The webcomics blog about webcomics

Just Another Thursday In San Diego

Thursday has been conquered, but this morning brings news of new challenges at SDCC: word on the proverbial street is that in addition to Saturday being sold out (as was known), today also has no room at the inn. If we don’t live another day, tell my wife I love her.

Unfortunately, many of the sessions of webcomicky interest overlap or are back-to-back, limiting the ability of we at Fleen to attend even a simple majority, but we got to two yesterday. First up, the Scott [Kurtz] and Kris [Straub] Power Hour and a Half™ ran to a room of more than 300 people, with an unexpected bonus. Loitering outside the room waiting to go in, Kurtz and Straub were surprised to find Dino Andrade (voice actor of distinction, and portrayer of Skull the Troll) the head of the line. Andrade quickly found himself promoted from “first in line” to “on the panel”. Rounding things out were Ryan Sohmer of Least I Could Do and Blind Ferret, and two pairs of Aviators.

There’s an easy, funny give-and-take between Straub and Kurtz (the same one you find on their podcasts), and it was in full force as the conversating ranged across:

  • PvP: The Series (Sohmer appears to have wondered seriously what he was getting into following his initial face-to-face meeting in Texas)
  • the possibility of Starslip Crisis: The Series
  • secrets of voice acting and getting into character
  • whether or not drawing a Big-Two comic book would be something they’d like to do
  • extras for PVP: The Series season one DVD (Skull fights Nazis on the moon!)

Two big announcements rounded out the panel — from Sohmer, Looking For Group fans found a reason to go all gooey in the middle as he unveiled the teaser trailer for the 2008 LFG featuring-length film; it’ll drop on World of Warcraft sites for download in a couple of weeks, and with any luck, it’ll evade the scrutiny of Disney lawyers, because hoo-boy! I forget if it’s Alan Mencken or Howard Ashman that died, but whichever one it is, he’s rolling in his grave right now.

And from Kurtz & Straub, the news that PvP: The Series will be coming to XBox Live Marketplace, no longer requiring that you put down your controller in order to enjoy the antics, frolic, and cavortment.

Scarcely an hour after Aviators on Parade, the lovely lads of Dumbrella hit the stage, possibly the first time that all seven were on a panel at the same time. As is their wont, they went straight to the Q&A from the audience of about 250, where the topics ranged across:

  • books each of the creators most enjoyed as a child (consensus: books about UFOs and Bigfoots)
  • gender roles in webcomics and why aren’t there any women up there?
  • building audiences and setting achievable goals
  • getting on and/or feuding with other creators

It were a funny, touching, moving, brisk-paced hour of all the best that Broadway has to offer, and I highly recommend that everybody get at least matinee tickets to see the Dumbrella panel when it goes on national tour.

In final notes, I met a fascinating young man from Idaho named Lars Brown, who does a webcomic, provided a recent Octopus Pie guest strip, and who may have a very interesting announcement to make following the Oni Press panel (Saturday 1:30 — 2:30). Speaking of panels, those potentially full of webcomicky goodness are below the cut. And now, semi-decontextualized quotes!

  • Howard Tayler, on you really had to be there — This is my crotch story. (Mr Tayler would very much like you to know that the my refers to the fact that it is a story he tells, and not a story about his own personal crotch.)
  • Ryan Sohmer, on whether or not Starslip Crisis might be animated — If he [Straub] starts drawing it in color, yes.
  • Jennie Breeden, on why she’s the most fan-accessible creator in history — I am welded to this booth.
  • Scott Kurtz, on what Marvel/DC character he’d most want to do — 1970s, big-hair, Abba-era Dazzler.
  • Jon Rosenberg, on childhood literacy — I’m a Jew, so I was only allowed economics textbooks.
  • Rich Stevens, on typical comic book content — Hulk‘s not a male empowerment fantasy!
  • John Allison, wistfully, on same — No, he’s just a guy getting by one day at a time.
  • Sam Brown, on how to tell that you’ve achieved all your goals — I really don’t have any goals.
  • Jeff Rowland, on why there aren’t any women in Dumbrella — Women are more rational [than us].
  • Rich Stevens, on how fighting on the internet isn’t the same as hating people — If you can hate Tycho [in person], you’re a jihadist.
  • Eisner Award nominee Brad Guigar, on why he is a deeply flawed person — Fleen is a major part of how I communicate with my wife.

Friday Session Wishlist

  • 3:30 — 4:30 Business of Webcomics — Room 8
  • 5:30 — 6:30 McClouds! On! Ice! — Room 5AB

It is important to make sure that Ryan Sohmer knows that a Starslip Animated series would be supported by the Starslip fanbase. So, we need to work up a groundswell of support for it.

Hey make sure you stop by and say hi to us at the YAC booth before the weekend is over. We’re right over by Jennie in the blue booth. :)


As Scott McCLoud says, “No pictures of you on the internet.” So, I didn’t even know it was you at the Mall dinner Thursday night until you and Brad were walking in front of Paul Taylor and I with Brad briefing you about the “Fleen->Couples Counseling” he’s going through with his significant other. Wish I’d known, I’d’ve said “howdy” and asked you to stop by Artists’ Alley to chat.

Was fun, though, wasn’t it?

– Jimbo

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