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Scott Kurtz

POLL: Five to Pull / One To Pass: July 15, 2009

Amazing Spider-Man #599

Creative team: Story by Joe Kelly; art by Marco Chechetto

Villain to Watch: Norman Osborn

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.

Quick news item: webcomic domination of the Harveys

Xaviar Xerexes of ComixTalk reports on an interesting development in the Harvey Awards: a lot more webcomics are getting the nod this year.

There are a lot of webcomic angles to the list of nominees this year, including the seven nominations for Jeff Kinney’s Diary of A Wimpy Kid (a comic with a webcomic origin) and 10 noninations for John Gallagher’s Buzzboy which also has it origins in an online version.

2009 Harvey Awards Nominees

The nominees for the 2009 Harvey Awards are out -- all comics creators (those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field) are eligible to vote for the award winners from now through August 8th.  Ballots for voting are available online here.  There are a lot of webcomic angles to the list of nominees this year, including the seven nominations for Jeff Kinney's Diary of A Wimpy Kid (a comic with a webcomic origin) and 10 noninations for John Gallagher's Buzzboy which also has it origins in an online version.

In the online category, the nominees include three comics on DC's Zuda website: BLACK CHERRY BOMBSHELLS, HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, plus PVP, and LEAST I COULD DO.  Interestingly enough three webcomics from Zuda also received nominations for Best New Series: HIGH MOON, NIGHT OWLS, and SUPERTRON.  (Check out CBR's recent interview with High Moon artist Steve Ellis)

Least I Could Do artist Lar deSouza also snagged nominations for Best Cartoonist and in the Special Award for Humor in Comics.  David Malki! of Wondermark also got a nod in the Special Award for Humor category and another one in the SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION category for his book WONDERMARK, VOL. 1: BEARDS OF OUR FOREFATHERS (which I own a copy of and agree is absolutely deserving of this recognition).

In the BEST BIOGRAPHICAL, HISTORICAL OR JOURNALISTIC PRESENTATION category HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS, by Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub received a nomination.  In the Best Anthology category, FLIGHT VOLUME 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi received a nomination.

The Webcomic Overlook #80: Set To Sea

I mentioned Drew Weing on this blog before. I gushed over his work on the somewhat experimental “Pup” (reviewed here). I was enamored by how he pushed the boundaries of the internet browser to augment the themes of his individual strips. You might say that he put the “can” in “infinite canvas”! (Groan. That’s right, I groaned preemptively for you.)

However, I understand if those strips come off as a bit gimmicky. Being goofy with the medium does not mean it’s any good, right? Rest assured, though, Mr. Weing’s traditional artistics skills are, in fact, mad and crunk. Perhaps even fly. They’re reason enough to give his webcomics a good look. Today, on The Webcomic Overlook, let’s check out one of his more standard comics: the more conventionally paced (yet still novel) Set To Sea.

I mean, it’s a story of a soulful giant and his adventures on a rickety sailing vessel. What’s not to like? Plus, you might want to stick around later as I get my techie on to ask another question: how do webcomics look on the small screen, e.g. the iPod Touch and the Samsung Glide? Go on and feel free to persecute me for my lack of technical knowledge!

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.

POLL: Summer convention schedule

It's gonna be an awesome convention season this summer, with my usual stops in Philly, San Diego and Baltimore. Plus, I've added appearances in Pittsburgh and Hartford, Conn. And the summer ain't over yet! Keep your eye on the column to the right of this blog for updates to the schedule. For now, though, here's where you can come out and exchange knowing grins.

Halfpixel Tribute Art


Above was a tribute piece I drew for Brad Guigar, Kris Straub, Scott Kurtz, and Dave Kellett, cartoonists of Evil Inc., Starslip, PvP and Sheldon, respectively.

Awards for Comics: Consider the Reubens

This topic comes up from time to time and maybe it's as good an excuse as any to ponder it again.  Unlike movies (OSCAR) or music (GRAMMY) there is no one clear-cut top award for the medium in the United States.  It seems to be largely because of the fractured history of different distribution models for comics in the US.  In any event the Eisners (largely thought of as awards for comic books) have included webcomics as a category in their program -- should the Reubens (largely thought of as awards for comic strips in newspapers) do so as well?  That and other drama-filled topics inhabit the latest long comment thread at DailyCartoonist (Odd side note: a recent regular participant over there - Scott Kurtz of PvP - claims to have been banned).

In Webcomics No One Can Hear You Scream

Thanks to Caleb Sevcik for this month's cover art!  Caleb is the first artist to do 2 covers for ComixTalk.  Here's more news for Tuesday:

From DRAWN! -- Dave Gibbons, artist on the Watchmen, uses Manga Studio to digitally draw the character Rorschach.

Erfworld artist Jamie Noguchi demonstrates some techniques in "digital painting".  Cool stuff!

Part one and part two of Daily Cross Hatch's interview with PBF creator Nick Gurewitch.

Over at Panel and Pixel, a thread asking what is the optimal update schedule and tips on how to market your webcomic.

Pop Syndicate has an article on the threat to brick and mortar stores from digital comics publishing.

Scott "Dilbert" Adams writes a blog post on how hyper-localism might "save" newspapers (not really - Adams is really advising people in newspapers to start  "hyper-local" community portals as a new business plan.  Not sure Adams is offering anything new to the already vigorous discussion on how a focus on local community is a newspaper's core function and it's potential future).  Not sure I would have linked to it except Scott Kurtz pops up in the comments chiding Adams for clinging to the newspaper model for Dilbert.  I think Kurtz missed it there - Adams only seems to be offering an idea to provoke discussion, something he does quite often on his blog.  I doubt Adams, personally is all that stressed about newspapers since Dilbert has already made it in the larger pop culture in a way very few comics ever do.  Even if newspapers disappear tomorrow, Dilbert will do as well or better than almost any comic out there.

Anyone tried out the iPhone app for comics called ComicZeal?  Thoughts?  While I'm thinking of small screens, here's a link to coverage of an SXSW panel covering comics on handhelds. (h/t Brigid who covers lots more handheld stories in this post)

Tom Spurgeon - the Comics Reporter - writes about the webcomics he is currently reading.


FROM DRAWN! -- Justine Lai’s series of oil paintings depicting herself "in flagrante delicto" with each US president - NSFW

Another great link from DRAWN! - a video showing the evolution of the Batman logo.