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The Bifter: HTML 5 Webcomic

Jonathan Ingram writes about his monthly webcomic, The Bifter:

[My] main aim [is] to create a monthly comic that could be read by visually impaired users who use a screenreader, as I don't believe any exist on the web.


The category of jokes caters to a slim target audience, namely the web development sector, but it also showcases a combination of some of the new web technologies that are out there to create a retro comic feel (namely HTML5, CSS3, SVG and RDFa).


Plus because I draw the comic strips in SVG format, everyone is free to take a look at them (using their favourite image editing software) and use any of it as a base for their own work.


I would be most appreciative if you had any thoughts or opinions on the comic, or if you could give it a brief mention on your website. I would dearly love to let more people know about this so the design techniques can become more popular, and thus people who are visually impaired can enjoy comics as much as everyone else.

I think it's a great idea and the website is really well done.

Comix Talk for Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Raindrops keep falling on my head...  The other day I dropped a Bueller reference and then had to wonder if my youngster colleagues would get it.  1986 afterall is quite possibly before some of them were born.  Time keeps marching on.  Wait whatever happened to Morris Day and the Time?

BRANDY YOU'RE A FINE WINE: Frank Cho is bringing back Libery Meadows.  And just as cool to me -- he's rerun the newspaper era run of the comic at his website. Just click on "first" and reread. Never quite great enough to crack the Calvin & Hobbes-level pantheon, still I thought Cho's work was some of the strongest in the paper when I was growing up.

HANG IN THERE: Wow I am re-inspired up today after reading Phil McAndrew's blog post about Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School.  You should definitely go read this today.  You can also check out Lisa Hanawalt's good advice too.

RACK 'EM UP: Apparently it was draw Cat Rackham day this week - Anthony Clark suggested that people draw Steve Wolfhard’s Cat Rackham to celebrate the release of Steve’s new book from Koyama Press, Cat Rackham Loses It. Steve has posted the results in a Flickr set of over 100 drawings. (h/t Drawn!)

CONVENTIONAL THINKING: I missed it last year, but apparently the Washington DC Comicon is returning for a second edition.  You can call that annual now!  It returns on June 19th with guests J.G. Jones ("First Wave"), Herb Trimpe ("BPRD: The War on Frogs"), the Luna Brothers ("The Sword") and John K. Snyder III ("Phoenix Without Ashes"). Hmm, that's Father's Day - I guess that might work out well for comic geek dads in the area.

THE PARENTHOOD: The Webcomic Factory is launching a new webcomic today called I Hate My Kids written by Tony DiGerolamo with art by Harold George.  “I wanted to do a kids comic,” says Webcomic Factory co-founder, Tony DiGerolamo.  “This comic embodies all the frustration parents feel towards their kids.  The kids, of course, are oblivious.”  Actually this reminds me to also plug Dadding Badly which is a cute strip by John Kovaleski about being a father.

Sidekicks by Dan Santat

Sidekicks by Dan Santat is pretty cool. It's a story about animal sidekicks to superheroes, specifically the four pets of Captain Amazing, Metro City's aging superhero.  Each of the four pets has their own story: Fluffy the Hamster is trying to become a hero, Metal Mutt wants to spend more time with Captain Amazing, Manny the cat needs to reconcile with Captain Amazing and Shifty the Chameleon... I guess he wants to belong too.  I think Fluffy is probably the core of the book but just barely -- Santat does spread the story around Captain Amazing and the sidekicks.

The Kris and Scott Show?

I did watch the Penny Arcade teevee episode that focused entirely on Scott and Kris.  It was funny and I guess others thought so too.  This Kickstarter effort is to produce a whole season of shows about the duo - check out the video below. (I was going to make a crack about the donation level rewards: only $5000 for dinner in Seattle! but the basic level of $25 gets you the entire series which seems like a pretty good deal actually.)

Comix Talk for Monday, May 16, 2011

I read a preview copy of a new all ages graphic novel called Sidekicks by Dan Santat -- it's a really fun book with good characters and stellar art.  I'll have a review up sometime (relatively) soon but this is a great book for kids to pick up when it comes out in July.

REVIEW: El Santo reviews The Gutters --written by Ryan Sohmer and illustrated by a series of guest artists, including long-time collaborator Lar deSouza:

The Gutters  is a comic industry parody and editorial. Sometimes they’re spoofs about recent comic book plotlines, like the one where Superman renounced his American citizenship or when Wonder Woman donned her new pants-enabled outfit. Sometimes it can get very insider, like the digs at Dan Didio and Joe Quesada. It is a webcomic designed to be consumed by the most obsessive nerds on earth.

LOCAL: Mike Rhode does a great job covering the local DC comics scene at his blog.  Most recently he interviewed Liz Suburbia (who I didn't know was local to the area).

DEAD FILES TELL NO TALES: Dave Wright writes up the tale of the amazing success in pre-orders for the apparently widely pirated, illustrated parody children's book, Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach.

BE OUR GUEST: John Allison kicks off a guest week of strips for his webcomic Bad Machinery with one from Marc Ellerby, who does Ellerbisms.

MY HYPE: Perhaps the greatest Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic of all time.  It's only missing charts!

Whores of Mensa #5: Small But Mighty

Ellen Lindner, Mardou and Jeremy Day, collectively the U.K.-based comics band Whores of Mensa, invited a big group of their friends to participate in the fifth issue of their anthology series.  Subtitled "Small But Mighty Mini Edition" this book's theme is parties and celebrations and features a collage cover in a style somewhere between Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's.

Bloom Like An Artist

This comic titled "Born Like an Artist" by Jellyvampire is cute but inspiring -- and only comics could literally show you that there really are no borders. (I'd say more about this but the artist is Norwegian -- I can't read a single other thing on the website besides this comic).

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman is a collection of Roman's webcomic Astronaut Elementary.  It's a wonderfully produced book with a great cover featuring Roman's art set off by a metallic silver cover.  The book doesn't change the structure of the webcomic -- a series of short stories, each told from the perspective of different characters at Astronaut Academy.  The stories build together to form an overarching plot for the book yet still retain their own element of closure.

Roman has a cheerfully cartoonish style of art with just a touch of manga influence.  Just the character designs in this book alone are fun but Roman crafts a number of interesting personalities to round out the cast -- from the former space hero turned student Hakata Soy to introspective space walker Doug Hiro to new teacher Senor Panda (still not extinct!).  

Comix Talk for Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's a puppy! It's a cow! No, it's PUPPYCOW!

GET YOUR SWAG ON: Jamie Noguchi is going to be remembered in history not for his amazing art on Erf World but for Puppy Cow!  Seriously - count me in the slightly disturbed camp when I see this Doctor Moreauvian mix of cute and cow.  Read this interview with him all about the cow-puppy plush toy he's selling after a successful kickstarter drive. Intrigued? Buy your own plushy hybrid here.

DEAD TREES WALKING: I was looking through the First Second publisher catalog for 2011 again and there's a lot of good stuff coming.  Beyond Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost, there's a collection of Ben Hatke's Zita The Spacegirl, MK Reed's Americus (illustrated by Jonathan Hill), Sara Varon's Bake Sale, Level Up from Gene Luen Yang, a collection of Zahra's Paradise by Amir and Khalil.... there's also another edition of Derik Kirk Kim's Same Difference. There's also a huge anthology of comics by all kinds of people you'll recognize called Nursery Rhyme Comics. I'm not even mentioning everything here - it's just the ones that struck me first as ones I want to read.  Also don't miss our review of Dave Roman's Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity today.

GOOGLE IT: Google celebrated Roger Hargreaves 76th birthday yesterday with special logos incorporating Hargreaves' childrens characters.  My friend down the street had those books when we were kids and I always enjoyed their simple drawings and humor.

Month of Webcomics: Brian Cronin over at the Comics Should Be Good blog is spotlighting webcomics this month.  So far he's written about MAX OVERACTSTHE LINEAMERICAN BARBARIANREGISTERED WEAPONEVENTY-SEVENMOON FREIGHT 3BIRTH OF VENUS, and 99 REASONS TO WIN.  If you want him to spotlight your comic, send an email to

ALL HAIL SHAENON: TCJ has Shaenon Garrity writing a column for them again -- this time she says her focus is on webcomics.  A nice summation of here and now on TCJ's approach to webcomics; plus Garrity's take on TCJ's possible coverage of the Covenant of Abraham is spot on.

Team United Kingdom, Bloody F'ing Yeah! Blank Slate Books' planned collaborative graphic novel Nelson looks interesting - even promising.  Scheduled for publication this fall, it's billed as 50 artists (including John Allison!) tellng the story of Nel Baker from her birth to the present day.

Comix Talk for Monday, May 9, 2011

Honestly, I wrote a GREAT post for today, but the blog ate it.

Still I want to mention that I'm excited to see Kris Straub bring F Chords back -- everyone go read it!