The webcomics blog about webcomics

Sic Transit Gloria Webcomicia

It’s an odd vibe in Webcomicsland this year; no Scott Kurtz (given up on the exhibiting end of Comic Con), no Kris Straub (awaiting the imminent birth of his first child), likely no Penny Arcade next year (for reasons previously stated), no Jon Rosenberg (laid low by his three mobile disease vectors children) … it feels like the era of webcomics-cum-San Diego has hit an inflection point. Fortunately, there are always things happening to keep it weird.

  • Darren “Dern” Gendron is pissed. Righteously pissed, even. He spent (by his account) five months planning to have a ball pit form the bulk of his booth, and then DashCon went and blew up the novelty of the whole thing. Nevertheless, it’s there, he’s offering an extra hour to anybody that wants in the ball pit for US$100, and every time somebody pays it he’s upping the price until they stop buying. I’m not sure, but I think that he just wrote Zach Weinersmith’s next economics-themed strip. Things got off to a slow start, ball pit-wise, on Preview Night, but he still managed to have party times, woo! Thankfully, there are not quite enough balls in the pit to hide the fact that the inhabitants are wearing pants.
  • David Willis assured me he was joking about Monday’s Shortpacked being the last. If nothing else, he likes round numbers, and January will mark ten friggin’ years of that strip, with a total of eighteen in one continuity. I’m pretty sure that’s just about half his life. As well, his streak of Hawaiian shirt wearing remains unbroken.
  • Kel McDonald dropped by bearing a copy of the second Cautionary Fables anthology (that would be the Africa edition), as well as news that the next edition with be Asia¹, followed by North America, Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands, and then South America. Antarctica and the problems it presents will have to wait to see how the others do. There’s also plans for a massive, 2 x 700 pages (or so) comprehensive Sorcery 101 omnibus edition (asked about a slipcover, she intoned the magic words stretch goal), so keep your eyes for that.
  • Kate Beaton is not at the show, but she is there in spirit — a large avatar of her adorns the banner at the Drawn & Quarterly booth (where she is presently working on a second Hark! book), and she’s just finished the Fat Pony book for Scholastic, so all is well. Oh, and she’s presently driving across Canada with family, so look for awesome Beaton Family comics (seriously, they are the best) while that’s happening.

Pictures: Calm before the insanity hits at Dumbrella², TopatoCo, Sheldon/STRIPPED, and elsewhere. These photos were taken relatively early in the day, before other booths were fully built out, before even the blue-shirted convention center staff became very concerned that no exhibitor be beyond arm’s reach of their booth two hours before the doors opened.

It was weird and control-freaky, but did allow for a hilarious interaction when Matthew Inman happened to have an exchange with one of the blueshirts; he was constructing a banner in the aisle just outside his booth when he was asked if he intended for the banner to stay there. Not taking the question seriously, he replied Yes, I’m going to keep it here in the middle of the aisle, which response was taken seriously by the convention center official. She became very concerned about this, because apparently no exhibitor in the history of the San Diego Convention Center has ever used aisle space to construct something that would then be pulled into the booth space. Like I said, weird.

Panels to watch for today:

  • Gene Luen Yang and Scott McCloud at 3:00pm, 28DE
  • Scott McCloud solo at 5:00pm, 7AB
  • Bee & Puppycat at 5:30pm, 6A

Reminder to all creators at the show: check the programming guide for your name. Much like we noted earlier that Gene Luen Yang is double-booked at least twice, Frank Gibson mentioned to me that he found out he was on the Bee & Puppycat panel by reading your blog, Gary. You never know what the con organizers or your own publishers might have forgotten to mention or accidentally sent to your spam folder.

Spam of the day:

The parents have to method in a different way for a variety of sexes of youngsters especially when they mean to give the best of enchanting emotional add-ons. By having the right options to choose from a variety of sentimental charms, even the choices today have increased manifold.

You make the act of child-raising sound like equipping a character in a JRPG.

¹ As well as the admirable admonition that Asia is broader than Japan, comics people! She’s doing a Turkish myth herself, and one contributor is planning on doing a Mongolian fable. There’s cultures from the Tigris to the Ganges to the Yangtze to the Mekong that fall into Asia and she’s looking to explore them broadly.

² The Ron Swanson Baffler! sold about 45 minutes into Preview Night; it may have also spawned a Tobias Fünke commission for Mr Yates, so that’s all right.

I will be a guest at Sadhaka Studio’s booth (Small Press P-12) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will have some stuff from my webcomic “Nerdmigos” and I would be delighted to meet you. Stop by if you have a chance. Cheers!

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