The webcomics blog about webcomics

Getting Caught Up On Things

It's MIIIIIIINNNNNNNE!

Whoof — the dry air here in the northeast is playing merry hell with my sinuses, and I can only hope to get to the end of this post without another sudden onset of epistaxis.

  • I’m gonna start with a quick mini-review, as I got my copy of Tyler Page’s Nothing Better volume 2: Into the Wild. I know that I said months ago that this was going to be my next purchase, but I’m apparently a challenge to buy gifts for; it was requested that I ramp back my purchases and make desired volumes known such that some might appear in festive wrappings one December morn. Afterwards, I resumed my buying and now I have copies of most of the things I would have otherwise bought earlier for myself, including this one.

    It’s good, you guys. Really good. On the heels of volume one, Kat and Jane are moving from at-odds unwilling roomies to friends, as the freshman year slips from Halloweento Christmas). I’m particularly impressed by how Page treats the storyline of Jane’s new college boyfriend, Ryan — at times, both she and he are too quick to jump to jealous conclusions over innocent interactions, which was handled with far more subtlety that one usually finds in fiction. These three pages could easily have turned (in less skilled hands) into a Very Special Episode on the dangers of controlling boyfriends, low self-esteem, abusive relationships, or whatever. In fact, Page made sure to present the vulnerability one feels in a new relationship as equally likely on the part of both people.

    As the book wraps up, none of the principal characters are who they were at the beginning (except for Trish and Victoria, the total bitches that live on Kat & Jane’s floor), but it never feels contrived or artificial how they’ve changed. They’re growing, more rapidly and awkwardly than they will at any other time in their lives, and we get to watch it happen. With any luck, Volume 3 (currently serializing) will show us more of Darby (with his puppylike crush on Jane) and Gene (with his creepily menacing Jesus-freak vibe).

  • Also new this week — my copy of Skin Horse volume 1, with free art! Now when I talked about the free art aspect to the book (until the end of the month, so hurry), I mentioned in an offhand manner one or two strips that I thought were extra-neato. What with Shaenon Garrity being in the middle of moving house and explicitly stating that the art would be random, I gave it no further thought. Then I opened the package, which despite the prominent DO NOT BEND warning, somebody had valiantly tried to mutilate. Miracle of miracles, the art and book were perfectly intact, and it just so happened that my strip was one of my aforementioned favorites. This is why Shaenon Garrity is the Radness Queen of the Universe (or at least the East Bay).
  • As long as we’re mentioning Her Radness, she emailed to let you know about something interesting at a site she edits:

    This is seriously cool. John Barber’s new webcomic, Outside Infinity, has just joined the Modern Tales lineup. As you may or may not recall, John’s previous webcomic, “Vicious Souvenirs,” one of the first interactive Flash-based comics, was part of the Modern Tales launch lineup way back in the day. Then John went off to work for this place called Marvel Comics. But now he’s back with a new, non-Flash-based series, and I’ve got him on Modern Tales.

    John describes Outside Infinity as “the sort-of true story of a guy who discovers the mathematical proof of the existence of black holes … while dying on of an incurable disease on the losing side of Russian front in World War I.”

    There is pretty much nothing in that description that isn’t really awesome.

  • Last bit, then the weekend: Phil Foglio writes the best press releases:

    The comic book site Comic Book Resources just put up a list of The 30 Most Important Comics Of The Decade. Some reasonable picks. However I’m writing to say that one of their choices was Girl Genius, so you can see that they are indeed serious & responsible journalists. It also behooves me to mention that 3 other webcomics made their list, a respectable percentage over all. The others are: Penny Arcade, Achewood, and MegaTokyo. We salute our fellow webcomic creators.

    “But Gary,” I hear you cry, “that looks nothing like what I’ve been told by reliable sources (including yourself) what a proper press release should look like! How do I get to write something like that and have you run it?”

    Simple. Go back in time thirty years and be as consistently funny as Phil up to the present day, and I’ll run any dang thing you write.

The dryness in the PNW is no better. Ever try drawing with a bloody nose? No fun.

Phil Foglio is the man. I had the pleasure of speaking with him at a cartoonists confab a couple years ago. Very down-to-earth guy.

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