I asked you all to produce comics that were your hopes and wishes for 2016, and beyond that, I had no expectations at all.
The standard for the last challenge was really high, but as all of this is done on your own time, and in between your paying work, and also as I picked the busiest time of the year for it, I was quite prepared to have no entries at all.
We did not get no entries, we got five, and my word what a five they are.
As before, if you are reading this on your iPad, simply copy the link below each comic, and paste it into the bar on the Download page of the app. (get the app from the iOS app store HERE)
If it fails to load, make sure there are no spaces in the address, and none at the beginning or end of it.
If you are reading this on your Mac, PC or Ubuntu Desktop or laptop, you can get our free Desktop Reader HERE and you can read all the comics made for Electricomics right now for free without an iPad.
If you are reading this on your iPhone, Android Tablet, or Android phone, please accept my apologies, we are working on the Android version as I write, and hoping to optimise for smaller screens at some point after that. Please use one of the options above if you can.
The comics have kicked up some errors in the app, so if you encounter one, please report it as an issue over at Github.com/electricomics, that way its all in one list for Giulia to work her way through.
All comics work in the Desktop Reader.
If you enjoy them, please share them and talk about them, our aim is to give people ideas for their own comics, and to bring a wealth of talent and inspiration to as many creators as possible! 🙂
Okay, lets get into the comics…
- Occupy Thyself by Tzvi Lebetkin.
- Mr Lebetkin is the most prolific user of the Electricomics platform so far, and has taken to it like a duck to water, bringing out Pure Blood, Tower of Man, and then Stoners as a weekly series. He will soon be releasing a full length issue on the platform, which will be a first for us. I have been impressed by all of his offerings so far, and the inventive ways he adapts them to the format. They are all different, but share some qualities that make them really great to read. He builds the page up, and brings in dialogue gradually to dramatic effect. He uses the whole page, and has a real sense of pacing. Occupy Thyself is a piece to camera, which not only breaks down the fourth wall, it stands on it, and looks you straight in the eye. A heartfelt entreaty for peace, for fairness in the media, for restraint and actual thought before vacant clicktivism.
Wishes by S. James Abbott. While not so prolific as Mr Lebetkin, Mr Abbots craft is plainly seen and felt in each of his offerings. “When you are old” used several panels at once, to show a story from more than one angle, and to incredible visual effect. His painted art brings his work a gravitas and an atmosphere at times epic and at others dreamlike. His entry to the challenge “Wishes” takes me at my word, and brings pantomime magic crashing alarmingly into the real world. The story is short, and to the point, but leaves your mind mulling on it long after you finish. The thing that really stood out for me, was his use of gifs. The ambience they create is so evocative, so immediate, and yet they are really simple. Mr Abbott is one to watch, and one to learn from it seems!
The Darkling Thrush by Rob Vollmar and Shayna Pond, with words from Thomas Hardy’s poem of the same name. Shayna Pond was the winner of the last challenge with her excellent all-ages Halloween comic ‘Monster’ which was moving and funny, and which me and my kids really enjoyed reading. She gets a lot of expression and meaning into only a few lines. Shayna and Rob are married, and are working together on ‘Howling at the Gates‘ a web-comic available on Comixology. This comic is another that merits a re-read, because the juxtaposition of Hardy’s poem, and the story unfolding in the art is so skilfully done. The layering of news fragments and then song lyrics into the narrative really works, even though it could have got jumbled and messy, it really doesn’t at all. The art is really bouncy and immediate, and the use of colour really made it jump out of the screen at me. I really enjoyed the way they controlled the pacing, the reveals, the storytelling. None of those things are my favourite thing about it. My favourite thing is the message, and the emotional depth that had a lump in my throat only a few pages in. Once I’d read it, I felt warm and uplifted and really really sniffly. Cheers for that guys! Tissues with the next one, yeah?
#CHARLIEHEBDOMEROS Pt.1 by Tompte. Now anybody who has been following this project knows that Tompte is a bit of a talent to be reckoned with. His entry for the last challenge, ‘A * is for Asterion’ used words to lead your eye around the page and then into a maze which twisted and turned as the story does. There is nothing he does that is not deft, and witty, and engaging, so when he submits a comic, my heart is all a flutter to see it. This does not in any way dissapoint. To be honest it completely floored me. It would not be too much to say that this comic is a meta-textual Deconstructionist Dadaist commentary on terrorism, comics, art, politics, language, laughter and the human spirit. It would not be too much to say that this is magic, taking your mind to a plane where you can look down and see the patterns in the chaos. Not sure I can really say more than that. I need to read it again I think. I also need a sit down. Chairs with the next one, yeah?
A Silent Island. By Tompte. At the risk of somebody crying FOUL and complaining that Mr Tompte has submitted two entries to the challenge, I will say there are no limit to the number of entries a person can make to these challenges, because each comic is considered on its own merits as a response to the brief, its success as a comic in general, and its use of the format. Those are my only criteria. If somebody makes me ten comics, I’ll read all of them! So with that housekeeping out of the way, and knowing what he already submitted in the above entry, lets look at this one. A Silent Island feels like something I’ve already read somewhere, an allegory or a song I already know. Although like all his work, there is a strong metaphorical layer, the main thing it made me think of was the Syrian refugee crisis, and all those people in tiny boats. Like Mr Abbott, he uses gifs to bring the comic up out of the page to you, and it really really works. The gifs become hypnotic in both, a rhythm you read by, and which makes the comic into both a film, and almost music.
I have to judge these now. SO that’s nice and easy then. Yup.
All comics from the previous challenge are available in the Store of the Desktop Reader, and can be downloaded to the Library of your app or desktop reader until you choose to delete them.
For more information see our Library Page.
NB: All images are copyright their creators and are used here as part of the challenge. To use images from these comics please contact the creators directly for permission.