Being a webcomics fan is not at all like being a print comics reader. News doesn’t get written about the genre on any regular basis, if at all. Creators don’t belong to publishing houses, they usually have to do all the writing and drawing work themselves, and they almost never get paid. And even though webcomics all hosted freely on the internet, that great digital melting pot (cesspool?) of social interaction, it can often feel curiously lonely, being a webcomics fan.
The comics and gaming worlds have a long history together with a convoluted slew of offspring. There’s board games based on comics. And comics based on video games. And video games based on comic book characters fighting video game characters, and even video games about people who make comics about people who play video games.
If your head’s spinning, don’t worry, the comics collected here are much simpler. They’re simply comics that critique, lampoon, and celebrate the nuttiness of gaming and gaming culture.
It’s very easy to say that, right now, playing and talking about video games isn’t going to do a damn thing to effect change. That escaping into fiction won’t fix a single one of the world’s problems. That representation and diversity in popular culture is the least of our worries right now.
I say it matters more now than it ever f**king did.
Anyone can be a hero—for a very limited definition of ‘anyone.’ Because an overwhelming amount of the time, the heroes in video games are white. They’re cisgender and straight. They’re men. Or, in a winning hand of privilege poker, they’re all of the above, with a frequency that is beyondabsurd. If anyone can be a hero—really, anyone—why is only a small fraction of anyone ever shown becoming one?
About a month ago, I finally gave up trying to finish Dragon Age: Origins and just skipped straight on to Dragon Age II—and Maker’s breath, am I ever glad I did, because it was amazing.
Let’s be real—the multiplayer is the actual reason to play this game. But even in just single-player mode, I’ve been having a blast. The game’s fast-paced, fun, and very cleverly designed. It could easily stand on gameplay alone. But oh, what’s this? It has a diverse cast as well!
We have talked over and over again about the point of gender representation in popular media. Right now I want to ask a slightly different question: what was the point in making the hero of The Legend of Zelda male in the first place? Why are we treating “male” as the default?
Although the Times has not released an official list of the categories being cut, those on the chopping block so far appear to include middle grade ebooks, young adult ebooks, mass market paperbacks, and all three of the “Graphic Books” lists: graphic hardcover, graphic paperback, and manga. Look, it’s literary gatekeeping. Let’s call it what it is.
I have a really hard time getting into superhero comics, so it may sound a little odd that one of my favorite webcomics right now is Strong Female Protagonist. But although SFP fits right into the genre of caped crusaders and superpowered battles, the story isn’t really about superheroes saving the world. It’s about them trying to figure out how to save the world.
One of the best things about webcomics is that they’re on the internet, for free, whenever you want. At least, that’s one of the best things for readers. For creators, it means they might not make a cent off their hard-made comics. So how can you, a humble reader, help support the webcomics you love? Whether you’ve got cash to spend, or are as penniless as your creator idols, here’s ten great ways you can help support webcomic creators and enable them to keep doing their wonderful work.
In a time when Harry Potter has been read by people of all ages around the world and comic books are being turned into movies faster than most of us can keep track, it seems bizarre to say that comics and children’s literature are struggling for recognition. But popularity doesn’t guarantee respect in the literary world, and both genres face a continuing battle to be accepted as equals by adult literature.
Designing for the web poses an additional challenge to webcomic creators, who have to not only create a comic, but then deal with the extra hassle of trying to make it look right for most of the people most of the time. And unlike print comics, with their familiar formats and trim sizes, webcomics have no such standardization. Which is where the fun begins.