The webcomics blog about webcomics

Supernatural And/Or Spooky

It is the Friday before a long weekend and I have far to travel. Let’s do this.

  • I read Wayward #1 by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings yesterday; my thoughts on the story were shared here last month, as Zub was kind enough to send me a preview PDF, so I’ll just add one thought. Namely, reading this story on paper makes it even better. Yeah, yeah, digital distribution is the future of comics and it would solve my bookshelf space problem, but some things you just need to have the sensation of flipping pages. I look forward to many months of traditional Japanese monsters getting their asses kicked by teen girls.
  • Also mentioned last month; Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, which it took me forever to find a copy of. It was worth every bit of the wait, however, as Carroll weaves five tales of … I know the usual word there is terror, but that’s not quite the right word. Terror jumps out at you and screams boogedy-boogedy, jumps up your heart rate and makes you scream, but relies on that suddenness, that shock to gets its scares. Carroll’s stories are instead built on a foundation of unsettlement, as things seem a little wrong, then a little more, and pretty soon you can’t tell when things weren’t wrong and just the act of trying to get back to where they are un-wrong seems impossible and futile.

    And that’s a more scarifying, a more legitimately I have to put this book down right now or I will never sleep again-inducing way of telling stories than any attempt by mere terror. Carroll starts firmly in the pre-industrial past, where the wrong things are safely in the deep dark woods, feared by the primitive and ignorant, and nobody today could fall afoul of such imaginary beasties, ha ha. But with each story, the clothes are little less simple, the homes a little less anachronistic, the language a little more modern and holy crap the last story is all the way in the 20th century and there are cars and doctors and flappers and shit, shit, shit those beasties and haunts have persisted until the present day and that means they could be

    right here

    in the room

    with

    me.

    That’s why Through The Woods is the most frightening book I’ve ever read, the delicious kind of scares that settle into your brain and take up housekeeping, the ones that make you reflect on your life and resolve to be a much better person because none of the protagonists of her five stories was horrible (okay, the guy who killed his brother in a jealous fit) and look how they ended up. If I’m good enough that won’t happen to me.

    Maybe.

  • Good news that doesn’t involve existential dread! Noelle Stevenson’s Lumberjanes is described in the house ads of this week’s BOOM! Studios comics as no longer being an eight-issue limited series, but rather an ongoing series. Well done, Team Lumberjanes!
  • Your semiregular reminder: Ryan North never forgets. NEVER.

Spam of the day:

Greetings from {Idaho|Carolina|Ohio|Colorado|Florida|Losangeles|California}! I’m {bored to tears|bored to death|bored} at work so I decided to {check out|browse} your {site|website|blog} on my iphone during lunch break. Just wanted to {tell you|mention|say} keep up the {fantastic|excellent|great|good} {job|work}!

This is excellent — somebody forgot to run the script that turns a Mad Libs-style template into a pseudo-unique blogspam message, and sent the entire damn thing to me. It’s 2800 words long and totally not suspicious in the least!

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¹ You see the book credited everywhere as “Jim Zub’s Wayward“, but Zub is a classy guy and insists that we acknowledge artist Cummings’s contributions, to the point of calling him his co-creator.

Don’t Ask How I Know What Size Shirt My Dog Wears

It’s a quiet time in Webcomicstan, possibly related to the imminent long weekend (with its attendant influx of creators to opposite ends of the continent, what with PAX Prime and Dragon Con kicking off tomorrow), along with a dash of end of summer doldrums. Nothing deep today, just some quick bits to amuse on a Thursday afternoon.

  • We’ve mentioned Evan Dahm’s illustrated The Wonderful Wizard of Oz project a number of times since he launched it about a year ago; it’s not ready for print, but he may be getting close, seeing as how he’s noodling around with cover ideas. We’ve seen a good number of Winkieland illustrations of late, and if my memory of the original book serves, after returning from Winkieland, Dorothy et. al. made a trip down south (I forget if that’s the land of the Gilikins or the Quadlings), so maybe we’ll get to see another color scheme after Winkie yellow and Munchkin blue. In any event, I want this book.
  • Sometimes, you can only respond to bad times with a deeply stupid (to the point of brilliance) idea:

    It has been a shitty month, so I’m making a #BUTTS t-shirt for fun. Blame Candice!

    One week run, ends Sept. 5.

    From Rich Stevens, as if there could be any doubt. If he actually makes a canine version (you just have to move the design to the back so it’s visible), I am so getting one for my hound (who, as it turns out, can wear a human t-shirt in the medium-large size range, just saying).

  • A final comment on the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story recently won by Randall Munroe for the xkcd creation¹ entitled Time was offered up by the son and former scion of nominees Phil & Kaja Foglio²:

    Aw, don’t worry Mom & Dad — if you had to lose to somebody at least you know it was somebody better than you!

    Ouch. I have met Young Master Foglio³ and I didn’t know he had this level of snark in him. Naturally, I also know Somewhat Older Master Foglio and I entirely believe he has this level of snark in him:

    You are now out of the will, me laddo.

    Tough break, kid. Maybe Munroe will adopt you?


Spam of the day:

In that case, you might have ‘introduced’ Henry’s bar towards the reader from the gunman’s eyes –- it could be new to him and you’ll be able to bet he can be looking around pretty carefully.

Congratulations, this is the single least sensical blogspammer text I’ve yet encountered. You can pick up your trophy in Hell.

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¹ To call it an update feels too limiting.

² Cheyenne Wright was also part of the nominated team, but as he lacks a familial relationship to the young man in question, he is the immediate subject of this discussion).

³ It occurs to me that I don’t know if his parents have referred to him by name on the wild interwubs, and so I’m omitting that detail here. He’s pretty easy to spot though — find the Girl Genius booth at a show, look for the young’un that looks exactly like Phil Foglio must have looked at age 12 or so, and that’s him.

Pruning

It didn’t finish where it started (or maybe it did, and wandered in the middle), but “Hurricane” Erika Moen went into deep Twitter musing mode last night, touching on the practical question of how much you can keep in print, and the more philosophical question of what it’s like to have your work visible. The former started simply:

Looking over the inventory we have left of the DAR! books, just down to several boxes of each.

I think I’m gunna have a final “get ‘em while you can!” sale and then discontinue selling them online, sell the remaining copies at cons.

Ideally I’d like to collect everything into one giant uber book, but I’ve got so much going on that I don’t know when I can make it happen.

Stick around long enough, that’s a question you’re always going to have to ponder: when to let things go out of print? Ask Mr Kellett or Mr Guigar about their ever-growing sets of books and how much fun it is to keep them all in inventory and truck ‘em to a show. After all, if you’ve got books 4 – 8, who’s going to buy them if they don’t already have books 1 – 3?¹ Heck, Mr Kurtz put together one enormous digest and let all the constituent books go out of print years ago. But then Moen’s musings took a turn:

If 20-year-old me could have seen that 31-year-old me would still be selling actual BOOKS with ISBN #s of my inane journal scribblings…

The first thing cartoonists always ask me is how to get a bigger audience, how to get people reading their stuff.

It’s like DUDE, enjoy your anonymity while you have it! Get all your stupid and bad comics out of your system now while no one’s watching!

Enjoy figuring
out how you tell tell stories. Make totally pointless, self-indulgent work. Find your voice while no one’s paying attention.

Because then
when people do notice you, you’re not given any leeway. You’ve got standards you have to live up to, judgement to shoulder.

Once people start paying attention and ripping you to shreds for every single word and line you make, creating is not so spontaneous anymore

You don’t
just BAM make a comic, you’ve gotta analyze every possible angle it could get attacked from & decide in advance if it’s worth it.

Heady stuff for the early morning hours, and it shifted again to a monologue on how permanent work should be:

I don’t know where I’m going with this. 20yo me just never imagined that people would buy collections of my angsty scribbles a decade later.

I guess that’s why I’m ok with letting the DAR! books go out of print for a while. My work is so intentional and thought-out now, …

…but back then I was just farting out comics without any forethought at all. Just: BAM! I had a thought? MAKE IT A COMIC.

It’s kind of a relief to think that the 20yo version of myself can go in hibernation for a while and just let me be a 31yo for a while.

The nice
thing about keeping a journal webcomic is that you have this specific time of your life frozen in amber.
The bad thing about keeping a journal webcomic is that YOUR DUMBASS KID SELF IS FOREVER PRESERVED IN AMBER FOR ALL TO SEE 4 EVER.

But she brought it back around to the starting point and stuck the landing:

Anyway, so I guess this is my unplanned, soft announcement that I’m discontinuing online DAR! book sales Sept 30th http://erikamoen.myshopify.com

So go get your DAR! books while you can. And for the record, I like Moen’s thought-out work as well as what she considers (I don’t) to be “farted out”. Oh, and if you weren’t smart enough to get in on the Oh Joy Sex Toy Book-Kicker, she’ll have those up for regular purchase soon. In the meantime, check out her advice for gettin’ you a threeway. If anybody manages that because of Moen’s advice, she will be my hero even more than she already is.

Oh, and for those heading to suburban Maryland next month for SPX, they’ve announced their programming; as usual, it’s a highly-curated, quality-over-quantity slate (one program at a time, at hourly intervals, for thirteen total presentations), with a Q&A spotlight on Raina Telgemeier on Saturday at 1:00pm. If I make it down there, I want to ask Raina if her publishers buy her an ice cream cone for each week one of her books sits on the Times graphic novel bestseller lists. If they don’t, they damn well should.


Spam of the day:

There are numerous other varieties of business letters with each possessing its significance and relevance within the association held between diverse parties.

That’s … that’s almost recognizable English. Good job, blogspammer(s)!

_______________
¹ I despair to think of what Professor[essa]s Foglio will do, what with more than a dozen Girl Genius books in print, and the story only about halfway done. They’ve made comments about starting over again from Book #1 for the second half of the story so as not to scare away customers.

Available Now At Fine Stores And/Or Computers Everywhere

There is so much good stuff available today, it’s almost embarrassing. I honestly don’t know where to start.

  • Out today! Raina Telgemeier has dominated the New York Times bestseller charts for graphic novels with Smile and Drama, and since the Smile sequel Sisters hits today, the only questions to be asked are How long will she stay at #1? and Will she manage the trifecta of Drama coming back to the list? (Smile hasn’t left in more than two years), and Will she pull off the trick of holding the first three positions simultaneously?

    My predictions: At least a month, Probably, and I’d bet ten bucks on it.

  • Out today! But it won’t be a sure thing that I win that ten bucks, because Telgemeier’s Scholastic imprint-mate, Kazu Kibuishi also releases Amulet 6 today. It’s been a long time coming too, what with Kibuishi’s illness in 2012¹, and illustrating the 15th anniversary Harry Potter covers last year, so expect a mountain of demand at bookstores and libraries. Kibuishi and Telgemeier are about to make third quarter very, very lucrative for their publisher.
  • Out today! Scott C has his newest book (his first solo kids book, if memory serves) releasing today, which means you need to make with some hugs. You can, as Mr C observes, hug the person to your left, your right, in front of you, or just the air. Give it a try! And don’t miss out on the HUG A BOOK WEEK events coming up starting on 6 September — hugs, signings, hugsercise, parties, hug obstacle courses, exhibitions, hugs, pizza, and hugs are on deck, with info available at HUGMACHINEBOOK.com. Just keep ‘em little kid-style hugs, not creepy congoer-style, and we’ll be good.
  • Out today! MC Frontalot isn’t a webcomicker, but he’s practically a webcomics character (have you seen the covers of his CDs?). Question Bedtime releases today, with phat [nursery] rhymes for all ages. It’s like a regular rap album, but no need to be concerned if your mom hears you playing it for your niece and nephew.
  • Not specific to today but what the heck! David “Mr Anthology” Malki ! has written a piece in a new anthology of fiction, one that has unlikely and/or hazardous Kickstarters as its unifying theme. HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects has a ton o’ contributors and is available for your Kindle or Kindle equivalent now. Read it, but don’t get any funny ideas, you.

Spam of the day:
None today; I’m in too good a mood to spoil it.

_______________
¹ Bacterial meningitis, the effects of which lingered and robbed him of months of productive time. Speaking with him last year, he told me how recovering necessitated a completely different approach to writing, and that the Harry Potter covers gave him the time to rewire his brain. My suspicion is we’re going to see his new, more structured process of writing results in a tighter, more cohesive story … and Amulets 1-5 were already damn strong on the story end.

Weekend Ho!

That is, I’m looking forward to the weekend, much like Calvin’s Yukon Ho!; I am not referring to anybody as a ho, for the weekend or otherwise.

  • 9000-plus miles¹, dozens of personal appearances, six weeks of excellent guest strips, and at long last Danielle Corsetto can sleep in her own bed tonight. What did we learn?
    • Danielle Corsetto is such a webcomics machine that she needed four assistants to keep up with her in various parts of the trip.
    • Had she not engaged in careful planning, the entire back third of the tour would have been without books; she sold so strongly in the first couple of weeks, she had to make emergency shipments of fresh stock ahead. As it turned out, she didn’t do much re-packing of the car after any of her signings.
    • When it comes to her characters, people want more Thea and Mimi (stars of two guest weeks); me, I was hoping for some quality Clarice and Joshua time, but maybe now that Danielle’s back. Also, Hazel’s mom is badass.
    • Whatever needs to happen in order to incorporate these guest weeks in a future print collection must be done. Hold a Kickstarter to pay the guest artists more for the reprint rights, I’ll chip in. These were wonderful.
  • It’s been a damn busy time for Dean Trippe for the past year or so; Something Terrible changed the direction of his life (and that of many, many other people), and it must have produced an intense desire in him to get the print version exactly right. Looks like he’s finally satisfied that the epilogue will meet his exceedingly high standard:

    Thanks for all your patience and support this year. It’s been great, and terrible, and up-lifting, and soul-crushing, and all of it has been worth every minute to connect with other Batfans and fellow survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Remember I said to watch for my signal? This is it. Let everyone know. It’s time.

    For those of you who didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, you can order a copy of Something Terrible in hardback, and if you weren’t among the (criminally small) audience at Trippe’s San Diego panel, you can listen to it now. Oh, and Eisner nominating committee for next year that has yet to be named? Don’t repeat the oversight of not nominating Trippe for Best Digital Comic this year. He’ll be eligible in whichever print categories and he damn well deserves the recognition.

  • Randall Munroe’s forthcoming What If? print collection, reviewed by Jorge Cham for American Scientist. Despite the title of the review, I encourage any and all curious individuals to try to replicate Munroe’s work, just way the hell away from me since most of them seem to result in the erasure of a significant percentage of the Earth, or Earth’s population.

Spam of the day:

The coal that you just use in your backyard for barbeque performs far more important functions such as generating electricity for individuals in thermal power plants.

Charcoal and coal are not the same thing, by a factor of a couple of million years. Hey, Randall, care to explain the difference to this bozo?

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¹ Or pert-near 15,000 kilometers, if you use proper units.

Friday Afternoon And All’s Well

Let’s just hit you with a quick list of things that caught my eye today, and then we can all enjoy the weekend.

  • What with all the (entirely justified) attention given to the comic-making juggernaut that is Raina Telgemeier, the world at large sometimes overlooks her biggest booster and cheerleader — namely, her husband, Dave Roman. Roman and Telgemeier have been travelling a bit since SDCC, checking out sites and ice cream places far and wide, but now it’s time to get back to the dual tasks of making awesome comics and teaching the next generation to make awesome comics:

    I doing a comics-making workshop at the New York Public Library, St. Agnes Branch, on [Thursday] August 21 from 2:30pm -– 4:00pm.

    This is part of the library’s Authors & Young Writers 2014 program, which is pitched to kids in 4th through 7th grades; you can follow that link for directions to the Upper West Side, and to pre-register.

  • RIP KC’s ass, but also please note what is written underneath that pictorial representation of an ass-related tragedy:

    Next week, we begin… The final chapter of Graveyard Quest. For pretty much all of August and a little Spillover in September, we will see how it all ends.

    In my opinion, Graveyard Quest is Green’s best longform work at Gunshow, even outshining The Anime Club. Speaking of which, there’s a small Anime Club-related character study up at The Medium. Oh Mort, you are such a jerk certainly factually correct in all things and clearly have your mother’s best interests at heart.

  • It’s been just about exactly a month since Shaenon Garrity and Andrew Farago welcomed their first child into the world, and one would hope that the grand adventure they have embarked upon is treating them easily. Although I’ll note that I ran into Farago briefly at SDCC and he had the look of sleep deprivation madness, and then there was this brief Garrity note on the Twitter machine earlier today:

    Tonight, nothing in this world would make me happier than if the baby could learn to fart without screaming. #parenthood

    So much is left unsaid. Is the child screaming in delight, because come on — farts! Or does he get startled by the physical, auditory, and olfactory sensations, reacting in fear? Perhaps it is a scream of pure challenge: World, I send forth this tangible notice of my existence! Tremble before me! In any event, I suspect that the fart/scream decoupling will have to occur before Garrity contemplates returning to Monster of the Week to take on season five of The X-Files, so lets hope the child in question gets on that quickly for all our sakes.

  • Good news:

    Vattu page 572 http://www.rice-boy.com BOOK 2 IS FINISHED

    Vattu is a monumental accomplishment. I wonder how much more there will be?

    2 MORE BOOKS TO GO

    Oh, well that’s good, then. Okay, looking forward to Book 3 next week.

    No Vattu updates for about a month, now! Gotta write and work on other stuff.

    Well, poop. Citizens are urged to remain calm. If only there were a good reason for the hiatus!

    I hope that is cool with everybody. Main concern is that book 3 is the most densely-plotted thing i have ever written…
    …and i need to nail down some stuff in the writing. it will be better for this break.

    Based on past pronouncements from Evan Dahm about where in the story various things were happening, we may well expect Books 3 and 4 to be considerably longer than 1 and 2. Okay, Dahm, you’ve got your month, and furthermore, I’m looking forward to what you will do with this story.


Spams of the day:

Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But imagine if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

And …

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

I’m just going to let the two of you fight this one out.

Good Stuff, All Around

First off, a final update on the Randy Queen/Escher Girls circumstances of the past couple of days: Ami Angelwings first posted a bit of good news:

Since yesterday, I’ve had private contact with Randy Queen. He’s apologized to me & I’ve accepted it. He is withdrawing the DMCA complaints.

Tumblr has yet to restore the content, and I hope they will soon.

I am also making sure that the DMCA complaints will not count against EG or the Tumblr users that submitted content to EG that was removed.

That’s pretty much the best possible resolution, and kudos to Queen for stepping up and acting in a way that showed he really was serious about making amends. But then Ms Angelwings took it a step further and became perhaps the classiest person in the history of Tumblr, and possibly the internet:

I consider the matter over, and I wish Randy Queen well. Please spread this around if you also spread the initial controversy.

If you’re a media outlet that’s been following this story, please update that he has apologized to me personally & withdrawn the takedowns.

And that I accept his apology, am checking with Tumblr to make sure the content is restored, & consider the situation resolved.

I know sometimes the controversy gets a lot of play & ppl miss the retraction/resolution, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. :)

A full statement regarding the resolution (including the fact that Tumblr wasn’t quite so quick to remove content without notice as was previously thought) can be found here. Here’s hoping that the next time a dispute of this nature crops up, people can act with a modicum of the patience and maturity that Ami Angelwings (and, eventually, Randy Queen) showed over the past couple of days.

Let’s follow up a story that turned out good with one that started good, ‘kay? There’s a new Humble Bundle in town, one of the occasional ones that is webcomic-heavy; rather than reprint collections of online work this one contains a stack o’ comic books by webcomics creators.

To wit: the present Humble Books Bundle is sponsored by BOOM! Studios, and they are using webcomics-related books as a premium reward. So for the next (as of this writing, not quite thirteen days) you can get nine different BOOM! title (39 issues in all, including the complete runs of Imagine Agents, Curse, and Hit) in digital form for any contribution amount at all.

If you contribute more than the average of all contributions (as of this writing US$9.96), you also unlock six more titles (36 more issues, including the complete run of Six-Gun Gorilla and Hacktivist) with more to be added later. And if you contribute more than US$15, you unlock the Webcomics Bonanza:

Put another way, I happen to have issues 1-8 of The Midas Flesh right here, for which I paid US$3.99 (plus tax) apiece, a total of more than US$34². If you donate the requisite fifteen bucks, you’ll get the the entire series for less than half of what I paid (okay, digital rather than physical copies, but that just means you don’t have to find shelf space for ‘em, and they’re DRM free), plus another 85 issues of comics for free.

That’s an average of just over sixteen cents per issue spread across the 93 issues, meaning it doesn’t matter if you hate an entire run — it’s beyond cheap and you can spread around the donation between the creators and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. If you missed the Ryan Northiest story of all time, this is the perfect time to grab onto it and support a great cause at the same time. Well done, BOOM! and Humble Bundle, Inc.


Spam of the day:

Sailboats and horses might be mandatory just to have to some objectives.

Dude³, if you’re keeping a horse on your sailboat, you are going to get exactly what you deserve.

______________
¹ Who were lucky/foolish enough to buy a house earlier this week; congratulations/condolences to them on this major life achievement/neverending nightmare.

² I bought them in various states as I travelled for work, so I can’t be more specific than that, sorry. this one contains a stack o, and Ryan

³ Or lady-dude, to be inclusive, but let’s face it — ladies have too many brains to expect spam like this to actually work so it’s totally a dude.

What [Not] To Do

Want advice on getting ahead in [web]comics? We’ve got it in spades today!


Spam of the day:

Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

I believe that we dealt with this a little more than a month ago; do try to keep up.

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¹ This is by far the best use of that potato salad thing I’ve seen.

² If he ever offers you the candy corn-infused vodka, find a way to politely decline; trust me on this.

³ Minus the votey, darn.

Almost The Last Time I’ll Mention It

I’ve been on quite a tear about Jim Zub lately, because he’s an example of what this page concerns itself with — a creator that is focused on good work, and owning as much of it as possible. He’s also incredibly generous with the hard-won knowledge that he’s accumulated from a decade or more of struggling upwards to the point where he can seem like an overnight success. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a damn fine writer (and underutilized artist), and so when he’s got a project coming out, I am more than happy to pimp the crap out of it.

I’ve mentioned his upcoming creator-owned series, Wayward, and how it’s very, very good, and how it will arrive in about a month’s time. The last part is most important because — due to a detail in how comics are distributed — a key milestone will occur on Monday. Pretty much every comic is distributed through one company, Diamond¹, and they have something called final order cutoff whereby retails can adjust their orders 20 days before shipping; for Wayward, FOC is on Monday.

What this means is, if you are interested in Zub’s work, if you want to give Wayward a shot, you should tell your local comic shop this weekend, so they can adjust their order by Monday’s deadline. Publishers that subscribe to FOC will adjust their print runs based on these numbers, meaning an under-anticipated title may be difficult to find, and may even not make sufficient sales to be continued despite demand.

Off the top of my head, Lumberjanes, Midas Flesh, and Figment — all from the past year, and all with webcomicker-heavy creative teams– were under-ordered and people had difficulty finding them when they launched; fortunately, they seem to have rallied and went back to press as necessary². For Wayward, first issue sales (and the drop — or hopefully rise — between first and second issue sales) will be critical in determining if it continues or maybe just gets one story arc before wrapping up.

So it’s be-counted time; if you like creators being able to make their own stuff — and ten minutes discussion with any creator will reveal that it’s the stories and characters they create for (and own!) themselves that they value over any work-for-hire gigs, no matter how high-profile and prestigious — you can help perpetuate that by not just resolving to buy a comic, but by letting a retailer know that you want to buy a comic.

That one action will help to keep Zub’s creator-owned work viable, which in turn will make creator-owned work from other creators look like a good risk to the publishers, retailers, and market in general. It’s a small thing, but it’s got a multiplicative effect.


Spam of the day:

“The best method all of us towards just where we want to be go winning tournament for instance and any other signs is with them,’ LaForge announced, who will be preparing a placed statement

Man, don’t even. Geordi never said any damn thing about it. Quit putting words in his mouth.

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¹ The wisdom of having an entire industry of independent shops dependent on just one company is a topic best left for another time but damn, there needs to be competition in this business again. Case in point: there’s an alternate distributor out there that pretty much handles self-published books only, which means my local shop is now offering a number of books by Brad Guigar, and is starting to pick up the Evil, Inc collections. However, it’s a small minority of shops that work with these alternate channels.

² As it turns out, they are all also limited series, so it wasn’t as likely they would be canceled due to low initial sales; however, an underprinted issue is the same as leaving money on the table, for both publisher and creative team.

Spam of the day:

Roadtrips And Fundings And Fantasy Castings, Oh My

You always wonder if the aftermath of a big show is going to be a dead time, news-wise, but somehow webcomicdom always comes up with fresh stuff. It’s amazing, really. Oh, and the mention I made ‘tother day about Colleen AF Venable leaving :01 Books for an art director gig elsewhere? There’s a job posting up if you’re in New York and are a design pro.

  • No word yet if Bill Barnes has had to turn around from the front seat and tell his kids If you don’t settle down I swear I’m turning this thirteen month long roadtrip around, but given there’s still twelve months and twenty-nine days to go, I’d bet that the odds of it happening at least once are pretty good. You can keep track of his dispatches from the road (either to try to catch up to him or to get out of Dodge before he arrives), and if you want to book him to speak at your venue (he travels to libraries around the world), that can be arranged, too.
  • Wonderella’s temporary hiatus to prep for a volume three Kickstarter continues, but the latest (and possibly last) preview of KS-related swag is up now in advance of the campaign launch on Friday. In case the cover, this print, and this print aren’t enough, how about the chance for a piece of personalized art? Specifically, Wonderella chronicler Justin Pierce will draw you as a mermaid or centaur and that may be the best thing ever.
  • Well, maybe the second best thing ever. KB “Otter” Spangler of A Girl And Her Fed and the Rachel Peng novel series was setting up a Patreon when it went live-ish about two hours ago, placeholders and all. One quick cleanup later, the campaign is actually live and it features one of the best rewards I’ve ever seen:

    Dick jokes. Not necessarily unclean dick jokes, delivered to your email box every weekday, for US$5/month:

    This joke might be NSFW. Or it might be a regular old knock-knock joke as told by a hang-gliding penis. Or it could feature my new stick figure characters, Richard Dickerson the Third and Martha Von Vagerton (of the Connecticut Von Vagertons).

    There’s a decent chance that Dick and Martha’s relationship will deteriorate into daily knife fights.

    So just like The Lockhorns, then.

    To ease you into the type of thing you can expect from the Daily Dick Joke package¹ please enjoy these two samples that Spangler has made public: Dick and Martha (their mutual psychosexual loathing is already apaprent), and a rather cheerful penis making a dad joke. It appears that as of this writing, every one of Spangler’s Patreon backers is opting for dick jokes or better (we’ve all got an inner 13 year old), so I’m hoping that Spangler eventually collects these for print; at an estimated 250 jokes per year, this could make an interesting annual project.

  • The AV Club is featuring a lot of comics content this week, and one of their primary articles today concerns who they would cast in movie versions of various comic strips; along with the usual syndicated strips your parents have heard of, they dropped in two of the best webcomics running today. For Meredith Gran’s Ocotpus Pie they suggest Brenda Song and Greta Gerwig for Eve and Hannah², respectively. For Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona, they offer up Felicia Day, Robert Downey, Jr, and Michael Fassbender as Nimona, Lord Ballister Blackheart, and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin.

    Those three are the only characters of note in Nimona, but Octopie has a large and varied cast (nearly all of whom have had POV chapters devoted to them), so the question is open: who would play Marek, Will, and Marigold? What about Puget Sean, Jane, Olly, and Eve’s mom? Clearly Eff-Nocka should be played by his real-life inspiration, and I’m pretty sure Rudy Guiliani isn’t doing anything too important to make a cameo, so that just leaves two critical casting decisions4. Any ideas? Drop ‘em in the comments.


Spam of the day:

Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb blog!

Chris Sims, is that you?

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¹ So to speak.

² Who is incorrectly identified as selling pot; as we all know, Hanna bakes pastries while 100% high for for years³, supplying high-end shops throughout New York City.

³ Fun math fact: the 61,320 hours that Hanna cited in that strip corresponds to exactly seven years, but that strip ran in December of 2011, meaning she’s likely up to 84,528 hours as of today.

4 Victor and America Jones .

I wish I could get that sparkly effect to work in-line with the rest of the text, but oh well.