September 1, 2009

Marmaduke Would Look Quite Dapper In That Top Hat

# 7 Wondermark

See Introduction | #9 |#8

The magic of webcomics stems from the freedom inherent in the medium. Unlike traditional comic strips, which are beset with strict guidelines for format and structure, as Bill Watterson famously struggled against, comics on the internet are free to evolve in any direction they wish. The variety of webcomics are stunning.

Take for example A Softer World, which takes a strip of three usually related photos and grafts a poem over them with seemingly unrelated text. Or how about Untitled Gif. I cannot even begin to explain what it is about, but I still enjoy reading it.

Imagine how great Marmaduke would be if Brad Anderson had been free to explore his full artistic vision. It might have turned out something like Wondermark.

In Wondermark, you have illustrations that look like artwork from turn of the century (the 20th, not the 21st) magazines or street fliers, with absurd story lines created. The style is stunning, and the immediate response upon first viewing it is to wonder how the artist does it. Does he painstakingly draw each one? Is their some kind of computer wizardry involved?

Apparently, the creator, David Malki ! (so astonishing, he has an exclamation point in his name) scans in the drawings from 19th century woodcuts and engravings. He then uses them as the basis for the strip. But to fully appreciate the time and labor involved, read his description of the process.

The final product is the seventh best webcomic in the universe. My favorites include In which Jody is burning some trash, In which it's Hot, and In which we went Too Far.

Wondermark is unique in that it excels in terms of both story and visuals. Not a combination you find very often in the world of webcomics. It makes me wonder why Malki with an exclamation point is not earning a real living as a graphic designer or advertiser. His parents must be very disappointed.

Lyric Of The Day:

Looking back on when i
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring

Sneaking out the back door
To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
Greeted at the back door
With boy thought I told you not to go outside,
Tryin your best to bring the
Water to your eyes
Thinkin it might stop her
From woopin your behind

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
Cause I love them so

"I Wish"
-Stevie Wonder

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