The webcomics blog about webcomics

Happy Bradmas

According to that unimpeachable source, Brad Guigar is 43 years old today. In honor of the Bradmastide season, we will feature an interview with Brad tomorrow, provided I can figure out how to work the digression about the Great Unmedicated Bipolar Pumpkin into thing without it looking like we’re both a pair of loonballs and/or drunk. No promises. In the meantime, how about some other happenings from around our corner of comics?

  • The Hugo Award nominations hit over the weekend, with an odd shift in the universe of sci-fi awardsdom; that faint silence you hear is the lack of a nomination for the fine folks at Studio Foglio, whose work on Girl Genius has literally owned the Best Graphic Story category in all the prior years of its existence. The Foglios graciously decline nominations this year, leading to the following slate:
    • Digger, by Ursula Vernon
    • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham
    • Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
    • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton
    • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross

    Two webcomics, three comic book collections; let’s address Schlock Mercenary first. There was an … unfortunate comment left at The Beat¹ that decried Howard Tayler’s inclusion on the list and stated he was only nominated because he was “whoring” (that’s a quote) his audience to get nominations. Leaving aside the rather obvious flaw in the logic², one should note that Tayler did ask his audience to support a number of eligible works by other creators. Of the works Tayler was advocating for, he was involved in two and not involved in five, and one of the two he worked on got nominated³. If he’s whoring, he’s the least effective whore ever.

    Not content to impugn the quality of Mr Tayler’s work, the commenter went on to idly speculate that Ursula Vernon engaged in similar, whorey practices. Leaving aside the well-documented fact that I loves me some Digger, ten seconds with Google would show that while Ms Vernon has spent the (roughly) one year since Digger wrapped writing frequently about her garden, interesting birds, amphibians gettin’ on in her garden, oversized turkeys (both free-ranging out by the back fence and in the roaster for Thanksgiving), mulch, mulch, and more mulch, and spoofs of Regency romance novels complete with ninjas, not once did she ask for consideration in any awards.

    Look. We all have our favorites. We all think our taste is impeccable. We all love what we love4. But before you accuse a creator (of whom you are barely aware) in a manner that is unseemly at best and incredibly dickish at worst, perhaps just a smidgen of due diligence? Awesome.

  • Rounding out the nominations in Best Fan Artist, we find that Randall Munroe is again recognized. It’s a weird category, but as long as Randall keeps cranking out things that make me think like today’s update, I don’t have any problems with him being nominated for everything up to and including Science Cartoon Pope5.
  • Not related to the Hugo Awards, but within the realms of engineering: Angela Melick is having a launch party for her second book in Downtown Vancouver on Saturday, 14 April. It’s in a bar, which can only mean fun times. And the very next day, Jorge Cham’s The PhD Movie goes on sale, with a newly announced five percent of profits going to support Endeavor College Prep in East Los Angeles. Proof positive that engineers are the best people? Possibly.

¹ I’m not calling out the commenter by name; while his words were rash and unwarranted, I’m more interested in taking the behavior to task than the person.

² Namely, that if Tayler were capable of whoring himself so effectively, I’m sure his wife would prefer he use his whorish powers to bring in some money for things like groceries and mortgage payments, rather than a small statue of a rocket. It’s a very nice small statue of a rocket, but I’m pretty sure the local Food o Rama would prefer cash.

³ He also shares a nomination (along with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Jordan Sanderson) for the Writing Excuses podcast in the Best Related Work category, but did not advocate for it as far as I can find in a cursory search.

4 C.f.: previous graf, where I loves me some Digger.

5 Rest of the nominees in no particular order: Aaron Diaz, Zach Weiner, Dante Shepherd, Tony Piro, David Morgan-Mar, and Darryl Cunningham. Honorable mention to Jon Rosenberg for Cartoon Neil DeGrasse Tyson With A Jetpack.

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