The webcomics blog about webcomics

Is There No End To This Running Gag?

You gotta hand it to Ryan North, the guy know how to play the long game. Today’s Dinosaur Comics installment (which would be number 3000) continues a gag from DC #2000, which in turn continues a gag from DC #1000. Look for the next mention of Kangaroo Kicking Kraziness™ in let’s see, 1000 strips divided by three strips a week is 333 weeks or six years and 146 days or let’s call it … Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 (or Year 6, SixthMonth, NinthDay of the GTC¹).

  • Speaking of long games, will this page ever tire of talking about Raina Telegemeier and the revolution in comics that she sparked starting with Smile and continuing to the present day?

    Nope! Telgemeier is responsible for shaking up the industry, shaking up the demographics of who reads comics, who will be making them in the future, and given that she started pulling in fans with her Baby Sitters Club adaptations ten years back, shaking up who (in the near future) will be raising their kids as the next generation of comics readers.

    Although the big capes comics companies tend to ignore the lessons that Telgemeier and her contemporaries offer at their peril, in each passing year there’s a greater appreciation for the changes they (and particularly, she) have brought about. The discussion to that end at The AV Club today is especially on point because a full half of the participants aren’t tremendous fans of Smile, but all recognize it for the watershed moment that it is.

    As usual, the invaluable Oliver Sava makes the best points, but the entire group knows the score: comics is an industry that needs new readers to live, and right now it’s imprints like Graphix and :01 that are leading the way. Anybody that doesn’t get on board is dooming themselves to obscurity. Read the whole thing, set it to the side, and read it again.

  • Speaking of book publishers and comics, I’m adding Knopf Doubleday to the SDCC exhibitor map from yesterday; I missed them initially as they’re away from the publishers row in the 1100-1200 aisles, but with offerings like The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage by Sydney Padua, it would be criminal not to point you towards Booth 1520.
  • Finally, speaking of nothing in particular other than a damn good story, Christopher Baldwin announced today that come September and the conclusion of his current sci-fi story, Anna Galactic, he’ll be returning to the first of his sci-fi stories for more Spacetrawler:

    Yup! That’s right. All new adventures of the comic, Spacetrawler will begin in September.

    Anna Galactic ends sometime in August/September, and then I’ll switch over to Spacetrawler. There will likely be some overlap, and my best guess is that Spacetrawler will begin the first week of September.

    And helping bring about this is the generous support of many of you through Patreon! Please, follow that link and help out in bringing back all the awesomeness. Also, my weekly Patreon blog will include Spacetrawler development drawings and blather! You can unlock it to read it by helping out too, by contributing over on my Patreon page.

    Speaking for myself, Spacetrawler’s Dmitri may be my favorite of all of Baldwin’s characters, ever; he maintains a carefully-cultivated air of hedonistic amorality, but he’s the most altruistic schemer that Earth’s ever produced. I hope the revival is all about Dmitri as a truly benevolent philosopher king who pretends to be a dictator while actually spreading freedom, because I think he could actually pull off all the contradictions inherent in that job description. Of course, the booze helps!²

Spam of the day:

worked out well for me

Good to hear! Feel free to tell me all about it from way over there.

¹ Glorious Trumpalo Calendar.

² From approximately his fifth speaking appearance in strip #21, Dmitry was never without a drink in hand unless in a sealed space suit in hard vacuum. For reference, that’s 120+ appearances over nearly 400 strips, which I guess counts for one hell of a running gag. Theme complete!

SDCC 2016 Floor Preview

Hey, look at that! A map of San Diego Comic Con 2016’s exhibit hall, which you can pull down to your device of choice here [PDF].

There will never be an extension to the San Diego Convention Center, so once again the bend in the hall divides things roughly in half, with our attention mostly on the north — or away from Tijuana¹ — side of the hall.

The Great Geek North
Let’s start over to the right side of the map, which is the side of the building closer to most hotels, the harbor, and the road from the airport. Conversely, it’s further away from the stadium and the surrounding lots where much of the offsite eventing will take place. 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.

Upon The Webcomics Sea
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. Those that return are for the most part at the same booth number as previous years, but there’s been some upheaval, as we shall see.

:01 Books Booth 1323
Alaska Robotics
with Marian Call²
Booth 1137
Blank Label Booth 1330
Blind Ferret Booth 1231
Cyanide & Happiness     Booth 1234
Dumbrella Booth 1335
Girl Genius Booth 1331
Monster Milk Booth 1334
PvP and Table Titans Booth 1316
Scallywags International Booth 1332
Sheldon and Drive Booth 1228
The Oatmeal Booth 1021
TopatoCo Booth 1229
Two Lumps Booth 1230


  • Blank Label appears to have given up its space, with David Willis deciding that twin boys are preferable to SDCC crowds. Booth 1330 will be the home of newcomers Cool Cat Blue.
  • Similarly, it appears that Matt Inman will not be at the show, perhaps the better to against pornbots (or, more likely, spend his time and effort on his ever-expanding series of Blerch Runs; coincidentally, yesterday marked seven years of The Oatmeal, so happy strippiversary to Inman).
  • Other listed newcomers to Webcomics Central include Jefbot in 1232, Mystic Revolution (boothing away from the rest of Keenspot, see below) in 1235, Digital Pimp in 1237 (which is odd, considering their latest newspost is about SDCC 2014), and Rhode Montijo (of Happy Tree Friends fame) in 1329. Lotta turnover.
  • No news yet on which TopatoCo creators will be along; we’ll update once we know.
  • Given all the book deals flying about, I would be remiss not to mention the presence of Hachette (1116), Harper Collins (1029), Macmillan Children’s Publishing (1117), and Simon & Schuster (1128) in Publisher’s Row; Knopf Doubleday is staking out their turf on the other side of Webcomics Central (1520).
  • As of this writing, Booth 1332, the heart of Webcomics Central, is not listed as having an exhibitor. If this situation persists on arrival, I will claim that space in the name of Garylandia.

Small Press And Such
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:

Eben Burgoon Table P-12
Bob the Angry Flower Table K-16
Ben Costa Table O-07
Claire Hummel Table Q-15
Kel McDonald Table M-13
Wire Heads Table N-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


  • 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.
  • Gene Yang and Hope Larson will be spending at least some time at DC’s enormobooth (1915).

Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find Jeff Smith (no longer webcomicking but so what, he’s the best) again splitting booth space with Terry Moore (who’s announced no new series work — miniseries only from here out) at Booth 2109. You’re also not too far from the Jack Kirby Museum at Booth 5520 which, yes, is a very large number but is actually just inside the B1 entrance. Weird, right?

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.

The South Shall Rise Again
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.

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 onetime Skullkickers artist, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table EE-19, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.

Every year for the past half-decade the amount of stuff you can see outside of the exhibit hall has grown; I’m guessing we’re only a year or so away from complete parity. If you know of anything especially good, let us know and we’ll add it here. Otherwise, just wander the city and see what you got.

Spam of the day:

Lonely Asian Girls Looking for Boyfriends

Nothing special about that, but the fake disclaimer at the bottom that tells me how to get off their list (liars) is hilarious: Click here if you no longer want to receive offers of Safeway coupons.

¹ The happiest place on Earth.

²Don’t forget that Ms Call has a concert on Friday night over in Little Italy with a passel of internet musicians, NASA scientists, and David Malki !.

Quietly Impressed

I may have vented in the somewhat recent past about how NYCC has decided I no longer serve their purposes; a year ago I was venting about how SDCC couldn’t get their act together to either grant or deny me press access. This is a cyclical process, as there have been years that each show has been really smooth and painless to interact with, and years when it’s nigh-impossible to tell what the hell is going on. Typically, they stand in opposition to each other, so I really should have expected rejection from NYCC because SDCC has been pretty painless this year.

Case in point: I got the customary receipt for my registration from SDCC via email back in April; as in prior years, I expected to print it out, line up with a lot of people early on Preview Day, get the barcode scanned, and then get my badge. It usually takes 10-20 minutes. This year, I found an email on Monday morning that said to expect my badge in the mail (no more lining up!) in 3-5 days.

Later on Monday, it was in my mailbox. I can line up for a lanyard, a program book, tote bag, and the rest at my leisure. The rest is done, and I appreciate the time that will not be spent in line.

Interestingly, this is a more complex badge than in past years — SDCC has taken a cue from NYCC and gone to an RFID-enabled hard badge that needs to be tapped on entry and exit. But that’s only good for building access — to provide at-a-glance determination of when/where you’re allowed, there’s a printed paper frame with category coding (PRESS), validity coding (P1234 = Preview Night, Days 1, 2, 3, and 4), and what I assume is color-coding (light blue for me, presumably other for paid, pros, exhibitors, VIPs, etc)¹.

The frame sits behind the RFID badge in the plastic holder with its text peeking around the perimeter, and contains some additional barcodes/QR codes on the back. If this doesn’t prevent counterfeiting, they’ll have to escalate to DNA testing and even then I bet some enterprising crook would find a novel use of CRISPR.

Since it appears nothing barring travel fiasco can keep me from the show, we’ll get to our traditional markup of the floor map in the next couple of days, and discuss programming when the event schedule is released in about two weeks.

Spam of the day:

Be in the biggest truck on the road.

Dude, I’m already qualified to drive a multiton ambulance with lights and sirens. Appealing to my sense of insecurity ain’t going to work.

¹ Now I just have to remember to bring the damn thing with me and hope that the airport scanner doesn’t fry the RFID tag.

From San Francisco And The Immediate Environs

News and things! Things and news! Let’s see what there is to see out there.

  • I believe I’ve mentioned the excitement that we at Fleen have for the imminent release of Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock’s Compass South (that would be in just under a week). I don’t know if I mentioned that a chunk of the story involves twins Cleo and Alex trying to make their way to San Francisco (by steamer and train, in the mid-1800s, when such successes were not guaranteed and plagued by greater dangers than a lack in in-flight WiFi), thus tying into today’s theme.

    What I know that I haven’t mentioned is that Larson and Mock will be taking a virtual book tour in support of Compass South, visiting on-line and in the [virtual] cafés talk about how Compass South was created. The blogtour kicks off Monday (the day before release) at Supernatural Snark, and in subsequent days will make daily port calls at Love is not a Triangle, Forever YA, YA Bibliophile, Sharpread, and finishing up at Watch. Connect. Read. on Saturday.

  • And while Cleo and Alex might have to wait a century or so before the Cartoon Art Museum gets organized in San Francisco, we need not engage in any such temporal chicanery, and CAM has plenty of events in the coming weeks, just in case you missed their just-closed exhibitions with the Queer Cultural Center at SOMArts Cultural Center and were wondering what’s up next.

    The highlight, at least in my opinion, will be A Salute to Chuck Jones¹ at the Castro Theater. Jones, naturally, is best defined by his cartoons and so the salute will be a screening of over a dozen shorts, including One Froggy Evening, Feed the Kitty, Duck Amuck, Rabbit of Seville, and motherscratching What’s Opera, Doc?.

    You have probably never seen these on the big screen. You need to see these on the big screen, with a big, booming sound system². If you are anywhere near San Francisco on Sunday, 10 July from noon to 3:00pm, you must see these cartoons on the big screen. Packages run from US$17 to US$150 (with various goodies and perks on top of admission, naturally) and may be purchased in advance through Guestlist. Presenters from the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity — conservators of Chuck’s³ legacy — will be on hand to talk about the films and memories of their creator.

  • Should you find CAM’s efforts to continue to bring you the finest in cartoon art laudable (and really, you damn well better), there’s a new channel by which you can indicated your support. Check out their new Patreon, where you can help unlock curator blogs, online exhibitions, member pricing for events, and the general running of the museum.

    Granted, they only just launched it, but at the moment the Patreon has a shamefully insufficient eleven (11) backers pledging US$33 (thirty-damn-three dollars) per month. The people who love cartoons and comics (and who do you know that doesn’t?) can do better, and CAM deserves better. Support, and spread the word.

Spam of the day:

Re:Scelerisque Dui Suspendisse Corp. Please find attached the bill

I’m supposed to believe that your company is actually named after a section of lorem ipsum text? Nnnnope.

¹ Very possibly the greatest animator America’s produced yet, and definitely a dominant influence on every comicker, animator, filmmaker, and teller of stories and jokes for the past 60 -70 years.

² Not that I ever have, at least not by actual modern theater standards, but even a poor imitation was life-changing. Below the cut, a small story how how life-changing, adapted from a letter I wrote in 2001 to be included in a collection of letters from Chuck’s fans as a birthday present for the master.

³ It is Fleen’s editorial policy to refer to people by given and family name on first reference, and family name thereafter. There are two exceptions to this rule, namely Chuck (because he is always Chuck) and George (because he is always George).

For Your Edification

Well, this is where I was going to quote from the initial announcement from Spike Trotman about how Iron Circus Comics has started a series of announcements regarding its releases through 2018 or so. Was, because the filter here at work has decided that (which in turn redirects to is blocked:

due to potential malicious activity or other security reasons.
Phishing, malicious, spyware sites are compromised or unsafe websites that may trick you into revealing personal or financial information (e.g. username, passwords, credit card information, PIN numbers, etc.).
These unsafe websites may install software to your computer often without consent to damage your system or use your computer to attack others.
The website may also contain other malicious threats (e.g. viruses, trojans, worms, spyware) as part of the malware ecosystem.
Additional information about website blocking at [redacted] can be found here (Authentication required).

Your request was categorized by Blue Coat Web Filter as ‘Pornography’.

Which, okay, I could see that if I’d linked to Iron Circus itself (which is not blocked), where you get the Smut Peddler books for sale and even samples. Or heck, I could see it if the link stayed on Tumblr, which is itself a cesspit at times. But no, Poorcraft, which is one of the most useful things ever, is blocked by Blue Coat, who I noticed over the weekend is being bought by Symantec¹. So anyway, check that announcement out, Spike’ll be making them weekly, just don’t ask me to report on the specifics during the day.

In other news:

  • What may be the very last A Softer World ever dropped earlier today; as co-creator Joey Comeau pointed out, there have been a few ASW strips up in recent weeks as side effect of the successful Kickstart to print the strip-spanning best of collection, Anatomy of Melancholy, and these have now concluded. As co-creator Emily Horne pointed out, if you missed the Kickstart, you can now order a copy from Breadpig.
  • My Evil Twin passed a Big Damn Strippiversary yesterday; when Schlock Mercenary launched on 12 June 2000 it was a far simpler strip (in scope and visuals), Tayler was still slaving for The Man, and two of his kids didn’t exist yet (nor did Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, or the George W Bush administration). A kid born on that day would today be eligible for a driver’s license in most states², and Tayler himself can now claim to have updated 5846 days in a row without fail.

    Today he’s got a thriving business, a dozen books (with more on the way) and a damn Hugo award.; not bad for a kid of twelve birthdays from the wide open space of the west, armed with nothing but imagination, a drawing tablet, and gumption.

Spam of the day:

Finally, Give Your Woman What She Wants
Is it time to grow your confidence even more?

Curiously, only one of those two spams was for a questionably-sourced “male enhancement supplement”; the second is actually for discount breast enhancement surgery, which is not a series of words I ever wanted to see placed together.

¹ Weirdly, the internet filter is no longer blocking He Is A Good Boy which it has in the past. I mean, that was annoying when it did, but I could at least see the logic in blocking material like Crange Is Horny. Still not going to try to check out Oh Joy, Sex Toy, though; just the ads on that site could get me hauled down to HR.

² My own home state of New Jersey wisely makes the little menaces wait until 17 when they’re hopefully one year less stupid.

Meanwhile, In San Francisco

Let’s check in with our friends at the (somewhat vagabond) Cartoon Art Museum, since the lack of a permanent exhibition space doesn’t slow them down. Three things from them about the next while that you may be interested in.

  • This Saturday, 11 June, their Cartoonist In Residence¹ will be Ajuan Mance: artist, English professor, destroyer of stereotypes, and actual person that most sounds like the head of a great House from Game of Thrones². The residency will be at FLAX art & design store’s location in the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, from 11:00am to 2:00pm; details may be found here. And after her public residency event, Mance will be headed over to Comix Experience on Divisidero Street from 4:00pm to 7:00pm to continue the conversation. Both events are free and open to the public.
  • Next Saturday (18 June) and Sunday (19 June), the Queer Comics Expo will be running at the SOMArts Cultural Center from 11:00am to 5:00pm, and they’re partnering with the Cartoon Arts Museum for some unique ticket packages. Purchases at the VIP levels (Unicorn: US$65; Double Rainbow: US$101) will include admission for the weekend for two or up to four people, respectively, and include a one-year CAM membership (single or family, respectively).

    There’s also a unique (at least, I’ve never seen it before) Pay It Forward ticket that for US$10 allows you to fund a weekend ticket that will be passed to a Bay Area LGBTQ nonprofit so people who otherwise couldn’t go get to attend. Finally, all proceeds will benefit CAM, so Bay Areans take a look at this one, yes?

  • By partnering with the American Bookbinders Museum, CAM will be offering its traditional summer Cartooning Boot Camp: four sessions (two hours per day, Monday through Friday) will cover a specific topic, for a small group (up to 15 campers) of 10-15 year olds (those younger or older will not be admitted. The four sessions will be:

    Materials are included in the US$135 fee (but naturally, students may bring their own sketchbooks and supplies if they wish), and CAM members get a US$35 discount. Registration and detailed descriptions at the links above.

Spam of the day:

Sneakier Gtyrrell cPurchasegTabuOnliner ;) unpublished

I’m reminded about that line in Blazing Saddles about authentic frontier gibberish.

¹ Yes, yes, the residence is borrowed space, but that’s what these things are called.

² Seriously, that is a great name one that’s going to stick in my head. I’ve encountered maybe three people with names that have reached out and demanded my attention to that degree in my adult life.

An Unusually Busy Thursday (Especially For Canadian Dudes)

Lots of things going on today, so let’s just jump into it.

  • Kelly Tindall has been around the webcomics game for a while, what with Strangebeard for three-four years now, and the diary comic Adventurers (which follows the everyday excitement that life offers when you’re a kid; it starts with his daughter aged one year). The former got its first print collection a while back, and a campaign is running to do the same for the second now. It’s down to the home stretch and right on the bubble of succeeding or not — which is something that happens to [web]comics projects every day, so why am I paying attention this time?

    Short answer: Tindall’s got some really cool friends who are supporting him. The foreword to the Adventurers collection will be written by Darkwing Duck creator Tad Stones, and every order will include mini prints by animator Elliot Cowan and comics legend Tim Sale. If creators that skilled like Tindall’s work, you ought to give it a serious look.

  • Speaking of Canadian gentlemen in the webcomics game, Karl Kerschl has recently found time in his schedule to get back to The Abominable Charles Christopher and that means the story of our favorite big-hearted sasquatch (and all the side critters in the forest) is coming to an end. From Kerschl’s twitterfeed:

    50% off ALL Abominable Charles Christopher books! Gotta make room for the next volume! …

    Catch that? Next volume. I am clearing space on my bookshelf in anticipation already, but it’s a hard decision as to what needs to go in order to fit in Charles Christopher’s third hardcover. It might have to be the comprehensive reprints of The Spirit.

  • Still with the Canadian dudes, Ryan North is less than a week from the release of his second chooseable-path collaboration with some hack named Shakespeare, Romeo and/or Juliet. He’s been running art excerpts over at his Tumblr (a tiny fraction of the illustrated endings and waypoints from some amazing artists), and on release day, he’s having a party in Toronto:

    REMINDER: I’m throwing a BOOK PARTY next week, with COOL ARTISTS, and you should come!! ..

    That would be on Tuesday, 5:00pm to 8:00pm at The Beguiling, with a half-dozen of the contributing artists. I’m still collecting signatures from the artists in To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, so getting a head start on that would be great if I could be in Toronto which I can’t.

  • In case you don’t love Rich Stevens enough, consider the following:

    I don’t actually remember when I started my comic, so I just celebrate Quitting Day

    Dude knows what’s important — the day you stop working for The Man¹. That day, bee-tee-dubs, would be today:

    ??? I just celebrated 14 years since quitting my job to do comics. Today is a good day to join my store email list! …

    [Those three emoji at the start of the quoted tweet, which may not render for you, are captioned as Shortcake, Pile of poo, and Love letter, respectively. Dude also knows his brand.] Happy Quittiversary, Rich.

  • And finally, readers of this page know that I recommend what I like, and I don’t expect you to plunk down cash on something that I don’t feel is worth it; I won’t ask you to lay out money or effort on something that I wouldn’t. But today, I’m going to ask you for a small amount of effort that I can’t do myself.

    FedEx is giving out a series of grants to small businesses, chosen by popular vote, with winners getting up to US$25,000. Voting is open to anybody with a Facebook account, which never fails to annoy me when it’s used as a universal identifier because not all of us have Facebook accounts, dammit. And by us I mean me and I know that makes me a weirdo.

    But I’m sharing this with you anyway because I learned about this grant contest via Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (who I may have mentioned once or twice in the past couple of months), as she’s part of a comic artists collective that’s part of the contest.

    You can vote for Out Of Step Arts by clicking here, once per day, until 13 June. As of this writing, they have fewer than 80 votes, and that is not going to cut it. If you’ve got a Facebook account, give a click, spread the word, and repeat for the next eleven days. Do it for the children.

Spam of the day:

Re: Your Current Debt

Is measurable only by scientific instruments that can see very, very small things. If you were really a financial-services firm you’d know that, wouldn’t you, “Bridget from cardholder services”?

¹ Not that all iterations of The Man are as Manny as others. Case in point: Spike Trotman is no longer the sole employee of Iron Circus Comics.

Oh Dear, This Sounds Dangerously Attractive

Like one of those flowers that’s all pretty and colorful dripping in nectar and then WHAM it’s snacking on insects.

The flower, in this case, is a series of monthly Drink (nectar) and Draw (pretty, colorful) events, to be hosted by TopatoCo in the run-up to TopatoCon II (the TopatoConenning). I’m actually not sure who the insect is in all of this, other than the possibility of the hangover one is likely to have after a night of drinking with cartoonists¹.

The fun (and oh my, it will be fun) will go down on 8 June, 6 July, 10 August, 7 September, and 12 October, which is to say either the first or second Wednesday of each month, with different guest creators each time. The first one being just a week away, I feel I should share that it will feature KC Green², starting at 7:00pm and running until 10:00pm. As will surprise absolutely no one, it’ll be held at Eastworks in Easthampton, and will feature a cash bar, prizes, games, and fun.

Guests for subsequent Drinks and Draws have not yet been announced, but I did notice interest from various cartoon-type people in the original announcement, and mentions of desiring to attend future dates. It would be premature to try to hold anybody to a specific date. Keep an eye on the TopatoCon twitterfeed for definite announcements over the next several months

Oh, yeah, and this guy will be there next week, and likely in the following months. What more could you want?

Spam of the day:

New Golf Club – Never Hit a Bad Shot Again!

Seeing as how I never intend to play golf, I guess I don’t need a special club to avoid bad shots.

¹ Honestly, I’d rather go round-for-round with Tokyo salarymen.

² Who remains the most fearless cartoonist I’ve ever seen work — bare paper, brush, no pencils, no prep, just straight from his outer synapses to permanent record.

Long Weekend Looming

I mean, for those of you in the US; others don’t celebrate Memorial Day on Monday and so this will serve as a reminder that there likely won’t a post on Monday, what with parades and cookouts and such.

  • Those others include Our Friends To The North, Canadians, such as the immensely skilled Tony Cliff¹, who got to share some good news yesterday:

    We’re delighted that Disney has bought the film rights for @TangoCharlie’s amazing DELILAH DIRK graphic novels: … !

    Here’s hoping that Disney don’t ignore the most important fact about Ms Dirk: she is no princess, or if one must treat her as such, she is of the self-rescuing type. Please, please, please don’t make the semi-enthusiastic (but mostly unflappable) Mr Selim the hero of the piece. It’s Delilah’s show, and while he’s no mere sidekick, he is definitely the junior partner in adventure. Thankfully, it’s planned to be live action, so there need not be an I Wish song up front for Delilah to lay out all her hopes and dreams.

    Congratulations to Tony Cliff and also to the movie-going girls of the world, who will hopefully soon have one more swashbuckling hero of their own to look up to (with the obligatory note that option does not necessarily mean gets made any time soon. We’re still waiting for BONE, for goodness sake, not to mention Amulet, Agnes Quill, Odd Jobs, Last Blood, The New Kid, and You Damn Kid. The options on Nimona and Castle Hangnail are too recent for anything to have happened yet).

  • Speaking of Memorial Day weekend, the National Cartoonists Society are having their annual meet-up/party, and around 30 hours from now we’ll know who this year’s honorees for webcomics will be. To refresh you, the nominees for Online Comic — Long Form are The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo (Drew Weing), Drive (Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett), and Octopus Pie (Meredith Gran, her second nomination in the five cycles the awards have been offered). The nominees for Online Comic — Short Form are Bouletcorp (Boulet), Kevin and Kell (Bill Holbrook), and Sheldon (LArDK, again).

    If I have my records right, only Meredith Gran and Vince Dorse have been nominated twice in the NCS Online — Long Form category, and Dorse has previously won² (and also isn’t nominated this year). The lesson seems clear: get two nominations in Long Form, and you win, so I’m going to preemptively congratulate Gran, while wishing all the nominees the best of luck.

  • Speaking of Dorse, his two nominations were for Untold Tales of Bigfoot, which has wrapped up its run as a webcomic and is seeking a new existence in print. You know where this is going — the Kickstarter’s been up for a couple of days, and while only about 100 people have gotten in while the gettin’s good, Dorse’s extremely modest goal of US$8000 means he’s more than halfway there with nearly a month to go. It’s really a neat story, check it out.

Spam of the day:

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

Join what? The Bristol Of The Month Club? I don’t actually draw comics, so that’s not the most … what? Oh, it’s a sleazy Who’s Who ripoff that will not only charge me money for the privilege of including it in an allegedly prestigious directory that nobody will ever see, but will also facilitate the theft of my identity? Yeah, no.

¹ Also including Christopher Bird who commented on our story regarding his Patreon to correct our suppostings regarding the finances of Al’Rashad. Namely, he and illustrator Davinder Brar worked that project without pay, hoping for sales down the line. Fleen regrets the error.

² Interestingly, over Meredith Gran, the last time she was nominated.

News: Good, Better, Best

For those wondering, the Octopus Pie Volume 4 launch party last night was a lot of fun; I’m not going to do a write-up here, as much of what I was told by Meredith Gran, Mike Holmes, and fellow attendee Evan Dahm hasn’t been announced yet. Rather than run the risk of mentioning things they want to announce on their own terms, I’ll just say that they’re all working on Cool Things that you will love. Look for them on the con circuit this year and ask ’em yourself what they’re up to.

Instead, let’s talk about other things that have come up.

  • At the launch party, I was pleased to make the acquaintance of a young lady that came because (as she put it) she’s grown up reading the likes of Gran, Beaton, Munroe, and other lights of webcomickry. She had stickers of her original character (Bus Man … possibly Busman, or Bus-Man¹) and sent me a PDF of a short story she recently completed on her Tumblr. Her name is Sam[antha] Schroeder, you can see her portfolio here and her comics here.

    There’s so many people making comics — at every stage of their individual artistic journeys — that finding one whose work you want to share is always a Good Thing; I’m sharing Schroeder’s doodles and comics (there’s not much there yet) because I think it’s great to follow somebody from the beginning. A few years one and she’ll probably be embarrassed by this work, but that’ll only be because of how much she’s progressed.

    The story I mentioned is a sweet-natured look at what it’s like to be a not particularly grim reaper² who’s wondering about whether all those reapings are fair. It’s charming, and you can find it at these links.

  • It’s been not quite five years that Tyler Page (creator of Nothing Better) has been working on his medical memoir, Raised on Ritalin (of a piece with other personal stories about health, like Tracy White’s How I Made It To Eighteen or even Raina Telgemeier’s Smile), which recently hit its final chapter. It’s a book that’s undoubtedly changed in the time it took to produce, and it’s now possible to read the entire thing at once.

    And for those of you that hate hitting the Next button a few hundred times in a row, you can get a hardcopy:

    HERE IT IS: @Kickstarter for Raised on Ritalin – A Graphic Novel/Memoir about #ADHD by tyler page #kickstarter

    It’s probably partly a shift in the openness with which people are now willing to discuss mental illness, partly changes in psychiatric diagnoses and treatments, and partly who I hang out with these days, but things like ADHD and depression weren’t things I knew that people had — actual people, that is, people I knew personally — before about a dozen years ago. A lot of your favorite creators have been open about the challenges they face with psychiatric conditions, and that’s a tremendous help for people that don’t know why their brains work the way they do. Lots more people need to get that help, and Raised on Ritalin has to potential to provide that help.

    It’s not just the story of Page’s diagnosis and what ADHD means to him personally; it’s a biography of the disease and the drugs that are used to treat it, as well. It’s an important story, and it’s only going to get to the places it needs to be³ if it’s in a printed and bound form. And that will only happen if a measly US$6000 gets raised in the next month or so.

    Page is already about 40% of the way to goal, but he really needs to go way over goal — that’s what will allow not only physical improvements to the book (he cited better paper, for one), but to print enough copies that the people who don’t yet know that they need it will be able to find it in places that can help them³ in the future. If you know somebody that lives with ADHD or any other mental condition, if you want to learn more (because you’re a good person and have a sense of empathy), you could hardly find a better starting place that Page’s book. Pledge, spread the word, and share your copy when you get it.

  • Happies Birthsdays. The aforementioned Raina Telgemeier (I did mention her … just scroll back up and you’ll see) and Becky Dreistadt are having birthdays today. Actually, it’s a good deal more extensive that just two people; 26 May is apparently the most popular birthday in indy/webcomics:

    @beckyandfrank @CoryCasoni @TomTomShimShim @JNoze + @the_kochalka @NickBertozzi @bannister01! #birthdaysquad

    To be clear, in that tweet Telgemeier is replying to Cory Casoni, who is not one of the co-birthdayists; that still makes for at least seven people celebrating today, which makes today The Best. And you can get in on the celebrations, either by tweeting and maybe getting an advanced copy of Telgemeier’s next book, or by sending Dreistadt a picture of a cat to make her happy.

Spam of the day:

New York Comic Con

Nope, we’re done. Don’t find my presence to be helpful to your strategy of selling people to advertisers? I don’t have to read your emails any more. Bye, now.

¹ However you spell it, Bus Man has the best superpower for an urban environment ever; whenever he needs to get somewhere, regardless of schedule or time of day, a bus will pull up and it will be an express to his current destination.

² She’s still a reaper, mind you, but not the doom-and-gloom kind.

³ Libraries, therapist’s practices, school counseling offices, etc.