Today I wanted to hit a little bit of nostalgia. Two years ago when I started doing research for the ideas that became Juniper Crescent, I had every intention of making it a webcomic or a full length graphic novel. The ideas were powerful, the characters were real to me, and I enjoyed creating the images. But, when it came time to sit and draw Oksanya, the heroine, I couldn’t get her face right. No matter how many different views and perspectives I tried, she didn’t match the person I saw in my mind. (In my eyes, Rozy Kay is still the closest image I have to Oksanya.) In frustration, I posted what I did have of the story onto notes on Facebook. The results are fairly clear at this point.
So, today I want to pay my respects to the webcomics that inspire me. Most of these people who create the sites and their comics are working towards the same goal I am, and feel the same passion for telling a story. I get away with only have to provide words, but they must draw as well.
1. MegaTokyo: This was one of the first ones I got hooked on. Two guys break into a video game convention, cause a scene, then wind up in Japan with no way to return home. This site has been running for ten years, and Fred Gallagher proves himself to be a humorous storyteller. With tons of guns, anime and video game references, and beautiful artwork, it’s easy to fall in love with Megatokyo.
2. Head Trip: Amanda “Shinga” Bussell decides to give her opinion on every topic imaginable and makes it something worth reading. From movie reviews, movie reviews, and relationships to video games and life as we know it, she does a fantastic job of demonstrating “the good kind of crazy.”
3. Wooden Rose: This has some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve encountered with web based comics. Tami Wicinas makes each page vibrant with color, while also giving it a vintage, Victorian feel to match the story she is developing. If I had to complain, which I’m not, some of the poses of the figures seem unnatural. But don’t let that stop you from reading it.
Comedity: I thought my mindset and understanding was a rarity, but Garth Graham proves its more common than I thought. The images are fresh, the characters are believable, and for all it’s fiction, feels very real. Comedity holds a place in my mind because not only does it make my world make a little more sense, but it also has an ending. It isn’t dragged out for years beyond its due date like much of anime. Dragon Ball Z and Inuyasha, I’m looking at you. Garth Graham has since gone on to create an amazing webcomic called Finders Keepers. Also a cool story. And an accurate portrayal of Fey-type creatures.
Spinnerette: Before you look at the artwork and give snort that I’m just like any other guy, stop. That’s not what I enjoy about this comic. Flat out, it is the most fanservice of all the comics I keep up with, but the amazingly funny look at the superhero genre more than makes up for it. It takes all the cliche’s that we are familiar with and throws in a healthy, laughable, dose of reality. And there’s the fact that Krazy Krow was able to throw in a well placed D&D reference only adds to the coolness.
And finally, Looking for Group. The story is intense, the characters are awesome, but you read it for Richard, the warlock. Many people complain that this is just a group of D&D nerds who decided to take their campaign and turn it into something cooler. My response is, “That’s why it’s cool.” It works. Of all the failed attempts to turn a particular gaming campaign into a book, or movie, or comic, Looking for Group succeeded. It’s running, and the story continues to invite people from many reading demographics to its website. I don’t think there is anyone else who could take songs from Disney movies and make them funny enough that you’d have hordes of college aged kids humming them with a mischievous smile.
Well, there you have it. If you are looking for something new to read, give any a shot. They have my seal of approval on them. With the trend of young adult novels being made into graphic novels, there may be a time when you see a graphic novel of Juniper Crescent. Who knows at this point. Dreaming got me this far, and dream bigger I shall.