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Archive - Jan 2010

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January 29th

Comix Talk for January 29, 2010

Whew, made it to Friday.  Sometime next week a new version of ComixTalk at the new server will emerge -- it won't be perfect but mostly what I need this year.  And it should mean the end of me starting posts writing about Drupal and CSS...

I got a fever, and the only prescription... is more AXE COP! You've all read Axe Cop, haven't you?  If I didn't know it was for real I might have thought Kris Straub was behind it...  Coupling really funny and well-done art with scripts from his 5 year old brother Malachai, artist Ethan Nicolle has created something that is a gimmick but I swear I laughed the whole time I was reading it. 

iWEBCOMICS: Paperless Comics has a nice round up of webcomic commenting on the iPad announcement.  I'm not going to think too hard about it until the damn thing is actually in the store, but even though it's not perfect I'm kind of leaning towards getting an iPad right now.  (I wonder if I can write it off as a business expense for this site?)

INTERVIEW: A really nice interview with Kean Soo, creator of the all ages comic Jellaby (and before that his journal comic at keaner.net)

REVIEWS: Tom Spurgeon has a glowing review of Kazu Kibuishi's book, Copper.  Copper has long been one of my favorite comics and I really do want to get a copy of the paper version at some point.  Missed it but earlier this month, Sean Kleefeld reviewed another all ages title -- the prose/comics hybrid book Malice.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

Seth Godin read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and thought it was... about marketing?

Over at Panel & Pixel forums, there's some information and discussion of how intellectual property rights in the U.S. work when a writer and artist collaborate. And another Panel & Pixel post covers creating model sheets for characters for your comic.

January 28th

Comix Talk for Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heropotamus by Josh Alves

I'm on the twitters sometimes if you're interested in smaller, faster updates (also to be honest, I don't always remember to post here what I've tweeted). 

iWebcomics: iPad? While it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well as the Jesus Tablet, it'll do.  My quick reaction?  I think this should be an excellent consumer device for consuming media; I don't love the content-type control Apple has asserted over it's app store and I think any potential reasons for such control are much less defensible for a device such as this.  I also don't like Apple's failure to support Flash - this device should be open to complementary programs to the traditional browser environment.  I'll grant you that version 2 in another year will probably be a better deal but I think this product meets my imaginary expectations for a webcomics tablet.  Not sure still about the pricing but at least it's better than the pre-announcement rumors.  As far as comic apps for the iPad, it looks like Comixology got the first press release out the door.

Code: Brad Hawkins posts some details on what will be in version 2.5 of stripShow, which is a add-on to WordPress to run webcomics.  I can't remember exactly now, but the birth of the first version of stripShow either predates or is pretty close in time to ComicPress and has also continued to evolve - can't wait to see the new version. 

Act-I-Vation Nation: Paul DeBenedetto interviewed comics/webcomic auteur Dean Haspiel last year at the Baltimore Comicon; he just posted the video though:

Around the World in 80 Blogs

A lot of Zuda news at Robot6: an interview with Josh Alves, creator of the webcomic Araknid Kid (started at Zuda, finished at Sugary Serials) and the new webcomic, Heropotamus; and interviews with all of the creators in the January edition of Zuda (aka Webcomic Powerball).

Check out Growly Beast - a blog with a growing collection of interviews with comics creators including  Diana Stoneman of Sweet and Sour Grapes; and Kory Bing of Skin Deep.

January 27th

Comix Talk for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So today is the Second Coming?  The rumored debut of Apple's oversized iPod has sent the newspaper business into a tizzy but it is potentially VERY interesting to the world of comics.  I doubt the first generation of it (if it exists!) will be affordable enough but eventually this could become a serious platform for comics.  IF IF IF IF....

In non-rapturous news of the day, congrats to Ben Costa for winning a Xeric Grant for Shi Long Pang. I look forward to buying that book! (h/t Paperless Comics)  And in a true spirit of public service, Gary reads Platinum Comics Licensing's press release to decipher the latest business plan: "an in-house version of CafePress."

INTERVIEW: Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots.

REVIEW: Delos reviews Insert Comic by Zack Holmes.

And how about some links to fill-out your morning read -- here's the list of webcomics the readers of the Washington Post nominated for its Comics Riffs poll on "Best Webcomic of the Decade": "Devil's Panties" ; "Devin Crane" ; "Eric Monster Millikin" ; "Girl Genius" ; "Girls With Slingshots" ; "Hark! A Vagrant" ; "Jesus and Mo" ; "Kevin and Kell" ; "Least I Could Do" ; "Navy Bean" ; "The New Adventures of Queen Victoria" ; "Order of the Stick" ; "Penny Arcade" ; "Perry Bible Fellowship" ; "Pibgorn" ; "PvP" ; "Questionable Content" ; "Red String" ; "Schlock Mercenary" ; "Sinfest" ; "UserFriendly.Org" ; and "xkcd."

January 26th

Comix Talk for Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Short post today -- I recommend the following three things:

PODCAST: An interview with Jon Rosenberg of Goats in this edition of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast.

CRAFT: Wow, John K has an excellent and extensive tutorial on facial expressions, well worth reading.

REVIEW: El Santo praises Evan Dahm's epic fantasy webcomic Order of Tales.

January 25th

Comix Talk for Monday, January 25, 2010

For what it's worth, I've got a fresh install of DRUPAL on the dev server at home, working up a streamlined version of ComixTALK.  Laid out the basic theme (moving to a 2 column layout) and now tackling cleaning up the horror that the tag and category system at ComixTALK has mutated into....  Right now I'm debating whether to port ComixTALK as is to the new server or wait until I get the redo... done.

One story that caught my eye this morning was this rant by blogger-czar Jason Calacanis about comScore.  Worth reading to think about.  Another interesting story from Tom Spurgeon, who has an essay up at the Comics Reporter which I think one could summarize as "wow, there are a lot more good comics than when I was younger..."  I guess I would add, "wow, there are a lot more good webcomics than 10 years ago..."  And if you need a recap of recent webcomic news, Delos has a whole bunch of interesting links covering last week at Art Patient.

NEW BOOK: John Allison posted the cover art from the forthcoming 8th book collection of Scary Go Round: "Recklessly Yours." 

Cory Likes Corndogs: Goats scores a favorable review from Boing Boing Blogger Cory Doctorow for the second book in the new series: The Corndog Imperative.

ZUDA IDOL SCANDAL? Digital Strips reports on the departure of one of the ten finalists from this month's Zuda popularity contest. Apparently The  Thunderchickens had a good shot of winning it too, so the undisclosed reasons for its departure must be something non-trivial.

POLLS: Over at the Washington Post's comics blog, Schlock Mercenary is leading their Best Webcomic of the Decade poll, followed by Girl Genius.

INTERVIEW: Inkstuds has an (audio) interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Non-ZUDA CONTESTS: El Santo reports that John Lustig of Last Kiss is having a contest -- write the best dialogue for a comic captioned by Orson Scott Card.

ALL AGES: Comics For Kids has a list of recommended comics for the classroom.

January 22nd

Comix Talk for Friday, January 22, 2010

Psst.  Super art fight this weekend..

I think I've mentioned it before but whatever compulsion I might have once had to share with you every scrap of webcomic-related stuff... well I ain't feeling it.  So it's great that others are taking care of it and this week you can't go wrong with this round up of webcomic reviews, interviews and stories from Brigid Alverson's Paperless Comics.

SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THE NEW NEW ECONOMY:  Tom Spurgeon writes about Julie Larson's decision to move from a deal with Creator's Syndicate to self-syndication.  You really can't extrapolate much from a story that includes one newspaper comic (Larson's) and one webcomic (Apokalips) as the basis for discussion.  I feel bad for folks like Larson who are stuggling with the double whammy of tectonic shifts in technology and a bum economy.  But I also think it's annoying and self-defeating to write about how the Internet is killing everything.  The Internet is part of the environment now.  It's the least-cost, most effective publishing tool ever invented -- when before in history has ANYONE been able to potentially reach EVERYONE on the planet at the minimal costs needed to put up a website?  That fact is AWESOME and no one in their right mind would trade it away for preservation of past pratices.

The other thing to keep in mind is that there used to be certain channels of content that we consumed because it was there in a format that required us to read/watch/listen to it on the format's terms.  That's going, going, gone.  Watch teevee when it's scheduled? Nope, TIVO.  Listen to radio live?  Nope, not if you don't want to - podcast, iTunes, etc.  Read the daily comics in the morning at breakfast?  Nope, even newspaper comics are ARCHIVED and available on the web.  I can see it in my kids' habits.  I used to come to the content in a lot of cases... for my kids all content is a library.  They watch/listen/read their favorites -- it's RARE that they ever engage with content because it's there.  What does that mean?  I'd bet a lot of things, but one thing that seems obvious is that FAVORITES will win an even bigger share of whatever new business models sustain creators.  If in the past it made sense to appeal to the largest audience possible (which often meant a softening and blanding up of material) to get into the newspaper, I think creators have to understand that's probably a really BAD strategy now.

PODCAST: The long-running webcomics podcast, the Webcomic Beacon, has two more episodes up: Fan Fiction and Black & White versus Color.

JUSTIFY TOM'S HYPE: Tom Spurgeon also linked to Smoke Signals, a free all comics newspaper based in Brooklyn.  The first two editions are available for a free download at their website.

Oh... It's ON! Super Art Fight 6

This weekend, it's the 6th edition of the live art smackdown show: Super Art Fight 6 (read that in Kermit the Frog's excited announcer voice).  There's always been a webcomic presence at these events and no exception this time:

  • Main Event: Michael Bracco (Champion) vs. Jamie Baldwin (Challenger)
  • #1 Contenders Match: Nick “Ghostfreehood” Borkowicz vs. Garth Graham
  • Generational Warfare – Rookie vs. Veteran: Kelsey Wailes vs. Jami “Angry Zen Master” Noguchi
  • 4-Way Battle Royale: Chris “Impact” Impink vs. Joe Dunn vs. Bryan Prindiville vs. Chelsea Grose

And if you've been checking out the Comic Events calendar at ComixTALK you'd already know about this :)

January 21st

Comix Talk for Thursday, January 21, 2010

I think I've officially run out of stupid headlines for daily blog posts... thank you to everyone who gave me advice about webhosts and website software this week.

INTERVIEW: The New Yorker has an interview with comics writer Neil Gaiman. Congrats to Neil on his recent engagement.

REVIEWS:  El Santo reviews Lily of the Valley, a webcomic about a serial killer.  A mixed review - I noticed however, that the artwork reminded me a bit of Faith Erin Hick's work.  There's also a glowing review by The Trades of Kazu Kibuishi's Copper book

THE PROBLEMS WITH DEAD TREES:  Comics Worth Reading writes about Disney's decision to let the first volume of Jellaby go out of print.  The downsides to getting involved with multinational corporations...

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS:  Drawn! blog links to Jake Parker, creator of Missile Mouse, writing about fixing inking mistakes old school style (i.e. without Photoshop).  I haven't read it yet but both of my kids have read the new Missile Mouse graphic novel and loved it.

January 19th

A Rock and Rolling Update About Webcomics and Stuff

SKIP THE BORING SITE NEWS IF YOU WANT:  My work to fix my hosting and design and angst issues continues apace (well not the angst issues) and I'll be trying out another host for ComixTalk starting sometime this week (just need a block of time to do the move).  The two other things I'm angsting about are (1) new design/functionality decisions and (2) whether to switch from Drupal to Wordpress.  

MILESTONES: Happy Birthday to my littlest's x-girls current favorite cartoonist Frank Cammuso.  She's a big fan of the two Knights of the Lunch Table books.  She has a couple of signed sketches from him as well.

NOT COMICS: Did you know they had a Terry Pratchett convention in Arizona last year?  They're currently trying to figure out what city to hold the next one in.  I'd go to that -- I just got through a year of reading the Discworld series.

January 18th

Ralph Bakshi on Surviving Tough Times

Boing Boing links to a panel where famed animator Ralph Bakshi talks about surviving tough times taking art by the hands and making your own fate: