Best Webcomic I Read, 2011: Chris Haley & Curt Franklin’s Let’s Be Friends Again

February 27th, 2012 Posted by david brothers

Real talk: this strip by the cartoonishly handsome and devilish duo of Chris Haley and Curt Franklin got me a little choked up when I first read it, and again when I dug it up just now to think about so I could write about it.

I’m really, really attached to Spider-Man. Amazing Spider-Man 316 was my first comic, and I was hooked. Spider-Man was the reason I got into comics, and I only bailed on them because the Spider-Man books got pretty bad once Onslaught hit. When I came back, it was thanks to Daredevil, but I soon found my way over to JMS & JRjr’s pretty good run on Amazing Spidey and had a grand ol’ time. I even liked their 9/11 issue. As a kid, I’d be willing to bet cash money that I sang one line louder than all the others on Wu-Tang’s Enter the 36 Chambers. Which one? This bit from Deck on “Protect Ya Neck”: “Swinging through town like your neighborhood Spider-Man!” Even Deck throws a little extra into it on the song.

Spidey’s the best superhero, the pinnacle of the genre. He’s the best because he’s the closest to us. When he gets powers, he tries to get money. When he messes up, he feels real guilty about it. He’s a working class type of dude, someone who has a skill and exercises it to the best of his ability. He has family drama, job drama, school drama, and girl drama. I love Static dearly, but he’s an updating of a classic. I got a lot out of Spider-Man. He’s us. He’s me. He’ll forever be my favorite, even when I’m not reading or enjoying his comics. Those early Ditko issues are re-readable like crazy, and that’s not all. The first 130, 140 issues of Amazing Spider-Man are a long sprint of pure quality, where the worst the stories get is “Huh, that was weird, but drawn really, really well.” He’s been defined and redefined by Romita, Kane, Saviuk (more for the newspaper strip than his time in the ’90s), McFarlane, the other Romita, Bagley, and Skroce… so much of my taste in artists can be traced back to Spider-Man. I followed McFarlane from Spider-Man to Spawn, even, and that got me into Image.

Spidey’s a big deal for me. I like him, from concept to Platonic ideal, quite a bit. I mean, I’m not crazy or nothing, but I have spent more time thinking about Spider-Man than is probably healthy for a grown man. I’m fond of ol’ webs.

I like that Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli created Miles Morales for Marvel. I’ve got a lot of younger cousins, and I spent a lot of time being around or mentoring younger kids when I was younger (middle and high school-y) thanks to the Boys & Girls Club or YWCA. I think that the next generation should get to experience the sheer joy and… I don’t even know, confidence or happiness or something. The amount of positivity I got out of reading and thinking about Spider-Man as I grew up. (I just looked down and I’m wearing tokidoki’s first Spider-Man t-shirt. I don’t usually wear comics clothes, usually basically meaning never, but apparently I make an exception for Spider-Man. Total coincidence, I swear.) I think that Spider-Man has legs that most superheroes don’t, for a wide variety of reasons, and he should be continuously reinvented for new contexts and shared. Miles is a good step in that direction, and I hope he sticks around a long time.

All that aside, though. Curt and Chris absolutely nailed how I felt about the Miles Morales thing. I look at that strip and I see myself in both of those kids. That’s a good feeling, even if I can’t quite put it into words. I think the word I’m looking for is “beautiful.” So yeah–go with that.

On the other hand, I like this strip because I’m pretty sure I share a sense of humor with Curt and Chris, and this cracked me up near to tears the first time I read it, too. Something about Reed Richards’s face and the captions on the bottom. The “EVERYWHERE” hits like a drum sting in a horror movie.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon