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Jon Morris

There Are No Ruts in Rutabaga

Brainstorming a new title for the daily spotty updates I've called "Comix Talk" the last couple of years.

To me, one of the most not-covered stories of last year was the "upgrade" of Comicspace.com to the wordpress platform and it's seeming abandonment to spam. Along with the total absence of any significant announcements of new products, services, etc from the corporation Comicspace last year (please correct me if I'm forgetting anything) I'm not surprised to see a blog post like this one from Reinder Dijkhuis on getting out of Comicspace.

2010 IS SO LAST YEAR:  Susie Cagle has a series of comics on 2010 in review: part one, part two and part three.

HYPEY McHYPE:  Get a look online at Justin Madson's eerie dystopian future comic series, Breathers at MTV Geek. I'm a big fan of this and have bought all of the books so far.

DEAD TREE WALKING:  Tyler Page, creator of Nothing Better, has been posting about his (self) publishing experiences. At the end of last year he posted part 4 which covers dealing with Diamond (catch up on Part 1Part 2, and Part 3).

INTERVIEWS

HOW LONG UNTIL AMULET 4: Kazu Kibuishi posts that he's in the final push on Amulet 4 (yay!) and he posted a photo of his studio set-up.  These kind of photos can be pretty interesting -- especially when you're in despair over your own shambles of a workspace (like... me).

COME OVER TO THE WEBSIDE: One of my favorite cartoonists Alex Robinson has writer's block. He blogs about it from time to time - part three from December entails a plan to just write a story. He also asked about publishing it online and there's a good discussion in the comments there. Before that he linked to an idea of using "100 themes" to generate ideas and work. His newfound discovery of the board game Settlers of Catan is probably not going to help with his productivity this year :)

AROUND THE WEB IN 80 BLOGS OR SO

Comix Talk for Friday, July 2, 2010

That's what she said?  Did I miss the memo?

THIS DAY IN COMIXTALK:  A probably not all that popular feature I've done from time to time (usually on Fridays) is "This Day in ComixTalk".  How about instead I just spotlight some great articles from our archives.  Today, take a look Calamity Jon Morris' comic contributions: the two part Plea For Hand-Lettering series (one and two) and 16 Panels That I Don't Think Work All That Well.

WANT: I would pay to see a Steampunk version of Ghostbusters:

ZUDAMANIA:  Yes DC is shutting down Zuda.  How much was the "Zuda" brand worth though, do you think?  DC also has an amazing record with creating new imprints, doesn't it?

HYPEY McHYPESON: Yes Clay, Star Trek jokes are a good way to get a traffic bump. But it was funny so all is forgiven.

NOT WEBCOMICS: Graham Annable, creator of Grickle has a video-game out from Telltale Games called Puzzle Agent.  It definitely looks like Annable has transplanted his visual sense to the game.

22 Frames That Always Work

Comics is not film but film does seem to borrow a lot from comics these days.  Here's a clever reuse of Wally Wood's famous 22 panels that always work:

After watching this, check out Jon Morris' spin -- 16 Panels That I Don't Think Work All That Well from the ComixTalk archives.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day and um... Webcomics!

It's a holiday in the U.S. and the kind of day that I would hope the rest of the world can, if not celebrate, acknowledge happily.  (Which puts it in a different category than celebrating more nationalistic - George Washington - or controversial - Cristos Columbus - figures from history).  I wonder if India has a Mahatma Gandhi day?  Apparently they do - one for his birth and one for his death.

Haiti.  Wow, it's a good thing I don't play a pretend-actual-news journalist on the Internet because I don't think I could find the words to write adequately about the situation there.  It's an immense tragedy.  If you can afford to donate something Doctors Without Borders is a group that was one of the first in and does a tremendous amount of good.

Hosting and Coding Geekery.  If you're not just a webcomics geek but have educated opinions on webhosting, wordpress or drupal I would really like to talk to you.  My current hosting at media temple is not working for ComixTALK.  I have been trying to sort out plans for the new year for hosting and whether to switch CMSs but I feel overwhelmed.  I had some good conversations on twitter and im last night but what I really need is just more advice -- the Internet is CONFUSING when you ask what is best on these questions.  Email me at xerexes AT gmail DOT com or twitter to xerexes or gchat to xerexes or just add a comment to this post here.  Once I get all this squared away I have some ideas about redoing the theme here at ComixTALK.  

Webcomics.  Oh you probably came here this morning to read about comics presented in pixelated form, didn't you?  First things first - the switch to using RSS feeds in Google Reader for my daily webcomics "page" is a success.  It's much more convenient.  If you want me to check out YOUR webcomic send it to me (see above) somehow and I will!  I can't write about  it if I haven't read it :)

But this approach still leaves me thinking about how to find the "good" webcomics.  And let's be honest -- when I say "good" I mean good in terms of what I want to read.  Your "good" may be completely different.  Either way there's a LOT of comics now and 99% of them seem to be on the Internet in some form or another.  Over at Savage Critics, Abhay Khosla has a surprisingly good (surprising because I thought it was going to be just a snarkfest and it turned out to be quite thoughtful) essay on what it's like to live in a world of almost infinite comic choices.  I also loved his take on ComixTALK's 2009 Roundtable:

Comixtalk did a year-end roundtable in December 2009, in which they spoke to not less than eight people. Between the eight of them, roughly five billion webcomics are mentioned over the course of the round-table. So: be sure to check those out...

Joystiq's weekly webcomic roundup seems to be a bit of an institution now for gaming comics.  Is there anything like it for other subjects Movie comics? Celebrity comics? New and opinion sites?  I don't offer a practical plan for convincing a successful site in a subject area to add a webcomic roundup but I think it would be worth working on.  (If you're a smaller site linked to by Joystiq -- how much of a bump are you getting from the exposure?)

At the end of this month, Ryan North's Project Wonderful is going to add geotargeting to it's service - here Ryan explains more about the benefits of this feature. I used a mix of PW, Blog Ads and ComicSpace's Ad service Webcomics World over the last year and if I had to keep one I'd stick with PW right now.

El Santo reviews Dead Winter, a zombie webcomic.  4 Stars and he compares it favorably to Jenny Romanchuk’s Zombie Hunters and Bobby Crosby's Last Blood.

Delos writes about Sandra De Haan, a Netherlands artist, who has translated some of her journal webcomics into English.  I like the crispy cartoony artwork here. 

Also via Delos is a link to The Blueprint Database - a vast collection of blueprints from cars to the Millenium Falcon.

Has everyone seen The Fantastic Mr Fox?  I want to but haven't yet.  Did see a wonderful exhibit on it at the Cartoon Museum and spotted this acceptance speech at the National Board of Review ceremony (via Drawn!)

Speaking of movies the news that Ryan Estrada is making a movie version of his webcomic The Kind You Don't Take Home to Mother has bounced around the web.  All I can say is I am really looking forward to this and I hope Ryan succeeds in getting it done.

Last not least, ComixTALK friend for life Jon Morris has a funny essay up at Heavy.com on the Strange Life and Times of Richie Rich.

This Day in ComixTalk: November 24th

Man, in years ComixTalk is like a tween now... OMG!

2008
We had an interview with Evan Nichols of the webcomic Dr. Eldritch.  Plus, wow! Jon Morris' comic,  Star Wars Versus The Batman.  And Bomb Shelter's Webcomic Idol contest was down to the final three.  (Doesn't look like Webcomic Idol is happening this year...)

2007
Von Allan's The Road To God Knows began its serialization over at Girlamatic.

2006
Scott McCloud's Making Comics was making the rounds; Neil Babra drew an awesome turkey; and another installment in the Most Read Webcomics Measurement Project.

2005
Nada!!!

2004
A great thread on how much to spend on making a webcomic -- how times have changed (or not) since then!

2003
Dave Wright's Todd and Penguin hits it's third anniversary milestone; an interview with Brad Hawkins and a review of his webcomic Monkey Law; and Dylan Meconis wrote a column on webcomic creator burnout.

Galactus by Jon Morris

24 Random Facts About Jon Morris

Hourly Comic ...

So, some folks were recently doing something called an hourly comic, the idea being that you drew a short comic each hour of your waking day. Since I'm trying to do more comics this year (resolution #4 or something), I took time out of my Saturday to draw one up. Completed some of the inks and scanned it last night (which was probably breaking the rules, but what are you going to do, sic the hourly comic police on me?), and put together twenty of them into teensy tiny little minicomics for the Friends of the Nib and Drink N Draw (which is this Friday!) crowds.

Bon Voyage 2008! Don't Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out

What a year!  Well while I'm shivering through the flu this New Year's Eve I hope some of you out there will celebrate the ringing in of 2009 right.  If it's not obvious already I decided to skip any big year-end lists or articles in 2008; I just didn't think I could do them justice this year.

IN YOUR FACE WEBCOMICS!

INTERVIEWS

Rick Marshall interviews Joey Comeau and Emily Horne of A Softer World.  Later Marshall, goes underground to report on illegal rock lobster fights.  That guy gets around!

Jovan Zimzovski interviews Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics while coincidently, Joey Comeau is hanging around. (h/t Journalista!)

The Daily Cartoonist links to a Universal Press interview with Jim Davis of its syndicated comic strip Garfield -- Scott Kurtz of PvP brings the drama in the comments that follow.

LEGAL KNIEVEL

8 Things I Hate Like About Service Agreements. (h/t Journalista!)

ART

Sean Kleefeld breaks down the linework in a classic Peanuts strip.

BUSINESS

Jason Poog interviews writer Donald Ray: part 1 on finding an agent and part 2 on how Ray quick his day job.  Both should be of interest to comics creators.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 3 BLOGS

Luke Foster on the puntastic comic strip Pearls Before Swine. (h/t Journalista!)

Cartoonist Shaenon Garrity hangs out with other members of the National Cartoonists Society.

Super-talented Jon Morris has been posting various alternate versions of Superman - check them out and then vote in his poll for which one you like best.