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Aaron Diaz

Comix Talk for Friday, July 16, 2010

The Sisters Grimm webcomic

It's just one of those quiet news days (watch, right after I post, something HUGE will happen...).  Have a great weekend!

MC HYPE-Z:  The Sisters Grimm webcomic starts today with a schedule planned for weekly updates on Friday.  Writer Dave Pauwels describes it as "The comic is your average adventure-comedy-political thriller-space rock opera.  Set on Mars, in the year 2339, it follows a garage band and their exploits against a backdrop of Martian civil war."  The webcomic is drawn by Nicolas R. Giacondino, who lives in Argentina - his Deviant Art page is here

VIDEO GAMEZZZZ:  Cameron Stewart reveals that he and Karl Kerschl and writing and drawing a new comic miniseries for Ubisoft, based on their hugely popular Assassin's Creed videogames. 

PR0N: Erica Henderson explains in a short comic why 3D porn may not be such a good idea (SFW actually).

DEAD TREES TELL NO TALES

Comix Talk for Friday, March 12, 2010

Kimiko “Kim” Ross from Dresden CodakRainy, dreary day in Washington DC today.  And it's FRIDAY.  Sigh...  On an even more boring note, I'm slowly making some tweaks to everyone's "user account" (eventually I'll even get around to 'prettying up' your user pages) and you can upload a much better quality photo/picture for your user avatar here at ComixTalk now.  Just log in and click on "my account" over there at the bottom of the right hand column, then "edit" and at the bottom of the page you should see where you can upload a picture for your user avatar.

CONTEST: The winner of the Escapist website's webcomic contest has been announced -- details and a gallery of the finalists' entries here.

HYPE!:  New Dresden Codak!  It's a webcomic and a game (and a floor wax!) -- I think folks should try and play this at conventions.

BUSINESS: Comic Alliance points to the latest comic from Let's Be Friends Again which nails the direct market dynamic of DC and Marvel.

LINKS: Ben has a list of webcomic news, forum and podcast sites - if you need a bigger fix, you might check out some of the sites he's listed.

This isn’t about the past. This is about the future.

One year ago last week, I began doing webcomic reviews on Da Blog.
Recently, I’ve been having a crisis of confidence about the whole enterprise.
This should be obvious enough to anyone who read my 8-Bit Theater review. Quite frankly, I completely stalled while writing it. I found myself trapped in a place where I couldn’t say much more than “It’s a webcomic, and it’s not Order of the Stick. Um… it loves non-sequitur. Um… it… structures its updates well. Um… I got nothin’.” Roger Ebert (or even Eric Burns(-White)) I’m not.

DRAFT List of 100 Greatest Webcomics: Comedy and Drama

Last year I posted a couple times (Previous posts on this "research" project were here and here) about a possible article on "ComixTALK's 100 Greatest Webcomics" which would be something like the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movies of the last 100 years.

A recurring comment to the previous two posts was what is the criteria for this.  I'm always a little hesitant to give too much guidance when part of the point of asking this kind of thing out loud is to listen to the resulting discussion of what everyone else thinks the criteria should be.  For the AFI list judges picked films based on criteria such as Critical Recognition, Major Award Winner, Popularity Over Time, Historical Significance, and Cultural Impact.

That sounds about right to me.  We've got a round decade plus a year or two of webcomics to look at it.  Critical reception (both from peers and critics), and popularity are both relevant to thinking about the impact of a webcomic.  WCCA awards are somewhat indicative of what peers were impressed with in a given year and more recently awards like the Eisners and Ignatzs have recoginized webcomics.  Historical significance and cultural impact are a little harder to pin down but various "firsts" in webcomics are important and comics like Penny Arcade have had a much wider impact on popular culture than most comics do these days (put aside the legacy superheros of comics -- what other "new" comic, let alone webcomic, in the last decade has had a wide cultural impact?)

Another thing AFI did that might be useful here to help sort through the vast numbers of webcomics one could talk about is to also think about categories or genres of work.  Just as a simple matter of numbers if a webcomic isn't one of the best of a larger type of story -- or frankly, so startlingly unique it's hard to categorize -- then it's hard to imagine it's one of the 100 Greatest...

So to move things along I'm listing another "draft" of titles submitted by the crowds but this time I've tried to break them up into drama and comedy so as to help avoid complete apples to oranges comparisons.  In doing that I've realized (1) it's hard in many cases to decide; and (2) there are probably more comedic than drama on the list so far.  I think it would make sense to whittle down the two lists to 75 each so as the final list is no more than 3/4 of one type or the other.  Of course we could further do genre type lists but for now this was enough work on my part.

So -- your assignment (if you choose to play):

  1. Name the comic you're talking about (you're also welcome to nominate ones not on the list -- I KNOW there are many I haven't even thought about yet -- it takes time to review all of the corners of the web)
  2. Tell me where on one the two lists (comedy and drama) it should be (you could give a range of slots if you're not sure). (If you think I've got a drama on the comedy list or vice-versa let me know!  I'm not "done" - this is fairly dashed off still at this point)
  3. Tell me why!  Referencing awards, critics, historical achievements, strengths and weaknesses of the works are all really helpful!

November 14th DRAFT version of 100 Greatest Webcomics List

This is an update to a previous post here, thanks for the cumulative suggestions on that thread.  JUST so we're clear - this is open-sourced to everyone research for a possible article to appear next month at ComixTalk.  I don't endorse the list or the order at all; at this point I've tried to include all of the suggestions I've gotten and I also went through all of the comics ComixTalk has ever reviewed and pulled quite a few titles.

We're at the point where it'll be most helpful if you tell me comics you think should go on the list, where (what number approximately) and which comic should get bumped.  If you just want to change the order you can do that to but there'll be another post before the month's through asking for help with that.  

The Dresden Codak Show

This looks interesting! FLEEN has a few notes on this project from a September conversation with creator Aaron Diaz.

A Few Random Keystrokes About SPX

A great day at SPX this Sunday.  Saw a whole bunch of familiar (web)comic artists (and bought some great stuff too) and met some new ones.  I get overwhelmed trying to check out everything at SPX -- I don't think I'd cut it at San Diego.  I guess it's 'cause I do try to check out as much of the work as possible.  (I missed the Ignatz awards Satuday night but click here to find out about the winners.  Apparently there was another dude in a gorilla suit this year just like last year. UPDATE: Yep - there's a moneky in THIS YEAR's presentation.  h/t FLEEN).

Anyhow, I may have some reviews and interviews coming up leading out of today but for now I'm putting my new poster of the "Atheist's Afterlife" strip from Aaron Diaz's Dresden Codak up on the wall next to my A Lesson Is Learned But the Damage is Irreversible poster.  I also picked up some books from Dirk Tiede, Spike, Meredith Gran, Josh Lesnick, Joe Dunn... jeez, really too many to list in one post.  I'll get to them this week!

Also ran into the elusive Joey Manley (well he was up in the wilds of Maine for awhile... now he's apparently in the more hospitable land of Brooklyn) along with T Campbell.  I think the gist of that conversation was that the new Comicspace.com is coming soon AND YET in some ways is already here.  I should try harder to get an interview with him (although I have asked!), shouldn't I?

I also talked briefly with Raina Telgemeier about her new book with Scholastic - which will be a print version of her webcomic Smile. Raina thought a press release had gone out but I can't find it just now.  Raina had done four Babysitters Club books with Scholastic, but she said that was it for the graphic novel series.  I asked Raina about the experience and she was extremely positive on it, noting she had done about 800 pages on the series.  Best wishes for the Smile project and I'll post more details when I get them.

Dresdan Codak's "Hob" Storyline

I meant to post about this earlier in the month but what the hey -- Aaron Diaz finished up his "Hob" storyline at Dresden Codak this month (last comic; first comic) and while there was a ton of discussion on his forum I didn't see much reaction around the web except for El Santo who generally doesn't seem to have liked the transhumanism aspect of the Hob storyline (El Santo also reviewed Dresden Codak for ComixTalk earlier this year).

I did see this review from Saloon Muyo which did seem to be mostly about the Hob storyline (Muyo was put off by the character development in the storyline) but for such a popular strip I was surprised there wasn't more reaction to its first complete major storyline.

A Tip O' The Hat For the Last Game At Webcomic Stadium

Welcome to ComixTalk... may I take your order?  I've got an interview with the elusive Pokey the Penguin up and Brigid Alverson talks with Jeremy Ross of TokyoPop about its Manga Pilots program.   You may also want to check out my weekend post chock-filled with links to interesting stories and a new comic worth checking out.  (What exactly is a "chock" and how would you fill it?)

INTERVIEWS
Missed this, but Creative Commons has an interview with Mr. Diesel Sweeties, Rich Stevens.  Back in 2005, ComixTalk held a roundtable on creative commons licenses and comics with T Campbell, Lawrence Lessig, Neeru Paharia, Mia Garlick, JD Frazer, and Cory Doctorow.

ComixMix has an interview with D.J. Coffman, currently working on Flobots. (Folks should also check out D.J.'s very recent post on hosting your webcomic yourself - a short guide to getting started online independently.)

Digital Strips has a short interview with Zach Weiner - of SMBC and Captain Excelsior infamey.

Rick Marshall had a great interview with Jennie Breeden of Devil's Panties.

Gaming Angel has an interview with Randall Munroe of xkcd and Benjamin Birdie and Kevin Church of The Rack (h/t Journalista!)

LA TIMES interviews Josh Neufeld on his webcomic A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.

Tom Spurgeon had a great interview with Scott McCloud on the new collection of his ZOT! comic.

CBR had a two-part interview with Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak - click for part one and part two.

REVIEWS

Artpatient.com has a review of Chasing the Sunset.

BUSINESS
David Rothman looks at the decline in traffic to Wowio.com but as Dirk Deppey notes, Wowio was essentially off the air for a good chunk of the summer.

AWARDS
I neglected to mention Andrew Wahl won first and third place in the International Cartoon contest at the Homer Davenport Days festival in Oregon earlier this month.  Wahl is a talented cartoonist - check out more of his work here.  Also, I just think it's cool that a town has an entire festival to celebrate Homer Davenport - an internationally respected and pioneering political cartoonist from the turn of the century.

CONVENTIONS
Two East Coast events coming up fast.  First this coming weekend is the Baltimore Comicon (with, as FLEEN notes, the only East Coast appearance of all four How To Make Webcomics authors) The Baltimore Comicon is where the Harvey Awards are presented - Shaenon Garrity has the scoop on a contest to win tickets to the Harvey Awards

Next from October 4-5th is my hometown (close enough anyhow) convention, the Small Press Expo (SPX) over in Bethesda, Maryland.  The Ignatz Awards are presented at SPX.  Guests include Bryan Lee O’Malley, James Kochalka, Richard Thompson, Tom Tomorrow, etc!

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Dirk Deppey links to this pretty cool idea -- The Superest wherein Kevin Cornell and Matthew Sutter take turns creating superheroes and villains that defeat each other’s creations.  And Tom Spurgeon links to news of a book deal for the site.

Webcomic Wire - 9/8/08

Drawn from resources all over the secret garden…