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David Rees

Comix Talk for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So two things ComixTalk-ish I want to mention:

  1. I need guest bloggers again due to vacation and other conflicts scattered throughout the fall.  I'll be asking (you know: begging) several folks personally, but if this strikes you as an interesting opportunity send me an email (xerexes AT gmail DOT com) or a tweet (xerexes).
  2. Lately, I've been really interested in experimenting with some ideas for a radio show (podcast I guess) and would love any and all tips or pointers to good FAQs on all of the technical side of producing audio and/or video shows for the web.

Neil Jam by Neil Fitzpatrick

INTERVIEW: Cross Topic interviewed Neil Fitzpatrick of the comic Neil Jam.


NOT WEBCOMICS: David Rees, creator of the webcomic Get Your War On, reincarnation of Andy Kaufman or frustrated Bob Villa?  You decide!

CONVENTIONS: Scott McCloud offers a word of advice derived from his recap of the recent SDCC: patience.

FRIENDS OF LULU: Valerie D'Orazio blogs about the state of Friends of Lulu and although it's a very forthcoming post, it's probably not the entire story (there's always other sides to the story).  Nevertheless I feel for D'Orazio who seems to have made efforts to improve things but had a hard time rallying support from members or outside supporters.  In fact, to D'Orazio's view things have gotten to the breaking point as she writes:

If by September 2010 nobody steps forward and shows interest in helping run this organization, I will start taking steps to officially dissolve it as a non-profit. Then I will donate the leftover money (if any) between the other major comics charities, return the donated artwork, and ship the historical records and sketchbooks to a University or MoCCA.  Before I would take steps to dissolve FoL (if it comes to that), I will personally contact a number of concerned parties via a mass email asking for volunteers to keep the organization going.
I have been the president of a volunteer organization a couple of times now and I can tell you it's never easy!  And not everyone has every skill set needed to run a group well -- success is often dependent on having allies who complement your weaknesses with their strengths.  I don't know what's going to happen to FoL but hopefully D'Orazio's post will start a more transparent and public discussion on the future of this organization.

Rolling News Updates

TOOLS has a post on a webcomics new plug-in for Wordpress.  In the comments is a link to a comparison of this new approach to the more well-known Comicpress theme and other tools for using Wordpress for webcomics.

I forgot to post about David Rees' run-in with Jamba Juice which produced some ads with comics that look almost 100% like Rees' Get Your War On.  So check out these two Boing Boing posts (Cory's not (c) violation but evil; and Xeni's Rees' calls for boycott) for the story.

Daily Cartoonist reports on a  group of cartoonists is working on a newspaper style comics page that will be sold online.

Quick Updates: Comings, Goings and Hey It's Snowing Outside

It is in fact snowing in the greater Washington DC area this morning which will inevitably paralyze the entire town by sometime in the late morning.  A few links worth following this morning:

Forbidden Planet notes the ending of David Rees' Get Your War On and has the last comic (h/t Journalista!)  Back in 2003, Michael Whitney reviewed Get Your War On for ComixTalk and we had a community interview with David Rees.

CBR reports that Last Kiss will be distributed to mobile phones via GoComics.comWednesday White reviewed Last Kiss for ComixTalk in 2004.

Damn God Comics reviews the recent revival of Ryan Estrada's Aki Alliance.

The webcomic Curvy does in fact live up to its own tagline: A sexy sci-fi adventure comic for adults.  I stumbled onto this from it's ad on another comic's site -- the art is kind of loopy and has nice use of contrasting black and white -- it's a very stylized approach to the visuals.  (it reminded me a touch of Tracy White's TRACED).  Definitely NSFW even with the somewhat cartoony artwork.

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!

A Couple of Good Interviews To Check Out

A good interview with David Rees, creator of Get Your War On, on the last book coming out of the wrapping-up now webcomic.  Rees will end the strip with the end of the Bush presidency.  Rees will always be notable to me for using webcomics to make an impact on the wider culture in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Afghanistan war.  Plus, GYWO is often hilariously funny and on point. (h/t Daily Cartoonist)

And Robot 6 has an interview with Ben Driscoll, the creator of Daisy Owl. (h/t Journalista!)

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.  

This Day in ComixTalk (August 15th)


Creator and entrepreneur Tim Demeter guest blogged at ComixTalk with a series called "It's Business Time" (links to part one, two and three)

The most popular pages at the Comixpedia encyclopedia are Girly, Penny Arcade, Cyanide and Happiness, Melonpool, and PowerPuff Girls Doujinshi.


As Scott Kurtz debuted a new site design for PvP, I wrote asking whether webcomic websites be an artistic extension of the comic, essentially extending the look and feel of the comic, or is that not that important?


Ryan Estrada reaches the 168 hour mark in the Ironbutt comic making event.  In related endurance news, we reported on another entrant dropping out of the Daily Grind contest.

Ali Graham released a print collection of his first webcomic Housd.


Alexander Danner wrote about how to promote your webcomic by not promoting your webcomic.

A group of creators banded together to form Found Hat Press.


Warren Ellis reviewed the very first print collection of David Rees' clip art comic Get Your War On!

Updates On Entries in the Ill-Fated Webcomic Directory Project?

I built a "library" of webcomics and creators back in the fall of 2005 which I put into beta before realizing it was too much editorial work to deal with and the same information could be better provided through the community edited webcomic wiki - COMIXPEDIA.

Nevertheless looking back on the assortment of names collected (some from me, some sent in from you) I wonder if anyone has any significant updates on these creators 18 months later. Maybe we should interview some of them?

Friday News and Weekend Clues



  • Kitchen, Lind & Associates have signed up webcomic creator Bryant Paul Johnson (Teaching Baby Paranoia, The Antecedent). Previously this agency had signed up webcomic creators Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing. KL&A provides artist representation and book packaging to its clients. (KLA will have a booth at SPX on October 13th and 14th to promote its upcoming packaged books and is looking to meet with talented creators who are seeking representation.) You know you're at a webcomic news site because the big deal here to me is the signing of creators from the web. The big news to everyone else though will be that KLA has signed Jim Lawson and the estate of Harvey Kurtzman.
  • Barry Deutsch who sold his URL to a "Search Engine Optimization" company - but kept his blog and cartoons there - opens up his blog to discussion of his decision. Reinder has a post with some thoughts on the controversy.





Follow-up to "Webcomics: The Musical?"

This is from the Washington Post review of the "Get Your War On" show, as promised.

'Get Your War On': Precision Weapons Of Mass Derision
By Peter Marks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 10, 2006; C01
Invective can be a wonderful tool. Especially when it's wielded as brilliantly as the verbal gunslingers brandish it in "Get Your War On," which contains some of the funniest ridicule of a president and his policies I've ever heard on a stage.