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Scott McCloud

Strip Features 5/22/9

Scottie Young's Wizard of OZOkay, we’ve all seen the news about the Captain Britain comic and Shojo Beat magazine being cancelled, who will probably star as Thor and Loki in the next Marvel movie, the Wolverine nay-sayers are speaking up, Star Trek has mainstream fans again and TV networks seem to be ending the

Webcomic Beacon #75 - Alternative Presentations

Rebecca Migdal (Rosetta Stone and YouTube) joins Fes, Tanya, and Mark to discuss alternativ

Future Shock To The System of a Downtown Where You Can Always Go

Well I hope you all are as busy making comics as I've been lately not-making-comics and not-writing-about-comics.  Here's the news and hype that fits:

Patching A Hole in the Wreck of the Hiberia
Topless Robot writes about the 10 Ten Need to End Now comic strips in newspapers.  I don't agree with the entire snark in the article but as far as the list goes - yeah all 10 are dead to me.  I know at this point ideas about the newspaper comic page are all about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but hey, humour me.  Why not group the legacy stuff with the family features in a FAMILY page and then create a new page or two - SOMEWHERE ELSE IN THE NEWSPAPER - with a fewer number of larger and maybe, with actual PG level content, comics.  You know, NEW STUFF?  Just a thought...  Related - the Washington Posts blog about comic strips interviews itself about the sad state of newspapers and comics.

BUSINESS
Journalista! linked to this great series of posts on advice for artists on managing their careers.  Useful stuff.  Related - Tom Spurgeon links to this thread which does have a lot about handling (or mishandling) your comics career.

CRAFT
Drawn! links to this blog post about a Speedball book on "Tips for Letterers".

Infinite Comicking
Scott McCloud links to Manmachine by Martin Hekker and notes that it uses Flash to handle it's side-scrolling.  I will be interested in trying it out today.  You know what else does side-scrolling well?  Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life which lets you grab and slide the comic with your mouse button.

YET ANOTHER WEBCOMICS PORTAL THINGEE (Or YAWPT! for short)
The Comics Reporter links to MyComics.de which self-describes itself as a Youtube for comics.

JUSTIFY SOME HYPE
Drawn! recommends the very cute and charming Molly and the Bear comic from Bob Scott.

SMALL SCREENS
Clickwheel has a selection of Alan Moore’s earliest comic-strip creations, titled Future Shocks, available via the Apple iTunes App Store: 

Before Watchmen, before V for Vendetta, before League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore cut his teeth on a series of ambitious and innovative short stories for the iconic sci-fi comic 2000 AD which showcased the talent and genius of arguably one of the greatest comic creators. Developed exclusively by Clickwheel.net and available in 8 parts over 8 weeks, Alan Moore’s Future Shocks has been adapted to enthuse, invigorate and excite the 1,000’s of comic fans who have never had access to these stories before!

Tim Demeter, Clickwheel’s Editor said, “We’ve been waiting a long time to get our hands on this material, and as a comic fan myself, I can confidently say that if Alan Moore is one of your favourite creators, YOU NEED THIS!” Available now, each episode is priced at $0.99/£0.59 so there is no excuse not to be shocked and awed anytime, anyplace!

TeeeeKAF.

So last weekend was the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and I was there. I tend to make myself pretty sick at conventions, either through not eating or not sleeping or whatever, so I was all impressed with myself that I managed to make it through this convention realitively unscathed ... until I had an allergic reaction to something on Sunday morning, and by late Monday my left eye had swelled up to enormous proportions. GROSS! Wanna see? Fortunately some drugs have helped things, but I've never had that happen before, so it was freaky.

Webcomic Side Story

Hey have a great weekend everyone!  If you want to keep up with even smaller-sized updates from me subscribe to my twitter feed.
THEORY
Scott McCloud posted a short bit about the "default" shape of comics - in response to the single-sheet-of-paper-like dimensions of the new Kindle DX.  Interesting 50+ comment thread ensues.  Grab a cup of coffee first...
PUBLISHING
I'm not sure this is THAT interesting -- a publisher called PictureBox put out a press release that they'll be giving a deluxe package to people who pre-order their two new graphic novels.  It's not clear that PictureBox is relying on the pre-orders in order to raise the funds to print the books, but it seems likely from the way the press release is phrased.  This seems like a fairly common strategy for indy web-oriented creators these days, especially as a means to gauge actual fan support for print versions of webcomics.
MARKETING
Daryl Cagle writes about his decision to add support for embedding into his political cartoon syndication site.  Let me just suggest given the very nature of the Internet that everything is embeddable (legality aside for a sec) and everyone really needs to ask themselves how to deal with it.  A long time ago, I (and a lot of other practicing cartoonists), probably fell on the side of keeping the comics on the website created for them, but nowadays I think I would want my work to appear wherever it could.
CONVENTIONS
I really wish I was going to the Toronto comics convention this weekend (TCAF) -- it has a fantastic lineup of artists.  Journalista! links to a bunch of 'em: Ross Campbell, Diana Tamblyn, Chip Zdarsky, Jason Thompson, Ramon Perez, Valerie Sury, Eric Wight, Frank Cammuso, Zen Rankin, Michael J. Hind, Dustin Harbin, Joe Bluhm, Jason Turner, Jim Zubkavich, Rina Piccolo...
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Nerd Girl does not like Tim Buckley or his webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del.  Don't get her started!

Down but not out...

That's it. I've officially given up on my life "settling down" anytime in the near future.

In addition to my trip to Japan last month (which I promise I'll sit down and write about someday, but you can follow Shaenon's detailed report in her current series of Comixology columns), here are some other recent doings:

TUESDAY MAXI-TWEET

Coming to the end of April -- there's a great cover from AP Furtado coming up for May.  The sponsorship slot (upper left hand corner of every page here) is open and cheap.  I'm tweeting at twitter.com/xerexes and in my backyard.  Remember anyone can post here at ComixTALK -- just log-in to your account here and post a "talk post" -- well-written and interesting posts will get promoted to the front page.  If you're already blogging somewhere else about comics it's easy to set-up an auto-import of those posts to your account at ComixTalk (log-in and click on the "add a feed" link).  And now the newsy stuff:

COLLECTIVE 'LECTIVE WHAT'S YOUR... WHAT RHYMES WITH THAT ANYWAYS?
Over at webcomics.com Brad Guigar answers a question about artist collectives.  I think the most critical thing to remember is that a group is no more than the sum of the people involved.  Make sure you can work with everyone before you commit time to a group.

JUSTIFY SOMEONE ELSE's HYPE
A comic from Maira Kalman covering a visit to the U.S. Supreme Court titled, May It Please the Court. (h/t to Journalista! and Scott McCloud.)

CRAFT
Journalista! linked to a recent video tutorial by Mark Crilley on "how to draw a manga-style eye" and Crilley's series of video tutorials is a nice free resource.

UNDEAD TREES
Dylan Meconis' BITE ME is now available in a single edition printed object you can purchase.  Great, funny story about vampires in the French Revolution

COPYRIGHT
Copyright is a really interesting topic in these days as technology allows for more and more creative re-use of material that seems to be remain under perpetual copyright (see this Techdirt post for a discussion of some copyright holders view that copyright should last forever minus one day).  While I'm sure many creators instinctively support copyright, I think many webcomic creators also now deeply understand how a more flexible approach to utilizing their copyright rights actually works to their benefit.  And then of course there are those webcomics that are built on someone else's copyrighted material, although in some cases the webcomic goes so far beyond the original work you wonder if they could make the argument that it's transformative (which btw is the crux of the current copyright dispute between the A.P. and Shep Fairey over his iconic Obama/Hope poster.)

WIKIWATCH
This is weirdly interesting - Wikimedia (parent of Wikipedia) is suing a group of artists who were using Wikipedia for their art project.  Maybe some webcomic should have thought of this! 

NOT COMICS
GI JOE Resolute - scripted by Warren Ellis himself was pretty nifty for it's less stupid take on G.I. Joe than the original 80's-ish era saturday morning cartoon series.  Ellis points to the finale on youtube.

All My Friends Know The Low Rider

Check out this week's sponsor - Natasha Mostert's new novel, Keeper of Light and Dust.  Also check out this picture of the Least I Could Do van -- there's even a condom on the radio antenae!  (okay I made that last part up)

THEORY
Scott McCloud writes about a new presentation tool (sort of power point-y) that Neal Von Flue and others are testing as a possible comics CMS.  Interesting ideas.

BUSINESS
Fleen noted yesterday that Ben Heaton is having a fundraising drive to see if his fans will match his salary so he can do the webcomic, Request Comics, full-time.  He's currently unemployed though so matching his salary should be pretty easy.  You can check on his donation page to see how he's doing.

BUSINESS
Todd Allen writes about webcomics in a "post-Direct Market world"
.

TOOLS
Old but educational! John Allison's tutorial for MangaStudio.

Justify My ZUDA Hype
Is that Ryan Estrada's work at this month's Zudathon?  Why yes it is. (Also is Zuda using Drupal for its site?)

JUSTIFY MY OTHER HYPE
Urf is a funny panel comic about a planet sort of like Earth but really off in certain ways.  Best new single panel comic (mostly) I've read in a while.

I'm checking out a comic called Intelligence Cleaner Agency.

ComicMix discovers the simple awesomeness of Meghan Murphy's Kawaii Not.

Get A Little Bit O' Webcomic News Here

Webcomicstock Cleanup
It can't be anything like the utter mess left by the original Woodstockers, could it?  (let alone the Gen-Xy Woodstock '98 crowd).  For another recap and photos of the event ten years from now you'll say you were at even if you weren't - visit Gary over at Fleen (you have to click the links in the post to see the photos).  Digital Strips was there too and recorded some panels and did a lot of interviews (audio) that they're posting this week.  Finally, Publisher's Weekly has another writeup of NEWW.

TECHNOLOGY
Honestly - do you like "motion comics" or not?  Or does it depend on how and how well they're done.  The Unofficial Apple blog has a story on the Watchmen "motion comic" and Scott McCloud chimes in on his displeasure with the trend.  I haven't seen the Watchmen one so I don't know much about it and whether it's similar or not to other efforts like those on Clickwheel.  (Speaking of Scott McCloud - there's a new interview with him up here - in what is actually not all that novel anymore, the interviewer has formatted the interview with McCloud to look like one of McCloud's infinite canvas comics.

IF YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE

Ben Driscoll of Daisy Owl quit the day job last Friday to work full time on his webcomic:

I have officially, as of Friday, left my job to do Daisy Owl full time. Thanks so much for reading the comic, for helping out with signed strips, and for just being awesome in general. I hope to do this for a long, long time, and you guys make it possible. Holy crap. - Ben

Daisy Owl is supported by signed strips and donations. Also, a painting of Mr. Owl is for up for auction, check it out >

Who Watches The Webcomics?

Working on a few interviews - probably will have them set for Sunday night/Monday morning posting.  Here's what I found interesting reading this morning:

THE WORK
Mark Waid has an interesting column on talent, personality and deadlines
.  The key takeaway being don't sacrifice work for the sake of deadlines.  It's at least worth thinking about even if it's not always applicable to every situation.

TECHNOLOGY
Scott McCloud has a post on Microsoft's Infinite Canvas which is still in "alpha" but McCloud says "it’s definitely worth looking at and playing with."

REVIEWS
Robot 6 has a review of Karl Kerschl's The Abominable Charles Christopher.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Lots of folks linked to this article on webcomics in IF: INTERFACE (also billed as THE JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, COMMUNITY, AND VALUES).

I love it that the Bad Astronomy blog is linking to webcomics with science!  A few recent posts include one on the webcomic The Pain - When Will It End? and one on a recent Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Digital Strips catches the return of Spider Girl in the webcomics - Marvel will have a new series on its Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, beginning April 15th!