The webcomics blog about webcomics


If there’s a better way in webcomics to work on your craft and get noticed outside your usual audience than getting that one idea you’ve got perfectly polished and tight and accepted by an anthology full of super-skilled people, I don’t know what it is. Examples follow:

  • We were just talking about Beyond Press the other day and look what happened over the long weekend: they went and launched the Kickstart for an anthology that looks pretty damn impressive. Elements: Fire is going to present stories from the speculative fiction end of the spectrum (your basic sci fi, but also horror, cyberpunk, and the like) featuring characters — and, crucially, creators — from the underrepresented end of the talent pool¹:

    Elements looks to add to the current conversation happening in the book industry: yes #WeNeedDiverseBooks, but #WeNeedDiverseCreators too. We are no longer just the sidekicks or token characters, we’re creators with our own stories to tell. In Elements we’re the main characters, dismantling tropes with our own stories that see people like us saving the day. Be it quelling a volcano, learning to fight with our brand of love, or breaking cyberspace, we want to let these stories and characters take center stage.

    The contributor’s list features names that I recognize — Aatmaja Pandya, Der-shing Helmer, edited by Taneka Stotts with an assist from Shing Yin Khor — and a bunch more that I don’t, which is great (cf: above, about getting noticed). Taking a cue from anthology maestro C Spike Trotman, Elements: Fire will be offering bonuses to its creative team based on funding levels, which is becoming a welcome trend².

    Since launch on Friday (and over a long holiday weekend with people away from their computers), the campaign has cleared 58% funding on a US$30K goal and attracted enough early support to qualify for the Fleen Funding Formula, Mark II, which now predicts a total of US$50K +/- $10K (this is the first time numbers have ever turned out so beautifully round), which would mean bonuses of US$100-$300 per creator/team. The opportunity to discover killer talent with an experienced editor, and everybody gets paid? Time to make with the clicky and support.

  • Speaking of anthologies, the Spike-helmed New World anthology got some damn good notices over at The AV Club today courtesy of Caitlin Rosberg:

    Though each creator’s style is different, the level of skill and talent is consistently high and there is something for every reader’s taste….But all 24 of the comics are excellent in their own right.

    If there’s one thing that ties all of the pieces together beyond the genres they fit into, it’s that each forces a character or characters to make an incredibly weighty choice….Each of the pieces has a clear perspective and message, as much speculative fiction does, but every single one of the creators avoids heavy-handed manipulation and preachiness, two common pitfalls for less skilled sci-fi/fantasy creators. Rather than lecturing the reader, they start a conversation by shifting perspectives and inviting introspection, which is speculative fiction at its best.

    New World is available in both print and PDF from the Iron Circus store.

  • Anthologies need not even be big ol’ book; they can fit into floppy-style comic books as well. We mentioned previously that Faith Erin Hicks would be doing a Ms Marvel/Squirrel Girl story in an Avengers annual due in August; now it appears that other creators (Natasha Allegri! Zac Gorman! Scott Kurtz! Chirp Zblarglblarg!) will be adding their own takes as Ms Marvel gets to share all her in-universe fanfic.
  • Tomorrow is First Wednesday, meaning it’s time for the second of the previously-announced TopatoCo Summertime Funtime Drink ‘n’ Draws, and what is a drink ‘n’ draw but an anthology of people instead of stories? Making the trip to Easthampton will be special Drinker/Drawers Meredith Gran and Mike Holmes; fun starts at 7:00pm at Eastworks, runs until 10:00pm, and is unfettered by filthy cover charges. All in the Pioneer Valley area, go and have fun.

Spam of the day:

Limited Time: 60% Off Silicone Wedding Bands

So millennials don’t want to buy diamonds, and your counter is to try to market unsized squeezy bits of medical material that behave like slow-acting tourniquets? Okay.

¹ Anybody that’s sputtering about Why aren’t there anthologies for white creators? can leave now. Door’s to your left.

² Also to be noted for bonus payments: Erika Moen & Matt Nolan.

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