Skip to main content

Comix Talk for Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I posted a review of Doug TenNapel's Bad Island today.  I have a review of Keith Knight's latest (Th)ink collection scheduled for publication this Thursday -- Rob Clough at TCJ just dropped his review of the book today.

BORG OUT: I saw a new webcomic collective site pop up -- Open Fire Comics features The EndSweet and Sour GrapesUNDERLING; and Walking the Lethe.

INTERVIEW: Tangents has an interview with J.T. of the slice-of-life comic Between Failures.

EVERYONE WAS SUPER ART FIGHTIN': So I missed the big SUPER ART FIGHT XXXIXL this month in Baltimahh but there'll be lots of sharpie-fu next month in the DC Metro area.  First, Super Art Fight will be the post-Ignatz Award Ceremony entertainment at this year's SPX and second, at Intervention, a full-fledged round of bouts.

WEBCOMIC TEEVEE: Kris Straub and Scott Kurtz are the new Heidi and Spencer. Just kidding but they just posted the second episode of their reality teevee show.

Business Time: Zach SMBC Weiner posted a number of great tips for readers and fans titled "On the Proper Care and Feeding of Artists."

HYPIN' THE HYPE

Bad Island by Doug TenNapel

It was just a year ago that we reviewed Doug TenNapel's graphic novel Ghostopolis which was a clever, adventure in a purgatory-like world of the dead.  This year TenNapel has a new graphic novel available this month -- Bad Island -- which is an inventive, exciting and moving adventure.  It's much more science-fiction and action-adventure in tone than Ghostopolis which had sort of a noir detective feel to it.

Comix Talk for Monday, August 22, 2011

Maybe I'll just stick with the weekly uodate schedule for awhile.  ComixTalk is seriously in need of a reboot to the ass but I don't have the right concept to dive in and rework the innards yet.

MILESTONE: First off let me note a milestone I somehow overlooked -- Gina Biggs wrote last week letting me know that the all female creator erotic comics anthology website Filthy Figments (NSFW) is celebrating its one year anniversary and has posted over 1000 pages.  

ORIGINAL WEBCOMICKER: I had no idea Ryan Smith had a new webcomic. I knew Smith from his work on Funny Farm  -- his new project Accursed Dragon is about Coven, "a half-man, half-dragon, who is cursed to reptilianoid form until he does enough good deeds to redeem himself. Since he is naturally sour tempered, he has been at it a while – 122 years..." Sounds like a fun story!

KICKSTART MY ART: Bleeding Cool has a list of a bunch of recent Kickstarter projects you might be interested in supporting.

HYPE:  IO9 writes up Terry LaBan's Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman, which originally ran as a DC miniseries, but LawBan has resurrected as a webcomic:

Muktuk is a nomadic shaman who travels the snowy reaches of Siberia on his trusty (but none too bright) reindeer, waiting for a good supernatural crime to come along. Finally, a troubled dame walks into his camp and into his life. Her son has fallen to a mystical illness, and only a shaman can set him right. Muktuk suspects he's not getting the whole story, but he agrees to take the case.

MAILBAG

Michael Pohrer writes that today is the launch of his new rebooted The Jungle comic.  Pohrer is The National Free Press' Editorial Cartoonist which explains why I don't know who he is (editorial cartoons don't usually do much for me) but to compound it I didn't see any real online presence to speak of... so I guess I'll have to check out his site tomorrow to see what the new project is.

LIVE! IT'S RYAN NORTH TALKING

Comic Alliance asked Ryan North to read one of his Dinosaur Comics and he did:

INTERVIEW:  A little late linking to it but Tall Tale Radio interviewed Brad Guigar of Evil, Inc. and Dave Kellett of Sheldon and Drive at the San Diego Comic:

Amulet 4 Cover

I received a review copy of Amulet 4 from the publishers.  From a quick scan it looks amazing.  This is already one of my favorite series so my expectations for this volume are nearly sky high.  Needless to say we'll have a review later this month.

2011 Hugo and Harvey Award Winners

Kate Beaton took the Harvey for Best Online Comic at this year's Harvey Awards - announced yesterday evening at the Baltimore Comic Con.  The Washington Post has a full list of this year's winners.

Phil and Kaja Foglio and Cheyenne Wright won the Hugo Award for BEST GRAPHIC STORY for Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse.  There's a full list of the Hugo winners here.

Comix Talk for Monday, August 15, 2011

Welcome back to me.  I haven't paid enough attention to know how insightful Lets Be Friends Again's take on the London riots is but... Let's Be Friends Again has a take on the London riots?  V for Verklempt!

BIG STORY: It's been about a year but the long-planned Kurtz/Krahulik/Holkins webcomic The Trenches has launched.  A fairly big publicity splash for it this week, here's a blurb at Computerworld; -- Comic Riffs wrote about their forum for game testing horror stories;

INTERVIEW: Danielle Corsetto answered questions from readers at the Any Asq site.  Good interview. 

RECIPE FOR COMIX: Have I linked to Saveur's Recipe Comics series?  They've had several good webcomic artist draw a comic illustrating their favorite recipes.  Very cool stuff.

NEVERMIND THE GRUNGE: Comic Alliance has a comic from Jonathan Bennett remembering Nirvana's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the Nevermind album 20 years later.

DrunkDuck Staggers Thataway: Delos writes that DrunkDuck changed its url structure, making all your bookmarks (and any webcomic review links) outdated. I'm not saying DrunkDuck might not have some value, but don't put all your eggs in that basket. 

HYPE

MILESTONES

  • Happy 8 years of Questionable Content!
  • I missed posting about it earlier this summer but Holiday Wars from Comicbook publisher Th3rd World Studios hit its one year anniversary in July.  I don't know much about the publisher but its store also handles well-established webcomics The Legend of Bill and The SuperFogeys.    Concept-wise it's a bit similar to a long-running storyline in Pete Abram's Sluggy Freelance, but I don't know that the notion of personifying holidays is all that startlingly original to begin with.  It's created and written by Scott King with art on the comicbook model:  Michael Odom – Penciler;  Arturo Said – Inker; and  Giuseppe Pica – Colorist.  It looks promising enough -- I plan to check it out further this month.

TRAGEDY OF THE COMMON GROUNDS:  Did you see this story about the guy who put his Starbucks card online?  Penny Arcade had a pretty funny take on it here.

Adventures with the ComixTALK mailbag

So while looking at things to write about this week I was flipping through the virtual ComixTALK mailbag and got a mite bit frustrated with many of the emails. I wound up reviewing some of the hype emails I have received this month. Hope I'm not being actually mean here but rather offering some actual advice and feedback:

Jon Nielsen wrote in that he recently released Revenge of the Fish People -- the second book collection of his webcomic, Massive Pwnage.  So there's that for ya. Seriously if you're going to take the time to write reviewers, news-people types and anyone else you hope to get excited about your book, you have to actually write something to get them excited about your project.  I get too many emails to give each of them a ton of attention -- if I don't get hooked from the email itself, I'll still give the website a look most of the time but you've already missed a chance to tell me why I should care.  In this case I see a webcomic about computers, gaming, etc that doesn't look at all unique -- for all I know Nielsen has a gem in the rough blossoming but I don't know how I'd know.  I don't even see a new readers guide here.  If I don't fall in love with what I see on first glance and I don't see an obvious "hey new readers click here" message than I give it the recent abbreviated archive trawl which usually consists of starting in January of the current year and clicking for a bit. So click, click, click, okay this one on toasting foods was kind of funny. Click, click, click and well I like chart comics that end with punch it in the face as much as the next orc so I liked this one too.  I don't have enough of a sense of the comic to say anything more than Ctrl-Alt-Del-ish.

This is better -- an email from Mark Stokes on marking the first year of his Zombie Boy webcomic. Mark gave me a quote -- if they're interesting, quotes are nice.

"This one year anniversary marks a challenge I set for myself to reach at least a year online,” said Stokes, who has created and published various incarnations of Zombie Boy for almost 25 years now. “The comic strip format, which I knew was going to be a challenge since I was used to writing longer stories, has helped me improve my work, keep up my schedule and write short, economical and funny story lines. Hopefully I can reach my next goal, which is sticking around until the strip’s second anniversary!"

I can't say this is an awesome quote -- especially the first sentence, but at least, it's a bit of color.  Better yet, maybe Stokes could have included more on the growth of his comic or himself over the course of sticking to a regular publication schedule for a year.  If you poke around on his site you can find out that he published the first Zombie Boy comic book in 1987.

And well this is worse.  Jake Brophy wrote in that he recently started a webcomic with his brother and he's trying to get the word out.  The webcomic is called Super Brophy Brothers. I don't know if others would agree with me but best only to hype when it's a legitimate milestone like a year anniversary, or a book release. If you've got no reason to write, at least be creative about it.  The Brophys' comic is wildly uneven, but probably the most original of those that I pulled from the mailbag for this exercise. But based on the short email I got, I wouldn't have much to write about it -- short of an actual review and I have a review backlog a mile long.  

I guess the Super Brophy Brothers anticipated this post

Bottom line is to remember that if you're going to spend the time to promote your webcomic, to give some time to thinking up a strategy for success.  Have a legitimate hook to be writing now and make sure to write enough about your comic and that hook so that whomever you're writing to gets hooked from your email alone.

SUPER ART FIGHT 11!

The "Greatest Live Art Competition In The Known Universe" celebrates its third anniversary at Super Art Fight 11!  Fearsome art competition Saturday,  August 20th, 2011 at the Ottobar (2549 N Howard Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218).  Doors open at 8 PM, with the show starting promptly at 9 PM. 

Pear-Pear 99...and the impending 100th

So, the 99th cartoon is up, and I'm running out of time to figure out what the benchmark of 100 cartoons will mean. I have a couple ideas, but most of them just revolve around getting the comic's website up to its full, promised potential.

Like, you know--actually having a functioning archive page, or anything for sale on the store page. It'd be about time! The comic's in its 4th year.

Another idea that Erin and I have been kicking around is to put out a book. That wouldn't be ready by the time I put out the 100th comic (hopefully soon), but it's definitely something I want to pursue in the near future.

Comix Talk for August

August is going to be even lighter than usual, posting-wise.  Here's some of the news this week:

INTERVIEWS

HYPE

  • A lot of well-deserved hype this week for Maritza Campos' new project - Power Nap.  An interesting premise - it's about a world where a drug has removed the need for sleep from humans, but unfortunately for our protagonist, he's allergic to the drug.  Art is by Bachan who has a great style that complements Campos' outlandish, and often frentic style of story.
  • The comic-in-progress The Chairs Hiatus by Matthew Bogart is really good!

HIATUS AND GOODBYE:  Otis Frampton posted that he will return to updating Escape From Nowhere in September.  I wouldn't normally post about something that far out, but Otis' webcomic showed a lot of promise as a fun action adventure story.

BUSINESS TIME: Great article on the webcomics entrepreneurs in the Boston newspaper.

OPINIONATIN':  Reuben Bolling nails another one -- TOM THE DANCING BUG: Great Moments in American Political Negotiation and Compromise.

COVER BAND: Definitely looking forward to Calamity Jon's DC Fifty-TOO! project. Jon's a great dude and has organized impressive group blog efforts before (check out CORNERED for one)

MILESTONES

  • This week marked 8 years of Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content webcomic. Congrats!
  • We're just about to the end of Warren Ellis' FreakAngels. What do you think?