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David Malki!

Origin of Rocktacular!

The latest installment of Dark Horse Online (still at MySpace...) is rocktacular!  Comics from Kate Beaton, Chris Onstad, David Malki! and Kristian Donaldson & Ann Romano.

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!

Webcomics Whenever

We had a bit of downtime with the site after the upgrade to the newest version of PHP5 went a bit off.  All seems okay now (although please email me at xerexes AT gmail DOT com if you notice problems).  Along with some site stuff I'm working on you'll notice that the center aisle of the site is now a daily feed of new stuff -- news from staff, staff-selected talk posts and feature articles from the magazine.  On the right hand side you can get the most recent magazine articles, or click the tab for the most recent talk posts from Comixtalk members.  Two more tabs -- webcomics and creators -- are not active yet so stayed tuned.

Also please check out our new sponsor the art exhibition The Great Great Grand Show featuring artists Graham Annable, Scott Campbell, Jon Klassen, and Israel Sanchez.  The OPENING RECEPTION is this Saturday, August 16 from 7 to 11 pm and it's Free!

Criteria for Criticism Continued
Scott Kurtz wrote a bit about critics (here's the ComixTalk post on it).  El Santo wrote a pretty good post on the ideas percolating through the discussion Kurtz kicked off.  One more thought occurs after reading some of this -- I'm sure Kurtz has encountered plenty of people who do live up to his stereotype of the self-important, uneducated, and/or otherwise useless critic but even if there are a lot of such creatures it doesn't mean every person writing about comics fits that stereotype.  (Just like every webcomic creator isn't craptastic despite the existence of a lot of not-yet-or-never-will-be-decent webcomics).  There is a bit of a disconnect going on here though -- Kurtz is absolutely right that an artist should be looking to get constructive feedback to improve and grow and Kurtz gets that from his friends and colleagues in comics.  I think that's a perfectly valid way to do that.  On the other hand I made some of the biggest leaps in my basic drawing skills in college under an absolute ass of a teacher.  But the times when he didn't blast me in front of the class, I knew I had made real progress.

Comics Curation
FLEEN has a bit more on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign show featuring comics creatorsin October (lots of webcomic creators in the show catalog).  FLEEN also has a link to DIY magazine show creator Oliver Brackenbury recent show on webcomics in general (which has a nice conversation with creator Ryan North).

Congrats to Derik Badman on the 2nd year anniversary of his webcomic Things Change.

Buzzcomix is back open for public business.  If anyone has reactions to their new reader/bookmark function please let us know.

Theater Hopper has a donation drive to help creator Tom Brazelton out with the bills for data recovery of his webcomic files.  If you can chip in a bit and than make sure it doesn't happen to you and your files!

David Malki!'s wedding is the must-see movie of 2009! More like 2007 I think.  Still a pretty cool trailer. :)

An interview with uber-blogger, Dirk Deppey of TCJ's Journalista!

Comic Con 2008: Making Friends


Where to start in bringing you a con report for Comic Con International? I can't break it down chronologically because there's just too much, and my memory is already merging the events into one. So, I decided to break it down among themes. Today: People I Met.

Webcomic Wire - 7/21/08

Drawn from sources all over the web…

Newsarama has an article called Diggle: Bringing Bionic Commando to Webcomics.
Wowio news from The Beat, looks like Platinum has succeeded in its bid to purchase Wowio.
Slave Labor Graphics will be starting a webcomic effort starting on July 24th here.
Comic Book Bin has an interview with David Malki.
Theater Hopper [...]

I Like Webcomics

New feature articles this morning including the wrap-up of Tim Broderick's column on bringing his webcomic Odd Jobs to print in the graphic novel Cash & Carry.  Also today's the last day to send in a sketch if you're interested in doing the August cover for ComixTalk (more details here).

ComixTalk interviews Tom Brazelton of Theater Hopper.

The Comics Reporter has an interview with David Malki! of Wondermark who has a book collecting the comic out from Dark Horse.

El Santo takes a look at Octopus Pie.

Michael Payne looks at long-running webcomics Clan of the Cats and CRFH!!!.

Derik Badman reviews The Lady's Murder.

Journalista! links to a Wall Street Journal report that DC Comics will convert some of its comics into semi-animated slideshows to be sold at the iTunes store for computer and cellphone viewing.  This sounds like Clickwheel a bit doesn't it?  Anyhow, Newsarama has more on this.

Comics Worth Reading examines the webcomic efforts of publishers Boom Studios and SLG.

Webcomic Wire - 7/10/08

Drawn from sources that have a bur in their saddle…

Official Japanese Anime Ambassador Doraimon visits Thailand.
Audio of the Webcomics panel at Heroes Con with Nicholas Gurewitch, David Malki, Julia Wertz, Chris Harding, and Danielle Corsetto.
Revealed! The new and improved Belfry Webcomics Index.
Wizard interviews Chris Hastings of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja and Phil Foglio [...]

Webcomic Wire - 7/7/08

Drawn from sources that are tired from a full weekend…

An interview with Warren Ellis on Freak Angels, Webcomics and Doctor Who over at
PopCultureZoo has a chat with David Malki, creator of Wondermark.
Pink Kryptonite has a ‘Webcomic Spotlight’ and this time he spotlights the webcomic Minus again. I think Minus is worth a second [...]

I Feel Fine At The Corner of Webcomic and Catastrophe

We've got a new cover for July from Dave Wright, creator of Todd and Penguin and a new column from Derik Badman reviewing the short webcomic The Lady's Murder.

Also please check out our sponsors: the Learn to Draw course; and Atom's Upload Showdown contest.

Ryan Armand announces that his webcomic Minus is done.  What do you think of the ending?

Pop Culture Zoo interviews David Malki! of Wondermark.  I sometimes forget that Wondermark appears in The Onion as well as the web.

REVIEWS reviews Josh Nickerson's The Nolans.

The Escapist dissects gaming webcomics.  In this video, Yahtzee Croshaw shows how to make millions of gamers happy with the minimum amount of effort.

Webcomics And The City

The Beat lists a lot webcomickers in attendence at this weekend's MoCCA fest in New York:  Jeffrey Rowland, Raina Telgemeier, Josh NeufeldLark Pien, David Malki, Cat Garza, Jen Wang, Ben Rosen, Dave Roman, Lunchbox Funnies, The Flight crew, Kean Soo...

ComicMix redesigns its webcomic reader for comics published on its site. ComicMix contributor Rick Marshall praises the new reader and hints at new developments to come at ComicMix.

Today's the last day to submit a guest strip for Alma Mater's Summer O' Fun run.

The Pulse has an interview with some members of the Chemistry Set collective on their print anthology, No Formula.

Wet Ink has an interview with Lee Salem the head of the Universal Press Syndicate.

Warren Ellis points out that Svetlana Chmakova of Tokyopop’s Dramacon is one of the creators of the new animated series, My Life Me, which is in production for a fall 2009 release.

The A.V. Club has an interview with animator Robert Smigel.