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Jeph Jacques

Allison’s got a case of Bad Machinery

As Scary Go Round ends, a new era begins. An era … of Bad Machinery.

It looks so far to be a continuation of John Allison’s prep school stuff from his SGR days. Of course, given the leaps and bounds that SGR itself went through since its inception, who knows where Bad Machinery is going to end up.

Soooo… what do you think the odds are that Shelley Winters is going to show up before a year is over?

Ladies and gentlemen, every mediocre webcomic cliche in one comic, minus the geeky ones!

(From Scary Go Round. Click for full-sized goodbye.)

Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques

Metapost: Don’t forget Emerald City ComiCon!

I honestly don’t know how this snuck up on me. I probably wouldn’t have noticed until Johanna Draper Carlson of Comics Worth Reading mentioned it on her blog. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, mark your calendars for April 4 & 5 for Emerald City ComiCon!


Thanks to our newest sponsor an online exhibit by Scott C called "Home Slice".  (The sponsor slot is the top ad on the left hand column of the site - we have one at a time and it helps make sure I can pay the server bills!  Click here if you're interested in sponsoring ComixTALK next.)

An interview with the historically enthusiastic Kate Beaton (h/t JOURNALISTA!)

The Washington Post has a good interview with Jeff Kinney the creator of the wildly successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid books (which are online at

Indy Comic News linked to a press release from comicsXP which appears to be a site for organzing comics and possibly reading digital scans of them too.  I haven't heard anything else about them so no vouchsafe from me yet.  Still it's a spiffy web2.0ish site so I'll poke around some more this week to see what I think.

Scott Kurtz takes a crack at mixing up The Watchmen and the current decline of newspaper comics

I missed this but Kevin Pease drew up denominations of "bullshit artistic credibility dollars" (taking an idea from Jeph Jacques's post on webcomic versus newspaper comic business models) which are great!

The Webcomic Overlook #70: Anders Loves Maria

It's February Already?

Webcomics VS Dead Trees, Round XXXII
Since I'm fully in agreement that comics are comics (let's all get beyond "webcomics" and comic books" etc) -- a few interesting dust-ups between cartoonists who GET the web and those who resent and fear change.  FLEEN calls out alt-cartoonist Neil Swabb on some ill-advised words and Neil apologizes.  Interesting comments to the FLEEN post too.  Questionable Content creator Jeph Jacques has the final word for now as far as I'm concerned -- read his smart and funny response to Neil here.

Sean Kleefeld has an update on the Platinumized Wowio.  Wow - hard to believe it's been a year since Platinum took over Wowio... but it has been.  Sean has a back and forth with Brian Altounian of Platinum in the comments.

Brad Guigar has a "to-do list" up at with lots of ideas for the new year as well as some needed nags for most cartoonists (like "Start gathering receipts, invoices, records and other information for tax prep....")

Who Are You?: An Interview with Neil Kleid (Action, Ohio)

whoareyouWhat if superheroes, created by analogues of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, were real and based on actual people with powers? What if they were hidden away in a sleepy town since the 1950’s? And if there are superheroes, are there supervillains?

Action, Ohio, written by Neil Kleid and illustrated by Paul Salvi, was originally one of the hopeful competitors trying to win a contract with Zuda Comics. The comic follows heroine Andi Bruce, a Detroit detective with a sad past, who is compelled to solve a brutal murder. Her investigation gradually leads her to learn about the existence of superheroes in a town on the Michigan-Ohio border. Eventually, she must decide between solving her case or protecting the heroes’ freedoms by keeping things quiet.

I first encountered Action, Ohio, when Jack, Anthony, The Doctor, Delos, and I did a round of reviews at Comic Fencing. I heard about the comic again when Neil sent out a press release that the comic had moved to Shadowline, an Image Comics affiliate that begun publishing webcomics in October 2008. I did some quick research, and it quickly dawned on me that Neil Kleid was prolific. Winner of a Xeric Award (for Ninety Candles), writer for several print comics published by NBM to Slave Labor to Image, art director for Comedy Central and Miramax campaigns, creator of several webcomics…. Good God, y’all.

A large sample of his work can be found at his Rant Comics site.

I contacted Neil if he’d like to do an e-mail interview, and he graciously accepted. Neil had already conducted two excellent interviews with Newsrama and io9. I wanted to touch on subjects that hadn’t yet been covered at the other sites: what it was like working for Zuda and Shadowline, what common themes were within his body of work, and … why Ohio?

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!

Sequential Artists’ Pub #8 now available

I’m a little late in getting the show notes up. Our 8th show had a stellar turnout with cartoonists of all walks. We discussed several topics, including the perennial writing vs. art debate, Scott McCloud, how to pronounce Jeph Jacques, and shared a whole host of tips and book recommendations for cartoonists.
Here are some [...]