So I missed Free Comic Book Day, an event that understandably and by all accounts involves the distribution of free comics books. It sounds very cool, like socialism for geeks… so there’s free books and superheroes!
I do regret missing the event (I slept in, and it was cold that day). So I thought of some of the uber-hip webcomics I enjoy regularly. You see, for these stories, every day is free comic book day…
First, we have Cura Te Ipsum, an epic of trans-dimensional doppelgangers and suicidal tendencies. This ebook details the ongoing adventures of Charlie Everett, a young man whose attempt to blow his own brains out are foiled by another version of himself from a parallel world. Together, they explore the many dimensions of Charlie’s identity, literally, and confront the epitome of self-destruction, a villain known as ‘Dark Everett’. There have also been dinosaurs.
Penned by Neal Bailey with art by Dexter Wee, new pages go up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, consistently high quality with plenty of wit. Cura Te Ipsum is an example of grassroots comic making at its finest, shaping how the medium will engage with the digital layer of our society. A good read.
Second, we have Lady Sabre and the Full Title That I Fail to Correctly Recall, a webcomic in its second year with new pages uploaded every Monday and Thursday. The product of longtime professional creators Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett, it is a seamless action adventure tale of pirates, ninjas and cosmic mystery, dressed in the quirkiest steampunk splendour.
Our heroine Seneca Sabre is a flame-tressed aristocrat, unforgettably dashing, literary and skilled at battle. She is a joy to read, and also, come to think of it, sounds a bit like the muse in the vintage track Killer Queen (linked here for no other real reason than every weekend should begin with Freddie Mercury in furs).
Lady Sabre is particularly noteworthy for me in its unashamed focus on ‘fun’ comics (its preamble here). Sure, there’s time for cynicism, shock, super-science and the more serious trappings of the medium to shine, but every now and again we must pause and remember why comics have so long been associated with adolescent literature- they can be just so much damn fun, (a sentiment vital to Aviator Gold, the steampunk pulp adventure I write for artist Chadwick Ashby, which is coming together slowly and may surface one day soon).
So, in a world where comic sales have been declining for decades, the medium frequently stripped for parts or mined for video game content and film franchises, there are creators out there just telling good stories and making them online. Right now, every day is free comic book day…