My blog–now with even more webcomics

In case you thought I haven’t been voraciously devouring more webcomics, here is yet another advertisement for things you should read.

I was browsing for something to chew through when I got home from Texas Sunday night, and decided to finally getting around to reading Dylan Meconis’s Bite Me! And yes, I did real the whole thing in one evening (hearkening back to my college days). The storyline and characters are amusing, as are the French Revolution references and notes. Most of all, it’s been a pleasure to see the evolution of Meconis’s art and storytelling from the beginning of Bite Me! to the present moment in her current endeavor, Family Man. The story is riveting, delightfully humorous at points, and expands so much on a few of the characters introduced in Bite Me!, and yet there’s more: Meconis also works deftly with the cultural issues of her chosen time setting to create a believable setting for her slightly fantastic topic. Wonderful, wonderful works that you should read as soon as you get the chance.

Also, a reference to someone I’ve mentioned before: Evan Dahm has begun his most recent narrative adventure, Vattu, which he’s opted to update (at least for the moment) in one-page increments three times a week, hoping to make it easier for new readers to get introduced to the work. Strike while the iron’s hot—that is, get in on Vattu before you’ve got a lot of make-up reading to do. Dahm’s only got 11 pages posted at the moment. You don’t have to read his other two completed works (Rice Boy and Order of Tales) to understand what’s going on, so if you like strange lands and the surreal, check this out now. Dahm doesn’t disappoint.

On a side note, I think webcomics are about to get their own post category.

Your daily dose of more stuff to read

More webcomics for you to read–I’ve been hearing a lot about reMIND from webcomic creators who also read webcomics. It’s on my radar, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

If you want to get in on the ground floor of a promising-looking comic that’s just starting out (and has a really spectacularly designed webpage), check out Sfeer Theory (though my jury is still out on the idea of “sfeer” being an acceptable word). The premise is promising and the art is beautiful.

But the big plug of this post is a comic I finally got a chance to read through today called The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. It is a quick read even through a year of archives, but it is one you will want to re-read and re-re-read. E.K. Weaver’s art is gorgeous, with even the wispiest, vaguest of sketches capturing heavy emotions. She doesn’t lead the reader by the hand, but her art perfectly conveys the obvious facts you need to advance the storyline while leaving emotions and thoughts richly nebulous. The story could be told through black and white sketches alone, but her audience gets the added treat of phenomenal text. Her dialogue sparkles with charm and is some of the most convincing I have ever read. You are really missing something beautiful if you don’t check this out.

What I think when I read things like this: I stick by the idea that to be a writer, you have to be first and foremost a reader. To me that means “reading” any and every type of story you can find, and working to seek out those beyond the traditional.

Add it to your reading list

Just wanted to discuss some recreational reading I’ve been doing over the last few days.

First, a blog that was recently featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page. It’s called Tranifesto, and it features discussion and opinion related to trans issues. The post WordPress featured was this one–a great introduction to a great blog. It’s very well-written and offers interesting and challenging perspectives on things perhaps even the queerest of us haven’t given much thought to. It’s also fantastically accessible–for people who are new to the variety of topics Matt Kailey talks about, he provides a ton of resources and introductory information. If you wanted to read something to kick your brain into high gear today, this is it.

Next, a new novel I’d like to pick up, although I’m more likely to grab it after it comes out in trade cover (not that I mind hard cover, but I don’t have the $25 to shell out for it right now): The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Bender tends to write off-kilter fiction that I would consider magical realist or surrealist. To date I believe she’s only published one other book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, which is a collection of short stories that I read for my final creative writing workshop and adored (and which, once upon a time, a friend of a friend designed a cover jacket for, long before I ever knew I would read it). A single short story collection endeared Bender to me as a writer that I would love to emulate–I think that’s grounds for checking her out.

Last, a webcomic I stumbled upon (and read all of) last night: Hanna Is Not A Boy’s Name! Described by its author as “sugarcoated horror“, this ongoing page-style narrative is what I might refer to as “humor horror,” perhaps vaguely akin to the idea of a “romzomcom” (romantic zombie comedy) as it’s presented in the film Shaun of the Dead. The incorporation of the narrator’s thoughts-as-text into the action and movement of the eye-catching and phenomenal panels Tessa Stone draws is only one spectacular aspect of an amazingly illustrated and enjoyably written work. As with some of the other works I’ve mentioned before, this comic updates spontaneously but regularly, so be prepared for a little bit of waiting between installments. Keeps you hungry for more, though.

Happy reading.

I read a lot of webcomics

I often say that I didn’t have time to read during college. What I mean is, I didn’t have time to read any books for fun. All my proposed personal reading projects would be stranded between vacations, and since I was often preparing for exams or essays over week-long breaks, the only times I read novels were winter and summer, when I had fully extricated myself from the reading demands of the semester.

But this is a little misleading. It’s not to say that I didn’t have time to read at all…

Quick plug

I read a lot of webcomics, something I might talk about more in the future, but I wanted to mention an online graphic novel that everyone seems to recommend and that I just started reading: Templar, Arizona. Great art, compelling characters, deep storyline and background development–worth reading regardless of whether you like comics or graphic novels or things published online or free stuff or whatever else.

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