Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Over the last two years, I've become increasingly interested in the art of telling a story through pictures. I've always loved books with lavish illustrations (such as the Dinotopia books by James Gurney), and I've read a few printed graphic novels (such as Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale). Then I discovered the online world of webcomics.

Webcomics are unique in that anyone can make one and put it up for the world to read. They don't need to get accepted for publication by Marvel or any of the other big-name publishers. That means that the author(s) can experiment and tell their unique story without anyone breathing down their neck. And usually, they're completely free to read. The drawback is this: webcomics are usually updated one to three times a week, so once you catch up to the most recent page, you must waaaait.

I'm a visual person. Many of my characters and story concepts come to me in pictures. When I found out about webcomics, I was immediately drawn to the idea of making my own someday, but I knew I would need to focus on improving my drawing skills. Since January, that's exactly what I've been doing, and I rediscovered how much I love art. I start college next week as an art major!

Not only have I been practicing my art, I've also absorbed lots of great webcomics. I thought I'd share my reading list, in case any of you are also interested in comics or visual storytelling. Some of the following may have certain elements that I don't like or agree with, but there's something special in each one that kept me reading.

Winters in Lavelle - Fantasy
The Dreamer - Time travel/Historical/Romance
Inverloch - Fantasy (this one's complete!)

Others I like for one reason or another:
The Silver Eye - Fantasy.
Dreamless - Romance/Mystery/WW2/Defies genre... Warning: It's intense. (But it's complete!)
The Phoenix Requiem - Fantasy/Romance. Warning: Rather violent and dark. (also complete)
Between Places - Fantasy. The story is confusing at points, but the art is beautiful.
Girl Genius - Steampunk. Warning: Violence, and some skimpy outfits.
Bardsworth - Fantasy/Humor.
Seed - Fantasy.
One Question - Fantasy.
Earthsong - Fantasy.

... I just realized, there is a lot of "fantasy" in that list.

Do any of you read webcomics? What are your favorites? Have you ever considered making a comic or graphic novel?


ZNZ said...

I've read some webcomics. I read Girl Genius, which you recommended. And I've begun reading Gunnerkrigg Court, which so far is excellent.

My very favourite webcomic is Digger, by Ursula Vernon. IT'S ABOUT A WOMBAT OF COURSE IT'S AWESOME also it's got a great story and great characters and it's funny.

Most of the webcomics I start reading I drop immediately, either because the art doesn't appeal to me (I can't read something so visual if I don't like the way it looks - it doesn't have to be gorgeous, but it can't be ugly or annoying) or I don't like the story or it contains stuff I don't want to be reading. But I've found some really good stuff.

I'm going to check out all the ones you've recommended, as well. Fantasy!

Evergreena said...

WOMBATS?! I'll have to check that one out! :D Wombats usually mean instant awesomeness.

Yeah, there have been several webcomics that I stopped reading after only a few pages because they were either poorly done or offensive to me. But at least I didn't spend money on buying them!