The webcomics blog about webcomics

I Think That Went Well

The Drive hardcover Kickstart has wrapped, and Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett has come up about eight bucks shy of 300% funding¹, which means we all get fancy endpapers, ribbon bookmarks, spot gloss, dust covers, a stack of e-books, and a download of STRIPPED along with our comics. Yikes, givin’ away the store, LArDK!

When the campaign launched, I noted that Kellett’s trick of giving the heads-up to his Patreon supporters (giving them first crack at limited rewards — very smart) skewed the first-day numbers, preventing my usual analysis with the Fleen Funding Formula (Mark II). Now that it’s all said and done, I’m going to see what the FFF mk2 would have predicted and compare against the actual finish.

To reiterate: the FFF mk2 looks at the Kicktraq projection at the 24-30 hour mark and divides that value by 4 for the midpoint of the projection. That midpoint is further divided by 5 to get the margin of error². That gives Drive a predicted finish of US$110K +/- 22K, or a range of US$88K to US$132K. Actual finish: US$104.7, or pretty damn close to the midpoint. For contrast, the McDonald Ratio³ predicts US$97K, also well within the margin of error (and likely more accurate for lower-backer-count campaigns). This is the first head-to-head comparison I’ve had for the two tools, and I’m tentatively convinced (ask me again after another dozen trials) that they’re equally useful.

Now starts the long wait for printing and shipping and setting up Gumroad with all the digital downloads; the books should go out around February, by which time we’ll have built up another two or three Tales From The Drive guest stories, and who knows how much more details of the Pilot’s War and the Second Spanish Empire. Can’t wait to see where it all leads.


Spam of the day:

Strathmore Professional — Congratulations! You’ve been selected to Join Strathmore’s Who’s Who Network

Damn, I thought somebody was going to offer me Strathmore paper that I could give to an artist friend. Stupid spammers.

______________
¹ It’s actually closer to three hundo, but eight bucks sounds funnier.

² Futher, the FFF mk2 is only used for campaigns that have at least 200 backers in that initial period.

³ From Kel McDonald’s observation that the first three days equals one third of the final total

Places To Examine Your Conscience

Some of these will concern you, some will grab at your sense of empathy, some will intrigue; basically we’re all over the place today.

  • I’m very interested to see what the unintended consequences of a new law in California concerning the sales of autographs/autographed memorabilia will do to the major comics shows. Via the twitterfeed of author Amy Stewart, a new law (presumably intended to keep people from buying fake autographs/tchotchkes for big bucks) will require any signed item (think books and art) costing more than five damn dollars (think: everything) to come with a certificate of authenticity with a seven year retention requirement.

    It might be that people at SDCC next year are forced into the charade of selling books/prints/whatever and making the person who bought it then come back for a separate signature. It may be that the “signed & sketched” price variant is actually illegal. It may mean that California-residing creators can no longer supply pre-signed merch to stores (think Raina Telgemeier and the signed copies that bookstores have of Ghosts … they’ll have to dump stock yesterday or risk sanctions that I don’t know how to determine under California’s Civil Code).

    Okay, the summary of the bill indicates that the person signing things is exempt, but resellers appear not to be. Raina can sign a book without recordkeeping, but any comic shop or bookstore with a signed by the author! sticker on books is potentially screwed. California creators/vendors, your thoughts please.

  • From Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, a dispatch regarding a Kickstarter that’s burning up the webcomics category in two languages:

    Commit Strip, the strip about the daily life of coders, has launched a Kickstarter for their new book collection, and their first in English, at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/commitstrip/commitstrip-rise-of-the-coders-a-book-about-the-fu. And about 24 hours in they [had] already blown past twice their (admittedly modest) goal. Note that, much like the Last Man campaign, they have rewards in multiple languages but had to set up a separate page for the French description of the campaign as Kickstarter does not support campaigns in multiple languages.

    That last bit surprises me. I wonder if KS would object if you just had a bunch of text in more than one language, or set up support alternating languages but with identical price points and rewards. Certainly that would be a pain; I wonder what our friends to the bilingual north think about this particular feature lack.

  • We’ve spoken here at Fleen about Something Terrible, and the burden that Dean Trippe has taken upon himself, because the key thing about being Batman is, you don’t want any other people to have to be Batman. Your trauma defined your adulthood, but you can use that to help others not become as I Am The Night as you wound up; for Trippe, it means making himself available¹ to other survivors of childhood sexual abuse and creating his own impromptu Bat-Family, meeting and offering solace to one person at a time.

    But there’s more people out there than you can meet one at a time that need him, so Trippe’s gone the media route. Last Friday saw the launch of the Something Terrible podcast, hosted by Trippe and no doubt finding its own direction for future episodes. Trippe calls it a mission², I call it a most unfortunately necessary public service that I absolutely will not be listening to; I’m not burying my head in the sand, but in order to keep myself where I need to be to help when necessary³, I need to deal with trauma-bearing people individually, in person, as the need arises. I can’t go seeking them out.

    But those on the other side of the equation, who don’t have my luxury of distancing themselves? Who need Batman to avoid becoming Batman? The Something Terrible podcast is going to be a godsend. Here’s hoping you never have to subscribe.


Spam of the day:

Search For Baby Shower Gifts Options

The one part of the patriarchy and general male privilege that I will gleefully engage in is the general pass I get for baby showers. I know that makes me a terrible feminist, but this is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me. I will die in it at the stake. PS: Benedick rules.

______________
¹ I suspect, on occasion, to his own detriment. Dean, there’s a reason that they tell you to secure your own mask before helping others — if you aren’t well and whole, you can’t be of assistance to them, no matter how much they need it. Don’t overdo it, please.

² A very Batman-like approach to it, I must say.

³ Occasional reminder: I am an active Emergency Medical Technician.

Flight Later Today, So You Get A Roundup

YOU get an event, and YOU get an event, EVERYBODY gets an event to go to!

  • In conjunction with NYCC (which, ahem, has decided not to credential me), there will be an off-site, open to everybody pair of events at a branch of the NY Public Library during NYCC weekend. First up: Friday, 7 October in Greenwich Village at the Jefferson Market Library from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Guests include Ryan North and Box Brown. Then on Saturday the 8th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the 53rd Street Library, the all-ages panel will include Rebecca Mock and Carey Pietsch. The events are free, but do require registration, so hit the links to reserve your spot.
  • No time to bask in the glory of Geniusdom, Gene Luen Yang is on tour for the latest Secret Coders collection — featuring Mike Holmes on art — from :01 Books, starting tomorrow at the National Book Festival in DC. He’ll be bouncing around — New York, Naperville, IL, Cincinnati, Dallas, Albuquerque, and Denver — for the next ten days or so. Locations, dates, and times here.
  • Big news for Ben HatkeZita The Spacegirl has been picked up for animation by Fox; as she so often does, Heidi Mac’s The Beat has the story by Alexander Lu, who seems to be getting all the good stories lately. There’s hardly a better story for middle grade readers than Zita, so I’m looking forward to the final product. In the meantime, Hatke’s on tour to promote Mighty Jack, starting Monday in Louisville, Kentucky and bouncing mostly around the midwest until 4 October (special congrats to Naperville, which also shows up on Hatke’s schedule). Details and dates here.
  • The Check, Please! Kickstarter has passed the three-day mark, meaning we can now compare the FFF mk2 with the McDoanld Ratio — named for Kel McDonald, who predicts that the first three days of funding will equal one third the total — and see how they stack up. Recall that the very steep dropoff after day one (representing fanatical, pent-up, no-delay-brooked demand instead of a more gradual decision to yeah, I’ll back that) throws off the Fleen Funding Formula (Mark II). The day three total is US$206,586, giving an MR value of US$619,758, against an FFF mk2 value of US$750K +/- 150K — approximately in line with each other (at least, in the same order of magnitude); we’ll be able to see which came closer in another 28 days.

Spam of the day:

REPLACE MISSING TEETH IN A DAY!

Dude, if you were able to repair what was shown in that photo (it was gross) in a day, the arc of Raina Telgemeier’s career would have been very different. You lyin’.

An Unusually Busy Wednesday

I promise, it will eventually become clear why I have a picture of Frank and Ike up top, but if you’re expecting a quote from Thing-Fish, you’re probably on the right track.

  • Let’s go to David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc and semi-pro Mr Bean impersonator), who notes in the comments yesterday that he’s also blocked from accessing Oh Joy, Sex Toy [NSFW if your work sucks], on the basis of “Pornography”. It’s not an accurate basis, but if you’re gonna block stuff, porn makes more sense than education.

    Morgan-Mar speculates further than his test may have resulted in a black mark on his personnel record, but due to good fortune, it probably only counts as 90% of a black mark, as he’s now only 90% of an employee¹:

    1a. My Patreon campaign has reached the significant milestone of $700 per month. I set this up as a goal to enable me to reduce my salaried working hours from 10 to 9 days per fortnight, freeing up a full day every 2 weeks to make more comics and do other creative activities. The first immediate effect is a doubling of new Irregular Webcomic! output, from 2 strips to 4 strips a week. I have a business trip last week of September, so this change will take effect from Monday 3 October. Thank you to all the patrons who have enabled this!

    1b. To help enable the change to 4 new strips a week and mesh with my time away on the business trip, IWC’s new strip schedule will change from Sunday/Thursday to Monday/Thursday for the week 25 Sep-1 Oct, and then to Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri beginning on Monday 3 October. Other days will be reruns with new commentary.

    Congratulations to Morgan-Mar, and to all that have helped him to make more comics.

  • Meanwhile, a long-awaited pair of books is on the horizon, as Danielle Corsetto announced Girls With Slingshots Books 9 and 10, bringing the longrunning webcomic (currently in recolored reruns with director’s commentary) to a conclusion in print. Please note the unusually tight turnaround — there are but ten days to raise the oddly-specific amount of US$10,934. The short duration is so that Corsetto can hopefully get the books to people in time for the holidays.
  • As long as we’re at Kickstarter, the campaign for book 2 of Check, Please! is tearing up the site, with more than 2000 backers and US$180,000 pledged in a bit more than 24 hours. The Fleen Funding Formula, Mark II would have us believe that Ngozi Ukazu would reap on the order of US$750K +/- US$150K, but I notice something here that tends to give the formula a bit of trouble:

    There was an enormous first-day surge, and then a tremendous drop-off to day 2 … the same thing happened with the This Is Fine plush, which led to an overestimation. While there’s certainly a history of KS campaigns dropping off after the first day, pent-up demand of this sort tends to skew the math. I’ma wait to see what the McDonald Ratio says after tomorrow and decide if the FFF mk2 needs tweaking, but heck if I won’t be thrilled if Check, Please! actually hits the 750 large.

  • Elsewhere on the web, Larry El Santo Cruz has been absent from Webcomics Overlook for about forever, but he’s back! An account of the Blerch Run in Seattle on Sunday, an analysis of Webcomics: Still A Thing? yesterday, and a piece on webcomics, webtoons, and phones today. It’s the middle one I want to talk about.

    El Santo’s a smart guy, and if he’s musing on if webcomics is still a meaningful term, I’m all ears. I got pulled up short, though, when he concluded his comparison of webcomics against its nearest competitors (newspaper strips once, memes now) with this description:

    Webcomics exist in that nebulous undefined region between passing fad and real art, with aspiring artists edging toward the latter. But… due to the market reality, most webcomics are not the best in either field. Too good to be a meme, not got enough to be art.

    I get what he’s trying to say, but to say that webcomics are not got [sic] enough to be art is, at best, short-sighted. To pull up merely the most recent examples of webcomics embodying art — and here, I’m defining that as the ability to convey point of view and emotion, not merely the visual component — consider two Achewoods and one Schlock Mercenary of current vintage.

    Everything you need to know about Ray, Cornelius, and Téodor is encapsulated in that wordplay; the depth of character is staggering, whether you’ve ever visited Achewood before or not. And I’d challenge you to find a bit of dialogue that expresses the costs of soldiering — a topic that is overlooked far too easily while we engage in prominent displays of support for the troops — more succinctly or with deeper understanding than that discussion between an uplifted polar bear, a four-armed alien, and a sociopathic amorphous blob with a sudden attack of conscience. To paraphrase the immortal Ike Willis, I got yo art hangin’, boy².

    Which is me being overly wordy in saying: we settled this a long time ago. Webcomics are comics. Comics are art. The transitive closure is left as an exercise for the reader, as is my instruction that you all bookmark The Webcomics Overlook and pay attention to El Santo.

  • Hey, the next Science Comic from Dantecus Shepherr is up, this one dealing with the refrigeration cycle; per the note at the bottom of the comic, the artwork for this one (and the rest of the series) will be part of a gallery show in Belfast, Maine from Friday. Shepherr will be there, so drop in and say howdy to him in the actual art gallery because webomics are art, goddammit.

Spam of the day:

SeniorSoulmates — ???r??R?l?t??n??????t?rt??With a Date

Please do not send me spam for senior citizen dating. I’m not that old, and the hidden control characters in your text make me suspect you’re looking not for old people to get laid, but for old people to steal from with evil embedded code. Drop dead.

_______________
¹ Morgan-Mar’s newsbox isn’t directly linkable, so I have copied all the relevant text.

² ‘long wit a two-week supply of IGNINT McNUGGET, de breakfast o’ champiums!

Fairly Enraging

Okay, so I make it a policy to not read certain comics during the work hours — NSFW means something different to everybody, after all. But a misclick today brought up a blocker when the browser requested Oh Joy, Sex Toy, which is fair enough. Everybody has a right to decide what is displayed in their own environs. But the reason cited — that’s pissing me the hell off and fairly emblematic of so many damn problems we have because America, as a country, is way too hung¹ up about sex. Not blocked for sexual content or situations, not blocked on the basis of explicitness, blocked because sex education is forbidden. This one time, I’ma say Screw you, nanny filter; you suck.

Let’s talk about happier things, any of which should have contributed the header image for today’s post instead of that dumbassery. In fact, let’s have multiple header images because these other items deserve it.

The Ghosts tour rolled into Minneapolis last night and I’ve never seen a crowd of 10 to 14 year olds so physically unable to sit still, they were vibrating at the excitement of being in the same room as Raina Telgemeier. The presentation is a tight half-hour of Ghosts read-along (with audience sound effects), inspirations, past books, and how comics are made. The crowd was larger than what’s shown in the photo by at least a third in that room, plus an overflow room down the hall. The folks at UMinn had the signing down to a science, with numbered tickets being called in groups of twenty, and comics-drawing activities for those waiting. A++++, would attend again.

Boulet’s avatar generator is now an app, with an even wider range of features and expressions. Download the Bouletmaton for Android, and I dunno about Apple but if this means for once we get the app first and the iPhone users gotta wait, I’m fine with that.

Ngozi Ukazu does a hella cute, irregularly scheduled webcomic about college hockey that I can only read about twice a year because I have to read the story in chunks. She had a hella blowout Kickstarter for a Year One print edition last spring, and she’s just blown the damn doors off of the Year Two campaign, launching (as of this writing) in the past three hours and already past 1300 backers and 117 damn thousand American dollars cash money, holy crap.

Speaking of Kickstarter, Brandon Bird just put one up for his latest creative project — I have internally referred to each of these as an Art Thing — and it’s a doozy. Bird wants to make a lowrider dedicated to the late Jerry Orbach: half art car, half statement of purpose for a life lived following your muse, wherever that leads. In this case, hopefully, to an impromptu back-alley competition to see whose Jerry Orbach tribute car can bounce the highest.

Who wants serialied fiction? T Kingfisher, the authorial pseudonym of Digger² creator Ursula Vernon had one of those stories that just wouldn’t go away, and so wrote out 90,000 words and has decided that her Patreon support is such that she can release it for free, Tuesdays and Thursdays (with bonus material on Sundays) until it’s complete. It’s a through-the-portal story, but not the kind you read as kids, which starts with a young girl named Summer — not allowed to do anything thanks to her overprotective mother — being surprised by the sight of a house on chicken legs over the back fence.

Baba Yaga is nobody’s kindly fairy godmother, and when she offers Summer her heart’s desire (or to suck the marrow from her bones … could go either way, really) it’s pretty certain that wherever Summer ends up, she’s going to come back different — sadder, wiser perhaps, very possibly scarred inside or out. Summer In Orcus starts today; read the introduction to get where Vernon’s coming from, then dive into Chapter 1 and join me in counting down to Thursday.

Finally, Tillie Walden picked up a couple of Ignatzen over the weekend (Promising New Talent for I Love This Part and Outstanding Artist for The End Of Summer), and the :01 Books twitterfeed (with whom she has a book coming; :01, not the twitterfeed) tells us that she’s about to start a weekly webcomic on top of everything else. Per Broken Frontier, it’s titled On A Sunbeam, it debuts next Wednesday, the 28th, and will run weekly. It’s early to tell where the story is going to go, but I’m getting a rebellious prep school students in space vibe, which is a combination of words that pleases me.


Spam of the day:

From: Andrea Chamberlin
To: Me, that is to say, Gary
Message: Hi George, Just checking the emails is this a good one for you?

Tom

Every single name wrong. Good job, team. Good job. Lotta hustle.

_______________
¹ Heh … he said hung.

² Obligatory reminder: I loves me some Digger.

“As Long As He Brings Us Profiteroles”

You had to be there, but trust me, it was hilarious.


Spam of the day:

Belize Real Estate — Amazing Investment Properties: Now Available

Do I look like a self-deluded dickhead on House Hunters International that is demanding a 4000 square foot center-hall McMansion with all the mod-cons for US$75,000 in an overseas location? Because I assure you, I am an entirely different dickhead.

Doop De Doo, Just Gettin’ Ready To Have Dinner With A Favorite Comicker, How ‘Bout You?

Fun fact: my brother's chihuahua mix is named "Shakes", but not for "Shakespeare". For "Shakes the Clown" (the CITIZEN KANE of alcoholic clown movies!).

Pretty sweet being an unpaid hack webcomics pseuojournalist, sometimes. Pret-ty sweet. Here’s what caught my eye today.

  • Peace, Good Tickle-Brain is not a webcomic I’ve known of previously, which means I need to have words with one Mister E[ric] B[urns]-White, seeing as how he’s my go-to guy for literary things and P,GT-B is mostly dedicated to Shakespeare. I noticed it today because an older strip (it’s from April) has been linked about in the sosh meeds, and it combines two of my favorite things: Shakespearian plays and flowcharts, to help you find the play that’s right for you.

    And you know what? It works. As I encountered each question I answered in the way that was most appropriate for one of my favorites (Twelfth Night, Merry Wives of Windsor, Comedy of Errors, Henry V, and especially Much Ado About Nothing) and BAM! Arrived at the correct destination each time. It’s foolproof!

    There’s also scads of play-appropriate comics (example: taking a French woman to see the Olivier version of Henry V, a comic which ran on the vigil of Crispian Crispianus), and if that’s not enough for you, check out the Three Panels series of comics (examples of which are linked above). Willy Shakes only ever aspired to create popular entertainment; if he was around today, you can damn well bet he’d be doing a graphic novel adaptation or two.

    On top of everything else, creator Mya Gosling is into rock climbing, which is the closest thing to a sport I’ve ever voluntarily engaged in. Go read the whole site, it starts just about three years back updating twice a week, so there’s a decent (but not forbidding) archive trawl.

  • From the mailbag: Web- and indie-comickers Shing Yin Khor, Elan’ Trinidad (previously noted here for his work on God™¹), and Marc Palm, and scientific illustrator Reid Psaltis (dinosaurs!) have communicated to say that they’ve collaborated on illustrations for the weirdest, funnest project I’ve seen in quite a while:

    Dream It! Screw It! lovingly mocks the history of Disney theme parks. This art book parody tells the life story of Dipp Disney – Walt’s drunk, dumb cousin with a job for life at Imagineering – through dozens of his Disney attraction ideas rightfully rejected for being too impractical, violent, sexy, insane, or all of the above.

    Words are from humorist and Disney Princesses author Geoffrey Golden, who taglined the project as Rides Too Dumb For Disneyland. Dream It! Screw It! is published by Devastator and releases on 28 September. A release party/reading with free churros will take place at WACKO in LA on 15 October from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.


Spam of the day:

Whats the best thing about Toilet Paper Coupons

I confess, I haven’t given this one a lot of thought.

_______________
¹ Full title: “God™ © 2XX8 *** ***** ****** ******* Incorporated. All rights reserved. God and all related characters, titles, names and documents are trademarks of *** ***** ****** ******* Incorporated. No similarity between any of the names, characters, persons and/or institutions in this deity with those of any living or dead person or institutions is intended and any such similarity which may exist is purely coincidental.

Mediaday

I was going to call this one Booksday, but it’s not just books dropping today. Ready for the list?

But it’s not just dead tree releases that you should be paying attention to; for those of you that like to listen to things, I have a pair of podcasts of note:

  • Big Data episode one from Ryan Estrada, et al, drops today, with the start of a story about a plot to steal the internet. What I find most interesting about Big Data is actually the presence of a seemingly minor character: Manisha, as played by Sasha Roopen. Indian call center representative Manisha was the star of Estrada’s This Is How You Die story, Shiv Sena Riot, then she was the (or at least the moral center) of Estrada’s Broken Telephone, and now she’s here. She’s the constant of the Estradaverse, definitively linking the various stories into one continuity. Neat.
  • Can I Pet Your Dog? episode 60, from Maximum Fun also drops today, with special guests Jeph Jacques and his enormous floof of a dog, Shelby (star of webcomics and the floor of Jeph’s house). Every Great Pyrenees I’ve ever met has been a damn cool dog, and Jacques tells you more about Shelby here, but if you want to know about a dog, you don’t read about it — you listen to that dog’s person/people tell stories about the good boy/girl in question. Even if you’re a cat person, you should give Can I Pet Your Dog? a listen because dogs rule.

Spams of the day:

fantastic franchise opportunity

and

your bankruptcy options

I think it’s probably significant that both of these are coming from the same address.

Start Scrolling

It’s always a good day when Randall Munroe decides to drop an extra-large comic on us, because he’s usually explaining something super complicated in an easy to understand format. Today: global warming for the past 20 centuries, in a manner that even Congresscritters in the pocket of extraction industries can understand.

  • Speaking of unspeakably complex things, David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc and semi-pro Mr Bean impersonator)¹ has an announcement for those of you that like puzzles:

    This competition involves solving 25 puzzles plus a metapuzzle over a period of a week, during which new puzzles are released daily. The puzzles come with no instructions provided, and are intended to be solved by teams of up to 5 people. The top teams, from anywhere in the world, will win prizes.

    Yep, one a’ those deals, where it helps to have members that know every sports record in history, the subject-verb-object rules of Linear B, Morse code, Braille, five kinds of math most people don’t know even exist, and the names of all 151 Pokemon in the original Japanese². Registration starts today, competition begins in four weeks, and runs for a week. You should read the full rules and especially the solving guide, and maybe tell work you’re taking off that week. Happy puzzling!

  • Speaking of puzzling, it’s puzzling that in all of the bits I’ve written regarding the treasure trove of books to release tomorrow, I somehow neglected to include Vera Brosgol’s Leave Me Alone! — about a very perturbed grandmother who just wants to be left in peace with her knitting — is one of those books. You’ve still got a few hours to pre-order it, which enters you for a chance to win an original painting from the book; just email a photo or screencap of your pre-order to Brosgol before tomorrow and you’re in the running.
  • Very big news: returning to webcomics (it’s been a long damn time since FreakAngels), Internet Jesus aka Dr Whisky aka Warren Ellis will be teaming up with Colleen Doran on art (their first teamup since Orbiter, I believe), to produce a story called Finality, at the LINE Webtoon platform site. Even more interesting, the news was broken not at a comic site, but at Entertainment friggin’ Weekly. No definite start date for the 26-part weekly series, but damn … EW.

Spam of the day:

Explore Yoga Deals Results

I think you probably sent this to the wrong person. My chakras are awesome, thanks.

_______________
¹ I really need to write myself a macro or something for that boilerplate.

² Alternately, find somebody that decoded all the hidden messages in a season of Archer to reveal a massive Krieger-run Easter Egg conspiracy.

Here Are Things You Should Do Today

Some days, there’s nothing but good news. Let’s be happy together.

  • I don’t know if you saw this yesterday, but Hope Larson (who is one of like four creators¹ whose new project I will buy blind at the comic store) has given comic creators everywhere a gift:

    If you want to write comics but aren’t sure how to start, I’ve uploaded the script for Goldie Vance #1 (for free): https://gumroad.com/l/nPdQZ

    You’ve got a hankering to write comics, but aren’t sure how to make that work? Larson’s sharing a complete script, which you can compare against the final issue for like three bucks in the recent issues bins at your local comic shop (or event better, by pre-ordering the first trade, on account of once you read the first issue, you won’t want to stop). And she’s clear about something: this is not the way to write a comic, but it is a way to do so, and a pretty successful one at that, because Goldie Vance is a damn good book.

    There’s not a lot of creators that make it to a measure of accomplishment and see that the most important thing they can do in their careers is to make it easier for the next generation of creators to follow in their footsteps; if nothing else, making younger creators better is going to create competition in the future, so it’s an act of both confidence² and altruism together.

  • It is long standing policy at this blog that while many creators are great at what they do, or even unsurpassed at some particular aspect of comics, only one is best with no qualifiers. Kate Beaton is best, you guys. On the off chance I haven’t mentioned it enough recently, her second childrens book, King Baby, is out next Tuesday and now is your shot to pre-order it. It’s charming as hell, I have two copies on order so I can give them to my nieces who have each recently had their first kids (one back in March, one just a few weeks ago — instant cousins!) on account of they aren’t getting the copy that Kate gave me in San Diego because it’s mine.

    Today’s the best possible day to reinforce Beaton’s bestness with that pre-order, by the way, seeing as how today is her birthday. Do you love everything she’s given us, for free, for years and years now? Do you — as all right thinking folk do — know in your heart that nothing is better than Beaton’s comics about her visits home to see family, starring her Mom & Dad? Do you want her to be able to keep making these things? Well, people gotta eat, and since she steadfastly refuses to charge for the Momics, buying her books is the best insurance that she’ll keep delighting us — and again, I must stress this next bit — for free.

    Oh, and keep an eye on TopatoCo, on account of your Fat Pony Plush is about to get a friend. Even if your budget doesn’t allow even small purchases, at the least join with me now: Happy Birthday, Kate, and thank you. You are best.


Spam of the day:

Hi How are you? I must confess that you’re a nice looking gentle man in your Facebook picture.. Are you married?, Can we be friends?????

I’m fine. I don’t have a Facebook account so I fear you’re confusing me with somebody else, but thank you all the same. I am, thank you for asking. Sure, why not?

______________
¹ The others: Jim Zub, Carla Speed McNeil, Terry Moore. Coincidentally, like Larson, they tell very different stories — format, tone, topic, genre — from project to project.

² Besides, no matter how good the next generation gets at comics, they won’t match Larson at both comics and making ice cream. She’s a flavorbending madwoman.