Archive - Apr 2012 - Story
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 30, 2012 - 04:04
Whew - got one more post in before the beginning of May. That brings my 2012 average up to -- what? -- one post every 2.5 weeks or so. Thanks for bearing with me (well whomever is bearing out there in Internet-land). New job, new projects, shifting priorities means less time for ComixTalk which isn't likely to change this year. I do have some great ideas for building a couple of webcomic-focused sites that I really want to use on a regular basis. I suspect others would find them useful too. Unfortunately not sure when any of it will happen.
iWEBCOMICS: Jerzy Drozd linked to this story on the new Marvel infinite comics format for the iPad. I've always been a fan of the web part of webcomics. But there's a way to stretch comics without breaking it and then there's motion comics... This approach by Marvel looks interesting -- it appears to leave control of the viewing/reading experience in the hands of the reader and it still maintains the panel as the atomic unit of storytelling. I'll be curious to read the reactions from the blog-o-comicsphere.
FINDING NEMO -- AND COMICS: I've checked out Just the First Frame a couple times -- my big problem with it is that as a hand-crafted webcomic, it ain't scalable and that success will kill it. Still I always suspect Lauren Davis is smarter about this stuff from me so let's all give it another look this week.
INTERVIEW: There was a good interview/feature on Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content at Bleeding Cool last week. Definitely worth reading if you missed it. (And if you missed Lauren Davis' review of the webcomic from earlier this year - also worth reading)
KICKSTART MY ART: Charles Cutting has a Indiegogo campaign going to fund The Dream Quest of Randolph Carter - a print version of his graphic novel adaptation of a H.P. Lovecraft story. You can read the comic online to check it out.
In Search of... SCIENCE!: PhD Comics has comic-fied an interview with physicist Daniel Whiteson who discusses the search for the Higgs Boson particle at CERN (PhD Comics also did a similar comic-fied take on dark matter).
MAILBAG: Richard Pulfer writes that his webcomic, Blue Yonder (illustrated by Diego Diaz and written by Richard Pulfer and Luke Perks) is starting its second storyline:
When readers last saw Jared Davenport, aka Blue Yonder, the young hero had flown the coop from Claremont Apartments after learning his new allies included an ex-cop convicted of stealing evidence and a black ops solider with an even more checkered past. Will his old friends, the police-themed N-Forcers, be any help in locating his missing family? What about Voltra, the young girl who befriended him at the run-down Claremont Apartments? The answers to these questions and more will be revealed when Blue Yonder continues its weekly updates on Wednesday.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 19, 2012 - 13:00
A great overview/interview of Richard Thompson, creator of Cul De Sac over at BoingBoing. I really love Cul De Sac -- I wish it had a more organic webcomic presence because as great a newspaper comic strip as it is, newspapers just don't appreciate great comics like they used to.
AWARDS: I completely agree with Lauren Davis' reaction to this year's nominees for an Eisner Award in the category of Best Digital Comic. My extremely quick reaction was pretty similar but Lauren is a real journalist and so actually constructed sentences and presented coherent thoughts. Still I suspect she might agree with my final thought:
This year's [EISNER Best Digital Comic] nominees in particular feel like a world where instead of the Emmy awards, the Motion Picture Academy had just added a "Best Television Movie" category to the Oscars.
RAMBLING RAMBLING RAMBLING MAN: I had just fallen out of following writer, cartoonist, van-traveling troubadoor, LORE SJÖBERG, so it was a bit of a surprise to see his blog turned into a travelogue as he and his amazing van travel the country. Fun stuff - worth catching up on if you aren't already following him.
KICKSTART MY ART: Keith Knight just finished a successful kickstarter campaign and lived to tell about it. Actually he posted some tips on what he learned from his effort that are pretty useful ideas.
FORMATTED FOR YOUR COMFORT: Boing Boing writes up the "Advanced Comic Book Format (ACBF)" which is a free/open format for online comic books.
ACBF has a lot of cool features: support for creator metadata; per-panel/page definitions; multiple text-layers for multiple languages; text formatting and style data; auto-indexing and more. The format is CC-BY-SA, and can be found on Launchpad, along with GPL'ed viewers for GNU/Linux and Windows.
EVENTFUL: I don't know why I'm stumbling on to Rare Words so late to the party but the Internet is a biiig place I guess. Rare Words is a blog where Mark Burrier draws sketches based on phrases submitted through the website. There will be an exhibition of his work this June at the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 12, 2012 - 12:03
Another day another Kickstarter - this one a bit more modest than comic efforts of late. Grant Thomas is looking for a mere $500 bucks to fund another print edition of his webcomic My Life In Records:
While we're here let's open up the ComixTALK mailbag:
Chance Argabright-Wees writes that Fat Cat Gameworks is going to collaborate with Christopher Hastings, of the webcomic, Dr. McNinja, to create a game based on the comic. It is planned to be "a free-to-play, retro-style platformer for iOS, Android, and the web" which I suspect means something! A third Penny Arcade videogame and a Dr. McNinja videogame? That's... four webcomic-based videogames! There's a kickstarter for this project too!
Other recent radical emails to ComixTALK?
Terry LaBan writes in about a new iPad version of the comic Muktuk Wolfsbreath - a mysterious tale of love, murder and demons set among tribal reindeer herders. The comic appeared as an online graphic novel last year, has been published as both a downloadable pdf and an on-demand trade paperback. The pdf version of Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman: The Spirit of Boo can be downloaded here.
Ray Hayden writes in about his webcomic Agatha Crup -- "Three issues in and we've got over 50,000 unique visits on the site." He plans to put out another issue around the end of April along with an animated 3 minute video with characters from the comic.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 7, 2012 - 23:33
The Hugo Award nominations were announced and the nominees for Best Graphic Story are:
- Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
- Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
- Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
- Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
- The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 4, 2012 - 19:41
The nominees for the Eisners are out - here's the Digital Comics category:
- Bahrain by Josh Neufeld
- Battlepug by Mike Norton
- Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
- Outfoxed by Dylan Meconis
- Sarah and the Seed by Ryan Andrews
An interesting mix of new and familiar names (to me at least) and a range of styles and subject matters to boot. I haven't read any of these so here's my quick ill-informed reactions and/or paraphrasing of the about pages:
The full title of John Neufeld's webcomic is Bahrain: Lines In Ink, Lines In The Sand and follows Mohammed and Sara, two young Bahraini editorial cartoonists who found themselves on opposite sides of Bahrain's short-lived Pearl Revolution. Neufeld met Mohammed and Sara at workshops he led while visiting the tiny Persian Gulf country on a U.S. State Department trip. Neufeld documents their impressions of the events, through their words, experiences, and their own cartoons, which were published as events unfolded. A self-contained, non-fiction, journalistic effort.
Mike Norton's webcomic is about a giant pug. OMIGOD PUPPY!! On-going serialized comedic, fantasy adventure tale.
Tony Cliff's webcomic takes place in 19th-century Turkey where an officer in the Janissary army must struggle to repay a brash adventuress for saving his life, even though she was the one who endangered it in the first place. Another serialized adventure story albeit much less wacky than Battlepug.
Dylan Meconis' is a fable brought to webcomic form.
Ryan Andrew's webcomic also has the feel of a fable or better still an alegory. Both Dylan's and Ryan's efforts are self-contained, completed works of fiction.
I realize this is far from the due diligence of actual reviews but even so, it's striking how challenging it must be to try to compare the merits of such diverse work with such clearly different artistic and other goals. This year's nominees in particular feel like a world where instead of the Emmy awards, the Motion Picture Academy had just added a "Best Television Movie" category to the Oscars.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 1, 2012 - 11:04
KICKSTART MY ART: Kickstarter has cemented itself into comics in a way I doubt anyone really expected when it first debuted. Shaenon Garrity just launched a kickstarter campaing for book 3 of her webcomic Skin Horse. No question it will make it's modest goal (although - get over there and pledge!) -- in fact the interesting thing these days is seeing just how far past the goal these drives can go.
EXHIBTIONIST: The Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas (part of Lamar University) will be holding an exhibit of Ursula Vernon's work next month in April (begining April 4th) with a reception on April 6th. Make your travelin' plans now! The exhibit will featurie works from Digger, Dragonbreath (including a sneak preview of Dragonbreath 7), and several of Ursula's illustrations. Ursula will also be doing a signing at the local Barnes & Noble.
Richard Reynolds writes in about his webcomic, St. Shawshank's Infant School which he describes as "basically a re-telling of The Shawshank Redemption... only set in an infant school, and with all the added innocence that that implies." That's an interesting twist alright!
Sasha Peric writes in to ask us to take a look at a new comic, Pustinja, hosted on Google+. It's a wordless mini-comic, with artwork suggestive of wood-cuts. He's from Bosnia, and this new work looks like it's in a similar vein to previous examples of his comics.