The webcomics blog about webcomics

Returns, Mostly Happy

Last week was a challenge and I’m sorry about the less-than-usual volume of opinion-mongering. I trust that we’ll make up for it this week.

  • It’s been a long time since we had a new Broodhollow; as previously noted, Kris Straub has been on an extended hiatus, what with getting the Broodhollow book 2 collection produced and having a small human around the house. This had the effect of turning one hell of a dramatic cliffhanger into an extended, existential question — would Wadsworth be stuck in that place of mystery and loss forever?

    Occasional stolen time allowed Straub to show he had lost neither his whimsy nor his ability to craft laughter; yesterday brought a chapter title page and today! Today drags out the mystery by at least a few days more as a dark and forgotten place (for dark and forgotten secrets, in a place that forgets plenty) gives way to springtime cheer and no word of Wadsworth Zane. It’s been a long time, and it’s good to see West Virginia’s most unsettling corner again.

  • Just about exactly three years before Broodhollow went on hiatus, David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc posted his last photocomic, coming full circle some nine years and about 3200 comics after his start. In the three and a half years since he’s had a series of nearly 200 digressions on the nature of the physical world, the science that makes it work, and the consequences we experience in our daily lives — all of which have run in parallel with six- days-a-week reruns with commentary of Irregular Webcomic from the beginning, 1093 of them so far.

    Until today.

    Thanks to the generosity of his Patreon backers, it’s back to the LEGO mines for Dr Morgan-Mar, as he’s constructing two new Irregular Webcomics strips per week, to run on Sundays and Thursdays. If I can make one suggestion, it’s that everybody drop a buck or two towards Morgan-Mar, as while we’re about five times over the threshold that gets us two new IWs a week¹, we’re about one-fifth of the way to where he cuts his day job by one day a week to give us all the creative stuff he’s got stuck in his head. And if you think that he hasn’t been tucking away gag and storyline ideas for the past three years, you haven’t been paying attention.

  • About three months back I mentioned that another PhD-bearing, photo-taking webcomicker — Dante Shepherd, in his day job alias of an ordinary mild-mannered professor of chemical engineering² — was applying for a grant to bring comics to the world of STEM education. Grant writing is a hell of a tough thing (I’ve done enough of it myself), and the odds were not in Shepherd’s favor.

    As it turns out, on Thursday he found out he’d received the US$10,000 grant, which will allow him to pay artists to develop the first generation of materials, and also to develop skills in art/design students to make the program ongoing and sustaining. Which had to be the highlight of his week, except for the part where he received two student-voted awards for teaching, in his second year of teaching. I dare say that this week, everything’s coming up Milhouse Shepherd!

  • Finally, one minor down note — from Heidi Mac we get word that Jeff Smith’s Tüki Save The Humans is going to be returning later than expected. A recurrence of an old overwork injury means that instead of a May/June timeframe, Tüki is delayed until the end of the year. Naturally, this is only bad in the sense that I want more Tüki strips now, which is a minor concern when balanced against the possibilities of all the comics that Smith will grace us with in the future. And has been adequately established already today, what’s six months between friends?

Spam of the day:

Este homem de meia-idade n?o ? t?o generosa como sua m?e e ele pensa de si mesmo antes de pensar no conforto dos outros.

Which, according to Google Translate, is This middle-aged man not so generous as his mother and he thinks of himself before the comfort of others when the source language is autodetected, but This homem of meia-idade not as generous to me and ele pensa sua whether mesmo before thinking no two outros comfort when the source language sets itself specifically to Spanish. Apparently, it makes sense if you don’t try to make the rules of a language apply, and is properly spammy gibberish when you do.

¹ And while we’re at a funding level of approximately ten times his monthly hosting costs, keep in mind that he’s been paying those costs since 2002 and it costs him $50/month in art materials for Planet of Hats (which has been running for the past year now). At current funding levels, he’ll break even in about two more years.

² Much like the theory that Batman is the actual person and Bruce Wayne the invented personality, I have changed my mind and now subscribe to the belief that Dante Shepherd is real and Lucas Landherr the secret identity; just substitute a Red Sox cap and lab coat for the cowl and cape, and the graduate assistant for the youthful ward.

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