Adam Warren Sketch, and who do you want interviewed?

One of the reasons for creating Basket Case is that I like quite a few webcomics, and paper comicbooks in general. However, many of them fly under the radar and don’t get the appreciation they deserve. I read about 50 titles a day (some of them aren’t daily, so that brings the numbers down a bit), and I’m excited to say that I have one artist interview in the works, another 3 where I’m waiting on the answers to my initial questions, and another 3-4 people that have said “yes” to my request, but haven’t said anything after getting the questions. I’m hoping you like them as much as I do.

In the meantime, here’s a pencil sketch I got from Adam Warren back in 1991 at an anime con, when Adam was still drawing for the Dirty Pair comic.

Finally, the next poll question: Who would you like to see get a Basket Case interview? (please answer in the comments)

URL address and new question

First, at the suggestion of Alex Hallatt of Human Cull, I secured the site name webcomicsinterviews.com. The older URL still works, so you don’t have to change anything if you’ve already bookmarked this page. And, I am currently working on 4-5 interviews that I’m really excited about. The plan is to run an interview a week, and then have other stuff 2-3 days in between.

So, next question – Where do you get most of your comics entertainment from? Newspapers, GoComics, Comics Kingdom, Individual websites, or somewhere else?

 

Poll results

Well, we got 460 hits on Basket Case on the first day, and 60+ on day 2. Thanks for visiting!  Of that, 8 people responded to my question of what your favorite single-panel gag comics are.  The winner of the popularity contest is —- Family Circus with 3 mentions.  The Far Side, The Argyle Sweater and Off the Mark tied for second with 2 mentions each, and the rest got one mention apiece. Kind of conventional there, folks…

So, on to question 2. What do you look for in these kinds of gag strips? Is it the artwork? The development of characters? The puns? A sense of familiarity? The fact that it’s there?

Family Circus        3
The Far Side        2
The Argyle Sweater    2
Off the Mark        2
Speed Bump
Ziggy
Get a Life
Cornered
Working it Out
Free Range
Ballard Street
Loose Parts
Real Life Adventures
The Dinette Set
Randolph Itch, 2AM
1 and Done
Nick and Zuzu
Bizarro
Brevity
Our Boarding House with Major Hoople.

A comment on single panel strips

There seems to be a little confusion concerning the idea of what a single-panel strip is.

I draw distinctions between 4 different sources. The first is newspapers. Newspapers often include one-panel comic strips to fill in otherwise odd-shaped blank space on the page. The most common single-panel strips these days, if you look at more than one paper, will be Non Sequitur, Bizarro, Marmaduke and possibly Family Circus. The most famous, of course, is The Far Side.

The second and third sources are the online comics hosting sites GoComics and ComicsKingdom. I prefer GoComics because the interface is a little easier to navigate, and the server is faster. They have quite a few more strips that fit the gag category, including Wayno Vision, 1 and Done, Too Much Coffee Man, Wide Open, The Daily Drawing, and Sketchy Chics. I don’t frequent Comics Kingdom as much, so I’m only aware of Piraro’s Bizarro and Family Circus (which I don’t read). I’ll add here that Comics Sherpa has single-panel strips as well, but the artists are still trying to find their chops, and may not be “professional quality” yet.

The fourth group includes magazines, such as Playboy and the New Yorker. While there are a lot of single-panel strips here, at least some of them aren’t “gag strips” in the classical sense, in that a lot of the stuff that runs in the New Yorker makes you go “hmmm,” rather than being laugh-out-loud funny. Here we used to get (“back in the day”) the science strips of Sidney Harris, the horror one-pagers of Gahan Wilson, the macabre humor of Chas Addams, and the off-the-wall stuff of B. Kliban (precursor to The Far Side). We can probably add Mad magazine to this list, but I don’t have any examples to work with at the moment. And, please note that Kliban, and Kliban Cats are currently in reruns on GoComics. Plus, Rich Powell of Wide Open also does work for Mad magazine.

There is a fifth category, and that is self-published webcomics, which would include Sketchy Chics, and conceivably Bent Objects (although many people, including photographer Terry Border would argue that his stuff doesn’t qualify as “comic strips”). Over time, though, more of the independent webcomics are being brought over to GoComics, at least until their contracts run out.

So, I’d say there are a lot more single-panel gag comics out there waiting to be nominated by their fans, or creators. I’m hoping that some of them are ones I don’t know about yet, but really want to read when I learn about them.

In any event, if you haven’t left your suggestions here yet, please go to the previous blog entry and leave a comment there (or, comment on this post. I don’t care.) And while you’re at at, maybe you can give me your views on the differences between “a single panel comic”, and “a single panel gag comic.”

Announcing Basket Case

Ok, here’s the deal. I like certain webcomics (and certain newspaper comics), but many of them are under the radar. I want to use Basket Case to showcase the ones I like. On the other hand, there are a lot of comics that are really good that I haven’t discovered yet. This is where BC comes in – if you like a strip, say so here.

First poll – What’s your favorite single-panel gag strip (newspaper or webcomic)? Put your response in the comments to this post.

 

In search of good webcomics.