Webcomics I've been looking at

You might consider Carpe Chaos a fairly traditional scifi series, and I wouldn't disagree with you. While we certainly push some of the normal conventions, I'd consider our comic something of a "modern state of the art" rather than a weird experimental webcomic. The freedom of being independent looses the restraints that often hold artists back, but at the same time we want to create comics that we can share with other people. Because of that, we try to keep familiar elements of narrative as the driving forces behind our comics. When we try out an unusual element, for example a heavily artifacted art style, we make sure to include traditional elements of our form in other parts of the story; in this example we used familiar camera angles and straightforward layouts and dialog. As one of the people who's responsible for making sure Carpe Chaos is accessible and approachable by people other than the authors, I read a lot of other comics to find out what works and what doesn't. 

Yes, that means I read webcomics as "part of my job here" at Carpe Chaos. :) And some of them I even enjoy! Here are 6 of the good ones.

  • Nathan Sorry

    Let me start off by saying I hate Richard C. Barrett. This dude writes an amazing story, pairs it with pretty respectable art, draws me in... and then is only finished with 60-some pages. To make it worse, the current page has a mysterious character on the verge of revealing her identity, taking off her shirt, AND being run over by a 747 crashing through the bedroom window. WTF Richard, I can't handle this kind of cliffhanger! I love how this story juxtaposes Nathan/James' grim realism and detachment (which feels much more like a contemporary 2010 perspective on 9/11) with the shallow "God's blessed it", "oh the world's so horrible, what will I do", "yay America!" sentiment that was so common at the time. It feels like Nathan is the only one who's really dealing with the situation, despite the irony that he's dealing with it by fleeing from it entirely. The way Barrett twists symbolism into the story through flashbacks is really striking. Concluding the Nathan's flight flashback with James pondering the endless potential of a blank canvas is masterfully rich with meaning, while still maintaining a sense of believability that breathes life into the characters. And hilarious! Where'd you get that TV, Kara? I loled. :)
    You only live once... maybe twice... so in one of your two lives, read Nathan Sorry.

  • Sarah Zero

    Sarah Zero promised me that she would rock my world. And she did. If you struggle through the slightly disjointed narrative, you'll find a surprising amount of character development in the minimal amount of beautifully set text in Sarah Zero. Sarah's a bit preachy (even the other characters agree), but if you listen to what she has to say, she's right. As some kind of Scott Pilgrim Action Hero/Rock Star meets Advice Guru, Sarah Zero blows your mind with new intersections of images and words. The author's skill as a graphic designer and typophile ring true, and the piercing commentary on the digilife cuts deep. 

  • The Battle of Dovecote Crest

    I'm pretty shallow when it comes to comics. If your art isn't good, I'm not gonna hang around regardless of your story. Something about the soft colors and playful faces of Dovecote Crest drew me in, but the light hearted story has kept me laughing and become my favorite part. It's a little reminiscent of a chick-flick, but vibrant personalities and humor keep the story afloat in what could have been a sea of sappiness. And every 3rd page is a battle from America's bloodiest war, so there's something for everyone. The two existing story-arcs are long enough, but still discrete enough, that the wait for more pages isn't unbearable.


    Jason already talked about this geyser of liquid awesome. Warren Ellis is my new role-model. I'm going to become an alcoholic so I can be JUST LIKE HIM!

  • The Phoenix Requiem

    I don't know why I keep reading Phoenix Requiem, nothing happens in the first 10 pages... or the second 10 pages...  230 pages later I still can't put it down. Why can't I stop reading this comic? You probably shouldn't start either, lest you join me in this sisyphean tale. It's probably like why I read half of Pride and Prejudice. Why did I do that? Phoenix Requiem feels like a period costume piece, and it would be better if it had zombies. Of course, I'm probably gonna finish Phoenix Re-- HOLD UP! Ok, the zombies show up on page 246. This comic has my highest rating.

  • Earthsong

    I dunno why I've been into girly comics lately, but despite the all female cast's deep interest in relationships and the emo-vampire love interest, there's still plenty of draw for the bearded mountain-man in all of us. Every woman in Earthsong has a soldier's will and most have a soldier's weapon too; the all-life-depends-on-it stakes of the storyline keep your anxious heart thudding even in the slowest and most peaceful moments in Haven. The aesthetics of the comic blow your mind into new proportions and do a stellar (pun intended) job of portraying divine and awe inspiring characters. If C.S. Lewis drew a comic, Earthsong would make him wish he stuck to writing novels.


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