Category Archives: Webcomics

Webcomic Review: Slang Pictorial

slang-pictorial

Imagine if you will a little town in England called Bouveray Town, Three Kings to the residents. It seems typical enough: shops, pubs, restaurants, neighbors that have known each other for decades, men and women getting up for work everyday while the children go to school. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Well, that’s unless you’re Jimmy, enforcer for the reigning crime lords. What follows is a series of vignettes about Jimmy, his family, and the various quirky citizens of the now not so quiet town.

It’s sad that so many comic websites focus mainly on the mainstream American direct market. Yes, I am even talking about Image, BOOM!, Oni Press, and all those darlings. And it’s true. Rarely do I see a site pay as much attention to Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, self-published books, and the various manga publishers as much as the billionth Batman comic. And pieces about European comics? Rare as a white, I tell you.

I understand why. It’s because these comics are, as stated, mainstream. They get the most promotion and produced works with large impacts on pop culture. I mean, that’s what pop culture is about, right? Not necessarily what is good, but what is popular.

Now, don’t take this observation as an anti-mainstream rant to bolster indie comics. There are equal amounts of good and bad comics on either side of the fence. However, I think that comic websites could do a lot better to look for, review, and promote comics that don’t get a spotlight for whatever reason.

An untapped market are Webcomics. There are exceptions like Sunstone with huge mainstream success, but must go unnoticed. Now, a lot of Webcomics are imperfect. After all, they tend to be made by a small group of people, usually one person, self-edited, published without the resources of a publisher. There can be delays in updates, the art isn’t so good, or the story riddled with holes. I say it is still important because Webcomics are a way for those with fresh ideas and perspectives to release their work.

Webcomics have a lot of potential to grow the industry, and to ignore them is criminal. That’s why I’m happy to review Slang Pictorial, a new Webcomic by Nick Prolix about a small little town with a lot of big drama. It’s got old school-inspired art, unique characters, and a myriad of influences that coalesce into a quirky slice-of-life story.

Now, there is a print version of the first chapter along with the actual Webcomic, so I think I’ll review both formats in terms of their functionality. With any print comic, I focus on the cover and how well it does in capturing my attention and selling the contents of the comic. Unfortunately for Slang Pictorial #1, it’s a rather boring cover

It has a block of red color at the top half with a map of the town in the bottom half, and the title of the comic and its creator across the center, but nothing else. The cover of issue #2 isn’t much better. In fact, it’s just the first cover but instead with a blue block of color. I appreciate how this comic implies that the setting is going to play a major role in the story, but where are the characters? Where are the implications of what happens in the story?

I need more details than what is provided. It doesn’t have to be much, it can be a group shot of the characters, scenes from the story put in the background, or mere objects placed around the cover that have significance to the story. The cover could be a nice way to anticipate the reader for what will happen, perhaps leave clues for them to put certain parts of the story together. Whatever is done, as long as it catches the eye somehow.

I will compliment, for both the print and Webcomic version, the layout of the panels. Typically, they are laid out vertically on a triangular page. Here, it is like a newspaper’s comic section where the comics are printed horizontally. This layout fits the art style which is like an extended newspaper strip. It also helps that at the beginning of Chapter One there are ads that look like the kind you would find in the back of a newspaper (We still remember what those look like, right?). It’s interesting to have this layout because it forces a comic artist to tell a sequential story with a limited amount of space. This might not sound good, but keep in mind limitations are an opportunity to find new, interesting ways of storytelling.

Slang Pictorial Image 1.jpg

As for the Webcomic’s format, it is good, but the only issue is that there is no archive button yet. However, it is important to keep in mind the Webcomic has just started and there are not that many pages to it, so there is not yet enough material for one.

The result of Nick Prolix’s choice of layout for the art is a mixed bag. On one hand, he creates a detailed setting by masterfully moving from wide, spacial views of the town, to close ups on people and details. At first, I thought there were too many close ups that obscured the architecture. However, there were more establishing shots as the story went on.

As for characters, their designs resemble the look of Krazy Kat and Popeye: exaggerated anatomy, emotive facial expressions, and haircuts that look like they went to a madman barber. The style fits perfectly with the early 1960s jazz/beat era of the story. Reading the comic is like stepping into that time period and getting a feel for the working class neighborhood.

Prolix manages a lot of details with just black and white, using the various inking details such a cross-hatching and motion lines to mimic movement. Unfortunately, the limited panel space makes it so that movement is imperfect, especially with how much buildings and background environs can clutter up the page and obscure motion lines. This might mess with the layout, but perhaps larger panels for scenes of significant movement will be of better use in future chapters.

Another issue is that anatomy wasn’t always consistent. Yes, it’s meant to be exaggerated, but there were where it went too far with misproportioned limbs and uneven spacial relations between objects and characters. These are flaws easily fixed though and don’t impede too much on the reading experience.

Also, the black and white color choice of Chapter One caused scenes to feel cluttered, preventing the reader from discerning objects and details. However, the addition of minimalist color fixed this. Objects and people are clearly separated, not to mention details missed before fleshed out, and I’m able to appreciate Prolix’s pencils more.

Slang Pictorial Image 2.jpg

I can’t tell what the overarching plot of the story is yet. So far, it’s a series of character-focused vignettes. The first two characters the reader meets are Jimmy and Linda. Jimmy is a smooth-talking debt collector for the mob. Arrogant and self-serving, he has violent fantasies about murdering his boss Vasos. It seems Jimmy is incredibly egotistical, and even the slightest insult or command he doesn’t like causes him to burst. He does help people, but only if there is something in it for him.

It’s pretty obvious Jimmy is the macho man type, always needing to appear tough and cool. Part of his machismo are gendered insults toward men to make them seem inferior to him, his favorite being “darling.” However, Jimmy is not this way with his younger brother Georgie. Georgie designs clothes for women, and one might think that Jimmy would berate him for not being manly. That’s not the case though. Instead, Jimmy encourages Georgie and even offers to intimidate judges at a contest to be in his favor. Jimmy is a good brother, except for the creepy way he hits on Georgie’s friend and love interest Hattie.

Slang Pictorial Image 3.jpg

Gross, man.

Linda is a seamstress that works hard in the morning and party harder at night. She lives with her parents, but they don’t know the full extent of her antics. She seems to like her dad well enough, but accuses her mother of being stuck up. Linda comes off as selfish and immature, only interested in the night life and not much else. However, just like Jimmy, there is more than meets the eye. At work, Linda has to deal with a manager that sexually harasses her and she quietly dismisses it, not bothering to report him to the boss. This is contrary to how she is with Jimmy. She likes the guy, but does not put up with his crap whenever he is late. In one scene, Linda gets so peeved with Jimmy she decides to dance with another man. Jimmy doesn’t take too kindly to this and scares the poor guy off. They make up and dance anyway.

Jimmy and Linda are both complicated individuals with both good and bad qualities, sometimes contrarian in how they act around certain groups of people. They also seem to genuinely like each other. Their first date ends with coitus and see each other the next night. My feelings toward them are complicated, which is good. I like that I never truly love or hate them. They resemble real people, and real people make us feel a variety of emotions even when we consider them friends.

Other significant characters include Georgie and Hattie who are also in a process of romantic adventure. Hattie comes with Georgie to art and political protests against the South African government, despite the disapproval of her older brother Eustace that thinks it is best not to get involved. Jimmy’s other family members include his sister Maria and their father. Maria is a hardworking daughter and surrogate mother/wife. The stress of taking care of all the men gives her a short temper, although given Jimmy’s antiques, it is justified. She loves him, but boy would she like to give the two-bit hustler a punch in the mouth. Dad is a kind man but a drunk. There is an implication that his wife and mother to all three children is absent (whether dead, missing, or no longer in their lives is not explained, and it would be interesting if it never was). So, it could be that alcoholism is a way to cope with her lost.

Despite the lack of an overarching story, Slang Prolix is doing a lot of character development and drama that draws the reader in. With Jimmy’s uneasy employment to the mob, Georgie’s protests, Dad’s depression, and the various romantic relationships going on, there is a lot of potential for different plots to unfold.

What I find most interesting are the eclectic influences. Slang Pictorial is an anthology of sorts, but with a main story, The Sheep and the Wolves, the one I’ve just analyzed. Nick Prolix got the title plus some story elements from a pulp novel written by George Burnett. The comic’s story structure, as he describes it is inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight and Death Proof…in which Tarantino is happy to put the brakes on the central plotline and will instead shift the focus onto a seemingly unrelated, languidly paced conversation between his knowing characters.” Also,  Slang Pictorial is the title of a track by rapper Cappadonna. It’s interesting to see all the things that inspired the story when it seems like it has nothing to do with those influences, at least not yet. Who knows? Maybe in the next few chapters, Jimmy and Linda will be holding up diners while discussing beer served in European McDonald’s.

Slang Pictorial Image 4.jpg

One more thing I’ll touch on: I liked the introduction in Chapter One where the character Gus the Gent introduces the reader to Three Kings ad drops some factoids about the town. This was interesting because it allowed the reader to get a better sense of the town. Sadly, this does not appear in Chapter Two. I hope that they return in later chapters. Factoids sprinkled here and there about a setting can make it feel like its own character and not just a background for the humans.

Despite being relatively new, Slang Pictorial has a lot of potential. There are flaws in the art, but the rich setting and fascinating characters draw the reader in. I highly recommend it for  fans of historical fiction, romance, comedy, family drama, and crime thrillers. If you’re interested in getting into Webcomics, then this is a great place to start.

Story: Nick Prolix Art: Nick Prolix
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy/Read

The Webcomic: http://thesheepandthewolves.com/page:12

Nick Prolix‘s Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickprolix

Buy the printed versions: http://nickprolix.bigcartel.com/

Nick Prolix‘s patreon: https://www.patreon.com/nickprolix

 

Advertisements

Webcomics Weekly: Big Fucking Hammer

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Big Fucking Hammer. The strip is created by Danny Djeljosevic, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Danny Djeljosevic: Big Fucking Hammer is the story of Madison Tiger, a teenage girl who gains the power to puke up a giant hammer every time she eats. She finds out her small town of Meteor Fell is secretly run by a mysterious criminal organization that experiments on teenagers for nefarious purposes, so she gets super mad and decides to use her newfound abilities to bring the whole system down and smash everyone who gets in her way. It’s like if Mean Girls were a battle manga.

GP: How often do you update? 

DD: I was gonna be mega glib and say “when it’s done” but I don’t wanna put that Duke Nukem Forever curse on me and my crew. We don’t really have a set schedule — when we finish a chapter, it goes up a single page at a time on an MWF schedule, so there will be an embarrassing drought before a month of new content. So, in other words, “when it’s done.”

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

DD: Our first update was in March of 2015, so we probably got started working on Big Fucking Hammer in late 2014.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

DD: The basic concept of the strip — normal teenage girl is given superpowers by a shady experiment in a small town — dates back to a comic I was hashing out in 2007 when I was sad that I ran out of episodes of Veronica Mars to binge watch. Over the years the premise evolved, gained a title and a feel closer to the final product. When I wanted to come up with a new project with Diana Naneva after our one-shot Final Derby, it felt like the perfect time to pull the trigger on Big Fucking Hammer.

Why it’s awesome: If the name alone doesn’t grab you, then the fact that you’ll see somebody puking up a giant hammer should. This is stupid fun, and yet there’s somethering just below the surface that you’ll want t get more of; Big Fucking Hammer is well worth looking out for.

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site from the first update.

bfh1

bfh2


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

The spirit of Shaka Zulu possess Chicago teen in new webcomic Zulu from Afropunk.com

Afropunk set to publish a new webcomic called Zulu. Created and written by Alverne Ball, Zulu follows the life of Lazarus Jones, a 16-year-old boy who becomes possessed by the spirit of warrior king Shaka Zulu while visiting South Africa with his father. Back home in Chicago, Lazarus finds himself navigating through the turbulent streets of Chicago with friends when he discovers that a big corporation is behind the endless gang violence and disintegration of his neighborhood.

The webcomic features art by Michael Watson of Legacy Publishing, lettered by Jaymes Reed, and edited by Chakira Lane.

Ball said in a release:

“Zulu’ is a story that blends a mixture of hip-hop culture, break dancing martial arts (Capoiera), history, and snippets of social commentary into a heralding coming-of-age story that portrays the “Hero’s journey” in a modern day tale of friendship, family, love, loss, and redemption.

Afropunk will publish a new chapter of Zulu every Tuesday starting on Feb. 7th.

Webcomics Weekly: Anti Christ

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Anti Christ. The strip is created by James Mascia, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

James Mascia: The webcomic is about a woman who is the Anti-Christ, and wants absolutely no part of it. She tries to kill herself time and time again, but can’t. She ruins the lives of everyone she comes into contact with, and her powers seem only good for wreaking havoc and causing death. She is on the run from terrorists who want to use her powers to destroy the Western World, as well as Angels who want to lock her in a purgatory for eternity.

Essentially, the whole story plays with the idea of the Anti-Christ trying to be a good person. Can she, or will she become the monster everyone expects her to be?

GP: How often do you update?

JM: I usually update every other week–on a Tuesday.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

JM: I’ve been working on it since August of 2016.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

JM: Believe it or not, it came from some sick and demented dream I had (I generally don’t dream about myself, which is weird in and of itself. I usually end up dreaming like I’m watching a movie). When I woke up, I jotted all the ideas and plot points down for it. Then I started writing the script for it about a week later. When you read the comic, you will see just how twisted this dream must have been.

Why it’s awesome: This is one of those webcomics that could easily be found printed and bound on the shelf at your local comic shop, and you’d happily pay three or four bucks for each issue; instead you get to read it for free (unless you contribute to the Patreon) on the interwebs, you lucky devil. Anti Christ is an incredibly well illustrated story that has a great flow to it, and one that you should spend some time enjoying.

Below you’ll find a couple pages from the webcomic (the first an second because I didn’t want to spoil anything). Enjoy, then go read the rest!

 


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Versus

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Versus. The strip is created by Robert White, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Robert White: Versus takes genre types or types of people and pits them against each other in humorous, single panel gag strip ‘battles’.

GP: How often do you update?

RW: Five times a week, Monday to Friday.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

RW: Must be about six years now

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

RW: It was back when zombies started becoming popular again: lots of movies, comics and games were doing ‘_________ versus Zombies’ type of stuff and I came up with my own: Pirates Versus Zombies. I wasn’t sure what to do with the idea at first but eventually decided to make up a poster in the style of the sort you’d see for boxing matches. It was whilst making that, that I came up with other ‘versus’ battles and decided to make it into a series. The style of the strips has obviously changed somewhat over the years, but the core idea of taking different genre types and putting them together in an off the wall battle was born from that initial ‘Pirates Versus Zombies’ poster.

Why it’s awesome: This site is a fantastic quick-hit laugh. Check it out each morning while you’re making your coffee, or you have a spare minute or three to read through the archives – whether that’s just clicking randomly on different days (which is what I did for the two sample strips below), or by methodically going through one at a time.

There’s absolutely no reason for you not to be reading this page.

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site, the first from November 24th, 2014…fanboysvssportsfans.jpg

….and the second from August 1st of 2016

cannibalsvsdrugaddicts.jpg


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Old Souls

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Old Souls. The strip is created by Liam McKenna, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Liam McKenna: Termination Shock, specifically, is about a small group of people on board a spaceship. The narrative is told through a flashback, and the story tries to explain the fallout of the story’s driving event on the characters that survive it. It’s a heavy twelve pages.

In the flashback, the characters realize they are carrying some illegal cargo that has a homing beacon on it, and they get attacked by a ship that tracks it. They escape, and debate how they will discipline the guilty crew member. It’s sort of a space-age psychological drama told as quickly as possible.

My other strips can vary pretty wildly – sometimes veering into sci-fi, like Termination Shock or Flunderbot. Other times, I’ll do quick New Yorker or The Far Side-style single panel strips. My home base – where most of my work is focussed – is the classic three or four-panel strip, which I offered under the title Old Souls. That’s more standard comic fare, but I like to play around with different formats a lot.

GP: How often do you update (or how often do you hope to update)?

LM: I’m sure anybody that doesn’t work in comics full-time will tell you that they want to update more often, and that’s certainly the case for me.

I spent the last year in school full-time, working towards my Bachelor of Education, and I was lucky to incorporate a lot of comics into my lessons in history and English. I think it’s an important form, and it was nice to be involved with comics even if I wasn’t actively creating.

That’s my way of saying I’ve barely updated in the past year. At the time Termination Shock was released, in 2013, I was updating about once a week. I ran a successful Kickstarter and tabled a few shows at the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival and the East Coast Comics Expo in 2014. Those were awesome experiences. I’d like to do that again. I actually had to look up the years I worked on the strip and I can’t believe it’s been so long!

That means I’ll want to have a lot of new material for convention season in 2017. I should be back to regularly scheduled programming this month. Once a week is likely for updates, and you can check in on Facebook or Twitter.

GP: How long have you been creating the strip?

LM: I drew my whole life, but I didn’t really start thinking seriously about comics – or working at it with dedicated practice – until about 2012 or 2013, I think. I was 24 or 25, working a lousy job and I wanted to vent. It was an outlet. It’s a familiar origin story, I’m sure.

I really enjoyed making comics from the outset, and what surprised me most was how much I enjoyed the patience of the process. Dedicating yourself requires a one-step-at-a-time mentality. Those early strips were ugly, but I could see progress. I still do.

GP: Where do the ideas for the comics come from?

LM: The dreaded question! The flippant answer is I wish I knew, but it’s also the most honest.

It’s probably some combination of my influences, inspirations, emotions. My environment, too. Sometimes I’ll pull something from a conversation and say, hey, that’s a strip.

I like being ambitious with my work, and that means trying to chase ideas that are probably too big. I’ll start with a theme in mind, and I’ll try to invent characters or situations that communicate the idea in an interesting way. That was the case with Termination Shock, where I wanted to show the fallout of a death in a genre that doesn’t always lend it the gravity it deserves.

But to get back to the question, and the source of ideas – any time my mind can wander, it’s probably a good thing for me creatively. I seem to have a lot of good ideas in the shower. You can really collect your thoughts in there, you know?

Why it’s awesome: I first came across Liam’s comics in my local comic shop when I read a print version of Termination Shock; the four page comic was one of the better stories I had read all week, regardless of whether it was a webcomic or an actual comic. The comics posted on Old Souls are all fantastic, whether it’s the fuller length stories or the short snippets of humour (of which you’ll see an example or two below).

As good as the longer strips are, Old Souls has a great selection of newspaper style cartoon strips that truly shine when you just start hitting the random button on the front page; you never quote know whether you’ll be laughing or finding yourself quietly thinking about what you just read.

Old Souls is so much more than a typical webcomic, and by not constraining himself to a set format for the strips, Liam really allows his creativity to flow freely, which is only going to be a good thing for us readers as he explores the longer form web/comics.

 

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site. Neither of these are from the longer comic stories.old souls one

And the second;

old souls two.jpg


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Johnny Bullet

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Johnny Bullet. The strip is created by Hervé St-Louis, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Hervé St-Louis: The strip is about Johnny Bullet, a 1970s professional drag racer who’s
current adventure starts when his best friend dies in a car crash. But
Johnny Bullet quickly finds out that the car was sabotaged. Instead of
staying behind and doing his usual sleuthing, he escapes to Cross Roads,
Tennessee, where he gets embroiled in street racing and local politics.

GP: How often do you update?

HSL: The comic is updated every Sunday.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

HSL: I started posting the strip on November 2, 2014. I’ve had to put in a few fillers once in a while when I had major obligations but I’ve never missed an update.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

HSL: I’m a fan of Steve McQueen and Johnny Comet, the old racing strip by Frank Frazetta.

Why it’s awesome: Johnny Bullet feels like a very old school comic strip – the kind your father (or grandfather, I suppose) would have read in the newspaper comics growing up, which is par for the course with the strip being set in the 70’s. It’s a brilliant homage to that time, and if you never read the newspaper comics from that time, then Johnny Bullet will help you understand just how fantastic a thing they were.

The strip is released simultaneously in both English and French, but neither is a direct translation of the other, meaning that if you are bilingual (I’m not) then you get twice the amount of comic to read, which is a bonus to an already fantastic comic strip. Make time for this every Sunday – it’s a fantastic addition to your day.

Below you’ll find two strips that were included in the press kit:

johnny bullet 1

johnny bullet 2


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Impisha

After a slight gap, Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics has returned. This is the feature where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that… as you may have noticed). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Impisha. The strip is created by Tobey Truestory, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Tobey Truestory: Impisha, once known by many great titles, turned her back on the kingdom she once served, but is thrown into a secret war to win back that very kingdom. Now, she has to be convinced by others to help in the fight against the profane arts that ate the kingdom from the inside out, turning it into something Impisha did not believe in. She’s not eager to help in this fight, but her would-be allies have mapped out a plan to fight as cleverly as the enemy. The end game is to gain the trust of a third party Impisha mistrusts even more, but is seen as a sort of mediator between kingdoms.

GP: How often do you update?

TT: It was slow at first, because I was still trying to figure things out in the beginning of the story. I put if off for a time, got involved with other projects, and was suddenly struct with all sorts of ideas. I picked it back up and tried to put our at least two or three pages a week, but then I got hired on to an Indie publisher, so I was forced to put it down again. After the first project for that publisher was finished, I knew I was gonna have another project to do for them, so I blazed through the pages, almost putting out a page a day. Now that I got the first chapter done in time to start on the next project for that publisher, I can let readers soak in what’s happened so far. I’m really eager to write the next chapter, so as soon as I finish this work for this publisher, I’ll try to go back to two or three pages a week.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

TT: If I count all the time I’ve actually worked on it minus the forced breaks, I would day….three months? I’m bad a keeping track of that. Eheh.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

TT: Several years back, I was playing around with random sketches, and I drew her head. It’s on a receipt that I still have somewhere. I kept stumbling into it whenever I would move things around. Ideas are always running around in my head, and her face would pop up. I thought she was a cool character concept. Small ideas would jump in and our of my mind, but then I started to think about whether or not there was a reason she looked the way she did. I decided there was….that she didn’t always look that way. So, I wondered why. What could have caused her to go…I don’t know, darker? Something bad. Not like a curse. That’s been done. I wanted it to be self inflicted. Ah, betrayal. In a sort of indirect revenge, she turns her strengths into something dark. What strengths? Well, I like chicks swinging katanas, so I started with that. A warrior. Who did she fight for. That group would betray her by becoming something contrary to what she had been fighting for this whole time.

I wanted the enemy to be able to trick her former comrades into embracing something evil. Since she was the best warrior, she didn’t succumb to this influence, but she was sort of outnumbered. After trying to fight something so ingrained in her allies, she turned her back on them.

Enter other characters who want to regain her kingdom. They only see it right that she be the one to fight with them

Why you should care: The art is a unique blend of pencils, inks and digitized imagery that works surprisingly well with the stripped down tale of a reluctant warrior being dragged back into conflict. Impisha frequently features silent pages that allow the action to flow pretty seamlessly. With the series still be relatively new, you can read the entire strip in a relatively short period of time (the silent pages help with that), and it’s worth a look. There’s an interesting idea here that’s depicted more through the art than dialogue exposition, and in all honesty I can’t quite lay my finger on just what it is (at least not enough that I’d write it here), but I’m enjoying the comic nonetheless. Certainly worth a read.

Below you’ll find a page that was originally posted to the site, on March 4th  2016.

impisha 1.jpg


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Olympus’ Forgotten Children

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Olympus’ Forgotten Children. The strip is created by former Graphic Policy contributor Kenny Coburn, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?Cover

Kenny Coburn: Olympus’ Forgotten Children is an ongoing full length 22 page web comic that takes an honest look at the superhero trope that there are people with god like powers who are above corruption. The world of Olympus’ Forgotten Children is much more honest in how it views humanity than anything you will see at DC or Marvel. The world is not perfect and neither are the people with the most power.

The United States government had finally created a superhero serum to use in war. But, because of crippling debt caused by funding the research necessary to create the serum, the government was forced to sell it to the highest bidding civilians. After a year, those who purchased the serum began to fight back and war began. Fifteen years later, the former superheroes, now known as the Power Cartel, rule the planet. The only other survivors are those working for the Power Cartel or those that have gone into hiding.

It is in this world that three longtime friends, Monya, Kiarynn, and Baxter, begin to try and take the world back from the Power Cartel by any means necessary. Their journey takes them from their underground home through the wastelands of the former United States with only the faint hope of a better future driving them.

GP: How often do you update?

KC: The comic will be released quarterly as currently constructed. We are already hard at work on issue #2. For anyone who does enjoy the project and wants to support it, you can donate to our crowd funding page which will help us fund the project and greatly shorten the timeframe between issues. Every dollar is greatly appreciated.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

KC: The first issue has just been released for free in its entirety. Currently, there are thirteen issues in total planned for the project so the series still has a long way to go before it is complete.

GP: Where did the idea for the comic come from?

KC: The idea for Olympus’ Forgotten Children came after watching Captain America: The First Avenger. The premise that a serum that turns a basic human being into essentially a god happened to go to the kindest person in existence just seemed ludicrous. The world doesn’t work that way and I wanted to explore the finer nuances of what would really happen if a superhero serum was created.

It isn’t exactly a pleasant conclusion that I came to, but I think it is an infinitely more interesting one. People don’t normally fit perfectly into the categories of good and bad. This is the idea I wanted to explore. Once I had that premise, I just continued to build logically into the way I saw the future shaping out.

The idea was very simple, but I think the results have been extraordinary.

Why it’s awesome: Honestly, anything I say here will just be a repeat of what Kenny had said above. Instead, I’ll just direct you to the introduction below and the first four pages in the gallery underneath the intro and let you see for yourselves.

Intro


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

Webcomics Weekly: Bun Toons

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Monday: Webcomics Weekly (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; the feature may happen more or less frequently than that). We’re defining webcomics as any comics published online for free consumption by the general public that doesn’t require a  subscription service.

This week we’re taking a look at Bun Toons. The strip is created by Ty Templeton, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic below.

Graphic Policy: In a nutshell, can you tell us what the strip’s about?

Ty Templeton: Bun Toons isn’t “about” anything in particular, except a challenge to my brain:  Every Saturday morning, I wake up and draw a cartoon strip about SOMETHING.  I often don’t even know the subject matter when I go to bed on Friday night, and sometimes wake up without the slightest idea of what it will be.  If there’s something major in the news, either in comics news or real life news, the strip might be about that because it’s where my brain is hanging out…if there’s nothing current happening worth commenting on, I’ll tell a true story that’s amusing enough to share, or I’ll just do something silly and surreal that made me laugh when it crossed my cerebellum.  It’s about allowing my creativity to work without a net on a crushing deadline.  Each strip MUST MUST MUST go up before 4.00 pm no matter what.  (It used to be earlier, but I often get up around noon on a Saturday, and that gives me a little time…).  I allow for about an hour to conceive and write it, about an hour to draw it, and about an hour to colour/letter and post it, and then it goes up online without a backwards glance.  Some weeks I accidentally make something worth remembering, some weeks it’s not funny and best forgotten.  It’s the once-a-week challenge to my creativity that drives it.  I started doing it without any preparation one Saturday a few years ago, and have produced a strip every Saturday I’ve been home ever since then (except a brief hiatus when I was recovering from my heart attack, and my medications left me too spaced out to draw or write with any clarity).   On days when I’m out of town, or attending a store event or a comic convention, I post a re-run, since I’m literally no where near my scanner and computer, I don’t have a choice.  Every Saturday I’m home, it’s my wake up and draw ritual.

There are some Saturdays I grumble about it.  Some weeks I will tell myself “No one is making you do this, you don’t have an idea, just let it slide…” but I get over that in ten minutes and set my mind to SOMETHING.  There have been strips that are read by less than a thousand people, and then there are strips that are read by many tens of thousands of people and get passed around the net virally.  Obviously I prefer it if people read ’em, but in the long run, it’s about a relationship with my own brain, and the concept of “improvisational” cartooning.

Now, if it has any sort of theme or continuity, it’s sort of about what it’s like to be a comic book freelancer.  Many of my strips are about trends in comics, the trouble with deadlines, how my family and I interact.  I show up as a character in about half of them, and when I’m in the story, I appear as a six foot tall white rabbit wearing a t-shirt with my name on it.  But I also DON’T appear in about half of them, which might feature Donald Trump mud-wrestling an alien or something.  I find the ones that feature myself don’t go viral anywhere near as much as the ones that feature Frank Miller, or Batman or something the internet can bite into.  But that’s the nature of spontaneous creativity…I sort of have no control over it, and it goes where it goes.

GP: How often do you update?

TT: As mentioned in the above answer, I update every Saturday that I’m home.  That works out to about 45 a year.  There have been VERY rare occasions when I’ve done two in one week, because something occurred mid-week and I couldn’t help myself and I pipe in.  That’s happened maybe three times in the last few years, so it’s just something when I can’t stop myself.  Normally it’s about the challenge of being clever or worth reading because the clock says I have to.  I always loved the Lorne Michaels line about Saturday Night Live:  “The show goes on, not because it’s ready, but because it’s 11.30 on Saturday night, and we don’t have a choice”.  That attitude informs Bun Toons.  If it’s Saturday morning, I don’t have a choice.  Get creating, mofo.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

TT:  I’ve been doing them as a weekly webcomic for about five years …BUT I’ve been doing the self-portrait rabbit cartoon strips for decades now.  The rabbit-icon first appeared in an old Fantagraphics comic series called “Critters” and he’s appeared in various industry newszines like SHOPTALK, REALMS, AMAZING HEROES, THE COMICS JOURNAL, etc.

Whenever I’m asked to do a column or an essay about something, I tend to do the rabbit.  Some of the rhythms of the strip are inspired by Feiffer’s stuff, as well as the basic idea of having a rodent stand in for me coming from MAUS.

GP: Where did the idea for the strip come from?

TT: The very very first rabbit strips came from nearly thirty years ago, when I was just starting out as a cartoonist.  I was married to a model, and she used to take work trips to Europe to do photoshoots, or spend a week or so in Manhattan on a gig, etc, and I used to do these little comic books for her when she got home, each entitled “What I did while you were gone”.  This was so she wouldn’t feel she was missing anything at home…and it made drawing them SO much easier to give all the characters animal totems instead of having to do recognizable portraits each time I needed a character to appear.  So I became a rabbit, and my friend Glenn because a squirrel, and various people because dogs and cats and badgers so that anyone could follow the story without wondering who was who.  The first time a Bunny story was actually published was because of a cartoonist friend of mine named Bernie Mireault, who was staying with me in Toronto for a few days, and he saw one of the little comic books, and asked if he could draw it up on full sized paper and “do it up right” for a story in Critters Magazine (a comic devoted to “funny animal” stories from Fantagraphics).  Bernie was insanely talented, so I said “Sure”…and then Bernie took the story and drew it up WONDERFULLY…except he changed my animal totem into a bear.  When I asked him why, he said I struck him more as a bear than a rabbit.  The story ran in CRITTERS (I forget the issue number, sorry…)…it’s called ‘THE TOTALLY TRUE TO LIFE 11:15 PM McDONALDS DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW CAPER” and you can read it here.

It got a good response from folks who read Critters, so I did a few more for the magazine, returning to being a rabbit in the second instalment, when I started drawing them myself.

Why it’s awesome: Because you honestly never know what to expect. Whether it’s a strip about Bill Finger’s involvement with Batman, or everything you need to know about something in four panels, there’s always something worth reading uploaded to the page. I read the webcomic every Sunday morning, and it never disappoints.

Below you’ll find a couple of Alex’s favourite strips (although it was tough it pick out just two, we stayed away from the Bill Finger strips that we recently linked to back in February for Graphic Policy’s Bill Finger week).

The first was posted to the site in November of 2015.thats-my-sickness.jpg

The second, is from October 2015;

halloween-true-life-websize.jpg


If you’d like to have your webcomic featured here, then drop us an email.

« Older Entries