Given how easy it is to post pictures on the Internet -- even pictures that aren't of adorable cats --- new webcomics are cropping up all the time. A new webcomic produced by two established, incredibly talented comics creators, however? That doesn't happen every day.

But it did this week with the launch of Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, a new webcomic written by Eisner Award-winner Greg Rucka with art by industry veteran Rick Burchett that looks to be a steampunk airship pirate adventure. And with that sentence, it has just jumped to the top of the list of comics I want to read this summer.Rucka and Burchett have worked together before on Detective Comics and Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood, but according to a mission statement on Lady Sabre, it looks like they're going for pure high adventure:

And most of all, what it's supposed to be? It's supposed to be fun.

You remember fun, right? That thing that most print comics seems to have forgotten in their desperate attempt to cling to readers, continuity, and a market that has outstripped and overtaken them? The thing that comes from enjoying a good story where you want to know what happens next and the characters are cool and the villains are villainous and the heroes are heroic because they're heroes?

Now don't get us wrong. We're all for tugging the heartstrings and bringing tears to the eyes. That's part of a good story, too, and – perhaps paradoxically – those emotions can also be fun. And we aim to play the heartstrings, to move you as much as to entertain you, to make you care about the people in this world we've created.

That might seem a bit surprising given that Rucka's best known in the world of comics for the brutal crime stories of Gotham Central, the gritty, real-world espionage of Queen & Country and an upcoming run on Punisher, but there's no denying that the comics he writes have an emotional honesty to them that makes them engaging. The focus has always been on character and storytelling, and with those core elements in place, the switch to a more lighthearted story is barely a switch at all.

And Rick Burchett, an artist best known for his work on the animated-style Batman books who has always been criminally underrated in the world of super-heroics, seems the perfect artist to bring that story to life. Even with only one page posted, Lady Sabre is exciting just based on the track record of the creators involved.

Throw in neat touches like Rucka posting his script along with the first page so that readers can see how it all comes together and a beautiful website dsigned by Eric Newsom that incoporates both the faux-Victorian steampunk aesthetic and design material right in the layout...

...and you've got something that's also visually interesting and that makes good use of the opportunities presented by the webcomic format.

In short, it's exactly what I've been wanting to see from comic book creators moving into a new format. Thursday and the next page can't get here fast enough.

(limited edition print available here)

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