The webcomics blog about webcomics

Rain, Thunder, And A Tornado Watch

Any role that lets him stutter, I'm there.

Nasty bit of weather we’re having. Let’s talk some webcomics and wrap up the week.

  • I had just about given up on Planet Karen, what with the a period of hiatus before Karen Ellis’s fire, then a long fallow period after the rebuilding, but she popped back up yesterday with a slice of life and today with some musings about Alan Turing. Since Ellis works about a month behind her actual life, the bio on Turing that she read last month was coincidentally run today, the day that the British government apologized for its shameful treatment of Turing.
  • The announcement came nearly six months back: xkcd would have a book! Now we have confirmation from Randall Munroe’s blag that the book will be in the xkcd store next week, and that a limited book tour will be there to support the launch. The twist: the tour will involve only three stops, and the ticket pricing is variable, based on demand, and will serve as a fundraiser (along with some of the book’s profits) to help build a school in Laos.

    Details here, along with links to the ticket sites for the tour; unfortunately, I’ll be unable to attend next Saturday’s New York event (apparently to be held in a penthouse in Tribeca), so if anybody wants to report on it for Fleen, be sure to let us know.

    Oh, and side note — the sign-in for ticket purchase (“auction”, really) didn’t work for me with my (according to Google, officially-supported) browser (Opera 9.64), so you may have to try IE to get anywhere. You an always wash your hands afterwards.

  • Alexa Kitchen might be the youngest pro cartoonist out there (and personally speaking, a really sweet kid), but I think that Howard Tayler‘s daughter Keliana (previously known by the nom de internet of “Kiki”) may now be the youngest pro webcartoonist:

    Keliana as we have long called her in blogs, has been working on a mixed media coloring method involving Copic markers, Prismacolor pencils, and a blending agent called Gamsol. The colors really have to be seen in person to be appreciated. The scan doesn’t do this picture justice.

    Anyway, this is the very first of our collaborations. Yes, there will be more. I’m sure they will get better with time. But this is the first, and as of this writing only collaboration between Kiki and I. The picture is up for auction, and my girl and I will be splitting the proceeds 50/50.

    With more than two days left, that auction is up to nearly $300 as of this writing, meaning that young Ms Tayler may be seeing some real concrete benefit from having my evil twin as her dad. I’m sure there are all kinds of intangible benefits, including a solid, loving upbringing and lots of dad-time, but now we’re talking the possibility of multiple benjamins in the immediate future, with the possibility of an ongoing income stream. Neat.

  • Devoured Worst Song, Played On Ugliest Guitar last night; in all honesty I feel like I wound up in a different place than I expected to be. The book was described as containing an extensively annotated collection of the first few years’ worth of Achewood comics, and while it is extensively annotated (more on that in a minute), it contains strips from 1 October 2001 to 7 May 2002 — far less than years worth. The cover features the spaceship that Roast Beef rode to the moon, which series doesn’t appear in this book; the title is the same as that of the self-published second book, but this contains slightly fewer strips than the original Volume 1. I wonder if this volume was originally meant to be about twice the size and the title/cover reflected that former state.

    But let’s get this out of the way — ending up in a different place than I’d expected is not the same as ending up in a bad place. The notes attached to most strips reveal Chris Onstad’s feelings towards these early efforts; in a word, “uncomfortable”, enough so that that first three months worth of strips are in a second section, labelled Before We Were Achewood. The author acknowledges Achewood finally becoming Achewood with the strip from 10 January 2002 and the introduction of the cats.

    (Although curiously, several weeks worth of strips from the end of 2001 and the start of 200 are omitted, including the introduction of Blister — we weren’t promised a comprehensive collection of every strip, this is a curious group to be left out, and hopefully to be found in a future volume.)

    The strips run from there to early May, when Beef takes the turn from being a placeholder to being the guy who sucks (plus he got depression) then BOOM. Cliffhanger. We’ll watch Beef become truly Beef in the next book as he becomes revealed as a programmer and his relationship with Ray is established.

    Interspersed throughout the book, Onstad recounts how each of the inhabitants of 62 Achewood Court (Philippe, Mr Bear, Teodor, and Lyle) came to live there, along with a recounting of how Lie Bot came to be Lie Bot, and a promise of the stories of the cats in the next volume. Also, we find out what Teodor’s dirty talkings actually say behind the censor bars! Guys, it is so dirty.

    All in all, WSPOUG isn’t the book I was expecting, but it’s still Achewood, which so rarely goes where I anticipate anyway. And honestly, shouldn’t that be enough for anyone?

Well, Gary… your write-up got all kinds of “squee” and gleeful foot-stomping from Keliana.

In short, she liked what you said, and she’s still very much the 14-year-old girl.

She and I are off to play-test a D&D setting tonight. I expect she’s going to distract herself with lots and lots of drawing and coloring.

[…] of all, man nerds work fast when they put their minds to it. The XKCD Laotian school fundraising project resulted in success and a pretty damn inspiring dedication plaque from Randall Munroe: “Do not […]

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