The webcomics blog about webcomics

Dear The Village Voice, That Was Classy And Unexpected

Regarding the brouhaha over the comics-themed issue, Tony Ortega, Voice editor, had this to say:

I wanted to have a big special comics issue, but I had a limited budget. So in a well-meaning effort to make this work, I asked some cartoonists to provide work without compensation. In the last couple of days, it’s been pointed out to me quite clearly that this was not the best way to help out the cartooning industry. The thing is, we’re not a company that expects people to work for free for the exposure. And I’m making this right: I’m paying all of the artists in the special issue.

And hopefully buying them beers and working with them again soon.

Rest of the publishing industry: please follow this example.

  • Hey, lookit that, the Eisner nominations are out, and there are some notable names from the world of webcomickry. Over at Best Publication for Teens you have Raina Telgemeier‘s SMILE, a book often championed on this page, which of course started as a webcomic. Likewise, Barry Deutsch’s Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, which started on Girlamatic.

    In the realm of Best Humor Publication you have Dave Kellet’s Sheldon collection, Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953, and Julia Wertz’s Drinking At The Movies, a original graphic novel but direct offshoot from her webcomic (formerly known as The Fart Party, now rechristened Museum of Mistakes). Similarly, Jason Little’s Motel Art Improvement Service (over in the Best Graphic Album — Reprint category) is a collection of his storyline from the ongoing Bee.

    Then, naturally, the Best Digital Comic is entirely ongoing webcomics, with nods for Karl Kerschl (The Abominable Charles Christopher), Travis Hanson (The Bean), Tracy Butler (Lackadaisy), Caanan Grall (Max Overacts), and the pseudonymous duo of Amir and Khalil (Zahra’s Paradise) getting the nod.

    Here’s what’s most satisfying to me: the do-it-yourself, no publishers, no distributors, entirely creator-owned model is creeping out of the webcomics category (which, as we’ve argued before probably shouldn’t be a category of its own, but let’s not rehash that now) into the other awards. Kellett’s nominated book didn’t come from a publisher that was looking to get in on “this web-comics thing” — he produced and put out the book on his own. Look for this to continue in future years.

  • As long as we’re talking about DIY publishing, get yourself over to Olly’s Organix and pre-order the new Octopus Pie book. Listen at Home with Octopus Pie contains more than a year’s worth of comics that have never seen print before, and now that Meredith Gran is back to self-publishing (following her Random House sabbatical), the enterprise is both potentially more rewarding for her (nobody else to split the money with) and more financially taxing (nobody else to pick up the printer’s bill).

    The book ships next month, and even if you’ve never read Octopus Pie before (and if that is the case, what the hell is wrong with you?), just the cover should be enough to pull you in. That is some goddamn gorgeous work, and it only gets better on the inside. Git. Order.

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