The webcomics blog about webcomics

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

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

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

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

    One week run, ends Sept. 5.

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

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

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

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

    You are now out of the will, me laddo.

    Tough break, kid. Maybe Munroe will adopt you?


Spam of the day:

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¹ To call it an update feels too limiting.

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

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

Pruning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Spam of the day:

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

Dearly Beloved

This is going to be brief, and there will likely be no posting tomorrow, as I am on final approach to something I’ve been looking forward to for some months now. Tomorrow evening, I’ll be officiating at the wedding of friends, because I am totally a member of the clergy in a completely actual religion and the state of New Jersey (in its wisdom) does not judge the validity of ordinations¹.

So a lot of the time between now and then is being spent going over stuff in my head, so I don’t screw things up; thus, two quick callbacks and I’ll go back to prepping my homily and making sure my vestments are crisply pressed and in order. Also, for reasons that I can’t go into right now, I have to buy a pineapple².

  • Firstly, there are more installments of the Becky and Phil discussion at Benign Kingdom. Lo, gaze upon Part Three and also upon Part Four, and feel the stirrings of blessedness within you.
  • Secondly, a reminder that Kristen Siebecker’s August wine class is coming up next week and given that it’s the last week of summer vacation before everybody comes back to town, there’s plenty of room. You get 10% off with the discount code EMAIL10, but overdrink not wine nor strong drink thou, lest the inside of your skull smite thee the next day.

Spam of the day:

Whenever you get bored along with your writing, think about every one of the rewards of your graduate education.

Because I was stupid enough to attempt studies in two entirely unrelated fields (Electrical Engineering and History, because apparently I hated joy in my life), my graduate education’s “rewards” involved wrangling two advisors that neither spoke each other’s language, nor had much regard for each other’s fields. I can, however, talk endlessly about how independent systems on different technical standards (think power grid or local telephone exchanges) evolved and found ways to become interconnected wholes, and also how fights between standards get settled (i.e.: AC vs DC, VHS vs Betamax, BluRay vs HD DVD). In modern times, the answer is almost always Whichever one doesn’t forbid porn.

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¹ Those that wish to debate whether or not I can perform my ministerial duties while being an atheist and also Jon Rosenberg is in possession of my soul may do so in the comments.

² That’s not code for anything, I have to buy an actual pineapple.

Awards Season

There’s an intersection of three different awards that include comics that have come together. Let’s take them in turn.

  • Last night at LonCon, they gave out the Hugos, as we noted in the recent past. I was hoping, but didn’t really think it would happen: the award for Best Graphic Story went to Randall Munroe for the xkcd update known as Time. Look at the other nominees: the latest Girl Genius chapter by Phil and Kaja Foglio with Cheyenne Wright (who won this category the first three years of its existence), a Doctor Who story by the author of the all-time favorite two-parter Human Nature/The Famiy of Blood, an adaptation of a George RR Martin story, and Saga, the most justly-celebrated comic on the shelves right now (and last year’s winner). And yet the winner was the one entry that could only exist in the digital realm — 3101 frames, released over a period of months. Well done, Randall.
  • The Harvey Awards are unique in that the electorate is made up not of a expert jury or whoever cares to attend a particular convention — these are voted on by working comics professionals, so we get to (in theory, at least) see what the people who make comics think are the best work of their peers. Final ballots (which can be submitted electronically) are due today, and if you make a webcomic you count as a member of the industry.

    The Best Online Comics Work category will choose between Mike Norton’s Battlepug (a previous Eisner winner), The Dreamer by Lora Innes, Tom Siddell’s Gunnerkrigg Court, JL8 by Yale Stewart, and Table Titans by Scott Kurtz, Mary Cagle, Steve Hamaker, and Brian Hurtt. Much as I like Table Titans (it’s probably going to be Kurtz’s career-best work), and despite terrific work from for years now, I think that Siddell is long overdue for recognition. A’course, I don’t get a vote, and those of you that do may we disagree. We’ll find out who gets the honor at Baltimore Comic Con, specifically on Saturday, 6 September.

  • A week later at SPX, the annual Ignatz Awards will present their ceremonial bricks, and the final ballot was released today. Given the focus of the Ignatz on indie comics, there’s a fair amount of overlap between those that might be considered purely webcomickers, and those that might be described as webcomics-adjacent. Nominees that caught my eye included a dual nod to Sophie Goldstein for Outstanding Artist (for multiple works including Darwin Carmichael is Going To Hell) and Outstanding Minicomic (for House of Women). Outstanding Graphic Novel is heavy on the :01 Books library, featuring Boxers & Saints and This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.

    Outstanding Story nominees include Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie story Brownout Biscuit (collected in Dead Forever). Jason Shiga has two nods for Demon, in Outstanding Series and Outstanding Online Comic, where he is joined by Anya Davidson’s Band For Life, Dane Martin’s Big Dogs At Nite, On Hiatus by Pete Toms, and Vattu by Evan Dahm. It looks like most categories will be tough for the SPX voters to decide, but given how much I love Darwin, Octopie, and Gran, I’m hoping that the Brooklyn-resident (formerly, in Goldstein’s case) contingent brings home the bricks.


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Arrivals

Oh, Mercy. Art by Twitter user Sheana Molloy, all rights respected.

The first notice came on Monday morning, and except for the expected news some seven hours later, details were thin. Had the Straubchild entered the world already, a world not ready for something so good, so pure? Signs pointed to yes, and while confirmation has not been made public, neither have the many, many expressions of congratulations been dismissed. It now being Wednesday, it seems safe to assume that Kris and Marlo have welcomed their first young’un into their lives, and may soon (give it a week or so) stop bursting into spontaneous, happy tears.

Welcome, little one. I wasn’t kidding when I said that you were too good for this weary, broken world; we’ll try to make it better by the time you’d notice. Try to give your parents the occasional full night’s sleep, and be sure to provide your dad with lots of creative juice. It’s a weird, wonderful thing, life, and welcome to it.

*****

Webcomickers not making their way towards Indianapolis for Gen Con¹ (a partial list of which may be found in yesterday’s post) may be instead making their ways to other shows happening in the immediate future.


Spam of the day:

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Is that you, Zdarsky?

_______________
¹ So called because it originated in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin about the time I was born. It bounced around Wisconsin for a while and eventually settled in Indy.

² Where, I should note, webcomics compete against all other form of comics in the same category.

³ Not to be confused with the other Canadian Mike Holmes, the house builder on TV. I’m sure the comics Mike Holmes is plenty handy, and maybe the TV guy can draw, but they actually are two totally different dudes.

Getting Up

this is why no matter how bad I feel, I get up in the morning. you never know when the #weinermobile will show up. — Rich Stevens

The news that Robin Williams died yesterday — a suspected suicide — has stirred up a great deal of shock and sadness in the social media that I follow. I think he was likely a formative comedic influence (maybe the formative comedic influence) for a lot of cartoonists¹, and the further detail that he had been struggling with severe depression² likewise hit hard.

So many of the creators I follow — so many of my friends — have their own struggles with depression and other mental illness; as recently as five years ago I wouldn’t have realized it because it wasn’t talked about. We, as a society, have made strides in destigmatizing mental illness. I’m grateful that there are medications that help to rebalance whichever bits of brain chemistry get out of whack; I’ll be more grateful when it’s easier for everybody to get them, and to navigate the period of time it takes to get the right mix of brain drugs.

I’m grateful for every one of my friends that speaks up and says Here’s why today was a hard day; here’s what helps me have better days. And I am particularly grateful to whoever put together two words to get the most important idea across: depression lies.

If you’ve heard those lies, heard the falsehoods that nobody cares, that nobody would miss you, that you lack value, look around at everybody that’s been where you are while making things that you love. I haven’t had those lies directed at me but if I should in the future, remind me that they are full of shit until I can believe it again; we can only be there for each other.

And besides, listen to the lies and maybe you’ll miss out on your own chance to see the Wienermobile; it scientifically proven that you can’t help but have a better day when you see the Wienermobile³. Now I’m going to hit you with short items until we’re all feeling a little better.

  • What Passes For Journalism These Days, I Swear The utter lack of effort in this story makes me shake my head. Okay, maybe you don’t recognize the Capture Creatures but you couldn’t take ten seconds to ask around? Or take two minutes to browse covers at the Boom! site until you find some that look like the same style and wonder who this Becky Dreistadt is and then you’ve cracked the code.
  • Ryantastic and Estradariffic Ryan Estrada has answered my question from yesterday about what happens if one of his Patreon backers stops backing with respect to licensed works:

    @fleenguy Folks can continue to publish what they already published while a supporter, and if there’s a grey area- I’m happy if they are.

    Also, we now know why he’s willing to go to all the effort of researching and comicking Gimme Five! answers: penance.

  • Late Notice, Sorry A healthy chunk of webcomics will be at GenCon starting the day after tomorrow; Jennie Breeden’s done a floor map for you, so I just need to note that the PvP/Table Titans crews will be at booth 2435, Jim Zub and Howard Tayler at booth 1437, and Blind Ferret’s (booth 541) guests will include David Malki !, Alina Pete, Randy Milholland, James Hicks, and Sam Logan.
  • Even Later Notice, Sorrier Tonight at Modern Myths Comics in Northampton, MA is Ladies Night with Jess Fink and Kate Leth, presented by TopatoCo. I don’t want to promise anything, but Northampton is just one hampton over from Easthampton, where the Wienermobile was just an hour ago. It is not impossible you might see it if you go to Ladies Night at 7:00pm.

Spam of the day:

can vinegar kill mold

It is not widely known, but my superpower (my other superpower that is; my main superpower is moustachery) is that I can clean almost anything. I have gotten ground-in chocolate out of a white fabric couch and an olive oil spill out of a suede jacket. And when life calls on The Stainmaster, the two tools closest to hand are baking soda and vinegar. So I feel qualified to say that while vinegar is a tremendous asset in cleaning, its lethality vis-á-vis mold varies with the species involved. To kill mold, I’d recommend bleach.

_______________
¹ And given the longevity of his career, it doesn’t matter how old said cartoonists are.

² Along with long-standing addictions.

³ True story: one of my sisters was up for a job driving the Wienermobile right out of college but didn’t get it. It’s a damn shame, because I’ve always thought she’s exactly the sort of person you’d want driving the Wienermobile.

Wienermobile.

Wienermobile.

Wienermobile.

Friday Afternoon And All’s Well

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Good news:

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

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

    2 MORE BOOKS TO GO

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

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

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

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

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


Spams of the day:

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And …

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Today’s Theme Is … Cheese?

I am mathematically certain that I will get more angry comments for the mouseover text in that image up there than anything else I write today.

  • While we’re all anxiously awaiting the launch of the Wonderella Kickstarter that’s due today, two separate webcomickers (that deal significantly in the various sciences) lighted upon the same topic for the day. On the one hand, engaging in descriptive precision not often seen outside the brain of T-Rex, you have Zach Weinersmith describing the production of cheese in needlessly clinical terminology while simultaneously calling out young children for hypocrisy. Stupid young children!

    On the other hand, you have Maki Naro looking at the history of cheesemaking, wherein we learn that it’s one long string of Hey, dare you to eat this. I would note that the dare-to-eats that were filled with deadly pathogens are not shown, which leads to a couple of possible conclusions:

    • If we take them to have happened but are no remembered, then cheese evolved, with deadly (or more likely, non-palatable) variants being selected against.
    • If instead we take them to have never existed in transitional forms and all cheese to be intelligently designed by a Prime Cheesemover, then God is real and those that eat secularist cheeses are going to hell.

    Arguments for or against may be directed to Mr Naro, but given the nature of this new interview which discusses in part his skeptic tendencies, we can safely conclude he believes in Godless evolutionary/Big Bang-derived Devil’s cheese¹, the atheist pervert.

  • Dealing with neither cheese or the question of divine existence, those in and around Dallas are advised to seek out Zeus Comics tomorrow, as Danielle Corsetto catches up with her convention husband Randy Milholland for a joint signing from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Danielle’s already under instructions to give Randy a hug for me, but if you wanted to do so as well, that’s cool.

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¹ Which begs the question, would the Devil’s cheese be the most sumptuous, delicious, decadent cheeses, designed to lure the unwary into lives of pleasure? Or would they be pressurized goo in a spray can (which — much like the unholy “wyngz” — may not be referred to legally with a proper spelling) and rubbery, flavorless, individually wrapped slices of “cheese food”, a term which contains two words that are both lies?

Post Con Post

Got a lot of stuff at SDCC this year, all of it readable (I’m usually good for at least one toy, but not this year); I spread it out for the customary photo, which my dog decided to crash. For the record, he was here in New Jersey the entire week. In case any of you want to know what’s good, let’s do a survey:

  • On the left hand side, the Stan Sakai tribute book and the hardcover collection of 47 Ronin (on which Sakai supplied the art); the former is new, the latter’s been out since March, but I hadn’t been able to find a copy anywhere so yay. Sakai is one of the great treasures of comics, and if you haven’t been reading his work all along, you could do far worse than to read the standalone story of the loyal retainers of the Asano Clan.
  • Top center you’ve got the two cheats: In Real Life and To Be Or Not To Be. My copy of TBONTB is nearly a year old, but the key word is nearly; my copy came in the mail just after SDCC ’13, and thus I missed the opportunity to get contributors to sign it. I brought it this year, and now have 19 of the 69 contributors; this one may take a few more cons. A copy of In Real Life by Jen Wang and Cory Doctorow was offered to me at the :01 Books booth, but I suspected I’d have a copy waiting for me when I got home and so it was.
  • Continuing clockwise, we get the latest Bravest Warriors and the last issue of Midas Flesh, both of which are excellent (Midas #8 is the Ryan Northiest story that there ever could be), and for both of which I offer my profound thanks to the folks at BOOM!, in that they actually sell their comics at their booth.
  • I see now that I could have composed the placement of items a little better to keep similar things together, but oh well. We have the previously-mentioned Penultimate Quest by Lars Brown and Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Africa Edition, edited by Kel McDonald, both of which I devoured on the plane. Penultimate dares to ask the question Why are we invading this same dungeon day after day and why doesn’t time pass? from the perspective of a character in that situation. It’s a ballsy thing to decide that Valhalla gets kind of old when it might be your eternal reward; it’s ballsier for Brown to end the book on a cliffhanger, with resolution to come in volume 2.

    Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of damn good stories in Cautionary, ranging in their treatment and degree of fidelity to source material. Also unsurprisingly, the standout was Carla Speed McNeil’s story of why Frog and Snake don’t play together; no other story captured the sense of timelessness, the speech rhythms of griot, and drop-dead gorgeous art that precisely matched the needs of the tale to quite the same degree. Then again, if you’re producing a story that isn’t quite as assured as one by McNeil, you’re doing pretty damn well.

  • In between Brown and McDonald’s gifts is the first issue of Terry Moore’s SIP Kids, bringing characters from his justly-acclaimed Strangers In Paradise together as Peanuts-age children. It’s hilarious and you should get it even if you never read Strangers; you’ll get more out of it if you’re familiar with Moore’s work, but it stands marvelously on its own.
  • In the center, you’ve got Jim Zub’s most recent Skullkickers issue (I had trouble finding it previously) and Jeff Smith’s first print issue of his webcomic Tüki Save the Humans. Typing their names in such close proximity makes me want to see those two dudes collaborate on something someday. Oh man, that would be awesome.

Oh, and my hotel clerk gave me these, which was very generous given that I hear there’s a trade in them on eBay.


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Cleaning Up, Tearing Down

Sunday is always an odd day at San Diego Comic Con; the Eisner and Masquerade winners are known (and there’s been time for all the arguments about how they rock and/or suck to have been identified), vendors have started to quantify sales numbers and get an idea how things compared to last year (consensus: cautious optimism), and everybody on the floor is simultaneously looking forward to and dreading packing up and packing out. It’s when you start to blend together what do I need to do today with what do I need to do differently next year and even the casual conversations get wacky. It’s a day when you’re still 18 hours away from dropping your bag and worrying about the new laptop inside when you should have been worried about the glass bottle of orange juice in the outside bottle pocket, or maybe that’s just me¹. Here, then are things that happened on Sunday, none of which happened to me more than 50 meters away from the big WEBCOMICS banner hanging over the center of the Sexy Lagoon.

  • Mark Siegel of :01 Books has some unique challenges in this life — he’s got one hell of a reputation to uphold at his tiny little imprint with a staff of four (three, once Colleen AF Venable leaves for her new art director gig, although she’ll still be a :01 author), he has the challenge of collaborating with Scott McCloud on Mcloud’s next book (although it’s based on a presentation/workshop that McCloud’s been refining for years, so a lot of the heavy lifting is done), and they kept running out of fives at the booth.

    None of these things bother him; the books will continue to be of amazingly high quality, because that is the mission that his staff are committed to, and he’ll fight the necessary fights with his bosses to get the budget to make them; he edited McCloud’s upcoming The Sculptor with an exacting eye at McCloud’s insistence, so the working relationship there is solid; and heck, I could always break some twenties for them out of the Dumbrella register. Add it all up and you’ve got no reason to be in a state of botheration, although perhaps next show they’ll get another pack of fivers. The fact that :01′s fall slate of books looks absolutely breathtaking doesn’t hurt, and if Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints didn’t take the Eisner in their category, it’s only because they lost to fellow :01 offering Battling Boy by Paul Pope². Challenges ahead, but nothing they can’t deal with.

  • The odd hybrid creature known at Freddave Kellett-Schroeder wound up winning the in the documentary category of the SDCC International Film Festival. The statue for that may be less well known than the famed rotating Eisner globe, but it’s springy, and apparently delicious as well. Let’s see if maybe they can’t snag a nomination for Best Related Work next year and put the globe next to the spring.
  • Ian Jones-Quartey, supervising director of Steven Universe was kind enough to drop by the Dumbrella booth and let me in on all the info from the panel that I missed; they’ve been picked up for another 52 episodes, which will bring them to a total of 104, so right now [they] just have to keep making them. It’s been a while since I saw an animated series launch as strong as Steven right out of the gate, and it’s just gotten better over the length of its first season (I’m invested in this show to the extend that I have theories and headcanon, which are not things a man pushing 50 should have). I also asked Jones-Quartey when RPG World is coming back, thus pushing it back another month, and now I owe myself a dollar. Awesome.
  • Danielle Corsetto is back on the road, about 60% of the way through her summer signing trip, and having the time of her life. She’s sold more books than ever she expected (an emergency resupply shipment had to be sent to Omaha), and she assures me that she has plans — big plans — for her career and her comics in the coming year. Details on those when she’s ready to share, but in the meantime, today marks the start of the latest GWS guest week, this one by Randy Milholland of Something*Positive.
  • Lars Brown was kind enough to drop by the booth with a copy of Penultimate Quest, the product of his recent Kickstarter. He was even kinder to sign it for me. I’m not sure where I’m going to draw you, Gary! fell on my internal kindness scale until I saw what he produced — Laser Moustache. Mr Brown, you are rad.

The best cosplay of the day was a tie between the very subtle and understated Sen (or was that Chihiro?) from Spirited Away and the very detailed and over the top Steampunk Buddy Christ. With Sen, it was the small details, like a fat mouse and a small fly on her shoulder; with Buddy, it was the rotating clockwork heart on his chest, with handmade escapement gears and multiple complications. Good job, cosplayers!


Spam of the day:

It’s difficult now to focus on Andrew, but also really enjoyed your prized and your particular way with words.

Yeah, Andrew’s great.

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¹ Everything was okay, if variously damp and sticky and I’m writing this on the laptop in question so it still works, yay.

² A book which is simultaneously Pope at his Paul Popiest and his Jack Kirbiest. It’s a joy to read.