The webcomics blog about webcomics

Will We Ever See After-AfterCon?

In today’s breaking news, Legend of Bill creator Dave Reddick has joined (n the past hour or so) Blank Label Comics. For those not familiar with Reddick’s work, he assists Jim Davis on his strip about a large cat (dunno, don’t think that’s going anywhere), as well as working on various Star Trek-themed strips for Gene Roddenberry’s production company, a single-panel webcomic, and the aformentioned Aragonesque barbarian epic. Look for Legend of Bill to show up on the BLC front page shortly (and maybe at the same time, the code’ll get fixed so that Shortpacked! shows up again (unless … there’s something they’re not telling David Willis? Could this be a Dave-for-Dave swapout?).

Our main story today is what’s likely the last reminiscence of San Diego Aught-Nine: the AfterCon party on Saturday night, hosted by the Cyanide & Happiness gents, Zach Weiner‘s new sketch-comdey undertaking, and the superstars of nerdcore.

I’ll confess something here — I never really got it when a stand-up comedian included lengthy stints opening for music acts. Okay, maybe Sinatra I can see, but the number of people that’ve opened for high-energy, heavily-amplified, passionate-fanbase artists? I just always figured they enjoyed being told “You suck!” and “Gedoff the stage, we want ____ !” Turns out? Not so much.

The audience at The Casbah last Saturday was The Nerdcore Tribe — having missed much of the hip-hop revolution on generational grounds and having an untrained ear that’s not good at catching the verbal dance that characterizes your quality rappers (not that this is unique circumstance with me; I once had a really enlightening half-hour chat with Harvey Pekar about how to train my ear to really get jazz … he called me “man” and “cat”, of which I am very proud), I didn’t catch much of the lingual dexterity exhibited by YTCracker and MC Lars — but there ain’t nothing wrong with my eyes. The crowd was into it, completely absorbed, singing along and on ready to devolve into the joyous riot (no harm, no foul, lots of bumps and bruises) you get on the dance floor when the beat takes you over. If anybody would resent an interruption of their vibe for electronic funnybook cartoons and movies, it was them.

But funny is funny. Catching a short of the oh my God that’s horrible and funny I’m going to hell but I’ll be laughing all the way variety (such as The Sign or I Love Noodles), it doesn’t matter if it’s what you came to see or not. You’re into it. And longer pieces, with Weiner’s troupe of pranksters (including James Ashby, one of his collaborators on Snowflakes) work just as well when they’re as funny as Gateway Drug, LOL CAT, or the as-yet-not-online Ultimate Staring Contest. Even a projector failure (which must have made already-nervous hosts even nervouser … don’t worry guys, you broke every leg out there) couldn’t put a damper on the enthusiasm.

Lessons learned — I’m not too old to stand in a one-room small venue, beer in hand, listening to rappers. I do in fact know all the words to MC Frontalot‘s Livin’ At The Corner of Dude & Catastrophe and Diseases of Yore. The sense of humor that lets a creator sustain a webcomic is (for the right people) transferrable to other media and forms of expression. Beer bought for you by Zach Weiner is always extra-tasty. Many thanks to all the people who put together the show, so graciously invited me, and to the parents who worked so hard making the costumes.

Thanks, Gary!

[…] with his own webcomic) will now be podcast as an old-style radio drama. Looks like my theory about webcomics being a breeding ground for other forms of creativity wasn’t too far off. Speaking solely for myself, Dunne had me at an all new Nippleshine Manor! […]

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