Here’s a round up of some of the best comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.
The 2021 Eisner Award nominees were released last week, so let’s start off by highlighting two of the comics nominated in the “Best Short Story” category. Up first is “Soft Lead” by cartoonist Chan Chau, a fan comic about Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. Is this the first time a fan comic has ever been nominated for an Eisner? I’m guessing the answer is yes. Chau is also nominated in that same category for their short story “Parts of Us,” which appeared in the anthology Elements: Earth, A Comic Anthology by Creators of Color. They’re also currently working on the next Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel.
“I’m having an incredibly hard time coming up with words, but this all came as a huge shock,” Chau said about the double nomination. These two stories have been very dear to me, and to have them recognized means the world.”
“Soft Lead” re-imagines Clark Kent as a cartoonist, and the Daily Planet publishes his comic strips about his cat. He has a bit of a crisis as he contemplates whether it’s selfish to be doing something he enjoys — drawing cats — instead of saving the world. Luckily, he has a fan in Bruce Wayne.
The other webcomic nominated in the “Best Short Story” category is Connor Willumsen’s “I Needed the Discounts,” which was published by the New York Times at the very beginning of 2020. You don’t see a lot of science fiction comics in the New York Times, but in this one, the creator of Bradley of Him and Anti-Gone imagines a future where you can wear a suit that offers discounts and shows you your future — based on an algorithm, of course.
I’ll likely return to the Eisner Awards in the future to spotlight some of the other webcomics nominees, but let’s move on to some more recent comics:
For Catapult, cartoonist Shing Yin Khor explains that she “doesn’t want to write today. I don’t want to write about violence today. I don’t want to write about honor or duty or respect today.” She has plenty of other things not related to her background or people’s perceptions of it that she would like to write about in this powerful and lovely comic.
Former MAD Magazine artist Kerry Callen shares a three-page story he created for the magazine featuring a parody of Spider-Man — “The Origin of Spidery-Man.”
“Batman is often shown as a bat-shape in the comics,” he wrote on his blog. “The first panel of my story is supposed to be “Spidery-Man” in a spider-shape. Not sure if it’s obvious or not.”
And finally, this week’s Bloom County strips have featured a guest star, as Bill the Cat takes a vacation and is replaced by Hobbes for a few strips. Check them all out on Twitter.