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