Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Webcomic Ego Pageant

I don't know who it is who puts the name of certain comics on Wikipedia under "Notable Webcomics of 2008," but unless the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are real there is no Webcomic Platypus deciding who is deserving. This means that some comics are pre-tty impressed with themselves and finding a way to make the list even after just two dozen strips. 

What's that? It's more than two dozen strips? It goes back years, to various sites and even print? 

That disqualifies it, doesn't it?

Which is not to say that Truth Serum is without merit. A town of losers, most of whom moonlight as bedraggled, ineffectual super heroes is a great concept. The web site is elegant simplicity. The art is a slightly faded realism, with appealing, washed-out colors. Out of uniform, people wear clothes from Salvation Army or their work shirt from Burger King. I strongly prefer the all-caps lettering convention, but the lower-case style is workable.

In fairness, I have to assume that creator Jon Adams would yank his comic down from Wikipedia if he knew it was up there. I'm embarrassed to see it there and I have nothing to do with it, so I can only imagine he'd cringe, if he's a sensible fellow.

As for the rest who are ready to go down in history eight months into the year: The powers that be are letting it fall into a shabby state, but I say roost in Comixpedia for a duration before going for the big time. 

Probably the strongest case can be made for Garfield Minus Garfield, which is pretty sad considering it's simply erasing part of one work and presenting it as new. Next we'll have Dick Tracy without his Hat, in which we find the detective emasculated, vulnerable and phobic of rain.

The 2007 list raises interesting questions. Should Zuda entries be included? Aren't they just online try-outs for print? That doesn't seem like a webcomic to me. Then we have yet another pill-man comic, and a comic that finished its art for the year while the teacher was still giving out the instructions (and joined the year's list with a whopping seven episodes). The last two are titles people honestly might have nominated, though they wouldn't make the cut as stand-alone entries in Wikipedia due to low traffic.

There's hubris aplenty on display on the Wiki "notable" list, going back years. It screams out, "Please pick me to profile, Time Magazine, please!" 

Feel free to edit it. Myself, I'll leave it be -- it helps me sort out who's a pro and who's a player.