The webcomics blog about webcomics

Comfy And Comfier

Are you sitting comfortably? Would you like to be more comfortable?

  • The schedule for ComfyCon 2014 — the Con that you attend from home! — dropped last night, so now you can see what many of your favorite webcomickers and enablers are going to be doing between a couple of hours from now and Sunday evening. Fire up the compy, make sure the speakers and mic are working properly, and settle in with some snacks.

    Fun starts at 4:00pm today (all times are EST), but the official Opening Ceremonies don’t occur until 6:00pm; this was described at one point as [Something*Positive creator] Randy [Milholland] screams a lot, but now it’s the Randy and Danielle [Corsetto, of Girls With Slingshots] team-up, and those two are always a delight together.

    Tomorrow’s chock-full o’ fun with a pajama party with Jennie Breeden of The Devil’s Panties at 1:00pm (Jennie’s in Portland so it’s still morning for her, shut up), anthology secrets with Spike, Kel, and more at 3:00pm, and sexy, sexy porn with Josh Lesnick and other Slipshiners at 9:00pm. On Sunday there’s panels ranging from dealing with day jobs (2:00pm), a Super Art Fight (7:00pm), and closing ceremonies (more of Randy sobbing uncontrollably; 5:00pm). There’s lots more that I didn’t mention, and it’s likely that panelists and panels will continue to be added. Head over to the main ComfyCon page for the latest info.

  • And just in case that you aren’t quite comfy enough, Pusheen has teamed up with plush manufacture giant GUND to do an official Pusheen plush, with a full line of Pusheen products in 2015. In the meantime you’ll just have to content yourself with the plushes, the holiday cards and tree ornaments, t-shirts, jewelry, the most awesome hoodie ever, and much, much more from the fine folks at Hey Chickadee. Some items are already sold out, so get to clickin’ if you want that special someone to be super comfy on [insert holiday of choice here] morn.

Spam of they day:

The following are just three examples of why defamation laws are so important; if these cases were never resolved, we may have read much differently of these historic figures.

Cartoonists, man. Nuthin’ but defamation city around them.

Years Go By

Sometimes things pop into your head out of nowhere; for example, last night I suddenly and inexplicably found myself wondering, How’s that Iron Man thing going? Time, flies, arrow, banana, etc.

  • For those youngsters out there, The Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge is one of the enduring traditions of webcomics; launched nearly a full year before this here blog, it sought to answer the question How long can a webcomic creator go without missing a regular update? Those looking for bragging rights ponied up an entrance fee of US$20, and last creator standing gets the pot, minus contributions to the CBLDF and the HERO Initiative (originally the ACTOR Comic Fund). 56 creators entered (including such longrunners as Jennie Breeden, Chris Cosby, and Scott Kurtz, as well as superstars like Natasha Allegri).

    Three (maybe four; there was a question about 18 months back about a possible disqualification that doesn’t seem to have been resolved) competitors — including Brad Guigar, who doesn’t even look like his official competitor portrait anymore¹ — remain in the running, more than five hundred weeks and 2500 updates² after the start of the competition. I’d ordinarily suggest maybe the remaining three (four?) Iron Men declare a mutual satisfaction and walk away splitting the money, but anybody that’s managed a minimum of five updates a week with no skips for almost ten years (mark your calendars for the week of 9 February, it’s gonna be awesome) isn’t going to take split the pot like gentlemen as an option.

  • Never part of the TDGIMC (as near as I can tell), Ryan Estrada nevertheless has reason to contemplate the passage of years today, as it’s his birthday. I note that his latest creative endeavour — Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here — has passed the two-thirds funding mark over on Kickstarter. Maybe we get there by the start of next week, Spike reveals some of the (as yet secret) stretch goals? Yeah, it’s a little shameless, launching a Kickstart the same week two of the principals have birthdays, thus making it easier to prey on your emotions. That’s life in webcomics, and neither Estrada nor Spike are above using every trick at their disposal to make a project succeed. May as well give ‘em the five bucks, they’ll wear you down eventually anyway³.

  • Spam of the day:

    Following that, the President and Prime Minister joined the First Lady and Vice President in a St Patrick’s Day Reception at the White House for the one year anniversary of vintage shop Byronesque

    I must be tired — I read that as the vintage shop Bronyesque and then I shuddered.


    ¹ Brad, update your competitor’s bio picture, please. You’re so much more handsome than you were. Then again, a Google Image Search for “similar pictures” lists a portrait of Jack Kirby as the first match so maybe just keep it? Then again, when you search for “Brad Guigar on GIS, you don’t see that Kirbyesque bit, but you do see pictures like this, to which I can only say Yowza.

    ² For reference, I wrote about the competitors reaching 200 weeks and 1000 updates in 2008.

    ³ All hail our new international leaders.

    Three Cheers And A Tiger For [You]

    The hotel I’m at has an in-room heating system that sounds like a lawn mower having a tonic-clonic seizure when it cycles off, so I’m short a couple hours of sleep right now. Nevertheless, I have found Things, Things that are worth celebrating today.

    • The second piece I ever posted at this here thang — goodness, nearly nine years ago! — concerned the output of Lore Sjöberg, whom I have always foudn to be frighteningly cleverfunny and an all-around stellar fellow. So it gives me no little joy to announce that after various problems around hosting/spamming bastards, Sjöberg has resurrected one of his sites, Bad Gods, and you know what that means: I get to gorge on Bandwidth Theater! Rudolph! Overmom! Lousy Transformers! And, of course, the depleted-uranium beholder statue that goes GRAAAGH! Dig in and enjoy, y’all.
    • It’s been perhaps six months since David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) became the first known successful webcomicker to launch a new comic with the express intention of learning to draw. Planet of Hats has reached the end of season one of Star Trek, and he’s recapped the 29 installments so far with one panel from each.

      It’s wonderful watching the art improve — particularly the staging of elements within panels and the expressiveness of the bodies of characters (Morgan-Mar could never have managed the sneaky-sneaky posture in this strip even two months ago), and I hope (as I’ve expressed to him via email) that when he reaches the end of the 79 episodes of classic Trek, he continues with some particularly stinkeroo episodes of later series. I believe that Planet of the Joggers should do nicely.

    • Know what’s better than a book launch party? A sexy book launch party, such as that which will happen on Sunday, 7 December in Portland to celebrate Hurricane Erika’s first collection of Oh Joy, Sex Toy. Free exclusive print! 10% discount on toy purchases! Erika’s favorite dear perverts! And on a personal note, I will pay you five American dollars if you go to the party dressed as the Anal Safety Snails. You know you want to.

    Spam of the day:

    Do you know that you can copy content from other websites to your blog and they will pass copyscape test and google will see them as unique?

    Yeah, you know who does that? Dudes who suck. Sure as hell ain’t my scene.

    All Hail

    Nothing but people who are making the comics industry great today; it’s a good time to be a reader.

    • I know that you must have seen this already, but damn, I’m mentioning it anyway.

      This page has mentioned the New York Times Best Sellers List for paperback graphic novels more than once in recent weeks; we noted the debut of Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and Amulet book six by Kazu Kibuishi on the list, approximately three months back. We also observed with some glee the occasion of Kibuishi and Telgemeier making up a full 50% of the list all by their lonesomes two weeks ago; that phenomenon is still in effect, as Sisters, Amulet book six, Smile, Drama, and Amulet book one are all still on the latest iteration of the NYTBSL.

      What’s different is the relative positioning of the books.

      Specifically, Raina Telgemeier holds the #1, #2, and #3 spots on the 23 November list, released yesterday, ahead of obscure books like The Walking Dead and Persepolis. I don’t believe that this feat has ever been achieved by any single author on any portion of the NYTBSL, much less for books with a cumulative 207 weeks of bestsellerdom. Which just leads me to one question — with some three dozen comics-based movies on the release schedule in the next five years, who is going to be first studio exec to be smart enough to drive a dump truck full of money up to Astoria and the front stoop of Ms Telgemeier?

    • Most of a month back, I noted that BOOM! Studios would be launching a Munchkin tie-in comic, with the omnipresent Jim Zub contributing backup stories for John Kovalic&rsquo’s tender art mercies. What I didn’t notice at the time (and what’s not emphasized even at BOOM!’s own website) was who else is on the book. The non-backup stories will include writing by none other that Tom Siddell of Gunnerkrigg Court, and Kovalic will be joined on art duties by Rian Sygh and Mike Holmes. That’s a lot of webcomickers on one book, which shouldn’t have surprised me, given that it’s from BOOM!. Fleen apologizes to Siddell, Sygh, and Holmes for the delay in recognizing your contributions, and we are now looking forward to Munchkin even more than we were.

    Spam of the day:

    Ofttimes, the word jewellery is related to womenfolk. However, for hundreds of years men have sported some form of jewellery

    True story — earlier today, I accidentally purged the spam folder instead of carefully curating which of the latest batch should be held for consideration as Spam of the day. Oh no, I thought to myself, what will I do if I don’t get more spam? Turns out, it wasn’t really a concern.

    Like a Swear Jar

    For those of you not blessed with encyclopedic recall of Fleen necessary to remember exactly what was written back on 2 January 2014, $25,196,670 is the total raised by Child’s Play in the first ten years of its existence. Well, ten calendar years, more or less, but eleven annual campaigns; regardless, it’s a big damn number.

    And it’s getting bigger by the moment. Child’s Play runs year-round these days, but I always think of it starting on the first of November (despite the fact that the first Child’s Play started closer to Thanksgiving), and since then the total is up another US$170,000 or so. Things will really kick in around the time of the annual dinner/auction on 4 December. I know that I say this every year, but I’m wondering what the heck could be done for this year’s campaign to exceed last year’s US$7.6 million, but they’ve managed somehow or another each year.

    I actually have a way to juice the totals, but it will require the good-faith efforts of a lot of people. What you do it set up a jar, and every time somebody you know sincerely complains about SJWs or feminazis ruining gaming or insists that’s it’s all really about ethics in gaming journalism, make them put a dollar in the jar. Count the money on, let’s say 23 December, and write a check or PayPal the amount collected to Child’s Play. Given that Child’s Play started as a mechanism to convince the world that self-identified gamers were not human garbage, it would be sort of appropriate.

    Spam of the day:

    Thanks for sharing such a good idea, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it completely

    I know, right? It’s not likely to make me believe that somebody completely distanced from reality is a rational person, but at least they can do some good while trying to convince me otherwise.

    Lots Of Stuff Happening, Hooray

    Where to start, where to start? How about in Yorkshire? I love their pudding.

    • Convention Season is almost done, with what I think is the last sizable comics show of the year going on in Leeds this weekend. Actually, the Thought Bubble Festival runs this entire week, but the bulk of the events are in and around the exhibitors/panels event this weekend on 15-16 November.

      Webcomicker (and related independent artist type) guests of Thought Bubble include Natasha Allegri, Danielle Corsetto, John Allison, Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson¹, Boulet, Emily Carroll, Gemma Correll², Darryl Cunningham, Hope Larson, Phil McAndrew, and Cameron Stewart.

      Additional webcomics types who will be exhibiting in the various venues include Rembrandt le Compte, Tom Siddell, Marc Ellerby, Paul Duffield, Lucy Bellwood, and many, many more. Tell them all I said hi.

    • As long as we’re talking about conventions, Howard Tayler³ wrote up a bit about a medical emergency that happened at the World Fantasy Convention in Washington, DC, this past weekend. His part in resolving the issue was minor, but utterly necessary: nobody else and taken the initiative to simply report the person in distress to those that could help. He did, and in short order the situation was resolved. As Tayler put it:

      I’m an Eagle Scout. I can staunch bleeding, and feel for a pulse. I can do the Heimlich, and though my CPR skills are rusty, if I’m the only guy around who can do it, I’ll do all I can. But the critical skill in this particular situation, and in most of the convention medical emergencies I’m likely to run into, was the ability to speak clearly.

      Oh, and the ability to decide to speak.

      I concur with everything that he said, with the exception that you shouldn’t let your CPR skills get rusty. Going into a place with a lot of people (alternately, hanging out in the bar until the wee small hours)? Note the exits, where any public AEDs may be, and where the nearest place to get assistance (hotel reception, security post, whatever) is. That’s all. Oh, and take a CPR class, it ain’t rocket science4.

    • I mentioned Gemma Correll and The Nib up above; news comes from that esteemed aggregator of comics (esteemed because they pay) that they’re doing a calendar for the coming year if only they get enough orders. Your favorite Nib contributors will be illustrating obscure holidays, so if you ever wanted to see what Rich Stevens would do with National Fetish Day5, now is your chance. As of this writing, 183 more orders are needed over the next 15 days, or no calendrical joy for you.
    • Speaking of funding/pre-orders, Kel McDonald is now crowdfunding the first volume (of two) for her omnibus reprint of Sorcery 101, which will be a 750 page book covering the first five years of the story. Guys, that book is going to be friggin’ huge, and McDonald is offering it up as a backer reward of as little as US$30 which is insane.

      Oh, and did we mention that she had to redraw more than 450 pages because in their original form they weren’t suitable for print? Or that she’s hired colorist par excellence Mary Cagle to apply her magic? Let’s repeat it once more: thirty bucks for 750 pages in color is stupidly cheap.

    • Finally, speaking of crowdfunding and colorists, Ed Ryzowski does color duties for a bunch of your favorite webcomics and now he’s Kickstarting a new self-published comic book series. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a comic project for something new to be created, but I make exceptions for creators who’ve proven themselves on other work, and Ryzowski counts by any measure.

      Season of the SHARK issues 1 to 4 will chronicle what happens when your underfunded espionage agency has to sell video rights to reality TV in order to do its work. It’ll be released digitally starting in December, with special low pricing for you early adopters. Honestly, this one looks like a hoot.

    Spam of the day:

    Get away from the traffic cone orange you envision, and type in the world of tangerine, bronze, burnt orange, gingery undertones and also the calla lily.

    Lots of gingers in the UK. Just saying.

    ¹ As part of their Capture Creatures debut tour.

    ² She’s rapidly become my favorite regular contributor over at The Nib.

    ³ My evil twin, etc.

    4 Didn’t take a class and somebody’s got no pulse? Call 911, or the appropriate emergency services number wherever you are. Open the shirt, make a fist, put in the center of the chest midway between the nipples. Wrap your other hand around the fist. Lock your elbows and push down hard and fast and don’t stop. Substitute somebody else in every two minutes because you’re gonna get tired. Now go take a class.

    5 Or possibly Erika Moen, Zach Weinersmith, Gemma Correll, Matt Bors, Jen Sorensen, Brian McFadden, Eleri Harris, Andy Warner, Matt Lubchansky, Liza Donnelly, or Scott Bateman.



    • This is perhaps the most perplexing thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It all started out innocently enough, via the tweets of Toronto Man-Mountain himself, Ryan North:… hey guys I’m making my STAND UP COMEDY DEBUT tomorrow night in a smelly basement in Toronto, you should come

      None of that is particularly troublesome or confusing; webcomics creators have performed in public comedic styles for some time now, although one might have though there would be a rivalry between those on the west coast and those on the east coast, peace seems to have held. Nor is North’s description of the venue as a smelly basement in Toronto particularly unusual, as recent studies have shown that fully 37% of all worldwide humorons¹ are generated under exactly those conditions.

      Following the link to the event page itself reveals further details, including the news that this particular show is wrapping up its association with the venue (not weird), and that Scott Thompson (the Kid in the Hall², not the onetime CEO of Yahoo!, although there is a slight resemblance) will be on stage. Thompson’s not nearly the continuous presence in the Canadian comedy scene he once was, but this doesn’t rise to the level of bafflement.

      No, the thing that prompted my utter gobsmackedness is the photo on that event page, reproduced above, which is the most cognitive dissonance-inducing thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously, what the hell.

      PS: assuming that … thing … hasn’t completely melted your brain, you can enjoy the comedy stylings of Ryan North at the Crown and Tiger Bar in Toronto tomorrow night at 8:00pm EST. The event will not be recorded, so I’d advise that you sell all your possessions so you can afford transport, otherwise you will miss this once-in-a-lifetime event.

    • In completely unsurprising news, Scott McCloud goes to a lot of places and does a lot of presentations on comics, creativity, and suchlike. In fact, as I write this, he is on a flight to China³ for ten days of private events at Shanghai American School, the Western International School of Shanghai, and the YK Pao School (and, no doubt, spontaneously meeting and befriending the local cartooning community).

      Some weeks back, McCloud spoke at USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab on The Future of Comics (coming from anybody else, this title would be hopelessly overblown, but coming from McCloud, I want to hear more). Since very few of the people who follow McCloud ever get the pleasure of attending one of his presentations, I’m happy to say that USC have made a recording available at Vimeo, which is up now. If you like what you see, there was second part of the conversation with participants from the likes of Lucasfilm, DC Comics, and the New York Times.

    Enjoy your weekend, and anybody that’s either near Toronto or on the invite lists in Shanghai, I expect a full report on Monday.

    Spam of the day:

    It was also a time when men were particularly fond of fitted blazers, checked and striped pants as well as breezy knitwear.

    Well, duh. Unfitted blazers look like ass.

    ¹ The fundamental particle of comedy.

    ² Although we are getting dangerously close to What territory, considering that Thompson fellow Kids Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney got their start in a competitive improv team known as The Audience, and the name of David Malki !’s competitive improv team is The Audience. COINCIDENCE??

    ³ Since I started writing that bit, it appears that the flight has been delayed due to weather; I trust that you all are thinking good thoughts for Scott & Ivy’s safe travels.

    Today, Tomorrow, This Weekend, And Beyond

    Sometimes, the stories just line up.

    • Speaking of John Allison’s decision to end the Bad Machinery casefiles, there was a nice demonstration of how deep his comic world does in today’s update of Expecting To Fly. In 1996, young Erin Winters learns that being in Hell is pretty awesome if you’re a kick-ass lady. In 2007, Erin got sucked into Hell and found it wasn’t all looking awesome in skimpy battle armor and beating boys with a sword. Rather, it was honkin’ huge battle armor and beating the snot out of Robot Hitler.

      Alas, ruling Hell can get old and she made her way outwards in 2010, but even escaping from Hell doesn’t make things all the way better. If Hell is other people, what is people not being able to remember you unless they look right at you? Will she ever get to see her family again? Possibly not. And that, my friends, is how you do a callback across two (maybe three) different series.

    • Speaking of old strips and re-draws, part one: tomorrow will be the re-release of the one strip that did more than any other to propel me wholesale into the world of webcomics. Tomorrow will be the return of the fabled Frog Rocket Wiener. I’ve mentioned before that the first money I ever spent with a webcomic creator was for a merch pack offered by Owen Dunne in the before-times: a t-shirt, a book, a sketch of Jethro. I think I speak for all when I greet this news with a hearty Clippy.
    • Hey, anybody going to be in the lower panhandle of Alaska, say, this weekend? The fine folks behind Alaska Robotics continue their trend of inviting creators north of 48 to talk on topics of interest, and this Friday/Saturday is when Dylan Meconis talks about character design (and since this is Meconis we’re talking about, probably a good mention of worldbuilding as well).

      Best of all, she’ll be sharing a wealth of never-before-seen material for the workshop part of the weekend, and we may see the information shared widely afterwards. I’d drop by, but you know — there’s a whole continent in the way. If you in the PNW and can catch a flight or ferry, I urge you to do so.

    • Speaking of old strips and re-draws, part two: in case you ever wondered why it is that Randy Milholland hasn’t released any Something*Positive print collections (I know I was), we now know the answer is bad luck:

      Basically, long ago, I lost a lot of the 300dpi master files. I had multiple back-ups, but some ended up corrupted and some, the CDs they were on were destroyed in a move. I did over 330 strips my first year, and I only had about one hundred comics’ master files in a complete form (i.e. laid out with word bubbles, etc.). Just under a third them, I had elements of the master files — characters and backgrounds — but not laid out in strip format (mostly from December to March – I don’t remember why I saved all of those elements to separate files, but am glad I did). Many of these aren’t complete, so elements had to be redrawn, but that’s something.

      The remaining strips, I had nothing for but the web-resolution 72dpi files that are on my site. I considered pushing the 72dpi files to 300dpi and just redoing the text. The comics would be fuzzy but readable, but I got some sample pages and it looked awful. I tried a slew of things (converting to vector and enlarging, filters, and more) – everything looked horrible.

      So what I’ve been doing since for comics I have no master files for is printing the 72dpi comics out, enlarged, and tracing them on a light box — panel by panel — rescanning them, coloring them, and just remaking the entire comic.

      Check out the sample originals and redraws — Milholland’s done an amazing job of recreating his art style from 2001-2002, which is to say he’s probably ground down his teeth to nothing, since they look so very different than his modern style. For me, this is great news … not the ground-down teeth, but the fact that my long wait for a print collection of S*P (the first of many, hopefully) will not have to continue much longer. Soon, my precious, ssssoooonnnnn.

    Spam of the day:

    Variable weather is one of the few guarantees.

    In Juneau, that is definitely true. Dress warm/dry, Dylan!

    NYCC 2014 Recap

    Yes, yes, this was meant to be up over the weekend; life got in the way.

    In the (goodness, nine) years that I’ve been attending New York Comic Con — every show, from the first year with people huddling in the cold and fire marshals not letting vendors back onto the floor — it has changed a lot. The show essentially doubled in floorspace until it took up the entire Javits Center (although that was interrupted for about three years by constructions on the exhibit floor), and then continued to grow as it shifted Artist Alley into the northern annex of the JC two years ago. In essence, NYCC has only been in its final, evolved size for two or three years; with the spate of harassing behavior last year addressed by this year’s prominent Cosplay is not Consent policy, one could argue it’s only now found its final form.

    And that form is a partially comics-realted (primarily in the Artists Alley, which is an excellent comics-only space), mostly pop-culture related, and doesn’t have much room for webcomics. There are holdouts here and there, but the years of major webcomics appearing at NYCC gave way to a contingent of local creators gave way to them really only showing up for signings. The next year or two will probably determine if that shift ever shifts back to when webcomickers were more likely to participate, but with SPX and APE in the weeks before NYCC, and Webcomics Rampage a month later, it may be that webcomics has decided to pursue shows that are more suited to their own sensibilities.

    To the extent that independent creators persist at the show, it will probably be in the northern annex of the Javits, where the Artists Alley is (as previously noted) spacious, lacking in overwhelming booths and noise that lend claustrophia, and even features a view of the outside world at a couple of points. It’s where I ran into Karl Kerschl, Maki Naro, and Jim Zub, and they seemed to be having a good time of it.

    • I first met Karl Kerschl at NYCC about seven years ago, when The Abominable Charles Christopher was new and he couldn’t get people coming by his table to care. Yeah, yeah, great they muttered as they flipped through Flash pages, causing me to be wonder where their brains were. This year, it couldn’t have been more different — in the middle of the highly-publicized launch of Gotham Academy and a huge push from DC, Kerschl shared how the fans were coming to talk Charles Christopher and back that up with cash. That’s about all I’ve got left he said on Friday afternoon, pointing to about ten copies each of the two Charles Christopher softcover collections.

      He also let me know that the push to get ahead on Gotham Academy means that we won’t see him back on Charles Christopher until the first of the year or so — it’s the first real hiatus in seven years, but he’s got to find new work patterns as he does his first ongoing title since adding two toddlers to his family. He sees a way to get the production on GA to the point that stealing time for Charles Christopher won’t impact its quality — even when he’s working on comics that aren’t all his own, he doesn’t want to do less than the best job in the world. In the meantime, he’s tossing ideas around in his head, figuring he’s got maybe a year of updates needed to wrap up all the storylines in Charles Christopher, which will make for a nice, oversized volume three in 2016.

      Making me the world’s happiest Kerschl fan, he allowed that he’ll be coming back to my favorite storyline (Luga and Sissi Skunk’s underhanded dealings) early in the process, and he has ideas about how to wrap up other storylines — the owlet who went off with his crazy uncle, the bird just trying to be a good husband and father, and the rabbity romance that may be his favorite. Oh, and Charles Christopher, Gilgamesh, the malevolent spirit lion, and the end of the world, that too. The fact that the main storyline is just one of the threads speaks to the greatest advantage of Charles Christopher — the obvious love that Kerschl has for all of his characters and the desire to tell their stories properly.

    • Speaking of meeting people at the NYCC Artists Alley, I first met Maki Naro there last year, and I continue to find him an absolute delight. We traded accounts of officiating weddings (terrifying at first, then awesome), talked about what’s involved in working entirely for yourself for a year (a challenge), and what’s coming up (some work illustrating a story written by James Ashby, aka History’s Greatest Monster).
    • Pretty sure that the first time I met Jim Zub in person was at NYCC and if it wasn’t, I’m keeping with the theme so now it was. Having just wrapped up the Figment¹ limited series for Disney/Marvel, he’s just been announced for the tie-in comic for the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series. It’s not the sort of thing that Marvel usually goes in for (an explicitly for-kids comic), but it is the sort of thing that they go huge for over in Europe, so let’s hope that all the kids in Germany, France, and Italy love Zub’s work as much as we do, because they’re going to be a big part of the equation in keeping the series going.

      And because he works for so many different companies on so many different comics, Zub and I always — always — end up talking as we walk from one place to another; I’m not sure we could deal with each other if we had to stand still. He showed me some art for upcoming issues of Wayward and we talked about how Japan (as it is) often doesn’t get depicted in Western media (particularly comics) and how he’s looking forward to addressing some of that as the story unfolds. Keep an eye on this ambitious young go-getter; I think he might just have a future in comics.

    Out on the main show floor, I was able to nod in the direction of Unca Lar and Unca Sohmer, but the crowd around their booth was a bit too thick to penetrate. Similarly, I was able to manage a quick minute or two at the Cyanide & Happiness booth, where Dave, Rob, and Kris never get a respite from their many fans.

    • The highlight of the center of the show floor was dropping by the :01 Books booth, where I met their new book designer. Colleen AF Venable was a big set of shoes to fill, but after checking out the portfolio of Danielle Ceccolini, I think she’ll do just fine. It’s got to be a challenge coming in to work on book series that have a look and feel already established², but on the other hand, there will be new books (like the series on teaching coding by Gene Yang and Mike Holmes) where she can make her own mark. Look for the work that Ceccolini’s doing now to appear on books about this time next year.
    • The bulk of my time was at the periphery of the show floor, where Holly Rowland of TopatoCo was reppin’ for Welcome to Night Vale and the commerce never entirely stopped. Watching people find Night Vale stuff and smile was a kick to watch; pointing out the sign that said The creators of Night Vale will be signing HERE from 2:00 — 4:00pm and seeing the happiness spread across their faces was a thrill.

      Actually watching the younger fans (and from my POV, y’all are youngsters) meet Cecil Baldwin and Dylan Marron and do involuntary jazz hands in front of their mouths while bouncing up and down — absolutely adorable. Baldwin and Marron were lovely gentlemen, taking the time to thank me for helping to wrangle the line until Rowland got more help and to encourage me to feel better (with respect to the cold that I was getting over)³. I”ll even confess that Night Vale isn’t a thing that I’m super into, but damn if the creators behind it aren’t super quality people.

    • On the cosplay front, I saw six different Kikis (which struck me as a little unusual, but they looked great), a Kate Bishop Hawkeye that had her arrows arranged so their tips (purple, of course) formed a heart shape in the air like a halo, a Prince Robot IV with a changing video loop, a Strong Bad with The Cheat (The Cheat was not grounded; Mr Strong explained that he was getting over a bad breakup, and so he was brought to the con to cheer up by making fun of nerds), and an astonishingly good Buttercup and Fezzik duo (she was maybe 4’10”, so he really did look like a giant next to her). But the best job of cosplay was absolutely the pair of Dr Girlfriend and Dr Mrs The Monarch. Bravo.

    Spam of the day:

    My relatives all the time say that I am killing my time here at net, except I know I am getting experience all the time by reading such good content.

    Your relatives are idiots and you should ignore them. Wait, are any of them going to give you money? Maybe pay a little attention to them.

    ¹ If you run into Zub at any time in the future, ask him to tell you the story about the enormous biker dude that brought the set of Figment issues to an appearance to get them signed. Everybody has something that takes them back their own personal childhood sense of wonder.

    ² Looking at side-by-side copies of George O’Connor’s first six Olympians books, the foil treatments (Zeus’s lightning bolt, Aphrodite’s golden apple, Persephone’s pomegranate, etc) really jump out.

    ³ No fever, no cough or sneezing, but I steadfastly refused to shake hands with anybody on the show floor; there may be con crud in the world, but I will not be Patient Zero./em

    Just Back From NYCC

    And boy are my arms tired!

    Wait, that doesn’t work. Okay, never mind. I’ll post about how I found the show tomorrow, but right now I’ma take a nap.