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Wisdom in comics, and some thoughts for 2012…

January 12th, 2012 by Rick Marshall · No Comments ·

It feels like a few comic creators out there have really hit the ground running in 2012, as I’m seeing some great strips pop up online the last week or so.

Personally, I identify most with Jeff Rowland’s take on the new year over at Overcompensating:

Yeah, it’s going to take me a while to put 2011 in my rearview mirror, too.

Still, Jon Rosenberg makes me feel a little more optimistic, as he’s dropped two straight comics at Scenes From A Multiverse that have been really, really great. I haven’t played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim yet, but I know enough about it — and most role-playing games — to get a laugh out of yesterday’s strip, and as a big fan of BBC’s “Sherlock” television series, today’s comic cracked me up.

It took a while for me to get a feel for this series after Rosenberg concluded Goats, but now it’s become a regular part of my daily reading.

Finally, over at Shortpacked!, David Willis gives me hope for the future in a strip that I imagine to be playing out with many parents (and soon-to-be-parents) I know — especially the parents who are regular readers of the stuff I write here and elsewhere around the ‘net.

Like I’ve mentioned once or twice before, my mother used to sing me to sleep with the theme from “The Muppet Movie” and “The Hobbit” and I grew up to be, well… what I am now. So I think there’s something to be said for early exposure to those worlds.

Oh, and one final note: if you haven’t read Holly Post’s thoughts on how webcomic comic creators could shift their perspectives in 2012 (“What If?”), do yourself a favor and check it out. She raises a lot of points (and questions) I’ve pondered over the last few years, and no matter which side of the fence you fall on, it’s worth thinking about.

Here’s an excerpt:

What if we stopped saying, “webcomics” and “webcartoonist” and just said “comics” and “cartoonist”? Would you say, “black actor” or “female athelete” or “male nurse”? What if we take the personal responsibility to put ourselves in the same professional category as the people who are using “webcomic” as a derogatory term? What if we show them that you are as “legitimate” as they are without talking about money? What if we show our work, and let that speak for itself?

While it might seem trivial to some people, I felt like it was a major turning point when I stopped categorizing comics published online as “webcomics” at both MTV News and on my own blog here. I didn’t make any announcement about it or anything, but the decision to begin grouping webcomics in with the rest of the “comics” category seemed like one small step for organization and one giant leap for my perspective on the industry.

I still accidentally use the “webcomics” category now and then (out of habit), but I think Holly’s “What If?” piece really did a great job of summarizing the crossroads the comics industry is at these days — and how each creator’s perspective on it contributes to where it’s headed.

Tags: comics