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Howard Tayler

Seven Habits sounds like a story about Nuns at first...

The blog TechDirt covers the dust-up between the webcomic Schlock Mercenary and the Franklin Covey company which has a trademark on the title of the popular book by Stephen Covey, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."  Schlock's creator Howard Tayler has a funny and concise post up on the cease and desist letter he received regarding his parody "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates" which he is now retroactively changing to "The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries."

Comix Talk for Monday, April 5, 2010

Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated

AWARDS: The Hugos now include a regular Best Graphic Novel category -- which is really pretty fantastic.  This year's nominees include two webcomic entries: Girl Genius, Vol. 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm -- Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment); and Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated by Howard Tayler. (h/t Robot6)

REVIEWS: Hecklr has a nice review of John Allison's three webcomic series: Bobbins, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery

CONVENTIONS: Pete Abrams, creator of Sluggy Freelance, is going to be at Intervention. Jamie Noguchi, creator of Yellow Peril, former artist on Erfworld is going to be at SPX.

INTERVIEWS: I missed this in my mailbag last month, but Public Radio Kitchen interviewed Franklin Einspruch about his painted comics which he posts online at The Moon Fell On Me.  Einspruch is creating a kind of comic tone poem with his work; I found myself liking it more than I would have expected.  It's largely a very peaceful experience reading through his comics.

FROM THE MAILBAG:  I got a nice email about a comic called Indestructible Will which is about a character who doesn't feel pain (apparently a real medical condition).  Unfortunately the comic is only available in pdf format, so you have to download each chapter before you can read it.  There's just no reason to do that.  Most readers aren't going to go to the extra step of downloading your unknown work when they could just as easily read a jpg, png or gif in their browser.

I got an email about FR33, self-described as "a webcomic about a drug abusing self-proclaimed artist, seeking his place in a near-future world of free culture" which is another photo comic.  Since I'm giving out practical website advice today, I'd redo the "about" page to tell readers a bit more about the comic, maybe even try to pitch the longer-term arc of it to try and sell the comic.

Comix Talk for Monday, March 29, 2010

So here's a good question worth a think. Salon just let Reuben Bolling know it's canceling it's contract for Tom The Dancing Bug (which apparently means This Modern World is the last comic at Salon?)  Tom the Dancing Bug is a smart, funny comic and the question now is -- what's the business plan for Bolling going forward?  Seriously, if there's one cartoonist who I would volunteer time to help brainstorm and execute a new business model for, he'd be on the short list. 

Penny Arcade - Penny Arcade Expo: Hope PAX East was awesome.  I'll jealously read the reports trickling in today as attendees tell their tales of brushing against the PA crew and breaking into spontaneous nerdcore beatboxing in the hallways.  In honor of the recent PAX East here's a link to Geekosystem's Top 10 Most Obscure PA characters.

Also, the Penny Arcade crew announced they would not be making a third installment in their videogames series but you can still read Macgasm's refresher review of the first two episodes of On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness here.

OTHER CONVENTIONS: In other con news, I'm still trying to make sure my schedule allows me to attend, but it looks like Rob Balder of Erfworld will definitely be there.  Where? At Intervention of course. And don't forget the Comics Events calendar for dates for comic conventions and other events

Milestones: Gordon McAlpin finished Book Four of his Multiplex webcomic.  This comic has gotten better and better -- McAlpin does the character-driven material as well as the movie-driven stuff.

REVIEWS: El Santo reviews Evan Dahm's Rice Boy - it's another example of why El Santo is one of the best reviewers in comics right now.  (My review of Rice Boy is here.)

INTERVIEWS: Sequential Tart has an interview with Rene Engstrom, creator of the completed webcomic Anders Loves Maria.

Opinion: I'd rather have Tatsuya Ishida on the editorial pages than most working editorial cartoonists.  Ishida is at least as opinionated as 3/4 of them and his art runs laps (MULTIPLE FREAKIN' LAPS) over all of them. 

iWEBCOMICS: Johana Draper Carlson talks about Alex de Campi’s Valentine comic, particularly the effort de Campi's making to bring it to multiple platforms simultaneously.

AROUND THE BLOGS: Last week, Howard Tayler had a great post on ideas and their value in the world - worth reading still.  And Tom Spurgeon lists the webcomics suggested by readers of his site, The Comics Reporter.  Not a bad list...

THE MAILBAG: Jason Whitley wrote to alert us to the return of Sea Urchins, which apparently used to be a newspaper-only comic (there's a book collection of these available here).  The comic is by Whitley and Scott Eckelaert, but so far there's not much in the way of comics up on the website.

NOT WEBCOMICS: I've still only read one Scott Pilgrim book, but the trailer for the movie looks like great fun.  

ComixTalk for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greystone Inn by Brad GuigarWe had the Son of Snowpocalypse in Washington DC yesterday.  Not all that exciting actually.  Also finally saw AVATAR in 3D on Sunday night. (Ain't Mrs X cool to take me to that for Valentines Day?!)  Reviews were dead-on; awesome world-building and special effects to carry it off, story was Dances With Wolves With Four Eyes and Gil Slits.  All in all, a great movie experience.

AWARDS: Tom Spurgeon has a list of the nominees for this year's Glyph awards.

MILESTONES: Congrats to Brad Guigar on 10 years of comicking!  Brad has had a heck of a decade pioneering this thing we call webcomics and I hope there's lots more to come.  In his blog post there's a BIG hint that a full collection of his first strip, Greystone Inn, will be coming to print.

Also docking in close to 10 years is the Flight anthology series.  Kazu Kibuishi announces that Flight 8 will be the last edition of that very successful project.

INTERVIEWS: Growly Beast has an interview with Tom Dell'Aringa of Marooned and The Internet Review of Science Fiction has a fairly indepth interview with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary.  UPDATE: Graphic NYC has an interview with Raina Telgemeier, who's most recent work is the graphic novel Smile.

JUSTIFY VARIOUS PEOPLE'S HYPE:

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS:  Kids book author/illustrator Mo Willems takes a crack at Hilary Price's Rhymes With Oranges this week.  Also details on Hilary's trip to Cuba with Jeannie Schulz and other cartoonists including Alexis Fajardo.  Haven't talked with Alexis in years - maybe I better catch up with him! :)  (h/t Daily Cartoonist)

SECRET SCIENCE ALLIANCE ACTIVATE!  The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis won this year's CYBIL award for the graphic novel category. The CYBILs are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.  And TCJ posted a four part interview with Eleanor, husband Drew Weing and the rest of the creative crew from the Secret Science Alliance book.  Here's part one (with links to part 1 & 2 and part 3 & 4):

Comix Talk for Monday, January 25, 2010

For what it's worth, I've got a fresh install of DRUPAL on the dev server at home, working up a streamlined version of ComixTALK.  Laid out the basic theme (moving to a 2 column layout) and now tackling cleaning up the horror that the tag and category system at ComixTALK has mutated into....  Right now I'm debating whether to port ComixTALK as is to the new server or wait until I get the redo... done.

One story that caught my eye this morning was this rant by blogger-czar Jason Calacanis about comScore.  Worth reading to think about.  Another interesting story from Tom Spurgeon, who has an essay up at the Comics Reporter which I think one could summarize as "wow, there are a lot more good comics than when I was younger..."  I guess I would add, "wow, there are a lot more good webcomics than 10 years ago..."  And if you need a recap of recent webcomic news, Delos has a whole bunch of interesting links covering last week at Art Patient.

NEW BOOK: John Allison posted the cover art from the forthcoming 8th book collection of Scary Go Round: "Recklessly Yours." 

Cory Likes Corndogs: Goats scores a favorable review from Boing Boing Blogger Cory Doctorow for the second book in the new series: The Corndog Imperative.

ZUDA IDOL SCANDAL? Digital Strips reports on the departure of one of the ten finalists from this month's Zuda popularity contest. Apparently The  Thunderchickens had a good shot of winning it too, so the undisclosed reasons for its departure must be something non-trivial.

POLLS: Over at the Washington Post's comics blog, Schlock Mercenary is leading their Best Webcomic of the Decade poll, followed by Girl Genius.

INTERVIEW: Inkstuds has an (audio) interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Non-ZUDA CONTESTS: El Santo reports that John Lustig of Last Kiss is having a contest -- write the best dialogue for a comic captioned by Orson Scott Card.

ALL AGES: Comics For Kids has a list of recommended comics for the classroom.

The ComixTalk 2009 Roundtable

It's the end of the year and what better time to talk webcomics with a great group of interesting creators and commentators.  For this year's roundtable we talked about favorite and new webcomics from 2009; iPhones and iTablets; developments in the business of comics; developments in the subject matter of comics; webcomic awards; and predictions for 2010!  I'm joined by Gary Tyrrell, Delos Woodruff, Shaenon Garrity, Fesworks, Derik Badman, Larry Cruz, Brigid Alverson and Johanna Draper Carlson.

Holiday Sale at the Schlock Store

We’re running a holiday sale at the Schlock Mercenary store. You can get 10% off of your entire order by entering the coupon code Schlocksale09. But what might you acquire with this additional purchasing power?

XDM cover

The XDM Autographed Edition Bundle.

Complete FLEEN Interview with Howard Tayler

Ah ha - it was a two part interview with Howard Tayler - sneaky Gary! -- here's part one and part two of FLEEN's interview with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary - lots of good insight into being an independent artist and businessman here.

One More Post for the Road

A couple of things I wanted to post up - one of course being this weekend (October 3rd and 4th) is 24 Hour Comics Day.  On your mark, get set - go comic!  Also FLEEN has an interview with Howard Tayler about his recent keynote at the Comics Success Seminar.

And so long as I'm here -- a little JUSTIFY MY HYPE linkin'

  • Chris Jones is back with more adventures of that historical detective type - Byron Pinkleton
  • Kevin Churck and TJ Kirsch with mystery webcomic She Died In Terrebonne.
  • Virtual Shackles - do we need another video game webcomic?  No, but this one has had some funny ones in its short run.

And It's Friday Folks! That's a wrap...

Hey - Google Wave invites are out and mine apparently got misplaced in the email.  So if you've got one to spare set me up (xerexes at gmail DOT com).  Thanks!

BUSINESS
PBS does one of those "look people are making a living making webcomics" stories.  They did interview interesting people for it -- from Randall Munroe (xkcd) to Howard Tayler (Shlock) to R Stevens (Diesel).

INTERVIEW
Nice interview with Gordon McAlpin of Multiplex touching on movies and Chicago.

Newsarama has an interview with Emma Caulfield, actress and now webcomic auteur.  How very interesting that Newsarama has the scoop on the new webcomic Contropussy which has a creative team consisting of Emma Caulfield, Camilla Outzen Rantsen, Christian Meesey, Thomas Mauer, and Blog@Newsarama columnist Christian Beranek.

REVIEW
Johanna Draper Carlson reviews High Moon, the second book from Zuda. 

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Chris Yates connects the dots on Colleen's tattoo but really Jon's disco solo sold it for me.

FLEEN flagged that Christopher Baldwin has a work-in-progress site up for Spacetrawler, a webcomic he seems to be working towards launching next year.