Tag Archives: Webcomics

Webcomics Weekly: Radio Silence

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.

radiosilence_promopage_smallThis week we’re taking a look at Radio Silence. The strip is created by Vanessa Stefaniuk, 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?

Vanessa Stefaniuk: Radio Silence is a coming-of-age tale of five musician friends trying to make it big in the music world. Their rise to fame will test their friendships, and will push them on a path of self discovery and self acceptance. It’s a fun, sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic slice of life type story with silly accents and the occasional rocking out like true rock stars. It will approach more serious tones as the story progresses, such as acceptance of sexuality, past abusive relationships coming back to haunt, and weighing family troubles. And then there’s a silly wizard hat and a Rihanna ringtone. We’ve got it all!

GP: How often do you update?

VS: Updates usually hit Tuesdays and Fridays.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

VS: Radio Silence was released in July 2015 with a big 10 prologue pages to try and get people hooked off the bat. Now we’re well into our first chapter half a year later!

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

VS: Somewhere between watching a lot of band documentaries and reading the Wikipedia page for bands such as Badfinger, I became fascinated with the behind the scenes lives of these people we put up on pedestals. The idea developed with help from a friend who encouraged me and wrote the main story points alongside me, exploring this world of this British rock band and what chaos could ensue. Additionally, my brother studied music composition at McGill University, and I’m having fun collaborating with him with all the technical sides to this whole “band” thing!

Why it’s awesome: I’m from England, and one thing I’ve noticed in the ten years since I’ve been over this side of the pond is that when some people write an English character they tend to rely a little too much on the stereotypical verbiage of the English. Mate, cheers, bloke, you’ve all heard it (or read it) when a writer is trying to write an English character. Sometimes it’s okay, sometimes it’s bloody terrible, and once in awhile it’s natural.

Vanessa Stefaniuk‘s Radio Silence is one of those rare times when it felt utterly natural. Indeed it wasn’t until I asked her that I found out while she has visited England, and has family from her mum’s side there, she’s actually Canadian.

But beyond that, Radio Silence is a fantastically constructed story about a band’s rise to prominence; the characters remind me of friends I haven’t seen in years (since I left England, actually), they’re relatable, engaging and fallible. As the comic progresses you start to get a real sense of who they are, and you genuinely  pull for the band.

Honestly, this is a fantastic webcomic that you should keep up with.

Below you’ll find a selection of pages from the comic. Enjoy!


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

Comics Herstory: Emily Carroll

24727085Emily Carroll is a writer and artist from Ontario who has been terrifying readers since 2010. She gained notoriety for her webcomic, His Face All Red, which, after publication on her site, made rounds (and still occasionally pops up) on various sites.

Carroll began her comic career in webcomics, publishing fairy tales, romance, and dream journals in addition to horror stories. Her illustration work has appeared in Paste Magazine, Wolfen Jump online anthology, and Spera. Carroll also illustrated the graphic novel Baba Yaga’s Assistant, written by Marika McCoola and published last year.

In 2014, she published her first collected work, a book of short horror comics titled Through the Woods. Visually, the book is stunning. Carroll stretches the medium, using a combination of art, coloring, and lettering that builds the suspense of each story. The illustrations themselves are layered and rich, giving the book an otherworldly feel.

What makes the book truly special, though, isn’t just the visual element. The stories are creepy, yes, but can feel ambiguous. However, when these comics are read as a way to understand reaction to trauma and trauma itself, they become much more accessible. The horror of seeing something that cannot be there is grounded in the very real horror that comes with various types of loss.

91bldt8cbtlThis theme is also exemplified especially well in Carroll’s webcomic, Margot’s Room. As with the print medium, Carroll pushes the boundaries of webcomic by forcing readers to interact with the comic in order to read it. Clicking on the comic (available on her site) takes the reader to a screen with a poem written over an empty bedroom with bloodstained floorboards and a broken window. In order to read the comic, readers must click on various objects in the room, all related to the poem at the top of the page.

The order in which the reader is supposed to click on the objects is given, but somewhat subtly. The end result of this is that it forces the reader to interact with the trauma that the main character has gone through. The fact that the order isn’t immediately clear points to the disorienting nature of a traumatic experience, and this produces a visceral sort of fear.

Carroll continues to push the boundaries of storytelling in any given medium, which makes her an exciting artist and storyteller to follow. These stories are valuable not only for their aesthetic appeal (which is not a small amount of appeal) but for forcing readers to consider the source of the horror in the story–what constitutes horror for the characters and why.

Webcomics Weekly: The Substitutes

In a new feature here a Graphic Policy, we’ll take a look at one of the many webcomics out there that the staff enjoy each week (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; it may happen more or less 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 The Substitutes. The strip is created by Myisha Haynes, 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?

Myisha Haynes: Roommates Freddie, Emilio, and Bianca accidentally acquire the magical weapons and responsibilities meant for someone else, and must learn what it means to become the hero to another’s story.

GP: How often do you update?

MH: Currently, every other Tuesday. I’m hoping to go to once a week in the future.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

MH: The comic just started September 8, 2015–still very much a youngin’!

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

MH: It started off as a goofy idea about a group of apartment neighbors who discovered a portal in their shared laundry room. As I started to think more about what would be on the other side of that portal (magic weapons! The people who those magic weapons belong to!) and what that would mean for the story, the circumstances changed, but the central idea of fish-out-of-water urbanites with magic stayed the same.

Why it’s awesome: Although still in its infancy when compared to some of the other webcomics we’ve featured, this is always a joy to read. Click on the link here to access the archives and read a really entertaining illustrated story that has some fantastic art and a whole lot of heart and soul. Yes, the comic is young, but it’s absolutely bloody fantastic.

Below you’ll find a selection of pages from the strip; the first is from January 2016, and the second and third from September 2015.

chapter 1 page 2.jpgprologue page 2.jpgprologue page 3.jpg


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

Mildred Louis Discusses Agents of the Realm

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 4.31.02 PMEarlier this month, writer and artist Mildred Louis took her webcomic Agents of the Realm (a comic about college-aged magical girls) to Kickstarter to fund the printing of physical copies. The project hit its funding goal in less than a week, but will remain on Kickstarter until March 2. I spoke to Mildred about her project and the transition from web to print comic.

Graphic Policy: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and congratulations on hitting your Kickstarter goal already! Did you expect this kind of response when you posted the project?

Mildred Louis: Not at all! I am honestly floored at the positive response I’ve been getting over this. I consider myself a tiny little bean in the comic world, still very new to the game and not a big established name. Being able to see so many people feel like what I’m doing is worth supporting has been incredibly encouraging and also very humbling.

GP: Agents of the Realm has been a webcomic for a while now. When you first started publishing it, did you have any idea that it would get as big as it is now?

ML: Oh gosh, no. The Webcomics game is kinda dicey when you get down to it. There’s no real clear way to figure out what’s going to do well and what isn’t. I also was nervous since I originally imagined this series to be like your typical monthly installment floppies, so I’ve been worried about how well doing the page by page update would translate. I thought for a while that the pacing would just be off and brutal but I’m learning to enjoy it and am glad my readers seem to be, too!

GP: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this project for you?

ML: Getting to see my readers responses to the updates. I think when you spend so much time working on a story idea, you start to wonder if other people will actually be invested in it like you are. So being able to see my readers reactions and see that they’re interested and involved in the story has been very encouraging.

GP: As you’ve said before, Agents of the Realm is inspired by magical girls. Were you inspired by any particular series, and do you have comic books that inspire you as well? (Favorites?)

ML: I think the big ones are definitely Sailor Moon (of course) and Magic Knight Rayearth. I’ve also been inspired quite a bit from the original Young Justice comic series from back in the late 90s. I just honestly love stories that are about a group of people, how they interact with one another and the complexities that come from creating a team that has to work together.

GP: Can we expect to see print versions of Agents of the Realm in stores, or is the book version only available through Kickstarter?

ML: I’d definitely love to get it in stores! I know I’ve gotten some interest from a few places so fingers crossed it’ll happen. But regardless, the books will still be available post-Kickstarter at conventions I’ll be at throughout the year!

GP: What are you most excited for readers to see when the book comes out in print?–Is there anything you got to do with the book that you couldn’t do with the webcomic?

ML: I’m very curious to see people’s reactions when they’re able to read the entire thing at once. There’s also going to be a special chapter that I’m adding to the books that I won’t be releasing online and I am extra excited to see people’s reactions to it!

GP: Can you tell us a little about the awesome rewards that come with backing the Kickstarter?

ML: There’s a ton of stuff being offered currently! I have postcards that have been illustrated by a number of great artists, including Nilah Magruder (M.F.K), Victoria Grace Elliott (Balderdash!), and Isabelle Melancon (Namesake). I’ve also got two prints that’ll be available that will be foil stamped that I’m also very excited over. There were also a number of specialty items including Acrylic Replicas of the girl’s amulets but those went very quick!

GP: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about that I didn’t ask you?

ML: Not that I can think of!

GP: Thank you again for your time!

Agents of the Realm is available to buy digitally or in print on Kickstarter, and available to read digitally here.

Webcomics Weekly: Dinosaur Comics

In a new feature here a Graphic Policy, we’ll take a look at one of the many webcomics out there that the staff enjoy each week (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; it may happen more or less 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 Dinosaur Comics. The strip is created by Ryan North, 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?

Ryan North: Talking dinosaurs tackle the big questions in life, and also Batman.  Linguistics too, usually.  And stomping.  Oh I should also mention it’s the same six pictures every day – I just change the words – and I’ve been making the comic for over 12 years.  That too!

GP: How often do you update?

RN: It used to be daily, but now it’s M-W-F.  That leaves a little more time for other projects, like my upcoming choose-your-own-path version of Shakespeare called Romeo And/Or Juliet (romeoandorjuliet.com) and writing comics for Marvel, like The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

RN: Since February 1st, 2003.  Hah hah hah HOW HAS IT BEEN THIS LONG??

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

RN: I wanted to make a comic but couldn’t draw, so I came up with the idea of a comic where it was always the same story, but drawn differently.  That didn’t solve my problem at all; in fact it only made it worse!  But then I flipped the idea around to “a comic where it’s the same pictures but different story” and ran with it.

Why it’s awesome: The fact that the pictures haven’t changed is just brilliant. It really makes you focus in on the quality of the writing and the jokes (although if you don’t find the same images repeated with each strip fantastic, then visually this may drive you nuts). And some of the jokes are, frankly, hilarious. Also, dinosaurs.

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site, January 27th 2016Dinosaur Comic 1.png

The second, is from June 8th 2012;Dinosaur Comic 2.png


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

Battletoads: Turbo Tunnel Trouble, Check Out the Comic!

Did you appreciate the hardest video game ever Battletoads? Did it frustrate you beyond belief? Well, you’re not alone.

Creator Wes Locher over the next couple of months will be releasing licensed short comics, and the first up is Battletoads: Turbo Tunnel Trouble which you can read today.

Locher is teaming up with artist Loch Ness for the short because they share an appreciation of what we consider to be the hardest video game of all time. And because comic creators are nuts, they decided to explore that appreciation through the majesty of comics. Readers can enjoy the 90s throwback and if they want to email their favorite comic publisher and encourage them to pick up the Battletoads license so they can continue the adventures, they wouldn’t stand in the way.

Check out the comic for free now!

battletoads_cover

Webcomics Weekly: Tales Of Elgon

In a new feature here a Graphic Policy, we’ll take a look at one of the many webcomics out there that the staff enjoy each week (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; it may happen more or less 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 Tales Of Elgon. The strip is created by Abrian Curington, who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about the webcomic, which you’ll find below.

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

Abrian Curington: Tales of Elgon is about a self-doubting writer and his aquatic yak, on their quest to save their home from an enemy invasion. Little do they know that the real danger lies in wait, deep beneath the surface…

It’s long-format comic so it does require starting from the beginning in order to get the big picture, but I’ve tried to make it pretty new-reader friendly with a small number of main characters. Though I tackle issues of believing in yourself and your life path, the tone stays pretty light.

GP: How often do you update?

AC: Elgon updates with a double page spread each Thursday! It was important to me that they came out in spreads. It was really made for print, so I try to simulate that with my updates: you turn a page, you get a spread. You click next, you get a spread. I always feel more satisfied when an artist decides to surprise us with a spread. Why not make it a weekly occurrence?!

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

AC: I ran a test chapter of Tales of Elgon: Rialan from April to August 2014. Then I stopped and did a complete overhaul on the art and story! Tales of Elgon proper has been running since October 2015.

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

AC: Actually the idea came about in a weird way. I’d just failed at drawing a curly-haired girl protagonist for a picture book. So I doodled a curly-haired boy at random. Right after, I started an online course through The Lamp Post Guild about making a series of images.

Well why not have this guy roam through a crazy world? Good hair practice! Eventually, this boy and his world got a story! Tales of Elgon was born.

Why it’s awesome: As much as this is a webcomic, its also very much a fantastic ongoing comic series that just happens to be published online. For free. There’s some fantastic artwork here, and some pretty important statements about self belief, coupled with some pretty funny moments.

Below you’ll find two pages from the webcomic from the opening chapter; pages 25 and 26.Rialan Ch1 P25 Text Web.jpgRialan Ch1 P26 Text Web.jpg


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

#ComicTalk Roundup: Sex, Violence and Other Stuff

Twitter has become a modern day version of the debates and discussions that were once the domain of brick and mortar comic shops. Each Sunday sees a new discussion in #ComicTalk hosted by @JamieMeWrites. A series of questions are asked with individuals Tweeting their thoughts. Beginning at 10:00am PST (1800 GMT) the discussion is often insightful and allows a free form of ideas about the comic industry to flow.

I’ll be playing around with the format for this, so please be patient for the first couple, and that includes as to what is chosen as responses featured. This time each question has it’s own page. If you like this format better or worse, please comment and let us know!

This week’s topic?

It’s all about Mature Content, “NSFW Welcome,” with Sex, Violence and Other Stuff.


Comictalk NSFW Q1

Q1: Who are you, what do you do and where can we find you?

Webcomics Weekly: Romantically Apocalyptic

In a new feature here a Graphic Policy, we’ll take a look at one of the many webcomics out there that the staff enjoy each week (but don’t be fooled by the “weekly” part of the title; it may happen more or less 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 the simply gorgeous, Romantically Apocalyptic. The strip is created by Vitaly S Alexius, 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?

Vitaly S Alexius: It’s a post-apocalyptic, dark humour comedy with horror elements.

GP: How often do you update?

VSA: Once a week to once a month, it depends on how busy I am with other work and on how detailed each strip is. (Usually they’re unnecessarily detailed).

GP: How long have you been producing the strip?

VSA: Since 2005 as a concept and since 2010 as my full-time responsibility.

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

VSA: I have a hobby called “urban exploration,” which basically involves finding abandoned buildings, exploring and photographing them. It is a lot of fun to witness fall of human structures and decay that immediately takes over buildings, eroding the walls, chipping paint, cracking floors- nature consuming all we’ve created over just a couple of decades if a building is left without humans.

Often these buildings are filled with deadly chemicals/asbestos/dust, so I wear a 3M safety mask. This mask is where the captain’s face comes from- Captain wears the exact same mask. I always wanted to do a comic and have been poked by my fans since 2005 to create a “series” based on my post-apocalyptic paintings, but for a long time I had no idea how to do it, until I’ve moved into a house that had a greenscreen studio in the basement.

At around the same time, I bought a police hat at a local garage sale. After taking several photos of my friend in the hat and mask, I decided that this would be an awesome way to create a comic – combining photography and illustration, the way matte painters do it for Hollywood films.

The themes of the comic are inspired by my childhood in a Soviet Union Science-town. The town was run by a Technocracy comprised of universities and labs that invented and manufactured: viruses, nuclear reactors and computer networks. One of the scientific accomplishments therein was creating the first personal computers for USSR and accidentally poisoning half of the forest. The town and its dreams of a communist utopia ruled by robot overlords vanished in 1991, to make way for a series of highways.

Why it’s awesome: Scroll down a bit and take a look at the comics. They are simply wonderfully expressive pieces of art done in a very unique way. The use of colour and the details within each piece is frankly astounding. Some of the webcomics are text free, or silent, where as others do feature speech and some form of narration. That there are only two of the Romantically Apocalyptic comics featured here should give you an excuse to go through the archives, and take a look at the more than 230 previous installments.

Below you’ll find two strips that were originally posted to the site, one from December of 2010, and the other is a little more recent.

Romantically Apocalyptic 33

 

The second, is from March 2014;

Romantically Apocalyptic 178


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

#ComicTalk Roundup: Community Special II

Twitter has become a modern day version of the debates and discussions that were once the domain of brick and mortar comic shops. Each Sunday sees a new discussion in #ComicTalk hosted by @JamieMeWrites. A series of questions are asked with individuals Tweeting their thoughts. Beginning at 10:00am PST (1800 GMT) the discussion is often insightful and allows a free form of ideas about the comic industry to flow.

I’ll be playing around with the format for this, so please be patient for the first couple, and that includes as to what is chosen as responses featured. This time each question has it’s own page. If you like this format better or worse, please comment and let us know!

This week’s topic?

It’s a community special where participants get to choose the questions!


Q1

Q1: Introduce yourself to the #ComicTalk universe

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