Panel from minus #15 
Author(s) Ryan Armand Website http://www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus.html Current status / schedule Ended Launch date February 9, 2006 End date July 3, 2008 Genre(s) Fantasy humour
minus is a webcomic created by Ryan Armand that ran from February 2006 to July 2008. It is a member of Koala Wallop, a webcomic collective that also includes Dresden Codak and Rice Boy. It was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2007 in the category of Best Digital Comic. New strips were usually released weekly on Thursdays. Many of the strips are standalone stories, though several follow a longer story or theme over the course of several weeks.
The comic follows the adventures of minus (always uncapitalized), a young girl with the power to change almost anything in the world around her, from the flow of time to her own appearance. minus is otherwise a typical child: fairly amiable, excitable, impulsive, and only vaguely aware that other people feel pain. Consequently, the comic ranges from flights of fancy to moments of surreal horror. In various strips minus has climbed into paintings and chalk drawings, brought inanimate objects to life, killed out of spite, turned a library into a pirate ship, become the ruler of a colony of ants, swum with mermaids in her bathtub and pulled the plug when she was done, and various other fantastical situations.
Between capers minus is a quiet child, or at least lonely. Her only conventionally real friend is a green-haired girl from school. minus speaks when spoken to but is content to wander by herself, often up or down vertical inclines, or doodle. The comic wanders into and out of short plotlines as minus gets ideas or loses interest, and changes her hair color with every strip.
minus is a large-format colour strip, drawn and painted on 15x20" illustration boards. On the strip's Web page, Armand states that he imagined minus as “a comic strip for a newspaper in the early 20th century”, in reference to both the art style and amount of space given (far greater than the usual three or four panel layout of most newspaper strips). He has cited the works of Shigeru Mizuki, and Winsor McCay's Little Nemo as stylistic influences, referring to the latter as “a playground for bizarre ideas which are ends in themselves”; a similar approach to storytelling is used in the minus comic strips. He also cites John Steinbeck's Cannery Row and the films of Takeshi Kitano as other examples of stories that eschew straightforward plot development and conflict and focus just on characters and the small events that happen to them.
- "Master Nominee List: 2007 Eisner Awards". http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_07nom.shtml#nomlist.
- Head, Dan (2007-05-12). "Comics You Should Be Reading". Paperback Reader. http://www.paperbackreader.com/newcolumn2.php?ColumnID=108.
- Xerexes, Xavier (May 2007). "A Big Plus For Minus: Creator Ryan Armand Gets An Eisner Nomination". Comixtalk. http://comixtalk.com/a_big_plus_for_minus_creator_ryan_armand_gets_an_eisner_nomination.
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