Read Great Comics Online Free — Three New Entries

Three comics have recently been posted online that are well worth your time to read.

Ben Towle’s Oyster War

Oyster War

Ben Towle is working on a graphic novel, Oyster War,

about the Chesapeake Bay at the turn of the century, and in particular about the town of Crisfield, Maryland. Around this time, Crisfield was the center of a huge boom in oyster production, and with the building of a railroad into the town, it became the seafood capital of America… and with the influx of money inevitably came an influx of lawlessness, prostitution, corruption, crime, and all that other good stuff. For a while, Crisfield was a little like Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s, but instead of gold, it was oysters that were fueling the fervor. …

In and of itself this isn’t necessarily a great story waiting to happen, but add into the mix that just across the bay is Smiths Island, founded and populated by Methodists. Already this idea of a decadent economic boomtown right across from a Methodist colony seemed like a great story setup — and a great opportunity to use the locations for some ham-handed narrative metaphor — but when I read that there were watermen who lived in the off-season as pious Methodists, but who in the oyster season would shift “loyalties” in favor of easy money oyster-tonging on the Bay and selling (and spending) their catch in Crisfield, I was sold.

Ben has announced that he’s posted the first two chapters online, beginning here. New pages will be posted as he completes them, so don’t look for a regular schedule yet, but his previous book, Midnight Sun, amply demonstrates that he’s a wizard with historical stories, so I’m eager to see more. For background and development and reference notes, see his blog.

Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover

Gingerbread Girl

I’ve been looking forward to finding out more about this since last year’s Heroes Con. Gingerbread Girl, a graphic novel due out from Top Shelf in May, will be serialized as part of Top Shelf’s webcomics starting later today, with new entries every Monday and Friday thereafter.

Adam Hines’ Duncan the Wonder Dog

The much-praised Duncan the Wonder Dog is currently out of print (although copies may be available at local retailers). It’ll be back in print this spring, but in the meantime, you have two additional options: buy a downloadable PDF, or read it online for free — but only until the print versions are ready again.

(Note that although AdHouse works with ComiXology for other releases, they found that the company required they release a version for handhelds, which would have required “thousands of hours in programming the work for the small screen. We didn’t have the resources to do that, and they didn’t.” So another company was selected for quicker turnaround and faster response time. Those who support actually buying digital comics, getting a copy you can download and do whatever you want with, instead of only purchasing through a locked digital server where access can be removed at their discretion, may want to support this method.)

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