The webcomics blog about webcomics

Some Books And Also Some Good News

Stuff leftover from yesterday, that honestly? Better to put it today. Otherwise, the mass of information would mean something worthwhile would be lost.

  • Once upon a time there was a very fun webcomic called Gastrophobia that had three books (currently sold out in physical form, available as ebooks) about an Amazon (Phobia) and her son (Gastro) running around the mythic age of Greece. It was a sitcom, complete with theme song, and it was great.

    And a bit into volume 4, it stopped. But now, in concert with the twelfth anniversary of launch, it’s back, with a story to tell below the update:

    If you’re not in touch with my social media, you’re probably wondering what I’ve been doing all this time.

    WELL, in 2017, three things happened to me:

    • I turned 40 and had a small mid-life crisis.
    • I finally admitted to myself that I’m transgender!
    • Lost most of my stuff in Hurricane Harvey (my home was under water).

    My name’s Daisy and my pronouns are she/her! Everyone’s been ridiculously supportive and I’m way happier now than I’ve ever been! ?

    Gastrophobia is getting a partial reboot.

    The first 3 volumes are still canon. The 43 story pages I drew from 2015-2016 are retconned. They still exist and can be found here.

    I’m different now and I’m taking the comic in a different direction.

    If you read Gastrophobia in the beforetimes, you know that Daisy McGuire¹ has always been a terrific cartoonist. There’s no better time to hop on the (quoting the character bio here) Barbarian MILF funtimes train than now, complete with a new RSS feed.

    As a side note, the number of folks I know who’ve undergone gender transition has increased a zillion percent over the past 15 years or so, and they’re all people I know through my association with comics. Maybe it’s just the passing of the times, or maybe there’s something about comics and storytelling, the creation of which demands your brain be open to possibilities and what-ifs, which allows one to imagine a different way of being that’s closer to what should be than what you’ve always been told. Good on you, comics, for letting people find themselves and be happy.

  • Ryan Estrada is kind of on a roll these days. He’s not even done with the critical and popular acclaim from Banned Book Club (a copy of which I am still waiting on from my local comic shop, on account of Diamond is the worst²) and he’s just dropped another book on us, one that takes an experience from his own youth and turns it into what would have been way cooler:

    After literal decades of trying to get it off the ground and months of shipping delays, my dream project is finally out in the world. Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon is now in bookstores everywhere!

    I’m overjoyed to give kids a multicultural hero who represents his country and does good in the world. Whose superpowers are empathy and active listening.

    And I’m proud he has an odd-couple partner who’s a selfish jerk so that doesn’t get annoying.

    I’m proud to create a world where kids can learn that world leaders aren’t always right, even if they are kinder and gentler than in ours.

    I made the US president in my story latinx as well. Because in fiction, you can do whatever you want and the cops can’t stop you.

    I’m proud that the kid who made a hand-written, leatherbound book about his student ambassador travels in 1997, and dreamed of making a book about what he WISHED the trip had been like finally got his wish.

    One of those nerds is me. Can you find me?
    [photo of actual kid student ambassadors in Sydney, Australia, 1997]

    If this book is a success, I am super excited to jump right into making the next Joseph Bazan mystery, Student Ambassador: The Silver City where they explore the mysterious caves under Zacatecas, Mexico.

    Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon is written by Ryan Estrada, and illustrated by Axur Eneas. It’s the start of the Iron Circus kids line, and is available starting yesterday. I’ma say go get this one for the overly-enthusiastic and imaginative kid(s) in your life.

Spam of the day:

The CIA has been doing intensive research for the past fifty years researching on what we call so called life. That information has been collected and presented for you here [link] This has been the finding as of seventeen years ago as of today. Now governments and other large organizations have develop technology around these concepts for their own deceptive uses. Soon you will be contacted by other means for counter measures and the part that you play in all this.

I’ll tell you something — this is slightly more plausible than the guy with the broken English and Tagalog accent that called earlier claiming to be Social Security Agent Mike Hammer letting me know my number was being revoked for abuse and fraud. When I pressed one to talk to him, I was instead connected to Agent Katherine (same accent and command of English) who was entirely plussed when I told her my name was Harry Mourningwood.

¹ In accordance with the Fleen Manual of Style, persons who transition will only be referred to by their current name/pronouns once that change is announced, but old posting referring to prior identity will not be altered.

Where necessary, context will be given without using deadnames, as in I had some memorable pub crawls with Daisy McGuire — who at the time used a different name — and other NYC cartoonists in the 2005-2008 timeframe. It was fun.

McGuire’s actually done something similar, comparing original author bios with current author bios from volumes 1, 2, and 3.

² At my suggestion, they’ve opened a merchant account with Ingram, the book distro giant. They may be nearly as much of a monopoly as Diamond is for the comics direct market, but damned if Ingram isn’t an efficient, competent monopoly that believes it can make money by giving stores what they friggin’ ask for instead of jerking them around with perpetual backorders (a lie) and shorted shipments (on a weekly basis). Right now Rick (who owns the store and is a nice guy) is going through all of the previous book orders placed through Diamond, re-requesting them from Ingram, and trying to figure out how to cancel them at Diamond so they don’t show up months or years from now with an invoice that says We finally decided to ship these to you, pay up.

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