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Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman is a collection of Roman's webcomic Astronaut Elementary.  It's a wonderfully produced book with a great cover featuring Roman's art set off by a metallic silver cover.  The book doesn't change the structure of the webcomic -- a series of short stories, each told from the perspective of different characters at Astronaut Academy.  The stories build together to form an overarching plot for the book yet still retain their own element of closure.

Roman has a cheerfully cartoonish style of art with just a touch of manga influence.  Just the character designs in this book alone are fun but Roman crafts a number of interesting personalities to round out the cast -- from the former space hero turned student Hakata Soy to introspective space walker Doug Hiro to new teacher Senor Panda (still not extinct!).  

Comix Talk for Thursday, October 7, 2010

Doug Hiro from Astronaut AcademyHey one bit of SPX-related news I forgot to relay is that Dave Roman's all age webcomic Astronaut Academy will be a graphic novel from First Second -- scheduled for publication next summer.  Very exciting -- Roman is a great cartoonist and I think this book is a great project for him.

Posting is going to be light to non-existant over the Columbus Day holiday here in the United States but I'll be back with more reviews next Tuesday. In the meantime here's some stories worth reading from around the Intertubes:

BUSINESS: Jason Brubaker of the webcomic ReMind writes up how he's been making money from his webcomic this year.

REVIEWS: CBR has a review of Dylan Meconis' Bite Me graphic novel (collected from the webcomic); Comics Alliance has a review of the webcomic Buttersafe; and Boing Boing praises Dan Goldman's Red Light Properties webcomic.

INTERVIEW: Daily Cross Hatch posts the first of a 3 part interview with Drew Weing on his new graphic novel Set to Sea.

From the Mailbag:  Sean O'Neill writes about a project he's working on -- a graphic novel for young readers called Rocket Robinson and the Pharaoh’s Fortune. O'Neill describes it as "a classic adventure story about a 12-year-old boy traveling in Egypt who discovers a plot to steal a secret ancient treasure."  I hope to get a chance to read more of it - a quick look at is is promising.

SPX 2010 Photos (Part 2)

More photos from 2010 SPX (part 1 here)

The Webcomic Overlook #67: SPQR Blues

It seems like every so often, someone gets the brilliant idea that the Ancient Rome is going to be the biggest thing in genre fiction. Sometimes, they’re right. Gladiator was a hit in theaters and ended up grabbing a bucket load of awards at Oscar time (even though I remember commercials that were aired during WWE television that heavily promoted Gladiator as a boffo action movie that fans of The Rock would enjoy). HBO’s Rome was highly acclaimed, winning 7 Emmys in all.

To me, though, these two are rather isolated cases. I don’t think the entertainment industry ever fully succeeded in turning America into Rome-osexuals. Compare Wikipedia entries for “Fiction set in Ancient Rome” (which spans at least a millennium if we don’t count the Byzantine Empire) vs. “King Arthur in various media,” and you come to the realization that potentially fictional English kings outclass the civilization that gave us the origins of modern language, a Senate, and the aqueduct.

Incidentally, the most surprising find of this quick look? There are at least 11 entries for Roman detective fiction. To me, that’s a fairly curious concept. I personally imagine Humphrey Bogart, in a flowing toga and beaten fedora covering the steel in his eyes, turning the corner of the Temple of Venus and lighting his cigarette in the moonlight while tailing a perp who just murdered one of the temple virgins (by stabbing her in the back with a dagger, naturally). It’s like oil and water, two concepts that shouldn’t go together. Yet 11 different authors thought that this was a good idea?

While our review today is more of a soap opera drama set in Roman times, it does contain elements of crime fiction. Its protagonist, after all, is a bodyguard with a mysterious past who’s hired to protect a pretty dame from some folks who want to do her wrong. The name of the comic is SPQR Blues. It’s written and drawn by Carol Burrell, a dame people call “Klio.” If knowledge about ancient history could kill, she’s got a Pompeii gladius aimed right at your heart.


Hey, comics high rollers. I'll be at the ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference.

Here is a description of the panel I'll be on:

Comics on the Web--Marketing Tool or Revenue Stream?
Are comics on the Web a way to build audiences for properties that can then be monetized by sales of collections and licensing, or a critical source of advertising, DTO, or subscription revenue on their own? Join our panelists as they discuss what’s working and what’s not in this potentially transformative arena.

don't stop believing!

From this week's page of Astronaut Elementary.

I'm hoping that Livejournal can weather the storm of their Russian overtaking and recent downsizing.

If LJ does go Kerplunk or Kerplooey then I'll certainly start updating the blog on my website more often:

You can also find me on Twitter and

Time To Make The Webcomics

Does anyone want to do some cover art for ComixTalk for January (like this month)?  Email me at xerexes AT gmail DOT com.


Newsarama has an interview with Raina Telgemeier who is working on a graphic novel version of her webcomic-in-progress Smile.  Raina and her husband Dave Roman are two of the nicest (and talentest) folks in comics. (h/t Journalista!)

The Washington Post has an interview with Tom Rickard, the creator of the comic strip Brewster Rockit.  I didn't realize this started back in 2004, it is a better than average strip in terms of what's in the Post's comic pages.

Achewood creator Chris Onstad visits the Googleplex - click for a video of an interview with him there for Google's Authors At Lunch series.  (h/t Journalista!)

Following up on FLEEN's mention of the NPR story on Penny Arcade, a commenter lists several other webcomic stories NPR has covered: Achewood, Sluggy Freelance, Erfworld, Questionable Content, Megatokyo, Cyanide & Happiness.


Brian Fies, the creator of the web/comic Mom's Cancer has REALLY good advice on dpi requirements (72, 300, 600, 1200, etc) when scanning. (h/t Journalista!)


In their weekly podcast, the Halfpixel crew talks about 2008 and looks ahead to 2009.

Scott Kurtz announced some changes to his other webcomic Ding! -- he took back the art chores from Paul Southworth and is now soliciting stories from players of the game World Of Warcraft to tell in the comic.  I think the format change is interesting, but I'll miss Southworth's take on the art.

Bon Voyage 2008! Don't Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out

What a year!  Well while I'm shivering through the flu this New Year's Eve I hope some of you out there will celebrate the ringing in of 2009 right.  If it's not obvious already I decided to skip any big year-end lists or articles in 2008; I just didn't think I could do them justice this year.

christmas card 2008


Happy Holidays from Raina and myself. Click the pic to read the whole comic! I wrote, Raina drew.

Christmas Comic!


Happy Holidays from Dave and myself. Click the pic to read the whole comic! (Dave wrote, I drew.)

ALSO, if you're feeling fancy, he put together a new Christmas mixtape to download--that's here!