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Eric: For those who never tire of debating the experimental...

...you can now find Gunfight at the Experimental Webcomics Corral (or the Shroud of Tarquin) at the Webcomics Examiner.

For the record? I was responsible for the "shroud of Tarquin" part of the title.

This was a sometimes spirited roundtable discussing webcomics experimentation, past and present, including bright and fun people. Besides myself, there was also Neal Von Flue (who also conducted and edited the Roundtable), Alexander Danner, Cat Garza, Eric Milliken, Tym Godek, T Campbell, Philip Sandifer and Bob Stevenson.

Have a look -- if nothing else, so you can see how I contend that at least once upon a time both Megatokyo and Penny Arcade were full on experimental webcomics -- and feel free to leap into the comments over there and have it out. The purpose of roundtables is debate, after all, and there's a lot of fuel for debate in this one.

Also? Eric Milliken has a kickass piece of cover art for it.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at February 6, 2006 11:51 PM


Comment from: nifboy posted at February 7, 2006 1:30 AM

Of all that discussion, the only strip I want to talk about is Girly, which only got mentioned in passing. All its strips are the same size: 350x1050. You know who else uses strips roughly that size? Sexy Losers. And a strip from either will fit on a single sheet of printed paper. It's only "infinite canvas" on the computer screen, because it's wide.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 7, 2006 1:39 AM

Of all that discussion, the only strip I want to talk about is Girly, which only got mentioned in passing. All its strips are the same size: 350x1050

Not actually true. Strips are the length Lesnick feels they need to be on a given day. #345, for example, was 2100 pixels long, or double the length you mentioned. As were several others. And #234, which was one of my favorites of all time, was a triple sized 3150 pixels long!

You can say they're in 1050 length units. However, I continue to point out that Lesnick uses the expanded canvas technique the way it should be used today -- because it conveys what he wants it to.

Comment from: Phil Kahn posted at February 7, 2006 1:53 AM

Yeah. Too bad my lowly philistine outlook got in the way of participating in the discussion.

Haha, pun.

Comment from: Reinder Dijkhuis posted at February 7, 2006 4:29 AM

I'll need to respond to that, with my thoughts on why The Lives of X!Gloop was experimental, at least to the teenage cartoonist who made it, and the big stinking ugly elephant that was in the living room during that roundtable.

If I'm not very careful I'm going to reference Joseph Campbell in my response, see if I don't.

Comment from: TasteMyHouse posted at February 7, 2006 5:13 AM

Heh. Zombie handjobs.

..can..can he SAY that...?

Comment from: William_G posted at February 7, 2006 8:02 AM

As time goes on,TasteMyHouse, you will discover that Eric Milliken can say whatever he damned well likes. And boy howdy, does he know it.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at February 7, 2006 12:01 PM

In reference to the use of links to the archives, Twisted Kaiju Theater has started doing a very good method of that.

The strip has (at least for most of its history, if not all) been made up of individual images formatted into a column shape, so it's always been theoretically possible to click on a panel to get to something else. Recently, though, the creator has started using that, with both links to archive strips and "easter egg" features.

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 7, 2006 3:01 PM


If so then the #2 comic on Webcomics Nation is an experimental comic. And even after reading that article I still really have no clue what an "experimental comic" is. I know the first thing that always comes to mind when I hear someone say "experimental comic" is "first year college student with nothing to say trying to act as pretentious and obscure as possible in hopes that people will confuse pretention and obscurity with depth and meaning."

We all know the type, chances are if we're honest we'll all admit to even being the type at least once in our lives (although my period of "artiste" was in Highschool when I discovered it could be empoyed to get me laid).

Comment from: Klein posted at February 7, 2006 5:06 PM

A little offtopic, but this is an experimental comic idea that I wish to see more of.


anything that can turn a Garfield comic into something that can make me laugh out loud in a public place has something going for it.

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 7, 2006 9:24 PM

Wow... I'm not used to seeing Garfield improved without either a random reordering of the panels or a complete replacement of the text.

So all these years it was Garfield himself holding the strip back.

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 7, 2006 9:32 PM

Hey! Lookie who has got the #3 most popular Experimental comic on Webcomics Nation. I wonder what the Brigadier would have thought of that.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at February 7, 2006 9:49 PM

Well, he was all about bold experiments.

Wait, no. I mean "whisky."

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 8, 2006 11:59 AM

Although, you know, each of the top three "experimental" webcomics on WCN probably only have outside influences to thank for there not only making it to the top of the "experimental" charts but for making it so high in the top WCN comics chart.

Apophenia 357 wouldn't have any readership at all if not for the promotional powerhouse which is GGC backing it up. Panel One quivered the needle of Gabe's "Prentensh-O-Metre" and recieved a sound wanging in response. And would anyone even know who Brigadier General John Stark was if not for the fact that it's a comic penned by the Eric Burns?

Are we all three underserving frauds of the "experimental" set? Have we earned our "experimental" success? And most importantly...

... how the fuck do I get some of Gabe's sweet, sweet wang?

Seriously, I can be all prentious and artsified too! God damn you Gabe! You're a freaking wang tease. You dangle your wang of ire before me like a carrot before a mule.

"You want the wang? You want the wang?" you tease and then when I reach my eager hand towards the glory of your wang you snatch it away and sneer, "Ha! Bitch! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE WANG!"

You make me beg for your wang like a wanton whore only to leave me denied and humiliated in my crimson shame. Damn you Gabe. Give me my dignity. LET ME HAVE YOUR WANG!

What the hell does a guy have to do to get a little wang around here? Do I have to eat cheese while dressed like a fricken french mime? BECAUSE I'LL DO IT!!!

I'm... I'm sorry you all had to see that. It's... it's my issue and I'll deal with it... sorry.

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 8, 2006 12:14 PM

Maybe it's because I can't even spell the freaking word "pretentious" that I'm not getting any wang. That's it. No more booze before breakfast.

Comment from: gwalla posted at February 9, 2006 2:33 AM

Booze is breakfast. That's where you're going wrong.

Comment from: Ghastly posted at February 9, 2006 8:24 AM

The breakfast of champions.

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