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Ryan North

Comix Talk for Monday, December 6, 2010

So what did everyone think about the finale of Season One of The Walking Dead? I kind of wished they'd avoided the cliché of the last minute running out of the exploding building and jumping for safety but otherwise I thought it was an entertaining episode.  One can guess that the changes they made to the story this season (particularly the trip to the CDC) may have driven in part by not knowing if they'd ever get to make more than 6 episodes.

AWARDS: The judges for next year's Eisner Awards have been announced: Comic-Con board of Directors member Ned Cato, Jr., librarian/curator Karen Green, writer/editor Andrew Helfer, publishing executive Rich Johnson and retailer Chris Powell. The judges meet next March to select the nominees for the 2011 Eisner Awards ballot.

IT'S ART JIM BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT: Matt Dembicki posts photos of the Party Crashers exhibit on comics as art, here in Arlington, Virginia. I made it to the opening of this at the Arts Center but promptly forgot to post the pictures I took.  Matt took way more pictures than I did!  My favorite part of the exhibit? A really Dash Shaw-like video by who else - Dash Shaw.

REVIEW: Art Patient reviews Mel and Chad.

INTERVIEW: CZ Wheeler interviews Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics and Webcomics Globetrotters fame.

Scene and Heard: Comics DC links to video of a recent panel called "In Between the Panels: DC's Emergence on the Graphic Novel Scene". Start off with part one: 

Open Book Toronto Interview with Webcomic Creators at TCAF

Open Book Toronto produced this great video from TCAF with lots of interview footage with Ryan North, Ramon Perez and Erika Moen talking about the diversity of the webcomic medium and the possibilities it opened up for independent artists. Extremely well done!

Comix Talk for March 2, 2010

Scott McCloud

INTERVIEW: Graphic NYC interviews Scott McCloud.

iWEBCOMICSBleeding Cool blog reports that a new beta version of Longbox, the comics reader-and-collector-and-social-networking software, will be available to the public this weekend.  Prior versions of Longbox were in private beta..

CONTEST: The Escapist website webcomic contest has a couple of additional judges you might recognize: Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics) and Brian Clevinger (8 Bit Theatre). The deadline for entries closed February 28th and winners will be chosen the week of March 8th.

JUSTIFY THE HYPE: The Comics Are Evil blog spotlights an old skool webcomic, The Parking Lot is Full, by Pat Spacek and Jack McLaren.

MILESTONES: Chris Crosby's Superosity hits its eleven year anniversary.  That's super! (h/t FLEEN)

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day and um... Webcomics!

It's a holiday in the U.S. and the kind of day that I would hope the rest of the world can, if not celebrate, acknowledge happily.  (Which puts it in a different category than celebrating more nationalistic - George Washington - or controversial - Cristos Columbus - figures from history).  I wonder if India has a Mahatma Gandhi day?  Apparently they do - one for his birth and one for his death.

Haiti.  Wow, it's a good thing I don't play a pretend-actual-news journalist on the Internet because I don't think I could find the words to write adequately about the situation there.  It's an immense tragedy.  If you can afford to donate something Doctors Without Borders is a group that was one of the first in and does a tremendous amount of good.

Hosting and Coding Geekery.  If you're not just a webcomics geek but have educated opinions on webhosting, wordpress or drupal I would really like to talk to you.  My current hosting at media temple is not working for ComixTALK.  I have been trying to sort out plans for the new year for hosting and whether to switch CMSs but I feel overwhelmed.  I had some good conversations on twitter and im last night but what I really need is just more advice -- the Internet is CONFUSING when you ask what is best on these questions.  Email me at xerexes AT gmail DOT com or twitter to xerexes or gchat to xerexes or just add a comment to this post here.  Once I get all this squared away I have some ideas about redoing the theme here at ComixTALK.  

Webcomics.  Oh you probably came here this morning to read about comics presented in pixelated form, didn't you?  First things first - the switch to using RSS feeds in Google Reader for my daily webcomics "page" is a success.  It's much more convenient.  If you want me to check out YOUR webcomic send it to me (see above) somehow and I will!  I can't write about  it if I haven't read it :)

But this approach still leaves me thinking about how to find the "good" webcomics.  And let's be honest -- when I say "good" I mean good in terms of what I want to read.  Your "good" may be completely different.  Either way there's a LOT of comics now and 99% of them seem to be on the Internet in some form or another.  Over at Savage Critics, Abhay Khosla has a surprisingly good (surprising because I thought it was going to be just a snarkfest and it turned out to be quite thoughtful) essay on what it's like to live in a world of almost infinite comic choices.  I also loved his take on ComixTALK's 2009 Roundtable:

Comixtalk did a year-end roundtable in December 2009, in which they spoke to not less than eight people. Between the eight of them, roughly five billion webcomics are mentioned over the course of the round-table. So: be sure to check those out...

Joystiq's weekly webcomic roundup seems to be a bit of an institution now for gaming comics.  Is there anything like it for other subjects Movie comics? Celebrity comics? New and opinion sites?  I don't offer a practical plan for convincing a successful site in a subject area to add a webcomic roundup but I think it would be worth working on.  (If you're a smaller site linked to by Joystiq -- how much of a bump are you getting from the exposure?)

At the end of this month, Ryan North's Project Wonderful is going to add geotargeting to it's service - here Ryan explains more about the benefits of this feature. I used a mix of PW, Blog Ads and ComicSpace's Ad service Webcomics World over the last year and if I had to keep one I'd stick with PW right now.

El Santo reviews Dead Winter, a zombie webcomic.  4 Stars and he compares it favorably to Jenny Romanchuk’s Zombie Hunters and Bobby Crosby's Last Blood.

Delos writes about Sandra De Haan, a Netherlands artist, who has translated some of her journal webcomics into English.  I like the crispy cartoony artwork here. 

Also via Delos is a link to The Blueprint Database - a vast collection of blueprints from cars to the Millenium Falcon.

Has everyone seen The Fantastic Mr Fox?  I want to but haven't yet.  Did see a wonderful exhibit on it at the Cartoon Museum and spotted this acceptance speech at the National Board of Review ceremony (via Drawn!)

Speaking of movies the news that Ryan Estrada is making a movie version of his webcomic The Kind You Don't Take Home to Mother has bounced around the web.  All I can say is I am really looking forward to this and I hope Ryan succeeds in getting it done.

Last not least, ComixTALK friend for life Jon Morris has a funny essay up at on the Strange Life and Times of Richie Rich.

Rolling Update For Friday

Wow- the first full week of 2010 at ComixTalk and I'm still surprised how much folks are talking about's and keenspot's recent announcements.  I think with the struggling ad market we may see another year of tremendous experimentation as folks try out old and new business ideas alike.  I wonder about the "swag" market -- a recent tweet about the amount of postage bought by Topatoco last year reminded me how little we know about trends in that area.  Sure we hear from individual cartoonists when they do well or not but I don't think anyone has an idea of whether collective sales of comics-related t-shirts, stickets, etc is going up or down over time.

Also, I guess the 3-D hype from movies and teevee has come to comics -- Comics Alliances writes up a recent effort at a 3-D webcomic.

Last another site note: I'm definitely going to a new site design, probably timed to moving to a new host; ideally within this month.  In the meantime partially inspired by the video of Lark Pien's Small Destructions installation I saw, I'm using the "cover" art slot here and changing it often (call it not-quite-daily).  I hope folks like some of them or at least don't mind.  We had 83 cover artists (give or take - some were collaborations) over 7 years and I finally thought I'd like to take my own turn at it.

Scott McCloud mentioned Dan Goldman's new webcomic Red Light Properties which has a panel at a time interface (Scott seems to approve) and pointed to an interview Goldman at the Graphic NYC blog.

An interview with Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North focusing on his many webcomic tools like the ad system Project Wonderful and the RSS site, RSSpect.  Worth noting North recently added plans to add on January 30th geotargeting to the Project Wonderful platform.

ArtPatient has links to lots of free webcomic tutorial sites as well as Delos's usual amazingly complete round-up of interviews, reviews and other announcements.

The comic book website Broken Frontiers names Girl Genius the Best Webcomic of 2009.

Be sure to check out Christopher Baldwin's new webcomic Spacetrawler.

Boing Boing reports that the first two volumes of Wizzywig, Ed Piskor's graphic memoir of the early days of the BBS/hacking/phreaking scene, have been posted online.

Daily Cartoonist reports Bridgett Spicer’s webcomic Squid Row has landed a spot in The Monterey County Herald.

Word on the Street

Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North

Strip News 8-14-9

lookitsampler 203x300 Strip News 8 14 9This issue of Strip News is a bit introverted so I ask you to bear with me as I wool gather.

The Daily Update with your host Xaviar Xerexes

Dean Haspiel talks to CBR about the new ACT-I-VATE Primer, a book featuring comics from creators on the roster of the ACT-I-VATE webcomics portal.

Tim O'Shea has an interview with Carol Lay who has a new book out called The Big Skinny which is a combination diet book and memoir in comics.

UPDATE: CBR has a really good interview with Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics (and the dude who runs Project Wonderful advertising).

Richard Thompson of Cul de sac points to a recent Tom the Dancing Bug comic on the news of that comic's climbing to the top of the Rankopedia rankings for comics strips.

The Webcomic Overlook #93: Ulysses Seen