Category Archives: Webcomics

Listen to Graphic Policy Radio Talk As the Crow Flies and Steven Universe with Melanie Gillman on Demand

On demand: iTunes ¦ Sound Cloud ¦ Stitcher ¦ BlogTalkRadio ¦ Listed on podcastdirectory.com

As the Crow Flies is a story about Charlie — a queer 13 year old girl who finds herself stranded in a dangerous place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.  It has been nominated for the Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize (2013), an Eisner Award (2014), and an Ignatz (2016), and won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators (2016).

Creator Melanie Gillman joins graphic Policy Radio to discuss their webcomic as well as Steve Universe!

Melanie Gillman is an Eisner- and Ignatz-nominated cartoonist.  They are the creator of As the Crow Flies, a webcomic about queer teens and Christian youth camp, which will be published by Iron Circus Comics in late 2017.  They have also written the Steven Universe comic for BOOM! Studios including the fan-favorite Stevonie storyline. They currently live in Tulsa, OK, where they are a 2017-2018 fellow in the Tulsa Artist Fellowship program.  Their work can be read at: http://melaniegillman.com

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Library of Congress Announces Webcomics Archive

The Library of Congress has announced two new born-digital collections are now available – the Webcomics Web Archive and the Web Cultures Web Archive.

The Webcomics Web Archive focuses on comics created specifically for the web and supplements the Library’s extensive holdings in comic books, graphic novels and original comic art.

Webcomics selected for this collection include award-winning comics as well as webcomics that are significant for their longevity, reputation or subject matter. The collection includes sites such as Dinosaur Comics, Hyperbole and a Half, and XKCD. Also included are works by artists and subjects not traditionally represented in mainstream comics, including women artists and characters, artists and characters of color, LGBTQ+ artists and characters, as well as subjects such as politics, health and autobiography.

The Web Cultures Web Archive  is a representative sampling of websites documenting the creation and sharing of emergent cultural traditions on the web such as GIFs, memes and emoji. The project is part of the American Folklife Center, established by Congress to document traditional cultural forms and practices.

The effort will help scholars 25 and 100 years from now to have a fuller picture of the culture and life of people today. Sites included in the archive are Urban Dictionary, Internet Meme Database, Emojipedia and Boing Boing.

The Library collected and is displaying these sites with permission. Any further use by the public may also require permission.

The Library has been archiving select websites since 2000 and has now preserved more than a petabyte of web content, including collections of federal executive, legislative and judicial websites; sites of international governments; and national institutions such as the U.S. Olympic Committee and the American Red Cross.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States ­­— and extensive materials from around the world — both on site and online.

Kismet, the First Muslim Superhero, Returns

Having debuted in 1944’s Bomber Comics #1, “Kismet, Man of Fate” never had his own fate revealed despite being comic books’ first Muslim superhero. Over seventy years passed between his last adventure fighting Nazis behind the front lines in war-time Germany and just last year when he returned as part of The Broken Frontier Anthology, a successful Kickstarter campaign from publisher A Wave Blue World (AWBW). Now, the same Eisner Award-nominated team that brought back the character is continuing his modern-day adventures in the weekly Kismet, Man of Fate online feature as part of the AWBW’s Under Current imprint.

Writer A. David Lewis and artist Noel Tuazon are joined by colorist Rob Croonenborghs and Ghost Glyph Studios in bringing Kismet to the current day. Beginning May 2nd and running two pages per week for the next year, the storyline will pit Kismet against the climate of the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign and its ensuing fallout in Boston and beyond. Additionally, the issues of LGBTQ rights, experimental science, and immigrant communities will feature prominently in the year-long storyline.

Lewis, who separately serves as the President of Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective (CYRIC), has no intention to fall into superhero conventions nor shy away from challenging, real-world conflicts. In the release, Lewis said:

Kismet was created at a moment where fascism was a real and present danger. With the political climate being what it is right now – with Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and hate crimes all on the rise – there seems no better time to reengage the character.

Kismet, Man of Fate is available weekly with the initial pages already available for free viewing. The completed storyline will be available in print in 2018.

Webcomics Weekly: Rising Sand

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online: 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.

BFFs XPOSTERThis week we’re taking a look at Rising Sand. The strip is created by Ty Dunitz and Jenn Lee, 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 Dunitz: The sun is falling from the sky, and a group reluctant friends are going to try to stop it, to keep their world from literally burning up—assuming they even can.

GP: How often do you update?

TD: Our schedule has typically seen us release a new page each Wednesday. However, due to some recent injuries to each of our respective drawing hands, we’ve had to temporarily slow to two pages a month. Making a comic with visuals as detailed as RS comes with some serious stakes, and we’re unfortunately learning our limits the hard way.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

TD: Jenn and I launched RS just over a year ago. Preproduction began several months before that.

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

TD: My first love is lore. I really enjoy concepts that take the time to consider minutae, that the reader can zoom in and out of like a fractal without it falling apart. Rising Sand‘s world of Erj, as such a concept, was initially an exercise to sharpen my worldbuilding skills—my original aim was to create a roleplaying game, as a sandbox for people to tell their own stories. As the project developed, however, I realized it might be fun to first tell one of my own. Briefly, the plan was to write RS as a novel, but Jenn convinced me otherwise… and, here we are. While presented as a colourful, animated friends-on-the-road adventure, RS is ultimately just a cynical coping mechanism for my anxiety about death. That possibly has yet to be made clear on the page, but… we’ll get there.

ADDITIONAL LINKS
RS on Twitter
Ty on Twitter
Jenn on Twitter
RS Patreon

Why it’s awesome: On the About page on Rising Sand‘s website, there’s a fantastic blurb that you’ll find pasted below that pulled me right into the story with an almost unnatural ease.

Erj is a world kept alight by a sun that has orbited faithfully since recorded memory—and now, that faith is faltering.

A band of extraordinarily unlikely heroes will try and keep the sky itself from falling while facing threats they could never have imagined.

So, you know, the usual.

There’s an incredible amount of great content to read through, with a wonderful aesthetic to each page (which you can have a look at below). Honestly, I’ve seen comics from the Big Two that struggle to compare to this, frankly wonderful webcomic. At this point, I haven’t read every page of the story, but what I have read I’ve really enjoyed – there’s around 50 pages of story content uploaded, which you can read in a pretty decent amount of time, so I highly recommend you check this story out. It’s so much fun.

Below you’ll find three pages originally posted to the site.

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

Webcomics Weekly: Zulu

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Sunday: 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 Zulu. The strip is written by Alverne Ball, 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?

Alverne Ball: Zulu is the story of teen named Lazarus Jones who becomes possessed by the spirit of the great 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.

GP: How often do you update?

AB: Zulu will be updated with 2 pages every Tuesday on Afropunk.com

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

AB: It’s been some years I’d say, too many to want to reveal the real number, but it wasn’t until a year ago I pulled the series back out of the dark closet of my hard drive and felt that it neeWded to get out. In that time there was ups and downs but I had just finished a multi-artist web comic with Afropunk (When We Were Kings) and I thought if I can get the band back together (more importantly, artist Mike Watson) then AP might be the perfect platform for telling this story since they gave me a shot to do WWWK when no one else would hear my proposal, plus I felt that with the rise in violence in Chicago this story spoke truth to a marginalized voice that lives in the middle of all the chaos.

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

AB: It came in part because at the time I had never written a superhero comic and I wanted to challenge myself, you know, to see if i could do it, but at the same time I wanted to fuse my love of history with something or someone that when people saw it they’d get it, i.e. Shaka Zulu, but with a new twist to this hero’s journey and how embracing one’s ancestry and culture can build pride instead of a sense of apathy for that culture because of how its been portrayed in mass media.

Below you’ll find some sample images to when your appetite.

Zulu_1_cover_final copy.jpgZulu_page_10a copy 2.jpgZulu_page_30 copy 2.jpg


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

Webcomics Weekly: Kid Carvers

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s spotlight on webcomics, where we take a look at one of the many comics available online every Sunday: 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 Kid Carvers. The strip is created by Jason Reeves, 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?

Jason Reeves: Sure. Kid Carvers is about twins; Marley and Charley Carver, who also happen to both be kid geniuses. The setting is New Orleans, LA. The twins’ stomping ground/base of operation is their grandmother, ‘Moonie’s backyard, where she takes care of them after school. Marley is a cross between Quvenzhané Wallis’ Annie and a mad scientist, and if you put Doc Brown’s brain into Marty Mcfly, with old Kanye’s fashion sense, you get Charley.

They have a bit of a time dodging bullies in school and outsmarting their teachers, but in their spare time they investigate strange occurrences & mysteries only their brilliance can solve.

GP: How often do you update?

JR: Every Wedenesday.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

JR: We’ve been posting since January 3, 2017. So we’re only a few weeks in. We’re very new.

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

JR: Having done a few more comic conventions in the past couple years, we saw that there were few if any all-ages books that the kids could take home with them. As much as we love our sort of rated ‘teen’ comics, looking at all those little eyes peering over the table con after con and having to tell their parents that maybe this book or that was a little too old for them, was a problem for us. So we set out to fill that need as we saw it and Kid Carvers was born.

We (Alverne, Kemi, Joe, Brandi, & I) really loved the optics of shows like Doc McStuffins, the Boondocks, comics like Tuskegee Heirs, and webcomics like Bounce, so we set out to create, inspired by content with an animated feel. 

We also wanted to conjure the idea of Black inventors, many that may be the unsung but brilliant minds of our past. Who better to represent the idea than George Washington Carver. I’m a big fan of the inventive mindset, a mind not just willing to rest on convention, but step outside of it to find more optimal methods, and in turn creating new more efficient conventions. Carver was all about that, creating alternative means of production for poor farmers to compete, and even thrive with the resources (peanuts,….) already available to them. That spirit of overcoming is definitely something I wanted to infuse into the twins.

We plan to shine a spotlight on Black inventors, engineers, and scientists who would be the twins’ heroes. Expect to hear mentions of some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t.

Our model is one more creators have started to embrace in recent years, presenting the content as a webcomic and also collecting the pages into print copies. It gives readers their choice of how they’d like to consume the content. If they’d like to support monetarily they can do so, but anyone can enjoy Kid Carvers free of charge, I think its the win win.

You can read Kid Carvers: Engineers of the Impossible every Wedenesday at: http://kidcarvers.com/

Or you can get Kid Carvers: and the Backyard Bike Bandits for purchase at: http://www.133art.com/


Why it’s awesome: Oh man… I don’t honestly think I can say anything more than what’s already been said. Y’all need to check this out yesterday.

Below you’ll find some examples of the webcomic in no particular order..

Kid Carvers Poster v2.jpgKid Carvers pg1 [small].jpgwebcomic pg12.jpgKC advert4.jpg


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

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

 

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!

 


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