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 9, 2010 - 03:02
It's day 4 of Snowapalooza in Washington DC. I consider this a trial run for if I ever decided to move to Canada and so far... I don't think I'd make it. But being snow-bound has been great for catching up on comics. I also wanted to flag a few features at ComixTalk -- the calendar of comic events is available here, but you can also add it a number of other calendar programs and I'm always interested in co-maintainers. In fact I'd be very happy to see other blogs and sites join me in maintaining it and embedding it on their sites too. I also set up a hub page for the four webcomic titles that have run at ComixTalk over its 8 year history - click to discover work from Ryan Estrada, Kris Straub and Bryant Paul Johnson.
Awards: The Webcomics List, a hybrid tracking, popularity and news site for webcomics had a forum-organized awards program this year. It felt a lot like the old WCCAs. This Week in Webcomics covers the results. Gunnerkrigg Court won the nod for Best Comic and Moon Town won for Best New Comic. Coyote has a review of Moon Town here.
iWebcomics: So I'm kind of already burnt out on the iPad hype. I want to wait until the thing is available to think more about it. Others are though: Erik Larsen has an essay about it and Gizmodo salivated over how comics will look on the tablet device.
Dead Trees: Tyler Page talks numbers, costs and quality for taking the Print-On-Demand route for volume 2 of his Nothing Better webcomic. And starting this week, for a couple of months, Gordon McAlpin is working full time on Multiplex — and, the Multiplex: Book 1 print collection. This is all due to the funding he raised for the book through a Kickstarter drive.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- The recent rock concert contest storyline at Ornery Boy has been great - both funny and Michael Lalonde has done an awesome job with animating key panels. If you're going to do a flash comic than use it! Ornery Boy makes great use of Flash's capabilities.
- It's a been awhile since I've linked to Freak Angels. Things are happening again in the storyline and although I'm a bit annoyed that after a few years we still don't really understand the full logic of the "package" of the freak angels and their world, it's a hell of a comic. I'll also just flag again that what Avatar is doing here seems like a pretty good model for a publisher-creator relationship in the webcomic world. I'm not sure I've seen anyone else quite match it yet.
- The latest issue of Dark Horse Presents is out with webcomics from Graham Annable and others.
Submitted by bobweiner on November 12, 2009 - 06:04
Itâ€™s now officially released for everyone to order just in time for Christmas!!!
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 November 13, 2008 - 21:02
This is an update to a previous post here, thanks for the cumulative suggestions on that thread. JUST so we're clear - this is open-sourced to everyone research for a possible article to appear next month at ComixTalk. I don't endorse the list or the order at all; at this point I've tried to include all of the suggestions I've gotten and I also went through all of the comics ComixTalk has ever reviewed and pulled quite a few titles.
We're at the point where it'll be most helpful if you tell me comics you think should go on the list, where (what number approximately) and which comic should get bumped. If you just want to change the order you can do that to but there'll be another post before the month's through asking for help with that.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 25, 2007 - 12:12
BSC WEBCOMICS IDOL 2.0
- This week was the final round (maybe something to tweak next year to avoid having it during the week of Thanksgiving) and it all ends tonight at midnight (pretty sure about that anyhow). It's down to Templar, AZ and Lucid TV - both well done comics in every aspect and good examples of work that is thriving on the web that might not have found their audience without the web. Go vote and check out both comics if you're not already reading them.
- Scott Kurtz redid his pvponline.com site -- this time working with Tyler Martin and his comicpress theme for Wordpress. If you've got a webcomic site you ought to check out Wordpress+comicpress as a solution. Wordpress is possibly the most popular piece of blogging software around (so it's not going away) and Tyler has made it work well for webcomics with the custom comicpress theme. All of it open source and free.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- The Nixonomicron... that's classic! Check out this Non-Adventure of Wonderella.
- A one-stop shop for all things Shaenon K. Garrity - shaenon.com. Cool!
- I really like the in-panel animation Michael Lalonde has been using in the recent Ornery Boy storyline.
- The entry for ComixTalk is still up at Wikipedia so if you're at all wiki-inclined what would help it would be adding any citations to Comixpedia or ComixTalk from other media (preferrably in print as that's Wikipedia's bias).
- My advice to all webcomics is still to start an entry at Comixpedia.org and let it evolve organically there for a good chunk of time (especially if you're just starting out) so that you have a very solid article with citations ready to port to Wikipedia if and when your webcomic is getting enough attention that it might be considered "notable" at Wikipedia. My opinion is that debates at wikipedia over notability and deletion in a lot of cases have much more to do with the actual state of the article on Wikipedia than the subject of the article itself.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- This comic (translated from Korean to "This Is Game") about a daughter and mother's experience playing Animal Crossing is a moving comic that a lot of folks seems to be linking to.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 24, 2007 - 14:31
I built a "library" of webcomics and creators back in the fall of 2005 which I put into beta before realizing it was too much editorial work to deal with and the same information could be better provided through the community edited webcomic wiki - COMIXPEDIA.
Nevertheless looking back on the assortment of names collected (some from me, some sent in from you) I wonder if anyone has any significant updates on these creators 18 months later. Maybe we should interview some of them?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 25, 2007 - 09:39
First off thanks to our current sponsor, the Learn to Draw the Human Figure anatomy course. We have advert slots open (cheap!) right now - click here for more details. Second, we had a great May issue - be sure to check out anything you missed:
- Joel Fagin's feature on micropayments: Reinventing Micropayments
- Interviews with Michael Lalonde (Orneryboy); Meghan Murphy (Kawaii Not); Brad Guigar (Evil Inc., Phables, Courting Disaster)
- Reviews of Cow & Buffalo; Paranormals; Astronaut Elementary, Lunchbox and Zip Li'l Bit.
- Recurring Columns: Full Story Highlights; Panels & Pictures; and Brigid's Bento Box.
- Webcomics-In-Print has an interview with the creator of Wikiworld - a nonfiction comic that is based on Wikipedia articles.
- An interview with Ryan North of the webcomic Dinosaur Comics and the advert service Project Wonderful.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Dirk Deppey links to Connor Moran's post comparing the amount of "politics" in a random sampling of Doonesbury to Chris Muir's Day To Day comic.