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Cyanide & Happiness

Weekend Comix Talk

A big thanks again to all of the great guest bloggers this past month.  The site would have been pretty dead without their lively posts and comments. I'm extending the guest blogging one more week because I need a week now to dig out from the avalanche of work that piled up during my travels in August.  This coming week we'll have posts from two comic creators: Brandon Carr and Ben Gamboa.  Both have worked with webcomics for sometime now and I think you'll enjoy their contributions.

While I'm here let me point out a few stories I thought you might find interesting as well as take care of some of the ComixTalk mailbag.

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF WEBCOMICS

Dave McElfatrick, one of the four creators of Cyanide & Happiness and the only one not based in the United States (he's from Ireland) -- recently got a visa to the U.S after initially getting rejected:

McElfatrick turned his Internet celebrity to his advantage: He asked his fans to sign a petition to show the government that “his work and the comic he’s a part of have a huge global audience.” More than 146,000 signatures later, the US Immigration Office has reversed its initial judgment: Today, McElfatrick announced that he’s been approved for the visa.

Also, I just saw this article in the Times of India on webcomics there.  A few links in it to the webcomics mentioned -- a range of quality to be sure but great to see a story on a thriving scene there. 

MILESTONES

I heard from the man himself, but haven't had a chance to post until now: Box Brown wrapped up Bellen! and launched a new comic project with three full stories in the archives for Everything DiesBrown got some deserved hype from USA Today here.

BUSINESS

I've never heard of publisher DarkBrain, LLC before but they recently announced that all of their webcomic are now available for free.  Their comics includes original music, and voice-over narration, hmm.... not sure what to make of that.

From the mailbag

  • Nina Paley writes that she has a new webcomic -- Mimi and Eunice.  Paley is the uber-talented artist and creator behind the animated Sita Sings The Blues and her earlier comics: Nina's Adventures, Fluff, and The Hots.
  • Nikole Jones writes about her webcomic Full Armour -- a humorous action adventure all ages comic which has two stories finished and is in the midst of its third one.  It's the saga of thirteen kids that make up a team that takes on special missions.  Jones describes the comic as "one part character study, one part globe trotting treasure hunt, and one part explosive action with blue daemons and angels with no mouths."
  • Jerome Genevray writes that he's made a trailer for Le Greenboy -- a movie project he's working on about a superhero in Paris which will feature two actresses you may have heard of: Alysson Paradis (the sister of the wife of johnny Depp -) and Diane Dassigny plus Aurélien Jégou stars as Greenboy.  It's got to be a comedy -- it's about a guy who dresses up in a green costume and picks up litter, inspiring others to do the same.  I think there's an unintentional cross-border laugh though -- apparently supporters of Le Greenboy put their index finger and thumb on their forehead in the shape on an "L" -- that's slang for "loser" where I grew up.

Comix Talk for Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the last issue of Dark Horse Presents on MySpace, there's a new Bee story from Jason Little; a comic based on the video game Mass Effect, a comic written byLeVar Burton plus a funny riff on a scene from Star Wars by Frank Stockton.  Future issues of DHP will be at Dark Horse's own website. (h/t Scott McCloud)

I also point you to a comic on digital civil rights in Europe that is pretty interesting, particularly if you're interested in the topic. (h/t BoingBoing)

CODE: The new convention Intervention will be hosting a workshop on Comicpress for Wordpress run by one of the developers, Frump.  This is a great idea, one that I'm surprised I haven't seen at other webcomic-friendly conventions.  Attendees to the workshop will get a bonus -- a free download of the automated Cast addon for ComicPress. The Cast addon displays cast members in a totally new way, showing when they first appeared in the comic, how often they have been in the comic, all of the comics they were in with links and other statistics as well as individual biographical information.

CONVENTION: Gary reports that Jorge Cham is organizing another Webcomics newspaper-style handout for this year's San Diego Comicon.

REVIEW: Roya Grinstead reviews the webcomic Romantically Apocalyptic with which the reviewer "was floored by its miraculous visuals, its marvellous concept, and its delightfully dark, whimsical, and twisted humour."

MILESTONE: Spwug notes that the webcomic Dreamless by Bobby Crosby and Sarah Ellerton has only one page left to post.  A review of the comic by Spwug is here.

DEAD TREES:  Scott Kurtz announced that he is leaving Image to return to self-publishing his comic books

The Queen's Hype: The Independent newspaper hypes some webcomics including The OatmealHyperbole and a HalfCyanide and HappinessThe Perry Bible FellowshipCtrl+Alt+Delxkcd, and Girl Genius.

Comix Talk for April 12, 2010

Outbound #2

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!

AROUND THE BLOGS:

Comix Talk for Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Motel Art Improvement Service by Jason Little

Scott McCloud endorses the E-Sheep Kickstarter driveHelp Patrick Farley make more comics, folks!

INTERVIEWS

LEGAL:  CBR has an interview with Nina Paley with some good discussion about copyright in the digital age.  Paley had epic copyright battles in getting her fantastic animated film Sita Sings the Blues released.

REVIEWS: Charley Parker talks about Asaf Ahanuka's effort to serialize an english language webcomic version of his Hebrew language comic, The Realist.

Conventions: Gary had the first part of his PAX East round-up yesterday, more to come this afternoon.

AROUND THE BLOGS: An amazing series of ABC driven artwork from Neill Cameron.

NOT WEBCOMICS: James Kochalka has a supporting role in a new movie Mars, that looks pretty interesting.  Shot entirely on greenscreen, it has a rotoscoped animated look not entirely unlike the videogame Borderlands.

Captain Nihilist Responds To the State of The Webcomics Union

Just yesterday, Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content released his State of the Webcomics Union.

This is the democratic response.

The Webcomic Overlook #91: Buttersafe

LOL! Humor on the internet is sooooo random!

In saying the above phrase, I understand that I’ve invited a modicum of invites backlash. Sexy Canadian librarians and urbane, well-dressed sequential art afficianados — who, in the deep recesses of my fertile imagination, make up the bulk of readers on this site — are no doubt glaring angrily from behind their pince-nez glasses and/or spitting out their Chamomile. This is an especially egrarious faux-pas since “random humor” almost always means that, at the end, someone’s head explodes, or the world blows up, or ninjas pop up out of nowhere.

So RANDOM! Even if it means everyone else is doing it.

In reality, it’s actually more of a shock cut than random. And if it were really, truly random, then there’s very little chance it would actually be funny, since you wouldn’t have established any expectations in the first place. Hell, John Allison made a shirt about it (which I would order, if the value of the dollar was much stronger against the British pound). As stated by the venerable Urban Dictionary (your indispensable resource on funky fresh lingo), you’re probably better off if you just say it’s unexpected humor … but then teenagers everywhere will dismiss you as an anal-retentive killjoy and there’s nothing I want more than the praise and adulation of today’s youth. That’s the secret to how a grandpa like Tony Hawk can keep rolling in that phat video game loot.

So without further ado, The Webcomic Overlook reviews the latest salvo in the world of random webcomic humor. Even its title looks like something straight out of a random word generator: Buttersafe, by Raynato Castro and Alex Culang.

Time To Make The Webcomics

Does anyone want to do some cover art for ComixTalk for January (like this month)?  Email me at xerexes AT gmail DOT com.

INTERVIEWS

Newsarama has an interview with Raina Telgemeier who is working on a graphic novel version of her webcomic-in-progress Smile.  Raina and her husband Dave Roman are two of the nicest (and talentest) folks in comics. (h/t Journalista!)

The Washington Post has an interview with Tom Rickard, the creator of the comic strip Brewster Rockit.  I didn't realize this started back in 2004, it is a better than average strip in terms of what's in the Post's comic pages.

Achewood creator Chris Onstad visits the Googleplex - click for a video of an interview with him there for Google's Authors At Lunch series.  (h/t Journalista!)

Following up on FLEEN's mention of the NPR story on Penny Arcade, a commenter lists several other webcomic stories NPR has covered: Achewood, Sluggy Freelance, Erfworld, Questionable Content, Megatokyo, Cyanide & Happiness.

TOOLS

Brian Fies, the creator of the web/comic Mom's Cancer has REALLY good advice on dpi requirements (72, 300, 600, 1200, etc) when scanning. (h/t Journalista!)

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

In their weekly podcast, the Halfpixel crew talks about 2008 and looks ahead to 2009.

Scott Kurtz announced some changes to his other webcomic Ding! -- he took back the art chores from Paul Southworth and is now soliciting stories from players of the game World Of Warcraft to tell in the comic.  I think the format change is interesting, but I'll miss Southworth's take on the art.

Who Are You? An interview with Bengo & Pug

whoareyouWelcome to “Who Are You?”, the Webcomic Overlook’s first foray into interviewing people involved in the business of webcomics. This feature was actually going to go by a completely different name, but I had The Who on my iPod playlist this morning. You might call it fate.

100 Greatest Webcomics Thread

NOTE:  An updated version of this list is here - please go there to offer your suggestions and comments.  Thanks!

Cyanide Happiness creators