I'm going to risk rehosting a pair of comics by J. Jacques. I'm going to do this so that I don't leech a tiny bit of bandwidth by hotlinking these comics from the man, because I do so out of mad love for one of my favorite cartoonists working today.
You will note I said cartoonists, and not "webcomic" as a qualifier. Because, it's true.
I start my day off with a few visits online to several webcomics. Sinfest.. Something Positive. Girls With Slingshots. PvP. I make forays to Penny-Arcade three times a week. Lovecraft is Missing once a week. I live in hopes that Dresden Codak will be updated on a regular basis, because it is brilliant, though spotty in its uploading.
But my favorite, and it's up there with Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows, is J. Jacques' Questionable Content.
Well, for one, I was a long time resident of Northampton. NoHo and QC are inextricably linked. QC skewers a lot of the wee hipsters who populate the berg, and that's always good for a laugh. Locations in QC are recognizable if you lived in town, and it's always nice to see the old girl represented, even if Jacques changes the names to protect the guilty. Then there's the simple fact that J. Jacques has grown as an artist by leaps and bounds. I don't mean just a little, but in a way that is stunning.
Frank Cho is one of my favorite cartoonists. He is just brilliant, and gifted in a way that not many guys are. His Liberty Meadows was just amazing. He no longer does the strip, and has moved on to doing full sized books, but if you get a chance, definitely check out his stuff. The thing is, Frank's stuff has always been stunning. His pinup art, his comic, his sketchpads are chock full of just brilliant work.
J. Jacques didn't start off stunning. QC started off as a sort of...well, let's be fair, it started off with this somewhat inauspicious strip.
It was funny. It was very much what you expected from a webcomic.
It has grown over the years. It is all growed up, and J. Jacques has blossomed as an artist, and this is QC today.
The art isn't necessarily the biggest draw. There are guys who can draw circles around our boy. The style suits QC though, and the biggest draw is that the characters have grown with the strip as well. Just when you think that he can't do another punch in the junk joke, he goes and puts in a strip that makes you wonder HOW did so much dust just blow up in the room. QC has a lot of heart. It is a comic that stands apart for me, in how invested you can get with sprites on the screen, and the journeys of these characters over the years has been full of tribulations, and always with ring of honesty for how people live. It is a comic, so yeah, there's a level of over the topness that goes for the punchline, but the emotion and the relationships are complex, full of flaws, full of joy, full of rage, and varying degrees of vexness that set it apart for me. Coupled with a location that I dearly love, and the fact that our boy is growing constantly, it is one of those special places on the web.
If you don't visit QC every morning, I invite you to do so. Go through the archives. It is a backlog of strips to go through, but it is a great journey, and I hope you get hooked, because it's one of those comics that is special, and it keeps on being great, and damned if I ain't proud of a local guy who has put his work out there, and done an amazing job of it.