The webcomics blog about webcomics

Casting A Wider Net

There are people that do work (wholly or partially) outside the realm webcomics that merit interest on a regular basis. Let’s check in with some of them, shall we?

  • Andrew Farago (Friend o’ Fleen, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum, creator of The Chronicles of William Bazillion and betrothed of the Funk Queen of the 510 area code) has a love of Looney Tunes that rivals my own. So it should come as no surprise that not only has he written a big damn book all about these animated jewels, he got Ruth Clampett to write the forward, and he’s put together what may be the definitive gallery show on Looney Tunes.

    Seriously, he’s got Bob McKimson featured and over 60 originals for the walls. I collected Chuck Jones animation originals for ten years before everything worth having wound up in private hands, and in that time I never saw Looney Tunes originals for sale. Much like how you’ll have to pry my Grinch-and-Max from my cold, dead hands, I imagine it took Farago years to convince owners to lend their treasures. Overture: Looney Tunes Behind the Scenes opens on 4 December and runs until May 2011; if you’re anywhere near San Francisco, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

  • If you haven’t seen this interview with Sergio Aragonés at The AV Club, stop what you’re doing and read it now. Read about how he determined he had to not only become a much better cartoonist, but quickly. Read about how he never stops drawing. Read about shifting tools and techniques to the presentation of the material. And don’t forget the money quote:

    Fortunately, cartooning is not a job. It’s something like eating or sleeping. It comes so natural, because I’ve done it all my life since I was a kid. The job is divided into parts—the writing part of it or the drawing part of it. It’s a 24-hour job, because sometimes I go to bed and I have to get up because the idea is there and you can’t stop doing it.

  • Mentioned during the Kurtz/Guigar/Roberts roundtable on digital comics and the future was this little gem:

    Roberts: Actually, we announced today something we call self-authoring tools. This basically takes the responsibility for getting the work done and putting it in the hands of the creators, and we become more like Apple, acting as the curator instead of the publisher. You submit it, you do all the work, you get a bigger rev[enue]-share. Now I have to bring it up: motion comics. In motion comics, I see a move by the big publishers to reassert their dominance, because you have to have the resources to do it. It requires skilled people that cost money, and that kind of opens the divide. If people like motion comics, it pulls us back from independent creators.

    Followup time. This morning comiXology announced an early adopters scheme for authors to get in on what Roberts promised last month. Let’s cherry-pick a few good bits, shall we?

    The private, invitation-only Alpha program (recently launched with TOKYOPOP, Devil’s Due, and a few others) provides creators and publishers with a tool-set to prepare their comics for comiXology’s patent-pending Guided View.

    Translation: you don’t have to be Marvel or DC to get into comiXology’s distribution stream.

    Once the Alpha phase is completed, comiXology will open more spots for a limited Beta testing of the tools to more creators. The final product will be part of a comprehensive online system, allowing seamless submission for digital publishing for all comic book creators and publishers in an iTunes-like model. Creators and publishers can sign up for a Beta spot at

    Translation: early bird gets the worm. Of course, Calvin once remarked that a mouthful of worm isn’t exactly the biggest reason to get out of bed, but since comiXology are the closest thing to a sure bet in the forthcoming format fights right now, it’s worth getting a good look-over while you can. You don’t want to be the one creator whose adorable little tyke looks up and asks, “What did you do in the format wars, Gender-Neutral Term for Parent?”

  • Pretty much directly related to webcomics: Cocksuckers. That is to say, the period vampire collaboration webcomic from Magnolia Porter and Kel McDonald, the creation of which is being documented in a series of streams. McDonald has posted the first couple at the Blank Label homepage, and future installments will be announced on both her twitter and Porter’s. Keep the dick jokes to a minimum, people.

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