Archive - Jan 2009
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 30, 2009 - 22:09
Jacob Alvarez sent me a copy of his comic book Hypnospiral in the mail the other week and I wanted to give it a mention. It's a black and white book printed by Comixpress - the website has a few previews but otherwise is just a place to find out how to order the comic book. Alvarez is a competent artist and surely can continue to improve with more work. The book is full of short gag stories -- ideally suited to the webcomic first, books later model (as in build the fan base and than sell them books) so I strongly advise Alvarez to go the webcomic route. He's already got the website URL and it's a no-brainer today to get going online. All of the material in the book can easily be put online and surely would get much more exposure than the much, much fewer people who will buy or borrow the book at this point without having any idea if they'll like Hypnospiral or not.
As to the book itself, it shows promise although it was definitely a mixed bag in terms of its appeal to my sense of humor. My favorite of the book was the two-pager, "My Kingdom For A Theme Restaurant" and there was something funny about the monkey-staffed Civil War enactment at the end of the story "Ugly Pete: King of the Chimps". Maybe just seeing the simian charge on "Fort Sumner"? The only other thing to mention is that the cover makes the book seem like it's a horror comic -- it doesn't really telegraph that it's a gag comic.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 30, 2009 - 02:24
Oingo Boingo - my favorite band for a loong time.Â IÂ always liked the Mexican folk art influenced design around the Dead Man's Party album and this video has bits of it too.Â Oingo Boingo was pretty big in California -- IÂ was always unclear on why the rest of the world didn't fully appreciate the genius of the Elfman.Â In fact IÂ guess to many people, IÂ suppose Oingo Boingo is associated mainly with the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to Class (or maybe the song they wrote for the Anthony Michael Hall movie Weird Science).Â
Very young Robert Downey Jr in this videoÂ (clipped from the Back to Class movie) - IÂ just saw Iron Man on Vudu this week. Â That guy is always interesting - what a good actor. Â It's kind of cool he didn't kill himself with all of the drugs he took and we get to see some more work from him.
And hell might as well link to the Gong Show with an appearance by the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo - the precursor to the actual band Oingo Boingo.Â The Mystic Knights were more of a cabaret think, led by Danny Elfman's brother Richard.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 30, 2009 - 02:02
Holy crap - the video for RUNÂ DMC's It's Tricky has Penn and Teller.Â IÂ don't think IÂ saw this at the time.
IÂ liked RUNÂ DMCÂ a lot for awhile. Â I'm not sure if it was the first rap IÂ really heard and liked -- IÂ was 15 when their first album came out and that seems late to me but memory is a funny thing...Â I'll have to scan the memory cells a bit more..
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 29, 2009 - 23:31
Funny I just saw in the site logs a link to the story noting the launch of Brad Guigar's Phables comic about true stories from the residents of Philadelphia and now comes news that he's decide to end it. But it did earn him an Eisner nomination and he's planning to bring out a print collection of it so it's not all bad news.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 29, 2009 - 17:40
Joey Manley posts at his Talkaboutcomics blog on updates to the new Comicspace portal and other webcomic services his company is rolling out.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 29, 2009 - 15:39
Tom Tommorrow has a post with commentary from Max Cannon about the increasing number of alternative weekly papers simply dropping all of their comics. I emphasize with Cannon as to not at all getting why papers are dropping one of the most popular parts of their paper but still grimace when I see that Cannon isn't making anything from or via his web presence.
I have no idea what Tom Tomorrow and Max Cannon have tried to do (well I do know Tom Tomorrow has used his site as a decent political blog for awhile and has sometimes pushed a book of his through it but I think that's it...) but I'm sort of shocked that a popular cartoonist isn't trying harder to push up the percentage of their revenue from new sources like a web strategy. Even the sharply declining newspapers themselves now have a decent chunk of their revenue from online publication efforts (not enough to repleace what they're losing but not 0% either).
Grant Thomas is the creator of several comics including the more personal My Life in Records and the more adventuresome Graphic Poems. I think Grant has been creating some of the more interesting and challenging comics I've seen in webcomics and his stuff is well worth checking out.
Grant's also been a contributor to ComixTALK, creating the cover art for ComixTALK for December of 2008 and writing several features for the magazine, including a three part series on creating mini-comics. I got a chance to chat with Grant recently about his plans for 2009, including the next chapter of My Life in Records and the inclusion of his work in an upcoming book from Fantagraphics.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 27, 2009 - 13:14
I hadn't messed with Project Wonderful settings on my websites in awhile so some recent updates there were news to me. Anyone else run into these lately? Thoughts and anecdotes to share?
1. Tougher Restrictions to Get In: Now even with a user account at PW you still have to submit additional websites for review before you can create an ad box for them. There are some guidelines here for the minimums to get accepted. It sounds fairly objective to me and it's not a very high hurdle for any website that is alive and functioning.
2. Tougher Standards for Staying In: It also looks like PW is now concerned with ad performance and will remove a site from the program if it's performance is lacking. Again it's not a particularly tough standard - read more for the email from PW:
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 27, 2009 - 11:11
It is in fact snowing in the greater Washington DC area this morning which will inevitably paralyze the entire town by sometime in the late morning. A few links worth following this morning:
Forbidden Planet notes the ending of David Rees' Get Your War On and has the last comic (h/t Journalista!) Back in 2003, Michael Whitney reviewed Get Your War On for ComixTalk and we had a community interview with David Rees.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
The webcomic Curvy does in fact live up to its own tagline: A sexy sci-fi adventure comic for adults. I stumbled onto this from it's ad on another comic's site -- the art is kind of loopy and has nice use of contrasting black and white -- it's a very stylized approach to the visuals. (it reminded me a touch of Tracy White's TRACED). Definitely NSFW even with the somewhat cartoony artwork.