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March 12th, 2012

Guten Tag: You're IT

I'm playing WORLD TRAVELER in Real Life(tm) this week with THE LAYOVER in Frankfurt, Germany.  Thank you webcomics for providing me with something more entertaining to do then read translated REPORTS while waiting for the last leg of my travels today.

March 4th

Great New Exhibit on Webcomics in Seattle

Once again I am on the wrong coast for what looks like a really cool event.  Sarra Scherb is the curator of "Morning Serial: Webcomics Come to the Table," a webcomics exhibition that launched this month and will run through June 2012.  The exhibit is at the Henry Art Gallery, a contemporary art museum in Seattle with additional work online at Morning Serial Dot Org.  

I haven't met Sarra but she's clear got great taste.  The exhibit features work from Evan Dahm, Aaron Diaz, Erika Moen, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Emily Ivie, Dylan Meconis, Sutu, and Spike Trotman  Her'es her description of the exhibit:

Webcomics are a new step in the evolution of independent comics art. Experimenting with digital tools and innovating new narrative structures, webcomics artists create and distribute comics freed from the printed page.  Webcomics are a continuation of the anti-establishment comix of the 1960s and 1990s ‘zine culture. As their own editors and publishers, these artists contribute to a diversification of genres, while closing the artist/reader gap. Spike Trotman’s multi-layered city of Templar, AZ, Aaron Diaz’s Dresden Codak, and Dylan Meconis’ sumptuous Family Man carve out genre niches, build complex worlds and push artistic boundaries. Works incorporating sound, animation and interactivity—such as Nawlzby Sutu—prompt us to reconsider our definition of a comic.

And on March 29th -- the night before Emerald City Comic Con -- the exhibition will host a panel of six webcomics artists: Dylan Meconis, Erika Moen, Spike Trotman, Aaron Diaz, Evan Dahm and Emily Ivie, so if you're attending that convention this year you might want to get there early to check out the panel and the exhibit.

March 2nd

Leapin' Lizards It's March Already?

WEBSITE SIGHTING: Scott Kurtz changed up his PvP website design -- now the comic is not on the landing page.  For me I never really like that -- I put up with it for Penny Arcade but only because Jerry writes magic on a regular basis.  Or was it he plays magic? Whatever... Also rumor has it that Gabe and Tycho are commandeering Scott's script next week.  Yeah rumor has it, wooooah!

NEW STUFF LAUNCHING: Fucking Bleeding Cool has an interview with Simon Spurrier who is launching March 14th a new webcomic Wish You Were Here as part of the Crossed universe.  I have no idea what the "Crossed" universe is (MINUS A ZILLION NERD CREDS) but Spurrier name checks Warren Ellis and his FreakAngels series as a template and the art looks good so I will check it out. Maybe you should too.

NOT WEBCOMIC?: Not technically a comic? but I really thought Caldwell Tanner's Office Odyssey Choose Your Own Adventure was funny and well done.

CAUSE HE'S THE SAXMAN, OH YEAH: Gary provoked a discussion on taxes and Kickstarter drives and well, if you are taking any money from folks it's likely going to have tax liability associated with it.  Always better to plan ahead of time then to potentially have to come up with a lot of cash later on.

MAILBAGGINS: Jazyl writes that he is the creator of the webcomic The Beast Legion which is fantasy adventure series about young prince Xeus' journey to save his homeland from the clutches of the Shadow Nexus by mastering his Beast form. Jazyl recently won the Best Webcomic Series at the Comic Con India Awards. First off I had no idea there was a Comic Con India but that's great. Maybe we can make it one of Ryan Estrada's next missions to attend it next year (who by the way has posted online what I think is the graphic novel version of his all ages webcomic Aki Alliance).

February 20th

Comix Talking

All the news that generates the page views!

STOP COLLABORATE AND LISTEN: The Webcomic Beacon matched some creators up for Webcomic Blind Date 2012 -- five pairs came through with a webcomic.

HYPE: Exactly what happened in A Wrinkle in Time -- a webcomic valentine from Faith Erin Hicks to the famous book.

TOOLS: Robot6 notes that Ben Towle has moved his webcomic Oyster War from Tumblr to its own website.  He is using WordPress with the Webcomic plug-in. I suspect Comicpress is still more widely in use but I see Webcomic a whole lot too.  I wonder what the actually numbers for both are.

MAILBAG: Colin P. Delaney writes in about The Amazing Adventures of Cat Prentis -- a seven-chapter, serialized graphic novel written by himself and with art from Tony Gazso. It's about teenager Catherine “Cat” Prentis, burdened by magical powers she can barely control, she must hide away her true nature as she muddles through high school, equally desperate to avoid both social stigmatization and the all-too frequent demon attack.  

OMG OOTS

The last day of the Kickstarter drive for reprinting Order Of The Stick books is at:

$1,063,398

I am flabbergasted.  Over a million committed from 12716 backers.

February 13th

Hello ComixTALK, My Old Friend

So far 2012 has been a great year but it hasn't left me much time to spend on comics.

MILESTONES:  Bucko, the very funny hipster mystery webcomic is finished. Comics Alliance has an interview with the creators Erica Moen and Jeff Parker. This was a really enjoyable strip and successfully translated a lot of Erica Moen's sensibilities from her diary webcomic to a fictionalized setting.

KICKSTART MY ART: In addition to posting about Christopher Baldwin's Kickstarter campaing for Spacetrawler Volume 2 yesterday, I wanted to write about Rich Stevens' now full-funded kickstarter drive. Stevens is going to put out an ebook compiling his entire run of 3000 Diesel Sweeties comics.  Stevens has been busy experimenting with different approaches to digital comics -- he re-releasing his first book as a free ebook (downloaded over 140,000 times);  he's been putting out a month's worth of comics at a time in magazine format for the iPad (10,000 downloads in three days); and for some time now he's offered PDFs of older comics for download. Stevens asked for $3000, he's north of $20,000 as I write this.  If you're a fan, it's got a great set of rewards for supporters -- go check it out.

HYPE: Lauren Davis writes glowingly about The Wormwood Saga which has two long updates in its archive, with the third one expected in April.

MAILBAG: Marcus Muller writes about his webcomic King of the Unknown - a rock-powered webcomic that’s equal parts supernatural horror, raunchy comedy, action epic, and all-you-can-eat conspiracy theory buffet:

Stygian horrors, alien invasions, covert ops…all just another day at the office for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Ever since a supernatural mishap transformed the King and forced him to fake his own death (and perhaps forced some of his sanity into early retirement), he has dedicated his new secret life to a shadowy government organization known as the Institute for Research and Study of the Unknown (IRSU).  Their mission: to keep our world safe - and blissfully ignorant - from the unknown forces that constantly threaten our very existence.

February 12th

Kickstart Book 2 of Spacetrawler

Christopher Baldwin has a kickstarter campaign to fund Book 2 of his webcomic Spacetrawler.  Spacetrawler is an epic comedic adventure story about a galactic activist group who recruits six humans to help them liberate a very put-upon species. He already has the printer lined up, the cover designed, and will have the strips for it complete and posted online before the kickstarter campaign is completed. This is a great story and the first book in print (which I have) was really nice -- I am sure this one will be great too..

Scholastic Webinar and Google Doodle Contest

Two interesting comics events for kids coming up in March: 

First, publisher Scholastic is putting on a webinar featuring graphic novelists Jeff Smith (Bone), Raina Telgemeier (Smile), and Kazu Kibushi (Amulet). The announcement is aimed at teachers (it is during school hours) for their students to learn about " using words and pictures together to create a narrative" and the publisher has put together a graphic novels teaching guide, webcast lesson plans around the authors' books, and webcast tips for the classroom.  You can register now for the webcast on March 7th at 1PM ET/10AM PT.  I think it's pretty cool -- I don't know how flexible teacher lesson plans are these days with all of the testing and teaching to the test that goes on but I know my kids would love to get to see this.

Also --  Scholastic Book Clubs is hosting a contest to win a special Bone comics prize package! Click here to enter.

Second, Google is holding a Doodle contest for students of Kindergarden through Highschool age (K-12)This year's theme is "If I could travel in time, I'd visit…" One winning student artist will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage and take home some cool prizes. Submissions are due on March 23, 2012 -- more information on rules, forms and dates for the contest are here.

January 30th

Curse of ComixTALK

Neither alive nor dead, ComixTALK lumbers on.  Fire? Fire, bad!!!

ALSO ROBOTMAS IS COMING!!!

iWEBCOMICS:  So Apple made a big education announcement recently that included new tools for making iBooks. Richard Stevens took it as an opportunity to release a batch of his Diesel Sweeties comics as an ibook. I'm not going to add much educated analysis of Apple's new iBook standards in general since I haven't had time to wrap my brain cells around the technical, business and copyright issues of it.

BOOK 'EM DANNO: Free Mars, a webcomic I've been a fan of for quite sometime has signed with Ape Entertainment. Ape will publish a collection in July, which will be available in print and in digital on iVerse's Comics + iOS app.  If you haven't read this one, check it out. Lovely artwork, a fun story.

MORE HYPE: The Situation is all kinds of creepy weird goodness (h/t Lauren Davis).  Get you there to read it and while you're there, remind yourself that Tor Publishing posts some pretty amazing webcomics to its website.

DEAR DIARY: Lauren Davis collects 17 journal webcomics worth paging through furtively.

MAILBAG: Greg Carter writes that the next LOVE IS IN THE BLOOD story is starting up on Valentine's Day! Art on the next story will be from Gina Biggs.  I have to admit I have not read this yet, but Greg has been crafting quality webcomics for sometime now so I have it bookmarked!

January 16th

Blind Date III: The Date Blindening!

This has been 'round the twitters and I need to post it here too -- Fes of the Webcomic Beacon podcast is organizing a Blind Date webcomic-making event this year.  This is CANON folks! :) We did the first couple of editions of the webcomic Blind Date event here at ComixTALK (the last one was waaay back in 2004) but I just don't have the time to organize it so I'm pretty dang happy Fes is doing this.

Here's the scoop for this year's event from Webcomic Beaconland:

Please email us by JANUARY 27th, 2012, indicating that you are a Writer, Artist, or if you can do either (this will help in the imbalance of entries). Also include if you have any restrictions (such as you can’t work over a PG rating, etc), or any other sort of things you want us to take into consideration. The idea is that the writer would write the comic (or single panel), and the artist would draw it. In the end you will have to work together. We will announce and post the pairings on the website, and also will like the links to the final products in time for Valentine’s Day!