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Thursday Catch-Ups

Well! That was a fun couple of days, including two separate airports that just did not want me to leave their premises and threw every possible obstacle in my way. Now let’s never speak of the last 48 hours again.

  • Catching up! My buddy Otter — or more properly, KB “Otter” Spangler — of A Girl And Her Fed has launched her first Kickstarter campaign, to take her first novel (released last year) and her next novel (to be released in about six weeks) recorded as audiobooks. On casual inspection this would seem an odd project, since wouldn’t you just make that a stretch goal of the Kickstarter for the books themselves?

    In this case, no, because a) the books weren’t Kickstarted, they were just released on her own; and b) the protagonist of Digital Divide and Maker Space is blind, and releasing them as audiobooks is outreach to an audience that wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect to a relatable character. In fact, one of the stretch goals will be to convert the books to Braille and donate copies to libraries that serve the visually impaired, so this is maybe less about help me make a cool thing and more about help me extend this cool thing to people who tend not to get as many cool things in a form they can access.

    We’re not quite 48 hours in (like, 12 minutes shy of 48 hours as I write this) and we’re sitting around 95% of goal; per the venerable F^3 calculation, this project should finish up somewhere between 200% and 400% of its modest US$7000 goal. Go support it, and enjoy the project video, which is a puppet show¹.

  • Catching up! Some new comics launching over at ShiftyLook, with some veteran creators taking a whack at videogame characters that have … shall we say thin? … plots. Shannon Campbell and Sam Logan are breathing life into Tower of Babel, which is essentially a Jenga-in-reverse puzzler/platformer. Meanwhile Team Nice Wizard (aka Ryan North, Christopher Hastings, and Anthony Clark) are fleshing out the story of Dig Dug.
  • Catching up! Box Brown’s Retrofit Comics started as a limited-duration project to publish comics for a year. Then it became an ongoing imprint. Brown himself spent a lot of time working up André the Giant² for much of the past two years, but as that project’s all done but the shipping at this point, he’s back to his publisher role with a vengeance:

    After only publishing 7 books in 2013, we ARE BACK to a 12-comics-a-year schedule! In 2014 we’ll be releasing comics from these HOT comics artists!

    Which you can click through to see; I just wanted to stress that this is not a funding announcement, this is an availability-of-subscriptions announcement. These comics are getting published, the only questions are how many, and will you get them or not.

Whew, I think that’s everything I needed to get caught up on. Fortunately, nothing going on in comics today except for the surprise announcement that Scott McCloud is an android. Reached for comment, McCloud responded Of course not, I am a completely alive human, beep, null set. You heard it hear first.

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¹ No sign of Spinal Tap, who presumably made off with the audio equipment for the puppet show as the sound levels are bit low. You’ll want to bring the volume up on your computer for all the puppety goodness.

² No lie, this looks to be premier work of André the Giant scholarship; I’m not into professional wrestling³, but like everybody, I know (and have a fond spot for) André the Giant.

³ By which I mean I had a brief period of watching in late junior high school. If I understand my wrestling history right, this was when what is now the WWE was moving from a mostly Northeast base into a wider national profile, pre-Hulkamania. Anyway, my knowledge of pro wrestling is from 30+ years ago, aside from some bored Saturdays watching GLOW4 in college.

4 That would be the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, because come on, watching Amy the Farmer’s Daughter getting beat down by Matilda the Hun until her [Amy's] little brother Timmy pulls himself from his hospital bed and makes his way ringside on crutches to inspire her [again, Amy] to defeat her evil rival? That’s gold, from the time of two-reel 1930s melodramas5 to the first epic battle between Morimoto and Flay on Iron Chef. Heck, I’m pretty sure that the kid cheering on Morimoto actually was named Timmy!

5 By the way, I experimented with the construction 1930s two-reel melodramas before rewriting. I heard on the radio last week (or maybe it was an episode of Judge John Hodgman that there are certain rules of grammar that aren’t taught, but which we instinctively absorb; for instance, you wouldn’t say the red big car instead of the big red car. If anybody knows the name for this phenomenon, I’d love to hear it. Ryan North, I’m looking at you.

Footnotes, everybody!

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