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Kelly J. Cooper

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The Best Webcomics You're Not Reading 2011 [Jan. 18th, 2011|02:02 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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Jeebus! This took HOURS! I should be getting paid for this.

Anyway, here's my write-up of the Arisia 2011 panel "The Best Webcomics You're Not Reading."

"The Best Webcomics You're Not Reading"
Arisia 2011

Panel from left to right: Dirk Tiede, Shaenon Garrity, Alexander Danner (m), Everett Soares, Steve E. Popkes

Dirk Tiede is the creator of Paradigm Shift at http://www.paradigmshiftmanga.com/
Shaenon Garrity is the creator of Narbonic, co-author & illustrator of Skin Horse, and author of Li'l Mell: http://www.shaenon.com/
Alexander Danner is the author of several completed comics (http://www.twentysevenletters.com/) and the nearly completed Gingerbread Houses at http://www.picturestorytheater.com/
Everett Soares author of Sky Pirates of Valendor at http://www.skypiratesofvalendor.com/
Steve E. Popkes the only non-comicker on the panel, Steve's website is here: http://www.stevenpopkes.com/ but his legendary webomic webpage is here: http://www.stevenpopkes.com/stevenpopkes-webcomics (the comics are broken down by Steve's categories along the left side)

Just to preface this, it felt REALLY weird to be in the audience and not on the panel.

Alexander started by stating they would not be recommending their own work, nor the "big guys" like Penny Arcade, XKCD, PVP, Sluggy Freelance, Questionable Content, etc.

Recommendations were generated round-robin style, although the participants kind of disregarded the idea of one comic per round and just spewed recommendations until the conversation was yanked forward.

Shaenon: Slow Wave by Jesse Reklaw at http://www.slowwave.com/ (people send in their dreams & Jesse illustrates them)

Platinum Grit by Trudy Cooper, artist and co-writer with Danny Murphy: http://www.platinumgrit.com/

Steve: The Fancy Adventures of Jack Cannon by Jamie Anderson at http://fancyadventures.com/

Everett: Girls with Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto at http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/

The Devil's Panties by Jennie Breedan at http://thedevilspanties.com/

Girl Genius by Phil & Kaja Foglio at http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php

In His Likeness by James Hatton at http://www.inhislikeness.com/

Atland by Nate Piekos at http://www.realmofatland.com/

Sequential Art by Phillip M. Jackson at http://www.collectedcurios.com/

Shaenon: Family Man by Dylan Meconis at http://www.lutherlevy.com (and its predecessor Bite Me at http://www.bitemecomic.com/)

Dicebox by Jenn Manley Lee at http://www.dicebox.net/

Dirk: The System by Rosscott at http://www.notquitewrong.com/rosscottinc (AKA http://www.systemcomic.com and http://www.rosscottinc.com)

Yellow Peril by Jamie Noguchi at http://ypcomic.com/

Shaenon: Dirk's Paradigm Shift at http://www.paradigmshiftmanga.com/

Alexander: Rule of Death written by Daniel Merlin Godbrey and illustrated by Douglas Noble at http://www.serializer.net/comics/theruleofdeath.php which is near its ending (which is when Alexander confessed to liking long works with either a firm ending, or ones that have already ended; many of his recommendations are for completed comics).

Steve: Rice Boy by Evan Dahm at http://rice-boy.com/

Narbonic by Shaenon Garrity at http://www.narbonic.com/

Anders Loves Maria (COMPLETED COMIC) by Rene Engström at http://anderslovesmaria.reneengstrom.com/

Lackadaisy by Tracy J. Butler at http://www.lackadaisycats.com/

EDIT: Fixed authors... Voodoo Walrus by Grymm Grymmowski & Villemous CreepKnight at http://voodoowalrus.com/

Everett: Dark Brain Comics with flash & voiceovers at http://www.darkbrain.com/

Spinnerette by Krakow at http://www.krakowstudios.com/spinnerette/

Curvy (NSFW) by Sylvan Migdal at http://c.urvy.org/ (also did Spork and Mnemesis)

Shaenon: End Town by Aaron Neathery at http://www.moderntales.com/comics/endtown.php

Dirk: Comics that were in print & are now on the web & only publishing trades
Finder by Carla Speed McNeil at http://www.lightspeedpress.com/

Templar Arizona by Spike at http://templaraz.com/

Little White Mouse (COMPLETED COMIC) by Paul Sizer at http://www.webcomicsnation.com/paulsizer/littlewhitemouse/series.php

(Discussing Finder also brought up Finder's Keepers by Garth Cameron Graham at http://www.finderskeepers.gcgstudios.com/)

Alexander: The Silent Choir (COMPLETED COMIC) by Douglas Noble (who also completed Complex) at http://www.strip-for-me.com

Steve: Odysseus the Rebel by Steven Grant and Scott Bieser at http://www.bigheadpress.com/otr

Lit Brick by John Troutman at http://litbrick.com (general page at http://www.troutcave.net/)

FIXED! Lit Brick is two words. Oops.

Starslip by Kristopher Straub at http://www.starslip.com/

Everett: A Distant Soil by Colleen Doran at http://adistantsoil.com/

Alexander: Wanderlost by Kevin Moore at http://www.moderntales.com/comics/sheldon.php

Shaenon: Digger by Ursula Vernon at http://www.diggercomic.com/

Babbage & Lovelace by Sydney Padua at http://2dgoggles.com/

Dirk: Machiavelli by Don MacDonald at http://donmacdonald.com/

Galaxion by Tara Tallan at http://galaxioncomics.com/

Alexander: Free Wheel by Liz Baillie at http://freewheelcomics.com/ "Alice's adventures in hobo wonderland"

Kitty Hawk by Braden Lamb at http://kittyhawkcomic.com/ (unrelated to this panel, Braden drew an AWESOME zombie horse; it was on display at the table he shared with Shelli in the Artist's Alley)

Braden, in response from his position in the audience, recommended Astray 3 by Eldon Cowgur at http://www.astray3.com/

Alexander: The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings at http://drmcninja.com/

Alexander asked us to consider the consequences of webcomics that go offline to clear the way for their print versions, such as:

Smile by Raina Telgemeier sort of at http://goraina.com/books_smile.html

Hereville by Barry Deutsch sort of at http://www.hereville.com/

In the course of this discussion, I mentioned Jellaby by Kean Soo, which you can find at http://www.secretfriendsociety.com/

Then Alexander discussed how Patrick Farley is bringing the really awesome E-Sheep back online via funding through Kickstarter at http://www.electricsheepcomix.com/

Steve: Dresden Codak by Aaron Diaz at http://dresdencodak.com/

How do you find new webcomics?

Steve: Through other webcomics

Everett: Word of mouth, conventions

Alexander: ComixTALK which is still at http://comixpedia.com/ (Comixpedia was the old name of this webzine about webcomics) and http://www.Fleen.com as well as the blogs of people he likes (e.g., he found Wormwood Saga by Daniel Lieske at http://www.wormworldsaga.com/ through Scott McCloud's blog, http://scottmccloud.com/)

Steve: reMIND by Jason Brubaker at http://www.remindblog.com/

Shaenon: Misses WebSnark (which is still at http://www.websnark.com/ but doesn't get updated)

Audience: Minus by rezo (AKA Ryan Armand; COMPLETED COMIC) ran from February 2006 until July 2008 at http://www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus.html

EDIT: Fixed author... Oglaf (NSFW) by Trudy Cooper (also of Platinum Grit) at http://www.oglaf.com/ (and funny as shit… I just read the archives; sex farce indeed)

Heliophamouth Can't find this one… unless it's Helios' Forsaken by Jeremiah Savage at http://helios.jdmsphoto.com/

Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell at http://www.gunnerkrigg.com

Me (kjc): Seven Extraordinary Things by Doug Lefler at http://www.sevenextraordinarythings.com/

Hannah Is Not A Boy's Name by Tessa Stone at http://hanna.aftertorque.com/

Steve: Para-Ten by William N. Gibbons at http://www.tenthousandmasks.org/para-ten/

Buttercup Festival by David Troupes at http://www.buttercupfestival.com/

Jaime Garmendia from the audience recommended Speak No Evil: Melancholy of a Space Mexican by Elan' Rodger Trinidad at http://www.theoryofeverythingcomics.com/SNE/ and Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart at http://www.sintitulocomic.com

Audience: The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred by Liliy at http://liliy.net/wam/

Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton at http://www.harkavagrant.com/

Ménage à 3 (NSFW) by Gisèle Lagacé and Dave Zero1 at http://www.menagea3.net/

Alexander: Penny and Aggie by T Campbell and Gisèle Lagacé (with Jason Waltrip providing some art) at http://www.pennyandaggie.com/

Audience: Subnormality by Winston Rowntree at http://www.viruscomix.com/subnormality.html

EDIT: Fixed panel member... Steve: Blank It by Lemuel "Lemmo" Pew and Aric McKeown at http://blankitcomics.com/

EDIT: Added suggestion I missed writing down... Alexander: 1/0 by Tailsteak at http://oneoverzero.comicgenesis.com/

Audience: A Softer World by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau at http://www.asofterworld.com/

Abstruse Goose by lcfr at http://abstrusegoose.com/

Phoenix Requiem by Sarah Ellerton at http://requiem.seraph-inn.com/

Prometheus by Mark Weinstein at http://prometheuscomic.wordpress.com/

Last minute, absolute favorite?

Alexander: Dicebox
Shaenon: Platinum Grit
Steve: Dresden Codak
Dirk: Family Man
Everett: *strangling noise*

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[User Picture]From: erikred
2011-01-18 05:39 pm (UTC)
Bad Machinery continues to delight.

Oglaf is freaking hilarious.

Thanks for the list!
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-19 12:13 am (UTC)
You are welcome!
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-19 12:13 am (UTC)
I suggested GIRL GENIUS as a "big guy" at the beginning but they didn't hear me.

Also, both Steve & Everett are so far outside the community they had no idea what was popular & what was obscure, so we dipped into super-popular a few times.
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[User Picture]From: nothings
2011-01-18 06:11 pm (UTC)
"How do you find new webcomics?"

I know it sounds crazy, but a while back I started regularly reading the webcomics thread on the somethingawful forums, basically just because I get good recommendations from there.

I found the following comics (many on the above lists) from reading that thread:
- Oglaf
- Anders Loves Maria
- Octopus Pie
- Hannah Is Not a Boy's Name
- Lackadaisy
- Bobwhite
- Intrepid Girlbot
- Cheap Thrills
- Dead Winter
- Sin Titulo

which is something like 30% of the comics I read.

Also this awesome improv comic.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-19 12:14 am (UTC)
Huh. Wouldn't have thought of that, but it sounds like a rather clever place.

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From: alexanderdanner
2011-01-19 12:38 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks for that fantastic recap of the panel!

I do have one minor correction: it was Steve who suggested Blank It. I followed-up on that recommendation by suggesting the classic "dumped into an infinite void" comic 1/0, by Tailsteak.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-23 05:55 am (UTC)
You are welcome!

Also, fixed per your notes.
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From: joesphpeters
2011-01-19 01:08 am (UTC)
Oglaf is also by Trudy Cooper (of Platinum Grit). Somebody asked her a couple months back and she admitted it, so it's not like she's trying to hide the fact that she's making an adult comic. She's just not advertising it.

Also, the main webcomic thread on Something Awful's comics forum is one of the best in the internet because it's not as aggressively stupid as 4chan but it also doesn't degenerate into a butt kissing contest where you can't say anything bad about things even if they objectively suck.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-23 05:56 am (UTC)
Thanks! Fixed the OGLAF author note.
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[User Picture]From: thebadgergrymm
2011-01-23 12:02 am (UTC)
Wow... I feel all fuzzy now... Voodoo Walrus has been mentioned at a panel? That's... kind of amazing to me. Hi. Grymm Grymmowski of Voodoo Walrus here. Couldn't help but discover the site was being linked to here and came poking.

Hopefully, this won't sound too prickish, but myself and Villemous CreepKnight are actually the creators and authors of Voodoo Walrus, not Marron. She's just our entirely too awesome webmistress. And fixer of the Wordpress settings when I bugger things up in the backend of the site's code.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-23 05:57 am (UTC)
My apologies! Not prickish at all. Corrections welcomed. I had some trouble figuring out authors for some of the titles.

(Honestly, the sites that made things the easiest had the comic title, authors, and update schedule in the title info of their website.)

Anyway, fixed!
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[User Picture]From: thebadgergrymm
2011-01-23 12:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah... This kinda made me realize that we don't have things credited very well for who does what.
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[User Picture]From: rivenwanderer
2011-01-24 04:21 pm (UTC)

here via the arisia lj comm, was not at the panel

How is The Secret Knots not on this list? OK, fangirl quibble aside, this list is excellent, thanks so much for posting notes!
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-01-25 04:51 am (UTC)

Re: here via the arisia lj comm, was not at the panel

Thanks for stopping by!
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[User Picture]From: addiejd
2011-01-25 03:16 pm (UTC)
I <3 Penny and Aggie
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[User Picture]From: foreveruppercut
2011-02-02 07:32 pm (UTC)
I'm really enjoying Flopside
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[User Picture]From: troutman
2011-02-24 01:56 pm (UTC)
Oooh, consider me flattered. Thanks for the shout out, Steve (and the subsequent write up, Kelly).

A minor correction to the listing, however: Lit Brick is two words, not one.
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[User Picture]From: kjc
2011-02-25 04:20 am (UTC)
Fixed! And you're welcome.
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From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-02 01:03 am (UTC)


If we're gonna talk about comics, we've got to talk about "Bridget over troubled Waters" It's a true comic, by which I mean it is actually funny, not some anime inspired adventure/superhero/quest/magic/drama/humanoid cat-fox person thing that (has merit in its own right, just ought not to be labeled a "comic" as "comics" by definition supposed to be funny)

Bridget over troubled Waters is a true comic in the line of Calvin and Hobbes or Peanuts. I think it's updated like 5 days a week or something too. Always makes me snicker. Very intelligent humor.

Why am I going on about this so much? Because I'm really tired of opening up the newspaper and reading the garbage in there. Bridget needs to be seen so other comic artists will rise to the fxcking occasion!!!

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