The webcomics blog about webcomics

Follow-Ups And Follow-Downs

What’s that? A day’s respite without freezing rain, slush, and general suicide-inducing ick from the skies? I’ll take it, particularly since it looks like another snowfall is heading our way Thursday into Friday. At least it isn’t the theoretical California murderstorm.

  • It seems like just yesterday I was going on about visual references and talking about how even with terrific mastery over facial expressions and body types, you still have to draw hands and feet or you’re just half-assing it. Lo and behold, Meredith Gran comes to the rescue, linking to a treasure trove of hand samples. That there are so many, with such a variety of anatomies and range of expressions should come as no surprise, as most of them are by legendary (literally) Disney animator Milt Kahl. Even if you can’t put all of the liveliness into hands that Kahl did (and honestly, who can?), at least don’t give Josh Fruhlinger’s the jibblies over your mutant digits.
  • The latest Xeric season continues apace, and although the foundation’s website is a little behind the times, we hear today that John Martz will get to publish a new edition of Heaven All Day thanks to the grant. If you don’t want to wait until the Spring for that new printing, Heaven All Day is available online, along with other mini (print)/longish (web) comics, as well as shorter experiments (under the Machine Gum branding) at his website. Good stuff, and well done Mr Martz.

    Just prior to press time, news of another webcomicky Xeric grant, this one for Kevin Fraser Mutch, for his previous webcomic, Fantastic Life (the first chapter of which is still online). Mutch’s current webcomic, The Moon Prince is also well worth your time, and well done Mr Mutch. As a side note, if a third Xeric grant is given to another webcomicker with a family name starting with “M”, we’ll know that it’s a conspiracy; please prepare your tinfoil hats in advance.

  • Speaking of well done, last week’s Girl Genius Day (aka Kaja Foglio’s birthday) was a roaring success, with the first Girl Genius novelization heading back to print. Let’s go to the official announcement for details:

    [Tuesday 18 January 2011], Night Shade Books, the publisher of Agatha H and the Airship City by Phil & Kaja Foglio, announced that the first hardcover print run of 4000 copies had sold out and that they will be going back to press.

    On January 12th, The Foglios coordinated a “Girl Genius Day” promotion. In this they were aided by many luminaries in the web comics world, such as Scott Kurtz and David Malki [sic], as well as a plethora of others who helped spread the word. This proved remarkably successful: the book actually sold out on, but not before it cracked the site’s Top Twenty list of best sellers for the day.

    Let’s be clear: 4000 copies in hardcover is nothing to sneeze at for any author, even one with such as following as the Foglios, because they don’t have a history of moving traditional books without pictures (actually, you will find Phil Foglio’s name attached to a couple of book-books, not specifically as illustrator, none of which get very far into Amazon’s Top 100,000 best sellers); hitting the Top 20 for the day is pretty significant.

    Even more significantly, it appears the Machine of Death strategy works, with the important caveat that you have to bring a motivated audience with you in order for it to work. There’s no telling how far Airship City would have gone if it didn’t hit backorder status, and it’s current positioning (as of this writing, in the Top 100 of several specialty lists, and around 3800 overall) is certainly enough to be proud of (best I ever managed was around 19,000).

    With luck, the return to print will happen quickly enough to drop the current Amazon expected shipping time from 1 to 3 months (if you follow that link and it doesn’t say “1 to 3 months”, the awesome — everybody wins). If the presses don’t get up to speed quickly enough just take solace from the fact that “out of print” doesn’t mean that every single copy in the world is spoken for — it means that booksellers can’t get any more shipments. You’ll still find copies on the shelves, and no doubt every sale tickles the (slightly mercenary, and I mean that in the best possible way) heart-strings of the Foglios.

Thanks Gary! BTW, another Xeric family name co-incidence: My last name (Mutch)is the same old Scottish name that has always been associated with Much the Miller’s Son from Robin Hood – and Steve LeCulliard’s webcomic of the same name also won a Xeric in this round.

[…] swear this list wasn’t posted when I wrote about Martz, Mutch and LeCouilliard winning Xeric Grants. But there it is — the November list, for your […]

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