The webcomics blog about webcomics

All About The Compy

So since I wrote about Larry Gonick selling originals last week, I maaaay have been in contact with the gentleman. It maaaay be the case that he was able to locate some pieces featuring a certain unicycling genius-slash-personal-Yoda. It definitely is the case that Gonick is underpricing his originals and that if you collect comic art you should get in touch with him and give him money

As a result, it may be that I’ve got computers on the brain moreso than usual, which means I’m grateful that Fleen Alert Reader Mark V pointed me a while back at a series of comics designed to teach computing topics.

Julia Evans is a programmer from Montreal, working on infrastructure at Stripe. She also makes comics (most of which run 20-24 pages, so she calls them zines) about computing. Although they’re described them as for working programmers, don’t let that dissuade you — my reading is that if you mess around with coding and you’ve got an interest that intersects with one or more of these, you’ll be able to make sense of what Evans is talking about. They’re there to make a topic accessible, so if you’ve got trubs with a particular tool, she’ll cut through the cruft and get you to a productive state.

About half her zines are free, and the others go for ten bucks on Gumroad¹. She’s also got some really great thoughts about charging for stuff and the perception of value and the need for having a company … these reminded me of nothing so much as a recent Twitterthread by Infosec Taylor Swift on how you can convert free work into corporations paying you, which requires at least pretending you’re a real gosh-darn company.

Anyway, good stuff. Now I have to go back to designing a look and feel for the frames for my Shannon art.

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I do not think you are sending this to the person you think you are sending it to.

¹ For personal use; if you want to do volume purchases, she’s got attractive rates. I’d particularly recommend the zine on dealing with managers for any and all entry-evel programmers as part of their onboarding².

² A 20 page zine isn’t going to be as comprehensive as, say, reading the entire management theory section of Rands In Repose³, but it’s also going to take you months less time to absorb some practical lessons if you go with the zine.

³ Aside from being the pre-eminent philosopher on the topic of software engineering and managing those who do it, Rands is of course one of the perpetrators of Jerkcity, which has been running for more than 7200 updates since August of 1998 and I totally missed that anniversary.

And speaking of Rands and his many thoughts on creating software, Evans has many thoughts on using comics to convey technical topics. I suspect that if she and Dante-Lucas Landshepherdherr put their heads together, something magic would result.

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