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Archive - 2010

December 14th

Comix Talk for Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I started messing with Drupal 7 over at another URL I have - anyone else a Drupal nerd and want to talk release candidates?  

BUSINESS: Dorothy Gambrell, the creator of Cat and Girl, is probably the most transparent person in comics -- here's another edition of "how much money I've made this year" in pretty chart form.

iWEBCOMICS: Over at Robot6 they report that according to Apple three of the top five selling book apps for the iPad are from comiXology: Marvel Comics, Comics (their multi-publisher reader), and DC Comics.

INTERVIEW: Newsarama interviews Gordon McAlpin of the webcomic Multiplex.

HYPITY HYPE HYPE: This Bad Machinery today is really good. John Allison really gets something true about that middle school age and yet it still feels John Allison-y.  When Allison shifted between Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery I thought it was a bit jarring mainly because Allison's sensibility to me is pretty rooted in being a young adult (and even the teenagers in SGR fit in there). I've never not enjoyed Bad Machinery -- it's just not always felt fully Allison-y too me.

WE CAN REMEMBER IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE: This Penny Arcade comic reminds me of my brief time playing role-playing games in the middle school years -- I remember the first game I played -- the DM was a bit of a sadistic little prick and he vindictively killed off players during the game.  I DM'd a game myself that year which I recalled annoyed the other DM quite a bit as I guess he thought you weren't allowed to just start DM'ing without more time playing.  I also played The Shadow in a game based on superheroes (can't remember what that game was called though) - which was interesting because the other people in the game had no clue about the character so I could argue for almost god-like abilities as the game went along.

Climate Change Comic from Darryl Cunningham

Climate Change by Darryl Cunningham

Another well done journalistic comic from Darryl Cunningham, this one addressing the state of the global warming debate.  Read it - bookmark his RSS feed.

December 13th

COMIX TALK FOR MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY

I'm in kind of a world wide mixed wrestling NASCAR mood this morning (already thrown a couple chairs down the hallway) but let's see if comics soothes the savage beast.

PEOPLE THAT LIKE PEOPLE: Laura Hudson has an interview with Nick Gurewitch of  Perry Bible Fellowship fame and Michael Fiffe over at The Beat has a really good profile on artist/creator Kyle Baker.

AWARDS: Time to send in nominations for next year's EISNERS.  Seriously wouldn't it be great to have lots of worthy nominations from webcomics for every Eisner category?  

CONVENTION 'VENTION WHAT'S YOUR INTENTION: The Beat reports that the Stumptown Comics convention in Portland, Oregon will "curate" the list of exhibitors due to the huge demand for tables.

FREE MONEY: The Drawn blog with this timely reminder for aspiring comics-making students -- don't forget that the deadline for the Jay Kennedy Scholarship is December 15th. More details at the National Cartoonists Society Foundation.

DEAD TREES: Fleen flags the forthcoming book edition of Evan Dahm's Order of Tales Book 3: The Tower of Smoke.  Pre-ordering now in effect.

MILESTONE: The comedy webcomic Troops of Doom reaches 300 episodes this week. TOD uses GI Joe, Star Wars, Lego and other toys for props. The webcomic is running a contest where readers can have an a recurring character in the comic named after them.  

TOOLS: I think I saw Spike link to this on Twitter this morning - a great website for working with colors together: Color Scheme Designer.

BLOGGITY-BLOG BLOG: Covered has a post just like the one I put up last week - links to like-minded "cover song" comics blogs. Another blog in this vein that is often quite good is the Comic Social Club.

Guest Comicking: The Daily Cross Hatch with another "guest comic" - this one from Erich Fletschinger.  I kind of like the idea of a blog about comics having "guest comics" -- anyone interested in doing something for ComixTalk?  Maybe I'll try to create a recurring thing next year...

December 11th

Bruce Timm Designs Conan O'Brien Superhero

Conan O'Brien visit Warner Animation/DC and pokes fun of some of the lamer heros in the DC universe.  Then Bruce Timm designs him as a superhero:

December 9th

Comix Talk for ThursdayDecember 9, 2010

End of the year... end of a decade.  Awhile ago I asked for your memories of a decade in webcomics. Zoe Robinson just posted her thoughts on her experiences here.  I'm still interested and will link to your posts (or just post a lengthy comment here at ComixTALK).  

Also I just saw that Scott McCloud linked to this Matt Madden/Tom Hart invention: Tic Tac Jam.  It's a great format for a comic jam - I can't wait to give it a spin.

LEGAL: Law and the Multiverse doesn't have much to do with Jon Rosenberg's webcomic but it is a funny and interesting blog that applies the law to superhero situations.

REVIEW: El Santo reviews Critical Miss, a webcomic The Escapist website publishes after selecting it out of a contest it ran.

REREVIEW: Warren Peace is right about the detailed, energetic backgrounds in the graphic novel The Unsinkable Walker Bean.  It's a good book - reviewed here at ComixTalk.

PREVIEW: CBR has a lengthy preview of the graphic novel version of Axe Cop coming out later this month.

CONTEST: I got a note from John about the Rampage Network’s 7th Anniversary Contest which has 2 Grand Prize packages they're planning on giving away on Christmas Day. Each of the 2 Packages includes: Blade Runner Style LED UmbrellaColonel J. Fizziwig’s Steampunk Firearm (type TBA)Black Aviator Cap OR Victorian Coachman HatCustomized Pair of Basic Steampunk Googles, and a Wacom Intuos 4 Large.  This is one of those retweet deals - to enter the contest you have to retweet something from the contest page ("RT Win 2 grand prizes from Wacom Tablets, ThinkGeek, and others at http://rampagenetwork.com #rampagenetwork")

DEAD TREES: Yay! - Owly is getting published on paper in color - due for release next March.  Andy Runton's all ages comic is a joy to read; I don't know how else to describe it except for delightful.

Sisters Grimm Is Now Free Mars

Free Mars

Dave Pauwels, the writer of the comic formerly known as Sisters Grimm writes that they've decided to change the name to Free Mars:

After much deliberation, the Sisters Grimm webcomic team has decided that we need to do a little rebranding.  We have decided to update the name of the weekly comic Sisters Grimm with a new title: FREE MARS.  We feel that not only will the new name cut down on any future confusion with other similarly named entities, but it also better reflects the direction of the story.  Rest assured that this title change has no effect whatsoever on the content of our comic.  The band you’ve become familiar with is still called Sisters Grimm; named for the band’s founder and lead guitarist, Victoria “Vikki” Grimm.

I think I had mentioned to Dave the overlap of their title with a very popular young adults text novel series (is that a "thing" calling novels "text" novels now?) of the same name (well read by the X kids) so I think this is a wise move.  What do you think of the new title?  And if you haven't checked out this comic yet it's definitely worth a read.  You can find it at the new URL: freemarscomic.com (and at sistersgrimmcomic.com too for at least the foreseeable future).

December 8th

New Comicpress.net

Interesting post from Frumph today on his new plans for Comic Press and his previously announced new project Comic Easel.  The first thing you might note is the new URL comicpress.net that Frumph says he is now using for all of his work on Comic Press.  I met Frumph in person at Intervention - really nice guy.  He has taken on a lot of the work on Comic Press and in many (all?) ways has been the entirety of it publicly for the last year or so.  Read his post - although I'm not aware of hard data, it's a pretty safe bet that Comic Press remains the most widely used "webcomic management" system today and anything that sustains the project's development and technical support is a good and needed thing.  It's crazy in a way I don't fully understand but Frumph says he hasn't gotten much more than nothing for all of the work he's done.  So if you've ever benefited from Comic Press - and more specifically from something Frumph has done - head over to his site and hit the donate button.  

I don't see any reaction yet from Tyler Martin - the original creator of Comic Press - but it doesn't seem like there should be any issues here.  I don't know the exact license on Comicpress but since it's built for Wordpress it likely shares the same GPLv2 license from the Free Software Foundation.  I will keep an eye out for any comments though.  

While absolutely wishing Frumph the best here I will point out that this should be a bit of a red flag reminder of how NOT institutionalized support for a key webcomics tool is right now.  Unlike other more general purpose website management tools, I've rarely seen a webcomic tool sustained by a community of developers.  I don't know how we get from the five to six or so existing webcomic tools run by one person to collective support for one project but I think there should be some discussion about it.  Obviously Frumph and other developers like him should do what they think is best -- they don't need anyone telling them what to do -- but I am curious as to why we haven't seen a collective effort on a single project.

Comics Equivalent of the Cover Song

For me I really enjoy blogs featuring "covers" of classic comic work.  The first one I started following is probably the oldest one -- "Covered: Artists Re-interpreting Comic Covers" -- which is pretty much what it says: artists doing a new version of an older comic book cover.  Sometimes the covers are fairly close, other times they're a radical reworking of the concept.  The next one I started reading is Repaneled which features artists doing a new version of a panel from an existing work.

Debuting this week is a new one called Cornered: The Cover Corner Art Blog which was started by Jon Morris.  Self-described as "we recreate the spot character illustrations which appeared in the upper left-hand corners of so many classic comics, from Marvel to DC to Harvey, Charlton and beyond!"  I used to doodle these character illustrations all the time as a very little kid.  I think this is a pretty cool idea and I'm looking forward to following it.

December 7th

Comix Talk for Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hey it's Tyler Page's birthday - go wish him a happy one by catching up with his excellent college life webcomic Nothing Better.  This comic has two great, well developed lead female characters in it.

CONVENTIONAL THINKING: Jen Vaughn posts a great write-up of Webcomics Weekend 2 over at The Beat. The Daily Cross Hatch posts another comment on the recent Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.

BUSINESS: Critic Tucker Stone with some "Career" "Advice" for aspiring comics creators.

MULTIMEDIA: I saw the press announcement for a new webcomic called The Adjusted by Kenneth Bass, which is being hyped for "its driving, cosmic beats that enhance the action of the story and the scene transitions of the high-resolution graphics."  Now I'm a sucker for trying out webcomics that really explore the web part of things.  Doesn't mean I ultimately think these efforts are always a success but I'm happy to see new spins on the webcomic form.  Bass is a music producer and electrical engineer as well as a fan of comics.

DEAD TREES: This Week In Webcomics lists three books for the holidays from the webcomics Multiplex, Blank It and F Chords.

REVIEW: Tangents reviews the highschool webcomic Penny & Aggie.

December 6th

Comix Talk for Monday, December 6, 2010

So what did everyone think about the finale of Season One of The Walking Dead? I kind of wished they'd avoided the cliché of the last minute running out of the exploding building and jumping for safety but otherwise I thought it was an entertaining episode.  One can guess that the changes they made to the story this season (particularly the trip to the CDC) may have driven in part by not knowing if they'd ever get to make more than 6 episodes.

AWARDS: The judges for next year's Eisner Awards have been announced: Comic-Con board of Directors member Ned Cato, Jr., librarian/curator Karen Green, writer/editor Andrew Helfer, publishing executive Rich Johnson and retailer Chris Powell. The judges meet next March to select the nominees for the 2011 Eisner Awards ballot.

IT'S ART JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT: Matt Dembicki posts photos of the Party Crashers exhibit on comics as art, here in Arlington, Virginia. I made it to the opening of this at the Arts Center but promptly forgot to post the pictures I took.  Matt took way more pictures than I did!  My favorite part of the exhibit? A really Dash Shaw-like video by who else - Dash Shaw.

REVIEW: Art Patient reviews Mel and Chad.

INTERVIEW: CZ Wheeler interviews Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics and Webcomics Globetrotters fame.

Scene and Heard: Comics DC links to video of a recent panel called "In Between the Panels: DC's Emergence on the Graphic Novel Scene". Start off with part one: