The webcomics blog about webcomics

News: Good, Better, Best

For those wondering, the Octopus Pie Volume 4 launch party last night was a lot of fun; I’m not going to do a write-up here, as much of what I was told by Meredith Gran, Mike Holmes, and fellow attendee Evan Dahm hasn’t been announced yet. Rather than run the risk of mentioning things they want to announce on their own terms, I’ll just say that they’re all working on Cool Things that you will love. Look for them on the con circuit this year and ask ’em yourself what they’re up to.

Instead, let’s talk about other things that have come up.

  • At the launch party, I was pleased to make the acquaintance of a young lady that came because (as she put it) she’s grown up reading the likes of Gran, Beaton, Munroe, and other lights of webcomickry. She had stickers of her original character (Bus Man … possibly Busman, or Bus-Man¹) and sent me a PDF of a short story she recently completed on her Tumblr. Her name is Sam[antha] Schroeder, you can see her portfolio here and her comics here.

    There’s so many people making comics — at every stage of their individual artistic journeys — that finding one whose work you want to share is always a Good Thing; I’m sharing Schroeder’s doodles and comics (there’s not much there yet) because I think it’s great to follow somebody from the beginning. A few years one and she’ll probably be embarrassed by this work, but that’ll only be because of how much she’s progressed.

    The story I mentioned is a sweet-natured look at what it’s like to be a not particularly grim reaper² who’s wondering about whether all those reapings are fair. It’s charming, and you can find it at these links.

  • It’s been not quite five years that Tyler Page (creator of Nothing Better) has been working on his medical memoir, Raised on Ritalin (of a piece with other personal stories about health, like Tracy White’s How I Made It To Eighteen or even Raina Telgemeier’s Smile), which recently hit its final chapter. It’s a book that’s undoubtedly changed in the time it took to produce, and it’s now possible to read the entire thing at once.

    And for those of you that hate hitting the Next button a few hundred times in a row, you can get a hardcopy:

    HERE IT IS: @Kickstarter for Raised on Ritalin – A Graphic Novel/Memoir about #ADHD by tyler page #kickstarter

    It’s probably partly a shift in the openness with which people are now willing to discuss mental illness, partly changes in psychiatric diagnoses and treatments, and partly who I hang out with these days, but things like ADHD and depression weren’t things I knew that people had — actual people, that is, people I knew personally — before about a dozen years ago. A lot of your favorite creators have been open about the challenges they face with psychiatric conditions, and that’s a tremendous help for people that don’t know why their brains work the way they do. Lots more people need to get that help, and Raised on Ritalin has to potential to provide that help.

    It’s not just the story of Page’s diagnosis and what ADHD means to him personally; it’s a biography of the disease and the drugs that are used to treat it, as well. It’s an important story, and it’s only going to get to the places it needs to be³ if it’s in a printed and bound form. And that will only happen if a measly US$6000 gets raised in the next month or so.

    Page is already about 40% of the way to goal, but he really needs to go way over goal — that’s what will allow not only physical improvements to the book (he cited better paper, for one), but to print enough copies that the people who don’t yet know that they need it will be able to find it in places that can help them³ in the future. If you know somebody that lives with ADHD or any other mental condition, if you want to learn more (because you’re a good person and have a sense of empathy), you could hardly find a better starting place that Page’s book. Pledge, spread the word, and share your copy when you get it.

  • Happies Birthsdays. The aforementioned Raina Telgemeier (I did mention her … just scroll back up and you’ll see) and Becky Dreistadt are having birthdays today. Actually, it’s a good deal more extensive that just two people; 26 May is apparently the most popular birthday in indy/webcomics:

    @beckyandfrank @CoryCasoni @TomTomShimShim @JNoze + @the_kochalka @NickBertozzi @bannister01! #birthdaysquad

    To be clear, in that tweet Telgemeier is replying to Cory Casoni, who is not one of the co-birthdayists; that still makes for at least seven people celebrating today, which makes today The Best. And you can get in on the celebrations, either by tweeting and maybe getting an advanced copy of Telgemeier’s next book, or by sending Dreistadt a picture of a cat to make her happy.

Spam of the day:

New York Comic Con

Nope, we’re done. Don’t find my presence to be helpful to your strategy of selling people to advertisers? I don’t have to read your emails any more. Bye, now.

¹ However you spell it, Bus Man has the best superpower for an urban environment ever; whenever he needs to get somewhere, regardless of schedule or time of day, a bus will pull up and it will be an express to his current destination.

² She’s still a reaper, mind you, but not the doom-and-gloom kind.

³ Libraries, therapist’s practices, school counseling offices, etc.

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