Speaking of SPX, the theme of the weekend appeared to be YOLO, as chronicled by webcomics own photojournalist, Chris Yates. I … I think it’s a gang thing, you guys. Meanwhile, Kate Beaton rounded out the last of the major comics awards with another win for the Hark! A Vagrant print collection in the category of Outstanding Anthology or Collection, making more plaques, statues, and bricks than I can recall off the top of my head.¹ The award for Outstanding Online Comic went to Jillian Tamaki’s SuperMutant Magic Academy, which I’ll confess I am not familiar with. A perusal of the category nominees revealed a nice mix of ongoing and wrapped-up work, strip-type serials, panel-type loosely-linked semi-oneshots, autobio, and more — a nice balance of form, story topic, and art styles.
- Speaking of SPX, the national passenger rail system was not very nice towards Chris “Doc” Hastings, involving both a broken train on the way there and a cancelled ticket on the way back. He’s safely ensconced back in Brooklyn at last report, and
able to share some of the other projects that he’s been working on, including the comic book-y treatment for a pitch packet of a proposed TV series, presently raising production costs over on IndieGoGo.
You really can’t go wrong with a name like Freelance Beatdown, the brainchild of comedic personage Jordan Morris; given the glowing terms that Hastings uses to describe Morris, It’s unlikely that he’ll ever feel weirded out by Morris or his usual partner (and damn good interviewer), Jesse Thorn. Look, I like Morris and Thorn’s work a hell of a lot, I’m just saying that not everybody agrees with me.
- Okay, this is clever: all of Machine of Death (at least, the MoD that’s associated with the first volume), including the full book in three different electronic formats, stage show clips, the entire podcast series, and more, in a customized USB thumb drive for fifteen bucks. I think it’s just a matter of time before all collections of a certain size/complexity (lookin’ at you, omnibus edition of Skin Horse, whenever that happens) will have thumb drives as a delivery option.
Look, I love me some big-honkin’ collections, I think they’re beautiful to look at, satisfying to read, and indicative of the value that I place on the work contained within; I’ve got collection series on my shelf that number as high as volume eleven. But not everybody has the wherewithal to drop US$50 (to US$100 and up) on the really big collections, so having a cheaper, more physically compact option² is going to be a value channel that can’t be ignored.
Anyway, to celebrate the thumb-book and other items just now releasing, MoD honcho and Wondermark impressario David Malki ! is having a contest with fabulous cash and merchandise prizes. Dudes, you could end up a trillionaire.³
¹ Seriously though — what was with blocking my girl Kate, 2012 Eisner Awards?
² Possibly after a delay to not conflict with physical book sales. Even more so, we’re now getting to webcomics that have run long enough, and have enough books in their catalog, that deciding when to let things go out of print becomes an actual concern. Get a bunch of custom-screened (or engraved, or shaped) USB drives, orders come in for various items out of print, copy master files over and drop it in the mail. Once you’ve got the thumbs in house, the rest of production doesn’t have to be an expense of anything other than the time it takes for file-dragging.
³ In Zimbabwe. Actual value as of this writing: US$27,631,942,525.560 in theory, except for the part where Zimbabwe’s currency has been indefinitely suspended from international trade because it’s worth less than the paper it’s printed on; 6.5 sextillion percent inflation will do that.