The webcomics blog about webcomics


We’re going all over today. Hope that’s not a problem.

  • The big news, of course, is that the MacArthur Foundation announced its annual fellowship grants — the so-called genius grants — and one of the 21 new Fellows is indy cartoonist superstar Alison Bechdel. When I heard the news of Bechdel’s entirely earned recognition, it occurred to me that we are going to see more cartoonists in future years¹, just as we see cellists and saxophonists now.

    Look around at who is doing interesting work now, and extrapolate to what they’ll be doing in the future; can you deny the possibility of an Emily Carroll or Kate Beaton or Hope Larson getting included in the classes of 2025 to 2030? I can’t. Not to mention the fact that about this time of year I always wonder when the MacArthur people are going to get around to recognizing Scott McCloud² and we are now one step closer to that day.

  • Rebecca Clements doesn’t have the time to do cartoons at Kinokofry as much as she used to; a period of time working in Japan and graduate studies in urban planning (not to mention doing her damndest to improve on the sustainability of Melbourne) have kept her from that. But new updates or no, she is somebody whose work will always fascinate me, because she looks at the world differently than most comickers — how things are laid out in the physical world excites her as much as how things are laid out at the drawing board.

    Today, she launched a new blog to talk about her time and experiences in Japan, through the dual lenses of both cartoonist and urban planner, and the first posting has me enraptured. Through the magic of Google Street View, she walks us around her stomping grounds in Yahata (a neighborhood in the Suruga ward of Shizuoka).

    Her Street View photos provide the basis for both textual narration and sketch overlays, making the whole into a photocomic with the theme Let’s go to the Yahata Shrine and see what neat stuff is along the way. I’m certain that future updates at Tadayou Japan will use other visual tools to express what Clements has on her mind, and I can’t wait to read them.

  • Drive’s back, Drive’s back, Drive’s back! It’s been months since a burst of updates in the spring, and close to 20 months now since Dave Kellett was able to put regular time into the strip, what with finishing off a major motion picture, having a second kid, and the fact that Drive makes an unfeasibly small percentage of his family’s income for the time it takes to draw. But now he’s gone and launched a per-strip Patreon, hopefully all of those concerns are addressed and we can find out what the heck is going on with the story.

    And we’ve got plenty of story to go, still. Sitting behind me on the shelf are three Drive print collections, which Kellet mentioned to me once could be combined into one larger collection. Three of those larger collections were anticipated to be the length of the story he had to tell (but stories often grow beyond initial expectations. Given where the third book ends, we might be halfway through the fourth book, or not yet to the halfway point of the story (especially considering that each book’s gotten thicker than the one before it). The major players appear to all be on the board, now we have to see what occurs and that is happening again. Hooray!

  • Finally, contrary to some vicious rumors going around, I am not a fish monster who lives in a lake, despite the similarity of names. Regard: Gary Fish Monster; Gary Tyrrell. See? Completely different. It is possible that Gary Fish Monster is the result of a “mash-up” of Gary and history’s most tragic hero, Desmond Fishman; only way to find out is to follow what happens in Lake Gary on the tumbls (daily so far, perhaps that schedule changes depending on how interesting life is at the bottom of a lake).

Spam of the day:

Protect and Beautify Your Garage Floor (criminals)

So much potential! Is this a call for criminals to protect and beatify their garage floors? Or perhaps an indictment that those who would protect and beautify such floors (destroying their heritage nature, perhaps?) are reprehensible to the point of criminality? I can’t wait to find out.

¹ As near as I can tell, she’s the first; the browse-the-Fellows app at the MacArthur Foundation page doesn’t have a category for “Cartoonist” on its picklist, and in a quick browse of all Fellows in the catch-all category of “Arts” i didn’t find any others.

² A campaign I have been on since 2006.

RSS feed for comments on this post.