Robot 6

Leisure reading made easy: Spacedock 7

Cleopatra In Spaaace!, one of the finds at Spacedock 7

Cleopatra In Spaaace!, one of the finds at Spacedock 7

Webcomics collectives come and go, and some are more coherent than others, but the new sci-fi webcomics collective Spacedock 7 is pretty close to the ideal.

The interface is nice and clean. The seven comics in the group are all similar not only in subject matter but also in tone and style—not that they all look alike, but all have a fairly cartoony look. All are pretty good—I looked through them briefly and there’s no weakest link. Some are brand new, and others have been around for a while. Each comic updates once a week, so there’s always something to come back for (although Red’s Planet is already on hiatus, but hey—new baby, Reuben Awards, those are good excuses, and the creator has promised a definite return date). And these are the sort of comics that are easily accessible to new readers—you don’t have to know a complicated backstory or be able to decipher convoluted art to follow them. These comics are light reading at its best.

A simple home page leads not only to the seven comics (each of which is hosted on its own, separate site) but also to other features, without overwhelming the reader with clutter. This shouldn’t be remarkable, but understanding how to present information clearly and in some sort of hierarchy is often a challenge for web designers. Spacedock 7 gets it right, with separate, easy-to-find pages presenting short descriptions of each comic, author bios, and a list of everyone’s Twitter, Facebook, and Ustream info. And there’s a forum.

It’s worth a look for fans of light sci-fi, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for anyone thinking about starting a group site to swing by for a look as well.

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