Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 26, 2010 - 07:07
Lauren Barnett, whose comics I reviewed recently, sent me another mini with a short note attached:
Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, considering your last review of my work, but I figure, what the hell!
This is actually one of the harder things I struggle with in writing reviews. I come to comics with an incredibly enthusiastic attitude -- everyone should make comics, everyone should draw, everyone should try and tell a story. I don't want to contradict that in reviewing work but apart from that enthusiasm I'm not encouraging anyone to confuse quality with lack of it. All things considered, readers have limited time, they ought to read the best and most interesting work (at least interesting to them). But there's a big difference in reading a (a) great comic; (b) mediocre, but competent comic and (c) really bad comic. And then overlaying that - you can often make some pretty good educated guess about the creator; does she have talent; does she have a passion for the art or the story; does she show promise to improve? So I often feel bad criticizing work, especially when it's work where I'm impressed with the creator and believe it could be better or that better work is sure to come. It's the difference between hope and indifference to comics with any number of flaws.
But in any event, here's three more short reviews of minis I've been reading this week from Al Burian, Heather Bryant and Lauren Barnett. If you're interested in getting a mini reviewed at ComixTalk, you can find our contact information on the About page.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 15, 2010 - 02:01
Nate Beaty has been making comics for about a decade (at least) and collected 8 years of journal webcomics into Brainfag Forever (or BFF as it appears on the cover). It's very self-revealing with a great deal of painful honesty in it. Artistically it's all over the place and in that sense it's an overview of Beaty's life as a comic artist as much as the comic itself is an overview of his life in general. It's no wonder this book collected a number of strong reviews last year.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 10, 2010 - 02:01
Raina Telgemeier has worked on Smile for a long time. First posting parts of it online, she eventually inked a deal to publish it as a book with the Scholastic, the publisher of the Babysitters Club graphic novels Raina worked on. As she explains in this interview, she had about half of it done online when the book deal came about:
I’d posted about 120 pages of Smile online, on a page-a-week basis, before Scholastic picked up the publishing rights. The pages were drawn over a four-year period and were written as I went along. So there were things I wanted to fix, a few continuities that needed to be straightened out…and I was suddenly working with editors! What I did was sit down and write out the entire rest of the book, and then we figured out what, if anything, from the first half needed revising.
The finished book is really good. It should fit right in with other favorite young adult novels of the middle school set.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 8, 2010 - 02:01
Welcome to the new site design at ComixTalk. We're on a new server so let me know if it feels a bit zippier (it seems to be faster all around to me). Happy to hear about broken stuff -- I'm not done with tweaking things (never done!) and I can add it to the list. One thing I can warn you about is that a lot of the older URLs are still broken, but I hope to clear most of that up this week.
REVIEWS: I had the pleasure of sitting down with Copper in print this weekend and reading and re-reading it. Here's my glowing, gushing review. I also forgot to mention that we liked Kazu even before he was a star; here's the cover art he did for Comix
pediaTALK back in 2004. Also, I'll have a review of Smile, the new graphic novel from Raina Telgemeier up this week. I did get a chance to read it this past weekend and it is an entertaining, moving story. Sure, the tale of the teeth and all of the work Raina had to go through are interesting, but she's done so much more with filling out the emotions and just the in-between-ness of those middle school years that it would have made a good story even without that hook.
MILESTONES: Last week marked the end of Anders Loves Maria, the breakout webcomic from Rene Engström. I'll second Gary's thoughts on the tale. Perhaps the ending felt a bit abrupt, even forced, but you can't deny it's impact. It's also worth noting that Engström's art continually improved throughout the comic and that in re-reading the archives of this comic, I'm even more impressed with where she is now as a creator. I hope the next comic comes soon.
CONTESTS: Ryan Estrada is competing in this month's Zudalympics and he needs your vote. His comic is called Sci-Fi Drive-By and you can vote by visiting his website. In non-Zuda voting, Comic Riffs, the Washington Post's blog about comic strips is having a Best Webcomic of the Decade Popularity Contest -- voting closes this Wednesday. The seven contenders are: Girl Genius, Hark! A Vagrant, Least I Could Do, Penny Arcade, The Perry Bible Fellowship, Schlock Mercenary, and xkcd.