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Eric: Also? The name "Icon" is inspired. But that's neither here nor there.

(From It's About Girls. Click on the thumbnail for full sized Falling Apart!)

We've talked about Infinite Canvas. There are some folks who do it exceedingly well. There are some folks who do it and it's not so exceedingly well but the quality is still so great that I don't care. There are some folks who do it because they're webcartoonists and look -- it's Infinite! Who cares if the strip sucks!

William George (Or William G., as he is known essentially anywhere I look), has always been sort of a bridge between category A and category B for me. His series It's About Girls is remarkable and evocative, bright and wonderful. It paints wonderful, flawed characters and weaves them together, and lets time blend around them.

The people who do Infinite Canvas Side Scrolling well use it to convey sense of motion, sense of immediacy, sense of time. They often employ decompression techniques almost with the idea of a continual scroll. William G does this pretty well, though it was never about the canvas for me. It was for the strip. And the strip hasn't been updated for a while.

The last we saw was a brief, non-infinite 'interlude' after Chapter 11. But we didn't have a full Chapter 12 until now. And he's redone his navigation entirely. Now, it's in pieces, and those pieces each fit the window perfectly, letting you click the image itself for the next.

I love it. I really do. It's still innovative and experimental. It uses the new form to shock, to surprise, to hit you as you see each new scene -- some friendly and building and then suddenly twisting. It fits the browser format perfectly -- it's something that doesn't work as well in print, because the turn of pages gives you some remove. On this click interface, it's immediate and instant and has direct impact. And, it's an interface that takes no thought at all -- and no thought in using the interface means immersion into the story. I'm loving this. I've seen similar before (though maybe not this well-done) and I want it to explode onto the net, because it's a wonderful technique.

And the color. My God, William G. always knows how to use color, but this time, it's a revelation. Shocking and horrifying and innocent and cheerful depending on the panel and frame and mood.

More to the point, It's About Girls continues to grow and evolve as a story. I've always liked the story William G is telling, and this just reinforced it all.

This is the kind of thing that makes me excited to be reading webcomics. This makes me glad to be here right now, as these things grow and develop.

William G. gets a biscuit. A tasty, tasty biscuit.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at March 12, 2005 8:41 PM


Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at March 12, 2005 9:44 PM

I noticed he made some comment about adding ALT tags to the images, for mouseover purposes; but not all browsers display ALT text on mouseover. Fortunately, since his pictures are also being used as links, he can use title="" within his anchor tags for the same effect (I've been doing that a lot over on Science Fiction Blog lately, as a way of adding my own commentary track, so to speak (also, it's a way of adding in extra info sometimes; for instance, I might link to the place I heard about the thing I'm blogging about, and mention they place they got it from in the title text).

Comment from: mckenzee posted at March 12, 2005 11:05 PM

Nice technique. If I ever do more than 3 panels I'll steal it.

I get annoyed with infinite scrolling. 9 Planets W.I.L. handles it well, but it's easy to go too far.

Comment from: mckenzee posted at March 12, 2005 11:07 PM

oops, forgot the HTTP.


Comment from: Phil! posted at March 13, 2005 2:35 AM

Just read through the archives. I'm hooked.

Comment from: Robotech_Master posted at March 13, 2005 10:49 AM

I like the way he indicates what the other students in his class think anime girls are like...because it doesn't "work" as conventional conversational narrative. People don't typically have the ability to generate larger-than-life images out of nothing to point to, after all. I just think that's kind of neat.

Comment from: chaos cricket posted at March 13, 2005 2:03 PM

Dammit, now I'm hooked on another comic and have to read through it because of Websnark. Curse your finding interesting reads, Eric Burns!

Comment from: MasonK posted at March 13, 2005 9:33 PM

Well, CC, at least it shouldn't take too long. I mean, I went through it in one day... and I'm on a 28.8 line.

Comment from: William_G posted at March 15, 2005 11:18 AM

Finally got this damned typekey thingy to work!

Thanks Eric. Now I'm thinking that I'll have to post another comic again before 2006...

Comment from: gwalla posted at March 19, 2005 12:11 AM

By the waym Robotech_Master, he says "all asian girls", not "all anime girls". In the latter case, it's just an overgeneralization (although it doesn't make sense in context, since it's an *outsiders'* overgeneralization of animeŘone which otaku love to complain aboutŘand he's talking about anime geeks), while the latter is a complete failure to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

Comment from: William_G posted at March 24, 2005 2:05 PM

You got it.

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