Electric Sheep Resurrection

Electric Sheep by Patrick Farley

Patrick Farley is one of the most important artists of the early webcomic era.  You want to argue the point, bring it on.  Farley's amazingly diverse and inventive output losts its presence on the web when Farley's original URL expired.  He's slowly been restoring work to a new URL but now has a beta version of a Kickstarter pitch up to help defray the costs of giving his webcomics the home on the web they really deserve.  Maybe it'll also help buy him more time to complete some of the major projects he created and start some new ones.  I strongly encourage everyone to check out the comics that are already back up, watch the video below to see the startlingly broad range of styles Farley employed and than check out the Kickstarter page.

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The ComixTalk 2009 Roundtable

It's the end of the year and what better time to talk webcomics with a great group of interesting creators and commentators.  For this year's roundtable we talked about favorite and new webcomics from 2009; iPhones and iTablets; developments in the business of comics; developments in the subject matter of comics; webcomic awards; and predictions for 2010!  I'm joined by Gary Tyrrell, Delos Woodruff, Shaenon Garrity, Fesworks, Derik Badman, Larry Cruz, Brigid Alverson and Johanna Draper Carlson.

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Shout Out To Kickstarter Projects

I’ve seen a few more efforts to pre-fund comic books by webcomic creators recently and thought I’d search through Kickstarter.com (a site designed for artists to get commitments from readers towards pre-funding a project) to see if I was missing anything.  Not as much as I thought!  If you’re looking for a way to gauge interest in a project and at the same time get commitments to buy Kickstarter.com seems like a handy way to do it.

Still seeking funding:

Publish Tom Brazelton’s Theater Hopper: Year 3
Goal $3500 by December 31st

Publish 2 of Box Brown’s comics!
Goal $2500 by January 15th

Kel McDonald’s Sorcery 101 Book 1
Goal $7000 by January 31st

Met their stated goals:

Publish Gordon McAlpin’s Multiplex Book 1
Goal $7500 by December 12th

Publish Becky Dreistadt’s Tigerbuttah
Goal $5000 by January 16th.

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I’m Crazy by Adam Bourret

Adam Bourret has a lot of interesting life to work with in his autobiographical comic I'm Crazy.  Bourret won the Xeric Grant this year and he used the funds to put out a more polished version of the book.  He's also serializing it online.  Unlike many autobiographical comics I've recently read, Bourret has problems way beyond being a mopey, shy cartoonist as he suffers from various mental issues (primarily it seems to be OCD that afflicts him) that profoundly affect his life.  

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Z-Blade XX Doesn’t Quite Cut It

Z-Blade XX is a new comic from Atomic Basement written by Steve Palmer and illustrated by Guy Lemay.  It's a slickly-produced book — nice colors, thick paper, etc.  But for a first issue of a new character, it's not particularly satisfying.  It's also, unfortunately, filled with a few unnecessary swear words and some visuals of explicit violence to be a good read for kids who might otherwise enjoy the straightforward story.  All in all, I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, but this is another project where putting it on the web and working on it with more immediate feedback might have led to a stronger story.

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Twenty-Something Urban Romance: True Kilbourne and Zander Gunn

I picked up True Loves and True Loves 2 at SPX this year.  The two books by Jason Turner and Manien Bothma (husband and wife) chronicle the falling in love and thereafter of True Kilbourne and Zander Gunn.  An odd experience for me reading the books before the webcomic (True Loves 2 is available in color at Serializer.net) but having both books to read in one stretch actually was a good thing.  While I liked the initial True Loves tale, I really thought True Loves 2: Trouble in Paradise added a lot more to the entire tale to date (Jason Turner's note at the end of True Loves 2 says they're already working on True Loves 3).

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Solving The Kung Fu Puzzle

Now that I have two book-devouring kids, I find myself much more engaged with books and comics for the 10 and under age bracket (I guess you'd call that pre-tween?).  My kids read comics along with text books without much distinction at this point which is probably due to the pretty decent selection of comics in the children's section of our local library.  (The Sardine in Outer Space series was a recent favorite.)

So I was pretty interested in getting an opportunity to review the latest installment in the Manga Math Mysteries series.   Number four is titled The Kung Fu Puzzle: A Mystery with Time and Temperature.  I think any book, comic or otherwise, should be engaging on its own merits.  Educational value shouldn't be an excuse for a boring book.  Kung Fu Puzzle passed that test with flying colors with both of my kids (I thought it was pretty good too).  In fact I think my youngest daughter's biggest complaint is actually nice praise for the  book — she was quite annoyed at its somewhat open-ended finish.  I think she was hoping that the story went on longer.

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Kickstart Your Friday

Gordon McAlpin wrote to let me know that he'll be on a Kickstarter-themed edition of  Fanboy Radio this Sunday.  They'll be talking with Gordon about his Kickstater pre-funding effort for a print collection of his webcomic Multiplex.  (also on the show will be Yancy Strickler (co-founder of Kickstarter) and Jamie Tanner (a print cartoonist who is funding his second graphic novel through KS))

And in other Kickstarter efforts,Spike has just launched one for a new book called Poorcraft to be written by Spike and drawn by Diana Nock.

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