Archive - Jun 2009
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 30, 2009 - 09:35
The nominees for the 2009 Harvey Awards are out -- all comics creators (those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field) are eligible to vote for the award winners from now through August 8th. Ballots for voting are available online here. There are a lot of webcomic angles to the list of nominees this year, including the seven nominations for Jeff Kinney's Diary of A Wimpy Kid (a comic with a webcomic origin) and 10 noninations for John Gallagher's Buzzboy which also has it origins in an online version.
In the online category, the nominees include three comics on DC's Zuda website: BLACK CHERRY BOMBSHELLS, HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, plus PVP, and LEAST I COULD DO. Interestingly enough three webcomics from Zuda also received nominations for Best New Series: HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, and SUPERTRON. (Check out CBR's recent interview with High Moon artist Steve Ellis)
Least I Could Do artist Lar deSouza also snagged nominations for Best Cartoonist and in the Special Award for Humor in Comics. David Malki! of Wondermark also got a nod in the Special Award for Humor category and another one in the SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION category for his book WONDERMARK, VOL. 1: BEARDS OF OUR FOREFATHERS (which I own a copy of and agree is absolutely deserving of this recognition).
In the BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION category HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS, by Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub received a nomination. In the Best Anthology category, FLIGHT VOLUME 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi received a nomination.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 29, 2009 - 21:12
Got to see the talk by Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) at the Arlington County library tonight. He's an amiable fellow who, while not the most dynamic of speakers, did go through a nice overview of his work (which goes way beyond his more recent syndicated comic) up on the screen. A few interesting items from his talk and from the Q and A afterwards: he's in about 250 papers, which he contrasted to Zits and a few others in 1000+ papers.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 25, 2009 - 09:02
Some quick updates for today -- probably no more posts from me until next week though (check out the talk posts for more from the ComixTalk community). Here's an idea that caught my eye this AM -- a graphic novel reading group. Sponsored by the DC area bookstore Politics and Prose it will meet the fourth Wednesday of each month. There are a lot of book reading clubs -- how many include, let alone focus on graphic novels? Do any publishers include book club guides for their graphic novels? (I've seen similar stuff for books).
Another article on Longbox - the announced "itunes for comics" service/software. Not a bad overview of the possibilities here, although a key difference between music and comics is that it seems iTunes rode the success of the iPod. I can't imagine iTunes becoming as dominant as it is without the tight linkage Apple created to the iPod. Longbox isn't going to have that advantage. On the other hand if Longbox can do deal with many, many major publishers of comics than it still might have a fighting chance (assuming it's a great piece of software with a really good customer experience). (h/t Scott McCloud)
Justify My Hype
Daily Cross Hatch has a great comic from Raina Telgemeier -- the first in a series called Subway Stories.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 23, 2009 - 09:10
Longbox is a software program for download for computers that is intended to be an iTunes like system for comics. Comics is in a much different place than music was at the time of iTunes rise to dominance (plus iTunes rode the iPod and there doesn't seem to be an iLongbox involved in this story) so I'm not sure there's any reason to predict success for this effort without seeing a lot more of it. If they had an exceptionally well-done piece of software, easy purchase process and lined up ALL or MOST of the major publishers than maybe it would get some traction. Convenience at the right price point CAN beat inconvenient and free for a lot of folks.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Shaenon K. Garrity's guide to comics message boards is very funny.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 19, 2009 - 11:01
This Day in ComixTALK:
Chuck Whelon posted the cover art for his new edition of the first collection of Pewfell Perfingles comics. He also posted a great page from that book. Neil Cohn noted the 30th anniversary of Jim Davis' Garfield and covered some of the webcomic experimentalism incorporating that comic. Brad Guigar reported back from exhibiting at Wizard World Philadelphia. Kate Beaton? Before she became famous for historical comicking, she posted this take on the Anthony-Liz storyline from For Better or For Worse.
And the nominees for that year's Online Comics category at the Harveys included Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, EZ Street, Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley, Penny Arcade, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch and Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Dwight L. Macpherson, Thomas Boatwright and Thomas Mauer.
I was in the midst of spinning off Comixpedia.org and rebranding this site as ComixTALK. While it all hasn't worked out to "bigger and better" it has worked well enough for me. (Never did activate the so-called umbrella site "Comixmedia")
Back when we did "Summer of Guest Bloggers" -- we had Barry Gregory (01 Comics) and Clay Gardner (Wirepop) on tap for this week. Clay wrote a post on "the hidden style of manga". And Zach Lewis hyped Jack of All Blades -- the "most popular adventure comic featuring a doppleganger, a penguin, and a horrid swordfighter".
June 2005 was our "webcomics in print" issue. Ben Towles wrote about his experiences self-publishing a print collection of his webcomic Townies. Eric Burns wrote about some of the webcomics that had jumped to print and mused about what would be the future role of print in webcomics. Meanwhile in Kelly Cooper's MoCCA report we have early photographic evidence of Gary "Magnum P.I." Tyrrell.
Cartoonist Hard (aka Clay) who used to blog pretty often, wrote about various comics publications and objecting to the Webcomics Examiner approach to webcomics. It just reminds me of how overblown some of the discussions online became back then. And the fact that for a long time Comixpedia/Talk was largely alone in trying to provide coverage of webcomics which often meant we got swept up in whatever the drama of the moment was.
I linked to this article in the NYTimes about building an audience for your blog. It's a bit like driving a mustang while looking back on the Model Ts. How about this quote:
But Susan Mernit, a blogger in San Francisco, is actively trying to increase her readership from its current average of about 50 visitors a day. "I value hits highly," said Ms. Mernit, a consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former vice president for programming at America Online. "I'd like to see my traffic increase by 10 readers a month."
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 18, 2009 - 09:24
Sorry the posting has been more sparse this month -- just had less time for writing about comics this year so far. I am always happy to frontpage good posts though -- posts on projects (self-hype is okay!) with something interesting (not just a "hey, here's my comic) that include an image are GOLD! and posts with news or a round-up of links to news are also always appreciated. And if you're already posting to your own blog it's easy to set up an automatic import of your feed to your ComixTalk account.
Also - I'm on twitter ("xerexes") and facebook (tweet or email me if you want to connect there) these days. My Twitter feed has updates from here plus assorted little things (sometimes non-comics) and Facebook is largely not-comics in terms of posts from me but I am using it to keep up on what others are doing comics-wise.
GeekDad interviews Chris Hastings of Dr. McNinja. Which reminds me - I've seen a lot of ninja-ing and some fair amount of doctoring in the comic but what about the "Mc". Have we ever seen much exploration of the Doctor's scottish roots?
The San Francisco Examiner interviews Julia Wertz of Fart Party. Wertz mentions that readers have told her the title has delayed their looking at the book (which suggests that there are probably a number of non-readers who never got past the title) and to be honest I don't recall the comic really ever explaining why it had the title. (h/t Journalista!)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Graphic NYC is a great blog with lots of good posts and great photos of talented cartoonists. Here's a recent post on the status of their projects (book!) with links to many of their best posts.
MySpace Comics is shutting down according to this story on Comic Alliance. The article suggests that this means the end of Dark Horse Presents on MySpace? If so, I would hope that Dark Horse could find another home for this project.
Sean Kleefeld has a short post about using Second Life to create comics. Hadn't thought of that yet although I have seen Sims-generated comics in the past.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 17, 2009 - 08:44
Brad Hawkins' stripShow is a plug-in for Wordpress that makes it uber-webcomic friendly. Along with Tyler Martin's Comicpress theme, it's the other long-running project to adapt Wordpress for webcomics. Now he's got another Beta version of what will be stripShow 2.0 out -- download it, check it out and let Brad know about any bugs you find or other feedback.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 16, 2009 - 15:04
The comics educator, podcast creator and webcomics cartoonist Jeremy Mullins has passed away, according to several alumni and those of an awareness of that program. He died on Saturday from multiple injuries while climbing in the Catskills near Kaaterskill Falls. Mullins held an MFA from the sequential art department at Savannah College Of Art And Design (SCAD), where he won an outstanding thesis award in 2005 for his "Digital Delivery and the Empowerment of the Sequential Artist" and where he would teach.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 16, 2009 - 08:30
From Australia comes a link to a webcomic adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses titled Ulysses Seen. Creator Robert Berry is still at the beginning and it looks like the adaption will be serially published - you can start reading it here.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 16, 2009 - 08:22