Webcomic Jones and the Cintiq Skull

If you haven't read enough about how bad the new Tokyo Pop contest contract is read Tom Spurgeon's straightforward breakdown of the various flavors of crap contained within it.  (Lea Hernandez also has links to most of the posts on the subject here.)

Will Wheaton and Greg Williams have a webcomic up about nostalgia — Star Wars action figures to be specific.

Joe Infurnari who does the Eisner-nominated webcomic, The Process, announced he will also be posting a new webcomic titled The Transmigration of Ultra-Lad on the ACT-I-VATE site.

Comics Worth Reading has a short review of the print collection of the webcomic America Jr.

Word Balloons has a review of Kean Soo's Jellaby book.

The Chemistry Set webcomics collective is set to publish an anthology of their comics called No Formula.

I really like this t-shirt from Dorothy Gambrell (Cat and Girl).

NerdWorld has a post up about the freshly released Penny Arcade game and the almost here Homestar Runner game.

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Evan Dham has finished his webcomic novel Rice Boy.


Rob Clough does short reviews of a whole bunch of webcomics over at Sequart.

Mr Myth talks up Chainmail Bikini and Darths and Droids.


Neil Gaiman points out some trademarks issues and links to recent comics-related issues.


Microsoft has Steve Niles, Dr. Revolt; Kime Buzzelli; and Gary Panter working on a graphic novel for the Zune called The Lost Ones.  Wow… I guess Microsoft tries a lot of things but turning the Zune into a comics reader is surpising to me. (h/t Journalista!)


Jason Boog collects links to advice on how to promote your writing which seems pretty applicable to comics.

Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man) also throws out some self-promotion ideas he’s considering.

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Interesting Documentary on Culture, Copying and Remix/Mashup

This documentary is a pretty interesting look at how digital technology and participatory culture collides with Hollywood/RIAA, etc. It’s called Good Copy, Bad Copy and while I can’t really think of a link to comics, if you’re interested in copyright and Web 2.0ish creativity I think you’ll find this pretty insightful.

UPDATE: While I’m in a copyright sort of mood I’d also recommend this clip created by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University – it’s called A Fair(y) Use Tale and it explains copyright and the fair use exception and is constructred entirely out of clips from Disney movies.

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Lucas Sends Stevens Cease and Desist Letter

Diesel Sweeties creator Rich Stevens posted a letter he received from LucasFilm Ltd requesting that he cease and desist (magic lawyer words) from selling several t-shirts that play off of Star Wars references (or at least might play off of Star Wars references). (Fleen posted a short comment on it.) Assuming arguendo (another favorite lawyer word) that Stevens is riffing off of Star Wars references in these t-shirts, so what? The questions are going to be about trademark, copyright and defenses such as fair use (including parody).

Unfortunately the reality is also that unless Stevens gets some pro bono (laywerly way of saying "free") assistance it's unlikely he's going to want to even get near the tar pit that would be litigation with a big corporation. I'm not sure what groups would be interested: CBLDF? EFF? Others? A good place to start might be The Chilling Effects website which is a useful guide to understanding your rights and the law related to these types of cease and desist letters.

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Thomas Dolby Notes Wapsi Square Lyric Use

Thomas Dolby described a recent Wapsi Square comic as "appropriat[ed] material" as it quotes from his She Blinded Me With Science song. It's hard to judge from Dolby's comments how seriously he meant his comment and there doesn't appear to be any follow up on his blog.

But it may be an area where independent comic creators need to learn a bit about copyright law to avoid problems. Wapsi Square creator Paul Taylor has had his characters quote song lyrics before (here and here) and I'm actually not sure offhand what the standard for this situation is so I'm not assuming Wapsi Square has done anything wrong.

But I do recall that on at least one time in the past it's been a problem. Pete Abrams decided to remove some song lyrics from a Sluggy Freelance storyline called "Fire and Rain" due to concerns over possible copyright issues.

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LA Times Tackles Comic Book Online Piracy

This LA Times article is a good snapshot of the issues associated with comic books getting scanned and shared online. I assume it is tough for traditional comic book publishers – from DC and Marvel down to the smaller indy shops – to sort out how to deal with this. On the one hand if online comic book file sharing is following the same trajectory as music (and now video) file sharing, it's conceivable that the audience will grow tremendously – far outstripping the current market for comic books.

The downside, of course is that all of those readers online aren't paying the $3 + for the paper comic book. Although publishers may fight this or ignore this, some smart publisher is going to figure out a way to leverage this at some point and convert a significant enough number of file sharing fans into paying fans to create a new business model for comic books. It may not wind up being all that different from evolving efforts by webcomic creators but I don't doubt that it's coming. Continue Reading

Plagerism On A Plane!

UPDATE 2: It's gone.

Update: An earlier version of this post linked to an "about me" page for a Scott Dial. The webcomic discussed in the post is claimed by Steve Dial, not Scott Dial.

Dr.Sebetos also noted that Jeff Rowland commented in the Fleen post on this.

Fleen points out one of the more blatant and strange examples of plagerism I've ever seen in webcomics. This "webcomic" appears to be word for word copies of Overcompensating strips. It's redrawn, but it looks like the "artist" is drawing it as much like the original OC strips as his "talent" allows.

I'm totally flabbergasted by this. This guy describes himself as a senior in college applying for PhD programs in Computer Science. Either this is an elaborate hoax perpetuted by Jeff Rowland and/or the Dumbrella crew or this other guy is actually in a lot of potential trouble. Even a first year law student barely getting C's could win the copyright infringement case Jeff Rowland could bring against this guy.

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Thursday’s Webcomic Is Tired and Needs More Coffee

On a challenge, Jon Morris creates a paper doll of the Star-Spangled Kid.

Metro Toronto reviews the latest books by Raina Telgemeier and Hope Larson.

With the current storyline of Goats, I knew it was only a matter of time before Jon worked a Tron joke into it

Paul Gadzikowski writes in defense of derivative fiction triggered by reactions to a recent appearance of an unauthorized Star Wars novel appearing at Amazon.com.

Notwebcomics Dept:  Scans of Alcoholics Anonymous comics and of "comics with problems" (one is titled "Dennis the Menace  Takes a Poke At Poison".)

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