Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Questionable Content

OK, maybe some folks my question stuff I've posted here, but the title really is also the title of a webcomic by Jeph Jacques from Northampton, Massachusetts. He started Questionable Content in 2003. It's a slice of life/romantic comic about a group of friends in that town. There are a few odd things, though, since it's set in a sort of alternate universe where there are little AnthroPC robots and some people are already living in orbit and they're not just astronauts.

The characters are all 20-somethings living in the alternate Northampton. Marten Reed is the main character. Early on he takes in Faye Whitaker, whom he had just met. She managed to burn down the apartment building she lived in thanks to a toaster mishap. She works at Coffee of Doom, a shop run by Dora Bianchi where much of the action is set. Marten has an AnthroPC named Pintsize who's always up to something nefarious and occasionally destructive. As the strip develops the cast grows larger. Some of the additional characters are decidedly odd and relationships among the characters can be rather complex .

I found out about QC a month or so ago from a mention in Danielle Corsetto's webcomic Girls With Slingshots. After reading for a while I decided to go back to the first strip and read all the way through to the current one. That takes a while since Jacques has done 1,547 of them so far. It was definitely interesting. Jacques has been making a living from doing the comic along with a line of merchandise, mostly T shirts. He was so successful at marketing T shirts and stuff (at one time he posted a note about going off to buy $1200 in postage for sending out shirts) that earlier this year he joined a group of other webcomic artists who market their merch through a company called TopatoCo.

TopatoCo also markets things for Wondermark by David Malki (he was at Wordstock at the Portland Convention Center several weeks ago) and Christopher Baldwin, who did Bruno, the first webcomic I got interested in. They've got 34 artists overall.

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