The great thing about publishing on the internet is that you don’t have to worry too much about your audience, even an extremely niche genre will find those who enjoy it. A perfect example, Ed Atlin’s webcomic “where’s my shoe: a mystery story about finding a missing shoe” is not going to stick with everybody, and that’s ok. The comic has its own active following without any attempts by Mr. Atlin to advertise or appeal to a wider demographic.
where’s my shoe is, if I were to give it a genre, a surreal comedy. Despite the subtitle the comic introduces said shoe in the first few pages and he remains a talking floating main character throughout the 160 or so pages currently up, with updates several times a week. The comic has a style one could politely call laid back with simple drawing (though I wouldn’t call it bad) and plot arcs that change direction as they please. In fact, I suspect that Mr. Atlin occasionally writes from panel to panel as characters frequently flip conversations around without warning by saying that they were joking, that everything they had said was a lie, or that they are actually the secret twin of said character.
Mr. Atlin’s previous and most popular work, the Keenspot.com hosted flash cartoon “Space Tree the Space Tree in Space” had a similar pacing, with the characters bluntly losing interest in the storyline as fast as their creator. The comic is vulgar and ridiculous with a cast including a 17 year old girl with a 7 year old body that never ages, a suicidal teen, a doctor who doesn’t believe anything exists, and a serial killer with a watermelon for a head an a fake moustache all spouting epithets such as “Bitchtits McSnailfucker.” It’s a little hit or miss in the beginning but after the first 20 or so strips where the artist is still fleshing out the characters the haphazard plotlines appear and the quality remains consistent from there on. The storylines, though spastic, are very entertaining and the writing is of someone intelligent pretending to be crude and insane. Definitely a hard sell but if you’re into that kind of thing, hey, I won’t judge you.