The webcomics blog about webcomics


When last we left our intrepid heroes, they were wandering the resplendent paradise that was Penny Arcade Expo East 2010; we join their adventure now in progress…

  • PAX East wasn’t all games and Enforcers — there were other creatives there, and they were clustered at two rows of tables outside the main theater space. This region was known as Bandland due to the fact most of them were musicians, but there were comicky types there as well; the previously mentioned Kris Straub, when not ambassading, plied his wares (including the too-awesome How The Jinxlets Saved The Space Zoo coloring book) alongside Blam-buddy Scott Kurtz.

    The latter had an Q&A panel on Saturday night that went an amazing three hours (helped along by a combination of in-the-palm-of-his-hand audience and sophisticated adult crunkifiers), and was hailed by all attendees as pants-wettingly funny (I, uh, was at the concert, so my pants stayed dry). The former joined the latter in a Sunday-morning panel devoted to Blamification that involved, in no particular order, time travel, frontier medicine, adultery, and stellar cartography; with any luck, the audio track recording will show up in May’s Blamimation. Hanging with them at most points of the weekend was the frighteningly young (and even more fighteningly talented) Mary “Cube Watermelon” Cagle, former Kurtz intern and current protégé. Rumor from an Enforcer was that a cosplayer was dressed as Cagle’s character Blitz, but alas confirmation remains elusive.

  • Staked out next to Straub & Kurtz was Mr Bill Amend, 22 year vet of the newspaper comic strip wars, and guy out in front of the curve in understanding how web delivery works. Odds are, if newspapers died tomorrow, Amend would be able to translate his audience into a revenue-generation source more easily than just about any other syndicate creator (because, let’s face it, does anybody who actually seeks out Mary Worth have the drive and desire to seek her out on the wilds of the internet?) (besides Josh Fruhlinger). Amend managed to get in some commentary webcomickry during the Q&A portion of his Saturday morning session; speaking on the differences between print and web strips, Amend said:

    We have a whole lot more in common than any differences. I don’t quite understand when some of my print colleagues look down at webcomics. I also don’t understand when webcomics creators say print comics suck.

    Coincidentally, there was a nice, funny bit in Amend’s talk about getting the word “sucks” past newspaper editors. On the general topic of working in content that either syndicate or features-page editors might not approve of (and that includes heavily nerd-oriented references), Amend notes:

    One of the things I like about newspapers is I have a broad audience, and I can do these geeky things and be the one person that introduces [my readers] to it.

    Just in case you were wondering how an All Your Base or detailed Lord of the Rings quotation got into mainstream newspapers, it’s because nerddom has one of its own on the inside. As an aside, I’d love to include links to those very funny strips, but Amend’s webcomic-friendly tendencies haven’t yet prevailed on his syndicate sufficiently to get unlocked, searchable archives, dammit.

  • Not exhibiting, but present for various parts of the weekend (and always delightful to interact with) were Brad Guigar, Jeff Rowland & Holly Post, Randall Munroe, and Rosemary Mosco.
  • The remainder of Bandland was filled out with musicians who, while not webcomickers, mostly work from the same place — developing audiences via the internet, giving away a lot of content for free or nominal amounts, and relying on that personal relationship to sustain a livelihood. I have no idea to what extent Paul and/or Storm can draw, but who cares? Nun Fight hooked me the first time I heard it on The Sound of Young America, and now I am compelled to seek out out more of their work and give them money. It’s webcomics for my ears.
  • In other news, Rebecca Clements has a new Secret Mystery Diary; don’t let her catch you reading it!
  • In other other news, all the cool kids will be at Wondercon in San Francisco this weekend; tell them I said “hi”.

I can go back to 1996 at Can’t search that well though.

[…] Gary Tyrell reports on the webcomics scene at PAX East. […]

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