The webcomics blog about webcomics

Good News All Around

Man, before we even get to the fact that it’s Canada Day and wish well to all our friends north of the border¹, there’s so many things to be happy about. I can’t even decide which would be most important, so I’m just going to hit these in chronological order.

  • In the past few days (call it a month or so on the early end), I’ve received packages full of joy from three separate Kickstarts: Evan Dahm’s lovely illustrated edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (now available via TopatoCo), Jon Rosenberg’s long-delayed² Goats book four, and Zach Weinersmith and Boulet’s Augie and the Green Knight, all of which are more beautiful than could have been hoped. Thanks for those, guys!

    For those keeping track at home, this brings my Kickstarter backing record to 49 projects, of which 1 was designated “no reward”, 36 fulfilled, 5 are due for future delivery, 3 are late less than a month (it’s the first, after all), 3 are in the vicinity of a year late (two for what I consider to be good reasons, one I’m mentally writing off) and 1 partially fulfilled three years back for a project that’s gone tits-up. Call it 36/44 success rate, or 81%, which I expect to bump up by the end of the month, and again by end of summer.

  • Meanwhile, yesterday David Willis started dropping hints of a new comic which hinted at the future erosion of his famous buffer. Then he dropped the proverbial other shoe:

    So on May 27, as I was trying to preregister for BotCon through my phone because our damned Time Warner wifi was having outages AGAIN, Maggie got back from the doctor, noted that there was, in fact, an Ultrasound due that visit despite our expectations, and then handed me this little printout, saying, “Here’s a picture of our baby.”

    And after pausing a bit, she pulled out another little printout and said, “And here’s a picture of our other baby.”

    It’s Twins! David and Maggie become at least the third webcomic couple to bring twins to bear³; previous twin-having webcomickers Jon Rosenberg and Ryan Sohmer were at press time reportedly pointing vaguely in Willis’s direction and laughing hysterically that at least they got to practice on single kids before having to learn how to be parents to twins before weeping uncontrollably. I think that means Welcome to our totally fun club!

    We at Fleen congratulate Willis on his impending great fortune, and are calling for predictions as to how far his buffer will slip. We’re taking 85 days in the pool.

  • But the news that will resonate outside our community hit after things wrapped up on the east coast; reports were seen (first in Deadline, later in other corners) that both Kris Straub and Jeff Smith have new Hollywood deals. Straub’s case is perhaps further along, as it was announced that Max Landis will be producing a horror anthology for SyFy, the first season of which will be Candle Cove. Straub has struggled in the past to be recognized as the author of this particularly unsettling piece of fiction, with occasional claims that the short story was in fact true from people who are overly credulous, misremembering their own childhoods, or possibly both.

    Meanwhile, a production firm named a vet of AMC to head up their TV unit, and one of the first projects that’s being examined is an adaptation of Smith’s RASL. A story that mixes art thievery, dimension hopping, Nikola Tesla, and existential horror, RASL is about as different a followup to BONE as could be imagined. It would be a while before we see it hit the screen, but in tapping RASL and Candle Cove for adaptation, it appears that the entertainment complex is showing a willingness to explore wholly original ideas and has an idea of who might be a good source for them.

    Which got me to thinking what webcomics would make a good TV series. Achewood or Wonderella could absolutely rule on [Adult Swim], A Girl and Her Fed could do well on a basic cable channel with experience in showrunning (say, A&E or AMC), and I’m convinced that the Henson Workshop people could do something really good with Monster Pulse. I’m not sure how far we are from effects being able to do justice to any of Overside stories, but Skin Horse maybe could be made to work. Any other ideas? Leave ’em in the comments.


Spam of the day:

cheater detox

I know those words, but can’t figure out they mean together.

_______________
¹ AKA future ruthless overlords.

² The campaign for which coincided with, more or less, a high-risk pregnancy and birth of special-needs twins, who have defied every possible odd to be happy, healthy, distressingly clever young men. Well done, Team Babies!

³ It appears having a long-running webcomic must now be added to the contributing factors for having twins, such as being a twin yourself.

Milestones, Goodbyes, And Neat Things Coming Down The Pike

We’re in that lull before the sudden rush to San Diego; the Thursday programming was just announced, and we’ll dig through that (along with Friday – Sunday) looking for interesting sessions to recommend in the coming days. In the meantime, here’s some other news.

  • I don’t know what’s more impressive — that Dante Shepherd has personally done 2500 fumetti at Surviving the World (plus guest strips & such), that he’s done twenty-two separate strips on the topic of creeping people out, or that he’s managed all that, two children, multiple cross-state moves, an academic career, an alter ego, and a PhD while looking like he’s still young enough to need to be carded. Congratulations, Dante, and please keep your human experimentation on your side of the fence.
  • It’s been a while since we mentioned Shaenon Garrity, Radness Queen of the East Bay and Surrounding Environs and one third of the Nexus of All Webcomics Realities¹. Much like Stan Sakai, who quietly knocks it out of the park with each new issue of Usagi Yojimbo, to the point where it’s barely worth mentioning, Garrity and her co-creator C Jeffrey Wells continue to kill it on Skin Horse; she’ll also get back to Monster of the Week eventually, maintains a near-lethal concentration of weaponized tiki in her backyard, and is raising up a small human being.

    She also edits and writes about manga, but alas that last one is somewhat coming to an end:

    It falls upon my bowed shoulders to announce the news: House of 1,000 Manga is ending. After five years of weekly columns, the time has come to move on. Among other things, we’re kind of running out of manga. We have a lot of manga-related articles planned for the future, and I’ll continue writing for Anime News Network, but this column is retiring after years of service.

    Dammit, I love House of 1000 Manga; I don’t read it week-to-week, but in enormous binges when my defense are low and I need to absorb vast amounts of batshit insanity, because just as Garrity writes about sincere pinnacles of art and craft, she also digs down deep into the weird stuff, glob love her. Drop her a note to thank her and Ho1KM collaborator Jason Thompson, won’t you?

  • Via Heidi Mac: SPX has announced its first guests, and it’s no surprise that conquering-the-world-just-now creators like Kate Beaton (Step Aside, Pops! will be releasing just about exactly as SPX is under way) and Noelle Stevenson are in the first tranche, along with Luke Pearson. If the female:male ratio of the guests remains consistent with this first announcement, maybe Pearson can be on a panel about what it’s like to be a male creator in comics.

Spam of the day:

We are reaching out to you today because based on your location we have new positions available.The current positions are filling up fast and have a base pay of $6.5k/month.

Now wait a second, Sparky — your subject line said the pay was $2K to $3K a month; it may be a while since I’ve done any higher mathematics, but I seem to recall that $6.5K is not in that 2 to 3 range.

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¹ The other two thirds are Ryan North and George.

Thank Glob QC Guest Week Is Almost Over, We’re Running Out Of Room For #buttrocket

You know what I like best about these guest strips? The fact that even those that ran initially without #buttrocket¹ were quickly amended to include #buttrocket, and they legitimately make the strips funnier. Today’s strip by Veronica Vera of Bittersweet Candy Bowl gets extra points for dealing with Garbage Person Ted from Jeph’s Tumblr. Thanks for that, Veronica, and also for continuing the unbroken tale of hilarity passed to you by KB Spangler, Zach Weinersmith, Christopher Baldwin, David Willis, Megan McKay, and Danielle Corsetto.

And oh my goodness, so many other things to talk about today.

  • Book! Kate Beaton, who is BEST, has been kind enough to share some process sketches with us, allowing us to see the evolution of Princess Pinecone (the titular princess of The Princess and the Pony, arriving at bookstores everywhere in one week). I love everything about this.
  • Also Book! Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh have announced the Kickstarter for their concluded-online (starts here), coming-to-print OGN, Lucky Penny. This puzzled me a bit when I heard the news this morning, as I thought that Lucky Penny was going to be published by Oni Press, and for them to have to self-publish would be a significant change.

    Turns out, Oni is still publishing Lucky Penny, so why a Kickstarter? Yuko and Ananth have anticipated your question and have an answer for you:

    We’ve increasingly found that the people who support us online and via Kickstarter are wildly different from those who would pick up our book in a store or buy from Amazon — and it’s those people (you!) who allow us to make a living. So we’re running this campaign to fund OUR copies of the book to sell direct to you, our fans!

    If this campaign doesn’t succeed we don’t get to make our personal copies. The book will still be available via your favorite local bookseller or comic shop come March 2016, but we won’t have personal copies for sale at conventions.

    I like this for a couple of reasons — one, transparency is always good; and two, I don’t think I’ve seen this kind of publisher/self-publish hybrid before, and I’m always interested in seeing new business techniques. Also three, backing the creators gets you extras that you couldn’t get from the publisher — thanks in the book, extra swag, and you’ll get your copies before the stores do As I write this sentence, the Lucky Penny Kickstarter is sitting just below US$12,000, or about 68% of its (very modest) US$17,500 goal.

  • Still Book! Raina Telgemeier continues to dominate the trade, what with taking the Favorite Cartooist and Favorite Nonfiction Graphic Novel categories at the Kids Read Comics Awards over the weekend, in addition to the Béd&eacure;lys Jeunesse Award in Quebec, in addition to the little matter of three straight years on the New York Times Bestseller List, including a clean sweep of the top four positions. Please tell me again how girls don’t read/understand/make comics. Please.
  • Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett! There’s a new announcement from LARDK about the second creator to contribute to his Tales of the Drive series: Fleen fave Dylan Meconis! And this time we have a story blurb — Nosh’s origin! And Christopher Hastings was kind enough to tell me the basic plot of his TftD contribution:

    Hmm, it’s so tough to comment without spoiling … it’s kind of a cross between Alien and this thing: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116142805.htm

    And funny!

    I’m glad he stuck in the funny part, because parasite stories are otherwise horrifying.

  • Return! Reptilis Rex, y’all. It’s back.

Spam of the day:

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¹ If you can imagine such a thing.

No Sign Of #buttrocket, Citizens Urged To Remain Clam

No firm, shapely buttocks, no lace-trimmed thong, no rapidly-decomposing hydrazine ... is this even Questionable Content?

Or possibly they’re urged to remain calm; the ink ribbon in the teletype here at Fleen Central is really old and faded.

  • It appears that the magic has faded, but vague hope may be held out for next week, as Jeph Jacques allows for the possibility of return:

    I have a few awesome guest comics left so I will run some more next week! Have we seen the last of #buttrocket???? WE SHALL SEE

    None of which should be taken in a way that causes one to think that Megan McKay hasn’t turned in a terrific strip; it’s adorable, and one could argue more QC-ish than the past four days of gluteal missilry, and should be enjoyed on its own merits.

    Edit to add [6:00pm EDT 20 June 2015]: #buttrocket is too strong to be denied; the strip has mysteriously sprouted three more panels and now features #buttrocket. The #buttrocket panorama will be updated at a later date to reflect this.

  • As a consequence of the Cartoon Art Museum getting a lease extension¹, various events at CAM now have different run dates. More precisely, the following exhibitions have been extended to run to the (currently scheduled) close date of 12 September:

    Darth Vader and Friends
    Savage Dragon: The Art of Erik Larsen
    The Bronze Armory Showcase
    Songs and Secrets: The Art of Song of the Sea and The Secret of Kells
    Small Press Spotlight on Geoff Vasile

    You’ve still got all summer to make your way to San Francisco and check ’em out.

  • Regular readers of this page may recall that from time to time, Fleen participates in blog-based book tours, usually for releases from our friends at :01 Books. There’s one going on now, in support of the second volume of Last Man by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, and Balak, due out Tuesday. If you haven’t read the first volume, it’s basically on the time-honored manga theme of the insane fighting tournament, but done by French creators so it’s over in three books instead of fifteen or twenty.

    There’s a lot going on in the book below the surface, and we’ll have a Q&A with the creators here on Monday, so be sure to come back then. Thanks as always to the incomparable Gina Gagliano at :01 for our review copies, and for doing all the logistical footwork in getting the blog tour set up.

Okay, we’re out of here; enjoy your weekend and remember tell your da you love him this much.


Spam of the day:

thermal & cold polymerization petroleum resin, petroleum naphthalene, tar and thousand-ton capacit

You’re the sons of bitches that lifted my credit card number to try to buy US$7000 worth of industrial chemicals, aren’t you? Only got one thing to say to you.

_______________
¹ Meaning they won’t have to close their doors next weekend.

I’m Starting To Think That #buttrocket Might Not Be A Good Thing

Click to begin the sage of #buttrocket.

Hear me out! After this, what can Jeph Jacques ever run for guest strips in the future? Can anything ever match up to the beauty that is #buttrocket? David Willis adds his take on the lace-trimmed Thong o’ Doom today, adding his take on #buttrocket to KB Spangler (who is killing it with textiles in her own strip today), Zach Weinersmith, and Christopher Baldwin. All hail the #buttrocket. Give yourself to #buttrocket. The #buttrocket is.

Hey, want to see some cool, fun things on a day that desperately needs them? Me too!

  • Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett put up a teaser at Drive a while back that he was going to go the shared-universe side-story route, and yesterday we got the first details:

    I am so excited for the “Tales of the Drive” series. As you remember, I’ve gone out to my favorite pros working today, and invited them to write short stories set in the DRIVE universe. These are people I trust to write amazing DRIVE short stories. And today I can reveal the first: Christopher Hastings of Dr. McNinja and Adventure Time!

    I just read Chris’ story last night, and it’s so fun. So fun. You are going to love it. [emphasis original]

    I’m on record as really liking the heck out of Drive, and given the vast swathes of history and geography (astrography?) that LARDK has laid out, there’s plenty of fertile ground for creators to play with — who were all these emperors whose writings we see? What about those galactic powers we’ve seen in the star charts? Why, exactly, did Neuvo Chile get banned from ring travel? Over the past half-decade I’ve asked LARDK these questions and more many times and he stubbornly refuses to let go of even a crumb of detail, other than the fact that we’re probably going to see nine books in all to chronicle The Pilot’s War.

    With that in mind, I had a few questions for him, and LARDK had answers:

    On how many stories we’re likely to see:

    I’d eventually like there to be two dozen stories … running 6-15 pages, each. They’re set anywhere/any time in the DRIVE universe, either using characters we know, or completely new folks.

    On the limits he sets as Determinator Of What Happens In This Continuity:

    I’ve asked folks to (try to) stay with canon — but after that, they’re free to write and draw what they like. I’m not editing these artists: They’re all pros, and they know their way around a story.

    [Editor’s note: Brave. Very brave.]

    On who we can expect to see contributing and when:

    So far, there are eight artists who’ve said “yes” — and I imagine we’ll see those over the next 12-18 months?

    On come on, LARDK, don’t tease us, who’s contributing already:

    Folks who’ve said yes include Zach Weinersmith, Jon Rosenberg, Dylan Meconis, Phil Foglio, Jake Parker, Meredith Gran, and Jeph Jacques … so far. There’s another half-dozen super-talented folks on the “interested, but currently swamped” list, so we’re waiting for their project schedule to lighten up.

    On what shouldn’t need to be said but sadly does because it often doesn’t work out this way:

    Oh, and they’re getting paid a page rate that (I think?) beats most comic book work … so I feel good about that.

    Keep your eyes peeled for Tales of the Drive, the schedule for which is presently being determined.

  • Know who’s made a habit of sharing hard numbers on her business, making it far more likely that those who come after her will avoid falling into traps?¹ “Hurricane Erika” Moen, or as I should probably say, “Hurricane Erika” Moen and Matt Nolan (who sadly lacks a weather-related knickname, but I’m working on it), since they’re partners in all aspects of Oh Joy, Sex Toy. They did the world a favor by releasing that big ol’ bolus of data on their first OJST Kickstart, and they’re back with more:

    Kickstarter Updates!
    1) Current cost breakdown https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erikamoen/oh-joy-sex-toy-volume-2/posts/1267433 …
    2) $2 backers get an extra wallpaper https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erikamoen/oh-joy-sex-toy-volume-2/posts/1267470 … [backers only]

    At that first link, Nolan lays out the numbers for gross funding on OJST volume 2, rejected pledges, the fees associated with running the campaign, and the costs experienced so far. Everybody that looks on Kicktarter as a magic money machine², follow these public postings that Nolan and Moen are very kindly sharing — you’re going to learn how much time and effort go into fulfilling their obligations, and maybe even get to decide if that much work is worth whatever they net (hint: it’s not going to be as much as you think it is). This is a gift worth more than all the business courses that your art school never offered.

  • The only thing wrong with the interview that Noelle Stevenson had with The AV Club’s Oliver Sava (a very smart writer on comics) is that the opportunity did not come up for Stevenson to declare I’M A SHARK AAAHH, which I like to imagine is printed on her business cards. No email or website, mind you, nothing but:


      Noelle Stevenson  

    I’M A SHARK AAAHH

     
    That would be so rad.


Spam of the day:

It’s amazing in support of me to have a website, which is good in favor of my know-how.

If I ever feel like changing our site motto from Fleen: Try Our Thick, Creamy Shakes, then Fleen Is Good In Favor Of My Know-How would be a pretty good replacement.

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¹ I’ve been over that sentence three times and I’m pretty sure it says what I want it to, but damn it’s kind of clumsy.

² Or worse, constructs elaborate arguments as to why a creator doesn’t deserve [a level of funding] or is making too much money and screwing the backers. Stop that.

Lagies And Jenglefenz, We Officially Have A Theme

Because nobody appreciated a running gag like Mr The Forg Frog. He probably also knows how Fozzie spelled jenglefenz, where I am stuck going the phonetic route.

  • Well, maybe? It might be a callback, or a running gag. In any event, in his guest strip for Questionable Content today, Zach Weinersmith has taken the ball lobbed by KB Spangler yesterday and run with it. The mind boggles to think of where this ball — that is to say, ass-rocket — ends up. Could this be the end of brave buttprobe¹ 2015-TAYLER-AWESOME²? We’ll find out tomorrow. Oh, and in case you want the extra gag that Weinersmith includes in his comics — the so-called votey — it’s here.
  • Some numbers for you: US$55,368 and 1521; those are, respectively, the total funding and total number of backers for the latest Spike Trotman-helmed anthology, New World. This total comports with the Fleen Funding Formula Mark II predication range of US$55K to US$83K, although just barely. Might have to adjust the formula a bit, but it’ll take more data to do so.

    If you want to add in her earlier anthologies — Smut Peddler 2012, Smut Peddler 2014, and The Sleep of Reason, we can add some more numbers, in my continuing quest to determine exactly how much more popular porn is than non-porn in comics anthologies. To wit: US$268,401 vs US$102,293 and 8000 vs 2913 (funding totals and backer totals for the porn projects and non-porn projects, respectively); these give us porn:non-porn support ratios of 2.62:1 (ponying up the dough) and 2.75:1 (asses in the seats). Oddly, non-porn takes the lead in financial outlay per backer, leading US$35.12 to US$33.96.

    Oh, one more number that needs to be considered here: US$400, which is the bonus that Spike will pay to each of her contributors on New World, per the Iron Circus Comics overfunding model. If you had contributed to each of Spike’s anthologies, she would have paid you an additional three thousand and fifty dollars above the upfront page rates, which ain’t a bad piece of extra change.

    Hey, young/up-and-coming talent! Want to get a guaranteed paycheck, show your best work next to some of the best creators in webcomics, and get more money that you were promised³? If patterns hold true, Spike will be announcing another anthology for next year, very possibly porn-related (requiring at least one woman on each creative team), which would skew to the high end on the popularity and bonus scales.

    Start brainstorming now. Read and follow the submission rules. Bring your A-game. If you don’t get chosen, be gracious in public and ask people you trust to critique your work in private so it’s better next time. It’s a golden opportunity sitting out there for those with the skills and drive to do top-notch work. Before you know it, you’ll be one of those best creators in webcomics that the next cohort of young talent looks up to.


Spam of the day:

My family members all the time say that I am wasting my time here at web, however I know I am getting know-how every day by reading thes fastidious articles.

I think I’m gonna have to go with your family, Sport. Get yourself a better hobby.

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¹ So to speak.

² It’s canon, finally answering the question that had left the public puzzled for weeks.

³ For extra level-up points, spend the bonus buying additional copies of the anthology from Spike at the creator’s rate, sell for even more profit at shows.

Congratulations All Around

This image sums up everything I love about Stevenson's work. Also, buy the book.

So I have a flight to catch, meaning this is going to have to be short; rest assured, each of these stories is worth many more column-inches¹ than I have time to give it right now.

  • It’s a great time to be Noelle Stevenson! Hot on the heels of the Lumberjanes movie news comes word that Stevenson’s webcomic, Nimona, is to be an animated feature. You can take your pick of stories — I like the one from io9, personally — it appears that toute les bandes dessine&easute;s-web is thrilled for Stevenson, and even more thrilled that more people will get to be exposed to Nimona.
  • It’s anniversary time in webcomicsland — Chris Hallbeck realized t’tother day that it’s been five years since quitting the day job in favor of comicking, and put together a recapof his best office-themed comics. This one’s my favorite. And Howard Tayler² can probably tell you down to the minute exactly when he quit the corporate world to concentrate on Schlock Mercenary, which strip started on this day in 2000, resulting in 5479 consecutive days and 5479 consecutive strips. You make the rest of us look considerably less industrious than we would appear to be otherwise, Howard — congratulations, you unstoppable machine, you.
  • This last piece is less about congrats and more about stop doing whatever you are doing right now and take five minutes to learn something. It’s been fallow times these past two weeks over at The Nib since parent company Medium messed with editorial focus and funding; editor Matt Bors has kept the lights on and run some longer pieces of what I’d call comic strip journalism, and today’s entry by Dale Beran is as good as such comics get.

    It’s a follow-on to his piece on the riots in Baltimore (where he’s a public school teacher) about six weeks ago, on the general topic of how “normal” times in the schools are both a perfect consequence of the situation that prompted the unrest, and a perfect predictor of the next situation. Go and read Warnings and Instructions right now, and the next time somebody tells you how “they” don’t care enough to do well in school, or don’t value education, or need to be willing to work harder to rise above their circumstances, share the link.


Spam of the day:

Hi,i believe t?at ? saww you visited my blg th?s i got here too return the favor?

World of Questionmarks is my new favorite site.

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¹ Or, if you don’t live in America, 2.54 many more column-centimeters.

² The best evil twin I could ever ask for.

Gifts Of The Day

Also, new Kate-centric website, suitable for all ages, at beatontown.com.

I’m in a good mood today, how about you? It’s actually suspicious how well today’s been going.

  • Oh, it’s a good day in webcomics, for we are at the start of the most festive time of year. I speak, naturally, of the start of Kate Beaton’s latest visit home to Nova Scotia, and the Kate’s Family Comics (aka Kate’s Mom Comics, aka Momics) that result.

    I’ve noticed eight of them arrive so far; if past visits are any indication, we’ll get 12 – 15 a day for a week or so, and Beaton will gather them all together in tall recaps when they’re done. In the meantime, keep an eye on her twitterfeed for little snippets of perfect humo[u]r, where we all get reminded that Kate’s Mom is the best, Kate’s Dad is the best, and Kate’s comics are the best.

    Oh, and the countdown to the release of The Princess and the Pony is on: 30 June, y’all.

  • Alert readers may have noticed that Dante Shepherd managed to put together some appropriate comics in the wake of his second daughter’s birth; he took four days off when said child was imminent, then produced most of a week before wisely declaring a paternity leave. The first of the guest entries is up today, with Rosemary Mosco contributing thoughts (as she is wont to do) on nature, and taking the time to pay homage to Shepherd’s ever-present Red Sox attire. I loved it, and can’t wait to see what other clever people take a whirl at the chalkboard.
  • Explain to me how the hell it’s been a year since BACK debuted. Time is running too damn fast these days.
  • Word came this afternoon that Chris Eliopolous (of Misery Loves Sherman and the lettering of seemingly every Marvel comic of the last two decades) has had a pleasant Monday:

    Cosby and Eliopoulos’ Cow Boy Headed to TV With DreamWorks Animation http://comicbook.com/2015/06/08/cosby-and-eliopoulos-cow-boy-headed-to-tv-with-dreamworks-animat/ … via @comicbookdotcom

    Cow Boy (written by Nate Cosby, illustrated by Eliopoulos) released a couple years back and it’s a delight; the deal with DreamWorks makes two big option announcements for BOOM! Studios in as many weeks¹ and once again, I’m hoping that this means a decent paycheck for the creators more than the publisher. In any event, congrats to Eliopoulos and Cosby!


Spam of the day:

Buy Flagyl Online

Why the hell would I do that? Flagyl makes everything taste like pennies forever and if you aren’t careful taking it, it messes up your gut bacteria and you end up with C. diff which means months of crapping uncontrollably. A’course, this is black market flagyl, which means it’ll probably not be real and have other charming (side-)effects. Have fun with that.

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¹ Cow Boy publisher Archaia was bought by BOOM! a while back.

Excellent News Heading Into The Weekend

Because you can never have too much John Allison, whether it involves the extended/extensive Tackleford continuity, or his other projects, two bits of recent news caught my eye and make me happy.

First, from BOOM! Studios associate editor Jasmine Amiri, word that Giant Days, Allison’s side-story of Dark Esther at university, has been extended from six issues to twelve, with a new combo edition of the first two issues to catch up late arrivals. This is particularly good news because Giant Days issue #3 is recently out, and the third issue is often the make-or-break point.

Issue #1, people buy that¹; issue #2, they’re still deciding if they’re going to keep buying it or not; issue #3 is where the drop-off is going to occur, if it occurs, and maybe there’s no issue #4 and up. It’s a scary place to be, even when you’re doing a miniseries rather than an ongoing².

On the other hand, it’s also where limited or miniseries get extended, or converted to ongoing — if memory serves, Lumberjanes and Samurai Jack both got their runs bumped up off the back of issue #3. If another couple issues of Giant Days show solid numbers and growth and BOOM! wants to pay Allison (and artist Lissa Treiman) a fair price to keep it going, I’ll be the happiest geek with a Wednesday pull-list.

Then Allison had to go and make me even happier:

I’m reprinting Murder She Writes, just re-read it while proofing. Not to sound conceited, but that was a nice piece of work.

Murder She Writes was one of the “in-between” stories that Allison used to break up the long story arcs of Bad Machinery; they tended to be very silly, very Shelley-centric, very good, and very absent from the archives once they went to print. The fact that it’s getting a reprint gives me hope of someday seeing a comprehensive omnibus collection of the in-betweens and latter-day Bobbins strips, basically because I am a huge completist and will make room on my shelves for the totality of Allison’s oeuvre³.

Okay, Friday afternoon — enjoy the crap out of your weekends, people, or I’ll be forced to shove Giant Days into your brain until you do.


Spam of the day:

The company founded in 1985, has total assets of RMB1.52 billion, occupies a total area of 800,000 square meters, and employs 3,000 staff members, including 98 senior engineers and technicians and 319 mid-level engineers and technicians.

That is oddly specific information about your company; too bad you never told me what they do with all that money, space, and expertise.

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¹ If only because speculator types are hedging their bets that in 20 years, they might be sitting on the equivalent of Action Comics #1, Detective Comics #27, or Amazing Fantasy #15 and cash that sucker in for a million dollars.

² If you aren’t reading Carla Speed McNeil & Alex de Campi’s No Mercy, what the hell is wrong with you? If this gets cancelled from low sales and I don’t see the end of the story, I’m taking vengeance on all of you bozos.

³ Also, somebody at Marvel should pay Allison to do a She-Hulk/old-school rollerskates-armor Iron Man team-up to get racked next to The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; you know it would be the best comic book ever.

Retirements, Returns, And Launches

It’s been odd, the past half-week or so: The Nib has been quiet, with no comics more recent than three or four days, a sad echo of what was the best congregator of editorial comics, story comics, confessional comics, comics journalism, and just plain comics¹ that we’ve seen come down the pike for a good long time. And they paid. We knew the end was coming, but it’s still disturbing to see the final week’s entries getting older. There was a new comic from (once and possibly still) site editor Matt Bors today, but it wasn’t his usual editorial work, more a randomized snark.

In a way, it’s a perfect companion to the new focus that Nib overlords at Medium want — more social, less contextual, more likely to be shared and digested in a quick bite than require some time and thought. Said overlords changed their minds about what they wanted from The Nib once, maybe they’ll change them again — or at least decide to take a hands-off approach to Bors’s editorial vision. Maybe he can get the band back together. Maybe it wasn’t just a fleeting moment that we’ll never have again. At least they went out with sharp elbows and some of their best work even as the lights were being turned off.

Happier notes:

  • If ever somebody doesn’t get why Oh Joy, Sex Toy [Not Safe If Your Work Is Insufficiently Awesome] is wonderful, show them today’s strip. I don’t know if I’m more in love with Erika’s description of the doodad² or the illustration of the pokébattle³ at the end, which she has seen to provide a mostly SFW version of at her twitterfeed. I don’t need a device that tracks how I’m doing my Kegel exercises, but thanks to this comic, I kind of want one.
  • Speaking of things I didn’t realize I wanted: of all the webcomickers that have drifted away from my daily attention, probably none has been so neglected as Marc Ellerby, creator of the long-wrapped Ellerbisms. I don’t know what it is — I like Ellerby’s work a whole lot, but if I don’t actively pay attention to him, he just slips off my radar for embarrassingly long intervals. The upside to this is I sometimes find in my absence, he’s completed entire works of comics that I get to enjoy all at once.

    Or maybe I’m lucky enough to catch a retweet of an announcement, such as this morning when Ellerby let us know that Gumroad has pay what you want pricing for Ellerbisms and Chloe Noonan. Ellerby’s Gumroad store is here and there I learn — holy crap! — that Ellerby is also illustrating for the Ricky & Morty comic book (makes sense — his style is right up the R&M alley). So go give him some attention and — more importantly — money.

  • I am behind on the news that Lumberjanes is being made into a movie; I could claim that I wanted to wait a couple of days to see if there would be any women assigned to the early creative effort, like pairing up with (or replacing) the screenwriter, but nothing since the news broke last week. That’s not really it, though — I saw the news last week and inexplicably didn’t write about it. Anyway. Lumberjanes is great, and if somebody on the inside can confirm something that I’ve been wondering about since the news hit — do Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters get paid as a result of the rights sale, or just BOOM!? — then all will be well (assuming I get the answer I want, namely, yes, the ladies are cashing big checks of screw this! money).

Spam of the day:
No quote, but a story. I got an email from a PR firm (bad start) that obviously just sent out a blast to every blog it could find regardless of relevance (gettin’ worse), asking me to consider covering the story of a 72 year old opera singer who is recording her first album and has only eight days left on her Kickstarter to reach funding. But the thing that tells me that this PR flack that I’m not going to name is very bad at her job is the fact that she didn’t include a goddamn link to the goddamn Kickstarter.

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¹ Man, I’m gonna miss having Gemma Correll delivered straight to my brain.

² A FitBit for your ClitBits.

³ Of course it’s Squirtle. I see what you did there, Erika.