The webcomics blog about webcomics

Long Weekend Looming

I mean, for those of you in the US; others don’t celebrate Memorial Day on Monday and so this will serve as a reminder that there likely won’t a post on Monday, what with parades and cookouts and such.

  • Those others include Our Friends To The North, Canadians, such as the immensely skilled Tony Cliff¹, who got to share some good news yesterday:

    We’re delighted that Disney has bought the film rights for @TangoCharlie’s amazing DELILAH DIRK graphic novels: … !

    Here’s hoping that Disney don’t ignore the most important fact about Ms Dirk: she is no princess, or if one must treat her as such, she is of the self-rescuing type. Please, please, please don’t make the semi-enthusiastic (but mostly unflappable) Mr Selim the hero of the piece. It’s Delilah’s show, and while he’s no mere sidekick, he is definitely the junior partner in adventure. Thankfully, it’s planned to be live action, so there need not be an I Wish song up front for Delilah to lay out all her hopes and dreams.

    Congratulations to Tony Cliff and also to the movie-going girls of the world, who will hopefully soon have one more swashbuckling hero of their own to look up to (with the obligatory note that option does not necessarily mean gets made any time soon. We’re still waiting for BONE, for goodness sake, not to mention Amulet, Agnes Quill, Odd Jobs, Last Blood, The New Kid, and You Damn Kid. The options on Nimona and Castle Hangnail are too recent for anything to have happened yet).

  • Speaking of Memorial Day weekend, the National Cartoonists Society are having their annual meet-up/party, and around 30 hours from now we’ll know who this year’s honorees for webcomics will be. To refresh you, the nominees for Online Comic — Long Form are The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo (Drew Weing), Drive (Dave Kellett), and Octopus Pie (Meredith Gran, her second nomination in the five cycles the awards have been offered). The nominees for Online Comic — Short Form are Bouletcorp (Boulet), Kevin and Kell (Bill Holbrook), and Sheldon (Kellett, again).

    If I have my records right, only Meredith Gran and Vince Dorse have been nominated twice in the NCS Online — Long Form category, and Dorse has previously won² (and also isn’t nominated this year). The lesson seems clear: get two nominations in Long Form, and you win, so I’m going to preemptively congratulate Gran, while wishing all the nominees the best of luck.

  • Speaking of Dorse, his two nominations were for Untold Tales of Bigfoot, which has wrapped up its run as a webcomic and is seeking a new existence in print. You know where this is going — the Kickstarter’s been up for a couple of days, and while only about 100 people have gotten in while the gettin’s good, Dorse’s extremely modest goal of US$8000 means he’s more than halfway there with nearly a month to go. It’s really a neat story, check it out.

Spam of the day:

Strathmore Professional Network — Congratulations! You’ve been selected to Join

Join what? The Bristol Of The Month Club? I don’t actually draw comics, so that’s not the most … what? Oh, it’s a sleazy Who’s Who ripoff that will not only charge me money for the privilege of including it in an allegedly prestigious directory that nobody will ever see, but will also facilitate the theft of my identity? Yeah, no.

¹ Also including Christopher Bird who commented on our story regarding his Patreon to correct our suppostings regarding the finances of Al’Rashad. Namely, he and illustrator Davinder Brar worked that project without pay, hoping for sales down the line. Fleen regrets the error.

² Interestingly, over Meredith Gran, the last time she was nominated.

News: Good, Better, Best

For those wondering, the Octopus Pie Volume 4 launch party last night was a lot of fun; I’m not going to do a write-up here, as much of what I was told by Meredith Gran, Mike Holmes, and fellow attendee Evan Dahm hasn’t been announced yet. Rather than run the risk of mentioning things they want to announce on their own terms, I’ll just say that they’re all working on Cool Things that you will love. Look for them on the con circuit this year and ask ’em yourself what they’re up to.

Instead, let’s talk about other things that have come up.

  • At the launch party, I was pleased to make the acquaintance of a young lady that came because (as she put it) she’s grown up reading the likes of Gran, Beaton, Munroe, and other lights of webcomickry. She had stickers of her original character (Bus Man … possibly Busman, or Bus-Man¹) and sent me a PDF of a short story she recently completed on her Tumblr. Her name is Sam[antha] Schroeder, you can see her portfolio here and her comics here.

    There’s so many people making comics — at every stage of their individual artistic journeys — that finding one whose work you want to share is always a Good Thing; I’m sharing Schroeder’s doodles and comics (there’s not much there yet) because I think it’s great to follow somebody from the beginning. A few years one and she’ll probably be embarrassed by this work, but that’ll only be because of how much she’s progressed.

    The story I mentioned is a sweet-natured look at what it’s like to be a not particularly grim reaper² who’s wondering about whether all those reapings are fair. It’s charming, and you can find it at these links.

  • It’s been not quite five years that Tyler Page (creator of Nothing Better) has been working on his medical memoir, Raised on Ritalin (of a piece with other personal stories about health, like Tracy White’s How I Made It To Eighteen or even Raina Telgemeier’s Smile), which recently hit its final chapter. It’s a book that’s undoubtedly changed in the time it took to produce, and it’s now possible to read the entire thing at once.

    And for those of you that hate hitting the Next button a few hundred times in a row, you can get a hardcopy:

    HERE IT IS: @Kickstarter for Raised on Ritalin – A Graphic Novel/Memoir about #ADHD by tyler page #kickstarter

    It’s probably partly a shift in the openness with which people are now willing to discuss mental illness, partly changes in psychiatric diagnoses and treatments, and partly who I hang out with these days, but things like ADHD and depression weren’t things I knew that people had — actual people, that is, people I knew personally — before about a dozen years ago. A lot of your favorite creators have been open about the challenges they face with psychiatric conditions, and that’s a tremendous help for people that don’t know why their brains work the way they do. Lots more people need to get that help, and Raised on Ritalin has to potential to provide that help.

    It’s not just the story of Page’s diagnosis and what ADHD means to him personally; it’s a biography of the disease and the drugs that are used to treat it, as well. It’s an important story, and it’s only going to get to the places it needs to be³ if it’s in a printed and bound form. And that will only happen if a measly US$6000 gets raised in the next month or so.

    Page is already about 40% of the way to goal, but he really needs to go way over goal — that’s what will allow not only physical improvements to the book (he cited better paper, for one), but to print enough copies that the people who don’t yet know that they need it will be able to find it in places that can help them³ in the future. If you know somebody that lives with ADHD or any other mental condition, if you want to learn more (because you’re a good person and have a sense of empathy), you could hardly find a better starting place that Page’s book. Pledge, spread the word, and share your copy when you get it.

  • Happies Birthsdays. The aforementioned Raina Telgemeier (I did mention her … just scroll back up and you’ll see) and Becky Dreistadt are having birthdays today. Actually, it’s a good deal more extensive that just two people; 26 May is apparently the most popular birthday in indy/webcomics:

    @beckyandfrank @CoryCasoni @TomTomShimShim @JNoze + @the_kochalka @NickBertozzi @bannister01! #birthdaysquad

    To be clear, in that tweet Telgemeier is replying to Cory Casoni, who is not one of the co-birthdayists; that still makes for at least seven people celebrating today, which makes today The Best. And you can get in on the celebrations, either by tweeting and maybe getting an advanced copy of Telgemeier’s next book, or by sending Dreistadt a picture of a cat to make her happy.

Spam of the day:

New York Comic Con

Nope, we’re done. Don’t find my presence to be helpful to your strategy of selling people to advertisers? I don’t have to read your emails any more. Bye, now.

¹ However you spell it, Bus Man has the best superpower for an urban environment ever; whenever he needs to get somewhere, regardless of schedule or time of day, a bus will pull up and it will be an express to his current destination.

² She’s still a reaper, mind you, but not the doom-and-gloom kind.

³ Libraries, therapist’s practices, school counseling offices, etc.

Going To Have To Be Quick, On My Way To A Launch Party

This one, as you probably suspected, tonight to the east of the East Village, in honor of Meredith Gran’s fourth collection of Octopus Pie. The fifth will be the last, wrapping up the remainder of the series. It’s not going to be long, and I urge everybody to start working through the stages of grief now to get a head start. Me, I’m still bargaining, figuring if I say enough nice things to Mer tonight she’ll decide to keep at it.

Speaking of Meredith Gran, know where she’ll be in October? I do:

TopatoCon would like to welcome special guests @cassieclare @granulac and @tomtomorrow !!!

Gran, Tomorrow, and Clare join previously announced special guests John Allison, Holly Black, Sarah Andersen, and Ryan North. Reminder that creators have until Friday to apply for exhibitor slots so get on that and I’ll see you there.

Spam of the day:

Carlos Vives & Shakira in “LA BICICLETA”

On the one hand, I really don’t know how I wound up on the distro list for a bilingual recording-industry PR agency; on the other, I think both bicycles and Shakira are pretty nifty. It’s a dilemma.

Sic Transit Gloria Conventioni

Mixed bag today.

  • Well, there goes that. I have attended every iteration of New York Comic Con since its inception on a cold, snowy, overly-crowded February weekend (nearly a full year before this here blog launched), either working the CBLDF booth, doing my reportage, or both. The Javits Center is finally becoming navigable again, and while webcomics have almost entirely absented themselves from the floor, there are still a few to be found.

    Dear Gary Tyrrell,

    Thank you for applying for a Press Badge for New York Comic Con 2016. We have reviewed your application and based on NYCC’s Press Registration requirements, we are unfortunately unable to provide you with a Press Badge for NYCC 2016. Due to the growth of the Show and demand for Tickets, NYCC is utilizing a more intensive application process for qualifying members of the Press.

    While you do not meet our criteria for a Press Badge this year, we encourage you to attend NYCC 2016 as a Fan. If you would like to attend NYCC as a Fan in 2016, please complete our Fan Verification process at You may also apply for a Press Badge again in 2017. [emphasis original]

    Well, they spelled my name right, at least.

    I think I’m okay with this¹. It’s not been entirely clear if the “Fan Verification” process (which has come in for criticism for being overly intrusive) would have applied to press badges, but if it did I’d have been declining the opportunity to give up all my personal info again to glob knows who for glob knows what purposes. Also, I find the implication that Reed Pop will possibly give me a press badge in the future hilarious; I don’t fit their Big Media focus anymore and that’s not going to change in the future. I don’t begrudge the folks at Reed for that, by the way — it’s their show, they can extend free admission to whomever they wish.

    To be honest, the crush of huge, barely-comics comics shows has been something I’ve braved to see people I want to see in as large a grouping as possible, and that’s something I still do at San Diego². Heck, I can see more people I care to see at MoCCA or TopatoCon, and I suspect I’ll be heading to SPX more regularly, and adding TCAF to my rotation. Easy transportation via the train right outside my front door aside, the appeal of NYCC had reduced to the point I was doing a single day trip per year anyway, and I don’t see myself spending fifty bucks to continue that. Been cool, NYCC; see you around.

  • Happier news: tomorrow will see the release of three webcomics-related trade paperbacks. The third Unbeatable Squirrel Girl collection (Squirrel You Really Got Me Now, by Ryan North and Erika Henderson, with an assist from Joe Quinones and Chort Zubaz) drops from Marvel, and the third Wayward collection (Out From The Shadows, Jim Zub, Steven Cummings, and Tamra Bonvillain), and the fourth Octopus Pie collection (with new strips printed for the first time, from Meredith Gran) both come to you courtesy of Image. As a reminder, Gran is having a pop-up celebration tomorrow night on the Lower East Side. Good stuff, straight to your friendly local comics shop.

Spam of the day:

Secret Brain-Enhancer Used by the Elite

Why, yes I’d very much like to see results like improved memory and brain from your completely opaque, no-disclosed-ingredients, unregulated smart pill that will absolutely not poison me.

¹ Apart from the Seemingly Random desire to Capitalize Words. What the Heck?

² Although there’s no speculating how much longer that will last. If I lose the home base of the Dumbrella booth, it may not be worth the travel time and cost any longer.

You Can’t Spell Funding Without Fun!

Warning: we’re talking about the seamy underbelly of creativity today — finding the money to make things while simultaneously not starving to death in the gutter.

  • It looks like we’re getting Big Data after all! Well, okay, Ryan Estrada’s radioplay/podcast about the heist to steal the Keys To The Whole Internet was done, completed, finito, and when has that guy ever made a thing and not shared it? Regardless of the state of his crowdfunding campaign he was always going to release it, it was just a matter if he was going to so much as break even after a year and a half’s effort and thousands of dollars of upfront costs. That means we’re going to get stretch goals now, which … let’s just have Estrada tell us himself:

    Big Data is funded! I posted “stretch goals” that… let’s be honest here… are just stuff I’m doing no matter what.

    Free comics! More fancy voice talents! Estrada’s going to do more audio drama! The only question is are you going to toss him a couple bucks now, or after Big Data blows up into the next Serial?

  • Know who else doesn’t make things contingent on crowdfunding, he just goes out there and makes stuff and then engages in commerce to invite you to buy it? Howard Tayler, that’s who. Today marks the preorder availability of Schlock Mercenary book 12, including the chance to have a dapper man sketch in your copy of the book, with delivery expected in mere weeks.

    See, the drawback — to the extent that there is one — of crowdfunding is that you don’t have the money to produce the thing until the check clears, so even if the thing is already made and you’ve got handshakes with the manufacturer, you can’t sign the contract and say Go until they get paid, then you get on their schedule, then you wait … and that’s best case. Me, I’m guessing that Tayler¹ did a bunch of math, figured out what a print run should look like for immediate orders plus reasonable stock for the future, and that the presses are already whirring.

    That’s why you’ll get your book in July, which means it’s got to get here, and get sketched in, and sent out in five to nine weeks². That’s as close to instant gratification as you’re going to get in webcomics.

  • Speaking of instant gratification — sometimes how fast you get something is entirely up to the fans. Readers of this page will recall the high regard I have for Al’Rashad: City of Myths, as written by [comics commentator, Toronto politics observer, and lawyer] Christopher Bird and illustrated by Davinder Brar (illustration freelancer and teacher).

    It’s a damn good story, it’s nearly 300 pages long (serialized over about four years), and it’s just the first part of a trilogy. Thing is, lawyerin’ and teachin’ don’t leave a lot of time to make comics on the webcomics grind, particularly if it means (as it would for Brar) giving up freelance jobs to have the time to draw a comic that isn’t paying anything for years (if ever)4.

    Enter the Patreon to fund the production of Ra-Boka: Kingdom of the Bound (that would be the title of the second story). And, crucially, the funding goals start off modest, but as they increase they radically increase the pace of production. We’ve all seen Patreons that set goals of one extra comic a week or at least ten comics a month, but Bird & Brar³ start from a low target of $125 (I’m not sure if that’s US dollars, as Patreon is an American company, or Canadian, as Bird & Brar are strong and free), providing one page a month, to $2500 (three pages a week, 12 – 13 per month).

    It’s a hell of a range, and given that Ra-Boka is also projected to run nearly 300 pages, which means the story could take not quite 24 years to tell … or a year and a half. This is very much a case where a couple hundred people with a couple bucks each could make the difference between seeing a story on a schedule that would make even George RR Martin blanch (much less the third part of the trilogy) and seeing it unfold at warp speed before the last season of Game of Thrones hits.

    Time to dig in for that couple of bucks, kids — the first story was damn good (supra), you could see both Brar and Bird progressing in their craft during its run, so I expect the second (and third!) to be even better.

Spam of the day:

We are pleased to inform you of the released results of the Microsoft Iberica S.L Sweepstakes Promotion in conjunction with foundations for the promotion of software products organized for Software users.

This Program was held in Barcelona- Spain; Wherein your email address emerged as one of the online Winning emails in the 1st category and therefore attracted a cash award of EUR344,000.00 and a Mac laptop/iPhone.

Microsoft ran a sweepstakes and is giving out an iPhone? BALEETED.

¹ By which I mean Howard’s wife Sandra, the logistics/business wrangler of TaylerCorp, and the one that makes sure that Art Boy gets all his stuff made and sent where it needs to go.

² Cue Dolley, Jane, and Lily. Dabney can eat it.

³ Together, they fight crime.

4 But Gary, I hear you cry, couldn’t Bird just pay Brar out of pocket like he must have for Al’Rashad, or like Estrada’s always doing? Yes, I suppose, but 1) Shut up, nobody is obligated to go into debt to entertain you for free; Estrada is unusually generous, but that does not create a binding precedent; 2) Bird’s got a wedding coming up and I doubt his fiancee is willing to serve guests pigs in blankets instead of a meal in order to make a comic for free reading on the internet; and 3) Seriously, if that’s the way you think, re-examine your priorities in life.

Out On The Weekend

The transition week between TCAF and VanCAF is wrapping up, that second CAF is set to launch tomorrow, and there will be (as previously noted) oodles of deeply skilled comickers hanging around The Roundhouse for the next two days. Let’s mention a couple of things for those of you that aren’t in the Saltwater City.

  • Surprise: New Softer World, new Softer World, new Softer World. And not the only one! From Emily Horne, the non-Joey Comeau (and most likely saner) half of ASW:

    It’s been about a year since we sank this ship, and for the next couple of weeks, we’re raising her up again. Watch this space over the next few Fridays to see the last of the extra comics we promised in our Kickstarter!

    For any of you who missed the Kickstarter, Anatomy of Melancholy will be available for sale very soon. We’ll post in this space the moment it’s available!

  • Surprise: TopatoCon Part The Second is just about five months out, and applications have been extended a week. Want to be part of the weirdest gathering in the Pioneer Valley? Now’s the time to make your plans.
  • Surprise: It’s sunny out after a dreary week, and I get to go chase the squirrels out of my beans. They apparently don’t want to eat the new and fragile bean plants, but they’re digging the hell out of the surrounding soil and undoubtedly messing up the roots. Friggin’ squirrels.

    What? I never said they’d all be about webcomics.

That’s all. We’ve earned a weekend of respite. Be good to each other, people.

Spam of the day:

Ovarian Cancer Patient Wins Huge Verdict Over Talcum Powder Usage

My guess is that if you’re getting talcum powder on your ovaries, are probably applying too much.

So I Was In The Weeds Today

Generally behind on everything and about to post a quick note to that effect when I got an email from Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin reminding me about a story tip he’d sent earlier which I’d teased, and intended to run by now. Never doubt the motivating power of FSFCPL, people! Also, he finds things to talk about that not only would I never see, but it’s hugely unlikely that anybody in the US comics press would. So let’s dig in together, shall we?

Thanks to the work of Becky, self-proclaimed Maliki’s human Swiss Army knife, Maliki has made a big push recently to post English language strips. They are not translated in chronological order however, so your best bet is to follow @Maliki_officiel for newly posted translations.

Moreover, Mali herself has made an effort to post on a regular weekly schedule since January (the schedule was rather … sporadic before), and those get translated as well, so you can expect new content to read every week, too. Happy reading.

See, this is why it’s always worth reading his emails. The Becky mentioned (who may or may not have good hair) is a [possibly real person inspiring a] character in Maliki, described here:

Maliki is a young woman with pink hair and pointed ears. This comic follows Maliki’s daily life full of spontaneity and originality, while also taking her back to her childhood memories.

A quick once-over through the English language strips reveals a story that appears to be largely autobio-inspired, but with some fantastical elements (like the occasional fairy or catgirl). So basically like Bouletcorp, only set in Bretange, and featuring a cast of recurring characters.

It’s pretty, it’s fun to read, and if the English strips seem a bit scattered — jumping between art styles and story points — that’s due to the fact it’s not being translated in order. And that’s okay! The somewhat random nature and irregular patterns makes it more addicting, like how the very occasional win on a slot machine makes you want to plow more quarters in.

The English archive goes clear back to 2004, and features everything from three- or four-panel strips to splash illustrations, to as much vertical scrolling as it takes to tell a story.

And as always, we at Fleen thank M. Lebeaupin for his sharp eyes and willingness to share the good stuff with us.

Spam of the day:

Raina Telgemeier: hello Gary

Call me crazy, but I don’t think the real Raina is emailing me from Poland to share links to malware sites promising me slutty g-string girles [sic]. Just a hunch.

New Comic Day

Attention (on projects past, present, and future) is being paid to webcomickers, and that it all meet and proper.

  • We’ve mentioned the ongoing series of geographically-themed fairy tale anthologies from Kel McDonald, Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales, on more than one occasion. Volume three’s been out for a while now, and it’s gathering notice. Caitlin Rosenberg over at The AV Club does her usual thorough analysis and found parts of the Asia edition of CF&FT a mixed bag — while she finds the stories visually appealing, she finds their overall quality variable, and the book as a whole lacking in cohesion beyond “Asia”.

    I’d argue that what she’s describing is one of the defining characteristics of anthologies, which she acknowledges in noting the individual stories are good, but don’t seem to work together. I’ve read the two prior CF&FT editions, and never found that awkwardness to be an issue, but I also approach anthologies as a book that I revisit time and again, consuming small chunks in isolation rather than reading through. I’ll pick it up at some point in the future, if only to read a new Monkey King story from Gene Luen Yang and to find creators I wasn’t familiar with before.

    And when you’re done reading Rosenberg’s review, check out Tim O’Neil’s take on the last few months of Achewood; O’Neil’s a critic I find myself disagreeing with more than agreeing, but he holds forth on the weirdness and melancholy of Achewood to a masturbatory degree that I not only appreciate, but find as obsessive as my own writings on the topic. I don’t want to get all article on you, but Achewood is definitely something you should be paying attention to.

  • In my hold box at my local comic shop today: issue #2 of Goldie Vance by the inimitable Hope Larson (words) and Brittney Williams (pictures). Issue #1 did a great job of capturing a moment in the early Space Age, finding a niche where a whole host of non-white people could represent all strata of society, and wrapped the whole thing up in a Nancy Drewesque mystery motif.

    Comes now the news (which I first noticed from Johanna Draper Carlson) that GV is no longer a four-issue miniseries but an ongoing title. Based on that first issue (and presumably, those making the decisions have seen the full four issues), this was a no-brainer of a decision. It’s a terrific book.

    It’s been mentioned more than once that GV publisher BOOM! is crappy with the page rates, so one can only hope (no pun intended) that by tapping one of the best known and successful creators of her generation, Larson had the leverage to explain that she does not value things like building your career and great exposure. If BOOM! is able to maintain profits on Goldie Vance, they’ll have no excuse to plead poverty in underpaying so many other of their writers and artists.

  • First it was Christopher Hastings, tapped for one-shots and minis before landing Gwenpool, then Ryan North, tasked to make Squirrel Girl the surprise breakout hit of the past year. It appears that Marvel’s learned that if you need a more light-hearted — one might even say comical — comic book in a world of capes that are overly serious, you tap a longtime webcomicker.

    Latest proof: a tie-in book (due in August) to the latest no-really-this-will-change-everything line-wide crossover will feature the writing of one John Allison, whose work is the diametric opposite of grimdark.

    Judging from the description, it appears that Allison will be contributing a story about the Marvel Universe’s most blusteringly beleaguered newspaperman¹, which ought to allow for plenty of room for a story that flirts with humo[u]r². So well done, Mr Allison, and damn you for making me buy a damn line-wide event tie-in book … that’s how they get you.

  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell has shared a bit more of her next book³ — the centerspread this time. Do yourself a favor, set aside a buck or two each month, so that you’ll be ready to purchase the moment it releases. Given the polish it’s got with at least a year and a half to go until release, I’m willing to say entirely on faith that it’s going to be great.

Spam of the day:

Poster & Release Date Announced: #TravelBoobs

It claims to be a forthcoming YouTube series, but I’m not clicking on anything in this email to find out.

¹ Want to stop feeling like the entire world is arrayed against you, Jameson? Maybe don’t wear a friggin’ Hitler moustache.

² Dare I say, whimsy?

³ Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, words by Mariko Tamaki, coming from :01 Books in 2018 (whimper).

I Really Thought Somebody Had Died

Screencapped that for you, Jess.

When I first checked social media this morning I was surprised when Twitter told me I had 456 unread tweets; usually an overnight is good for fewer than 200, given the number of people I follow and their sleep patterns. 250 would be a lot for one night, above that indicates something stupid happening in a Republican presidential debate that I didn’t stay up for or somebody influential kicking it.

This time, however, it was down to one person — and if you’re gonna do a serious tweetstorm, this is the one to do. [C] Spike [Trotman] has been on top of the Rat Queens brouhaha¹ and last night during her typical small hours worktime decided on a course of action:

In light of Rat Queens disappointing everybody: Women/NB creators, tweet me w/links to your cool comics starring tuff gals. I’ll RT.

There was an immediate flood of responses and Spike made with the retweets, blowing up my timelines, pausing for a while to catch some sleep before resuming some hours later. I’d be hard pressed to estimate how many creators she retweeted, but I’d say probably in the vicinity of 200-300 before giving it a rest about eight hours later. Best of all? I recognized a mere handful of the comics that got the RT treatment (and by that I mean literally five), so there’s a lot of new comics to check out.

Probably most of them aren’t great, because most of everything isn’t great. But I’ll betcha there’s 20 to 50 in that grouping that damn good to excellent, just waiting for anybody that’s got the time to start collecting links. Anybody that’s really enterprising could Storify the list; do it for the children.

In other news:

  • My evil twin announced pre-orders on his next book open on Monday along with a deadline to provide shipping info for this last Kickstarter and another deadline to register for the chance to take a tropical cruise with him. If you can think of something better to do for a week in September than spend it on a ship with my evil twin, sipping on fruity drinks and learning about writing, I don’t know what it is.
  • Speaking of Kickstarts, Dante Shepherd² announced that he’s doing another page-a-day calendar for 2017, seeing as how the 2014 one was a success³. Kickstarter went up a couple hours ago, with the able help of TopatoCo and Make That Thing.
  • Heh, when I went by the MTT page to check on Shepherd’s calendar, it told me that Jess Fink’s second Chester 5000 collection will finish its funding round in 69 hours. Yes, I am perpetually twelve years old.
  • Finally, KC Green and Anthony Clark are making the best weekly-updating comic publishing today (BACK) and they are not the sort to screw around with pre-orders or crowdfunding. No! They are men of action and when they want to print a collection of their work they by Glob go out and print it and and pay John Keogh and Britt Wilson for enhancements to the book and then they sell it, financial risks be damned. As a result, you can now purchase a copy of BACK Book 1 from the web’s finest boutiquery so go do that.

Spam of the day:

Stunning waterfront property in Michigan’s majestic Upper Peninsula
Private setting with convenient location to ATV / snowmobile trails.

Translation: no roads, no utilities, you will die out here alone. Also, for a significant portion of the year, the Upper Peninsula is cold as fuck.

¹ Long story short — a comic about female empowerment had its original artist yanked from the book after a domestic violence arrest; other artists have since filled in. A hiatus announcement led to the current artist indicating she was removed from the book in favor of the original guy returning — meaning an abusive husband would again be drawing a book about women that don’t put up with shit, yikes.

On a personal note, literally two days before the news broke I picked up Rat Queens trade paperback one on the recommendation of my niece and loved it, having been unaware of the unsavory reputation of the original artist, and was planing on purchasing the second and third collections but now I’m not sure.

² Who is his own evil twin, or at least his own dark reflection. Which one is more like Batman?

³ He was kind enough to send me one — it took up so much space on my desk. This is not a tiny page-a-day, it has heft and also terrible jokes.

How Many Things Can Blow Up In One Day?

I mean, really critical systems that you need to do your job? I’m at four and counting!

So here something I was going to talk about in much more detail today; it made the rounds end of last week but some people have still not seen it. From Gigi DG (of the incomparable Cucumber Quest) comes the webcomics equivalent of a novella, Lady of the Shard. It’s an exercise in emotion, a demonstration of depth, and an experimental technology that can make somebody cut onions in the next room through a computer, all done with an absolute minimum of words and lines.

I once asked in reference to a C&D that Rich Stevens got from Lucasfilm over a t-shirt that had a pixel representation of a TIE Fighter (which was about this detailed: (-O-) ) how few pixels you can use to represent a thing before you lose the identity of that thing; in the case of Stevens’s t-shirt, the answer was somewhat less than 24, which if memory serves was the number of squares in the design.

Ms DG isn’t quite that spare in her art for LotS, but she’s not far off. Whole galactic societies (and the hearts of one young acolyte and two immensely ancient goddesses) are rendered in pixelly low-res white and grey (and the occasional, angry red) against a stark, midnight, starless background.

None of the vibrant colors and swoopy curves that she’s known for — LotS has a scratchy, nervous energy that is a masterpiece of the comics form; if this is what she’s been working on while guest strips have been running at CQ, since mid-March, it’s a break well spent. Set aside half an hour and read through Lady of the Shard; then set aside an hour and read it again, taking in all the details and things said (but unsaid) in the space between all those pixels.

Edit to add: new Perry Bible Fellowship, for everybody that loves sound effects that are extra … effecty.

Spam of the day:

Want Stamina, Virility and Add Inches in all the “right” places?

Of course! I want to purchase all of the euphemisms from the Purple Rhino company, that is a thing that completely makes sense.