The webcomics blog about webcomics


Books! Is there anything as good in life as a book? The shelves behind me with a literally ton of paper on them say probably not¹. There are three books I want to talk about today.

  • As you should know, Ben Hatke is one heck of an illustrator and comics creator, responsible for such wonderful tales as Little Robot and the Zita The Spacegirl trilogy. His latest book, Nobody Likes A Goblin (an ARC of which was sent to me by the invaluable Gina Gagliano at :01 Books) releases today, and it’s a must-get.

    It’s more rambunctious than Little Robot (although the naming conventions are somewhat similar; the titular goblin is just named Goblin; his best friend is Skeleton), less swashbuckling (or plot-driven) than Zita, and most resembles Julia’s House For Lost Creatures in that it’s meant to be read in a single bedtime, has a simple story, and a powerful pair of messages.

    Firstly, friendship is wonderful. Secondly, don’t believe all the stories that you’ve heard about the Heroic Adventurers that blunder their way through dungeons, terrorizing the likes of Goblin (and his neighbor, Troll), who’ve done nobody any harm. Just because you’re different and people hate you on sight doesn’t mean that you’re bad, or that they’re in any way right. The Adventurers² may have taken all his stuff, the farmers and innkeepers and elves may be chasing him on general principals, but not everybody is subject to their prejudices.

    See, hanging out on the loot cart of the Adventurers is a young woman that doesn’t look thrilled to be there, and when Goblin finds friends to defend him, she grabs Skeleton’s sword (he used to be a mighty warrior, you see) and helps run the Adventurers (and farmers, innkeepers, and elves) off, returning to the dungeon with her new friends. I found her fascinating, and the lack of any narration or explanation about her motivations means there’s plenty of room for young readers to make up her story.

    And when they do make up her story, they’ll have a chance to share it with Hatke on his book tour, touching down today in Richmond (Virginia), with additional appearances in Takoma Park (that would be Maryland), Ann Arbor (Michigan, naturally), Orlando (the ALA conference, not the theme parks), and San Diego Comic Con. Dates, addresses, and times at the link.

  • Speaking of book tours, Lucy Bellwood is on one right now, for Baggywrinkles, her autobio-slash-tall ships primer that she Kickstarted last summer. Bellwood’s East Coast tour goes for another two weeks or so, touching down in Boston, Washington, DC, New York City, and Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, we’ve already missed her Portland (the Maine version) and Mystic (Connecticut) stops, but can I point out how awesome that most of her stops will be at nautical-themed locations?

    Boston’s stop is at the USS Constitution Museum, the New York stop at South Street Seaport Museum, and both Portland and Mystic are basically living paeans to the nautical life. By the way, the Ann Arbor stop will be at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on 18 and 19 June, which will be the same time that Hatke will be there. Goblins and Boats, in the same place at the same time!

  • As previously noted, Romeo And/Or Juliet by Ryan North releases today (with a launch party starting in a few hours in Toronto). I’ve had that book on pre-order since the second of November and today Amazon says oh yeah, they suppose they’ll drop it in the mail and I’ll get it someday and not on release day that is the deal we had Amazon.


    Anyway, I’m assured by people who have actually gotten their pre-orders that it’s brilliant and I hope to confirm that fact at some point.

  • Finally, I’d like to note that I’m seeing people on the SoshMeed share the fact that Something Terrible (book by Dean Trippe, for the last six months or so published by Spike Trotman and Iron Circus Comics) is showing up in their mailboxes. Good news, can’t wait to get my copy.

Spam of the day:

Miracle Bamboo Bra Wants To Hear From You!

This prompts so many questions, I don’t know where to start.

¹ Okay, probably dogs are better than books, but let’s not lose the thread.

² Your standard party of Wizard, Dwarf, Elvish Swordmaiden, and skulky looking Rogue.

It was Groucho Marx who said: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

I do not wish to make you jealous, but my pre-ordered copy of “Romeo and/or Juliet” showed up in my mailbox YESTERDAY, one day EARLY. I must just live on the right coast (actually the Left Coast, but youknowwhatImean). Then today I got the latest issue of MAD Magazine, with many pages of Trump abuse AND contributions by known webcomickers John McNamee, Dakota McFadzean and Christopher Baldwin.

Yes, I am blessed/privileged/spoiled.

[…] I owe Amazon an apology, as I was complaining t’other day about my copy of Romeo And/Or Juliet not being here on day of release, and now I’ve got it. […]

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