In this, the final part of my review of Otakon 2010's webcomic events, I'll look at the two sponsored by the Create a Comic Project: the "Make a Manga Tournament" and "Manga, Literacy, and Children." The tournament is based on similar events I've done at the New Haven Public Library since 2007 and has also been held at Tekkoshocon. I like having fellow webcomic creators serve as judges. This year had Erin Ptah (And Shine Heaven Now), Kittyhawk (SGVY), and Kuroitenshi (King of the Web) return from 2009, joined by Samantha McDaniel (Kibou) and Jamie Haram (Picatrix). There's an open invitation for all webcomic people to join in, so if you're interested in being a judge in 2011, let me know. A benefit: Otakon pays for your badge if I let them know in advance who's helping.
In addition to having a lot of webcomic creators in the artist alley, Otakon 2010 had a number of webcomic-related events. While Otakon doesn't formally invite webcomic people as guests, it does let us be panelists and workshop leaders and large group of attendees (almost 30,000 this year!) makes it a great place. This part covers two of the webcomic events held that weekend: Iron Artist by Jessi Bavolack and Happy Hyper Hentai Drawing Party by some of the girls from FilthyFigments.com.
One of my favorite things about Otakon is that, as the largest anime convention on the east coast, it attracts a lot of webcomic creators. I always love seeing familiar faces and meeting new attendees. This part will focus on some of the webcomic creators who were at Otakon, many of whom are also members of the Create a Comic Project.
But wait there's more! This post also has one of the best costume team-ups ever photographed!
For many webcomic creators adding a new convention to their annual circuit of appearances isn't a big deal. If the opportunity arises and they are available they can, for the most part, easily add a new stop to meet fans and possibly sell a book or two. For fellow webcomic creator Onezumi of 'Stupid & Insane Defenders Against Chaos' adding a new convention to her schedule took on a whole new meaning. She started her own.
I had the opportunity to speak with Onezumi via e-mail this week and discuss starting Intervention, her new convention being held this September 10-12.
I really cannot believe THE MAN is making me work during the World Cup. I think in the spirit of the World Cup, I'll just use OLE in every sentence today (sort of like this NSFW new sketch from SMBC Theater).
I haven't talked about INTERVENTION in a bit — that's a new convention in the DC area this fall created by Harknell and Onezumi – both ubercool and long-time friends of ComixTalk. This looks more and more fun as it develops. They just opened up registration for Artist Alley — you have until June 18th to get your application into for review. The pricing (if I'm reading this right) is $50 for an artist alley table and you also need to purchase a con membership for $35. Total cost therefore for Con weekend with a table being $85.00. As for me, I am going to be doing various things there in an official ComixTalk kind of role and will announce more when I get it sorted out!
Code: A link to a post from Frump a developer of ComicPress Pro for Wordpress comparing it to the Inkblot webcomic package for Wordpress. I don't link to this to encourage any drama, but comparisons are needed to understand the real differences between these packages. This post is purely about the number of mySQL queries which can be pretty important for performance issues, particularly with a site with a lot of traffic. Frumph doesn't seem to have considered some of the cache plug-ins for Wordpress, however, I wonder if that would have any impact on the comparative number of queries per page per package?
iWebcomics: So this whole Apple playing net-nanny with apps for the iPhone and iPad? Well there's probably a valid concern over technical performance, Apple certainly has an interest in ensuring a minimum of glitches from its app store. But content… there's the rub. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said recently that the iPad offered "…freedom from porn." Well is this porn? On the other hand, for all of the fuss over Apple's app censorship, there is a completely uncensored application on the iPad, the browser, and there are a growing number of competitors like Google who will probably pursue a more wide open approach to their app stores.
UPDATE: Brigid Alverson has an interview with the creator of the webcomic Ulysses on Apple's decision yesterday to allow the uncensored form of the comic into the app store (originally Apple had required significant editing of the comic).
Around the Blogs
- Comics Should Be Good blogger Kelly Thompson's 10 favorite webcomics. (h/t El Santo)
- I would have thought this came from a Jeffrey Rowland comic but no you can blame Chris Onstad for infecting reality with… phone nuts.
- Goodbye Lil Orphan Annie!
FROM THE MAILBAG: I got an email from Gabriel Dunston who makes the webcomic The Pit of Despair. He's got a video on his site explaining how his current financial issues are keeping him from buying art supplies. Sometimes when I know someone (or have known of them) and they're trying to raise some money I plug it here because I personally feel like it's a good cause — either the person is in a bit of tight spot or it's going to lead to some great comics. I can't say that here as I don't know Dunston and this is the first I've heard of him, but he's definitely working hard on his webcomic. I didn't have time to read the full archives, but here's the basics: a journal comic about a 20-something guy who just became a father and the art has GREATLY improved in 2010 over 2009.
CONVENTION: By all accounts MoCCA saw the debut of a ton of great books – The Beat has a good round-up here. The cover of Outbound #2 looked great too – I've enjoyed the previous anthologies from the Boston Comics Roundtable and look forward to checking out this one too.
MAILBAG: I got a review copy of Dracula Is a Racist, a new prose book from Cyanide & Happiness author Matt Melvin with art from Melvin and DJ Coffman. If you enjoy the humor of C&H you'll like this book. There seem to have been a spate of "how-to" tougue-in-cheek books recently (like the Zombie Survival Guide) – this one may be even a bit more tongier-in-cheekier. For some reason a running gag is comparing how much cooler vampires are than zombies. You get the impression reading this book that Melvin has a pretty dark sense of humor but probably is a nice guy in person (I interviewed him back in 2007) – his sense of humor is more goofy than cutting.
MILESTONES: Happy Birthday Onezumi!
- Comics Worth Reading has a bit more on the Bento webcomic group and their novel, customizable anthology.
- Gunaxin is running a poll on the funniest webcomic. The list of nominees are all good stuff.
- Todd Allen joins the Mystery Writers of America for his writing on the webcomic Division and Rush.
- Lauren Davis surveys the state of webcomic pr0n.
- Del Ray has canceled it's manga-ized X-men title which was writtten by Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman.
I'm pretty excited about hearing Onezumi Hartstein's news – she and webcomic web-guy Harknell have organized a new convention called Intervention: Your Online Life, In Person. A Convention with Webcomics, Videos, Music, and You. It looks very cool, very webcomic-friendly but also firmly rooted in online, not comic book.
Intervention is about bringing together the people you read, watch, listen to, and connect with all in one location to party, educate, and appreciate the opportunities the Internet gives all of us.
The only wrinkle is that it's on the same weekend (September 10-12) as SPX which has become quite a webcomic-friendly forum too. They are in the same general suburban area though (northish of Washington DC) so maybe a lot of people will do both this year (FLEEN seems to think this is possible) — I think it would be well worth it for you to try.
The early guest list is starting off well, in addition to Onezumi and Harknell, there'll be an edition of Super Art Fight and these webcomic dudes:
- Rob Balder – Erfworld
- Michael “Mookie” Terracciano – Dominic Deegan
- Darren Gendron and Bryan Prindiville – Hello With Cheese
- Steve Napierski – Dueling Analogs
- Ross Nover – The System
- Pete Abrams – Sluggy Freelance
I picked up the Secret Science Alliance book from Eleanor Davis at SPX this year. I got halfway through it before the older X girl took it away. She's finished and now the younger X girl took it to school with her today. Both are really excited about the book. This seems like a great book for boys and girls of a reading age (not sure how old the audience for it would be, although I found it very clever and the artwork, including the composition and layout, is equally as clever as the writing). This project also has a bunch of great people behind it. Eleanor Davis wrote and drew it; Drew Weing inked it and Bryant Paul Johnson (Teaching Baby Paranoia) lettered it — that's like a webcomics supergroup right there. And Joey Weiser and Michele Chidester colored it (and it's really nicely done).
In Drew Weing news, I chatted with him and Eleanor while buying the book — Drew has finished plotting and thumbnailing his amazing Set To Sea comic (which has wonderful E.C. Segar influences all over it) which means it WILL BE FINISHED! In fact, in finishing the rough of it Drew said he decided he needed to make small changes here and there throughout which is why he is re-publishing it online. Everyone should give this a read; I'm already looking forward to the whole thing (both on the web and the book to be).
I also saw Eleanor on the "Debut Cartoonists" panel at SPX where she was joined by Ken Dahl (Monsters), Hans Rickheit (The Squirrel Machine), and Zak Sally (Like A Dog). She did very well – it's not always easy to talk about your own motivations and creative process but it was interesting to hear that she has a part time job working on organic farms. Not a quote but basically she explained that she didn't want to do comics all of the time and that she enjoyed life better with a balance between comics and other activities (which was in contrast to Dahl who took the less surprisingly line that making it was quitting your day job).
I wanted to share an invite to this online comics event:
Here comes Met@Morph, the first annual Web Comics Comic-Con and Conference held exclusively in Second Life! The Comic Book Bin, along with The Center for EduPunx and the Institute for Comics Studies, invites you to attend the inworld gathering on Friday October 3, 2008. The preliminary schedule features an international roster of web comics creators, Second Life comics creators, scholars, teachers, students, and designers. If you have questions, please email Beth Davies, email@example.com. You can see the conference schedule here. On October 3, simply teleport to Front Range, which will be public for the event.
Comic-Con 2008 kicks off in San Diego soon — July 24-27 — and the web/indy/whatever–comic presence seems to grow bigger each year. If you’re going you’re already set b/c this thing, as a practical matter, sold out long ago (I think you can still get a hotel room in the next state over…).
Some awesome panels this year include: