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Goats

So on Saturday

So, on Saturday, Justin Ison and his girl Erin, and Mark DeJoy and his girl Missy came by our place for a cloudy day of Eastside Yuppie famland fun, which primarily consisted of petting pygmy goats and alpacas, a little bit of thrift store shopping and then a huge holy buttload of Mediterranean food and pumpkin banana bread. I also prepared some cocktails, two of which I'm slightly embarrassed to admit out loud that I got from the latest Martha Stewart Halloween issue, one I'm definitely embarrassed to admit I got from Emeril Lagasse, and a hot toddy of my own invention which I thought would be a nice thing to drink if the day got cold, but it didn't really, so I have quite a bit of bourbon whiskey in the house (or, since the party was four days ago, nowhere near as much bourbon whiskey left in the house as I had four days ago).

Ladies and gentlemen, every mediocre webcomic cliche in one comic, minus the geeky ones!

(From Scary Go Round. Click for full-sized goodbye.)

Weekend Webcomics Wrapup

I hope everyone had a good week - I was mostly offline, enjoying the beach.  I got back to discover a new Jellaby comic from Kean Soo.  One of the best kid-friendly comics out there and always a pleasure to see a new one online.

It was also fun to see ComixTalk included in Ataraxi Theater's "webcomic merit badges" it posted this week -- one of them is the "Eye of Xerexes" -- awarded for drawing a cover to ComixTalk.  And there were a lot of other good links you might want to catch up on:

INTERVIEWS
CBR had a good interview with Jon Rosenberg of Goats.
An interview with Brian McFadden of the topical webcomic Big Fat Whale
.
The Daily Cross Hatch has the first part of its interview with Jordan Crane
.

MILESTONES
Andrew Farago finishes the first huge arc of his webcomic William Bazillion
.

BUSINESS
Former syndicated newspaper comic creator Michael Jantze announced he was starting up a new webcomic titled Rave On
.  Why is this interesting in an era of many former print comic folks launching webcomics?  One, Jantze was an early defector from print, taking his comic The Norm to a pay-to-read model online.  I have not kept up with how that has gone for Jantze after some initial reporting, but perhaps it has gone well enough because he is using another pay-to-read model for this new webcomic Rave On.  Should be worth following up on.

DEAD TREES
A preview of the upcoming Act-I-Vate print collection
.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Webcomic -- Sixteen Miles to Merricks by Barnaby Ward
.
Art -- Robbi Rodriguez.

DESIGN
Brigid Alverson offers her thoughts on webcomic website design.

TOOLS
Comicrank looks like it might be an interesting twist on the comic ranking site model
.

The Joy of Webcomics lies, cheats, and steals

joyofwebcomicsThere was apparently a big To Do down in SoCal this weekend. Various webcomic types are spending this week coming down from the high of San Diego Comic Con. The event has gotten so large that I swear I saw Stan Lee on CNBC last night doing a post-Con wrap-up. Surreal.

Monday

I was on vacation last week in the large state of Texas and then spent the weekend in Ohiopyle Park in EXTREME southwestern Pennsylvania.  Good times!  Hope everyone is geared up for NERDAPOOLZA in San Diego... I, once again, will not be there.  One day perhaps.  In the meantime here's some interesting comic and pop culture debris for your web-surfing today:

EVENT
The Cartoon Art Museum is having an exhibit titled "Monsters of Webcomics" which looks very cool.  I live on the wrong coast to make a trip to San Francisco to see it but all of you who can should go.

INTERVIEW

CRAFT
In case I forgot to blog about earlier, Freak Angels artist Paul Duffield put up a great tutorial on his process.

BUSINESS
Trent Razor (NIN and goth bad ass generally) on how new music artists should navigate the new mediascape of today
.  Lots of stuff in there for webcomic creators to think about.

Scott Saavedra is publicly documenting how much money he makes this year from his webcomic Java Town.  Good gimmick worth some publicity.  He's got a timer counting down the year and a counter for the profits (or lack of -- he's in the red right now). 

Sean Kleefeld offers some ideas for promotion -- he's aiming at targeting comic book store owners but they're tactics one could adapt to any group. I've seen several webcomic pursue the same ideas with their fans to try and spread the word locally ("street teams").  Sean offers up another idea supposedly in tandem -- giving access to all of a publisher's comics online -- in pursuit of the first post's promotional efforts but I don't think he's fully thought that through.  Not that I disagree with the result, it just feels a bit half-baked in his rational.  If I was going to jump into the comics publishing business and since I'm not industry giants Marvel and DC (and I'd have to count on their continuing slow-to-adapt strategy) of course I'd give EVERYTHING away online for free.  I might borrow Sean's idea of having people register at a portal so I could build some intelligence on my readership but I wouldn't make that the mandatory way to get the comics.  New publishers -- heck even existing not-DC-or-Marvel publishers -- suffer more from neglect and lack of attention then from anything else.  The new publisher's role has got to be a hybrid -- build a brand(s), build attention, promote talented individuals (much like Hollywood -- build good relationships with real talent), pay for good work consistently released -- then put it out EVERYWHERE in every electronic format possible.  Sell the stuff in print in a premium format that the fans demand and work with the creators to sell ancilliary products based on the work...  Okay off that soapbox... for now.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Questionable Content kills the webserver for Bunny with a link today.  You can still see Bunny's guest comic for QC today.  What to call this?  My comic got "Fayed"?

NOT WEBCOMICS
Does anyone use Google Sketchup in their work?  It's a great tool for what it does.  This music video for Roche Limit incorporates a lot of it.

Link to a gallery of photos of parkour, the jumping around buildings and railings sport, which beyond being pretty cool might be instructive for someone drawing action scenes, no?

Johanna's post should really be titled... "why Digital Rights Management sucks" as that's the source of her complaints, more so than a comic being in print or digital format.

Eggs at Last

I has chickens. Three 1/2-grown hens; 1 whats-it leghorn (maybe) cross and 2 1/2-breed aracanas. Still cheeping, not clucking.

We call them, 1, 2, 3. Because I can't tell two of them apart and I refuse to name food animals, even if they are only for eggs.

Joy of Webcomics… YEAAAAHHHHHH

CSI-GalaxyAngel2

Before you pick up your guitar and play, get up on your knees and pray and check out some webcomic-related news and views:

Strip News 6-16-9

VELCRO2BHAT 212x300 Strip News 6 16 9Being ill this last weekend gave me a bit of free time to poke around and find some interesting novelties…

In this Post! D.J Coffman, Jon Rosenberg, Jason Little, Amy Pearson and Matt Madden

Shaping up to be an interesting week in comics:

MILESTONES
Jason Little's Motel Art Improvement Service wrapped up today.  It was a very well done sequel to the first Bee story.  The somewhat sudden ending is still surprising to me but the middle three panels of the last installment are masterfully done.

BUSINESS
D.J. Coffman writes about warning signs that Diamond may be in trouble and speculates on it's implications for the future of the direct market for comic books.

REVIEWS
Johnanna Carlson writes a negative review of Jon Rosenberg's new Goats book and then the two of them exchange polite remarks in the comments.  Always nice to see a little civility on the Internets.  I haven't read the book so I can't offer a contrasting view I'd like to offer up a quote from Carlson's review that was meant critcally, but that I think is actually a pretty good way of describing Goats positively:

The point seems to be the dialogue more than the events. The characters talk a lot. The art is serviceable but not particularly attractive, and it’s often pretty static

That's always been the case with Goats - even more recently when the comic has had actual plot and science fiction trappings.  Rosenberg is the Kevin Smith of webcartoonists.

INTERVIEWS
An interview with Amy Pearson of the comic Mathema which started off on Zuda but now appears on Pearson's own site.

CRAFT
Matt Madden recently offered up an exercise in comic improvisation you might want to take a crack at.

Are We Really Going to Read Webcomics on E-Paper?

Another review of the Kindle-DX in the NY Times today.  Even though I've been reading webcomics for more than a decade now, I don't think I've seriously thought that I would someday be carrying around an electronic book from which I would read comics.  For some reason it just hasn't felt or seemed imminent - and with good reason as the technology is still not all the way there yet.  But this year?  I'm starting to get used to the idea that it's going to happen.

Sink into my big sofa-chair with a full season of Erfworld or Goats or Paradigm Shift? (just to throw out a few titles) - yeah, that would work.