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Otis Frampton

Comix Talk for Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cleopatra in Space! by Mike Maihack

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I grilled the heck out of some meat on Monday and good times were had by all.  Speaking of food, the Portland Mercury offers up a ballsy cooking lesson from Achewood creator Chris Onstad. (h/t Waxy).  I challenge you to read that one all the way to the end.

AWARDS: The 2010 National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Awards were announced -- According to the NCS members Zits by Jerry Scott & Jim Borgman is the best comic strip and Rhymes with Orange by Hilary Price is the best panel in the newspapers this year... I actually think Rhymes does have some amazing work but Zits, while extremely well-crafted, feels like a bland family sitcom translated to the newspaper.  These are both very safe choices although given the glacial rate of change in newspaperland there's not really much in the way of dangerous choices the NCS could have made.

ANTHOLOGY:  A new webcomic collective - or maybe better to say online anthology?  Space Dock 7 is a science fiction themed hub for seven new webcomics that have strategically adopted an update schedule staggering their weekly updates so that each has its own day.

HYPIN THE HYPE

I Want You To Feel the Pressure by M. Thomas Harding is interesting.  The first thing you might notice however is how much the art and format of it look like Dresdan Codak. In fact the main character of IWYTFTP is kind of similar visually to a prominent character in Dresdan.  It's worth mentioning that similarity, but it's not like Harding is slavishly copying -- his comic is set-up to be about a super spy and her friends, but the first chapter was mostly about a night at a club -- we'll see what the second chapter winds up focusing on.  He's making progress with making the characters distinct and interesting, he's decently adept with the plot and there are some good beats in the individual comics.  And his artwork is improving so possibly he'll get to a point where it doesn't seem to ape Dresdan so much.

Clockworks by Shawn Gaston is a lot of fun.  It's not perfect but it has a lot of things going right. Visually, the comic is fantastic -- Gaston has a great sense of color and design.  The artwork is almost iconic at times where the characters can be submerged into the larger pattern of the panel.  The whole world of Clockworks isn't necessarily unique but it's a well-done mashup of steampunk and fantasy images.  Although there's a largely dark palette at work the use of color is really well thought out - it's often just very nice to look at.  Story-wise after 90+ comics there's a bit more of the overall world revealed and you have a better sense of the characters.  There's a lot of mystery and a bit of confusion as to motivation sometimes but give Gaston props for sticking (mostly) to the show not tell rule of story-telling.  If you read the about page you learn that the webcomic is based on a roleplaying game that Gaston is running with a group of friends (inspired by this Dork Tower comic).  I don't know how to feel about that -- on the one hand, I now know that there's a structure to the world we're reading about that Gaston is borrowing, but on the other hand, the characters in the webcomic come from the roleplaying which may or may not lead to narrative coherence as the thing plays out (what makes a satisfying role-playing experience does not necessarily equal a satisfying narrative experience for the reader).  I am going to give Gaston the benefit of the doubt and encourage you to as well (particularly if this is the type of story you'd already like).

Otis Frampton Comes Alive!

Otis Frampton, creator of Oddly Normal has a new webcomic called Escape From Planet Nowhere and it looks fantastic.  It's a sci-fi adventure kind of story with a classic sci-fi look.  He explains the new comic and goes through how he created the look in this video:

I May Be the Mayor of Webcomicton

DARK HORSE PRESENTS
Wow - The Dark Horse presents on MySpace this month kicks all kinds of sass: Nothing Nice to Say by Mitch Clem, Achewood by Chris Onstand, Beanworld by Larry Marder, and new stuff from Liz Greenfield: Steak and Kidney Punch.

INTERVIEWS
Jennifer Contino interviews Jessica Hickman the artist on Otis Frampton's Oddly Normal.

Rick Marshall interviews Bernie Hou of Alien Loves Predator -- now working on a new webcomic If You See Something.

Just Got Back from SPX Day One

I'm only doing one day of SPX this year (today) which is too bad because it was chockfull of cool people and good comics. I just got home from spending the afternoon there and I'll have a more "formal" (yes I'm making the air quote with my fingers in my head as I write that word) convention report later this weekend but I thought I'd do a quick post right now.

Join me in "read more" land if you dare!

Contributors to Comixpedia

We've had many contributors to Comixpedia over the years - here's a full list through the end of 2005:

Three Years of Comixpedia

A little love letter to the magazine that could.It's the third anniversary of Comixpedia this issue.

2006 is the fourth year we've been writing about webcomics. We've put out 38 monthly issues of the magazine and published more than 600 reviews, interviews and other articles about webcomics. We've posted more than 2500 news posts (that's not counting the magazine).

Friday's (Tiny) News Offerings: WCN, Estrada and Viper

Digging through the threads in the Talk about comics forum might now and then yield something of interest, such as this post by Joey Manley on the progress of WCN subscriptions and goals, found in a thread comparing WCN with mp3.com:

If we can get to 100 paying customers (we're in the mid-fifties now, after a couple of weeks), I will be making enough money to quit my consulting gigs and work full-time on webcomics.

Ryan Estrada has passed the half way mark on this 168-hour comic week. I suspect that the second half of the week will be significantly more difficult than the first one though.

Comic book publisher Viper comics seems to keep an eye on webcomics. They ahve published works by Kazu Kibuishi', Otis Frampton's Oddly Normal, and Les McClain (nominated for an Eisner award for Best digital comic), and is hosting Wes Molebash's webcomic You'll have that. Now they have added another webcomic to the site, The Horrible Pirates updates mondays.

Things of Interest - Monday Morning Post Nerd Vegas Version

Newsarama has an interview with the creative team behind Viper comics' upcoming mini-series The Middle man. Artist on the series is Les McClain, creator of the Eisner Award nominated webcomic Jonny Crossbones.

Sequential Tart also has an interview with a creator published by Viper comics, Otis Frampton. Oddly Normal started its life as a webcomic before being picked up by Viper.

Update from Xerexes: I was working on a post when I saw Erik's so let me just add that The Comics Reporter has some thoughts on Comicon this morning (as well as an entertaining interview with James Kochalka) and as Erik mentioned Dale Ingram has some comments on the plethora of webcomics panels this year (Ingram also has a promising webcomic Hold My Life).

An Incomplete List of Webcomics in Print, Collated by Kelly J. Cooper

Many MANY of our webcomicking friends have published print versions of their work. I've tried to find, track down, and remember as many as possible. But given the thousands (tens of thousands?) of webcomics out there, this was a daunting task. If I missed your comic, I apologize profusely and profoundly. Please add it via a comment.

Give us links to Webcomics in Print!

Hi,

We're putting together an article for June on what webcomics are in print.

If you know of any webcomics that have gone to print, post them here.

1. Name of Comic & URL
2. Creators (authors and artists)
3. Links to the books
4. Titles if you know them
5. Publisher if you know it

Thanks!
Kelly J. Cooper
Comixpedia Features Editor