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David Willis

Comix TALK for Thursday, January 13, 2011

I finished loading all of the monthly cover art we ran at ComixTALK from 2003 to 2009 in yearly photo albums at ComixTALK's new Facebook page.  I have mixed feelings about dropping that from the site design in 2010 - especially after looking back over all of the great comickers that contributed to the series. In any event - if you are on Facebook, please "like" the ComixTALK Facebook page.  Thanks!

After all of the news yesterday it's a bit slow so far this morning:

OPINION: A Gene Yang comic comments on a recent WSJ article on "Chinese Mothers".

REVIEW: Tangents reviews Dumbing of Age by David Willis

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

NOT WEBCOMICS BUT PRETTY COOL

It's from last month but CMYKiller is always in the haus:

Comix Talk for September 16, 2010

Wow I was completely zapped by three days of con-mania this past weekend.  In any event, I've posted some photos, my first "live" interviews - well first I've recorded and shared with peoples like yourselves. I've got a few more to edit and post -- hopefully by the end of the week along with a convention-report style wrap-up.  There's been a lot of posts on SPX (Tom Spurgeon's round-up of such posts is here).  I missed the panel there with Richard Thompson, creator of the best new comic strip in recent years -- Cul de Sac but moderator Mike Rhode posted the audio from the panel.

iWEBCOMICS

Warren Ellis posted a little blurb about ideal digital format and pricing for comics.  There were some recent posts about the current price of monthly comic books pamphlets floppies 32 pages with staples thingees lately -- prices have gone way up and that format is really not a cheap buy for entertainment anymore.  Digital comics could be.  Webcomics surely are -- free is the ultimate sampler price.  I also missed posting about the speech on this future for comics that Mark Waid gave at the Harvey Awards ceremony -- Waid followed up with a blog post containing a more polished version of the speech here -- it's well worth reading.

NEW!!

David Willis -- who I got to meet at Intervention -- launched his brand spankin' new Dumbing Of Age webcomic.

DIFFERENT!!

John Allison writes that he's going to stop posting Bad Machinery as a webcomic, but instead turn towards finding a publisher for it.  Presumably to put out a print version that would help it to find more younger readers? 

MILESTONES

Co-creator Eben E.B. Burgoon writes that the 3rd anniversary of Eben 07 was this month plus they have a 3rd print collection out, titled Operation: 3-Ring Bound. To celebrate, they're holding a contest for a $20 amazon gift card & the line art of a celebratory anniversary poster drawn by D. Bethel  -- anybody that comments on a comic during September will be entered to win.

HISTORY

El Santo writes a round-up of attempts to chronicle the history of webcomics including T Campbell's series on it here at ComixTalk.

MAILBAG

  • Charles Cutting wrote to let us know that the Illustrated Ape website is hosting the first installment of his webcomic The Dream Quest of Randolph Carter. The next episode will be posted as soon as it is finished (Cutting says hopefully no later than November the 1st).
  • J.T. Yost debuted some new mini comics at SPX including It's Dream Time, Snoop Doggy Dogg.  I got a review copy and hope to have a review up later this month.  I interviewed Yost at SPX -- it's part of the 5 interview video here.
  • Stan Wojohowitz wrote that he's launched a new webcomic after 18 months of development called The Psychotic Episodes.  It's about characters exploring issues of psychiatry and mental health.  The first issue, including related blog posts, seems to be about mental health issues for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
  • Stefan Strasser writes out with a different pitch for his webcomic, "Most webcomics start out with a lavish update schedule and then cut down the number of new strips during the course of time. Chicken Wings is now going the opposite way. Starting this week, the comic will update three times a week instead of just one.  Chicken Wings is a comic aimed at aviation enthusiasts and about a bunch of chickens working in a small aviation company.

Comix Talk for Tuesday, July 13, 2010

They're taking Spiderman 4 in a different direction

We haven't linked to the return of Mocktopus yet so be sure to check it out.

MILESTONES: Harvey Pekar passed away yesterday at age 70.  I never met Pekar, but he was an important creator who wrote honest portrayals of life in his comics.  Many pages of tribute and condolences around the web today.

REVIEW:  Daily Cross Hatch reviews Meredith Gran's collection of her webcomic Octopus Pie, There Are No Stars in Brooklyn.

CONVENTION:  Intervention announced that artist and webcomic creator Molly Crabapple, the founder of the Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, will be there both on a panel as well as running a Dr. Sketchy’s event at the con (Currently scheduled to take place Friday Sept.10 from 7-10pm).  Excellent!

COLLECTIVES

  • It looks like the Blank Label Comics group has entered the phase of rock band stardom where one member of the original group plus newcomers = profit.  Okay I tease a bit - if I'm reading the new website right David Willis is the only remaining original member but the newcomers are no slouches: Spike and Kel.  I really haven't followed up on BLC for awhile so I guess I missed the rest of the original crew going their own ways.
  • The SpiderForest Collective is accepting applications for new members until July 24th. SpiderForest was started in 2004 by Ran Jado and is home to over 30 comics. There are 3 requirements for members: update your comic, help vote in new members, and display the rotating SF banner above the fold on your site.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 A BLOGS

Comix Talk for Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't forget that HARVEY NOMINATION BALLOTS are due this Friday, April 23rd.  Ballots can be downloaded from harveyawards.org.

There's probably some more news out there, but for now here's the hype:

Wow, An Honest-To-Gods News Post From ComixTalk!

Welcome to the third week of December!  In today's ComixTalk 2009 Roundtable, (did I mention the 2009 ComixTalk Roundtable was posted today?) Johanna Draper Carlson mentions motion comics; Mike Rhodes blogs about motion comics, leading off with a link to this NPR story on it.

Last week, I posted Time Magazine's interview with cartoonist Julia Wertz on her lack of health insurance and Tom Spurgeon posted a round-up of several posts written in reaction to it, notably one from cartoonist Evan Dorkin.  Also in last week's news, Johanna Draper Carlson covered Ryan Sohmer's post about his horrible, no good, bad experience with DragonCon.

And this is kind of a narrow-interest piece, but as someone who has tinkered with a website about comics for almost a decade now, reading this post about the good and the bad of the new tcj.com is kind of interesting.

BEST OF 20009 LISTS

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
All kinds of awesome: My Three Robins or Mr. Bat-Mom.  I'm somewhat shocked David Willis didn't think of this first!  (h/t to Johanna Draper Carlson).

NaNoGraWriMo
Colleen Frake posted her NaGraNoWriMo effort here.  They ought to make a 30 day graphic novel effort an official variant on National Novel Writing Month (and maybe just call it NaCoWriMo for National Comic Writing Month).

BECAUSE BOB CRATCHETT DEMANDS IT
One more pitch for the Webcomic Holiday Postcard fundraiser.  Pitch!

A Few Things Worth Noting Today

NEW BOOKS
Brian McFadden's new collection of snarky-topical politics-to-pop culture comic Big Fat Whale in print is out -- pick up your copy of Fun Stuff for Dum-Dums AND David Willis' Roomies!: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Beer is now in stock - so get to clicking and buying!

FREE PREVIEW
Scott McCloud notes that the first 100 pages of his Zot! print collection is free to read online.

COMIC SOLICATION
The online magazine Narrative is interested in graphic art submissions (they mean comics!) for which they offer to pay in real money.  No experience with them -- if anyone has had anything published with them please let us all know how it went.

A Post about Webcomics Weekend

John and I are back from Webcomics Weekend! I’ll try to give as complete a synopsis as possible without boring you with too many details.

But first, a bit of bad news: I know I said that we “are ded­i­cated to fin­ish­ing the cur­rent arc in an unin­ter­rupted fashion”. I know it! So it is with a heavy heart I report that a frustrating last-minute computer issue has forced us to resort to a filler strip for tomorrow.

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!

So A Tamarin And An Axolotl Walk Into A Bar...

Robbie Allen aka Pembroke W. Korgi is the creator of Femmegasm and a contributor to Radio ComixFemmegasm is new this year and mostly a sendup of pop culture, heavy on the videogame references with an awesome recurring Popeye-hates-pirates joke.  (Despite the name of the comic it has no Slipshine-qualifying content in it)  Check out my interview with Pembroke below for more on this new webcomic.

See you, Space Cowboy

Well, folks, it looks like it’s time to power down The Webcomic Overlook for a while. As some of you already know, in a short while, El Santo is getting hitched! So you’ll probably be calling me “Mr. El Santo” in the near future, I suppose. Also, the updates will probably slow to a trickle. It’s already been rather difficult to update this site lately, what with all the picking up relatives from the airport and wrapping up wedding favors and scheduling spa appointments and coordinating with the bridal party and such.