The webcomics blog about webcomics

Holy Crap, It’s Supposed To Be A Quiet Week

I mean, it’s SDCC week, people are already traveling to SoCal for the nerd prom, and a billion items have come up in the past couple days. Okay, these are each going to be brief because it’s like seven things.

  • New SDCC offsite events In addition to all the programming mentioned last week, there are things happening outside the convention center. Singer-songwriter Marian Call (cohort of Alaska Roboticist Pat Race and famed portrayer of Top Space Man) will be part of a show called Space Time on 10 July (that’s Friday) at 7:00pm. Know who else will be there? Molly Lewis (aka Ground Control) and Bobak “We Are Go” Ferdowsi.

    Lewis will also be part of BAMF, the Bad Ass Music Festival, held 10-12 July in nearby Ruocco Park, alongside such luminaries as Kirby Krackle, Paul and Storm, and The Doubleclicks.

  • Future plans for The Response Matt Bors follow up on earlier announcements of what’s going on with editorial cartooning at Medium via an announcement at The Response. Short version: It’s a finite project, through the end of July, and more conversations will occur between now and then.
  • The AV Club loves webcomics Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor got cited as one of the best piece of media (not comics, all of media) for the first half of 2015, while John Allison, Noelle Stevenson, Ryan North & Erica Henderson, and Gemma Correll were cited as being part of the best of print for the same timeframe.
  • Kickstarts Magnolia Porter wins the Most Adorable Kickstarter Video, Like, Ever award … oh, yeah, and it’s part of the launch for Monster Pulse’s second print collection, Phantom Limbs. It’s no secret that Monster Pulse is one of my favorite webcomics (just check out today’s update to see why — wow), so I’m urging everybody to back this one because I want my book, dammit.

    And if that weren’t enough, longtime editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow announced his Kickstart via Make That Thing, and it’s a doozy. Twenty five years of strips will be constructed into a 1000 page, two-volume hardcover collection, with an estimated mass of nearly 7 kg. Such a huge collection needs a huge goal, and with less than 24 hours elapsed, Mr Tomorrow has exceeded the US$87,000 needed and is closing in on US$100K. And can I say holy crap, somebody took him up on the US$10K reward tier? This one’s gonna be metaphorically and physically huge.


Spam of the day:

Dr.Oz bikini secret

Man, I can’t find even one picture of Dr Oz in a bikini. Laaaaaame.

Thanks On A Quiet Day

I don’t know if it’s because yesterday was Canada Day and Canadians are still dealing with the aftermath of their celebrations, or because tomorrow is the observation of Independence Day and Americans are getting a head start on their celebrations, or because San Diego preview night is less than a week away, but it is dead out there today.

(Actually, I do know why it’s dead out there today. It’s combo of:

  • The news that Sonia Manzano¹, aka Maria from Sesame Street has announced that she’s retiring from the show after 44 years and we’re all preoccupied with thinking how much she influenced our lives while feeling bad for future generations that won’t get the same experience. Also, what about Luis? Oh my glob are they going to split up? Is Maria going to die? Next it’ll be Bob that goes away and they may as well pack up the set, I can’t even.
  • The fact that my internet is hell of acting up today, with certain sites — minor sites, like Gmail — intermittently refusing to load, while the work laptop is just fine when it’s on VPN and the phone is just fine when it’s on cell data. Yep, this one’s on you, Verizon, and since your phone process makes it basically unpossible toa actually reach a human being (much less one that knows how to actually fix things), I’ll just have to ride this one out and I hate you².)

So let’s look at some things coming up a bit later in the month, yeah? They’re both at the Cartoon Art Museum because good on them keeping up the programming while simultaneously prepping for their involuntary move of location.

First up, Thursday, 16 July from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, CAM will be holding a master class in Comic Book Storytelling, conducted by Alan Gordon (who’s worked on some indie comics called Fantastic Four and Captain America). It’s going to set you back US$50 (US$40 if you’re a CAM member) and will teach you scripting and storyboarding.

And then a couple weeks later, from 27 July (that’s a Monday) to 31 July (Friday), you can send the late pre-snotty stage kids (call it 10 – 14) with intermediate art skills to Cartoon Boot Camp, each day from 11:00am to 1:00pm³. This session is on Constructing Comics, and will teach the full set of skills: developing a story, rough layouts, illustrating, and creating a final comic. They’ll look at different formats (comic book, comic strip, manga) and create an original during the week. This one costs US$135 (US$100 for members) and includes basic materials, but feel free to send your sprogs with their own sketchbooks and tools.

Both classes are at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission Street in San Francisco, which I must stress is a great space. If you possibly can, take the opportunity to check it out before it has to pack up for new digs. Oh, and if you’re going to be at SDCC next week, be sure to drop by the Cartoon Art Museum booth (#1930) and toss ’em a few bucks drop by to see curator Andrew Farago at one of the panels he’ll be moderating (Comic Strips in the Modern Era on Friday; Working Together: Writers and Artists and Kids’ Comics on Saturday). Feel free to thank him for the great work the museum’s done, too.

Oh, and remind me to drop a note of thanks to Sonia Manzano for teaching me to count to ten in Spanish when I was wee. My favorite number is still ocho.


Spam of the day:

Gut Bacteria Responsible for 170 Digestive Disorders — Go here to eliminate toxic gut bacteria and eliminate digestive problems in 2 minutes a day

You know what else my gut bacteria are responsible for? Keeping me alive. I think I’ll maybe not take your snake oil and maybe die as a result, thanks though!

_______________
¹ How did I not know until today that she was in Death Wish with Jeff Goldblum? Kids, do not go exploring her complete filmography unless your parents are around, okay?

²That you refers to the incompetent human being that Verizon won’t let me reach, not you personally. You’re lovely.

³ Actually, the reservation page says it’s until 2:00pm, not 1:00pm. Better check what time you need to be there to pick up your kid so you don’t get done for abandonment or something similarly stupid.

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.

SDCC 2015 Panel Preview

Okay! This is a bit late, seeing as how SDCC 2015 preview night¹ is a week from tomorrow and all, but the whole unable to sit upright thing yesterday put a crimp in our posting plans. Mea culpa, and let’s do this. As usual, this is a list of programs and panels in/around SDCC that I think will be of interest to the readers of this page.


Special Program For Those In Town Early

An Evening With Raina Telgemeier
TUESDAY 6:00pm — 7:00pm, San Diego Central Library

The appeal of this panel should be self-evident.


Each Day Starting Thursday

The Cartoon Art Museum will be holding its annual Sketch-a-Thon at booth #1930, with top-flight creative talent putting in one hour shifts and sketching for a suggested US$10 donation. See the booth for daily schedules.


Thursday Programming

Comic Book Law School 101: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
10:30am — 12:00pm, 30CDE

The first of three sessions on making creators sound less like they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about re: matters of law, copyright, and so forth. Go to all of them.

Breaking into Comics Right Now
12:00pm — 1:00pm, Room 28DE

Go for the very clever people on this panel — Charlie Chu of Oni, Gina Gagliano of :01 Books, Matt Gagnon of BOOM! Studios, Ed Brisson, Sam Humpries, and Jim Zub in the moderator’s chair.

Comics for Impact: STEM Education
12:00pm — 1:00pm, Shiley Special Events, San Diego Central Library

I’m of two minds about this one; on the one hand it’s got Jorge Cham (PhD) and others from the world of academia, but on the other it lacks Dante Shepherd/Lucas Landsherr, who is as we speak working off a grant to produce comics for STEM education. It’s also got Alan Gershenfeld of E-Line Media, who are the people that bought out all of Joey Manley’s sites/expertise and then never did anything with them in the webcomics sphere again. I suspect it will be about 85% really good and about 15% faintly infuriating.

First Second: What’s in a Page?
1:30pm — 2:30pm, Room 4

:01 honcho Mark Siegel talking with :01 authors Scott McCloud, Gene Luen Yang, Rafael Rosado, and Aron Steinke. Not optional.

Sergio & Mark Show
3:30pm — 4:30pm, Room 8

Year after year I recommend this, and year after year do you go? Why you gotta make me feel neglected here? Sergio and Mark are comics’ great storytellers (that is, telling stories about comics and those that make comics, occasionally in the form of comics).

Comic-Con How-To: Art Theft Law: Prevention, Protection Prosecution
4:30pm — 6:00pm, Room 2

Sad to say, this is an important one. Learn how to make art thieves cry.

Comics Journalism: It’s About Ethics in Comics Journalism
6:30pm — 7:30pm, Room 24ABC

Guh, I hate that title, but Heidi Mac’s on the panel and she’s always good.

Artists as Brand: Rise of the Artist Entrepreneur
7:30pm — 8:30pm, Room 8

Oddly, there are no webcomics types on this panel — Spike anybody? Brad Guigar (who teaches a class on this)? David Malki !? — but I’d be interested in hearing what they’ve got to say.

Webcomics Advocates and the Webcomics Gathering
8:30pm — 9:30pm, Room 4

Key point: the hosts will, quote, will give any webcomic creators in the audience 30 seconds to promote their comic to the crowd, end quote.


Friday Programming

Spotlight on Scott McCloud
10:00am — 11:00am, Room 9

I’m trusting that it’s only the earliness of the hour that put this panel in one of the modest-sized rooms. Last year McCloud interviewed Gene Luen Yang for his spotlight; this year Yang returns the favor.

Comic Book Law School 202: Selling the Sizzle
10:30am — 12:00pm, Room 30CDE

Marketing, licenses, transfers of rights, and everything you need to know so that somebody else doesn’t end up owning your house.

Cartoon Network: Adventure Time and Steven Universe
11:00am – 12:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Start lining up now; the Indigo Ballroom is the new Hall H. Ian Jones-Quartey and Rebecca Sugar will be there (hi, guys!), along with Estelle (Garnet is the best), Zach Callison (Steven), Jeremy Shada (Finn), John DiMaggio (Jake), Olivia Olson (Marceline), and Adam Muto (co-executive producer for AT). Too short a time for so much awesome.

Scott C and The Great Showdowns: Super Happy Hollywood
2:00pm — 3:00pm, Room 29AB

I understand that Mr C will have a limited supply of the third Great Showdowns collection with him in San Diego.

Spotlight on Katie Cook
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 32AB

Gonna just quote from the description because it pretty much says everything you need to know: Katie will be doing a rapid-fire Q&A with the audience while taking audience suggestions for drawings that she’ll be doing live on stage. Be on hand for what promises to be a fun hour of discussion, drawing, cats, and Katie!

How to Crowdfund
3:00pm — 4:30pm, Room 2

Every year they have some variation on this panel, and every year they neglect to invite George Rohac, Spike, anybody from Breadpig, Make That Thing, or any of the post-crowdfunding info services like AFter The Crowd or BackerKit. Get smarter, panel committee!

Spotlight on Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
4:00pm — 5:00pm, Room 29AB

It’s been a heck of a year for the Tamaki cousins, and it ain’t over yet.

In Your Own Time: Webcomics on Your Own Schedule
5:00pm — 6:00pm, Room 29AB

Longtime comics pro-gone-webcomicker Mark Waid, webcomickers turned dead-tree-bestsellers Allie Brosh, Matt Inman, and Lora Innes. I really wish I could see this one.

Orphan Black: BBC America Official Panel
5:45pm — 6:45pm, Room 6BCF

I am mentioning this so that Rich Stevens knows where to send a case of his cleverest t-shirt.


Saturday Programming

Comic Book Law School 303: And Another Thing
10:30am — 12:00pm, Room 30CDE

Advanced topics; if you want to argue fair use or parody without being completely wrong, you need this session. To make use of this session, you really should have attended the previous sessions.

Working Together: Writers and Artists
11:00am — 12:00pm, Room 28DE

Yeah, it’s still early on post-Eisners Saturday morning, but look at the panelists: the Tamakis, Kelly Sue Deconnick & Steve Lieber, Asaf Hauka & Boaz Lavie (of :01’s The Divine), moderated by Andrew Farago. Listen to everything they say and do things they way they say it.

Spotlight on Allie Brosh
1:30pm — 2:30pm, Room 24ABC

In conversation with Felicia Day, with a focus on Brosh’s next book (Solutions & Other Problems, coming in October and hopefully including her dogs).

Camp Out with Lumberjanes!
2015 3:30pm — 4:30pm, Room 8

Oh man, I love Lumberjanes, you guys.

HBO Presents the Comic-Con International Masquerade
8:30pm — 11:30pm, Ballroom 20 (ticketed) with overflow in Room 5AB, Room 6, and the Sails Pavilion

Hosted, as always, by Phil & Kaja Foglio.


Sunday Programming

Spotlight on Jeff Smith
11:00am — 12:00pm, Room 4

Jeff Smith is the best. Tell him I said hi.

Spotlight on Matthew Inman
12:00pm — 1:00pm, Room 28DE

Cats, dogs, a goddamned Tesla museum, and very likely Exploding Kittens, seeing as how the game should be shipping while SDCC is going on.

Spotlight on Raina Telgemeier
1:45pm — 2:45pm, Room 5AB

Raina Telgemeier is practically a publishing category of her own; she’ll be talking to Jenni Holm of Babymouse about career, her influence on building up an entire new generation of comics readers, and hopefully a sneak preview of her next book.

Chip Zdarsky: A Life
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 7AB

Dear glob I wish I could see this. Brimp on, Chip!

Markiplier and Red Giant Celebrate Keenspot’s 15th Anniversary
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 4

Keenspot will not have a panel at SDCC about the time that the sun goes cold.

Whew! That’s quite a lot! As always, please let me know if I missed anything.


Spam of the day:

H?ow d?o you d?o ass punisher

Gotta say, that’s the first time I’ve ever been called ass punisher. I’m a little disturbed by it.

_______________
¹ Which I will not be attending, as they still haven’t told me if my press credentials were approved or not. Given the invites I keep getting for things like accredited-press-only interview pools, I’m guessing they were approved but that’s only a guess.

And not to throw shade or anything, but I applied online for press access to NYCC on Saturday and got approval yesterday, a full three weeks before the promised response date. Point: ReedPOP.

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.

______________
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:

Give your Manhood a Boost

Nope!

JOIN TEEN WOLF’S TYLER POSEY AND JEFF DAVIS FOR

Nope!

Dr:OZ helps Rachael shed 25lbs of bellyfat for bikini season

Nnnnooope!

_______________
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.

Third Time’s The Charm

It just keeps getting bigger and more beautiful. Click through, then click "Next" to follow the epic story of #buttrocket.

When Jeph comes back from his vacation (and happy birthday, Jeph!), I hope to hell that QC becomes all buttrocket, all the time. Add Christopher Baldwin to the list of awesomest people ever (which presently consists of KB Spangler and Zach Weinersmith).

Who wants to see the floor map for this year’s San Diego Comic Con? Well too bad, because you’re gonna, mister. As usual, you can download the entire thing [PDF], or browse around below for the guide to Webcomics and the Webcomics-Adjacent. If you’ve been before, people that you want to see are mostly in the same places as past years. As always, if there are corrections or additional detail, I will post as I receive them and update here.

As in past years, the floor divides roughly in half where the hall bends about 15° clockwise. Also as in past years, we’ll consider those halves separately.

The Low Numbers
Let’s start over to the right side of the map, which is the side of the building away from the stadium parking lot where so much offsite stuff will be found. It looks like this:

The Webcomics, Small Press, and Independent Press Pavilions are all reasonably accessible from the “B” lobby. Let’s break ’em down.

The Sexy Lagoon
Centered roughly on booth #1332, you’ll find a majority of the webcomickers who will be at the show within about a 1.5 aisle radius; some are slightly outside the orange area, but not too far.

:01 Books Booth 1323
Alaska Robotics
with Marian Call¹
Booth 1137
Blank Label Booth 1330
Comic Bento
(the exhibitor formerly known as
Prince Blind Ferret
Booth 1231
Cyanide & Happiness     Booth 1234
Dumbrella Booth 1335
Girl Genius Booth 1331
Monster Milk Booth 1334
Penny Arcade Booth 1334
PvP and Table Titans Booth 1318
Scallywags
International
Booth 1332
Sheldon and STRIPPED Booth 1228
The Oatmeal Booth 1021
TopatoCo Booth 1229
Two Lumps Booth 1230

Notes:

  • Blank Label is the increasingly-disused name for Willis, Spike, and whoever’s sharing space this year, and if I heard correctly Spike won’t be there this time.
  • The biggest bummer about not attending this year will be missing out on seeing my good friends at Dumbrella, who provide me refuge from the floor each year.
  • There’s always a rotating roster at TopatoCo; we’ll let you know who’s gonna be there as we become definitively aware.
  • Penny Arcade and Blind Ferret have opted out of SDCC; as giving up your booth means waiting a hell of a long time to get another one, this is likely permanent. Correction: Blind Ferret will be attending, but under the Comic Bento name; we’ve noted their inclusion above.

Small Press Is The Best Press
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:

Bob the Angry Flower    Table K-16
Ben Costa Table O-07
Keith Knight Table K-15
Kel McDonald Table M-13
Wire Heads Table M-01

From the Small Press section, you’re close by:

Cartoon Art Musuem    Booth 1930
CBLDF Booth 1918
BOOM! Booth 2229
Oni Press Booth 1833
Gallery Nucleus Booth 2643

Notes:

  • Gallery Nucleus will feature arty types when they aren’t hanging out at Mondo down in booth 835. Keep an eye out for your Scotts C, your Beckys and/or Franks, and alumni of the various Flight anthologies.
  • No confirmation yet on which webcomickers will be at the BOOM! booth when, but I’d expect a pretty strong rotation.
  • A San Diego without Keith Knight is weird, man.

Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find the area where Unshelved and Axe Cop used to be. Jeff Smith’s totally a webcomicker these days, though — you’ll find him sharing space with the incomparably good Terry Moore at Booth 2109.

Going back to that larger map of the northern half of the exhibit hall. Wedged in between the Marvel and Image megabooths you’ll find Keenspot in Booth 2635.

High Numbers
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.

Click to embiggen.

Give yourself half an hour or so, try not to spend all your money on Copic markers (Booth 5338), and you’ll find both Udon Entertainment (home of such worthies as Christopher Butcher and Jim Zub at Booth 4529); and The Hero Initiative (at Booth 5003). Zub’s Skullkickers cohort, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table DD-14, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.

Offsite
The offsite components of SDCC just keep growing year after year; the massive parking lots by the stadium and the north end of the Gaslamp, and the field by the Hilton, are likely to host enough to keep you busy whole days.


Spam of the day:

SEO become very hard nowadays, i know what can help you,

If SEO remains very hard for longer than four hours, SEO should seek medical attention.

_______________
¹ Be sure to thank them for making Space Weird Thing.

I Just Cannot Think Of A Decent Title Today

Which is not to say that I cannot think of anything to talk about today; there are things worth mentioning seemingly everywhere.

  • For starters, I’m working up that SDCC 2015 floor map and will get to it later in the week; we’ll also run the traditional guide to panels that relate to webcomics and the webcomics-adjacent. However, I would like to note that comics supercouple Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier are among the Special Guests of the show. That’s not super-surprising, but I just liked the screencap that Roman provided, where they’re in the same row as comics raconteur extraordinaire Mark Evanier and Greatest Living Pure Cartoonist¹ Sergio Aragonés.

    This would also be a good time to note that other webcomicky Special Guests include Allie Brosh, Katie Cook, Matt Inman, Scott McCloud, and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.

  • Matt Bors promised us that The Nib contraction wouldn’t mean the last of his attentions, and this afternoon brought word of some of his new direction:

    Introducing The Response, a new collective of cartoonists of color discussing race, class, gender and culture. https://medium.com/the-response

    The Nib retains its focus on [p]olitical cartoons, comics journalism, humor and non-fiction, and The Response appears to trade the relatively large rotating roster for a tighter group as a [c]artoonist collective on race, class, gender and culture. I can’t help but notice that at least Bors and Keith Knight are were regular contributors at The Nib², leading me to wonder if Bors managed to secure Medium’s funding for something that may become Nib’s sequel/successor down the line.

  • Jon Rosenberg³ is one of the first wave of webcomickers, and he didn’t get to stay in the game by turning down opportunities to pry every single potential eyeball towards his work. Come the cool weather, that pool of potential eyeballs is going to go up:

    I just got the official okay to let you guys in on a little secret. Goats and SFAM are both going to be running at @gocomics this fall!

    Specifically, the end-stage Goats of The Infinite Pendergast Cycle, starting at the end of 2003, continuing for some 1100 strips, and returning from interruption in the near- to mid-term, it appears. Goats will be joined by SFAM classics, which I’m interpreting to mean the strips Rosenberg likes best, or possibly those that don’t require the GoComics readers to be familiar with the voting mechanism that SFAM launched with, which continued for a couple of years.

    This move makes sense for Jon (and anybody else that can swing such a deal, as Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett did last week with Drive) — if you have a back catalog of material to post, it literally costs you nothing to send files to GoComics for posting. More importantly, for serialized strips like Goats and Drive, if somebody reads the first dozen or so strips and then realizes that there are literally hundreds more available for reading right now instead of at whatever pace they’re getting doled out, that has the potential for some massive archive binges as they catch up to the current point in the story.

    Here’s hoping that Rosenberg and LARDK (and everybody else) have worked out some good ad placements and keep the links to their Patreons nice and prominent. I’m honestly not sure of how many people will make the leap/binge, but every one is a help. Goats launches on GoComics on 19 October, and SFAM on 28 September.


Spam of the day:

Truly programming is nothing but it’s a logic, if you obtain grip on it afterward you are the professional else nothing.
Legendario.

Every word of this is true. I am nothing if not legendario.

_______________
¹ Seriously, take the work ethic of Rich Stevens, the prolific output of Tezuka, the craft of Stan Sakai, the appeal across genres of a combined Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, and Carla Speed McNeil, the pure humor of the Foglios, the longevity of Sparky, the hustle of Spike Trotman, and the peer regard of Miyazaki or Watterson, and you’ve about equalled Sergio.

² I didn’t recognize other names, but I see that three of them — Chris Kindred, Whit Taylor, Ronald Wimberly — had pieces at The Nib that I remember. I wasn’t familiar with Shing Yin Khor, but after reading this piece by her, I want to read more.

³ My first friend in webcomics, official owner of my soul, and generally awesome grumpy dude who is awaiting old age so he can officially yell at youth to quiet the hell down, goddammmit.

Thursday Is Random Topics Day

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

  • A couple of people that I follow have mentioned the lack of tools for creators to use in analyzing their Patreon campaigns; of late, I’ve seen people mention a third-party, public-data tool (much like Kicktraq, which I could dig around in all day), but I didn’t see the appeal until Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett told me to check it out. Silly me, I thought that Graphtreaon would only be of use to creators and not have a cornucopia of fascinating data.

    For example, I now know that the top-funded Patreon campaign is pulling in more than US$32,000/month, that if you want to make a mountain of money on the platform, you should be making adult videogames, be Amanda Palmer, or have a massive comics audience (Jeph Jacques and Zach Weinersmith are, respectively, the #26 and and #27 highest-funded creators … outpacing one of Patreon’s own founders, as it turns out; for reference, Alex Woolfson, Tracy Butler, and Tom Siddell are the other comics creators in the Top 50)¹.

    There’s a pretty heavy overlap between the most-backed campaigns and most-funded campaigns, too (with the same project sitting at the top of both lists). I’d love to see a scattergraph of funding rank vs patron count rank and see how closely they correlate (note to self: break out the spreadsheet next week), but I’m seeing a lot of the same names, just in a somewhat jumbled order. Anyway, if you like looking at data, all of this is neat, and we at Fleen thank LARDK² for pointing us as our new toy.

  • Speaking of toys, I see from around the web that the floor map for SDCC 2015 has been released³, meaning it’s time to play around with the interactive version of said map. I’ll go through it in the coming week and put together the usual guide to where you can find webcomickers in the wild if you’re going this year.
  • BOOM! Studios continues their mining of webcomics creators and properties for their BOOM! Box line of comics (where one finds things like Midas Flesh, Lumberjanes, and Giant Days); this time, they’ve gone to Tyson Hesse of Boxer Hockey to revive his old project Diesel. Given that Boxer Hockey hasn’t updated for a while and as a result its story is incomplete, it’ll be a treat to see Hesse get the opportunity to finish a story without other commitments impinging on his time (he’s been doing comic work — especially Sonic and MegaMan related — all over the damn place; yay for his bank account, but I want to see his stories).

    Diesel will launch in September for a four-issue miniseries, and I’ll note that BOOM! Box minis have a habit of getting extended, so maybe we’ll see more down the line.


Spam of the day:

There is a big chance to go viral.

Man, I hope not; antivirals are expensive.

_______________
¹ Then again, two pieces of human garbage that spent time insulting the crap out of each other before possibly making nice are n the Top 30 with a really high per-backer average, so please don’t conflate dollar figures with quality.

² Oooooh, that’s an unfortunate acronym. Yikes.

³ In past years, I got such news from the press releases, which I didn’t get, which I guess finally answers my question of whether or not I was ever renewed on my credentials. I think that means last year was my last SDCC.