I know that sometimes it must seem like my interest in comics ends around 1960 or so, many years before I was born, but ’tisn’t true. I like lots of current comics, although not much from the mainstream publishers. Of course, as with everything else, the internet promises to eventually re-invigorate the artform, artistically if not economically. Kate Beaton’s Hark, A Vagrant is far and away my favorite webcomic. It embraces the “screw you guys, I can do whatever I want” spirit that comes with giving your work away for free. Sometimes, she does almost-but-not-quite-traditional gag-strips which make me laugh out loud, sometimes she does subversively angry history-based strips, but whenever she gets bored, she goes off in a new direction, which is what keeps it great.
One recurring feature that I absolutely love is “Mystery Solving Teens,” which works on a post-modern level (“Hey, let’s admit that our storytelling conventions are self-flattering and untrue”) but would still be funny even if you’d never seen an episode of “Scooby-Doo.” She may have created these guys just to make a very “meta” joke, but she nevertheless writes them well enough to make them very believable. I find them so repulsively adorable. Here are all of those strips so far: (You all know that you can click on these and make them bigger, right? Just checking.)
Much, much more in the Hark, A Vagrant archives.
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