Crossovers, webcomics, and you
Over at the Eat The Babies blog (which has more to do with webcomics than with the culinary possibilities of infants), Brady Russell gives thought about crossovers and webcomics.
I dream of a world where webcomics creators do crossover storylines. There. I said it. Bring crossovers to webcomics. Not guest comics. Crossovers. Real collaborations.
The positive way to look at crossovers, though, is that the creations of very very different minds can end up working with each other and interacting. It’s as if Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield ended up in the same book as Astrid Lindgren’s Pippy Longstocking. You know?
So what if web-comics creators started doing crossover stories? I think it could be really, really fun. It might also help creators expand their audiences. After all, everyone pretty much agrees that there are lots of people in the webcomic audience reading far fewer strips than they could.
He then arrives at some strange combinations: Wigu and Wonderella; Abominable Charles Christopher meets Forming; Bad Machinery meets Octopus Pie (I could stand behind that) meets Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell (I have no idea what that is).
Crossovers have been done before, of course, whether it’s odd “were there actually fans of these comics in the first place?” jams like Crossoverlord to that one game where Tycho plays poker with Strong Bad and Max. (Not a straight up webcomic crossover, but a very prominent appearance of a webcomic character.)
It’s a fairly tricky proposition, since each webcomic does functionally exist in their own world. Intracompany crossovers with, say, Marvel work because it’s all the same universe. Same with DC. But if you try to cross Marvel and DC, you have to typically come up with some ridiculous reason — like some interdimensional being named “Access” — for them to come together. (Side thought: do you think characters like Shatterstarfire and Dr. Strangefate hang around wondering what they did to get such awful names in the Amalgam universe?)
It’s also probably the reason Image Comics crossovers never really gelled; despite being in the same company, the rights belonged to each creator, hence there was no overall direction since each character had their own direction to follow. Not to mention real world business practices, like when the Wildstorm studio up and got folded into DC. So if you wanted to do a crossover, you’d better make sure that the hero you wanted to use wasn’t suddenly a villain now and that they’d be available to use months down the line. (How twisted is it that webcomics have a lot in common with flippin’ Image Comics?)
Still, I think the one crossover that would work with fairly well known properties would be Sam And Fuzzy and Sluggy Freelance. They operate under the same “anything can happen” method of storytelling. The fact that both stories typically have to deal with demons and ninjas and interdimensional portals and such. There would be no explanation needed for why the Sam is all of the sudden firing lasers side-by-side with Torg. Heck, they probably already exist in the same universe.