There are a number of reasons why a webcomic might make the Top 5 in any given week. This week, we've got quite the mix of reasons, ranging from homages to inventions to death to a new comic's debut! So let's get right to it!
5. Steve Rogers' American Captain: Steve does American Splendor!
The conceit of Steve Rogers' American Captain is that Steve Rogers, the man behind the Captain America mask, is trying to work through his emotions via a series of autobiographic comics. The character is an artist, after all! But, unlike many of the independent autobiographers in comics' history, and despite his action-packed life as a superhero, he just doesn't have very much to say. And that's the crux of the strip's humor. This week, we get a direct reference to the seminal autobiographic comic that this isn't: Harvey Pekar's American Splendor.
4. Hubris: Flaming hackey sack!
I was going to give Greg Cravens the #1 spot this week for inventing the flaming hackey sack, but apparently, it's already a thing. Nonetheless, spreading the gospel of extreme hackey sack is still pretty noteworthy.
3. Weapon Brown: Brown meets some "old friends"!
Weapom Brown is Jason Yungbluth's post-apocalyptic version of Charles Schulz's most famous character. In the first Weapon Brown story, he introduced to Brown and showed us how his former childhood playmates wound up. But in the current, 300+ page "Blockhead's War" story, Yungbluth is bringing in all sorts of other characters you might recognize from the Sunday funnies. This week, we start really getting a chance to see them in earnest with some warped versions of Popeye, Huey Freeman, and Annie Warbucks.
2. Meta-Man: Betty Miller dies!Meta-Man is actually a fill-in story for the ongoing saga over at Jon Del Arroz's Flying Sparks, while the regular art team takes a bit of a breather between issues. As Meta-Man is off to save presidential candidate Richard Nixon, his wife goes into labor and... well, it doesn't end well. Even though it's a relatively quick fill-in, it packs in quite a lot, despite some of the earlier superhero tropes.
1. Validation: New webcomic!
Validation is a new webcomic by Christian Beranek and Kelci Crawford. It's a slice-of-life comic with a humorous bent to it, but what makes it stand out a bit more is that the main character, Ally, is transgender. It's still pretty early in the strip, so it's hard to tell where it's going but Beranek has a decent track record as a writer. (OK, technically, this came out last week, but it wasn't until Friday after I submitted that week's column, so I'm going to drag it into this week!)