Despite not actually posting a free comic EVERY DAY in 2017, we wrote a bout a lot of free comics – but there are still so many to write about, so free comics will continue (almost) every day until they shut us down.
To round out 2017 I thought I’d look at some of the much lauded webcomic of the year started with Christina Tran’s “On Beauty” which won the 2017 Slate Cartoonist Studio Price for best webcomic. IT was always a strong piece but in the months since it was first posted, the message of rejecting society’s focus on beauty as women’s sole defining charicteristic has become even more powerful thanks to the revolution of #metoo and its aftermath.
The comic is about Tran’s 3 month stay in Seoul, Korea, and her troubled feelings when walking through the “cosmetic surgery” district. Now, I couldn’t live without my Korean beauty products, but the emphasis on a conventional, comodified standard of looks – and a booking plastic surgery industry to create it – is nothing if not reinforcing woman as objects.
Trans’ comic also makes good use of the multi media aspects of comics, with scrolling, flash and other elements. It’s an all around excellent comic, thought provoking and using the medium to its fullest extent.
As we finish off 2017 I’m going to post a few more free comics to finsih the holidays so check back tomorrow!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.