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John Allison

Comix Talk for Thursday, February 3, 2011

There's a lot to catch up on this morning so let's get to it:

AWARDS

MILESTONES

INTERVIEW

REVIEW: Ed Sizemore reviews Ben Costa's Pang the Wandering Shaolin Monk.

MAILBAG

Rigby, by Lee Leslie, may have already ventured into the world of high fantasy, but now the heroine and her eponymous webcomic are venturing into the world of print comics. Pre-orders are currently open and will run until February 11. This is RiGBY’s first official print appearance, and the 20 page, full color comic will only be available at conventions and signings after the pre-sale. Those fans pre-ordering the comic will also be treated to a high resolution digital version.

IN MAPS & LEGENDS, illustrated by Niki Smith and written by Michael Jasper, continues with its fourth issue on February 2, 2011. With Bartamus' world falling apart around them, LaVonne, Jeremy, and Antawn venture deeper into unknown territory, while Kait travels into the darkness between worlds -- and she's no longer alone.  Smith and Jasper were named "Digital Creators of the Year" (along with Alex de Campi) for their work on IN MAPS & LEGENDS in 2010.  Artist Niki Smith is an artist and writer who is currently working on a handful of creator-owned comic projects such Some Did Rest. Her work has also appeared in several English language and German comic anthologies.  Writer Michael Jasper has published three novels, a story collection, and over four dozen short stories in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Polyphony, Writers of the Future, and the Raleigh News & Observer, and other fine venues. His most recent novel is A Gathering of Doorways (Wildside Press, 2009).

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted!!

One of my favorite internet-y t-shirts is still David Malki!'s "The Revolution Will Not Be Telegraphed" - for some reason my brain was stuck on variations of that all weekend.. "The Revolution Will Not Be Conveyed Via the Blades of the Semaphore Line!"  "The Revolution Will Not Be Transmitted Directly Into My Brain Via iBrain" Well you take it from there...

Also heads up - talented comics creator Gene Yang has a new website and blog.

INTERVIEWS

HYPE

  • Change is good and Danielle Corsetto looks to be mixing things up again for the cast of Girls With Slingshots this year. Today's is pretty funny.
  • I demand George Lucas hire Kevin Smith to adapt Nate Beaty's Life As A Wookie as the next Star Wars movie...
  • A series of sketches from John Allison - I actually like his looser, more dashed off work quite a bit although it only emerges in tiny bits in his finished comics.

John Allison's Manifesto

Styled a manifesto for UK Indie comics in 2010 it's should be read by anyone making or wanting to make comics.  John Allison speaks from experience folks - 

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.

Monday's Comics

Contents of Webcomics Folder in Google Reader for Monday: 1 episode of Lewis Trondheim's Les Petits Riens, 1 episode of John Allison's Bad Machinery (Note to John if he's reading this: Do you realize the only place your name appears on your home page is in the copyright notice at the bottom?), Yeast Hoist #1 by Ron Regé Jr..

Comix Talk for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I suspect posting will be relatively light this month unless I get my act together this week and recruit some more interesting guest bloggers (I'm still open to unsolicited offers to guest blog!).  I started a little work on a story I thought might be interesting if I uncovered anything -- basically I tried to contact the first 100 members of ComixTalk thinking I might discover a mix of stories from people who've stayed pretty visible in comics to those whose stories maybe have never been well-covered.  I've gotten a few responses but it's too much work in tracking down folks to take that approach for any larger number of member accounts. (If you have an old account at ComixTalk you're having trouble accessing please let me know -- I'd be happy to try to help you out)  So my new pitch is -- if you joined ComixTalk (Comixpedia in those days) in 2003 and you're interested in giving me a snapshot of now and then for you in comics (I have some questions I've been emailing to folks; but that's what I'm after) please email, comment here or tweet me. 

MILESTONES

HYPE

INTERVIEWS

CONVENTIONS: SPX announces that Dean Haspiel and Kate Beaton will be guests this year.  Between SPX and Intervention that is going to be an epic comics weekend in the DC area. 

MAILBAG: I got an email from creator Lee Leslie about the webcomic RiGBY, an Epic Webcomic about the Tales of an Amateur Barbarian.  RiGBY follows the adventures of the titular hero as she navigates a world of reanimated skeletons, warriors on dinosaurs and savage snake-men.  Leslie describes the webcomic as combining "the fun world-building of high fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings or Conan the Barbarian with a fun and relatable protagonist.  Basically, she’s the love child of Indiana Jones and Red Sonja.”

Comix Talk for Thursday, June 17, 2010

Um... World Cup? World Cup!  Oy, South Korea really let Argentina run away with that game this morning.

These stories aren't novel anymore but still interesting when a creator makes a public break with print for the web.  Robot6 has the story on Rich Tommaso dumping print for webcomics.  Tommaso has a new site up for his comics online.

This article on how to make webcomics from the Webcomics Builder site is full of obvious advice but it is in one handy place.

INTERVIEW: Battlemouth has an interview with John Allison (Bad Machinery).

SWAGJohn Allison on the difficulties of coming up with a hit t-shirt.

NOT WEBCOMICS: A preview of a new videogame based on Scott Pilgrim.

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 Friday, April 2, 2010

Bad Machinery (Linton) by John AllisonREVIEW: El Santo tackles the denizens of Tackleford in a review of John Allison's Bad Machinery.

CRAFT:  Webcomic Builder has a few words of inspirational advice for improving your art.

FROM THE MAILBAG

Poseur Ink which published the Side B anthology has a Kickstarter drive going to pre-sell a new book, Octobriana from Steve Orlando and Chaz TruogOrlando is the author of the innovative adaptation of Paradise Lost; and Chaz Truog is the artist of Grant Morrison's legendary Animal Man.  Poseur Ink describes the book as "an action-filled fantasy piece that follows the heroine, Octobriana, on her quest to claim her title as the goddess of lust. Set in Soviet Russia, with chapters full of sex, psychics and Russian mythology, this new incarnation looks to be a titillating thrill."

Ed Contradictory is a webcomic with an archive back to 2007, with a lot of meta stuff going on, jokes about the creator's control over the comic, etc.  The art is serviceable, but boring in a repetitive, and bland kind of way.  The comic does seem to keep getting better though and to the extent you love jokey meta kind of webcomics, this might be one for you to check out.  (In fairness Greg Burgas at CBR liked it a lot more than I did).

A pitch for Cheapjack Shakespeare, a webcomic with a decently polished pr pitch attached.  Except that the website itself is still sporting "hosted free, courtesey ofGo Daddy.com" -- guys, there's plenty of free webhosting not cluttered up with ads and stuff designed to make your site look like an escapee from Geocitites.  (Let alone maybe you should spring a few bucks for hosting?).  In any event, it looks like the webcomic "preview" on the site is really a promotional piece for a desired movie deal.  The webcomic preview is available at a small size -- too small to read actually -- and with an interface that's a bit of a pain.  Sorry not to be able to comment on the story itself but if I can't read the comic, not much to say.

Got an email about the Charlestown City Paper's coverage of a photo comic called Blood Rose.  I'll admit up front, the number of photo comics I've liked in my life is pretty small.  And this one started off confirming my bias - static scenes, horribly clunky dialogue; but I was impressed with the visuals after finishing the story.  Charlie Thiel staged a lot of action really well and the actors were pretty decent.  But the dialogue... oy, that's got to improve.  (It wouldn't hurt to polish up the website either).  Anyhow, the next storyline debuts today in the afternoon (EST I suppose).

Comix Talk for Monday, February 22, 2010

Young R.E.M. Meet Old R.E.M. by John Allison

Welcome to Monday! May I direct your attention to a review of several mini comics posted late Friday?  If you enjoyed John Allison's COMIX REMIX of the above photo, you might want to check out the entire series he posted to FLICKR.

REVIEWS: Delos reviews Odori Park by Chris Watkins and El Santo reviews the Xeric Grant-winning Haunted by Joshua Smeaton.

INTERVIEWS: Growly Beast has an interview with Alice Hunt and Tracy Williams of Goodbye Chains.

REMIX: The Webcomic Builder has a lengthy essay on fan-comics; something maybe we ought to relabel "remix comics"?

NOT WEBCOMICS: Kickstarter fund drive for an American Elf videogame?  I'd buy that for a dollar!

INTERNATIONAL: