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Post Apocalyptic Nick: How to make money at webcomics, a philosophy

I’ve found a bit of an odd thing on the internet. Strange, I know. You see, there’s this website which plays host to 10 webcomics all written by the same two guys. And  they all update regularly. I stumble upon this site through reddit (guess I didn’t really StumbleUpon then huh?) and started reading Post Apocalyptic Nick. It’s a bit like Zombieland without all the rules. What makes it interesting is we join Nick after he has just spent the last three days digging himself out from under a collapsed Hilton in Orange County, California. He has no idea what happened and neither do we. All we know is a lot of people are dead. Later we find out some are only mostly dead. After all, what’s a good apocalypse without glowing irradiated zombies?

The story is told in a first person confessional narrative, like Zombieland, and Nick is a bit of a dork, again like Zombieland. Only Nick is modestly less capable of surviving than Columbus, what with a total lack of rules and foreknowledge of the danger he faces. Nick does have a goal, and a plan. For some reason a crashed cellphone satellite he happens to be standing next to allows him to call his pre-apocalypse soon-to-be ex-wife. All he can make out is she needs help so it’s off to New Jersey with him.

Soldiers are pigs? I thought cops were pigs? What's going on?

As I said the nature of the apocalypse is unknown at this point in the story, but there have been hints that there was some sort of radiation that killed many and turned others into radioactive zombies. There seem

to be a fair number of people who have survived, unfortunately for Nick none of them would have qualified for brain surgery or rocket science. Which is too bad. After the redneck truckers, the Hispanic gang bangers, and the idiotic trigger happy soldiers we’ve met in the first month of the comic we’re quickly running out of stereotypical Bush supporters to bash. That seems to be a large part of what the comic is all about. Making fun of social situations that haven’t been popular in the comedy scene for almost three years. Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not the type to argue personal politics in a public forum. I am not offended. I’m merely arguing relevance. Political cartoons by nature have a very limited life span and lack the necessary substance for a global audience.  Jokes about Nixon are not as funny as they were 30 years ago, and likely won’t be funny at all in another 30. Though I do admit, an editorial from 75 years ago calling some politician named Polk a ninny is pretty funny, but I’m sure it was funny when the ink was still drying.

So is Bush humor still funny? Not to me. But then I never owned a Bush-ism calendar. And really I’d be fine with it if it were a single joke, but it keeps happening every time we meet a new character.

It’s too bad really because Tom Kurzanski‘s art is pretty good. Very good by webcomic standards. The colors are sufficiently apocalyptic, the characters are distinctive and consistent. Though at times it seems like a scene out of Life with Louie. I did appreciate the Ralph Steadman nod on the road to Las Vegas. And the Mad Max reference.

I was surprised to learn that everything at The Webcomic Factory, which is a collection of 10 comics written by Christian Beranek and Tony Digerolamo and drawn, lettered, and colored by various and sundry artists. Beranek is co-author of the graphic novel Dracula vs. King Arthur, among other things, but Digerolamo is a former writer for several of the Simpsons comic books. If you ask me, these guys would rather be making normal serial comics but have decided the money is in webcomics. I know plenty of webcomic artists who would disagree, but maybe over saturating the market is the way to go. I’m not sticking around to find out. Seriously. I never seen a comic that was such a blatant marketing ploy. Interesting or not the marketing aspect bores into the back of my brain as I read through the website and causes me enough physical pain to distract me from the content.

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