Back – by Anthony Clark and KC Green

http://www.backcomic.com

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Sequence from the story. Copyright Anthony Clark and KC Green. http://backcomic.com

To quote the creators, Back is “A western/fantasy about the end of the world. Not post apocalyptic just the end of it all.”

Don’t let the cartoon style of Back fool you; this webcomic offers some serious storytelling.
The plot is darker than the comedy-style would have you believe, and the pages flow in a carefully composed narration that is rarely found in online comics.

Characters outside of the main cast are generally caricatures, but they are believable within the story’s universe.

The main attribute of Back is the strong sense of concept. The story works, and the art is great, but it is the absolute control over the layout and workings of this universe that makes it stand out.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a new quality webcomic to follow!

 

 

 

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Earthsong – by Crystal Yates

www.earthsongsaga.com

Earthsong is another of those rare decade-old-and-still-running webcomics. As someone who has followed it for almost as long, it is with a sense of nostalgia and awe I realize that it is nearing it’s end, as a fully completed story.

Though with a weekly update schedule, the end can still be cherished for quite some time! 🙂

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Part of the cast. Copyright Crystal Yates. http://www.earthsonsaga.com

The art and storytelling has improved over the years, and the early parts of the story has been redone, to polish the end result.
While I personally am a fan of seeing the progress of an artist through time, I also fully respect this decision and the end result is aestetically clean.

Earthsong doesn’t set out to spin you a tale of unexpected plot-twists, allowing instead the characters and their dynamics and relations to take center stage.
This is not a story focusing on blood and gore, and though there is drama, risk and even death I would say this webcomic is family-safe.

If you are looking for a fantasy comic with consistent quality in art and writing, which is also family safe I am suggesting you go check out Earthsong.

Firewatch

Firewatch is a game ©2016 Campo Santo, in cooperation with Panic.

Visit the official site: http://www.firewatchgame.com/

image ©2016 Campo Santo, depicting the visual style of surroundings, the protagonist and the map in-game.
image ©2016 Campo Santo, depicting the visual style of surroundings, the protagonist and the map in-game.

 

I have heard this game described as a walking-simulator, and I suppose that’s not entirely unfair.

In terms of a game Firewatch offers few to no challenges, no leveling or grinding; the focus is on character development and story. Though there are a few easter eggs and a secret ending.

It is, however, better likened to a good book; the story stays with you, insisting you ponder the duality and the similarities over and over again.

The gameplay is short, I suppose you can get through it in less than four to five hours (I spent two evenings, enjoying the ambience).

Yet in these few hours you may enjoy an impressively human experience, with believable human reactions and challenges. It is low-key in it’s delivery, which occasionally lends more power to the experience.

The game is set in 1989 and you play as Henry, the lead character who is a white, middle-aged man with his own reasons to seek solitude, a walkie-talkie your only connection to anybody else.

This game might appeal more to those past their twenties than to teens, but the experience is, I think, somewhat universal with it’s own take on the fragility and complexity of relationships through various parts of life.

If you are looking for a challenge in terms of gameplay, Firewatch might not be for you.

But if you would like to spend a few hours playing through what feels like an interactive novel, I would definitely recommend Firewatch.

The Mansion of E – by Robert M Cook

A page from MoE, showing parts of the cast. No rights belong to me.
A page from MoE, showing parts of the cast. Copyrights belong to the creator. No rights belong to me.

The Mansion of E by Robert M. Cook is found here:

http://mansionofe.comicgenesis.com/

This is a webcomic that has run for years, I believe it began in 2005, and I think I have been reading since about 2008.

It’s slow-paced, and though the esthetics are improving along the way, I think it is safe to suggest that it is about world-developing more than it is about art.

Which works fine by me, because the world developed and it’s characters are interesting and believable in their own way.

There is a sort-of plot, which is perhaps better described as a setup, but this serves more to illuminate the cast, which has grown rather large throughout a decade (!) of consistent updates.

The creator is also making a significant effort in tagging character’s latest occurrences and seemingly tying the many storylines somewhat neatly together, which I personally has found very useful.

I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about MoE that makes me keep coming back, and I believe it is highly subjective. Taking into account the art and the slow pace of the story it might well be one of those things that you either love or hate.
Speaking for myself it is by now a regular part of my morning routine, and I enjoy the feeling of freedom from it; the ability to explore the facets of the story as they turn up, the progress of building a very complex world while keeping your own pace and (I think) enjoying the experience of doing so.

Also, I like the characters. Quite simply.

Bite Me! – by Dylan Meconis

Do yourself a favor and buy this book! No rights belong to me.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book!
Copyright belongs to the creator. No rights belong to me.

This webcomic is a personal favourite; To me, Bite Me! marks the point where I first encountered the world of webcomics, way back in 2000, and it had a profound influence on me, along with several of it’s now-deceased siblings.

Thus it felt only natural to begin everything with this one. It is amazingly still available online even after all these years, at www.bitemecomic.com You may also purchase it as a printed book (I adore my copy!)

Bite Me! refers to itself as a Vampire farce, and has a spontaneous and whimsical blend of slapstick, clihces and historical details. – While I wouldn’t cite it in a historical essay, the research and commitment is impressive, even if only used as a backdrop for the cast’s shenanigans.

The art has it’s own unique style, and those familiar with the later work of Dylan Meconis will undoubtedly recognize a few of her personal traits. It is an early work, and occasionally unrefined, but while I may well be biased I fully believe this merely adds to it’s charm.

(For more on Dylan Meconis you may find her website here: www.dylanmeconis.com – she has several later projects and comics that are also highly recommended)

Storywise Bite Me! is spontaneous and light-hearted, sporting chickens, fondue-forks and blood in rich measures.
Being a completed work, a fate that rarely befalls webcomics in general, it is a rare treat, even a decade later.

It is in the style of a zine, handdrawn and scanned (as most comics were back then). Kicking happily in every direction, be it the brooding vampires of Ann Rice or the more comedy-oriented aproach of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bite Me! does it all in good humour and what I suspect is love and admiration.