The webcomics blog about webcomics

Holy Cats

  • Holy cats! Raina Telgemeier has somehow slipped, as the latest iteration of the New York Times Best Seller List includes only three of her books, in the relatively modest #4, 5, and 6 slots (although we’re also a mere four weeks away from Sisters being on the list for 52 consecutive weeks, so there’s that). Not to worry; although the first Baby-Sitters Club color reissue has slipped off the list (after dropping to #10 last week, its 11th on the list), the second BSC color reissue released the day before yesterday.

    You can see where I’m going with this.

    There’s a lag time on the NYTBSL, but I’ma guess we’re shortly going to see The Truth About Stacey join Smile, Drama, and Sisters, and very possibly see the return of Kristy’s Great Idea. Can we do five Telgemeier books simultaneously? With the remaining two BSC color reissues due in October and January, could we see an actual majority of the ten slots owned by books about tween girls? No bets, my friends.

  • Holey Cats! Now this is how you meet promised Kickstarter fulfillment goals:

    When we launched our Kickstarter back in January, we hoped to sell 500 copies of our game. With that in mind, we wrote the following on our Kickstarter page: “Estimated delivery: July 2015″

    We wound up selling more than 500 copies. We sold 460,000 copies.

    I know we promised we’d deliver in July. But that’s a lot of things we had to do. So, the new expected delivery date is …

    Still July!

    Yep, kittens that ‘splode start their rolling shipping today; it would be impossible to ship to ship every one of the 220,000-odd (some very odd) backers in 122 different countries on the same day, despite the fact that the EK crüe have sent massive quantities of games to various countries around the world to ship domestically, rather than from the US (which would involve customs, and international shipping, and headaches and delays and missing packages galore). Heck, they had to partner with six companies for production and fulfillment, including seeing the Cards Against Humanity folks set up an entire company — Blackbox — just to handle the shipping and notifications.

    Those specific details — 122 countries, six companies, Blackbox — all come from the shipping-commencement announcement along with other facts about the game; my favorite fact-cluster is that printing the 26.8 million cards required 2356 gallons¹ of paint, producing a gross tonnage of 104,000 pounds² requiring 17 rail-car sized shipping containers to hold them all. You can find at least one member ExKit team at GenCon, with copies of the game, just in case you didn’t back the campaign and/or can’t wait until sometime next week. And if you need a primer on how to play, they released a video starring the voice of Dr Krieger, because listening to Lucky Yates talk about stuff exploding won’t cause nightmares at all.

  • Depending on what topics he decides to cover, there may or may not be cats (holy or otherwise) involved! Ryan Estrada is feelin’ creative again, and we all know what that means: a burst of comics to bury ourselves in. This time, he’s decided to do fake pitches for licensed comics based on existing concepts, and Dylan Meconis has already tossed the first suggestion out: an animated version of Murder She Wrote. But Estrada being Estrada, he’s already got a half-dozen in the pipeline, and posted his unlicensed adaptation of Bringing Out The Dead. Keep your eye on Unlicensed By Ryan Estrada for more insanity in the coming … forever, possibly.

Spam of the day:

All are hands-free, water-proof, rechargeable, and 100% medical grade silicone. There are specific nipple toys which are created to improve nipple stimulation.

Hey, Erika and Matt? I think this one is for you.

______________
¹ Just shy of 9000 liters, or 0.007230289 acre-feet.

² About 47,200 kilos, or 1 adult humpback whale.

Okay, Not Spam Per Se, But Close Enough

More of a trolling attempt, actually.

If you’ll indulge me a little, I want to rearrange the order of things on today’s post.

Spam of the day:

um, he book WAS DONE WHEN HE STARTED THE KICKSTARTER, WAS Intended to help _print the damn book_ hello??!???!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS DONE WHEN IT STARTED!!!!! But you’ll believe his bullshit about being stressed causing him to be a YEAR AND A HALF LATE???

YOU. ARE. AN. IDIOT.

I suppose I should start with the acknowledgement that I’m breaking one of the fundamental rules of the internet by reading the comments, but there’s a general exception for reading comments on your own site; indeed, this comment was submitted here to Fleen in re: our most recent post on Something Terrible and held for moderation¹. Its author is using what I believe to be a pseudonym and fake email address, which is always the sign of quality opinions! Let’s address the author’s points one at a time, shall we?

  • That sure is a lot of correctly-spelled words, Bill (Can I call you Bill? That’s the name you gave although I doubt it’s yours). Not so much with the spacing, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and syntax, though.
  • Regarding the book being done when [the Kickstarter campaign] started, surely somebody as erudite as yourself will acknowledge that pre-press design is a skillset in and of itself, and having images for web done is not the same as just sending things off to press.
  • Regarding [Trippe’s] bullshit about being stressed, two things: First, please educate yourself on the concepts of depression and PTSD, which are not the same thing as being stressed. Second, Trippe’s been remarkably honest in social media and in person about the toll that telling his story has had on him. You may, from your comfortable distance, have decided that it’s bullshit, but I’d defy you to talk with the guy in person and come to the same conclusion. Dean’s one of the most open and honest people I’ve ever met.
  • Regarding a YEAR AND A HALF LATE???, PDFs meeting the lower tiers of Kickstarter pledges were promised in April of 2014, physical hardcopies in June of 2014². Certainly they’re late, but your all-caps exaggeration does not do your argument any favors.
  • Regarding YOU. ARE. AN. IDIOT., it’s entirely possible (have you been talking to my family?), but what about this particular project has you so het up (as my grandmother used to say)? Dissatisfied backer? Trippe’s already made the offer to refund you, which granted means that you lost out on the massive interest you would have earned on your pledge amount over the course of a year. Tell ya what, Bill, I’ll make good on that twelve cents you lost out on. Worried for my financial well-being because I got scammed? That’s adorable, thanks for your concern.
  • Not specific to anything you wrote, but are you familiar with Kickstarter? Almost nothing fulfills on time. That’s practically built into the site’s DNA.

It’s interesting, though, that you’re so concerned about getting THE TRUTH!!!!!!one!!!! about evil, evil Dean Trippe and stupid, stupid Gary Tyrrell out there, speaking boldly against our obvious corruption and collusion. You’ve had many opportunities to do so since January of 2014³ when I started writing about the campaign.

But you dropped in a drive-by comment from with a fake name and fake email, leading me to believe you aren’t a regular reader as they tend to be reasonable people who aren’t afraid to sign their own names to their opinions. I’m talking about something that I like and you have come into my metaphorical home to tell me Trippe’s full of shit and I’m an idiot — thanks so much for your obvious righteousness, but it was an unnecessary effort.

Much like the last 600 or so words I’ve spent on this response; I trust that we’ve both gotten this out of our systems and can go find other people who are wrong on the internet to confront?


  • Speaking of book Kickstarts, Steve Hamaker has just launched one to print volume one of Plox, and it would be really cool if he could spend GenCon weekend (where he’ll be tabling with Scott Kurtz & co at the Toonhound Studios table) not worrying about if it was gonna fund or not.

    Hamaker’s one of the low-key maestros of modern [web]comics, a colorist that makes even the best work better, and he doesn’t get enough attention for his own creations. Back it now, and if you see him in Indianapolis be sure to let him know that if he doesn’t have the book to you by the last day of March 2016, Bill up above is gonna have a fit at him how much you enjoy his work.

  • In other news, Los Angeles Resident Dave Kellett has announced the latest contributor to his Tales of the Drive project:

    So! That makes 4 super fun DRIVE short stories written/drawn by @ZachWeiner @drhastings @dmeconis and @jonrosenberg!

    That would be Zach Weinersmith, Christopher Hastings, Dylan Meconis, and Jon Rosenberg (okay, that last one was a little obvious). Judging from Twitter traffic ‘tother night, Rosenberg’s still in the writing stage, and LARDK hasn’t said when he’s going to start posting story pages yet. Maybe a nice little back-to-school celebration? A whole story up as a Thanksgiving present? Come on, LARDK, give us something to mark on our calendars and pine away in anticipation for!

_______________
¹ Typically, this happens for tripping keyword lists, having excessive links in the body of the message, or being from unfamiliar IP addresses.

² Which, between you and me, was optimistic in the extreme; closing the campaign in February, if everything went perfectly, means that hardcover books before September of 2104 would be just barely possible.

³ Is that where you got the year and a half from?

Exhibitorpalooza

The TopatoCon exhibitor list grows by leaps and bounds! When last we spoke of such things, it looked like this:

KC Green
Jeph Jacques
Jess Fink
Tom Siddell
Rosemary Mosco
Kate Leth
Anthony Clark
Christopher Hastings
Danielle Corsetto
David Malki !
Dante Shepherd
Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson
Michael Rapa
Mildred Louis
Sara Goetter
Jon Rosenberg
Karla Pacheco
RJ Lake
Spike
Allison Shabet
Lauren Jordan
Joshua AC Newman
Magnolia Porter
Alison Wilgus
Shoona Browning
Randy Millholland
Brian Lee
Skullmandible
David Willis
Kori Michele
Hannah McGill
Blue Delliquanti
Evan Dahm
Molly Ostertag

And thanks to the list that’s been posted at TopatoCon’s Internet Information Center, we may add to the list:

Amazing Super Powers, Kory Bing, Boston Comics Roundtable, Tony Breed, Cardboard Fortress Games, Eric Colossal, Matt Cummings, Megan Nicole Dong, Catie Donnelly, The Doubleclicks, G Town Games LLC, Games By Play Date, Erin Gladstone, John Green, Tyson Hesse, How To Win At Everything (Daniel Kibblesmith & Sam Weiner), Kitfox Games, Amanda Lafrenais, Braden Lamb, Matt Lubchansky, Ira Marcks, Kel McDonald, David McGuire, Tom McHenry, Maki Naro, Nerdcore Medical, Cole Ott, Aatmaja Pandya, Amanda Scurti, Sarah Winifred Searle, Small Beer Press, Sarah Sobole, Space Whale , Spriteborne, Olivia Stephens, Jordan Witt, and Jessi Zabarsky (whew!).

Sadly, we appear to have lost some exhibitors from the list. Rosemary Mosco reports that she’ll be attending, but not tabling. Jeph Jacques isn’t on the new list, and TopatoCon falls right in the midst of the time that he reports he’ll be moving to Canada, and so it may be too uncertain to promise an appearance. I’m sure that there are other missing names, but as my previous list was sequential-by-announcement and the new one is alphabetical, maybe it’s best that you double-check yourself.

In other TopatoCon news, the venue has changed to allow more attendees, and the show will now be taking place at the venerable Eastworks, site of the much-loved NEWW and NEWW2 shows in 2009 and 2010. Hotel/ticket information will be coming soon, and the showrunners have released a code of conduct that lays out a zero-tolerance policy for:

… offensive comments (related to a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, disability, or religion), stalking, unwanted photography or recording, unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention, and disruption of events. In general, the polite and courteous method is to err on the side of caution. If you feel you may be making someone uncomfortable, end your interaction with them. No one owes you their time or attention (and you don’t owe anyone yours), so be cool. [emphasis added]

I bolded that part because it seems necessary to remind the Sea Lions out there that the world does not, in fact, revolve around their obsessive needs to talk you to death. Hooray!


Spam of the day:

????????????????SEO,???????

You know, just waving about your hands and saying SEO is not how that actually works. Maybe in the LARP of website management, but not in the real world.

It’s Tightly Cropped For A Reason

This page has long been a fan of Dean Trippe’s Something Terrible, which has been a webcomic and Kickstarted as a book-book. The elephant in the room is that the book is late — delivery was estimated in June of last year — which I’m willing to give Trippe all kinds of slack for. He told a story about himself, and as a result found himself the impromptu leader of a tribe whose price of membership is way too high but whose fellowship is literally lifesaving.

This is especially apparent with the next PDF version of Something Terrible that Trippe sent to his backers this week, which features a new essay about what the experience of sharing his secret origin is like — having stepped into the spotlight, he’s experienced stressors that weren’t there before:

I’m humbled to know how many people desperately needed my story, and most of the time, I don’t regret it. But if I’m being honest, it’s hard. Even revisiting all of this in order to complete this print edition has been tough. I thought doing the digital edition was all the therapy I needed, but I’ve learned that it’s an everyday thing. Always healing. Always training. Just like Batman.

So, yeah. Next time you find yourself with hundred of abuse victims reaching out to you to make it better, I’ll give you slack on your missed deadlines, too.

But Trippe’s done more than work through the mechanical and logistical aspects of putting Something Terrible into print; he’s added a new four-page epilogue to the PDF that he sent to backers this week. It hits a payoff that is even more emotionally overwhelming than the justly-lauded You’ll Be Safe Here.

Think of it as the post-credits scene in the superhero movie that is Trippe’s story, one that required the very tight cropping shown above to not spoil. It’s a perfect coda, I can’t wait for you all to see it, and never forget: not all heroes wear capes.


Updating yesterday’s list of GenCon exhibitors from the wide, wide world of webcomics, Steve Hamaker reports he’ll be there with Scott Kurtz (but not sure where, exactly), and David Malki ! reports that he’ll be at the Blind Ferret table.

So I Have To Go Back To The Airport In A Coupla Hours

Where, @Delta willing, there will be no hassles in getting back home. If there are, however, I’ll most likely be the cause of the disruption at the Atlanta airport that makes the news. Not much going on (Thursdays are always the quiet day in Webcomicstan), so let’s consider a couple of Kickstarters that I think are funding too slowly for comfort. Disclaimer: I am backing both of these and want my books, dammit!

  • We’re about a third of the way through the Eat More Comics campaign to print the best of The Nib, and well into the fallow period where little activity takes place, with an uptick in the last week or so. It just barely makes the cutoff for analysis under the FFFmk2 with 201 users on day one, giving us a prediction of US$53.8K +/- US$10.8K, which is a bit worrying — the low end of that range is below the goal of US$45K, and even the midpoint is not enough to get more money for the contributors.
  • In happier news, we’re at about the 60% point in terms of duration, but the 75% mark in terms of funding for Monster Pulse volume 2, and what puzzles me the most is the very low backer count for Magnolia Porter’s well-loved story of teens in a weird situation. More than 500 people backed Porter’s first print collection, but we’re only at 210 people on book 2 so far. Where’s all the former backers? I know you didn’t fall out of love with Monster Pulse since that’s not possible, so are you deep in student debt? Lost your jobs? Time to sell some blood plasma, Gary needs his book.
  • Okay, okay, let’s make this a little bit not about me. GenCon has become much more webcomicker-populated in the past couple of years, and this year may set the record for participation. Off the top of my head, those in Indianapolis next week can see folks like the Blind Ferret crew, Jennie Breeden, Rob Balder, Randy Milholland, Jeph Jacques, John Kovalic, Howard Tayler, and the ubiquitous Jim Zub. Note that they won’t all be listed under their own names; Zub and Tayler will be with Tracy Hickman at booth 1935, Milholland at BFE, and I’m not sure where Jacques will be. When in doubt, check twitterfeeds.

Spam of the day:

Esta me funcion realmente y la compr en una promocin

“This really function and bought me a promotion”? Okay.

Travel Trubs Over, Lack Of Sleep Remains

Oh, and also the previous strip, where the barista cabal that secretly controls everything has functioning transporter technology because OF COURSE they do.
Thanks to the tender mercies of Delta, I spent the majority of my waking hours yesterday at Newark airport trying to get to Atlanta for a work gig, a tale of woe I was only too happy to share on Twitter. Getting in eight hours late has left me a bit punchy today, so let’s keep today’s discussion brief.

  • I don’t know how many of you noticed that it’s Comics Week at The AV Club, and while there has been some webcomics in the discussion threads, today saw the first overt recommendations from staffers. Asked What comics are you reading this month?, staffer William Hughes threw props to A Softer World and Achewood before a lengthy analysis of what makes Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie so damn good:

    It’s a tricky book to summarize, honestly, because the thing that makes it great is Gran’s unwillingness to let easy labels dictate who her characters are—in the initial comics, Eve is “grumpy,” while Hannah is “the carefree stoner,” but the longer they spend on the page, the less those titles make sense or apply. It’s a book that’s less about big plot arcs or romantic entanglements—although it has its fair share of the latter—than about what those events mean for the characters and their attempts to build a stable sense of who they are and what they want.

    He also notes that Gran shifts between slice-of-life and magical realism (although not the Mexican variety), which by coincidence is well demonstrated by today’s installment; whatever else might be going on in Jane and Marigold’s inner feelings, those little homunculi are absolutely real.

  • We may be coming to the end of the Cartoon Art Museum’s cartoonist-in-residence program, what with the loss of the physical space coming at the end of September and all. But it’s not the end of September yet, and curator Andrew Farago shows every sign of wanting to pack as much programming as their remaining lease time will allow.

    Thus, those of you in San Francisco on Saturday, 1 August 2015 can participate in the residency of Hannah McGill from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. For those not familiar, McGill is the creator of RAWR! Dinosaur Friends, as well as being a graphic designer with work visible around the Bay Area. Her talk is free and open to the public.


Spam of the day:

Technological advances in home based surveillance allow one to keep out hackers from your home alarm system.

Oh son, do not even bring your claims about Internet of Things security here. That bullshit will not fly with me.

Tuesday Miscellany

We’re all over the place today, from the neatest, most encouraging news to the most horrifying visions of what eternal damnation must surely look like. I suspect that no two of you will precisely agree where on that scale each of these items will fall.

  • Well, okay, I suspect that everybody will place the already-fully-funded Kickstart for Lucy Bellwood’s nautical comics collection, Baggywrinkles, on the positive side of that scale. It’s part autobio, part educational, a downright bargain with physical copies of the book going for as little as US$16, and featuring an all-new story about scurvy! And a very modest US$20K stretch goal will take the collection from B&W to color!
  • Sticking with Kickstarter for the moment, we’ll note that Matt Bors was lying to us when he said that the Eat More Comics Kickstarter campaign would not have stretch goals, on account of they just announced some stretch goals. Every coupla’ thousand bucks from the US$45K goal means exclusive comics from the likes of Zach Weinersmith, Rich Stevens, Gemma Correll, and Bors himself.

    Even better, hitting US$60K means that all the artists — who are getting paid for their comics to run in the collection, on top of the pay they received to run at The Nib, on top of whatever they made from drawing them in the first place — will get a page rate boost. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the best part about Bors & Co is that they pay, and even if some of what The Nib ran made you grind your teeth and regret that money went/will go to cartoonists you despise, I can pretty much guarantee that even more money went/will go to cartoonists you love. Let’s help ’em make rent.

  • Love ’em, hate ’em, wonder how they became so dominant in at least one field (webcomics) and superdominant in another (videogames), there’s no denying that the lads at Penny Arcade cast a long shadow and that they attract attention from outside both those areas of endeavour.

    This time it’s the advertising world, where Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik were named to a list of 10 visual artists who are remaking advertising, part of an overall list of the 100 most creative people in/adjacent to advertising. Also on that list with Krahulik & Holkins: Annie Leibovitz (the most important portrait photographer of the past four decades) and Brett Doar (who creates all those Rube Goldbergian installations for OK Go music videos).

    And as long as we’re on the topic, Randall Munroe was recognized not specifically for comics or art, but for his ability to create viral content that blows the hell up. Also on that list with Munroe: Serial’s Sarah Koenig. Looking at the other 80 names on the list, you’ll find the likes of John Carmack (for Oculus VR), Amy Schumer, Janelle Monáe, Mindy Kaling, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a whole bunch of ad pros and commercial directors you’ll never have heard of. This time next year I’d expect to see Raina Telgemeier or somebody at Ad Week is missing the boat.

  • Finally, I think that we all also will agree on which item definitely falls on the negative side of the scale: for all those who have ever seen Lar DeSouza’s Sailor Bacon cosplay has never been able to un-see that spectacle, that extravaganza, those bloomers. We can console ourselves that the display was always for a good cause (namely, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada), even if there was no way to convey the full horror to those that weren’t there to share in the mental scarring.

    Until now:

    In a grand effort to support me and my wife in our annual fundraising efforts for Multiple Sclerosis research, [Ryan] Sohmer and Blind Ferret have made available these adorable and somewhat disturbing Sailor Bacon plushies!! Designed by me and manufactured by the fine folks at Soft Stuff (who also donated a portion of their manufacturing costs to the MS Society of Canada!), these tiny ambassadors of hugs are now shipping from the BFE headquarters.

    You can order up one of these abominations and send it to somebody that needs a good disturbing! Why should you be the only one unable to ever sleep again without seeing … that … lurking behind your eyeballs? Drop your twenty five bucks, spread the madness, take some minor solace that this great sin against Nature benefits a worthy cause, or maybe just buy them all up and see if you can destroy them before they worm their way into your brain.

    It’s too late. They’ve got you. Pray for the mercy that you’ll succumb to sweet, forgetful madness quickly and Glob have mercy on your soul.


Spam of the day:

Your LED Flashlight Coupon, 75% off expires 07/21/2015

I’ll admit — this one almost got me. I’m a sucker for a good LED flashlight.

Winners

Welp, the Eisners were given out over the weekend, and it appears that that webcomic-adjacent had a very good year. I’m a little miffed that Nimona didn’t win for Best Digital/Web Comic, but what are you going to do? Brian K Vaughn (and Marcos Martin, who won for The Private Eye) is pure, distilled name recognition in comics circles. But that’s pretty much the only place I that I was disappointed (aside from my continuing bemiffment that Kazu Kibuishi didn’t get nominated at all), as there were some very encouraging results.

Let’s start with Nimona’s Noelle Stevenson, who as part of the Lumberjanes team (along with Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen) took both Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17) and Best New Publication. The former would have been great on its own, but to be recognized as the standout book of the year? That’s a hell of an accomplishments for the hardcore lady types. Likewise, consider that the Best Short Story of the year came from Emily Carroll, whose When the Darkness Presses ran online and defeated the collected efforts of the entire print industry.

You think perhaps there’s a theme developing here, where the most outstanding work of the year is overwhelmingly created by women? Because when it comes to original characters, stories, concepts, and such, that appears to be the case. For instance, Mariko & Jillian Tamaki wrapped up a nonstop year of praise for This One Summer (including being named as both a Caldecott and Michael L. Printz Honor Book) with Best Graphic Album—New, and Cece Bell wrapped up a nonstop nine months of praise for El Deafo (including be named a Newbery Honor Book) with Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12). These are all stories by women, about girls; these are all stories that are different from much of the history of American comics.

Okay, fine, we’ll throw in a token dude: Gene Luen Yang was recognized as Best Writer for Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Shadow Hero ; he was competing against the likes of the previously-mentioned Mr K Vaughn, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jason Aaron, and G Willow Wilson (who I thought was going to win). And next year will likely have some representations from the likes of Scott McCloud for The Sculptor and Ryan North/Erica Henderson for Squirrel Girl; get a few more cases like that and we’ll have enough dudes to have a panel on What It’s Like To Be A Male Creator.

But we all know who the night belonged to, and if there is one Eisner that entirely typifies the art of words + pictures, that says you are the whole creative package when it comes to comics, it’s Best Writer/Artist. Charles Burns, Sergio Aragonés, Steven Collins, Richard McGuire, and Stan Sakai were up for the award — there’s got to be close to 150 years experience in those five dudes.

They lost.

To Raina Telgemeier.

Who told an autobiographical story about growing up with her younger sister.

It’s no exaggeration to say — it’s never been an exaggeration each time I’ve said it in the past — that Telgemeier is the future of comics. She writes and draws stories that resonate with her readers in a way that any artist would give up their eyeteeth to replicate; she hooks them and brings them into a medium turning them into not just lovers of comics, but lovers of reading. And she’s just getting started — she’s got dozens of books yet to share with us. She’s still got four books on the NYTBSL (although she’s temporarily ceded the #3 slot to Fun Home, meaning she only has four of the top five books, which list is rounded out by El Deafo and Nimona, by the way), for a total of 317 weeks.

Oh, and she just announced her next book, due Fall 2016. And there will be a couple more Baby Sitters Club books released between then and now. And Smile, Drama, and Sisters aren’t likely to fall off the list anytime soon. You thought I was kidding when I said that the Times might need to qualify the softcover graphic novel list as best sellers not by Raina Telgemeier? McCloud’s famously said that he sees the industry as majority-women (creators and audience) by 2024, and I think that the clock moved up a couple years on Friday night; comics now belongs to Raina and her fabulous friends, and it’s great.

A Scoop And A Spooky Comic And A Stripperversary

  • SDCC rolls along and it appears that webcomickers have deigned to let showgoers live another day. Hooray! In the meantime, it appears that the guys behind Penny Arcade are not content to merely put together a Kickstart to make a live-action webseries out of their noir-robot tale, Automata, wherein they’ve raised more than half of their very specific goal of US$322,637.09 in less than two days. Nope, it appears that they were fooling us when they said they would not be at the show in 2015. They snuck in all sneaky like! Proof!
  • Everywhere else, did you feel a bit of a chill down your spine earlier today? It’s possibly because Emily Carroll has released a new comic, a rare (for her) modern-day tale of two girls, a diorama, and unseen (perhaps unsuspected apart from an increasing sense of dread) ghosts of somebody not happy.

    The Groom is Carroll’s most subtle work to date (and that’s saying something), with the horror hinted at around the edges of the experience of the tween protagonists. Read one way, it’s just a case of thing found, got bored, slightly creepy nature gave the excuse to get rid of it. Read another way, there’s evil a’plenty in the suburbs, and the supernatural version could pale in comparison to the everyday, banal version. Like all of Carroll’s comics, this carries the highest possible recommendation.

  • Confidential to Jeph in Easthampton: 3000! That’s a hell of an accomplishment, even if only 0.2333% of those strips featured #buttrocket.

Spam of the day:

Forskolean …

Nnnnoooope. Not goin’ there. Whatever you’re selling, it’s got too much possible innuendo wrapped around it.

For Those Not In San Diego

Weirdly, not everything to do with comics and webcomickers centers on southern California; here, then, is a list of comics-related things that have nothing to do with SDCC.

  • For example, those of you in New England will find that the showrunners of ConnectiCon scheduled directly against SDCC. CTCon had a reputation as a webcomic-friendly show for a while there, but their guest list doesn’t seem to reflect webcomics as a category this year — webcomickers are lumped into the Online Media category, which at least puts the creators of webcomics like Sister Claire, Dueling Analogs, The System, or Bittersweet Candy Bowl on par with, say, George Takei.

    They don’t, however, put links to sites in their guest lists. They also seem to think that Jamie Noguchi is going to be there when he appears to be opposite the Dumbrella booth. On the other hand, CTCon is hosting Super Art Fight and that’s always stupidly fun.

  • For those of you a little further west and north of Connecticut — that is to say, Schenectady, New York — may find yourself at the Schenectady County Public Library-sponsored Electric City Comic Con, which is small-scale, a first effort, free to attend, and features the incomparably awesome Jess Fink and Chris Giarrusso. Libraries are great.
  • Further west (a lot further west) — San Francisco this time — the California College of the Arts is hosting a series of events in association with their MFA in Comics program. Mike Mignola was there last Friday, Spike Trotman will be there tomorrow (along with an opening reception), Paul Madonna will be there next Friday … it’s a whole Friday thing. Lectures start at 6:00pm, and are free to the public at the Timken Lecture Hall, 1111 Eighth Street in the city of Saint Francis.
  • Okay, fine, SDCC. Nobody from webcomics appears to have made any sacrifices to the blood god yet, setup appears to have been conducted in good order, Rich Stevens appears to have the product of the show, and Jon Rosenberg appears to be enjoying himself.

    Oh, and help me start a rumo[u]r. I say that this photo means that Jim Zub has been tapped to write a new Hello, Kitty ongoing. I have attempted to contact Mr Zub to confirm that this is what’s going on, and I have not received a denial, which I’m choosing to interpret as a confirmation. You heard it here first: Zub on Hello, Kitty, now with Japanese demons, skull-kicking, and awesome, awesome fight scenes … tell me you wouldn’t buy the crap out of that.


Spam of the day:

I do not know what you are saying

Shhh, shhh, just relax, you’ll be fine.