Web Comics (Part 2)

I wrote a post about fantasy web comics I enjoy a few months ago. I never intended to write a follow up but there are three more comics I’ve been reading regularly that I felt like sharing.

Hark! A Vagrant: Written by Kate Beaton, these comics more often deal with history (especially her native Canadian) and literature than fantasy. But some of that literature is very healthily within the fantasy range (see, for instance, her take on Dracula). She’s certainly not above superheros (Wonder Woman, X-Men) or legendary characters (Robin Hood), and she loves her some mermaids (Part 1 of a 7 part story starts here, and a couple stand alone comics here and here). Also, fairy tales! She’s taking a bit of a breather from regular comic updates on her site (thanks to her recently published book) but she does have a tumblr page that she keeps updated with funny and interesting tidbits.

Wondermark: David Malki! (the exclamation point is very important) takes pictures from old papers and books and creates comics from them. They are very, very silly comics. Many of his comics seem to fall solidly in the “steampunk” category as most of the characters have a Victorian look to them and he loves over-the-top inventionsCrazy animals make frequent appearances and there is also a recurring alien character from the planet Gax. Malki has been creating these comics since 2003 so there are a lot of them to go through. But they are all worth it. Every. Single. One.

The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Words can not express how much I love this comic. Dr. Mcninja is a 35 year old ninja. But he’s also a doctor. This is a huge disappointment to his parents because Dr. McNinja is descended from a long line of Irish ninjas. Yes, Irish. The doctor runs a private practice with his receptionist, Judy (a gorilla) and his 12 year old side kick, Gordito. Who rides a raptor named Yoshi and grew a mustache through sheer force of will. It’s silly, it’s funny, it’s amazingly awesome and you can start reading it here.

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5 thoughts on “Web Comics (Part 2)

  1. David says:

    Good choices! McNinja‘s latest episodes have been dragging a bit, but it’s still one of the funniest and coolest things on the Internet. There’s a kind of brilliance to the way the writers work to give everything just enough logic to get by, so that very soon a gorilla receptionist and Ben Franklin’s clone seem quite normal and familiar, even compared to Dracula in his moon base. It’s one of the few things I’ve read that actually made me laugh out loud.

    Wondermark! and Hark! A Vagrant are also quite clever and fun. I don’t spend as much time with them, but they’re always amusing. As long as the jokes don’t go over my head, that is!

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  2. David says:

    Oh! And I also highly recommend Lackadaisy, about Depression-era bootleggers and many hilarious (and sometimes bloody) shenanigans, Gunnerkrigg Court, a boarding-school fantasy that mixes fairy tales and myths in really intriguing ways, and Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, which is entirely too short but entirely too much fun (and the most professional-looking webcomic I’ve yet seen).

    There are many other great ones out there, of course. It’s kind of exciting, when you think of it. Though they’ve been around for over a decade, webcomics are still a pretty new form of literature, different from the printed comic book/graphic novel. We’re watching a new art take shape before our eyes, watching the hacks and the artists all give it a go, until the really good ones start figuring out the possibilities of the medium. In fact, if you want a gander at a really excellent experimental webcomic, check out Hero. It’s definitely unique.

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    • Mary says:

      Ah, many thanks for the suggestions! I always hate once I catch up on a comic because then I have to wait for the updates like everyone else! Hopefully these will help fill the void.

      And agreed about McNinja. Hopefully now that the doctor has returned things will begin to pick up again.

      It is fascinating to watch! And the different ways that artists/ authors are experimenting will change the genre I think. I don’t know if you’ve read Sailor Twain but Mark Siegel has been publishing pages of a soon to be published graphic novel. He was heavily involved with the comments that were made and would change/improve parts of the story that were not making sense to the readers. He also requested photos early on from readers and some people turned up in the story with cameo appearances! It was a really interesting blend of an internet community influencing a traditional publishing venture. It’s finished now and the physical copy will be available in September but I would love to see the same thing happen more.

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      • David says:

        Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve added that to my webcomic bookmarks. Delilah Dirk is also being continued in print, and only the first adventure is available online. That’s definitely one I would buy. And Lackadaisy and Dr. McNinja are also in print.

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  3. […] been a long time since I last posted anything about web comics. (Here are part 1 and part 2 of a series I wrote a few years ago.)  But I, for some strange reason, logged on to tumblr the […]

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