Archive - Sep 2009
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 30, 2009 - 12:32
It wasn't just my imagination, SPX was more crowded this year. Chris Mautner has a nice write up of this year's SPX, (although I'm not sure I qualify for inclusion among "respected online personalities"). Also check out this year's Nerdlinger awards. It's too bad they're in Baltimore - Baltimore is a long ways from Bethesda! Maybe next year someone will organize a cool pre-SPX event closer to SPX!
Really nice tutorial over at Webcomics.com today - from script to finished panels.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 30, 2009 - 10:51
Daily Cartoonist has an update on the 250 people making it as quarterfinalists for the Amazon Comic Superstar contest. There are a lot of strips on that list -- at least some of them seem to be on the web already. There's a couple more rounds of winnowing before the final 10 are chosen on October 28th. The winner will be chosen by a vote of Amazon customers
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 30, 2009 - 10:43
Howard Taylor of Schlock Mercenary and successful transition from Corporate 500 world to full time webcomic-ing popped up in the comments to the FLEEN thread on the recent Comics Success Seminar in Las Vegas (you'll recall I commented on host Alan Gardner's What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas, especially since attendees paid to attend). Interesting stuff - also read Howard's post here and hopefully Gary takes Howard up on the interview offer.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 29, 2009 - 16:32
Garage Raja by Matthew J. Rainwater and Austin Price. Garage Raja is a webcomic about a band and magic keys and Lizard Folks. it's fairly new and realistically, at this point, it's uneven. The plot -- and just generally the writing could stand improvement; the art often has a lot of energy and includes great background detail, but other times just doesn't convey crisply what's going on. Not all that different than many early webcomic efforts.
These guys didn't ask for a review, but there's clearly some potential there and I hope they keep working at their craft. Also they did have a nice freebie at SPX - guitar picks with the webcomic name emblazened on them.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 29, 2009 - 12:53
Nice video interview with Dirk Tiede of the ongoing supernatural crime drama, Paradigm Shift. His interview is the first part of the video.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 29, 2009 - 11:03
I got a chance to talk with Jane Irwin and Paul Sizer at SPX this year. Last year I'd had a great talk with Jane, but missed Paul. Jane is the creator of two great Vogelein novels and the Clockwork Game webcomic. This year it was great to talk with both of them for a bit.
I picked up Paul's graphic novel BPM (only a year after I'd meant to but SPX is a great reminder for that sort of thing). BPM, visually is pure gloss, vivid colors, with interesting integration of photo-realism into the mix. Sizer's sense of design is really strong -- not only in the artwork but the whole sense of the book as a whole. It's also a strong story with a really developed central character, Roxy. So overall no question, I enjoyed this book, it's the kind of mainstream, uplifting tale that in any other medium would be the mainstream. I will point out two things that made it less than perfect for me; one I didn't love the stretches of narration for Roxy's internal dialogue - I can see why Sizer went with it but I wish he'd used it even less and two, and I only say this in the high expectations for art I came to the book with, but there are a few panels where Sizer's anatomy seems off and took me a bit out of the story.
Where did I come by my high expectations for the art? Well, for one thing Paul is the master of Warren Ellis' reboot forum over at WhiteChapel - Paul has come up with a number of wild reinterpretations of old D-level superhero characters that usually trump all other submissions. Any number of them would be great to take and run with a full length story. I actually asked him about some of the World War II superhero drawings he'd done and while he definitely had interest in the potential the prospect of researching the era for such a book seeming too daunting to want to pursue. Part of that is Pauls' acknowledgment that Jane Irwin would never let him get away with making it up -- she's a firm believer in getting the details right.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 29, 2009 - 09:25
I picked up the Secret Science Alliance book from Eleanor Davis at SPX this year. I got halfway through it before the older X girl took it away. She's finished and now the younger X girl took it to school with her today. Both are really excited about the book. This seems like a great book for boys and girls of a reading age (not sure how old the audience for it would be, although I found it very clever and the artwork, including the composition and layout, is equally as clever as the writing). This project also has a bunch of great people behind it. Eleanor Davis wrote and drew it; Drew Weing inked it and Bryant Paul Johnson (Teaching Baby Paranoia) lettered it -- that's like a webcomics supergroup right there. And Joey Weiser and Michele Chidester colored it (and it's really nicely done).
In Drew Weing news, I chatted with him and Eleanor while buying the book -- Drew has finished plotting and thumbnailing his amazing Set To Sea comic (which has wonderful E.C. Segar influences all over it) which means it WILL BE FINISHED! In fact, in finishing the rough of it Drew said he decided he needed to make small changes here and there throughout which is why he is re-publishing it online. Everyone should give this a read; I'm already looking forward to the whole thing (both on the web and the book to be).
I also saw Eleanor on the "Debut Cartoonists" panel at SPX where she was joined by Ken Dahl (Monsters), Hans Rickheit (The Squirrel Machine), and Zak Sally (Like A Dog). She did very well - it's not always easy to talk about your own motivations and creative process but it was interesting to hear that she has a part time job working on organic farms. Not a quote but basically she explained that she didn't want to do comics all of the time and that she enjoyed life better with a balance between comics and other activities (which was in contrast to Dahl who took the less surprisingly line that making it was quitting your day job).
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 28, 2009 - 12:37
Faith Erin Hicks blogged about her next book to be, Friends With Boys, which will be published by First Second Books. In the post a few details on the story she's only started working on but also several images from her pitch for the book. Very exciting news for a very talented creator although publication will probably be a long ways off (she mentions 2011 as a target).
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 28, 2009 - 10:08
Wow I have a stack of books and stories from the SPX convention to get through. For a much more timely post on SPX than the one I will get to, check out Johanna Draper Carlson's writeup here. Congrats to cat garza for winning the Ignatz for Online comic -- here's video of the award presentation:
Daily Cross Hatch has a review of Josh Neufeld's A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. I feel like this book has been really really REVIEWED. Both in webcomic form and now the book, I think it's been universally praised for the importance of its topic but also the quality of the work itself.
The New York Times favorably reviews Logicomix, written by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou and illustrated by Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna. There are a couple of previews - 5 pages here and 1 page here.
There's something ironically funny about Alan Gardener writing a justification for withholding on reporting on the Success in Comics seminar he attended (and helped organize) because he doesn't want to be unfair to those who paid $350 to attend in person. Since nothing that was discussed there is likely to be sealed under a confidentiality agreement most of this stuff from the speakers is probably already out somewhere else or will come out in one form or another. Moreover, I'd have assumed people paid the $350 to BE THERE IN PERSON with the speakers and other attendees. Isn't that the main point these days of dragging yourself to another location? In fact one of the things Gardner himself praised was the networking opportunities of the conference.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 27, 2009 - 18:50