The Wondrous Mark of Wondermark

28 Nov

Growing up I had a reputation for being the class clown, knowledge that can be used to divine my present leaning towards goofiness.  I profess, this has happened not without great assistance.  I have just started reading comics as something akin to an adult, but as a kid I read a good deal of comics.  No Batman or Spiderman, but collections of Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, The Far Side, and Dilbert.

When I came of age to properly scour and explore the far reaches of the internet and establish favourite sites, I latched onto Penny Arcade.  But in the age of webcomics I was for a time restricted in my tastes to videogame related webcomics.  I had, through a friend, read The Perry Bible Fellowship, but no new comics are being produced on that front. So one day on Twitter I asked someone if there were any webcomics out there I had missed, not really expecting anything.  Immediately I was directed to http://wondermark.com/ and http://www.abominable.cc/.  The latter is a wonderfully drawn, sincerely written comic that attends to my adult comic needs.  The former is something that, like The Far Side, makes me grin if not laugh at every panel.

Wondermark, clearly, is what this post is about.  At some point I had foolishly established a separate blog here for my rantings that weren’t videogame related, but now my time is precious — so I’ll post whatever the hell I feel like here.  Just try and stop me!  The truth is that David Malki! (he insists on the exclamation), the creator and curator of Wondermark, has issued a challenge to bloggers — anyone who blogs about Wondermark before the end of November may get a free copy of one of his collections; Clever Tricks To Stave Off Death.  This sort of internet challenge requires one to perform, as a whore, and so I have openly complied to write about Wondermark.

It’s honestly not a challenge though.  I have a soft spot for comics like this; a good portion of my childhood was spent reading them — even reading them with friends and sharing the good jokes.  It makes me really happy to see that this new generation of human comic generators have found a place on the internet, to be supported openly by fans rather than through newspaper publishing deals and collection books alone.

So, what makes this Wondermark so special, anyhow.  Intriguingly it’s produced with a combination of editing old 19th century etchings and wood engravings and applying David Malki!’s sardonic, conversational wit.

An example can be found here: http://wondermark.com/557/

Additionally he uses alt tags (mouse over the comic) to add an afterthought.  In the case of the Lipton comic, he adds “We amass information mainly to keep it from our competitors.”

It’s the sort of sometimes dry, sometimes-too-silly ironic wisecracking that some people might get, but might still not like nonetheless.  But for some other people, every piece of it is eaten up like…like something delicious, to be eaten immediately with no questions asked.

Go eat enjoy some Wondermark.  And hopefully I will weasel a free book for myself.

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