My Ten Favourite “Damania” Comics Of 2016 (With Commentary)

2016 ArtworkTop Ten Damania Comics

Although I’ll post the usual list of my ten favourite articles from this month tomorrow, I thought that I’d do something a bit different today, since it is near the end of the year. One of the things that really surprised me about this year (and late last year) was the fact that I finally got back into making webcomics again after making a few traditional-style comics last year.

In fact, I ended up posting over a hundred new comic updates for my occasional “Damania” webcomic series (which I began in 2011/2012) this year, spread out over something like nine or ten short mini series. Although I made some of these new comics last autumn/winter, I didn’t actually post any of them online until this year.

So, since there were a lot more comics posted here this year than I expected and because the quality of the updates varied somewhat, I thought that I’d show you my top ten “Damania” comics from this year and give you some commentary about them too.

But, if you’ve never seen this series before, then here’s a quick character guide:

These are the four main characters from my long-running occasional "Damania" webcomic series (in chronological order, based on first appearance).

These are the four main characters from my long-running occasional “Damania” webcomic series (in chronological order, based on first appearance).

All ten of these comics are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence. Likewise, you can see a larger version of each comic update by clicking on it.

Anyway, here are my top ten “Damania” comics of 2016:

10) “Damania Returns – Cool Buildings”: Although ‘Damania Returns‘ is my least favourite mini series, I really liked how one particular comic from it turned out.

Around last Christmas/New Year when I was making “Damania Returns”, I suddenly became fascinated by Kowloon Walled City after reading about it online. This also reminded me of the old, and much-missed, Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth. So, I felt like immortalising the two buildings in a webcomic update:

"Damania Returns - Cool Buildings" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Returns – Cool Buildings” By C. A. Brown

9) “Damania Referendum – Derek Votes”: This was the funniest and most inspired comic in a series of four comic updates I posted here before the E.U. Referendum in June. Originally, I’d planned to have Derek deliver a “serious” speech about the “leave” side. But, shortly before I made the comic, a much better, much funnier and more in-character idea for Derek’s comic suddenly appeared in my mind….

"Damania Referendum - Derek Votes" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Referendum – Derek Votes” By C. A. Brown

8) “Damania Redux – Splatterpunk”: This was the very first modern-style “Damania” webcomic update that I posted online (this one or this one was the first one I actually made) and it was inspired by my own nostalgic memories about the second-hand 1970s-90s splatterpunk novels I used to read when I was a teenager.

Originally, when I re-started this comic series, I’d planned to mostly just re-make some of my older comics from 2012/2013 but, as soon as I had this idea, I decided to make original comics instead. So, this comic is pivotal to the existence of my webcomic in it’s current form.

"Damania Redux - Splatterpunk" By C.A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Splatterpunk” By C.A. Brown

7) “Damania Resurrected – Detectives”: Although the punchline in this comic was a little bit weak, this comic just has to go on the list for the simple reason that I just couldn’t stop laughing whenever I looked at the third panel of this comic.

Not only that, I really liked the characterisation in this comic – since Harvey and Roz are both being themselves in the strongest possible way.

"Damania Resurrected - Detectives" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – Detectives” By C. A. Brown

6) “Damania Reappears – Punk Night”: This was the second comic in a series of running jokes about nightclubs (here are the first and third comics). Like with the previous comic on the list, this was one of those comics that just made me laugh out loud whenever I saw it.

"Damania Reappears - Punk Night (Censored Version)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Reappears – Punk Night (Censored Version)” By C. A. Brown

5) Damania Resurrected – FPS IRL: This was a comic that was inspired by both my own memories of going paintballing once when I was about seventeen and this TV Tropes page.

Not only did I get to add a lot of action to the artwork in this cartoon, but I also had the hilarious experience of showing Derek treating paintballing like it’s an old FPS game.

"Damania Resurrected - FPS IRL" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurrected – FPS IRL” By C. A. Brown

4) Damania Resurgence – Debunked: Although this comic suffered from a bit of self-censorship (originally, the third panel would have included a large pair of breasts), it’s one of my favourite comics for a number of reasons.

First of all, I found the idea of Harvey and Rox debunking seances to be absolutely hilarious. Secondly, I had an excuse to make the kind of gloomy, gothic artwork that I’m best at making.

But, most importantly of all, this comic established one of the main ‘rules’ of my new “Damania” comics – namely that the comics can include zombies, but they can’t include ghosts. This rule has had a notable effect on several subsequent comics.

"Damania Resurgence - Debunked (Censored Version)" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Resurgence – Debunked (Censored Version)” By C. A. Brown

3) “Damania Redux – Was Better In 1998”: This early comic was a pivotal part of Rox’s character development, since it is the moment that she went from being the generic goth/punk character (who occasionally played old games) that she was in 2012/2013, to being the 1990s-obsessed retro technology enthusiast that she is today.

Not only that, I had an absolute whale of a time with the final panel 🙂 Everything from drawing the 1990s fashions, to writing the radical 1990s-style dialogue was just incredibly fun.

"Damania Redux - Was Better In 1998" By C. A. Brown

“Damania Redux – Was Better In 1998” By C. A. Brown

2) “Damania – A Cynical Christmas (2016) – Shopping”: My favourite mini series of 2016 was probably the one I posted just before Christmas.

But, if I had to pick just one comic from that mini series, then it would be this one. It contains the most detailed art that I’ve ever included in a webcomic update (this comic took me at least twice as long to make as usual) and it allowed me to include a hilariously chaotic and melodramatic scene, as well as some allusions to this year’s Halloween comic too…

"Damania - A Cynical Christmas (2016) - Shopping" By C. A. Brown

“Damania – A Cynical Christmas (2016) – Shopping” By C. A. Brown

1) “Zombies Again!”: Yes, I know, it’s a 10-page B&W comic and not a four-panel webcomic update. But, this year’s Halloween comic was – by far- my favourite online comic of the year. As soon as I thought of the basic idea for it, this comic pretty much just made itself. Yes, it’s a little bit like a zombie comic I made in 2015, but I really like how the writing, humour, characterisation and art in this comic turned out 🙂

"Zombies Again! - Cover" By C. A. Brown

“Zombies Again! – Cover” By C. A. Brown

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“Normal” blog articles will resume at the start of next year, but stay tuned for my ten favourite articles from this month tomorrow 🙂

Top Ten Articles (January 2015)

2015 Artwork Top Ten Articles January

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to give you a list of links to my personal top ten articles from this blog over the past month (plus a few honourable mentions too).

All in all, this has been a reasonably good month – although I think that my articles were probably slightly better near the beginning of this month than they were at the end. Still, let’s hope that things improve in February 🙂

Anyway, in no particular order, here’s this month’s top ten articles & honourable mentions 🙂

Top Ten Articles For January 2015:

– “What Is Your ‘Lazy’ Artform?
– “Copyright And Realism In Stories And Art
– “The Stories And Articles That Never Were! (Deleted Scenes)
– “Five Lessons About Creativity And Life That I’ve Learnt From Playing ‘Doom’
– “Four Basic Tips For Making Good Fan Art
– “Four Things To Do If You Feel That Your Art Style Has Stagnated
– “Four Ways To Deal With Writer’s Block When You’ve Got A Deadline
– ” An Artist’s Impression Of Our Imaginations
– “Four Things That Are More Important Than ‘Talent’ Or A Lifetime Of Practice
– “A Geeky Way To Beat Writer’s Block (Plus An Exclusive Drawing)

Honourable Mentions:

– “How To Make Art Every Day – Five Simple Tips
– “In Defence Of ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ Characters (And How To Write Them Well)
– “Spark Your Imagination With Stand-Up Comedy

Top Ten Articles – December 2014

2014 Artwork Top Ten Articles December

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for my usual list of links to my personal “top ten” articles about writing and/or art that have appeared here over the past thirty-one days.

As usual, I’ll probably include a few “honourable mentions” (five of them, in fact) that didn’t quite make it into the top ten too.

All in December has been a pretty good month for me on this blog and I’m quite proud of most of the articles that appeared here this month 🙂

Anyway, in no particular order, let’s get started:

Top Ten Articles For December 2014:

– “Should You Use Your Own Nightmares As Inspiration For Horror Fiction?
– “How To Draw Or Paint Things From Memory (With Examples)
– “Five Ways To Find A Title For Your Drawing Or Painting In Less Than A Minute
– “The Joy Of… Body Horror
– “Four Basic Tips For Making Monochrome/ Black & White Art
– “On Romanticising Your ‘Early Days’ As A Writer Or An Artist
– “Four Ways To Give Your Comic A 1990s (or 80s) – Style Look
– “To Fascinate Your Readers, Think About Their Literary ‘Backgrounds’
– “Four Basic Tips For Writing Criminal Protagonists
– “How Important Is Realism In Fiction?

Honourable Mentions:

– “Drawing As A Language
– “Four Amazing Artists On Youtube (And Cartoon Portraits Of Them)
– “Four Ways To Be Creative When You’re Really Tired
– “Creative Inspiration For Introverts, Recluses And Other Cool People
– “The Joy Of… Spy Fiction

Top Ten Articles – November 2014

2014 Artwork Top Ten Articles November

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to compile a list of links to my favourite ten articles about art and/or writing (and maybe a few honourable mentions too) that have appeared here in November.

All in all, I’m quite proud of most of this month’s articles, so choosing the ten best ones might be more difficult than usual….

Anyway, without any further ado, here they are (in no particular order):

Top ten articles for November 2014:

– “How Gruesome Should Horror Art And Horror Comics Be?
– “The Joy Of… Banned Books
– “Five Ways To Make Quick Last-Minute Artwork
– “How To Add Some Trickery To Your Thriller, Detective And/Or Spy Story
– “Two Reasons Why Regular Webcomic Updates Are Useful When You’re Uninspired
– “The Uncanny – Or, My Conversations With An Artificial Intelligence
– “Should You Include Aliens In Your Sci-Fi Story?
– “How To Adapt Something That Doesn’t Really Have A Story
– “One Quick Question To Spark Your Creativity
– “The Joy Of… Self-Imposed Rules

Honourable Mentions:

– “Four Unusual Tips For Writing A Novel Very Quickly
– “Art And Dreams
– “The Joy Of… Alternate Histories
– “Should You Be The Voice Of Your Generation?

Top Ten Articles – October 2014

2014 Artwork Top Ten Articles October

First of all, happy Halloween everyone 🙂

Anyway, since it’s the end of the month, I thought that I’d give you a list of links to my personal top ten articles about art and writing that have been posted here during October. I’ll also include a few honourable mentions too (since there are usually more than ten articles that I really like every month).

Anyway, without any further ado, here’s my top ten articles from this month (in no particular order):

– “Writing Splatterpunk Horror Fiction
– “Three Ways To Deal With Uncreative Guilt
– “If You Can Fill ‘Awkward Time’ Your Work Will Be Popular
– “Humour As A Perspective
– “Writing From A Second-Person Perspective
– “How To Work In A Totally New And Undiscovered Genre
– “Cynicism And Artistic Inspiration
– “Four Good Ideas For Shorter Artistic Projects
– “A Very Basic Tip For Drawing Things In Proportion
– “One Quick Tip For Writing Dramatic Death Scenes

Honourable Mentions:

– “Basic Tips For Painting Silhouette Landscapes
– “Three Basic Ways To Leave Your Story Open To Sequels And Spin-Offs
– “Six Creative Halloween Costumes For Writers And Artists (Comic)

Top Ten Articles – September 2014

2014 Artwork Top Ten Articles September

As I mentioned briefly last month, I’ve decided to replace my monthly “Best Of The Blog” posts with a list of links to my personal top ten articles from the previous month (and possibly few honourable mentions too).

I’ve decided to switch to this format for a number of reasons, but the main one is because I tend to write my articles fairly far in advance and, in July, I discovered WordPress has a limit on the number of posts you can schedule in advance. So, taking a whole month’s worth of articles out of my “drafts” folder and getting fucntional links for all of them would be unfeasably time-consuming.

All in all, this probably hasn’t been my best month in terms of articles – mostly due to the hot weather at the time I was writing them and because of other random stresses too. But, saying that, there have been some reasonably good articles this month.

Anyway, enjoy 🙂

Top Ten Articles For September 2014:

– “How To Add Personality To Your Art
– “Three More Ways To Be Creative Before The Apocalypse
– “Five Cool Little Things About Being An Artist
– “Three Things To Do When You Don’t Have Any Stories To Tell
– “Writing Dystopic Comedy
– “Three Things To Do After You’ve Drawn A Terrible Picture
– “Storytelling As ‘Revenge’
– “Three Ways To Recycle Something You’ve Already Posted Online
– “Should You Write Long Or Short Non-Fiction Articles?
– “How To Write Rhyming Poetry

Honourable Mentions:

– “Art And Gender Expression
– “Three Open- Source Drawings Styles For Beginners
– “Art, Writing And Rebellion