Filed under: Film and Sequential Art, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, Webcomics
Alrighty then, something a little bit different this week on the ol’ blog: One of Thought Bubble’s remits is to bring the world of Independent Sequential Art to you the, lovely, viewing public. As part of this aim we already have the ‘Friends of Thought Bubble’ series, where previous (and future) guests at the festival provide us with some of their work and a little bit of back-story on themselves in a thoroughly wonderful gesture of arty kindness. Starting this week, and sort of running in parallel to the aforementioned posts, I’ll be bringing together what I, personally, like to think of as the best of the web. This will feature Sequential Art/Illustrations by creators who, while not necessarily appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble (and for a list of some of the creators who will be appearing, simply cast your mouse here), are still producing work which is very much worth your time.
One quick note before we proceed: most, if not all, of the entries in these forthcoming lists (the links to which will take you to external websites) may contain material not suitable for youngsters, consider yourselves warned kids.
There will be no order to these, they’re simply the interweb based sequential art creations which I’m digging at the moment. Egotistical? Yes, but check ’em out anyways.
Put simply, the daddy of all webcomics at the moment. Written by comics legend Warren Ellis and pencilled by rising-star Paul Duffield this tells the story of what may have happened had a group of individuals with powers equatable to the Midwich Cuckoos survived to adolescence and, possibly, caused a near-apocolyptic event. Also available in collected hard copy, Freakangels updates with 6 new, free (!), full-colour pages every Friday and contains Ellis’ trademark brand of high-concept future-fiction and mid-blowingly graphic violence. Tasty.
Created by Kazu Kibushi, the guru behind the Flight anthologies, Bolt tells the, occasional, stories of the epnoymous boy and his dog Fred. A sort of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ for the interwebs generation, Bolt has some insanely beautiful line art and a consistently trippy, dreamscape-esque line in narration, and, while only updating sporadically, is a wonder to behold.
3) A Lesson is Learned (But the Damage is Irreversible)
The brainchild of messrs Dale Beran and David Hellman (who would later go on to produce the artwork for the game Braid), A Lesson is Learned is, sadly, now on hiatus, but for the meantime the archives still represent a wealth of mind-boggling goodness. Best described as ‘indescribable’, the comic manages to be hilarious and poignant at the same time while delivering sequential art which stands up on both its storytelling and illustrative merits.
4) Dr McNinja
Created by Chris Hastings, the Adventures of Dr McNinja chronicles the exciting life and times of an individual who is both a doctor and a ninja. Starting as a forum-avatar, before becoming a fully-fledged comic character in his own right, McNinja rapidly became an internet phenomenon and tales of his derring-dos have, to-date, been collected in three graphic novels. Presented in a ‘traditional’ comic-book format, with three new pages a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday), Dr McNinja has, thus far, battled the evils of drugs, McDonalds, zombies, Dracula, and a giant tennis-playing Aztec robot. If that doesn’t whet your appetite for medically ethical destruction, then nothing will.
Created by writer/illustrator Aaron Diaz, Dresden Codak represents an exploration into the vagaries of science and philosophy, with his magnum opus Hob (an epic voyage of post-human self-discovery, time travel and robots) representing one of the single greatest things about independent art on the internets. Alone the art or ideas would be to die for, together they are simply awesome in its most literal sense. If you’ve ever wanted to see various schools of philosophy pitted against one another in the arena of table-top role-playing-games then you need to be reading this. Right now.
Okay, so that’s enough for this week, I’ll try and drop another edition on the blog in the coming weeks when there isn’t an edition of ‘Friends of Thought Bubble’ to bring to you, if your favourite webcomic isn’t featured here, or you have any suggestions of your own feel free to shout them out in the comments box (below) or just sit tight until I bring you the next installment of Thought Bubble’s Best of the Web.
In other, more directly Thought Bubble-related, news; a few more names have been added to the guest list for this years festival. The new additions, along with the full line-up so far, can be viewed at the Thought Bubble website, or alternatively on the Facebook group page. Once all the guests have been finalised you will, of course, be able to see the full line-up here in all its glory as soon as it’s announced. Here’s a hint: it’s looking swe-ee-et.
So say we all.
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