World of Webcomics: 'Out There'

Out ThereWorld of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.


When I first started graduate school in 2008, I had to give up reading webcomics because of how much time I needed to devote to work and studying. At the time, I had just started reading Out There and wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of it, but was willing to give it a chance. Now, years later, I’ve finally been able to go back and catch up on all the webcomics I was reading, and I’ve come to find some things have changed . . . and some things have not. Centered on the life of a nomadic “wild” woman who puts down roots, Out There gives a very practical approach to day-to-day life with every common and realistic encounter, even if some of them seem a bit implausible. Originally updating every day, Out There comes out with a new comic every Wednesday at outthere.keenspot.com.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW


Art Style

The artwork has certainly improved since the beginning, showing that, with practice and time, things can get better, and there’s certainly a realistic feel to the portrayal of the characters and the settings, but not everything is appealing. The one thing that really catches my eye in terms of dislike is the way the eyes on the main character are made; to me, they seem just too big, as though she’s permanently wide-eyed even though almost nothing seems to faze her. Additionally, the majority of the strips are done in black and white until very recently when they became colored—an effect or cause of the strip scaling back to once a week, perhaps.


Writing and Dialogue


Much of the writing and story arcs seem to be the same throughout the history of the comic. Miriam appears to constantly have a problem finding the right romantic partner, Sherry is concerned about Miriam (as well as the running of her business) to the point where she focuses on nothing but, and the regular bar-flies are just regularly involved. In a way, it makes me feel as though I’m watching an episode of Cheers with more female characters and newer forms of technological interaction. After coming back from a long period of not reading the comic (5 years), I had expected to see some very drastic changes, but have found that very little has really changed and that the dialogue and interaction is much the same as it was back in 2008. On the plus side, it shows that this form of writing has been constant since the comic’s inception in 2006, but it also shows not much in the way of growth.


Appeal

As stated above, if you enjoyed watching an episode of Cheers, then you should enjoy reading Out There; it is a very down-to-Earth comic, set in reality with all the quirks and dramatic interactions that one finds in a normal life. It would definitely appeal to those who like seeing themselves reflected in a more comical fashion; just beware that sometimes it may be so close to realism that you’ll think you’re looking in the mirror.

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:36

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