Archive - Jun 2011
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 30, 2011 - 08:28
If you like the comic SMBC you are probably already a fan of the comedy troupe SMBC Theatre (both share Zach Weiner). SMBC Theatre is now running a kickstarter campaign to raise some scratch for some higher production value web series. Just think what kind of explosions these guys could come up with if they had a few bucks to spend!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 29, 2011 - 09:03
Did I mention I have a fairly active tumblr blog too? Right now I'm enjoying messing around with that. Follow me and let me know if you have a tumblr blog I should be following. Did anyone get an invite to Google+? I guess Randall Monroe sums up my sense of Google
Wave Buzz Plus pretty well.
- The Comics Journal has a massive article on Jim Davis. Is there a cartoonist today who wasn't, at least for a tiny moment of their childhood, influenced a bit by Garfield?
- Newsarama interviews Ericka Moen and Jeff Parker who are collaborating on the quirky, hipster detective comic, Bucko.
COMICS IS NOT CORRELATION: Google commissioned a comic from Manu Cornet to explain it's new Google Correlation tool.
HYPE: Check out lots new good stuff on the web including Emily Carroll’s The Prince & The Sea and Dov Torbin’s The Revolution Will Be Televised. For more hype check out The Beat's open thread on webcomics to read.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 27, 2011 - 08:45
Summer vacation! This is the one day of the year when I really really wish I was still a kid getting out of school... So while my posting on ComixTalk the first half of 2011 has been a touch irregular (compared to the last decade!) I picked up my tumblr blog again (inspired by the return of Websnark) and have been posting there. It's a bit different focus than just comics (but still comics heavy) but still you might want to check it out (my tumblr blog tweets too so you can also just follow me there).
OPINION IS JUST ONION + PI: OMFG - Brian McFadden will be making comics for the NY Times. The first one is up online here and he’s onboard for the gig for a couple of months. I met Brian like a decade ago -- an extremely nice guy with buckets of talent. I'm looking forward to reading his work for the NY Times.
HOW MANY PLATES CAN KRIS STRAUB SPIN: Kris Straub wrote a post about the long list of comics and webvideo projects he's working on. A lot of people may now think of Kris as Scott Kurtz's partner in (comedy) crime but this post will give you a good sense of the many projects he's put out to the public over the last decade. The post makes it sound like Straub will be putting F Chords back on hiatus again which is a bummer -- it's the comic of his I've liked the most. I think that's because Kris has sometimes had a tendency towards meta humor and just more complicated stuff with somewhat higher-brow references and the two main characters in F Chords really balanced against that. These two dudes are well defined and for me at least, their emotions struck me as the most human Straub has done -- I think they are identifiable in ways that Starslip just doesn't offer. Also I drew some fan art!
DC CONS - INTERVENTION and SPX: Intervention 2011 is getting more expensive after July 1 when the pre-registration rate jumps from $35 for the full 3 days to $40. And time is running out for you to submit your work to the Ignatz Awards which are presented at SPX. If your comic work was or will be released between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, you’re eligible! More details here.
HYPE: I just ran across B. (Brian?) Patrick's Akimbo Comics which is often funny in a darkly cynical, blunt way. Definitely worth checking out (I'd start at the last one and work backwards).
LEGAL BEAGLE: This review of DC and the SIegel heirs competing claims to the character of Superboy is interesting. Author Jeff Trexler is a lawyer and does a good job of explaining things here.
HYPE2: Darryl Cunningham presents a comic explaining the theory of evolution. Cunningham is a good writer but I didn't think this was one of his better comic efforts. I thought the visuals were awfully static and not particularly inventive. Still if you need a handy reference guide to some of the basic arguments in favor of evolution, this does the trick nicely (print out and save for your next Thanksgiving dinner with that one opinionated uncle...)
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 21, 2011 - 14:34
So ICANN the folks who brought you such hits as .mobi and .name have changed the rules to let anyone pay for anything to be a top level domain name. Hello ipod.apple and burger.mcdonalds and... gabe.pennyarcade?
Prose and Poetry: A couple of stories of interest. The New York covers self-published author Amanda Hocking who has recently signed a deal with publisher St. Martins. Clement Vincent writes about his experience with folks pirating his new poetry volume. There are more serious comments to be made and possible parallels for webcomics but Hocking's books remind me of a certain series in Shannon Garrity's Skin Horse comic and are poets seriously worried about anything but obscurity?
KICKSTOP: John Gallagher's kickstarter effort for a boxed collection of four all ages comic books fell well short of its $10,000 goal for funding. Over at the ComicsDC blog, Gallagher asks several questions about ways to restructure the fundraising drive to be more successful a second go round.
WEBSNARKILY MARKILY DOO: Eric and Wednesday are back with a new Websnark blog and Eric is writing up a storm this week. I've always liked Eric's writing - kind of a long-distance geek Algonquin roundtable.
iWEBCOMICS: Sean Kleefeld covers an early digital comics effort from the 90's -- Marvel's CyberComics. Douglass Wolk covers the much more recent iPad and asks if it will recolutionize or destroy the comic book biz.
ALOHA MEANS PENGUIN: CBR interviews Berke Breathed about the latest volume of the Bloom County collection
and grills him about his role in the Mars Needs Moms movie. Look video below!:
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 20, 2011 - 09:59
I saw X-Men: First Class this weekend. It was a lot better than I expected and one of the few superhero movies with big casts to handle all of them fairly well. Hands-down funniest cameo of the decade (so far...). Still can someone explain to me why they need to muck around so much with the history of X-Men? Would the movie not have worked with actual first X-Men Scott Summers instead of brother-come-lately Alex Summers?
AWARDS: Emily Carroll wins this year's Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding webcomics creator for His Face All Red, Dream Journals, The Death of José Arcadio, Out the Door, The Hare’s Bride. The nominations were all top-notch.
AN END?: No secret that there's trouble in Webcomics Nation this year... from the awful conversion of Comicspace.com to a spam-clogged wordpress platform to the complete lack of new announcements (including the lack of any news on the longer rumored
Duke Nukem Forever webcomicsnation 2.0 platform) you can now add almost losing the graphicsmash.com URL. Fleen took a snapshot of the not-renewed URL which along with this post on the upcoming expiration of other key webcomic URLs for that company may have led to a renewal of the graphicsmash.com URL.
AW YEAH!: Thanks Narbonic fans! -- you've already met the Kickstarter goal for Shaenon Garrity to publish a two volume set of the ENTIRE run of Narbonic.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 14, 2011 - 11:57
So Tuesday? Late June-ish? Time, time, time. I was supposed to have gotten a lot more done already. Oh well.
Hey check out this very cool drawing of an Otyugh (a monster from Dungeons and Dragons) by Bryant Paul Johnson. Click thru to see the full image.
I also saw this effort where a whole bunch of great artists drew Kirby homages -- many (all?) are posted here at Small Press Commandos. Very cool stuff - worth scrolling through the whole thing.
VISUAL PUNISHMENT: Super Art Fight returns to The Red Palace in Washington DC this Saturday, June 18th. This time it's a very special battle of established Super Art Fight all-stars against a new generation of talent: SAF IDOL VS. SAF ALL-STAR: Dann “Charm City Shinobi” Malihom versus Kelsey “Killer” Wailes; SAF IDOL FINALIST V. SAF LEGEND: Darl Gnau versus Nick “Ghostfreehood” Borkowicz; and UNDEFEATED SENSATION V. SAF LEGEND: Brandon J. Carr versus Jami “Angry Zen Master” Noguchi. Tickets are available now for $15.
PUTTIN' ON THE WEB: Topless Robot lists the top 10 motion comics which, well... meh but I like their introduction:
The problem with motion comics is that they are by their very nature a lesser product. Not possessing the nuances of a comic or the visual flair of a cartoon, these things are weird creatures traveling through the night in search of their own identity. That may sound a bit grandiose, but think about it. Motion comics are designed for people who are too lazy to read a graphic novel.
More interesting to me is the new Tron: Legacy webcomic that uses HTML5 to create a webcomic that is much more dynamic than your standard still-pictures-in-a-browser format. The link shows a demo -- not the actual comic itself.
INTERVENTION 2: THIS TIME IT'S PERSONNEL: So some great webcomic/indie-friendly folks Onezumi and Harknell put on a convention last year called Intervention. There was a big hurdle to that first effort though because they were on the same weekend as SPX -- which has grown into a monster of a good convention (seriously -- SPX never gets enough hype to match its quality). Frankly that, in addition to just the newness of it, probably was the biggest factor in the tiny crowds for the first Intervention. Which was a shame, because it had a great space and a great track of programming.
This year's INTERVENTION -- September 16-18, 2011 -- will NOT be on the same weekend as SPX, and is no longer a newb convention. Onezumi and Harknell are putting together another interesting programming track so the biggest unknown determining its success will be the size of the crowds. I see a lot of reasons to check it out already. And if you need a break on admission I believe they are still looking for volunteers -- sign up on the forums or contact us. I think the deal is 12 hours of volunteering gets you a free registration for the event.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 8, 2011 - 09:59
Hope you're having a good week - some stories you might find interesting to read in-between webcomics:
SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE... WEBCOMICS! Okay actually it's a he, but you know - David Brin tosses out his list of science-oriented webcomics and it includes some obvious choices, plus some more obscure and older titles as well.
INTERVIEW: The Firestorm Fan blog interviews the 8-bit Brian Clevinger who lost his gig writing for Firestorm in the big DC relaunches everthing this year plan.
THE RACK IS BACK: Todd Allen notices comic
books pamphlets on the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble. I'm old enough to remember seeing a comic book spinning rack in the local Thriftys Drugstore growing up where I bought bundled reprints of Disney comic books. Hmm - Todd Allen also points out that he recently saw a bundled pack of comics at Sam's Club. Back to the future people!
HYPE: Brigid Alverson recommends checking out Gene Yang's and Thein Pham's webcomic Legend of Joystick. This is the creative team between the new graphic novel Level Up from First Second Books.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 7, 2011 - 09:47
iWEBCOMICS: Scott McCloud points to a Gigaom article on the out-of-whack current pricing for digital comics. Both focus on the cost-to-minute ratio which arguably is pretty high for comics compared to many other mediums. Creator Stephen Lindsay is quoted as saying that "the comic industry really has three sets of consumer[s]: those inside the industry who buy comics to support one another, the casual reader, and the collector." Digital comics, if webcomics are any guide, are for the casual reader -- that is the typical consumer of most other creative mediums. Price accordingly!
AWARDS: El Santo reviews the nominees for Best Digital Comic at this year's Eisners and offers up his predictions for who will win.
MILESTONES: Bobwhite ended yesterday. The 3 year long webcomic was about three girls attending Bobwhite University, an art-focused college in Rhode Island. Creator Magnolia Porter has already launched a new webcomic Monster Pulse - which kicks off with 8 pages today. She's also collaborating on Dracula Mystery Club with Kel MacDonald and Amanda LaFrenais.
MOVIEBEAT: Moviefone has more coverage of the Penny Arcade "The New Kid" movie option story. Gary Whitta, who wrote the recent sci-fi movie Book of Eli' is slated to script to the film.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL: Raina Telgemeier was one of twelve artists Scholastic asked to participate in a very special literacy campaign in honor of their 90th anniversary: Read Every Day. Lead A Better Life. Raina posted here what she created for the effort.
ALWAYS LOOK ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE: John Allison offers up some positivity training for artists offering up their work in public.
ART FOR SALE: Long time friend of ComixTalk, Grant Thomas is selling the original artwork from the first full color My Life in Records comic book. Check out the pages for sale in his store. In addition, Thomas said he is in the midst of working up the second edition of My Life In Records with minor corrections to the original story, plus two new short stories that I am calling "B Sides" to the opening story.
FROM THE MAILBAG: Jason Banditt Adams writes in about his webcomic, Rogue's Galley: The Villain's Bar. It's a satire about has-been villains of the 1980's as they dream about their glory days and fritter away their retirement at the nautical-themed dive, the Rogue's Galley.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 1, 2011 - 10:08
June evokes feelings of tranquil, great outdoor weather for me but this year it looks to be hovering around 100 degrees. Great webcomic weather I guess. Before we get to the news check out Mason Landon's ill portraits of historical figures, including the above 5 Dollar Abe.
NCS, REUBENS and THE WEB: A contingent of independent, web-minded cartoonists descended on this year's National Cartoonists Society event, including the Reubens awards. Robot6 covers some commentary by the Half Pixelites on their attendence at the events and the Daily Cartoonist starts to round up reports on it here. This seems like a crossing one of those famous river type moments.
DC COMICS RESETS FOR DIGITAL. The other big story comes out of comic superhero land where DC Comics announced that it was hitting the reset button on its entire universe of characters. Woven into the announcement was the fact that DC will also now release its comics digitally at the same time as print. Details on the revamped line-up of titles are seeping out. Not that anyone who makes these decisions listens to me but let me offer up my latest thoughts on this anyhow. The biggest potential growth route for comics (let's not confuse it with superheroes which have a dandy growth path in movies) is digital. Especially as generational change continues, comics' natural home is going to be digital. So this is a good move by DC, especially if it makes it convenient and reasonably priced for readers to get digital comics legally.
The other part of it is potentially interesting although there's too many details unknown yet. Most of us want good stories. DC and Marvel seem to be built more on telling a story than whether it's a good story or not. Think about television -- American television has moved from more open-ended, keep it running as long as possible series to shows with a definite end (even if the ending kind of sucks). British television seems to always take the shorter is better approach to seasons and entire series of shows. Comics could learn a lot from this. Give seasons of DC comics an arc and pay-off. Plan for their natural endings. Don't call it a 2011 comic - call it DC Season 1. If it's done really well, it can have an everlasting life of sales online.
The other thing is writing these iconic comics for kids again but I don't see much about that in the recent news. I think it's a missed opportunity, but it's probably not in the cards.