Webcomics and Community

If you are geeky enough and it is either Monday, Wednesday or Friday, the moment your Firefox window opens (yes Firefox!) your fingers move to type in the letters “x-k-c…” to see what new idea the awesome Randall Munroe has dreamt up.

And of course you know that Munroe has been going through an illness in the family since the beginning of the week gone past. When I saw the comic that informed us of this development (this one), I was worried, of course. About the person concerned, and as a reader of that blog, about what would happen to the comic.

Knowing the fate most webcomics go through, and especially what happened to one of my favourite webcomics, Cectic, which had to be abandoned by the original artist owing to paucity of time, I was worried. I don’t think XKCD has ever missed a scheduled update, and it would have been unfortunate to see arguably the world’s most loved webcomic having to break that record.

But no. Randall posted collections of sketches he had made earlier, which kept us entertained. And then, one day, I find a new comic, which looked like a XKCD comic, but had a different style about it. And then I noticed – it wasn’t Munroe’s work. It was Jeph Jacques (of Questionable Content)! Munroe was running a guest week on XKCD! The web’s most famous comic artists were contributing on XKCD while Munroe couldn’t devote time to creating new content for us. Jeph was soon joined by David Troupes (of Buttercup Festival), Bill Amend (of FoxTrot), Jeffrey Rowland (of Overcompensating), thus giving us probably the richest comic content ever! Each of these comics are made in the trademark XKCD style, but are very clearly representative of the artists’ own styles. And the stories are both in the styles of the respective artists and of XKCD.

And when I opened XKCD today, I was elated to see Zach Weiner (of SMBC!)’s comic. Two of my most favourite comics together! And in style! Why don’t you have a look?

Munroe’s crisis seems to be nearing its end as indicated in the page today. Let’s hope he’s back soon, but thanks to him and all the artists for giving us probably the best webcomic week ever and turning a crisis into a basket of delight for us readers!