Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bengo and Pug

A while back I posted one of my sort of usual Zuda related posts. I got a response asking me if I considered reading other webcomics in addition to Zuda offerings. In response to that, I did a 'Webcomics that aren't zuda' post, and plan to do more of those.

The person that responded to my post, and really got me thinking about the vast range of webcomics, and my relative tunnel vision with regard to it, was Bengo, of Bengo & Pug, a Husband and wife team that seems to live and breathe webcomics.

I immediately read Scratchin Post and Li'l Nyet, Webcomics the couple produces, and sought out to learn a bit more about them, and then... true to form... got distracted by some other things, and decided there were a few other posts I needed to make before doing a post specifically about those strips. I have revisited this a few times, and I really think that links are going to be our friend in this case.

Scratchin PostLi'l Nyet:
I sincerely enjoy both of these comics a great deal. I appreciate them more after continued reading, but it is easy to appreciate them immediately on at least some level. Read either one long enough, and you will involuntarily be speaking with a Russian accent in no time. The character design and the art are perfect comic strip fare. The art is clean, the colors are bright, and the characters are simple but distinctive. Expressions are rendered nicely. It's good stuff.

The writing is well done, and smart. It is very possible that at any moment, a statement is being made. It's also possible that just a joke is being made. These aren't heavy strips on the surface, but they are not without substance. Li'l Nyet takes place in Soviet Russia, but it has a feel that is very much in keeping with strips like Dilbert on some level. Li'l Nyet is, In my opinion, a spiritual cousin to Catbert or even Dogbert from that strip. Scratchin Post is filled with a nice variety of main and supporting characters, but the obvious stars are The Grimyko sisters, Katrinka and Natasha (Russian Blue cats) and Trixie Schwartz (a Labrador). Go here to read more about the characters.

One really nice thing about the setup of Scratchin Post, is that there are cohesive storylines to it. These arcs have their own link buttons on the main page so you can go to a specific storyline if you want to. I am sure there are other webcomics that do this, but I haven't encountered them yet. It's a feature I find kind of useful. It also speaks to the fact that there even ARE multi-strip storylines, which is nice as well.

I love comics and comics people. I love people who take the thing they love and really commit themselves to it. These folks really seem like that. In addition to the previously mentioned webcomics, Between them they run The Floating Lightbulb, which exists to cover 'Webcomics as an evolving art and serious profession', and Psychadelic Treehouse, a Webcomics resource site. Some or all of these are facing impending renovations to make them better in all ways, but they are certainly all worth looking at.

When I was trying to figure out exactly what to say, I saw this Interview posted on The Webcomic Overlook from December of 2008 in their 'Who Are You' feature. I had never seen that site before (as I have not really been seeking out webcomics reporting and sites, but it also looks pretty good. Comics can be as much of a journey as you want it to be. I only recently (last year) dipped my toes into looking at mini comics and the like, and now, thanks to Bengo, I am a bit more resolved to pay attention to webcomics. It never hurts to make people aware of something you think they might be missing out on. Sometimes it takes a degree of advocacy to get people to take notice of things that are awesome. Nice job folks, keep up the good work!

1 comment:

Bengo said...

I followed a search result fragment of "I love comics and comics people" and it brought me here to a piece -- about us. Imagine our surprise, seriously!

This isn't our first visit but we hardly expected to be serenaded. We deeply appreciate the kind coverage and the time you took to create it. Thank you.

Bengo and Pug