I was seriously underemployed until June 2011, and so had no budget for comics at all.
In order to keep reading them, I turned to two primary sources: the Public Library and the Internet.
In so doing, I was able to fill in some gaps in my mainstream comics reading and discover some online strips that had escaped my notice.
The best of the latter is Sailor Twain, or the Mermaid on the Hudson, linked at screen left.
Needless to say, this is the first work on the Best of 2011 list.
Its creator, Mark Seigel, is currently on Chapter III of Part 3 of this long, earnest, hearfelt story.
There are four chapters remaining, including the Coda.
The story is much as the title implies, with romance, intrigue, acerbic wit and magic. A great deal of magic.
And the simplicity of the line and character design bely the effectiveness of the art, rendered in a very lush and full grayscale.
Marc Hempel to mind.
I've said very little about the plot, because it's a quick read and I want you to experience it for yourself. And the discussions on the blog recall the letters pages in The Desert Peach, always informative and enthralling.
Like Chris Baldwin's BRUNO, I'll be sad to see this end. But at the same time, there's a joy in seeing a long-form work come to fruition in the venue of the World Wide Webiverse, or whatever this is.
Tomorrow: Number 13.