Cover Up the Past

I’ve always been a fan of webcomic sites that have a new ‘cover’ from month to month – even though the update schedule of these sites is often on a daily basis, thus negating any real attempt at portraying monthly ‘issues’, it still lends a nice little touch, a small surprise at the start of every month.

On the other hand, it also tends to result in weaker website design – the two places I’ve really seen this in action are Girlamatic and ComixTalk, and both commit some design sins in their cover use. Girlamatic keeps it on the front page of the site, which coincidentally features nothing else – you have to click through to see the latest updates, which can become annoying for a site that users theoretically check daily.

ComixTalk, on the other hand, has it as part of every page, where it sits at the top of the screen – and unfortunately shoves all the proper site content beneath the fold. This is more forgivable than in webcomics proper, since there is always enough info on the site you’ll be doing some serious scrolling anyway, but it is still a rather unfortunate choice.

I suspect someone could come up with a better format for displaying covers on these sites – but that isn’t what I’m here to discuss, and I’ve already let myself be sidetracked.

Up until now, of the two sites, I’ve always paid more attention to the Girlamatic covers, largely because it was more prominent. ComixTalk’s have never stood out as much – until this month, which features a brilliant cover by Spike, the mind behind Templar, Arizona.

The cover in question features a ghost-haunted graveyard – perfect for the month of October, right? But it goes a step further, and has five gravestones lying around, each with the name of webcomics that sadly were cut short before coming to a proper end.

Now, I could give a little speech about the tragedy of how easily such comics fall by the wayside, and what a tragic loss it is for webcomicdom when another enters the “permanent hiatus” – but to be fair, I can’t really blame people for keeping their regular reading lists focused on comics that still update.

But I do find it something of a shame how easily such comics vanish from sight – both completed ones and those that will never see a proper end. I’m guilty of this myself – Strings of Fate, one of those featured on the cover, was a long-time favorite of mine… that I forgot the name of when it went away. Every so often I tried to track it down again (how many zodiac themed webcomics could there be?), but no such luck.

As such it is nice to occasionally see a bit of remembrance and recognition for the fallen few. So props to ComixTalk for doing so, and props to Spike for creating such a classy cover.

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