Friday, January 11, 2008

This is how the food chain works in the Comics Blogosphere: even though I am beneath Dirk Deppey's notice as a reviewer and year-end best-of list-maker, he's so darn good at the link compiling thing that I still, once in a while, check out Journalista and usually always find something interesting, which further justifies his existence and further demeans mine. Anyway, also interesting to me is his new 50 (well, 52) Excellent Comics from 2007: One Reader's Recommendations list, which cites several things that either I hadn't seen in '07, or didn't think to cite because they're still (despite the existence of collected paper volumes, of which I'm aware but am seldom engaged to purchase) webcomics in my mind. I was glad to see efforts such as Chris Onstad's surreal and hysterically funny ACHEWOOD (don't forget each character's infrequently updated blogs), John Allison's droll SCARY-GO-ROUND (which I've been reading since it was BOBBINS), Tatsuya Ishida's imaginative and too-smart-for-American-funnypapers SINFEST, and Nick Gurewitch's indescribable PERRY BIBLE FELLOWSHIP among the listed. They're all excellent. I'm also beginning to think that I should break down and purchase I SHALL DESTROY ALL CIVILIZED PLANETS as well- I've enjoyed seeing Fletcher Hanks' brilliantly deranged comics here and there on the Internet, and it looks like a blast. Paul Pope's PULPHOPE unsurprisingly looks great. I usually always love Pope's work, and I'm sure this will be no exception- but given a choice between eating and gas money to get to work and Paul Pope hardcovers, well, the books don't taste very good (even when you cover them with ketchup) and when I tried to stuff paper into my gas tank I didn't get anywhere except towed to the garage. Also, while I'm just not much of a fan of the Manga- although there have been works I've enjoyed so I guess I'm not completely unhip- the art example on that DRIFTING CLASSROOM citation looks very good, but ye gods- eight volumes (to date) at ten bills each? Yow! I'm also thinking that I wish I'd picked up on Warren Ellis' historical saga CRECY- since it's a one-shot perhaps I'll run across a copy soon. Perhaps then I can stop hearing Patsy Cline sing the title in my head. Speaking of books I hope get issued as a trade, there's also Atomic Robo (not on Deppey's list)- it looks good, but the first issue is already going for a lot of smack on the eBay, and I want all of 'em if I'm gonna get them. Guess I'm just too cheap to be a real comics connoisseur.

But I digress.

Anyway, getting back to webcomics, there are a few others that I read on a fairly regular basis, and get a kick out of- many of which I'm sure are very familiar to you, my discerning readers- and they are as follows:

THE NON-ADVENTURES OF WONDERELLA, by Justin Pierce, is a off-the-wall Wonder Woman rip that usually updates on Saturdays, but lately Pierce has been posting character sketches on weekdays. Not every strip is a hit, but he is very funny when he does hit, which is more often than not.

PULP SUNDAY, by Francesco Francavilla, which I linked to a few days ago, isn't a webcomic per se but does feature ongoing strips most of the time, and they're excellent.

BOLD RILEY by Leia Weathington and Konstantin Pogorelov- a bit overdue for various reasons, but this legend-framed tale of a warrior woman, usually published in volumes (each with different titles), is outstanding.

Of course, R. Stevens' DIESEL SWEETIES, appearing in your local newspaper by now hopefully (not in mine, I'm afraid) is always witty and clever.

Jess Fink's CHESTER 5000 XYV, which reminds me a little of Jane Austen if she wrote steampunk porn. It's, in the parlance, NSFW.

OCTOPUS PIE by Meredith Gran, another slice-of-life with oddball touches and involving young trendy NYCNY types, which of course I have very little in common with but I can always enjoy tales well told, especially when done with Gran's deliciously loopy, swoopy linework.

Danielle Corsetto's GIRLS WITH SLINGSHOTS, which could actually be described the same way as Octopus Pie but they're really coming from different places. Corsetto scripts and cartooning is accomplished and witty, and the characters are very likable, sexy even. Well, maybe not the talking Scotch cactus. I wish Danielle would fix her RSS feed so I could subscribe...

JOHNNY CROSSBONES is by Middle Man artist Les McClane, and it's an enjoyable Tintin-esque adventure strip which features a protagonist with what HAS to be the world's smelliest mask because he never takes it off ever.

Raina Telgemeier's SMILE, which always brings the same to my face when it's not reminding me of personal dental nightmare scenarios, which if I had any sort of work ethic I'd draw up and submit to her as a fill-in strip if she'd have it.

Finally, but not lastly, there's Jason Little's engaging BEE, which is about the impetuous title character, a young (supposedly teenage, but she's not drawn that way) lady who seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. It's also quite often NSFW.

OK, that's all I can think of. I hope if you're not reading any of these already, and you should be, that you'll check some of them out and even better, enjoy!

Credit where credit is due dept: the pic at above left is from the Scary-Go-Round strip that was posted on my birthday last year.

ETA 1/12: I was under the impression that the Hanks book was a hardcover, and now that I've been informed that's not the case (thanks, ADD!), I have ordered it this very day.

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