only is the artwork nice and clean, there are a lot of fun ideas popping up in this one. There's no storyline, but the comic offers some good examples as to what makes a moment comedic and how to structure a short story.

Hanna is Not a Boy's Name
To put it simply, Hanna is a boy and he's a mediocre paranormal detective with an undead parter who's better at the job than he is. There's a lot of character depth present in this comic, and what's great is that it isn't super blatant. Also, the art and page layouts are super delicious in this comic, which makes it a pleasure to read.

So what about you guys? Have any of you read webcomics before? If so, what comics? Did you enjoy them? If not, I hope you take the plunge and check some of these out. Either way, tell me your thoughts in the comments!

*BTW: As you may have guessed, none of these images belong to me. Shocking, huh?