Webcomics

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A round-up of comics-related stuff that’s on my ‘should mention on blog’ list.

First up, for those of you with the kit/inclination to read comics digitally, there’s a stupendously good sale on (for another couple of days) at Comixology, where a whole heap of stuff from the publisher Top Shelf is at up to 60% off.  Top Shelf is a high quality publisher of diverse, smart comics, with not a superhero in sight (except as parody, I suspect).

Me, I snagged myself digital copies of Infinite Kung Fu and The Underwater Welder.  You, if you were so inclined and have not yet sampled their delights, could try From Hell, Far Arden, Essex County, SuperSpy (all better than good imho) or any of the other great books too numerous to mention lurking in the sale listing.

Second up, quite a while back now, top comics blog The Beat ran a 24hrs of webcomics thing, churning out links to heaps of comics that are just a click of a mouse away from your eyeballs.  There’s a whole load of great stuff in there, worth having a browse through when you’ve got a few minutes (hours?) to kill.

Third up, I am still doing some comics talk over at SF Signal, in my Words and Pictures column there.  Since last mentioning it here, I think I’ve talked about:

Prophet, the most wonderfullest, crazy, 70s-ish sf comic you ever saw, anywhere.  Probably.

Daredevil, in three different incarnations; my favourite superhero, I confess, and one who’s been blessed with some very good writers and artists over the years.

Revival and The New Deadwardians, two recent ‘zombie’ comics that do interesting and entertaining things with a rather over-exploited sub-genre, and manage to come up with something fresh.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, the original manga not the movie, which is a fascinating, multi-layered sf epic loaded with ambition and imagination (and cool aircraft dog-fighting with one another).

And fourth and last up, I’ll just mention again, for anyone who missed it last time around, that Forbidden Planet International were kind enough to inflict their Desert Island Comics feature upon me, and I duly came up with a selection of eight comics (plus one luxury) that I’d take with me to a desert island.

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Since I was talking about a comic I stopped reading in my last post, seems only fair to balance that out with a pointer towards one I just started reading.  The good thing about this one is that if you’re so inclined you can read it – as I’ve started doing – entirely free of charge, in the form of a webcomic.

Skullkickers is a mildly bonkers, quite silly, quite violent fantasy comic following the adventures of two not especially bright but admirably determined mercenaries.  It’s pretty simple stuff, but it’s got plenty of energy and is a a diverting read.  Tongues are firmly planted in cheeks here, so I guess your level of enjoyment might vary depending on how in tune with the humour you are, but as with a great many webcomics (although this is technically a print comic adapted to the web), the more you read the more fun you’re likely to find it.

It’s written by Jim Zub and drawn mostly by Edwin Huang (with bits drawn by Chris Stevens, who’s the official ‘co-creator’ of the series).

As a side note, Jim Zub has a very good blog, which occasionally includes fascinatingly frank inside info on the inner workings and creative economics of the comics business.  That’s also where I found out about another graphic novel he’s got online – Makeshift Miracle – which I haven’t read yet so I’ve no idea if it’s good, but it does have absolutely lovely looking art by Shun Hong Chan.

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Did a little summer-cleaning of the Links page, so thought I’d just replicate here some new additions that might be of interest:

The Coode Street Podcast – Serious (mostly) discussions of the spec fic field, covering sf, fantasy and horror; interesting stuff for those who take their sf fanhood seriously.

Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether – A webcomic by Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett, which looks to be a fun sf steampunk romp.

SF Signal – Pretty much the most comprehensive and consistent general speculative fiction blog out there, I think; and with a podcast, too, for added fun.

That’s it.  Go on about your business.

Thought for the Day

Just saw this over at ifanboy, and thought it was so nice I’d make my own small contribution to spreading it around the internet.

That’s a small extract from a lovely vertical comic by one Iva Eda Margrethe Neverdahl, the whole of which you can see here.  The whole thing is at once simple and sophisticated, smart, easy on the eye; it’s well worth a look, particularly for anyone with creative aspirations.  It might not change your life or anything, but it could put a smile on your face.  According to her deviantart page, Iva Eda is 17 years old, which I find … not amazing, exactly, but pretty impressive.