That’s nearly 2009 done; let’s be frank, in a lot of ways the year was a challenge, and it’s capping 10 years that really kind of sucked. Sucked in a way that prompts me to share the first comic strip that I can recall reading, more than 30 years past (certainly, I read comics before this one, but it’s the oldest that’s stuck with me): a kidney stone of a decade, indeed.
But … webcomics.
Sure, webcomics existed prior to 1 January 2000 (hell, you can see a stack of ‘em in the links over to the right), but the start of the 21st century is when they exploded. For going on half that time, I’ve been sharing my thoughts with literally dozens of you, and if this particular implementation of a delivery system/business model/art form isn’t enough to redeem a time when we as a species seemed to be sliding backwards, well, it’s helped keep me from screaming myself awake. So there’s my Best of the Decade list in a single (possible obsolete now) word: webcomics. As Sturgeon would have it, most of ‘em are crap, but there are so damn many of them now, it was inevitable that some would be gems.
It was not inevitable that some of the creators, rather than have their work undiscovered, would create comics loved so much by so many, that they could make this most frivolous of passtimes a career. It was not inevitable that one of those webcomics would launch a charity that would, in seven years, raise $US6.5 million to benefit children’s hospitals. It was not inevitable that numerous creators would score Hollywood movie deals (some of which will even get made). It was not inevitable that a new kind of publisher/merch fulfillment/services provider would not only slouch its way towards success, but bring a stack of creators along for the ride.
Maybe it was a series of happy accidents, maybe it was down to the pure determination of the parties involved. But it happened, and I think those of us reading this page are happier for it.
And, because it’s become a slight tradition for me to talk about Shaenon Garrity on New Year’s Eve, check this out: she wants to give you fifty bucks for free. More precisely, she wants to give you fifty bucks of original artwork just so she doesn’t have to move it:
From now until the end of January, for every copy of Skin Horse Volume One you purchase, I will send a randomly selected original daily strip. These normally sell for $50, but I’m moving and I need to lighten my load.
In one of the most profound lessons that I ever took to heart, Chuck Jones once wrote that his beloved Uncle Lynn taught him that being lazy is a virtue, and it takes a good deal of brains to be effectively lazy. Garrity has learned this lesson well, and to your benefit. Naturally, she knows how to work all the angles on this deal:
Oh, and if you want a specific strip, you can purchase one for the normal price of $50. Which might be worth doing if you don’t want your favorite strip to go to somebody who doesn’t appreciate it on the same level you do.
My only problem is that there’s too many strips that I feel that way about, and only so much money that I can spend, so I think I’ll take my chances (but if I were to randomly get a strip of Dr Lee looking all hot, or “Man, there ain’t nothing in this world sadder than a wet transvestite”, that would be extra rad). I wonder if I could order enough copies to be declared a distributor?
See everybody on Monday.