Zach “Joe and Monkey” Miller’s first webcomic No Pants Tuesday seems to have disappeared from the web.
I’m re-reading Spike’s Templar, AZ and I just finished the first chapter. It really is a fantastic bit of story-telling; a complete in and of itself short story which ends on a nice grace note for mainly central character Ben.
I remember at the time that myself and a lot of readers were surprised at the broad world-building route Spike took after this first chapter. I think I assumed this was a comic about Ben when Spike meant it to be a comic about the place. I’m looking forward to reading it (and I have not read the most recent years of the comic which combined with forgetting thing means most all of it will be new to me) without that misconception to color things for me.
Also, what a great character Reagan is. She is a force to be reckoned with…
Another elimination contest and afterwards there are only five Stripsearch contestants left:
Spoilers spoiled and more after the break -Entertaining as most of the elimination episodes have been but Monica may have been the most awkward participant in the elimination contest so far. Which has nothing ultimately to do with the fact that she lost. No that has to do with the fact that she went for emotion and a concept over an actual laugh which is a priority for the Penny Arcade guys.
I did not laugh hard myself at Lexxy’s comic but it did have an actual moment of mirth in it and a punch line last panel which was good enough for her to win and hang on another episode. Monica’s strip may have won if she had done a better job of constructing her comic and tightening up the ending — anything that really delivered something at then end might have been enough.
Regardless having seen two of Lexxy’s comics now I would put her as a longshot to win. Katie is very good and has a sense of humor she can deliver both with words and the art itself. Tavis and Maki both know how to deliver a joke. Abby delivered something right in the PA wheelhouse in her elimination contest win but I wonder if that was a but fluky. I’ve been reading her comic now and while it’s fun, it’s rarely as intentionally funny as her comic on Strips Search was. Still she was utterly confident during her stint in the elimination zone and I think her self-confidence is probably sky high now.
Here’s my guess for who’s most likely to win the whole thing at the end:
After today’s elimination show there are only six contestants left on Strip Search. That’s another 18 episodes which is about 9 more weeks. I guess that means we’ll have a winner in June or July (someone look it up on a calendar, okay?).
Tavis won last Tuesday’s convention sketching contest and so he had the dubious honor of picking the contestants for the elimination show. Without much to go on he picked Erika and Abby. Check out the episode; spoilers after the break:
A pretty entertaining show today. Both Erika and Abby seemed to deal well with Mike and Jerry’s by now expected obnoxious questions. Abby did her entire comic by hand which is a first, everyone else on the show has used the Cintiq tablets. Erika spent the first 45 minutes planning out her comic before getting to work on the tablet. I was honestly worried for her but I’m not sure it had too much of an impact on her final comic.
Abby won. I was genuinely surprised because for the most part we don’t really know how good of a cartoonist any one is until they get into the elimination contests. Abby is really a good artist and while it wasn’t perfect, it was a very funny premise she set up in her comic. I laughed at seeing it — it seemed like the judges did too.
Erika also did a great job but like some of her work it was not a single funny gag but more of a series of things that were weird and unusual and interesting. This was one of those and in this kind of knock out format, I think single best moment is going to take it with Jerry and Mike. They could have picked Erika but I think Abby deserved to win.
Abby has a shot at winning the whole thing. I wonder if the other contestants realize that; after seeing her beating out Erika they probably do.
UPDATE: I checked out Abby’s comic, Junior Scientist Power Hour, and to be honest, it’s uneven. It has a loose, “throw whatever I want on the screen” vibe that feels more like peeking in on the artist’s sketchbook than a specific final product. Having watched Abby onscreen now, I hear her comics with her actual voice which helps a lot; I’m not sure she actually always gets that on the page itself. Still no question she has a good sense of humor and a decent sense of how to construct a comic.
I liked the very last one she posted, not only funny, but speaking as someone who is coaching one of my kid’s soccer teams, so true.
Odori Park by Chris Watkins has a tag line of “East Marries West.” I’ve been an off and on reader since it started back in 2009, but definitely on again this year. It’s very cute, slice of family life comic with a dash of culture clash thrown in. I liked the very recent storyline where the main characters are inspired to create a graphic novel together:
What I didn’t know until very recently was that Chris used to run Border Walker – a relatively old school webcomics site that featured some great talent. In a recent blog post Chris mentions future plans for Border Walker — I wish him luck with that although I hope it doesn’t detract from his updating Odori Park!
I try to keep up with David Hellman‘s projects (co-creator of the webcomic A Lesson Is Learned But the Damage is Irreversible). He has been creating the animation for a very funny series of videos called Jeff and Casey Time. I’ve finished the first “book” which is a five episode arc where Jeff and Casey recount their day to their friend Brian. It’s absurdities piled on absurdities and I found myself laughing many times. Hellman’s painterly artwork is amazing — it’s not really fully animated, but it is really interesting to look at.
Today’s episode was Maki versus Amy. Two good comics; only one really nails the ideas of Mermaid and Ukelele selected from the wastebasket of ideas.
Spoilers after the jump!
Maki wins; Amy goes home. Mike and Jerry give Maki some grief for “over-working” the joke and their feedback is that Maki’s comic would have been much better without text on the last two panels. Maki’s art was Perry Bible Fellowship-level awesome and he definitely came up with a comic that really riffed on the mermaid and ukelele ideas. Amy’s was good too although I didn’t laugh like I laughed when I looked at Maki’s so I would have picked Maki’s comic too even if Amy’s comic had really incorporated mermaids into it.
It is surprising that no one on the show has made any effort to play the game — I wonder if they run another season of Stripshow whether the contestants will be more nakedly cutthroat about sending their best rivals to the elimination zone.
Last time I had Amy 6th on my list of surviving contestants. It’s pretty hard to predict who will win but let’s give it a guess anyhow. I’m still counting on Erika’s experience to help get her through any elimination zone contest she gets into. We’ve seen Katie, Tavis, Maki and Lexxy all do well in the elimination zone (Lexxy technically lost but did well enough to get brought back). Hard to know how well Monica Ray and Abby will do but they have steep competition in the other remaining contestants.
POWERRRR LISTT UMLAT UMLAT
- Erika Moen
- Katie Rice
- Tavis Maiden
- Maki Naro
- Lexxy Douglass
- Monica Ray
- Abby Howard
I can’t figure out how to get Photoshop Elements 8 to scan in directly from my Epson V33 scanner. Weird! Manga Studio will scan in from it but this version of photoshop won’t. Technology advances but it often leaves simple functions behind. Weird…
An idea for a story I noodled on earlier this year — a quick concept sketch I scanned in and started playing with in Manga Studio. It’s probably the wrong title for the story which is about time travel, at least in a sense. I’m not actually thinking of it as a comic but just a story. Ideally (as in an ideal that I can strive for) I’d write it and then break out a comic script from the novella and find someone awesome with serious art chops to collaborate on it with.
I read Spacetrawler by Christopher Baldwin religiously for a year or so but it was another one I lost track of. It’s a great webcomic but one that might ultimately work better in longer bits. Baldwin delivers a great bite of the comic in each update but he’s also so good at working over the longer arc of his story that the deeper layers are very rewarding and it’s not something you want to read, having forgotten much of the details of the earlier bits.
So – rereading from the start; hoping to catch up to current episodes very soon. Most of the comics have a lot of humor, Baldwin rarely goes for the biggest laugh but stays within the characters and usually paints a lot of colors from the emotional palette. You get sincerity, morality, guilt, jealously, perversion, greed and sorrow with your jokes.
The comic below is one that truly is funny, building on a string of jokes in the preceding updates, but also ends on a really terrifying left turn. Baldwin handles this all amazingly.
Strip Search sends its fourth contestant home after episode 13, but not in the way you’d expect.
Spoilers galore after the jump so don’t click read more until you’ve watched the episode.
I am enjoying Strip Search but I am probably only going to blog about it after the elimination contests. Regardless of my thoughts on the rest of the show, the elimination contests are pretty straightforward — two peoples enter the WebcomicDome; only one exits.
Or does s/he?
The contest in the last episode was to design a skate board around a Magic: the Gathering character. Erika Moen won with easily the strongest visual design. Great to see Erika win something strongly — we already know she’s a good webcomic creator, it’s really a question of whether she can deal with the format of the show. The downside, however, is she has to pick the two contestants for the elimination contest.
She picks Mac Schubert and Nick Trujillo. Mac did an absolutely awful job on the contest, got called out for it in that episode. No reason not for Erika to pick Mac. Nick, despite winning the last two contests (and he had to pick the last four visitors to the elimination zone) was also dinged for not nailing the Magic character and so Erika cites that as reason for picking him as well. So two completely new contestants to the elimination contest.
Mercifully, many fewer “minutes left” jokes from Mike this time. Mostly still entertaining banter from Mike and Jerry with the contestants as they work on their comics. The comics are in and the judging begins and this time I completely agree with the judges. Both of them are not good.
So guess what happens? They send both of them home. I would rather they follow their show’s format but what the heck, it’s their show, if they want to send both of them home I guess they can. The upside of that is they end the show with a teaser that clearly spells out that they are bringing Lexxy back next week.
Time to update the Powerrrr Lysst. Ultimately this is going to come down to how well you can create a comic in ninety minutes — most of the contests outside of the elimination zone are not really telling us much about how folks will do in the elimination contest. Because of that you have to put Katie, Tavis and Lexxy up at the top of the list. Erika, I don’t know how fast she works but unless 90 minutes is a huge squeeze for her time-wise, she’s going to do more than fine whenever she has to go to the elimination zone. After that it’s a bit of a guess, although Mike doesn’t like Abby’s art so she’s going to have a hurdle to get over to win.
- Erika Moen
- Katie Rice
- Tavis Maiden
- Lexxy Douglass
- Maki Naro (holder of the REDRAW pass)
- Amy Falcone
- Monica Ray
- Abby Howard
I have never LARP’d but it seems, in theory, like it might be possibly fun. Depending on the scenario and the people and how much coffee I’d had. If I could bend the rules like Francis in today’s PvP though, that might seal the deal for me:
This made me think of a great couple of Angst Technology comics from Barry Smith about dressing up as Captain America for a Civil War enactment (a mix-up with Marvel’s Civil Wars comic book storyline). Sadly though I can’t find any actual website for Barry’s comics anymore so I’ll just link to the ComixTALK interview with him.
Dang, I didn’t see this until today – Carmine Infantino passed away on Thursday.
Infantino designed the Silver Age Flash’s now-iconic red and yellow costume. He drew “Flash of Two Worlds,” a landmark story published in The Flash #123 that introduced Earth-Two to DC Comics. He also helped coordinate the cross-publisher comic “Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man.”
I just saw that Goodreads has been bought by Amazon. I don’t know what to think about that, I haven’t been super-active on the site recently but if it’s all now going to be fodder for Amazon’s store, I suppose I will think about it in a different light.
But I digress from the zombies. I just finished watching the Season 3 finale of The Walking Dead teevee series. I thought this last season was mostly really good. Probably the best season yet but regardless I think we can all agree that it was better than Season Two.
The comic book series it’s based on is up to issues 114. I read them in the trade collections which come out much later than the individual monthly pamphlets. I have read up to Volume 17: Something to Fear which is a whole lot of plot ahead of the teevee series.
The teevee series has made a lot of interesting choices that differ significantly from the comic books. It’s a different medium of course and a key difference is what the actors bring to the teevee series. Teevee is a lot more collaborative than comics by necessity. But I also think Robert Kirkman who is both the writer on the comics and an executive producer on the teevee series is to be commended for not being too precious with his work. Most of the changes from the comic to the teevee show are a big improvement in terms of the choices and evolution of the characters. Clearly some changes were made to provide new surprises and left turns to fans of the comic book but regardless of the motivation, they have been good for the characterization and the story.
I was also reading comics at the webcomic anthology site Thrillbent today — they did a funny parody of a recent episode of The Walking Dead and well, it gets sillier from there.
Roger Ebert passed away this week. Cancer sucks.
No one growing up now will get how I and others looked forward to seeing Siskel & Ebert’s show. They argued about movies, they showed clips — it was the only thing of its kind at the time. I thought Ebert had better taste and the better of most of their arguments on the show but when I got older I think I appreciated Siskel more.
Now they’re both gone. The role of the critic in the era of the Internet is different. There is no more scarcity of reviews and very little in the way of gatekeepers to expressing your opinion about art and culture. Still even in this new connected world, Ebert was very relevant, active on Twitter and really good at it too.
For all I know a hundred editorial cartoonists drew St. Peter giving Roger a thumbs up or a closed balcony. I did see this tribute from Multiplex which I really liked: