What the Dang Heck Is a Webcomic??

Screenshot of Sarah Andersen’s website as viewed on my phone.

Webcomics aren’t typically given much attention by library professionals — possibly because they can’t be owned or lent; nevertheless, we should be familiar with them. After all, our goal should be to connect people with materials they love, not just materials the library owns. Additionally, if we want to be deft, resourceful readers’ advisers, we need to be familiar with all kinds of reading materials, especially the kinds of things our patrons are reading.

If you’re brand new to webcomics, this post will give you a foothold in their vast, wild world. If you’re familiar with webcomics, please leave your favorites in the comments as well as any resources you find helpful!

Continue reading What the Dang Heck Is a Webcomic??

When You’ve Read All the Books Worth Reading

An Introduction to Webcomics

So you’ve finished Mockingjay. You’ve finished Behemoth. You’ve finished Monsters of Men. You’ve finished all your assigned reading from school (I hope). By now you are all booked out – your attention span simply cannot handle any more. What’s a dedicated reader to do?

One word – webcomics. If you are not already reading webcomics, you should be, for a variety of reasons. The world of webcomics is amazingly diverse and creative, because anyone with talent, an idea and a computer can star their own from home. Webcomics update regularly, and most of them have RSS feeds that bring them directly to your reader of choice, so every few days a brand new strip will pop up like a Christmas gift. Lastly, they’re free! You really can’t beat that.

Collected here, for your reading pleasure, are some recommendations to get you started out in the world of webcomic-ry. Or, if you already have a few favorite webcomics, you might find something new!

1. If you like Leviathan, Airborn, Boneshaker and all those other steampunk books…try Girl Genius (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com) by Phil and Kaja Foglio. A young woman named Agatha discovers that she is the heir of a famous…and infamous…family of engineer/hero/warlords. Her journey to claim her rightful heritage is complicated by a travelling circus, spider-riding warrior women, a proposal of marriage and a pink-clad imposter. Oh, and the fact that her mother may have been the vessel of an evil entity known as “The Other.” This series rocks, not only because Agatha is tough, smart and generally awesome, but because of the Foglio’s agile combination of adventure, humor, romance, and great steampunk visuals. Also, this series has been running for a mind-blowing eight years, so there’s plenty of archived material for you to read.

2. If you like fantasy boarding schools and supernatural mystery…try Gunnerkrigg Court (http://www.gunnerkrigg.com) by Tom Siddell. Ignore the inevitable Harry Potter comparison; Gunnerkrigg Court is much creepier and more mysterious, more like Nightschool or maybe After School Nightmare. This webcomic follows Antimony Carver and her friend Katerina as they study at Gunnerkrigg Court, which they suspect is more than a simple school. As the comic progresses, Antimony learns more about their school, the eldritch forest across the bridge, and the tension between the two – as well as mysteries in her own past. This webcomic has a nicely spooky vibe, for those days when you feel you need a little more eerie in your life. Continue reading When You’ve Read All the Books Worth Reading