The webcomics blog about webcomics

You Know What Would Really Help? A Title

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: on Saturday, Ray put on the hat and on Sunday, a small band made for the Northeast corner. Today, it’s Leander, The Latino Health Crisis, and a 29-Minute Ab Minder.

  • It’s been a bit less than three years since Jeff Smith announced that he’d be launching a webomic called Tüki Save The Humans (and therefore about three and a half since I talked the webcomics model with Smith’s publisher and wife, and one of my very favorite people in comics, Vijaya Iyer); it’s been about 27 months since Tüki launched; it’s been a bit less than two years since it took an NCS award; it’s been a bit less than a year and a half since the first reprint issue of T¨ki hit the stands¹; about a year since Tüki chapter three wrapped up online; about 11 months since Tüki chapter three saw print, and a week or two since the print release of chapter four².

    But the last page of chapter three is still the most recent page online.

    When Iyer and I talked webcomics, when Tüki was announced, the plan was to tell a chapter over about two months of MWF updates, then print it in a traditional floppy comic, then take a break before the next chapter. There were delays (Smith has drawn a lot of pages in his career, and must be careful when repetitive stress injuries even suggest themselves; there was a very scary period of extended hiatus heading into the last act of BONE where I wondered if he’d ever be able to finish), but the model held: online first, then print (presumably, eventually trade paperback style re-reprints). But the webcomic approach isn’t for everybody; hopping over to it isn’t something that will work for everyone that tries it³.

    And that’s okay. This page is devoted to webcomics, sure, but it’s just as much about those creators that make comics that reflect their own voices, comics that — crucially — they own, and Jeff Smith embodies that as much as anybody that’s currently working in the medium. I was buying the issues of Tüki anyway, and I’ll continue to do so because Jeff Smith comic.

    Maybe these new comics go online, maybe they don’t. Smith and Iyer tried something outside their comfort zone, and the fact that they’ve retired the effort is neither evidence that it can’t work for anybody, nor that it was done poorly — it didn’t meet their needs, and that’s all that matters. There’s still more stories of the first human to leave Africa coming, and they’re gonna be good.

  • Know what else we’re gonna see plenty more of? Autobio comics from Jennie Breeden, who was one of the first people I met in this crazy business — one may recall the wisdom that she shared as a just-jumped-into-comics-as-the-job newbie at SDCC in 2006 — and she remains hard at work with The Devil’s Panties seven damn days a week. Which brings us to yesterday and the 5000th comic, or actually the 5189th, as she missed the actual 5000th on … let’s see … this day.

    Breeden joins a select group of completely bonkers creators who have hit this threshold, and we at Fleen both congratulate her and urge her to seek professional help immediately. Mostly the congratulations, though.

Spam of the day:

honey,how are you

Careful, not everybody likes honey.

¹ And when Smith and I agreed that Dylan Meconis should have won the NCS award; he’s as humble and generous a guy as ever lived.

² It was due on 3 February 2016, but widespread shipping issues meant it got pushed back a week in much of the country.

³ The Foglios have found it tremendously successful; Carla Speed McNeil largely released Voice online before printing, but both Third World and the currently-running Chase The Lady eight pages at a time in Dark Horse Presents. Coincidentally, the Foglios seem to do fewer side-jobs, whereas McNeil is also working on No Mercy and shorter jobs all over the place (Wonder Woman, Smut Peddler, Avatar stories, etc).

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