Robert J. Baden

Robert J. Baden (197)

Kevin and KellWorld 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.

 


I grew up reading the newspaper comics—what was normally called the “Funnies” in a lot of papers—and it was clear that the comic strips depicted a particular style compared to comic books and webcomics. Kevin & Kell emulates that style well, making me feel as though I’m taking a trip back to my younger years, when the day-to-day strips always leave with a cliffhanger to bring the reader back to the page the next day. Kevin & Kell actually is distributed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a newspaper strip, but continues to update online as well. The creator, Bill Holbrook, has at least two other daily comics that are done in the same fashion, and all three have been around in some form since the mid-1990s, so he’s had a lot of practice making it the way he wants it, the difference being that this comic was originally online only while his others were newspaper syndicated. So, if you’re looking for a comic to take you back to the days of the “Funnies,” then definitely look here. Kevin & Kell updates every day at kevinandkell.com.

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SW Tyrants Fist 1*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.


I grew up with Star Wars comics, they being one of the very few titles I have read since I first got into comic book reading, and the titles (for me at least) have done a great job of bridging the gaps between the feature films and the novels.  For me, Star Wars has always been a central core of my geekdom, a pillar upon which I have judged other aspects of science fiction—as well as other aspects of Star Wars itself—and I have immensely enjoyed the stories that Dark Horse has provided . . . well, most of them. There will always be some that I am not a fan of, but that’s the way things go.  But now, with Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm, the license to produce Star Wars comic material has been lost to Marvel (another division of Disney), and once the current contracts of ongoing (and soon-to-be-made) comics finish, Dark Horse will lose one of the most important resources it has relied upon since 1991: the overwhelming obsession of Star Wars fans.

Wolverine and the X-Men MNOW 25The New Marvel is a series that looks at the changes that the mega-comic empire made following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men and the impact that those changes have on the stories of Marvel NOW!  Six issues (or more) into each Marvel NOW! title, we see what our favorite characters are up to and what to keep an eye out for in the future.



He’s the best at what he does: mutant warrior, world-class hunter, and the Earth’s greatest . . .teacher?  Following the splinter from Cyclops’ Utopian faction, Wolverine set up another school, believing in the tenants that Charles Xavier bestowed upon him and his fellow X-Men.  But, in the wake of the world-changing war between the Avengers and his fellow mutants, this man finds himself trying to come to terms with the possible death of one of his students, becoming a leader amongst the X-Men, and trying to keep fanatics from destroying his school.  He’s Wolverine, and these are his X-Men.


Spinnerette 1World 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.

 


Spinnerette is a lot more like print comics than webcomics, especially when you factor in the secret identity and superhero situations.  I’m rather picky about my superhero comics, and it takes a lot for me to want to continue to read something, but given that the comic focuses on someone who has Spider-like powers—a favorite of mine—this kept my interest throughout the archives and into the present.  However, unlike most print comics, it pokes fun at things a lot (kind of reminding me of Deadpool) and is more than just a superhero comic; it is a comedy, too.  The comic updates on a M-W-F schedule at spinnyverse.com.

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

 

All New X-Men 1The New Marvel is a series that looks at the changes that the mega-comic empire made following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men and the impact that those changes have on the stories of Marvel NOW!  Six issues (or more) into each Marvel NOW! title, we see what our favorite characters are up to and what to keep an eye out for in the future.



In the wake of what he’s done to the world—and the way mutants are treated—Cyclops has taken up arms against the world in what he thinks is oppression for a legitimate political agenda.  Cast as a criminal by even some of his closest friends, and coming to grips with the fact that he’s pushed mutant kind to the brink of salvation as well as extermination, the one-eyed sharpshooter gathers others around him to teach the world that it can’t put him down in the name of international security.  But, the unexpected happens as he comes face-to-face with the one person he can’t lie to, evade, or dare to disappoint: himself.

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Amazing Spider-Man 700*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

 

Anyone who really knows me will not find it strange that I consider Spider-Man to be my favorite and strongest superhero, especially given his geekish and nerdy background—something I know quite a bit about. Over the last few years, I have been trying to catch up with the comics that tell the tales of the famous wall-crawling, web-slinging solo savior and have seen a lot of interesting and life-changing things in his life.  While I haven’t read the majority of the Amazing Spider-Man title (or several other of the long-running comics, aside from the Ultimate version), I have looked into the history of the man behind the mask, and a lot of it was well written . . . until we get to the most recent end of ASM #700.  One would think that I would be used to endings like this given the way the heroes of the Marvel and DC worlds blink in and out of existence, but the way this was done really has me wondering if I even want to continue reading the new adventures of Spider-Man when in the series that started not long ago.

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Rapture Burger 2I like to read a lot and am always willing to try out new things, such as this comic, but there are still times when I’m not sure what to think of something that I read. This is one of those times.  I still don’t fully understand what the premise of the comic is, after having read both of the first two chapters, but I am still going to give it a try and see how things pan out as they release more and more over time.  I will say this, however, it is very unusual, but I’m not sure if I can categorize it as good or bad; just very different.  The entirety of Chapter Two, as well as the previous chapter and other information, can be found at the comic’s website, www.raptureburgers.com.

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OutsiderWorld 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.

 

Outsider can best be described as a space opera that takes a very long time to relay to readers; it only updates every now and then, but when it does, the pages are very well done with such a style and quality that make it worth the wait.  Like many other space opera plots, the human race discovers that it is not alone in the galaxy and is woefully unprepared for the realities of their newfound knowledge.  The story focuses on a single human and, in many ways, is a learning comic with very little in terms of combat (space or otherwise).  The archives are very small compared to most webcomics, and it does not take long to catch up with what has happened. If you’re waiting around for a constant update schedule, it would be best to bypass this altogether.  Outsider updates about once a month (but not always with a new comic page) at well-of-souls.com/outsider/.

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ResetI’ve always been fascinated by the concept of “what would have happened” if I had done something different with my life, or if characters had done something different in a variety of mediums that I pay attention to.  There’s always been at least one thing in my life that I would like to change, though I know that I can’t, because it would change who I am—for good or bad, I’m stuck with who I am, because I’m not sure I would like who I would have been instead.

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Shadow*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.



As someone who grew up in the Modern Age of print comics, I missed out on some of the more “classic” tales pertaining to several of my superhero icons—the Clone Saga of Spider-Man, the Death of Robin in the Batman titles, the introduction of Darkseid and Apocalypse as major “Big-Bads” in their respective universes—and thus my idea of storytelling was vastly different than of those who came before me.  The Golden and Silver Ages of comics seemed to have been held in very high regard by several people, but after having read (and attempted to read) a variety of titles from those bygone eras, I find myself seeing a pattern when it comes to the nature of how comics are told to their audiences.  While I’m always going to be thankful for the influence that the previous eras have given to the characters that I read today, I have found it difficult to read anything before 2000 (with some notable exceptions).  I know that at least one of my friends agrees with me on this concept, and that the way comics have been done has changed drastically since the 1930s.

MINOR HISTORICAL SPOILERS BELOW

 

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