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Mike Krahulik

Ender's Blog and Other Webcomic News

Just to lead off - PAX pox is on the loose... and in a funny guest Penny Arcade comic from Fox Trot cartoonist Bill Amend.

MILESTONES
Farewell Scary Go RoundA longer goodbye message from creator John Allison on his blog here.  After reading the actual ending, I have no idea what's in store in his next comic -- which happily, I believe, kicks off on Monday. 

DEAD TREES
Randall Munroe has a book coming out!  xkcd: volume 0 will be released in the xkcd store next week. And Munroe will be on a limited book tour to support it. (Also today's xkcd?  I wonder how you'd have to tweak Ender's Game in the blog/tweet/etc world of today?  I mean part of its storyline basically reads "1. Blog; 2. ????; 3. World Domination!"  Anyhow - another brilliant comic from Munroe.)

REVIEWS
Webcomic Week reviewed Chris Flick's Capes N Babes recently and Derik Badman reviews Kramer's Ergot 7.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Art Patient rounds up lots of webcomic reviews and interviews here.

COMICS CULTURE

Saw this on Sean Kleefeld's site - a video about fan culture with a whole lot of interviews of interesting folks including Scott Kurtz, Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik, Ryan Sohmer, and Lar deSouza.

It's Ain't Easy Being Green

Good morning Internet!  Swine flu even at PAX?! (see Mike/Gabe's message) -- nice to see that the Penny Arcade crew is broadcasting useful information via the website and encouraging everyone to take care of themselves.  That show seemed huge this year.  I am looking forward to my probably futile hopes to attend PAX East (futile because something always comes up to deflect my physical travels much like that damn leprechaun and his stale box of marshmallows and grains).

INTERVIEWS
Rick Marshall scores an interview with Harvey Pekar about his new webcomic project.  How cool is that?!

A lovely interview with the talented Kate Beaton (no! you have not yet read enough interviews with Beaton this year!!  And... there WILL BE MORE! This Nostradamous predicts...)

REVIEWS
Brigid Alverson gives a very good review to the first print collection of Skin Horse by Shaenon Garrity and some dude (Jeffrey C. Wells: just kidding!!!!!!!).

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Met up with the Washtington Webcomics crew last night: Rob Balder (still erfing the world); Chris Impink (um gravitating the fragile... hmm ), Chris Flick (caping the babes? okay this nickname scheme isn't working out all that well) and just met Joe Zuniga who does the relatively new comic Made Up.

Wednesday

HEADLINES!
This week's big story is probably going to be the announcement of the "Comic Strip Superstar" contest from Andrews McMeel Publishing and Universal Press Syndicate. Entrants have to submit their work by September 12th.  Brad Guigar at Webcomics.com writes a lengthy breakdown of the press release well worth reading.  Like all of these never-ending corporate comic contests, one really has to read the fine print carefully and fully consider the trade-offs before entering.  And my own two cents -- there is no magic wand that will instantly grant you a "comics career" let alone make you a "superstar".  Make sure you evaluate clearly whatever you're actually going to get and rationally decide that it is well worth what you're giving up.

CRAFT
Scott Kurtz blogs that the Webcomics.com crew is starting a brand new live stream called Webcomics.com University. Kurtz's first session will be this Friday and cover "line quality and how I try to achieve a clean look in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet."

TECHNOLOGY
Longbox - the planned comics reader for the web, iphones, etc has a video of the forthcoming beta version. (h/t Journalista!)

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade did a variant cover for the comic adaptation of Steven King's and Peter Straub's The Talisman.

Strip News 7-10-9

We’ve been busy, busy, busy…
2009 05 19 Death From A Silver Cloud 200x300 Strip News 7 10 9

This isn’t about the past. This is about the future.

One year ago last week, I began doing webcomic reviews on Da Blog.
Recently, I’ve been having a crisis of confidence about the whole enterprise.
This should be obvious enough to anyone who read my 8-Bit Theater review. Quite frankly, I completely stalled while writing it. I found myself trapped in a place where I couldn’t say much more than “It’s a webcomic, and it’s not Order of the Stick. Um… it loves non-sequitur. Um… it… structures its updates well. Um… I got nothin’.” Roger Ebert (or even Eric Burns(-White)) I’m not.

This Day in ComixTalk: June 19th

This Day in ComixTALK:

2008
Chuck Whelon posted the cover art for his new edition of the first collection of Pewfell Perfingles comics.  He also posted a great page from that bookNeil Cohn noted the 30th anniversary of Jim Davis' Garfield and covered some of the webcomic experimentalism incorporating that comicBrad Guigar reported back from exhibiting at Wizard World Philadelphia.  Kate Beaton?  Before she became famous for historical comicking, she posted this take on the Anthony-Liz storyline from For Better or For Worse.

And the nominees for that year's Online Comics category at the Harveys included Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, EZ Street, Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley, Penny Arcade, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch and Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Dwight L. Macpherson, Thomas Boatwright and Thomas Mauer.

2007
I was in the midst of spinning off Comixpedia.org and rebranding this site as ComixTALK.  While it all hasn't worked out to "bigger and better" it has worked well enough for me.  (Never did activate the so-called umbrella site "Comixmedia")

Todd Allen was covering the DC webcomics plans; another Platinum story was in the news and FLEEN speculated on the webcomic future for Elfquest creators Wendy and Richard Pini.

2006
Back when we did "Summer of Guest Bloggers" -- we had Barry Gregory (01 Comics) and Clay Gardner (Wirepop) on tap for this week.  Clay wrote a post on "the hidden style of manga".  And Zach Lewis hyped Jack of All Blades -- the "most popular adventure comic featuring a doppleganger, a penguin, and a horrid swordfighter".

2005
June 2005 was our "webcomics in print" issue.  Ben Towles wrote about his experiences self-publishing a print collection of his webcomic TowniesEric Burns wrote about some of the webcomics that had jumped to print and mused about what would be the future role of print in webcomics.  Meanwhile in Kelly Cooper's MoCCA report we have early photographic evidence of Gary "Magnum P.I." Tyrrell.

2004
Cartoonist Hard (aka Clay) who used to blog pretty often, wrote about various comics publications and objecting to the Webcomics Examiner approach to webcomics.  It just reminds me of how overblown some of the discussions online became back then.  And the fact that for a long time Comixpedia/Talk was largely alone in trying to provide coverage of webcomics which often meant we got swept up in whatever the drama of the moment was.

2003
I linked to this article in the NYTimes about building an audience for your blog.  It's a bit like driving a mustang while looking back on the Model Ts.  How about this quote:

But Susan Mernit, a blogger in San Francisco, is actively trying to increase her readership from its current average of about 50 visitors a day. "I value hits highly," said Ms. Mernit, a consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former vice president for programming at America Online. "I'd like to see my traffic increase by 10 readers a month."

Weekly Roundup: Bleeding Cool, Chuck Palahniuk and French Batman

Comics
Most of the talk in the comics blogosphere and news sites centered around Rich Johnston’s new site, BleedingCool.com. His residency and column Lying in the Gutters has come to an end at Comic Book Resources.
Warren Ellis has returned to writing a weekly column at Bleeding Cool entitled Do Anything. Looks like it’s going to be a fun ride.

Webcomics Rumble Podcast 02 - UStream / Cons / Mobile

Mike and Kristen talk about the desire of innovation in existing and potential services that provide better experiences for readership.

Sites & Services Mentioned: Ustream, San Diego Comic Con, Phoenix Comic Con, Oh No Robot, Zuda, and ComixTalk.  Webcomics Mentioned: Penny Arcade by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Horribleville by KC Green, Octopus Pie by Meredith Gran, Cyanide and Happiness by Kris, Rob, Matt, & Dave, MegaTokyo, Player v. Player by Scott Kurtz, Sluggy Freelance, and Templar AZ.

This Day In ComixTalk: May 15th

A look back at some of the stories we covered from the world of webcomics:

2008
I mused on the future of comics and links to all of the other news I found worth linking to that day - including the conclusion of Evan Dham's Rice Boy.

2007
We had a review of the Paranormals and in award news: Brian Fies won the Blooker Award for Mom's Cancer and Krahulik and Holkins won the UK's Eagle Award for Penny Arcade.

2006
Artist Onezumi commented on the then-in-the-news Brownstein/Soma story, ByrobotDotNet started up, we updated the list of surviving contestants to the Daily Grind contest (as of 2009 there are still 8 surviving contestants listed - I wonder if anyone is still tracking this?) and links to all of the other news I found worth linking to that day.

2005
David "Shortpacked" Willis announced he was leaving Keenspot.
The 2nd week of our May magazine update went up: a review of Spamusement, an interview with J. Grant and Mel Hynes of Two Lumps, Alexander Danner's guide to collaboration, a new column from Eric Burns, and a new Welton Colbert comic from Ryan Estrada.

2004
The 2nd week of our May magazine update went up: with a review of Spark Needle and an interview with Gilda Rimessi of The Sinner Dragon as well as columns from Frank "Damonk" Cormier and Jim Zubkavish.  We also had a look at the history of comics syndication.

2003
Eat the Roses by Meaghan Quinn turned 3 years old (I think the last time this was updated was in 2006).
Nominations for the 3rd edition of the WCCAs were almost due.

Who Are You?: An Interview with Neil Kleid (Action, Ohio)

whoareyouWhat if superheroes, created by analogues of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, were real and based on actual people with powers? What if they were hidden away in a sleepy town since the 1950’s? And if there are superheroes, are there supervillains?

Action, Ohio, written by Neil Kleid and illustrated by Paul Salvi, was originally one of the hopeful competitors trying to win a contract with Zuda Comics. The comic follows heroine Andi Bruce, a Detroit detective with a sad past, who is compelled to solve a brutal murder. Her investigation gradually leads her to learn about the existence of superheroes in a town on the Michigan-Ohio border. Eventually, she must decide between solving her case or protecting the heroes’ freedoms by keeping things quiet.

I first encountered Action, Ohio, when Jack, Anthony, The Doctor, Delos, and I did a round of reviews at Comic Fencing. I heard about the comic again when Neil sent out a press release that the comic had moved to Shadowline, an Image Comics affiliate that begun publishing webcomics in October 2008. I did some quick research, and it quickly dawned on me that Neil Kleid was prolific. Winner of a Xeric Award (for Ninety Candles), writer for several print comics published by NBM to Slave Labor to Image, art director for Comedy Central and Miramax campaigns, creator of several webcomics…. Good God, y’all.

A large sample of his work can be found at his Rant Comics site.

I contacted Neil if he’d like to do an e-mail interview, and he graciously accepted. Neil had already conducted two excellent interviews with Newsrama and io9. I wanted to touch on subjects that hadn’t yet been covered at the other sites: what it was like working for Zuda and Shadowline, what common themes were within his body of work, and … why Ohio?