Perhaps the biggest problem webcomics face is what is also their greatest strength: the fact they’re free. While this makes it easy for new readers to join in spending only their time, it fails to provide webcartoonist with much in the way of revenue (and no, advertising revenue for web-based media isn’t that good). Thus webcomics often tend to be hobbies for their creators, perhaps able to pay for art supplies and hosting fees while the cartoonist works a day job… which can cut into how frequently webcomics update.
This was the case with Faith Erin Hicks, who had to put her delightful superhero parody comic The Adventures of Superhero Girl on hiatus while working on a graphic novel. She planned on building up a buffer and expand ASG’s venue to include more storylines, but as with the best laid plans of mice and men these plans fell apart in the face of extra paying work. And while she’s started updating once more, the updates will be on an intermittent basis while she finishes up on more pay work. Nor am I sure about how the intermittent schedule will affect her plans to start more storylines in the comic; often one-shot strips (which I suspect today’s comic is) work better when regular updates remain wishful thinking.
The thing is, for all that I enjoy storylines (and Hicks may wish to expand the scope of ASG to include more of them), ASG works as a series of one-shot stories. Admittedly, today’s update could be expanded if we learned the heatwave Superhero Girl is fighting in is in fact part of some villain’s weather machine or even if she believed it was such (and wouldn’t it be amusing if a supervillain was creating a weather machine to try and end the heatwave and usher in cooler weather rather than for some nefarious purpose?). But it works just as well on its own… and is an enjoyable emergence of a favorite comic of mine from summer hiatus.