Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Comics vs. Webcomics: Introduction

Well... where do I begin? This is an introduction to a series of commentary posts I'll be making regarding a dilemma I'm facing: namely, which is the better medium to follow, the printed comics of Marvel and DC or webcomics? I'll be looking at the question from several perspectives: limitations of the medium, common genres, creative potential and so on.

It's no secret that I've been very disappointed in the directions taken by the Big Two of comics in recent years: DC with its impenetrable crossovers and incessant preoccupation with times and stories past, Marvel with its shallow stunts and creatively bankrupt endeavors. Before anyone asks, yes, I'm aware of indie comics, or even secondary companies like Image and Dark Horse, but they don't interest me for reasons I'll get into later.

While my interest in comics has been waning, I've been exploring the field of webcomics, and it's been a very different and very interesting experience. Not all good, of course, but I can't deny that webcomics have emerged as a very strong rival for my entertainment to comics.

I should emphasize here that I'm focusing on writing and story, as I've never been one to evaluate art - it's also not really relevant to the discussion, since webcomic creators obviously don't have the resources available to comic companies to polish their artwork.

The question is: since I'm not happy with the status of the comics industry as it stands, and there's no indication anything is going to change in the coming months, should I just abandon comics altogether? Should I move onto what may be greener pastures? It's a tempting prospect, since there's finally a viable alternative in sight. I've been thinking about this for some time, and I haven't come to any concrete conclusions: these posts will basically be me throwing things out and trying to put my thoughts in order.