Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 22, 2010 - 23:07
USA versus Algeria. I'm not even sure this site gets any traffic from Algeria but regardless... go USA!
Let's start off with a bit of hypey mchype today. Webcomics went through a phase of experimenting with comic-ness without necessarily worrying about the story or appeal of the comic and more lately maybe the impression is that expermentation is dead. Well I'm not sure, but when I do see someone smartly taking advantage of the web in webcomics without letting it get in the way of making a good comic I think we should pay attention. So, Ornery Boy by Michael Lalonde which is really already a very funny comic - a sort of slacker version of the Adams Family (not really but that'd be my teevee pitch). Lalonde actually uses Flash to add little bits of animatin' and other layered in stuff that adds to the comic without sacrificing the comicness of it. Do you need the extras to enjoy the comic -- probably not, but I guess you don't need color in comics either and yet... Lalonde is using what could be just obnoxious experimental techniques in a very intregated way that completely serves a very funny and accomplished comic. Check out these two recent installments: #432 and #431 for some examples of what I mean.
ARE ELECTRIC SHEEP A RENEWAL RESOURCE? Remember when I kept reminding everyone to consider committing to Patrick Farley's KICKSTARTER drive so we could get him back to making webcomics? Well it's bearing fruit -- Scott McCloud blogged that Farley has started to re-serialize his groundbreaking comic The Spiders. This alternate history of the Afghan war is fascinating.
CHASING THE TITANTIC: Gene Weingarten is getting a big push from the Washington Post for his new comic strip Barney & Clyde. He created it with his son and there was a nice story on their relationship. Weingarten is actually usually pretty funny in his weekly column but I'm curious to see how that translates to the comics. Still it looks like it's only getting launched in 3 papers? There's something horribly, amusingly wrong with a corporately controlled artform (which comics strips in the newspaper definitely is) where a big corporation can't even properly launch a new product...
INDIE ROCK PETE I CHOOSE YOU! Richard Stevens the 3rd asked YOU and maybe you for questions for his Diesel Sweeties characters to answer in a comic.
THE ADVENTURES OF HANNAH SOLO: Lucy Knisley's sorta-journal, sorta-musing webcomic is quite good and the latest is great. I do think there seem to be more stories featuring girls doing things (as opposed to just going along for the ride or worse waiting around to be saved) but as a guy it wasn't until I had daughters that I really thought about how tilted the traditional roles in stories were towards guy=action and girl=inaction. I hope comics is getting better. From my webcomic perspective, it's actually pretty good.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 19, 2010 - 17:18
The one thing minis and webcomics have in common is the DIY spirit. Make a comic and put it out there for people to see. Here's some short reviews of minis I've been reading this week from Lauren Barnett, Kelli Nelson, and the Trees & Hills Comic Group. If you're interested in getting a mini reviewed at ComixTalk, you can find our contact information on the About page.
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.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 18, 2009 - 11:21
This Lucy Knisley comic "Downloading Optimism (Pessimism Virus Detected)" is a great bit of commentary on the transition between an all paper world to the multimedia, digital world Lucy is already a native in. There are generational issues as well as the massive discomfort anyone feels when they are in effect "losing their job" (what else to call the dying models of the daily big city and alternative weekly newpapers and the diminishing number of cartoonists who can make a living from their checks?). You have to hope that cartoonists recognize that losing a "job" (i.e. a business model) is not the same as losing your talent and that as old opportunities go away there are new opportunities to create and exploit.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on September 14, 2009 - 10:41
The SPX Convention is coming this month! There will be a pretty interesting group of webcomic types exhibiting at this year's Saturday and Sunday show in Bethesda. More details at the website -- I am overbooked this year, but hope to be there Sunday afternoon.
Lucy Knisley, author of French Milk, and Erika Moen, creator of DAR: A Super-Girly Top-Secret Comic Diary, join Words & Pictures' S.W. Conser to discuss cartoon travelogues, online journaling, collaborative art-making, and the fine line between Renaissance iconography and porn. Warning: explicit content. Click here for the podcast.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 24, 2009 - 23:17
I get books in the mail from time to time and I always make an effort to review them. Sometimes though I just can't find a hook to the review or something I really want to say about the book which makes it hard to write a proper review. And then the books just sit there on my desk asking me "why!?" "why?!" until I either write the review or not. Hence the "non-review" (or maybe I"ll call them "unreviews").
The first book is French Milk by Lucy Knisley which is basically a diary of her six week stay in Paris. Knisley is clearly pretty talented, but I just didn't connect with the book - I found it often disjointed and I didn't feel like I got a handle on Knisley (as a character in the book) or her mother (who was also there during the stay in Paris). Maybe I was put off by the almost panel-less style of comic Knisley employs in the book. That plus the inclusion of photos of the trip made me feel more like I was reading her actual journal rather than a book about the trip (slim difference in the journal comic tradition perhaps but a difference I think worth noting).
I'm probably wrong - others loved the book - Whitney Matheson (who has pretty good pop comic tastes) called it "Wonderful". Other reviews include Andrew Wheeler at ComicMix; Laura Lutz at Pinot and Prose; and Marie at the Boston Biliophile.
The second book is The Arcade of Cruelty: A Tender Cry For Help In Words & Pictures, created by Joseph J.P. Larkin. This one is not really a comic (there are some comics in it though) so much as a scrapbook of various materials compiled together in one volume. It's hard to describe -- it's either a huge goof (something Andy Kaufman would approve of) on any of its readers or if not maybe someone should be taking that cry for help part of the title seriously. Either way it's an unusual take on autobiography (so there's the parallel with journal comic French Milk -- see I didn't just match up these two books randomly!).
The book itself is extremely well put together in terms of production values but the contents inside feel like Larkin put in anything he could find in his files. Of course maybe he just wants us to think that he put in anything he could find in his files... As far as the comics part of it goes there are some funny riffs, albeit mean-spirited, on Chris Ware and some other famous cartoonists. Then there's lots of other stuff...
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 3, 2009 - 15:34
I've fallen far behind on ComixTalk tasks since the start of the new year - plan to catch up, but in the meantime I thought I'd post a list of the books I've gotten from publishers and authors that are in my to-do box on my desk:
- Pax Avalon by Steven "Reece" Friesen has an interesting looking cover (and included poster). I'm +1 predisposed to any comic with a strong female lead in it (which this appears to be), in part because I have two daughters and they should not have to always identify with a guy protagonist. Plus the press release from Herald Press says this is the "first graphic novel from a Mennonite publisher. Well alrighty then...
- Planet Saturday Comics by Monty Kane which is on the web but has a book out (Volume One) collecting several stories. It is a great comic, somewhere between Calvin and Hobbes and The Wonder Years but still very much it's own thing. Another one my daughers liked part of very much.
- Soul Chaser Betty by Brain "BMan" Babendererde which is a solid story of dream warriors with manga-flavored visuals. We should have an interview with the BMan this month on the site.
- Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan which is really an illustrated kids (young adult?) book. My daughters have read some of the stories and liked so I hope to get through all of it soon. Visually it's stunning and kind of makes me wish it was a true comic.
- French Milk by Lucy Knisley which is a journal comic about Lucy's stay in Paris France for a month.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 20, 2008 - 08:41
SECRETS & LIES is an anthology of comics edited by veteran web cartoonist Cayetano Garza Jr. which will make its debut at the 2008 MoCCA Art Festival in New York, NY (June 7-8, table C27).
Submitted by chuckwheel on May 19, 2008 - 19:42
Not in my neck of the woods, but if it were, I'd be there. The anthology, compiled by the great Cat Garza, contains my story 'The Librarian' which you saw a bit of on this very blog:
SECRETS & LIES Anthology and Book Release Party
White River Junction, VT, May 20, 2008 â€“ SECRETS & LIES is an anthology of comics edited by veteran web cartoonist Cayetano Garza Jr. which will make its debut at the 2008 MoCCA Art Festival in New York, NY (June 7-8, table C27).