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Zap!

Comix Talk for Thursday, July 8, 2010

Well let's just dive right in, shall we?

Milestones: I just saw a note on Mark Mekkes blog that he'd moved his webcomic Zortic off of Keenspot this month and is now part of a science fiction anthology webcomic site called Quark Comics.  The comics on Quark's roster include: OutsiderZap!ZorticSaucer SeekersJump Leads, and Station V3.  Mark has been in the webcomics game for 10 years (maybe more) and also had a gig creating and maintaining the (now on hiatus) WCCA awards.

INTERVIEW: Mike Rhodes interviewed Evan Keeling, cartoonist and founding member of the DC-area cartoon group DC Conspiracy.

CRAFT: Bryan Lee O'Malley gives you some pointers on word balloon placement on the page.

GOOD DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP: FLEEN reported yesterday that the Web-Comics Auction for the Gulf Coast, had raised a total of $1654.51 so far. There are 12 days left with several heavy hitters still to bid on.

THE MORE YOU KNOW: Webcomic creator Bryant Paul Johnson helped out by teaching a session at a webcomic summer camp in Massachusetts. They also had a session with cartoonist Hilary Price, of Rhymes with Orange.  Seriously!  A webcomic camp for middle school students -- not bad!

ZUDAMANIACONTESTS:  The Washington Post's "Next Great Cartoonist" contest is down to five contestantsHoxwinder Hall by Daniel Boris, Real Time by Bob Erskine, Forever Endeavor by Thomas Mullany, Stupid Inventor by Zachary Snyder, and Imogen Quest by Olivia Walch.

HYPEY McHYPESALOT:  Tim Stimmons plugs Jason Brubaker's reMind over at Geekweek:

reMIND differs a bit from standard webcomics-- in fact, Jason bills it as "The Making of a Graphic Novel"-- The site is actually more of a blog about the work-in-progress of independently creating a Coffee-Table OGN mixed with the sensibilities of a high-end design book. Having recently been awarded the prestigious Xeric award, he's well on his way to realizing his vision.

The Once and Future Cartoonist: An Interview with Caleb Sevcik

Caleb Sevcik is a fun artist with a wicked sense of humor and a really energetic style.  I first encountered Sevcik while reading Zap Jones, which was a funny steampunk western back in the days of Keenspace.

He's working on a new comic he's planning to debut next month -- I'm looking forward to Caleb' Sevcik's new project and you should be too!  Read on for our recent interview:

Webcomic Beacpn #72

Good Work Indeed

Comic

Comic for March 31, 2009: Good Work Indeed

The same could be said for cookies, cheesecake, chocolate pies, and kittens.

Hey, that error message looks awfully familiar…

Oh, and are you curious about that memo Professor Donly is holding? You are? Then boy-howdy, today is your lucky day!

No Need To Beat Around the Bush: An Interview with Alex Kolesar and Joseph Kovell

Alex Kolesar and Joseph Kovell are the creators behind the historical action comedy webcomic No Need for Bushido.  I got a chance to interview them via email last month.

Can I Get a Webcomic?

COMIXTALK
If you're just joining us this Monday we've got new stuff posted this weekend including interviews with the creators of ZAP!, Chronillogical and Misfile.  Plus Dr. Haus reviews the webcomic Mistakes of Youth.  We've had a big October issue so if be sure to check it out to see what else you might have missed!

BOMB SHELTER WEBCOMIC IDOL
It's another edition of BSC Webcomic Idol and I'm a judge again.  I'm not sure if they're letting you vote off a comic each week or you have to vote for your favorite (and the least vote-getter leaves) but either way it's an elimination contest.  I keep doing it because the entrants have been strong contenders and the feedback and dialogue over the webcomics has usually been very interesting.  Plus ultimately some good comics get a lot of exposure.

I've gotten a chance to look at some representative work from all of the webcomic entrants but I'll definitely be digging into each of them.  Unlike the other judges who all are extremely talented comic creators I am the "journalist" type so my feedback may be more general but it'll be aimed at whether I think the comic is working for the audience.

MILESTONES
FLEEN in writing about American Elf's 10th year anniversary asks "would yesterday’s American Elf tenth anniversary strip be the first webcomic that went for ten years on a daily basis? I think it might."  I think the answer is clearly no.  American Elf is certainly a comic that has been created for 10 years on a daily basis but it was only published on the web on a daily basis back to 2002 (here's the Wayback Archive for the site).  I have a ton of respect for Kochalka's work but his career at this point in time is largely split between a pre and post-web era.  (Moreover, American Elf is not the first journal-style published on the webcomic, Drew Weing's The Journal Comic got to the web first.  I saw Heidi MacDonald's panel with James Kochalka at SPX this year and he actually cited seeing Weing's webcomic as a strong motivation to agreeing to work with Joey Manley to put his diary strips up on the web.  UPDATE: thanks to James Kochalka for commenting below -- and just to clarify -- Drew's contribution to the genre of journal/diary comics was putting it on the web, essentially as he made them; an idea that someone assuredly would have got to but I think it's generally agreed that Drew acted on first.  As to the basic idea of making a daily journal comic, Drew's comic came well after James Kochalka's work.)

UPDATE 2: Very interesting podcast of an interview between Joey Manley and James Kochalka at the recent SPX in Bethesda, MD.

REVIEWS
A review of The Phoenix Requiem (h/t Journalista!).  ComixTALK recently interviewed the creator, Sarah Ellerton.

ADVERTS
Ryan North writes that he's updated the help/FAQ system at Project Wonderful.

EVENTS
Blog@Newsarama writes about the Transgender Day of Remembrance Webcomics Project.

Zap! Pow! Keen! An Interview with Chris Layfield and Pascalle Lepas

Zap! is a science fiction webcomic hosted on Keenspot.  Written by Chris Layfield and drawn by Pascalle Lepas since 2003, the webcomic has continued to improve, particularly on the visual side.  (Don't despair the lengthy archives, there is a great overview of the storylines for new readers who want to quickly get up to speed).

I got a chance to interview Chris and Pascalle by email this month.

Zap! by Layfield and Lepas

The Webcomic Beacon - All Ages Comics


KEENSPOT PUTS CREATORS FIRST WITH NEW SYSTEM

On the heels of the February 28th news that Crosby Comics had acquired complete control of the company, Keenspot has announced a new system that allows Keenspot creators to retain and control 100% of the advertising revenue they generate for their sites. Cartoonist Tiffany Ross, who left in 2006, has enthusiastically rejoined Keenspot in response. "With the rise of highly-effective new ad networks and exchanges, we believe few know better than a comic's creator about how to maximize their ad sales and target the best-paying ads to their site," said Chris Crosby, CEO of Keenspot. "Combine that with the strong community and promotional aspects of Keenspot, and the new system seems to make for a winning formula. As our members freely share knowledge on how to generate optimal ad revenue, Keenspot drives traffic to their sites using our multiple promotional venues."