social


Wednesday’s Webcomic: Strong Female Protagonist

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

I’ve been wanting to share Strong Female Protagonist for awhile now, but I wanted to wait until the current story arc was resolved since it was such a nail-biter. Strong Female Protagonist can be an incredibly emotionally intense story; best be prepared to sometimes have a powerful cry at your monitor. The comic tells the story of Allison Green, a New York City college student. She’s a pretty average girl who studies for exams, lives in a dorm, and clashes with her professors with one notable exception: she’s a former teen superhero. Super strong and completely invulnerable to harm, Allison publicly unmasked herself and denounced the superhero way of life when she realized she wasn’t really doing anything to actually save the world. She wants to draw attention to fighting poverty, disease, and war, but that’s difficult when everyone’s afraid you will squish them like a bug, old friends are nagging you to get back in the crime-fighting game, and super villains bust into your life to settle old scores. There’s also the question if some mysterious power or shadowy organization has a vested interest in preserving the status quo, and if they are quietly assassinating heroes who are trying to actually make a difference.

Cleaver

We have to worry about suddenly running into our exes. Alison has to worry about guys like this.

The comic is black and white with gray-scale washes for shading. The characters and art style are more cartoonish than the average mainstream comic book. The anatomical rendering is excellent, with clear actions sequences and intense facial expressions. And I do mean intense. While not a depressing comic by any means, the emotional anguish of the characters at certain points in the story really reaches into your chest and starts pumping your heart for you. The comic has updated biweekly with regularity, and three complete “chapters” have been published.

The Authors and their Other Works:

The duo behind Strong Female Protagonist are writer Brennan Lee Mulligan and artist Molly Ostertag. Mulligan is a filmmaker in addition to being a writer, with some short films available for streaming on his website. Ostertag has created some other comics in print, including a retelling of the true story of Khutulun, the Wresteler Princess, a Mongolian folk hero.

FANS OF WEDNESDAY’S WEBCOMIC: I need your help! I am running out of comics I know of to read. If you are writing or reading a webcomic that you love, please let me know about it so I can read it and maybe recommend it in the GonnaGeek’s new forum! 


Google+ is almost better than Facebook

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Google Plus
Over the weekend a long time friend of mine made an announcement that he was going to be less active on Facebook instead spending more time on Google+. While I quite enjoyed Google+ when it launched I found the mobile app to be barely useable and the desktop version to be hit and miss – I was pleasantly surprised at the changes that have been made since my last exploration.

The iOS app has been greatly improved and in my opinion is significantly better than Facebook’s counterpart. Google has configured the app in a fashion that maximizes screen space – items only appear on the screen as needed and they load in a very quick and a slick manner. It’s hard to describe in words how well the app works, but the experience of using the Google+ app actually feels like an application as opposed to Facebook which at times feels like a frame for the mobile Facebook site. I also should note that the app has not crashed once for me yet which is more than can be said for the Facebook app. The app also uses a great balance of colors and icon sizes to help the regularly used items stand out, yet the not-so-often features are easily available when needed.

The desktop experience has also improved and the layout is great for a social network. Rather than making updates show up only in one column, Google+ has several which helps users get a quick snapshot of what’s going on in everyone’s lives – a component that Facebook seems to have forgot about over the years. I also want to note that with Google+ there is a prominent bar at the top which makes it easy to view updates based on circles if you desire.

Now, while I think that Google+ is miles ahead of Facebook as far as layout and technical operations go you might be wondering why they aren’t taking more of the market share? For me it comes down to two main issues.

Pages. The pages on Google+ are not the easiest to navigate or configure. They leave a lot to be desired from a business standpoint too. Google+ should take some time to make pages more functional.

Circles. While the concept of a circle is fantastic (let’s be honest, you might not want your mom seeing some of the stuff you post) it’s not the easiest thing for people to comprehend. It’s hard to explain to a newcomer that just because you’ve added someone to your circles it doesn’t mean that you’ll see them in your feed. It’s also hard to explain that even when someone adds you back it doesn’t mean you’ll get their posts. People go on social networks to do just that – be social. While from a privacy sense the circles concept works, it does make the Google+ suffer in the social aspect.

Overall I am really impressed with the changes Google+ is making and I hope they continue on the upward trend. I’d love to see a significant migration away from Facebook and toward Google+, but without some important changes it isn’t going to happen. With that said, I’m going to start making an active effort to be on it more – I’ve fallen in love with their app.