Originally published in issue 278 of the British Science Fiction Association's critical journal, Vector, earlier this year, my second column offers a crash course in science fiction webcomics.
Featuring FreakAngels, Gunnerkrigg Court, Ava's Demon, Thunderpaw: In the Ashes of Fire Mountain, Destructor, Titan, Terra, Dicebox, and I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space, hit the jump for the full article!
Over at The Beat we dedicated last Friday to celebrating the wonderful world of webcomics. We each picked some of our favourites and one was featured every hour. Check out the masterlist and my selections below!
The Abominable Charles Christopher
- one of those rare comics that I recommend to absolutely everyone regardless of their age, genre preferences or comic reading habits. It’s also one of the hardest comics to describe in a way that fully conveys the beauty and genius inside, as it is essentially the tale of a Yeti or Abominable Snowman and his woodland friends... [Read the full article here!]
- a comic that I find myself trying not to visit for as long as possible, only so that I can then drink up a nice long chunk in one go before reluctantly slithering back into withdrawal. The plot is always veering off in spectacular new directions, with cliffhangers and revelations and I WANT TO KNOW MORE! [Read the full article here!]
- probably one of the main reasons I’ve been feeling meh about DC lately. Because this, THIS, is how our heroes should be done! [Read the full article here!]
- a master class in comics storytelling, courtesy of the ridiculously talented Cameron Stewart of Seaguy, Batman and The Other Side fame. It is also the only webcomic I’ve experienced genuine rage when reading, because my goddamn 16 MB/s connection wasn’t loading the next page fast enough. [Read the full article here!]
- most probably a comic everyone has heard of – Tatsuya “Tats” Ishida’s daily strip has been going strong for some thirteen years now but things have recently taken a surprising feminist turn. [Read the full article here!]
The Phoenix Requiem
- probably one of the most beautiful webcomics I’ve read. It is also now complete after 25 chapters and 800 gorgeous pages – the perfect time to sit down and start reading! [Read the full article here!]
- “Warning. This comic started out as an attempt to make pornography.” begins the opening page of the website. “It degenerated into sex comedy pretty much immediately.” Confirm that you are over 18 and we’re on our way! [Read the full article here!]
Those familiar with my writing here and elsewhere will perhaps know that the topic of “women in comics” is pretty much my thing. Feminism and comics history informs much of what I write, while the specific history of women creators (and women characters) within the medium is my actual field of research. But I’m not the only one that mixes academia and a love of comics, as the creative team behind My So-Called Secret Identity shows.
Will Brooker, Batman scholar and academic author, is on writing duties, alongside professional artists Suze Shore and Sarah Zaidan, who also has a PhD in the comics field. I first heard from Will last year after he read an article I wrote about Barbara Gordon, and he talked about plans he had concerning a new kind of female superhero. Fast forward to 2013, and the first issue of MSCSI has launched to high praise indeed.
Sometimes a book comes out that I’m so ridiculously excited about I get paranoid that I’m going to be disappointed in some way. And then it arrives and turns out to be even better than I hoped for. It becomes the book I take everywhere with me to thrust in people’s faces and say, “READ”. That book is this book.
The Adventures of Superhero Girl is a strip you may have heard of already. It’s a webcomic by the fantastically proficient cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks, who has a whole host of graphic novels to her name (Friends with Boys, Brain Camp, Zombies Calling and the upcoming Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong). I say webcomic, but although it is all available to read online for free, it was actually created for a local newspaper. And it is fabulous.