Hey everyone, if you missed the first part of this series, you can read that here. I know I said I was going to post this followup next week, but I’m an impatient bastard, so here it is now. These are webcomics I personally read, and feel deserve wider audiences. They are numbered, but meaninglessly. The stuff I like about each of them is varied enough that ranking them seemed impractical. Also, I may have forgotten how to count.
Kyria is a BEAUTIFUL comic. The attention to detail, and the ability to create masterfully rendered backgrounds with expert use of color really makes Kyria stand out in a landscape saturated with fantasy RPG-inspired comics. It also helps that the characters are fun, well-written and well designed. This is a comic I found myself liking a lot, despite admittedly not usually being a fan of the genre. It transcends the genre with how well-executed it is, and I urge you to give it a try. In fact, its whimsical nature reminds me a bit of movies like WILLOW, rather than games like Final Fantasy, although that’s unmistakably in there as well. I eagerly want more from author/artist and mysterious person Aero Zero, who maintains a Patreon page for Kyria.
Fantastic Crap by Chris Ochs is one of the funniest comics I know of. Very few comics have actually gotten a real physical laugh out of me, as opposed to a smile or a chortle. This comic makes me laugh. It’s something along the lines of Sam & Max in tone and irreverence, and is also hand drawn with traditional media. It follows the adventures of a private detective who also happens to be a giant squid, and is just brilliant stuff. Chris has a PayPal donation button right on his main page.
Ensanguine is a comic I only very recently discovered and is why I may or may not have shoehorned it into this article I’d written awhile ago. In any case, Grace Mulcahy is producing a top-notch piece of science fiction. The plot centers around a red guy named, uh, Guy with magical healing blood that may be the key to everlasting life/man’s continued existence, etc. The art is phenomenal and while I’ve only just started reading through, the story is captivating enough to keep me going back for more. Grace operates a Patreon page for Ensanguine and apparently spends 30 hours a week working on it. Show her a little love if you can.
3. Super Bitch
Superbitch is a comic I like for several reasons: its sense of humor is similar to mine, it’s well drawn, and it features a protagonist who is, well, a bit of a misanthrope. I’ve described it on Twitter as being like BMP’s spiritual sister, albeit, an angry hungover sister. It also successfully swaps between arc based narratives and gag-a-day style, which is something I really want to try with my own comic. Artist/writer Kennedy Cooke-Garza is on hiatus with Superbitch at the moment, but that just means that right now’s a great time to catch up on the archives. She also operates a Paypal account you can donate to right on the front page.
The Demon Archives is written by Daniel Sharp (Twitter, here) and illustrated by several artists, but mostly Sebastian Piriz. It’s a grand sweeping epic science fiction story set in a post-apocalyptic society that relies heavily on technology and armored military personnel. Where it shines is the interesting and subtle backstory that Dan has infused it with so that it doesn’t feel like another cliched Mad Max clone. There’s some very cool artwork going into this, and it doesn’t feel like someone’s hobby, it feels like a graphic novel. The Demon Archives has a Patreon Page.
I’ve written, tweeted and extolled the virtues of this comic before, but you really need to check it out if you haven’t. Zukahnaut is about the adventures of a big, green halien (the ‘h’ is silent) and his journey from broken anti-social weirdo to less broken anti-social weirdo with friends. Zukah himself is meant to be repulsive but he’s almost instantly likable, which in terms of writing, is kind of an accomplishment right there. (You guys all know I have a thing for writing characters like that, right?) This comic is written and illustrated by a talented pair of creators, Otty Justason and Sonya Somers. This is not just one of my favorite webcomics, it’s up there as one of my favorite comics, period. Zukahnaut has a Patreon page. The big guy himself is also on Twitter.
I hope that spotlighting a few of my favorite comics out there will at least, if nothing else, give you guys some other awesome stuff to check out, but also, please, seriously consider throwing these guys a little scratch. Or sharing them with some more of your buds. Or following them on your social media of choice. You know. A little love. And then when you’re done, cough cough, maybe check out BMP’s Patreon.
Please excuse the click-baity title. Normally, I dislike listicle articles, but since I’m not actually listing these in any particular order, and it’s really more done for my own convenience, I decided what the hell. I wanted to go over some webcomics I read regularly which I not only think are great, but I feel deserve a much wider readership than they currently have. For this batch, I decided to focus on long form, “narrative” style comics–I may do another list for gag-style later. Nearly all of them have some kind of Patreon or donation button, and are often frustratingly ignored. These comics are great, please think about checking them out and supporting them. I’m posting the first half of this now, and the second half next week!
Tethered is the post-apocalyptic tale of a hardened survivor and her unlikely friendship with a medical android. The artwork is superb and the story is just starting to pick up now that artist Natasha Saville has spent some time convincingly creating this world. Natasha operates a Patreon page for Tethered and is also active on Twitter.
9. Cotton Tale
Cotton Tale has some of the coolest stylized artwork I’ve seen in a webcomic, and this despite a rocky start with some changing hands in the art department. Initially it reminded me a little bit of the highly stylized art in Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, but lately it’s really started to distinguish itself even more with the latest artist really honing the art even further. Writer Minki Kim’s story is fun and stylish as well, and I really enjoy just about everything going on here. Minki is active on Twitter.
Rasputin Catamite is a strange, brooding and unsettling comic that I once described as “like a nightmare version of Archie comics.” Much of it is crafted seemingly with the express purpose of alienating its readers but I recommend it, not in spite of this, but because of it. There’s a strange disconnect between the look of the character design and the horrifying things happening in the comic. It’s overall pretty NSFW by the way, but give this one a chance. Writer Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz is also a pretty seasoned webcomic pro and has often been a great resource to newcomers trying to get started. She operates a Patreon page for her work and is active on Twitter.
This is one of the most beautiful webcomics I’ve ever encountered. The artwork is traditional watercolors, and the illustration quality is AAA level professional stuff. I find it criminal that this one isn’t read by a HUGE audience. Artist/writer C.B. Webb is very clearly a talented artist and I think this comic serves as an excellent example of what webcomics can aspire to be: beautiful, strange and completely divorced from the mainstream. C.B. has a Paypal donation button on the main page of her comic, please consider helping her out.
Emily Brackhan writes and draws this comic. Don’t be put off by the early artwork, she improves dramatically over time, and now has a story that is doing interesting and unique things with the familiar trope of teenager with electrical-themed super powers. Seriously, this comic is great, and is actually a strong case for webcomics being great simply by virtue of getting to watch an artist improve over time. Emily’s writing is also good. The protagonist’s mother, Amanda is as manipulative and maniacal a character as you’d find in a George R.R. Martin novel and is one of my favorite villains in just about any webcomic. Emily really knows how to write an evil character with just enough sympathy. She is active on Twitter and maintains a Patreon page for Blitz Phoenix.
To be continued with the other 5 comics next week!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what BMP should be and how it could be better. I think this latest story, Salamanders From Hell, has been one of the most artistically gratifying things I’ve done, but it’s also been a continuous uphill battle to get eyeballs to look at it. Since Project Wonderful stats are freely available, you can see for yourself what I’m talking about. After 2+ years of doing these comics I think the problem is that in the domain of webcomics, narrative, long form comics are not where the numbers are. There are absolutely exceptions, I know, but it’s clear to me that in terms of share-ability and gaining an audience, telling stories is not how you become successful. This isn’t to say I’m unappreciative of the following I have managed to gain. You guys are awesome. I love you guys.
So let’s cut to the chase. I want BMP to be successful. I know that this isn’t something that happens over night. I also don’t wish to alienate the people who already like what I’m doing, nor to abandon my principles. I want to tell stories, despite this being the unpopular route. However, I refuse to believe that webcomics are a binary medium, where they have to be one or the other. Narrative vs. Gag-a-day strips to me seems like a false dichotomy. So I have an idea. I’m going to do both.
Right now I’m still working the details out, but what my goal is, is to create a lot of gag-style strips quickly. 3 or 4 panel strips are fairly easy to put together. I may re-use some art assets here and there. They will be crafted with the idea of quantity, but will also open up the opportunity to introduce some new characters I haven’t been able to fit into the larger arcs, as well as bring back some existing ones. This should also generate a large buffer, and hopefully provide some new readership. These will run continuously, in place of narrative comics.
The story comics will be worked on during the buffered times when the gag strips run. Stories will drop all at once now, instead of 3 pages a week. So there will be a wait, (during which you’ll get gag strips), and then get to read the whole story in its entirety, as it was intended. This is meant to answer the numerous people who have said they only check in on the site very occasionally and then binge read what they’ve missed.
Also, if you’re a Patreon supporter, I will still be posting everything as I draw it, so no changes there.
So what do you think? Does this sound feasible? I’m trying to do something that’ll please everybody, which I know may be a bit foolish, but I’ll be honest and say at the very least it’ll provide me with a bit of a break from long form, and you guys will get more frequent updates plus whole “issues,” all at once. I’d love to hear any and all thoughts. Thanks!
EDIT: Hey thanks for all the votes guys! We did really well for only having entered 4 days before the end of the contest. Alas, we didn’t win, but it was still fun.
Hey guys, I entered a silly contest. The rules were that I had to include my character, a desert island, a christmas tree, and an armored dwarf. Also the rules specifically stated “No text is allowed.” I don’t really expect to win this, as everyone else had about a month lead time on me, and I kinda blatantly disregarded the rules, but if you’re feelin’ feisty, could you vote for my entry?