I think I've mentioned this in an off-hand comment once before, but one of my little hobbies that goes along with reading webcomics is collecting webcomic wallpapers. It stems from the fact that I picked up a really nice desktop changing software awhile ago (from www.pictureshare.net, it was free when I got it, I'm not sure if it still is), which I set to pick a random wallpaper from my library every five minutes and change my windows background.
At first I used this software with a library of anime wallpapers, because anime was my big obsession at the time. But once I started getting into webcomics, I switched over to webcomics.
So why am I telling you this? Well, it's been a somewhat frustrating procedure as I've begun to read more and more webcomics to keep up the wallpaper collection. I've been trying to have a wallpaper for every webcomic I read, but oftentimes the artists haven't gotten around to making one, or more annoyingly to me, they've made a bunch of wallpapers that DON'T USE THEIR CHARACTERS. That annoys me to no end, when there's tons of wallpapers with lots of different artwork, but none that actually have the characters themselves on them. I read your comic because I like your characters! It's your characters I want to have popping up on my desktop! That's what I want to see!
So, for awhile now I've had a pretty incomplete collection. So I started making my own wallpapers. They're usually not that great, but hey, it's better than nothing. I spend a lot of time searching through archives, cast pages, sketch dumps, even Google image search trying to glean enough images at a high enough resolution to put together some semblance of a wallpaper. It's been a long and harrowing process, but I'm proud to say that I've finally got a wallpaper for EVERY webcomic I read! YES!
And so I'm posting them all here for you to see, as a matter of bragging rights. I'm sure I'm breaking like forty copyright laws by doing this, so all I can do is ask: "Please, no one sue me?" If anyone takes offense at my grabbing their artwork and displaying it on this site, despite the fact that I have a permanent link to their website in the navigation area that shows up on every page of this blog, let me know, and I'll take your wallpaper down. All wallpapers are 1024x768, because that's the size I like on my computer.
So without further ado, here they are, in alphabetical order:
From Applegeeks. I pulled this one straight out of the "Downloads" section of the Applegeeks website. One thing I can say about Hawk, he provides a lot of quality wallpapers of his characters. Good job. This is actually my CURRENT Applegeeks wallpaper, I've used a couple of other ones in the past. There are just so many good ones to choose from.
From The Adventures of Brigadier General John Stark. This wallpaper I made myself using the original photo Eric Burns posted on Websnark and the logo from the comic's site, then adding my own textboxes. I tried to make up some text that sounded similar to the stuff in the actual comic, but I don't know how well I did.
From Count Your Sheep. As I recall, Adrian Ramos put up this wallpaper in commeration of some special event in the history of Count Your Sheep. Maybe it was the hundreth strip? In any case, I like it a lot.
From Ctrl+Alt+Del. This wallpaper can be found on the actual Ctrl+Alt+Del site in the Wallpapers section under the Funbox. Ctrl+Alt+Del is one of those sites that has a lot of "non-character" wallpapers, but they have a lot of wallpapers with the main characters as well, so it's cool. I have also used the wallpaper in which Ethan and Lucas have glowing Xbox controllers (which was made by Hawk from Applegeeks), but this is the one I'm currently using, so it's the one I'm posting.
From Dandy and Company. This wallpaper is also actually from the Dandy and Company website. Derrick Fish has some wallpapers under the "extras" link. I just liked the poses in this one the best.
From Dork Tower. This is not actually a wallpaper, but it's about as close as you can get from that comic... Since Dork Tower is one of those "print comics that just happens to appear on the web as well" John Kovalic doesn't seem to be terribly interested in making wallpapers. I'm pretty sure this is actually a poster he has for sale in his shop.
From Elf Only Inn. Yet another one that I actually got from the artist. This is available on the Elf Only Inn website, along with a couple of other wallpapers. I just had to use this one because it's the only one with Nimoy in it, and he's my favorite character (sure, Woot may be funnier, but Nimoy's got CLASS, man).
From Fantasy Realms. This one I made myself. Riiiiiiiiiight. Seriously though, I had trouble with Fantasy Realms because I wasn't really a fan of the two wallpapers they had available. This one shows a couple of the characters as kids (and they're not kids in the actual comic), and the other one is a fanservice wallpaper with a bunch of characters that haven't even been introduced yet... I wanted to make my own wallpaper but there's no way I'm piecing together panels from that comic and making anything decent, so I had to be happy with this wallpaper.
From Freefall. This one I actually did make myself, as evidenced by the very boring background. I picked out the characters from some of the Freefall in color strips and upsized them a bit. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, but it definitely shows how limited my artistic talents are.
From Gossamer Commons. This one is a composite in the truest sense of the word. I snatched the color version of the intro to Chapter 1 off the Gossamer Commons forums, and pasted the banner at the top of the Gossamer Commons website to the top. It's pretty hacked together, but it ends up looking ok becase the original art was good and the coloring job was pretty decent too.
From Inverloch. Sarah Ellerton was kind enough to make really nice wallpapers for each of the characters in her comic. And since Acheron is the hingepin of the whole story, it makes sense to use his wallpaper.
From Mac Hall. This one was a trip to find. On the Mac Hall website there are quite a few wallpapers, but NOT A SINGLE ONE with the actual Mac Hall characters in it. So annoying. So I did a Google image search on Mac Hall and actually managed to find their OLD website on Keenspace, which actually had some cast wallpapers, drawn with the characters copying Cowboy Bebop characters. This one had the most characters on it (although they are all outlines...) so I went with it.
From Megatokyo. I was lucky enough to pick up this wallpaper off an anime forum. Megatokyo is quite popular with the anime fans. I don't think it exists anywhere on the web anymore, so it's nice to be able to share it with you guys here.
From Mousewax. This wallpaper is actually kind of out of date now that Brandon Lewis has changed the focus of his strip and actually removed the Hamsterman strips from his archives completely. He needs to make a new wallpaper with the new characters. For serious.
From Nodwick. Unlike Dork Tower, Aaron Williams has actually been nice enough to put together a couple of Nodwick wallpapers on his website. I like this one best of all because it perfectly fits the theme of Nodwick spoofing all the cliches of Dungeons and Dragons. Also, those are realistic stats for a character like Nodwick. :-)
From Nowhere University. I actually put together this one from artwork on Allison McMullin's Deviantart page, where she posted character art of all her characters. It's pretty shoddily done, but there was NO WAY I was going to try to cut out the characters from those backgrounds. So I tried to stick them together as best as possible. I've still got to get around to posting a review of Nowhere U at some point...
From Penny Arcade. The PA guys have put up a lot of wallpapers recently, which has made me happy. This one is especially nice, and is also available as a poster, which I've been considering buying for quite some time now. I'll get around to it at some point, I suppose.
Also From Penny Arcade. I just had to have a Cardboard Tube Samurai wallpaper in the rotation, because the Cardboard Tube Samurai rocks. For awhile I had the really formal looking one where he's crouching by a koi pond, but this one is pretty awesome also. I like the contrast in this wallpaper.
From Poppycock Circus. Sure, Poppycock Circus has come to an end, but that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy them in wallpaper form. I made this wallpaper using images from the cast page, and once again you can see my wanton use of the single color background! Whoo!
From PvP. For a long time, I actually had a PvP wallpaper which I made myself. It was constructed from a scan of the box for Steve Jackson's PvP version of Frag and one of the PvP linking banners. It was pretty cool. But then Scott Kurtz posted this wallpaper on the site last week, and it's pretty cool, so I decided to use it instead. Sure, it doesn't have all the characters, but it's definitely got Brent pinned.
From Questionable Content. In this case, I actually found a fan site that had about 50 different Questionable Content wallpapers, which was pretty awesome. This one was my favorite, since it had all the characters on it, and they were fairly recent incarnations of the characters (looking back at the archives of Questionable Content is a weird experience. It looks SO MUCH different now than it used to).
From Real Life. I pulled this one off the Starline Media website. I'm not exactly sure what Starline Media is, but they had a Real Life wallpaper. I think Greg Dean used to use them for his online store (and may still, I'm too lazy to check), but beyond that I know nothing. In any case, I'm pretty sure that art is from the cover of the first Real Life book, and that's a darn good wallpaper.
From RPG World. Like Count Your Sheep, this wallpaper was made in celebration of some major website event. Probably some hundredth division of comics. There are some other wallpapers on the site, but this one has both Hero and Cherry on it, which makes it pretty awesome in my book. Plus it's hard to find, which gives it the added "indie" flavor.
From Staccato. This is yet another wallpaper that I created from the cast page of a webcomic. Why do I keep using cast pages? Because usually the cast page is the only place you can get decent pictures of the character apart from backgrounds, props, etc. Also one of the only places you can find full body drawings of characters. This was one of the first wallpapers I made, and like most of my homebrews, it's not too exciting.
From Starslip Crisis. This is actually one of my favorites from the bunch. I really like the artwork on this wallpaper, and of course Starslip Crisis is at the top of my list in terms of favorite webcomics, so altogether it's pretty awesome. I saw that Kristopher Straub was selling prints of this image and I'm tempted to buy one, but I also kind of want to hold out for him to make a poster. That would be SWEET.
From Todd and Penguin. Yet another wallpaper constructed from images found in the cast page. And David Wright didn't even give me great cast images, so I had to piece something really kind of random together. Still, I like all the penguins eating cookies in the background.
From Tweep. I was happy when I found this wallpaper buried in the Tweep news archives, because the format of Tweep makes it exceedingly difficult to pull any art out of it, and Tweep doesn't have a cast page. In case your curious, the characters are copying a very famous Cowboy Bebop pose in that image. Apparently Cowboy Bebop is pretty popular with the webcomics community.
From Ugly Hill. The vast majority of the Ugly Hill site seems to still be under construction, but at least the Extras page is up, and it's got some good stuff. I love Hastings, he's the combination of every bad coworked that everyone has had in their lives and yet somehow Paul Southworth still manages to make him sympathetic. It's amazing.
From VG Cats. VG Cats is interesting in that while it has a lot of wallpapers of it's characters, it's always the characters AS SOMEONE ELSE. But that makes sense because that's pretty much how the comic goes as well. Anyways, you can't beat a kitty dressed up as Keanu Reeves from the Matrix, so that's the wallpaper I use.
From Websnark. I made up this wallpaper quite awhile ago when I first started reading Websnark, from the few pieces of Websnark related fan art Eric Burns had received. I like the way it turned out, but it's sad that I couldn't really find any way to tie together Snarky and Eric Burns. They still pretty much look like two separate images on one wallpaper. Ah well.
From Gideon D. Ragon, Private Eye. this last wallpaper is a wallpaper I made for one of my own webcomic projects, Gideon D. Ragon. I can't really say much about it without giving spoilers to upcoming comics (if they ever get made... *sigh*). Sadly, I haven't been able to make a wallpaper for my other webcomic project, MiSTEam, since I haven't converted all the characters to digital format yet.
Ok, well, this post has taken WAY longer than I expected or intended it to take. I've really got to go get some work done now. Looks like another late night!