Hubris – We Learn by Doing
Art and Writing by Greg Cravens
The gag strip isn’t a particularly ambitious form, nor is it one which is often done with much skill. This was true even before the advent of webcomics, most of which follow the Penny Arcade model of pretending Shakespeare never wrote “brevity is the soul of wit,” piling on word balloons over images of people sitting around having the most inane topics of discussion until even a few measly panels become as torturous to read as any random issue of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern. I’d be hard-pressed to make the case Hubris is a pinnacle of webcomics or gag strips, or that Greg Cravens is a master draftsman, but right here’s a fine example of Doing It Right. Images which convey actual narrative, dialogue which gives context rather than content, and a bullshit-free setup/punchline format. Smart enough to elicit a chuckle, easy to follow along with (if the comments section is to be believed, it even has proper foreshadowing based around the skateboard the dude is holding and the helmet the park ranger is wearing). If the gag–practically a PSA for proper skateboarding technique–is more Bob Montana than Bill Watterson, that’s okay: its competition may as well be Family Circus.