Webcomics Worth Reading: What I Found at Baltimore

One of the best things these days about going to a convention is picking up cards and bookmarks from booths promoting webcomics. It extends the show, in a way, to get home and sample all these new comics for free, and it’s great to be able to try them in longer segments than a minicomic can show as you’re standing there flipping through it. So here are some webcomics I found out about in Baltimore this weekend that I enjoyed reading enough to recommend.

Ralf the Destroyer

Ralf the Destroyer by Scott Lincoln — Ralf is a cutie, a little green alien (with something of an inferiority complex) sent to destroy earth who decides not to. Instead, he’s exploring our culture, which allows for all kinds of odd types to fall into his path. As Scott and I discussed at the show, the character design falls nicely into that gap between human and animal. Ralf is humanoid enough to be relatable, but his antenna also work to signify his feelings the way a dog’s ears can. The strip launched November 2009 and updates every Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday (although it’s on a reduced once-a-week schedule until next month).

Tara Normal

Tara Normal by H.C. Noel — This supernatural investigation strip feels to me like the X-Files meets Buffy. With the monsters, aliens, and zombies, it also reminds me a little of Celadore. (Those aren’t bad things.) The spiky style gives the title character attitude, and the way other characters are drawn reminds me of goofy Mad magazine movie caricatures. Launched April 2009 and updates weekly.

Kiwi Blitz

Kiwi Blitz by Mary Cagle — A girl rides a kiwi mecha robot in this anime-influenced sci-fi action strip. I haven’t figured out the characters and story yet, but the art is adorable, and it’s neat to see how much Mary’s work has gotten stronger since the comic’s beginning. Launched April 2009 and updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Hero Business

The Hero Business by Bill Walko. My favorite, because it gives me the feeling of watching The Middleman. Parker is a receptionist at the Hero Business, whose motto is “with great power comes great marketability.” They’re an advertising agency with superheroes as clients, and I liked what I saw so much I bought the print version. (It helped that instead of being asked to commit $20, it was only $5 (in color) but doubles up strips so it still feels substantial.) That was an easy choice once I saw the two demo strips Bill had printed out and visible. They made me laugh, and they were well-drawn — what more did I need? (It was only at home that I realized I’d previously praised Bill’s work at Project Rooftop.) Launched March 2010 and updates weekly.

5 Responses to “Webcomics Worth Reading: What I Found at Baltimore”

  1. Comics A.M. | Fantagraphics’ first Pogo collection finally goes to press | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    […] Webcomics | Johanna Draper Carlson lists the webcomics she discovered at last weekend’s Baltimore Comic Con. [Comics Worth Reading] […]

  2. The Hero Business - Comics Worth Reading Recommends The Hero Business Says:

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  3. Ralf the Destroyer - Back from Baltimore Says:

    […] was also pleased to meet and speak with Johanna Draper Carlson who did a nice write up of Ralf on “Comics Worth Reading”. It was also great to meet and speak with John Gallagher of “Buzzboy Comics” (and the […]

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    […] Walko (The Hero Business) drew this one-panel cartoon of Wonder Woman as a Disney Princess as part of a contest exploring […]

  5. Ralf the Destroyer - Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Comic Con and she was kind enough to include Ralf the Destroyer at the top of her article –  Comics Worth Reading: What I found at Baltimore. There are tons of reviews there so be sure to stop by and discover something […]




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