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Girl Genius

Girl Genius Day - Buy The Book!

Borrowing from the marketing jujitsu of Machine of Death, the Foglios have urged fans to buy TODAY the new (text) novelization of Girl Genius titled Agatha H and the Airship City -- if they sell a lot of books today it should draw the attention of buyers at independent book stores, and also push it up the rankings at Amazon.com.

January 12 is Kaja's birthday, and it's also our self-declared Girl Genius Day! We're hoping you'll do something suitably mad and/or steampunkalicious for the occasion.

I also saw that Scott Kurtz wrote a nice post in support of the plan:

Today is Girl Genius day. And everyone reading this should celebrate.  For those that don’t know, Girl Genius is the amazing steampunk webcomic by Seattle based cartoonist Phil and Kaja Foglio. The couple recently published a prose novelization of their work called Agatha H and the Airship City. And tomorrow is the day they hope you buy it.The idea is that, if a lot of people buy the same book on the same day, it will help get them noticed by the buyers at your local independent book stores, and also push us up high in the rankings at sites like Amazon.com. High sales rankings definitely help raise awareness of the series.  Tomorrow is also Kaja’s birthday. And buying the book would be an amazing gift to her.

Scott also mentions that Phil and Kaja are doing a book signing in Seattle at Ravenna Third Place Books (6504 20th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 9815).

Comix Talk for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I suspect posting will be relatively light this month unless I get my act together this week and recruit some more interesting guest bloggers (I'm still open to unsolicited offers to guest blog!).  I started a little work on a story I thought might be interesting if I uncovered anything -- basically I tried to contact the first 100 members of ComixTalk thinking I might discover a mix of stories from people who've stayed pretty visible in comics to those whose stories maybe have never been well-covered.  I've gotten a few responses but it's too much work in tracking down folks to take that approach for any larger number of member accounts. (If you have an old account at ComixTalk you're having trouble accessing please let me know -- I'd be happy to try to help you out)  So my new pitch is -- if you joined ComixTalk (Comixpedia in those days) in 2003 and you're interested in giving me a snapshot of now and then for you in comics (I have some questions I've been emailing to folks; but that's what I'm after) please email, comment here or tweet me. 

MILESTONES

HYPE

INTERVIEWS

CONVENTIONS: SPX announces that Dean Haspiel and Kate Beaton will be guests this year.  Between SPX and Intervention that is going to be an epic comics weekend in the DC area. 

MAILBAG: I got an email from creator Lee Leslie about the webcomic RiGBY, an Epic Webcomic about the Tales of an Amateur Barbarian.  RiGBY follows the adventures of the titular hero as she navigates a world of reanimated skeletons, warriors on dinosaurs and savage snake-men.  Leslie describes the webcomic as combining "the fun world-building of high fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings or Conan the Barbarian with a fun and relatable protagonist.  Basically, she’s the love child of Indiana Jones and Red Sonja.”

Comix Talk for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So two things ComixTalk-ish I want to mention:

  1. I need guest bloggers again due to vacation and other conflicts scattered throughout the fall.  I'll be asking (you know: begging) several folks personally, but if this strikes you as an interesting opportunity send me an email (xerexes AT gmail DOT com) or a tweet (xerexes).
  2. Lately, I've been really interested in experimenting with some ideas for a radio show (podcast I guess) and would love any and all tips or pointers to good FAQs on all of the technical side of producing audio and/or video shows for the web.

Neil Jam by Neil Fitzpatrick

INTERVIEW: Cross Topic interviewed Neil Fitzpatrick of the comic Neil Jam.

HYPE SQUARED

NOT WEBCOMICS: David Rees, creator of the webcomic Get Your War On, reincarnation of Andy Kaufman or frustrated Bob Villa?  You decide!

CONVENTIONS: Scott McCloud offers a word of advice derived from his recap of the recent SDCC: patience.

FRIENDS OF LULU: Valerie D'Orazio blogs about the state of Friends of Lulu and although it's a very forthcoming post, it's probably not the entire story (there's always other sides to the story).  Nevertheless I feel for D'Orazio who seems to have made efforts to improve things but had a hard time rallying support from members or outside supporters.  In fact, to D'Orazio's view things have gotten to the breaking point as she writes:

If by September 2010 nobody steps forward and shows interest in helping run this organization, I will start taking steps to officially dissolve it as a non-profit. Then I will donate the leftover money (if any) between the other major comics charities, return the donated artwork, and ship the historical records and sketchbooks to a University or MoCCA.  Before I would take steps to dissolve FoL (if it comes to that), I will personally contact a number of concerned parties via a mass email asking for volunteers to keep the organization going.
I have been the president of a volunteer organization a couple of times now and I can tell you it's never easy!  And not everyone has every skill set needed to run a group well -- success is often dependent on having allies who complement your weaknesses with their strengths.  I don't know what's going to happen to FoL but hopefully D'Orazio's post will start a more transparent and public discussion on the future of this organization.

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 Monday, April 5, 2010

Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated

AWARDS: The Hugos now include a regular Best Graphic Novel category -- which is really pretty fantastic.  This year's nominees include two webcomic entries: Girl Genius, Vol. 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm -- Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment); and Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated by Howard Tayler. (h/t Robot6)

REVIEWS: Hecklr has a nice review of John Allison's three webcomic series: Bobbins, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery

CONVENTIONS: Pete Abrams, creator of Sluggy Freelance, is going to be at Intervention. Jamie Noguchi, creator of Yellow Peril, former artist on Erfworld is going to be at SPX.

INTERVIEWS: I missed this in my mailbag last month, but Public Radio Kitchen interviewed Franklin Einspruch about his painted comics which he posts online at The Moon Fell On Me.  Einspruch is creating a kind of comic tone poem with his work; I found myself liking it more than I would have expected.  It's largely a very peaceful experience reading through his comics.

FROM THE MAILBAG:  I got a nice email about a comic called Indestructible Will which is about a character who doesn't feel pain (apparently a real medical condition).  Unfortunately the comic is only available in pdf format, so you have to download each chapter before you can read it.  There's just no reason to do that.  Most readers aren't going to go to the extra step of downloading your unknown work when they could just as easily read a jpg, png or gif in their browser.

I got an email about FR33, self-described as "a webcomic about a drug abusing self-proclaimed artist, seeking his place in a near-future world of free culture" which is another photo comic.  Since I'm giving out practical website advice today, I'd redo the "about" page to tell readers a bit more about the comic, maybe even try to pitch the longer-term arc of it to try and sell the comic.

Comix Talk for Friday, February 26, 2010

Art by Vera Brosgol

What a week it was... or was it?!  El Santo posts up a question about "what age of comics" are we in?  I think both in terms of the evolution of digital platforms and explosion of variety of subject matter this decade represented the beginning of a new era.  What to call it though?  Digital is only half the story.

SWIPER NO SWIPING! Two incidents of bad behavior this week - one already rectified.  FLEEN has a writeup of Hot Topic's selling of ripped-off artwork from Vera Brosgol.  I saw bits of the twitter stream on this yesterday and while Hot Topic seriously needs to revamp it's IP review in its process of acquiring product, the "producer" of this shirt was some band. (The Beat has a picture comparing t-shirt to artwork)  Artists ripping off other artists? Not cool guys.  The other big to-do this week was Nick Simmon copying artwork repeatedly from the manga seriesTite Kubo Bleach.  Simmon's publisher Radical has pulled his book for now.

MONEY MONEY MONEY:  Rare comic books sell for one million dollars.  Okay, whatever?  I don't care one way or the other about rare comic book sales -- I like to read comics, not collect physical artifacts.

INTERVIEW: CBR interviews Phil Foglio about his current webcomic Girl GeniusThe Foglios are having a donation drive for their colorist Cheyenne Wright who was quite ill (but good news! is recovering).

CONTEST: Raina Telgemeier is having a contest where you can win a copy of her new graphic novel Smile.  Deadline is this Sunday!

Comix Talk for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So today is the Second Coming?  The rumored debut of Apple's oversized iPod has sent the newspaper business into a tizzy but it is potentially VERY interesting to the world of comics.  I doubt the first generation of it (if it exists!) will be affordable enough but eventually this could become a serious platform for comics.  IF IF IF IF....

In non-rapturous news of the day, congrats to Ben Costa for winning a Xeric Grant for Shi Long Pang. I look forward to buying that book! (h/t Paperless Comics)  And in a true spirit of public service, Gary reads Platinum Comics Licensing's press release to decipher the latest business plan: "an in-house version of CafePress."

INTERVIEW: Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots.

REVIEW: Delos reviews Insert Comic by Zack Holmes.

And how about some links to fill-out your morning read -- here's the list of webcomics the readers of the Washington Post nominated for its Comics Riffs poll on "Best Webcomic of the Decade": "Devil's Panties" ; "Devin Crane" ; "Eric Monster Millikin" ; "Girl Genius" ; "Girls With Slingshots" ; "Hark! A Vagrant" ; "Jesus and Mo" ; "Kevin and Kell" ; "Least I Could Do" ; "Navy Bean" ; "The New Adventures of Queen Victoria" ; "Order of the Stick" ; "Penny Arcade" ; "Perry Bible Fellowship" ; "Pibgorn" ; "PvP" ; "Questionable Content" ; "Red String" ; "Schlock Mercenary" ; "Sinfest" ; "UserFriendly.Org" ; and "xkcd."

Comix Talk for Monday, January 25, 2010

For what it's worth, I've got a fresh install of DRUPAL on the dev server at home, working up a streamlined version of ComixTALK.  Laid out the basic theme (moving to a 2 column layout) and now tackling cleaning up the horror that the tag and category system at ComixTALK has mutated into....  Right now I'm debating whether to port ComixTALK as is to the new server or wait until I get the redo... done.

One story that caught my eye this morning was this rant by blogger-czar Jason Calacanis about comScore.  Worth reading to think about.  Another interesting story from Tom Spurgeon, who has an essay up at the Comics Reporter which I think one could summarize as "wow, there are a lot more good comics than when I was younger..."  I guess I would add, "wow, there are a lot more good webcomics than 10 years ago..."  And if you need a recap of recent webcomic news, Delos has a whole bunch of interesting links covering last week at Art Patient.

NEW BOOK: John Allison posted the cover art from the forthcoming 8th book collection of Scary Go Round: "Recklessly Yours." 

Cory Likes Corndogs: Goats scores a favorable review from Boing Boing Blogger Cory Doctorow for the second book in the new series: The Corndog Imperative.

ZUDA IDOL SCANDAL? Digital Strips reports on the departure of one of the ten finalists from this month's Zuda popularity contest. Apparently The  Thunderchickens had a good shot of winning it too, so the undisclosed reasons for its departure must be something non-trivial.

POLLS: Over at the Washington Post's comics blog, Schlock Mercenary is leading their Best Webcomic of the Decade poll, followed by Girl Genius.

INTERVIEW: Inkstuds has an (audio) interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Non-ZUDA CONTESTS: El Santo reports that John Lustig of Last Kiss is having a contest -- write the best dialogue for a comic captioned by Orson Scott Card.

ALL AGES: Comics For Kids has a list of recommended comics for the classroom.

It's Just Wednesday and Boy... Are My Gills Tired!

State of the ComixTALK update
Working on a Wordpress-powered version of the site on a development server.  Had out the MySQL book last night trying to write queries for moving over a few of the tables from Drupal to Wordpress.

THEORY
Patric Lewandowski gave a 20 minute talk on ideas about comic theory he first explained in a series of articles he wrote for ComixTALK in 2008.  You can see the video of Patric's presentation at his website.

AWARDS
After the one webcomic (Girl Genuis) in ComicRiff's "Best Comic of the Decade" poll kicked serious tail, ComicRiff decides to hold a "Best Webcomic of the Decade" poll.  They're looking for nominations if you're interested in helping them out.

Webcomics.com Update
I got a press release from Brad Guigar this morning announcing that subscribers to Webcomics.com are eligible to get tables in the Webcomics Pavilion area of the Chicago's Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a special creators' discount of 15%.  According to Brad that's a total savings of $60 - which is pretty nice (and more than the annual $30 subscription fee to the site btw).  This is very smart -- if Brad can leverage the new community he's building for partnerships and other promotions than that certainly adds a lot of value to joining that site.

And El Santo adds his two cents to the Webcomics.com subscriber model story.

THEN AND NOW
Jeph Jacques redraws Questionable Content #1.

John Allison is redrawing some of his SGR comics for the latest print volume.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Artpatient linked to a funny comic by Caldwell Tanner called "What Kind of Artist Are You?" I fit in there.... somewhere!

Rolling Update For Friday

Wow- the first full week of 2010 at ComixTalk and I'm still surprised how much folks are talking about webcomics.com's and keenspot's recent announcements.  I think with the struggling ad market we may see another year of tremendous experimentation as folks try out old and new business ideas alike.  I wonder about the "swag" market -- a recent tweet about the amount of postage bought by Topatoco last year reminded me how little we know about trends in that area.  Sure we hear from individual cartoonists when they do well or not but I don't think anyone has an idea of whether collective sales of comics-related t-shirts, stickets, etc is going up or down over time.

Also, I guess the 3-D hype from movies and teevee has come to comics -- Comics Alliances writes up a recent effort at a 3-D webcomic.

Last another site note: I'm definitely going to a new site design, probably timed to moving to a new host; ideally within this month.  In the meantime partially inspired by the video of Lark Pien's Small Destructions installation I saw, I'm using the "cover" art slot here and changing it often (call it not-quite-daily).  I hope folks like some of them or at least don't mind.  We had 83 cover artists (give or take - some were collaborations) over 7 years and I finally thought I'd like to take my own turn at it.

INTERVIEWS
Scott McCloud mentioned Dan Goldman's new webcomic Red Light Properties which has a panel at a time interface (Scott seems to approve) and pointed to an interview Goldman at the Graphic NYC blog.

An interview with Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North focusing on his many webcomic tools like the ad system Project Wonderful and the RSS site, RSSpect.  Worth noting North recently added plans to add on January 30th geotargeting to the Project Wonderful platform.

TUTORIALS
ArtPatient has links to lots of free webcomic tutorial sites as well as Delos's usual amazingly complete round-up of interviews, reviews and other announcements.

AWARDS
The comic book website Broken Frontiers names Girl Genius the Best Webcomic of 2009.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Be sure to check out Christopher Baldwin's new webcomic Spacetrawler.

Boing Boing reports that the first two volumes of Wizzywig, Ed Piskor's graphic memoir of the early days of the BBS/hacking/phreaking scene, have been posted online.

CHASING THE TITANIC
Daily Cartoonist reports Bridgett Spicer’s webcomic Squid Row has landed a spot in The Monterey County Herald.