Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 27, 2009 - 11:24
Well all's quiet on the tryptophan front this morning... a big thanks to David LaMason, the creator of the webcomic Unbearable Bears, for creating on super-short notice our Thanksgiving cover art up top... if you're ever trying to track me down, be sure to hit up the "where am I?" section at my other website xaviarxerexes.com... take a look at the comics event calendar for upcoming stuff to do -- don't forget you can subscribe to it; submit events to me (tweet to xerexes) or even volunteer to co-maintain it.
The Career Cookbook has an interview with Chris Hastings, the mastermind behind the webcomic Dr. McNinja.
I haven't read the underlying case but TechDirt's writeup of a lawsuit over a fictionalized portrayal of someone might be a red flag for comics creators. (This sounds different than the (in)famous Tony Twist lawsuit against Todd McFarlane. Twist's win there was based on McFarlane profiting from using the "famous" Twist in the comic.)
Submitted by Morgan Wick on September 1, 2009 - 23:31
Itâ€™s been said that kids say the darndest things. Itâ€™s been said in many different ways by many different people. In fact, thatâ€™s essentially the lesson of the fable â€œThe Emperorâ€™s New Clothesâ€. All the adults who praise the emperorâ€™s threads without actually seeing them fear the consequences of calling him out on them â€“ but the kid who points out that the emperor is, in fact, buck naked doesnâ€™t know any better, canâ€™t grasp the consequences that the adults fear might befall him for saying such a thing.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on August 29, 2009 - 11:05
I hope everyone had a good week - I was mostly offline, enjoying the beach. I got back to discover a new Jellaby comic from Kean Soo. One of the best kid-friendly comics out there and always a pleasure to see a new one online.
It was also fun to see ComixTalk included in Ataraxi Theater's "webcomic merit badges" it posted this week -- one of them is the "Eye of Xerexes" -- awarded for drawing a cover to ComixTalk. And there were a lot of other good links you might want to catch up on:
CBR had a good interview with Jon Rosenberg of Goats.
An interview with Brian McFadden of the topical webcomic Big Fat Whale.
The Daily Cross Hatch has the first part of its interview with Jordan Crane.
Former syndicated newspaper comic creator Michael Jantze announced he was starting up a new webcomic titled Rave On. Why is this interesting in an era of many former print comic folks launching webcomics? One, Jantze was an early defector from print, taking his comic The Norm to a pay-to-read model online. I have not kept up with how that has gone for Jantze after some initial reporting, but perhaps it has gone well enough because he is using another pay-to-read model for this new webcomic Rave On. Should be worth following up on.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Webcomic -- Sixteen Miles to Merricks by Barnaby Ward.
Art -- Robbi Rodriguez.
Submitted by goRaina on July 29, 2009 - 14:06
Even though Dave and I were absent from SDCC this year, our new book made an appearance! That's our editor Tricia showing it off. Photo courtesy of Jon Rosenberg!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 20, 2009 - 11:53
I was on vacation last week in the large state of Texas and then spent the weekend in Ohiopyle Park in EXTREME southwestern Pennsylvania. Good times! Hope everyone is geared up for NERDAPOOLZA in San Diego... I, once again, will not be there. One day perhaps. In the meantime here's some interesting comic and pop culture debris for your web-surfing today:
The Cartoon Art Museum is having an exhibit titled "Monsters of Webcomics" which looks very cool. I live on the wrong coast to make a trip to San Francisco to see it but all of you who can should go.
- Newsarama interviews Jon Rosenberg on the latest Goats book.
- CBR talks to Neil Kleid of Action Ohio.
- CBR talks to this month's ZUDA contestants.
- Pop Culture Zoo talks to Daniel Davis of Monster Commute.
- Fandomania interviews Grant Gould of The Wolves of Odin.
- Nice interview with Cameron Stewart of Sin Titulo.
- Interview with Ethan Young of the comic Tails.
In case I forgot to blog about earlier, Freak Angels artist Paul Duffield put up a great tutorial on his process.
Trent Razor (NIN and goth bad ass generally) on how new music artists should navigate the new mediascape of today. Lots of stuff in there for webcomic creators to think about.
Scott Saavedra is publicly documenting how much money he makes this year from his webcomic Java Town. Good gimmick worth some publicity. He's got a timer counting down the year and a counter for the profits (or lack of -- he's in the red right now).
Sean Kleefeld offers some ideas for promotion -- he's aiming at targeting comic book store owners but they're tactics one could adapt to any group. I've seen several webcomic pursue the same ideas with their fans to try and spread the word locally ("street teams"). Sean offers up another idea supposedly in tandem -- giving access to all of a publisher's comics online -- in pursuit of the first post's promotional efforts but I don't think he's fully thought that through. Not that I disagree with the result, it just feels a bit half-baked in his rational. If I was going to jump into the comics publishing business and since I'm not industry giants Marvel and DC (and I'd have to count on their continuing slow-to-adapt strategy) of course I'd give EVERYTHING away online for free. I might borrow Sean's idea of having people register at a portal so I could build some intelligence on my readership but I wouldn't make that the mandatory way to get the comics. New publishers -- heck even existing not-DC-or-Marvel publishers -- suffer more from neglect and lack of attention then from anything else. The new publisher's role has got to be a hybrid -- build a brand(s), build attention, promote talented individuals (much like Hollywood -- build good relationships with real talent), pay for good work consistently released -- then put it out EVERYWHERE in every electronic format possible. Sell the stuff in print in a premium format that the fans demand and work with the creators to sell ancilliary products based on the work... Okay off that soapbox... for now.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Questionable Content kills the webserver for Bunny with a link today. You can still see Bunny's guest comic for QC today. What to call this? My comic got "Fayed"?
Does anyone use Google Sketchup in their work? It's a great tool for what it does. This music video for Roche Limit incorporates a lot of it.
Link to a gallery of photos of parkour, the jumping around buildings and railings sport, which beyond being pretty cool might be instructive for someone drawing action scenes, no?
Johanna's post should really be titled... "why Digital Rights Management sucks" as that's the source of her complaints, more so than a comic being in print or digital format.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 15, 2009 - 13:13
Shaping up to be an interesting week in comics:
Jason Little's Motel Art Improvement Service wrapped up today. It was a very well done sequel to the first Bee story. The somewhat sudden ending is still surprising to me but the middle three panels of the last installment are masterfully done.
D.J. Coffman writes about warning signs that Diamond may be in trouble and speculates on it's implications for the future of the direct market for comic books.
Johnanna Carlson writes a negative review of Jon Rosenberg's new Goats book and then the two of them exchange polite remarks in the comments. Always nice to see a little civility on the Internets. I haven't read the book so I can't offer a contrasting view I'd like to offer up a quote from Carlson's review that was meant critcally, but that I think is actually a pretty good way of describing Goats positively:
The point seems to be the dialogue more than the events. The characters talk a lot. The art is serviceable but not particularly attractive, and it’s often pretty static
That's always been the case with Goats - even more recently when the comic has had actual plot and science fiction trappings. Rosenberg is the Kevin Smith of webcartoonists.
An interview with Amy Pearson of the comic Mathema which started off on Zuda but now appears on Pearson's own site.
Matt Madden recently offered up an exercise in comic improvisation you might want to take a crack at.
Submitted by Brad Guigar on May 11, 2009 - 00:01
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 7, 2009 - 09:36
Happy Birthday Box Brown!
Jon Rosenberg's book, Goats: Infinite Typewriters, is available for pre-order. It come out June 23rd.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 22, 2009 - 14:50
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):
- 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)
- 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)
- Tell me why! Referencing awards, critics, historical achievements, strengths and weaknesses of the works are all really helpful!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 21, 2009 - 14:46
Obama! It's day two of your presidency... why haven't you solved global warming yet!! How about some webcomic-y news in the meantime:
Kris Straub has a really good post on why he essentially did a reboot of his comic Starslip recently. For anyone hoping to have a popular strip the advice on "the pitch" is well worth reading.
Brian Warmoth has an interview with Jon Rosenberg of Goats.
An interview with Zach Weiner of the screamingly funny Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Ping Teo takes a look at Shi Long Pang.
Herve St Louis has an article on his definition of comics which includes a survey of other approaches as well.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Lea Hernandez has a new website at http://divalea.net/.
Has anyone used this site called Komix! - it appears to be a piperka type of comics update/reader.