It's February 14, and it seems no better time to focus this blog's attention on some great web cartoonists whose creations fit the theme of the day.
I've been digging Emily Carroll's work since I stumbled across it this past summer, and she has a brand-new short story posted especially for her Valentine. It's titled "Anu-Anulan & Yir's Daughter" and you can launch the comic starting here.
Once you are there, you can also start nosing around Emily's sites and finding her other comics. Her work is always surprising and fun, and her web shorts experiment with comic book storytelling in ways that are fresh and use the online format to its best advantage. Most web comics stick to conventional layouts, something that will lend itself to traditional printing in the future. Emily works in clickable space, and when you look at something like her Gabriel Garcia Marquez adaptation and how she uses the blood to draw the reader's eye through the scrolldown, it creates a remarkable effect.
Her drawing is also dynamite. Her style has the vibrancy of anime and video games, but with the color of the 1980s and the psychedelic design of the 1960s. This is evident in her pin-up for an upcoming Madman special I helped curate. Mike Allred teased the image below at his blog, but it only shows you about 1/5 of the entire piece. I pushed Emily in Mike's direction, and when she turned in her drawing, it made me look like an absolute genius.
My friend Megan Levens has a more traditional drawing style and a more traditional comic strip. Megan has been publishing "Somewhere in Between," her semi-autobiographical romance strip, for a little while now. The story is developing slowly, with each installment both advancing the plot and serving as an individual strip, much like the newspaper soap opera serials of the past. In the first few installments, Molly loses her job, realizes her relationship is terrible, and generally sees her artistic and romantic dreams go bust. The ongoing narrative is about what happens next.
It's not just the type of story and format that reminds me of the best of the past. Megan's clean drawing style also evokes older work, embracing the stylized yet reality-based renderings of 1950s romance comics and also the prettiness of classic advertising and magazine illustration. Her strip makes me want to tell sappy stories full of tears and broken hearts, something akin to a Douglas Sirk movie, free of irony and full of bald emotion.
Add "Somewhere in Between" to your RSS feed, and also follow Megan on Facebook.
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All text (c) 2011 Jamie S. Rich