Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to End a Webcomic

So, webcomics are just dropping like flies lately. DAR bowed out back in December. The Everyday and Ellerbisms are jointly closing up shop. And now Box Brown has announced that he will be ending Bellen! in favor of his latest comic project Everything Dies.

I say good riddance.

Don't get me wrong. These are all comics I very much enjoy. But I think the fact that creators of relatively successful webcomics are comfortable with the idea of completing their comics and moving on to the next project is a very positive thing in the evolution of webcomics. As great as it is when soapy comfort food like Questionable Content can celebrate its seventh anniversary, it's even more exciting to see what my favorite artists will come up with next. Plus, if creators find they have more stories to tell from their shuttered comics, they can always pick up the thread again (as T Campbell did a while back with Fans!). It's webcomics emulating print comics in a happy way.

Of course, once a creator has decided to sign off, there's the business of actually ending their comic. A comic with distinct plot arcs and character developments can tie up some loose ends or Six Feet Under its way into the future. With DAR, Erika Moen gave a sort of recap of her life while making DAR and touched on her sexual and occupational identity. But what about a comic like Bellen!, which isn't precisely a diary comic, and is much closer to a gag-a-day than a narrative comic?

Box Brown has decided to do something very interesting. He has turned the last few pages of into something of an autobiographical comic, but one that specifically explains Bellen!'s origin story. Delight as insomniac Brown conceives of his webcomic! Thrill as he posts the first panels on his LiveJournal!

No, seriously, go read it. The line between reality and fiction has always been a bit fuzzy in Bellen! and it's a treat to see Brown pull back the curtain before taking his final Bellen! bow.

Bringing It All Back Home [BoxBrown.com]


Box Brown said...

Thanks so much for the coverage :)

AdBeck said...

Seems like a bad year for webcomics, in some ways, but I agree - an artist must follow his or her bliss. You gotta go where the love is!