Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
This should totally be a red light for the narrow Hugo voter base (and this was it's best year ever...) Reform! Reform! What do we want? Sensible bureaucratic measures taken to consider a broader nominating pool!
I can see some good things coming of this.
a. Larry & friends could experience huge blowback for their vote stacking and end up ranking below "no award." Even if that doesn't happen, none of them come out looking all that good for their efforts ('cause seriously, getting an award this way just comes across as sleazy).
b. If it's this easy to game the Hugos there will be more pressure to change the process...though all the complaints and anger over previous Hugos didn't manage to achieve that.
c. Way distant third: Voxy's novelette will probably be in the Hugo packet. His books are put out by a small Christian press that gets very little attention and his Amazon/Goodreads reviews are almost solely drawn from the sycophants on his blog (plus he attacks or tries to pull down negative reviews with a vengeance). This is possibly the first time his fiction will come under critical scrutiny from outside his fan base...and the resulting explosion on his part is going to be mighty fun to watch.
For short funnies with no particular ongoing narrative I enjoy Buttersafe, Poorly drawn lines, The non-adventures of Wonderella, and (like everyone else) Hark, a vagrant!. Kate Beaton's tumblr is also worth checking out for in between Hark updates.
A recent discovery somewhere between 'ongoing story' and 'joke of the week' comics is Chaos life.
It's been nice to see other people's recommendations, quite a few of which I hadn't heard of and shall check out!
(Scroll down to the novel and novelette category. Larry's logrolling campaign worked.)
Melanie: Glad you're enjoying it!
Generally: I forgot to say that I would probably add a trigger/content warning to Digger for descriptions of (past) domestic abuse, and what I suppose would be labelled (spoiler of sorts? Also correct me if I'm wrong)
I find Oglaf kind of hit and miss. Sometimes it's really funny but then occasionally there's... rape jokes, like the thing with the "statues".
I actually hadn't read Digger, even though I keep hearing about it, so thanks for the reminder. :D
As with paper comics, I never know what's out there in webcomics and basically default to reading things I'm linked to. I gave up on xkcd years ago, still check back in on Dinosaur Comics every week or so, and at this point pretty much only read Questionable Content out of nostalgia for the old days when it was all jokes about indie bands. (Also, I can't put my finger on what it is, but I find Jeph Jacques -- the author -- just ever so slightly off-putting nowadays, for all that he seems to have good intentions re: diversity/representation.)
Then again, I don't consistently read (m)any blogs or review sites -- apart from Ferretbrain -- either, these days.
It actually won the Hugo a couple years back, and I was amazed -- Hugo voters generally don't have that much taste.
I know the Darths & Droids folks released a statement after the sequel trilogy was announced, saying that the timing is great because they expect to be wrapping up Jedi by about that point anyway, and expressing their confidence in being able to do a decent job on the sequel trilogy, regardless of whether it's any good or not. As to their first claim, at their very roughly estimated pace of 18 months and 225 comics per movie, I reckon they'll actually only be halfway through Jedi before Episode VII comes out - which is okay, because it means there won't be a huge lull between VII and VIII. It would also mean, though, that they'll probably a ~18 month gap between VIII and IX (and that's assuming they're very fast at storyboarding). I'm also curious about the story line, since they do seem to have these things planned out well in advance (even the the GM's plans always go completely off the rails), and it'll be hard to do that going into VII when they have no idea what will happen in VIII let alone IX.
What of Oglaf?
Oglaf is a comic which I feel shouldn't actually work in principle because there's so many ways the concept could just go awful, but somehow they pull it off anyway.
Re: Dinosaur Comics - I think it's an interesting experiment in the medium in the sense that North keeps having to find interesting ways to repeat the same panels every day (kind of like David Lynch's Angriest Dog In the World) and I think it's got to this point where it's mainly a soapbox for North's sense of humour, which is fine because he's a very funny guy.
Re: Darths and Droids - I do wonder how they're going to handle the sequels, because they seem to have had some impressively long-term planning going on with the story and presumably that was all set up to conclude at the end of Jedi because Darths & Droids started back when Lucas was fairly confident that there wouldn't be any sequels.
I kind of think it'd be fun for them to handle the sequels by having the campaign shift to a rotating-GM setup rather than being handled by one creative mind refereeing everything, because... well, you see where I'm going with that.
For OotS, I always thought it was that it doesn't really take advantage of comics as a visual medium. Lots of people standing in very static poses with huge text bubbles, that sort of thing.
I think that seems to be a valid criticism, to a degree. There is a lot of action at times but there's nothing wrong with not liking it. I know of several people who just don't like stick figures and thus no OOTS for them.