There’s a new trend that some creators are taking, mixing published works with online in a fairly short timeframe; no waiting a year for a reprint here! Jeff Rowland is pushing new Wigu adventures as books, then will be making stripped-down content available for free afterwards. Over on Webcomics Nation, Tyler Page’s Nothing Better followed a subscription approach mixed with print copies, but has recently thrown open the gates on his archives and the current content. Go buy the first two issues so he’ll be able to print more.
Nothing Better is the story of growing up and letting go and making that big leap into college — and life, and Page has got it nailed. There’s the disgustingly chipper RAs that you want to bitchslap, the horrors of campus jobs, textbook sticker shock, and the certain knowledge that college is the time you can reinvent yourself. Nobody knows you from high school, you can finally be cool, and someday at a reunion, have your revenge.
Page has also taken the narrative step of setting the story at a religiously-affiliated (though fictional) school, which makes it easy to bring in the fact that when you’re new and unsure of yourself, there’s somebody waiting to recruit you to their way of thinking; it’s been a while since I was in college, but even then, this sort of thing was kind of forceful. Kudos to Page for exploring what many people would just step away from (Do lines like God wants us to be together really work? ‘Cause the rationalist in me thinks it would suck if they did).
The story is developing at a nice pace, with a full page delivered three times a week. Presently, we’re about three pages into issue #5 (about 75 pages in all), so you’re at a perfect point to jump in; there’s enough backstory to get to really know the characters and get good and hooked for future installments. Not to worry, though, Page has a nice fat buffer, having already worked up the cover for issue #6 and part of issue #7′s art. Art which, by the way, equally invokes Terry Moore, Chynna Clugston, and Alex Robinson, none of whom is a webcomicker, all of whom you should be reading. In fact, Alex Robinson provided the perfect taglilne for Nothing Better when he described his own work (to his wife, on their first date) as, “Like Archie with swearing and sex.”
Sounds great to me.