Thursday, March 02, 2006


The Mailbox may be obsessing over obscurity with this one. To the right, you'll see links to Sluggy Freelance, PVP Online, Penny Arcade and General Protection Fault. Those are online comic strips: They have, to the Mailbox's knowledge, never been doused in the scent of newspaper ink or published in any newspaper. That is a good thing.

Good, not in the sense they have never known "mainstream" comic acceptance, but good in the fact that the creativity of those three strips and numerous others cannot be contained in the print world. Sluggy Freelance in particular--occasionally the art is simply too magnificent and breathtaking to slaughter it with CMYK colors and 212 dpi resolution. (Plus, it's loaded with hilarious gags. One of my favorites are Gwynn's tarot cards... "Oh no!") Further, these strips are serial in nature. Remember when Calvin would fight his bicycle for a week or so? Online strips usually have a stroke of continuity as long as the strip's creation. Great for fans, but tough for attracting newcomers.

Online comics have legitimized themselves enough to warrant the publishing of a history book. Artist T Campbell is taking the project on, but it has upset some members of the online comic industry. Too hastily published. Art used without permission. Critical omissions and inappropriate additions. PVP artist Scott made his point in the comic and with words. Campbell has responded on his blog.

The Mailbox is not taking a side on this debate. Kurtz is one of the trailblazer online comic artists, and Campbell knows enough as well. The Mailbox trusts their knowledge.

The only advice I would give on the publication of this book is to get it right. Online comics are dear to the Mailbox's heart. It's an art form that deserves more exposure than it gets. They hearken back to days when cartoonists were considered artists--anyone who loved Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, Bloom County or The Far Side can find plenty to love online. A good history book can champion the whole industry. In fact, it should champion the whole industry.

It's good to see Campbell is taking time with this publication. The Mailbox will probably get copy, and wants to see the industry and its movers and shakers presented for the artists they are.

In the meantime, take a look at some of those online cartoons. Full disclosure: The Mailbox likes 'em all because they're all kinda geeky. But there are so many more out there. One of those strips could become a new daily habit.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]