Berke Breathed is bailing on the funny pages again. NPR reports on Opus leaving the newspapers right around this year’s election. Breathed says he will focus on children’s books. I loved Bloom County growing up but to be honest haven’t been that enraptured by the two sequel strips.
Sean Kleefeld talks up the horror-themed collective of webcomics, Split Lip.
The US Daily reports on two "comics" creation tools: "My Comic Book Creator" and "Comic Life".
Sean Kleefeld muses about why one would buy the book after reading the webcomic? He kind of stumbles onto Jon Rosenberg’s greater theory of swag support: have a bunch of physical stuff for a reader to buy…
Reuben Bolling on watching a preview of The Watchmen movie:
It seems that it was the success of director Snyder’s "300" that gave him the clout to reject the studio’s re-imagining of Watchmen as a War on Terror shoot-’em-up, and go back to the source material. Based on what I saw, it’s hard to imagine a fan of the comic book being angry or disappointed that the movie strayed from the comic.
AROUND THE BLOGS AND BACK
Chuck Rozakis has a column at ComicMix sprinkling a little bit of econo-speak over the fact that really good creators of webcomics get a disproportionate number of fans. It is a nice way to put it — in a world of access to all choices available most people will take the "best" option as opposed to a second or third-rate option and so if you’re webcomic is the "best" you’re going to collect all the potential fans (Hence the use of "superstar" in his column title). But of course, "best" is going to be somewhat subjective and not all "fans" or "readers" are going to be interested in the same things so it’s a bit more complicated. We’ve also looked at this distribution as a power law (here, here for example) and had some discussion of how the "long tail" of it can still provide opportunities for creators to connect with readers by providing a smaller group of fans exactly what they’re looking for.
I think I failed to mention both the 10 year anniversary and the "end" of Cigarro & Cerveja by Tony Esteves earlier in September. The last strip (although Esteves says there may be more on a very sporadic basis) is a nice ending to what was definitely an underappreciated strip. I finally got to meet Tony in person at last year’s SPX – I’m looking forward to his new comic project.
In a move that surprised no one and caused others to cower in a closet, praying for the dawn, the Marvelous Patric announced that his year-long story "Sad Little Life" in his comic Freaks N Squeeks has ended its second act.
Another milestone — 5 years of Tom Truszkowski’s Station V3.
Five years of Butternutsquash – congrats to Ramon Perez and Rob Coughier! To celebrate, check out the archives, laugh at the wacky adventures of this gang of twenty-somethings and marvel at Perez’s fantastic artwork.
Yes, yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day… Aargh and me hearties and polly wanna cracker…
Eh it's from last month, but I forgot to link to it. A pretty entertaining if short interview with Warren Ellis, around the release of his Black Summer comic from Avatar. For all of the scattershot musing and ideas Ellis blasts across cyberspace every FREAKIN' day I wish he could channel a little bit of it into a serialized webcomic. (Is Freak Angels ever going to…well get its freak on?)
Jack Carter reviews Boxcar Astronaut by Marc Lapierre and Jeff Carter and Kidnapped By Gnomes by Kathy Peterson. I've read and heartily recommend Boxcar Astronaut – which is almost Calvin & Hobbes-esque in its ability to capture innocent wonder at the world.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Someone pointed out Idiot Comics on a thread yesterday. It is largely good although as much funny-wha?! as funny-ha-ha… Definitely worth checking out.
Just listened to NPR's interview with Pete Abrams on the 10th anniversary of Sluggy Freelance. The NPR host actually does a really good job at the start of describing the main characters. The links come from a recent post at FLEEN. The key "reveal" in the interview: his great grandmother on his mother's side was named Sluggy Freelance (yes he's kidding).
Two things to add: my understanding is that Pete makes the bulk of money now from his Defenders subscription (essentially a "patron" sort of model); and Pete has always remained a bit secluded from the rest of webcomics. He didn't link out much and other than participating in the very first Fright Night event I don't think he's really done "community" stuff. In part I'm sure it's because he never needed to (Sluggy was the Penny Arcade of its day back in the last century in terms of being much more popular than its nearest competitor.)
RELATED COMIXTALK ITEMS: Review of Sluggy Freelance, a recent interview (June 2007) with Abrams and a 2003 community interview with Abrams.
La Muse: Season 2
First off – let me thank current advertisers La Muse: Season 2 and the Learn to Draw the Human Figure training course. We’ve got two more blog ad spots open right now if you’ve got a project or product to tell Comixtalk’s readers all about. (Those project wonderful ads up top seem to be going pretty cheap this morning right now as well)
- Be sure to check out Comixtalk reader blogs as I’ve probably been less perfect about promoting them to the front page this summer (being on vacation and all) – I especially want to point out a recent one entitled Hard Lessons Learned from Tony Esteves on his shipping his stuff to conventions that is pretty interesting and might have been missed by folks.Â
- While I laze the summer away Jack keeps on reviewing webcomics – this time he tackles Monty and Woolley.
- Rooktopia likes The Perry Bible Fellowship. One point about this comic I think he gets especially right: "At its most risque, the strip just feels pleasant and inoffensive. This might be the biggest reason why Nick doesnâ€™t receive negative feedback: who can complain about a webcomic thatâ€™s this superficially sweet?"
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- The webcomic Too Much Information gets "reviewed" by the Something Awful website. And yes it’s true – it’s not like they ever have anything nice to say about anyone. I read through some of the TMI webcomic yesterday – the writing does have some good moments but you really wish the creator would improve the artwork a bit. Even after two years of the comic, the Poser-created artwork still looks awfully stiff and generic.
- ComicBookBin reports that Samurai Elf: Gathering Storm (Volume 1) is now available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese. Samurai Elf is now available as a webcomic so this multi-translation effort might be some kind of first. Samurai Elf is described as set in the fantastical world of Tyr, where a string of global wars have wracked the lands and sent civilization back into feudal times.