The webcomics blog about webcomics

What The Mail Brought

Project: Read A Bunch Of Books continues apace, interrupted slightly by last night’s EMS duty shift. Hey, a quick favor: if you need to call for help, please be extremely specific about why you’re calling, but also anything else that may be relevant. You got a broken arm! That’s great, tell us that! But if you’ve also got a fever and dry cough which you’re coping with tell us that, too! Okay! End of PSA!

  • After a hiatus, Sophie Yannow has resumed The Contradictions, with updates twice a week two-page updates, five days a week. It’s been quite a period of recognition for Yanow since launched about 18 months back, which will theoretically culminate in her debuting the print edition from D&Q at SDCC, where she will be a Special Guest if the show goes off as planned. Here’s hoping it does, she’s earned it.
  • There’s nobody in comics that I’ve known longer than Jon Rosenberg¹ except for Yuko Ota, on account of one day the two of us realized that we had met while she was still in high school at a northern New Jersey Sluggy Freelance meetup. Look, the early Aughts were a weird time, a time when one might visit the Fairly Large Electronic Entertainment Network to read Goats, Waiting For Bob, When I Grow Up, Bobbins, User Friendly, Superosity, and PvP. I believe the technical term for this is strange bedfellows.

    I met Jon at an early MoCCA Festival, back in the sweltering humidity of the Puck Building (it’s an REI now), with the amazing Puck Fair bar across the street. I was working the CBLDF table, Jon was selling Goats collections and originals. I made some purchases, we got to talking about beer, I got invited to the legendary Pub Night and stayed until Jon decamped from Manhattan for a place with room for his growing family. Conversations in those days about Pocky, moustaches, or where in Jersey Hell is located found their way into the strip because every idea can be massaged into a good idea if you treat it with enough vodka and Red Bull².

    But you know what? Even with the crazed careening from high stakes to higher stakes to universal ending stakes (and the whole thing was basically Woody Allen’s fault), Goats was a limitation on Rosenberg’s imagination. Enter: Scenes From A Multiverse, where any idea that occurred could be a strip, and the dictates of narrative be damned. Not that he didn’t find himself with throughlines — Sciencemastering, scary owl lawyers and murderous business deer, breaking news, modern politics, dungeon divers, and bunnies. Oh thank Christ, bunnies.

    And he’s never been better.

    Scenes From A Multiverse: Greetings From Bunnies Planet is the third SFAM collection, covering all of 2012 except for about five days in January that were in the second collection. I got my copy because I backed the Kickstarter, but you’ll be able to get your copy from Rosenberg’s store once fulfillment is done. When you do it will be pretty, heavy (I love a heavy paper stock), full of rich color. What you won’t get that I did is a massive-ass signed bookplate, because Kickstarter.

    The strips themselves show Rosenberg hitting his stride — having finished with the vote-for-returning-characters mechanism that SFAM started with — and becoming first (and only) recipient of the National Cartoonist Society’s division award for On-Line Comic Strip³. It continued through a year that had disasters that made sense and elections that weren’t won by the dumbest man imaginable. He’d continue to get sharper and more incisive, but if you’re looking for the time when Jon Rosenberg really cut loose, this is the beginning of that period.

    Greeting From The Bunnies Planet is alternately sweet, fluffy, terrifying, vicious, and a blunt instrument upside the head of people that deserve it. Despite the cover, it is not for children unless you have raised them to be moodily cynical, enraged at the world, and willing to upend some tables that need upending. You know, cool kids.

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¹ In no particular order: co-birthdayist, owner of my soul, and guy who got me started on this blogging project; probably other personal connections, now that I think about it. Consider yourself properly disclaimed.

² At least, the way Stephanie at the Peculier made them: a pint glass of vodka, enough Red Bull to give it color.

³ The following year, the award was split into longform and shortform categories. That night remains the most satisfying event at which I’ve worn a tuxedo, but keep in mind that a) my wedding was a blur that I can scarcely recall, and b) the rental tux at my wedding fit poorly whereas at the NCS dinner I was decked out like a champ and later got to gamble while dressed like James Bond.

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