Last week Almost a damn month ago I talked about “fantasy soup”, a grab-bag of a genre that combines various genre tropes and wild imagination to create something truly weird. I also talked about how that genre as we knew it in the Webcomic Wild West of 1999-2005 has all but died out, a product of an environment, ideally suited to it, that has simply ceased to be.
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Many early webcomics were notoriously a mishmash of genres and themes. Undoubtedly this trend was tied to the popularity of “monkey-bacon-ninja” “random” humor that was overbearingly popular at the time. But an equal factor was that webcomics in those days had little chance for mainstream exposure or success. In the absence of pressure to hone a craft or make a commercially viable product, an atmosphere of exploration, experimentation, and subcultural comradery flourished. Many webcomickers chose to ignore traditional genre boundaries, and in doing so created a new genre, which I will call “fantasy soup”.