Here’s a round up of some of the most interesting comics we’ve seen online recently. If we missed something, let us know in the comments below.
T. Kingfisher, aka Ursula Vernon, is a multiple award-winning author and comics creator, whose books include The Hollow Places, The Twisted Ones, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking and many more. She’s also the creator of the award-winning webcomic Digger.
Her most recent work, though, is A Different Aftermath, a comic she posted to Twitter that she made with the help of th Midjourney AI. When I first scrolled by the post and saw the artwork, I never would have guessed it was AI generated, and the story itself is very lovely — it’s about what happened to the wildlife, like bees and such, after the collapse of society.
Midjourney and other artificial intelligence programs that have been used to make art have been in the news lately and have proven controversial, as many of these programs are “built by scraping millions of images from the open web, then teaching algorithms to recognize patterns and relationships in those images and generate new ones in the same style. That means that artists who upload their works to the internet may be unwittingly helping to train their algorithmic competitors,” according to the New York Times. Here’s another take, from an artist whose work seems to routinely be used as reference by these machines.
Kingfisher talks about how she made it in this thread, noting that her first attempt came out “badly.” The responses are interesting as well; one poster equates AI art with hip-hop sampling, which seems apt. But it also sounds like in order to get to a final comic that Kingfisher was happy with took more work than just typing prompts into an AI program.
Speaking of bees, Ben Fleuter has a new webcomic called The Beekeeper’s Tale that’s been running since late August, so catching up on it won’t take you too long. That first page is a great use of the infinite scroll capabilities of webcomics, used in a creative way to introduce the story. Above is page 5, the latest page, which is a bit more of a traditional comic page, but I hope we get to see Fleuter play more with the formatting as he continues the story.
Katie Skelly, the creator of My Pretty Vampire, Nurse Nurse and more, recently shared a three part “vetty & beronica” strip on both Twitter and Tumblr. OMG, Skelly working on an official Betty & Veronica comic would be the best, but until then enjoy this unofficial fan comic.