The webcomics blog about webcomics

He Promises, No Dogs Will Be Made To Fight Dragons

Okay, disclaimers out of the way: the comics-making duo known popularly as Becky [Dreistadt] & Frank [Gibson] are practically family; despite the fact that they went to art school with a niece who is totally my dogg since small times, I believe that I would have found my way to their work in any event. Dreistadt’s paintings are whimsical and achingly beautiful at the same time, and Gibson’s command of language is playful and erudite in equal measure.

Their latest project, a comic book adaptation of a 151-painting series in tribute to Pokemon, releases in a few weeks, and Gibson was kind enough to take some time out to talk to me about it. As an added bonus, Gibson sent along a four page preview of the first issue, which you can see below.

[Editor's note: I have been informed that another site has exclusive first-post rights on the preview, so we have to wait to put them up. To make it up to us, Gibson sent along the cover to issue #2 (above), which hasn't been seen anywhere before. As soon as we're allowed, make the preview go live and this note will be removed.]

Fleen: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today.
Gibson: Thanks for having me!

Fleen: So tell me how the Capture Creatures comic book came about. Natural outgrowth of the art project? Shannon Watters¹ come to you with a request for a pitch and an offer of 6 issues minimum?
Gibson: We were thinking about a Capture Creatures comic before we even did our 151 project. It was originally the name of a comic series that we felt like we would never have the time to do. The 151 series was our way of making a creature project “manageable” aka 2 years of constant painting, a Kickstarter etc, etc. We’d been working with Boom on a bunch of projects, doing short stories for Adventure Time. Then they asked if we had ideas for a Capture Creatures book. Which of course we did. They pitched us ways to make the project manageable, since we’re a little busy these days, and it’s worked!

(more…)

When There Was Only One Batrope, That Was When Batman Carried You

Health and commerce and flying through Atlanta in a couple of hours; Wednesday, in other words.

  • This deserves to be quoted at length, because it speaks directly to how capital-A Art impacts capital-L Life, for both creator and audience; Dean Trippe on why the Something Terrible books are behind schedule:

    Just a quick note: I’ve had to temporarily stop reading messages and emails from fans of Something Terrible due to emotional health and safety concerns.

    The books are still in progress, and I’m hoping pre-orders continue to make the purchase order larger and my unit cost lower. But it’s been slow going during con season due to the emotional toll hearing so many similarly heartbreaking stories has been taking on me. I think I was better at this in the beginning, when I was mostly getting messages from fellow adults and folks who shared minimal details.

    So please understand: I don’t want to discourage anyone from writing, but it’ll be a little bit before I respond, as I need to stay functional for my family and the folks who rely on me. This year has been amazing, traveling the country and meeting people who needed my story. But while it’s validated every ounce of the small courage I mustered to tell my story, it’s also been fairly overwhelming on a regular basis.

    I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone to hear I have a bit of a Batman complex with this stuff, and feel a strong push to fight through the tough parts to be the shoulder and sometimes the symbol fellow victims need to help them process their own pasts. But while what I present to the world tends to be chipper Adam West or driven Kevin Conroy, the cumulative effect of these stories has left me wallowing in decidedly Frank Miller territory.

    I appreciate your patience as I plot this batboat back on course, and I’m sorry for the delays in getting the ST hardcovers printed. It’s all down to decisions now, but I’m the one who’s been flaking on making them. But I’m dragging my broken back to Nanda Parbat to get my head right again so I can finish this.

    Watch for my signal.

    Anybody that’s met Dean Trippe or seen him at a show in the time since Something Terrible released knows that his Batman Complex is absolutely true; I’ve never seen anybody that wanted to take care of the entire world as much as he does¹ and he is absolutely right to adopt a posture of defense for as long as he finds it necessary. Light the signal when the time is right, we’ll repeat it as needed. Be well, SuperBatDeanMan.

  • Because I’m curious: I placed a TopatoCo order yesterday (for volume 8 of Girls With Slingshots, out now!) and I noticed the invoice number on the confirmation page: 519348. Every order I’ve ever placed with TopatoCo has had an increasing invoice number, and I believe that it’s actually serially increasing. Combined with the announcement that they recently passed order #500,000, this would mean nearly 20 thousand orders have gone out in the past few weeks. We’re arguably at the point where year-end holiday (Alliday?) shopping kicks into high gear, and I’m curious as to exactly how much work that is for the Space Potato and his earthly minions.

    So I am going to make a small order at the start of the year, compare invoice numbers, and get my answer. Right now I’m going to estimate it’s somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 orders between now and then.


Spam of the day:

In honor of James Gunn’s Marvel movie masterpiece becoming the highest grossing film of 2014 domestically, and the recent announcement of the upcoming sequel, [site I'm not shilling] knew that now was the time to begin work on showing the world what real space genitals should look like. Gnardians of the Galaxy: 50 Shades of Groot will be written & directed by Lee Roy Myers.

What.

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¹ Which is why I actually look on Trippe as having a big red S on his chest. In my eyes, he’ll always be Superman from issue 10 of All Star Superman. If you haven’t read it for God’s sake go do that and understand why this character inspires despite being so badly bungled by recent movies.

From The Corrections Desk

It appears that we’ve managed to get a number of things wrong. Let the self-flagellation begin!


Spam of the day:

You should not live a life of a laid back person. Come out of your self-built life and start enjoying it by filling colors in it.

Too late! Bwahahahaha.

You Ask, We Answer

From the ol’ Fleen mailbag:

Perhaps Jon Rosenberg is just being his usual bitterly funny self, but I don’t have nearly enough caffeine or alcohol in my bloodstream to figure out if he really is pulling the plug on SFAM or not. Could you be a dear and go clear things up for his loyal readers? I need to go have a bit of a lie-down. I’m really getting too old for these shocks.

First of all, thanks for writing in with a question this morning, as it turns out that the network access I have today is largely limited to what my phone can grab at a blistering 2G speed. That’s what happens when your worksite is on the lower level of a building that’s built into a hillside, I guess. Fortunately, emails are reasonably easy to access even at a whopping 0.18 Mbit/second.

Secondly, I’m happy to be a dear! In case you missed what the question referred two, Mr Jon I own Gary’s soul Rosenberg issued a series of tweets today that included the likes of:

Goodbye everyone! It’s been fun. http://amultiverse.com/comic/2014/10/27/dear-everyone/

and

Dear Friends, today I was fired from SFAM. http://amultiverse.com/comic/2014/10/27/dear-everyone/

Along with further discussions where he hopes that Chris Yates gets named as his replacement. Please consider the content of today’s strip, which is in reference to a burgeoning media/sex life/accusations of abuse scandal a-brewing to the north¹. Furthermore, the strip directly quotes tweets Rosenberg made last night that paraphrased said Canadian scandal, so I’m pretty sure that he’s not really quitting.

But I’m nothing if not thorough, and I sent Jon an email asking him to clarify the nature of his continued employment with the strip that he entirely owns. His reply, verbatim:

My lawyers have asked me not to comment until further notice.

Keep in mind who the lawyer in question is. Don’t make him notice you if you value your sanity and/or existence. I suspect that come Wednesday, we’ll see the first strip by the “replacement” in a style remarkably similar to Rosenberg’s.


Spam of the day:

Google

Check below, are some completely unrelated internet sites to ours, even so, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use.

True story: somebody somewhere on the Marriott guest network (not necessarily at my particular hotel) is running a computer that is making automated inquiries against Google, which has responded by blacklisting the entire damn network. If the miscreant has not be convinced to knock that the hell off, I will have no access to the single most useful site in my bookmarks for as long as I’m on that particular chunk of wifi. This sucks enough that I’m almost willing to clink the links that “Google” tells me they totally trust and use.

Almost.

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¹ That was the least gross report on the situation I’ve found; at this point, there are a lot of people digging in heels, holding positions re: believing accusers in cases of sexual violence, believing that public personalities may be the target of unwarranted accusations, and the likelihood of true reports from (relatively more) powerful parties vs (relatively) less powerful parties.

It’s a mess and at this point nothing has been adjudicated and I don’t know what the hell really happened; I suspect that even the principal parties sincerely believe things that cannot be simultaneously true. But Jian Ghomeshi (whose radio work I greatly enjoy) has arguably come out on the attack and that’s rarely a good means of reinforcing the I’m innocent position.

Everything I’ve Ever Wanted In Three Places

Seriously, three things dropped yesterday that exceed all my wants and desires except for the places reserved in my heart for my wife and dog.

Okay, that’s it. Enjoy the crap out of your weekend, and hope you avoid all the terrible, terrible people.


Spam of the day:

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

I find your schemes to be insufficient. You may wait outside the Pilgrim’s Door.

Announcements

Your attention please. Please yell if you are paying attention.

  • Re: the best thing that you will read today, courtesy of Shaenon Garrity, Queen Of All That Is Rad, a curious and quiet tale regarding how ladies interact with gaming culture. In the event that you think that this is not the best thing that you will (or have) read today, please go back and re-read carefully and I think you will find the source of your error. There are so many wonderful little details in Scores & Scandals that I can’t count them all.
  • Re: yesterday’s posting regarding the Chomic Chameleon Chichstarter¹, the campaign launched about an hour ago (as this is being written) and may be found here.
  • Re: webcomickers and Adventure Time, there are two big things happening come January. The storied team of Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb will be stepping down from the book that launched BOOM! Studios’ foray into Cartoon Network tie-in comics, Adventure Time.

    By that time, the North/Paroline/Lamb team will have produced 35 issues (or seven arcs + seven one-shot issues) over the space of three years, and have garnered signinificant acclaim, including the stray Eisner Award. Per North, it was a planned exit, with the creative team ready to move on to other projects (at the recent SPX show, Lamb told me that he and Paroline were pitching their own story ideas for new comics).

    Big shoes to fill², but BOOM! have found perhaps the best possible replacements on the book in the personages of Christopher Hastings on words and Zach Sterling on art. Sterling’s no stranger to Adventure Time, having partnered with Danielle Corsetto and Kate Leth on AT original graphic novels, and Hastings is not only a funny guy who knows how to write funny comic books, he’s partnered up with North on several projects and will be able to blend his authorial voice with that of the Toronto Man-Mountain to the point that the transition should be largely seamless.

    This is not to say that Hastings should spend his time on Adventure Time emulating North, merely that it won’t be a jarring shift from one writing style to the next. Honestly, I can’t think of a better team to take over the flagship comic.

  • All of that would probably qualify as the best Adventure Time-related news of the month, except for the part where BOOM! also announced that Meredith Gran would be returning to write a second Marceline miniseries. Marceline and the Scream Queens, for me at least, ranks as the definitive exploration of the vampire queen’s personality and nature, and seeing Gran return to the character for six more issues makes me giddy. And that’s before I found out that the new series (titled Marceline Gone Adrift) is essentially the adventures of Marceline and Prubs in space. This time around Gran will be leaving the art duties to Carey Pietsch, whose portfolio gives me great confidence that she’ll do a fantastic job.
  • Still not quite done with webcomickers and BOOM! books at the start of 2015. Jim Zub (who else?) had some news to share yesterday:

    MUNCHKIN #1 arrives in January from @boomstudios and I’m writing back-up stories. :) @muskrat_john @SJGames

    Oh dear glob. Zub’s not one for excessive mayhem in his gaming comics because he’s mindful that they should be at least vaguely acceptable for all ages, but in the cartoonishly excessive world of Munchkin? And in backup stories, where all the rules are a bit looser? He’s gonna run riot and it’s gonna be hilarious.

  • Re: my earlier assessment of what’s going on in Drive. Okay, so the latest update mentions dropships with “interstellars in orbit”, so we don’t know from the visuals here about rings, which was my original contention. But we’ve seen Vinn ships before — no ring. And the possibility of the Vinn getting Continuum technology (which the Makers regard as holy) without the Continuum objecting? I still think we’ve got more than one method of superlight travel, which in the case of the Vinn could have been developed by any of the 14 constituent species. All of which is to say Goddammit Dave, if you kill off Nosh I’m going to be very, very cross with you.

Not spam of the day:
I just wanted to bring to your attention a comment regarding yesterday’s spam of the day:

For the record and from a born spanish speaker: that spam’s line makes absolutely no sense.

Román, thanks for confirming what I suspected. Good to know that spammers are illiterate in more than just English!

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¹ Sorry, couldn’t resist.

² In North’s case, literally … I seem to recall he has something like size 15 feet.

It Is Apparently Kickstarter Day

There are several projects that I feel you should pay attention to, in no particular order.

  • First of all, recent Atlanta-to-Stumptown transplant Jennie “It’s Not Satanic Porn” Breeden¹ has returned to the Kickstarter well to finish off her doll line; about this time last year she made plush versions of two of the three voices in her head: the Devil Girl and Angel Girl as a stretch goal. The campaign fell just shy of creating the Pretty Princess as a final stretch goal, but people have apparently been hounding her mercilessly, for lo the Pretty Princess Plush now springs fully from Breeden’s skull (like unto Athena from the brow of Zeus), sitting about a third of the way to success with four weeks to go. Completists, take note.
  • One may have noticed that I didn’t make a prediction about where the Pretty Princess KS will end up; I’ve come to the conclusion that the Fleen Funding Formula really doesn’t work well with fewer than a couple hundred backers, and the PPKS is in the 130s as we speak. While I think it’s very likely that Breeden’s fanbase (which is loyal in a brutally efficient manner) will not let the campaign falter I cannot predict where the final tally will go. Heck, my ballpark estimate for the Stand Still, Stay Silent book 1 campaign was some US$50K short (in this case, that was about a 40% underestimation), although in my defense it was on Indiegogo and thus didn’t show up on Kicktraq, the basis of the FFF. What I am saying here is congratulations, Minna Sundberg, and I can’t wait to get my copy.
  • I can predict where the next campaign will end up, though: very, very high. Gigi DG has also gone to the crowdfunding platform to make a third thing; in this case, a third print collection of the wholly delightful Cucumber Quest. With a launch less than 24 hours ago and more than 500 backers driving the total to nearly 200% of goal with more than a month to go, Ms DG’s US$20K target is likely to hit a 5x to 6x overfunding. Call it US$150K +/- US$25K; given that the last two Kickstarters for CQ books have achieved, respectively, 645% and 627% of goal, I’d say she’s got a pretty good likelihood of her previous readers sticking around.
  • For going on two years, Comic Chameleon has been bringing webcomics to the mobile masses with the full support of creators; coincidentally, we’ve seen far fewer scrapers since CC’s beta was announced at the end of 2012 and formally launched (of iOs devices) in May of 2013. At the time, I noted that I’m an Android guy and thus don’t get to share in the phone-based goodness, a situation that economics did not off an easy remedy for.

    Until tomorrow. From Comic Chameleon principal (and erstwhile Alien Loves Predator photochronicler) Bernie Hou:

    The time has come to make Comic Chameleon available for your phone! [O]ur Kickstarter campaign to fund the Android version of our app [is] launching this Thursday

    The sharp-eyed among you may notice some elided content in that quote, which was necessary to chop it into a grammatically sound form because I took out some stuff I wanted to address here. Namely, that Hou (knowing as he did that I’m an Android guy) has sent along an alpha version of the app for me to play with and report back on. Work has kept me from doing so yet today, but I will be doing so at the first opportunity, and given the generally happy reviews of the CC userbase on the iDevice platform(s), I expect it (once the inevitable early bugs are identified and squashed) to make the Googleheads as happy as the Jobsters. Keep your eyes on Kickstrater tomorrow, and let’s get that sumbitch funded.


El spam del día:

Me gusta el artículo, la mente es muy clara, yo también hago eso, gracias.

No es nada.

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¹ Plain ol’ non-Satanic porn by Ms Breeden is another thing altogether (that link is relatively safe for work).

Some Sci And A Whole Lotta Fi

  • Welp, she teased us on Friday and now we know that yep, it’s porn, horror, porn, and then sci-fi¹:

    New World is a black-and-white sci-fi/fantasy comic anthology set to debut in the spring of 2015. Iron Circus Comics is currently seeking 8–10 submissions with the theme of exploration, colonization, conquest, assimilation, “going native,” appropriation, imperialism, strained relations… essentially, what happens when mutually un-contacted cultures, continents, and species collide. We want your strangest stories about situations where characters are encountering—and having to deal with—the alien.

    But please, let’s not do SF tropes we’ve seen a million times (much like Sleep of Reason banned zombies); Spike mentions the sort of creator whose work you should look to as good examples of the stuff she’s seeking, and dropped names like Evan Dahm and Carla Speed McNeil which means damn I’ma need a copy of New World in six months time or so. Oh, and did I mention the creators she’s already got lined up? In addition to McNeil and Dahm, she’s got Sophie Goldstein, Zach Weinersmith, Abbadon, Adoradora, Evan Palmer², Ezra Claytan Daniels, Matt Howarth, and Michelle Czajkowski already lined up, with an equal number of creators to be added.

    And since this is Spike we’re talking about, she’ll be duplicating the stretch-goals-equals-more-money-for-creators model that’s worked out so very well for Sleep of Reason and both Smut Peddlers. The application form is here and you’ve got until 20 November to get your submissions in.

  • Speaking of the Scis and the Fis, it appears that we’re going to get a fairly longform story at Penny Arcade on Tuesdays and Thursdays, dealing with the AI rights in the film noire 1930s that is Automata³. I’ve for a while held the for a while that the P-A lads do their best work in the realm of filthy continuity, and ever since the original Automata and its followup short story, I’ve wanted to see more of this concept.
  • Leaving behind the Sci, but still with the Fi: Order of the Stick book five has just been announced for pre-order. This is not a frequent occurrence — the famed OotS Kickstarter blowout of Aught-Twelve was to reprint books thta had previously been printed, not to come up with a new collection. Book five, subtitled Blood Runs in the Family contains all the comics from #673 to #946 — nearly 300 updates (call it five years worth), many of which are the equivalent of multiple pages, resulting in nearly 400 pages of thick, lush, glorious color. Order today, get it in early December for convenient year-end gifting.

[Maybe] Spam of the day:

Seems he successfully explains this away in the next strip! Clever :P

Okay, the thing is, I’m not sure this is spam. There’s no links to knockoff sunglasses and/or boner pills, and the text is reasonably coherent. It’s one of several comments that were submitted in reference to my speculations as to what the heck is going on in Drive right now and could be read as a reaction to that. Except for one thing: Dave Kellett hasn’t released the next strip yet, so the comment is either from the future, or is full of crap. Given that ambiguity, I’m pushing this one — if not fully into the spam category — away from the approved category. If you actually were commenting from the future (will have been commenting from the future? was to be commenting from the future? Man, tenses get all screwed up in discussions like this), drop me an email with the lottery numbers for the next multi-state lottery mondo jackpot and I’ll be happy to reinstate the comment.

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¹ Then presumably more porn.

² Two times the Evans, two times the fun.

³ Not to be confused with the recent feature film of the same name which I understand is not very good.

Things To Make You Smile

Did Mondays that turn out wonderfully become a thing? Seems like they’ve become a thing.

  • First of all, check out this painting from Becky Dreistadt of Indy Cindy from Tiny Kitten Teeth as a Lumberjane. I believe that this is a deer that practices friendship to the max. Speaking of which, did everybody see Lumberjanes issues #7, out this past week? That book just keeps getting better and better.
  • Since we’re having a wonderful day anyway, I’d like to wish a very Happy You Lived Through Another Full Orbit Of The Earth Around The Sun Well Done You Day to two giants — that statement is only half metaphorical — of webcomicking, John Allison and Ryan North. It would be hard to think of two greater gentlemen in any chosen subset of the world’s people, much less one as filled with reprobates and monsters as webcomics¹. Happy Birthsday, comics mens!
  • You know what wonderful days need? Laugh-chuckles. In case you hadn’t twigged to it yet, KB Spangler has a Patreon where donors receive via email illustrated dick jokes. As noted previously on this page, the definition that Spangler uses for dick joke is somewhat expansive, meaning they’re not always dirty, although they most typically are groaners.

    I blame myself, seeing as how I once took the opportunity to introduce Ms Spangler to Mr Guigar, which means she caught the pun-neumonia. Anyway, if you aren’t a contributor to Spangler’s Patreon, you can catch the dick jokes in batches when she updates the associated Tumblr, Puns Are Lazy Humor, which she did over the weekend. Puns aside, there’s some amusing stuff there. Laugh-chuckles, even.

  • Speaking of Spangler, I note that in that previous posting announcing her Patreon, there was also extensive mention of the third book collection Kickstart of one Justin Pierce, chronicler of the Nonadventures of Wonderella. Astute observers may have noted that Ms Ella’s nonadventures have been lacking for a while, a situation which Mr Pierce would like you to know is not for bad reasons:

    A lot of you noticed that since Wonderella’s Kickstarter ended in September, there hasn’t been a new comic. That’s because I’m spending all of my spare time since getting said Kickstarter fulfilled, which means compiling three books, creating a 30-ish page origin story in Wonderella’s newest book, and doing general print prep.
    It bugs me that I’m making things people can’t immediately see, and I may get impatient and just do a comic for its own sake, but right now I need to focus on getting this Kickstarter fulfilled as soon as possible, to satisfy both my backers and my taxes. I’ll post again when I have an idea when I’m through the hustle. In the meantime, Kickstarters are sort of a Faustian pact, and Faustian pacts always end well.

    Good luck with Dr Faust, Mr Pierce. I’m sure fulfilling your obligations is something that all your readers will understand. Dana may complain, but what’s she gonna do? Jump hella high at you?


Spam of the day:

I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.

I find that booze helps.

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¹ In the subset of people born on this day one may also find Michelle Malkin, so I guess that relatively speaking, webcomics is pretty monster-free.

Plot Points And Porn


If I were really clever, I’d have an alliterative sentence here with about eight or nine P-words.

  • Oh man you guys. I believe that I’ve established here previously that I am into Dave Kellett’s space opera, Drive. Dude has patiently entertained my questions and theories of where the story is going on more than one time in the past with the occasional Huh! or That’s a really good question interspersed while never giving anything away, but I think he let something fairly large through in this week’s update. For those of you not up on Drive, spoilers ahoy.

    Okay, we know that the Fekk Dragon is Vinn and what a threat the Vinn are to human space in general. We know that the Vinn are not the only major power in the galaxy (I count nine distinct powers centers on the map). We know that the Vinn are an expansionary culture, and today they come in shooting.

    In ships of various designs that do not feature drive rings.

    If we know one thing about space, it’s that space is big. Really big¹, and both the Continuum of Makers (who invented it) and humans (who reverse-engineered it) traverse the vast, huge, mind-boggling² expanses with an interstellar drive that utilizes a distinctive ring.

    But now we have a third galactic power that apparently doesn’t use the ring, and the Continuum doesn’t appear to be engaged in holy war with the Viccans, or the Kayn, or other powers, so there must be other means of interstellar travel out there. And that means that humanity maybe has a way to give up the ring and yet maintain the Second Spanish Empire.

    Also I just realized that the map is centered on Earth, which we all know is located in uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm³, which means that Continuum space is much closer to the center of the galaxy, where the stars are much, much older. As a civilization, they may have been around for untold eons, which means the first time the Continuum decides to really take action against the hoo-mans (or the Vinn, or anybody else), we’re screwed.

    It’s a big can of worms that Kellett’s opened, and it’s going to take a really big can, a vast, huge, mind-boggling can to fit them all back in.

  • Okay, so it was porn, horror, porn, sci-fi, right? I think that was Spike Trotman’s plan for anthologies, but I guess we’ll all find out together on Monday:

    On Monday, I’ll be announcing open submissions for a new anthology.

    Get ready, folks!

    The woman never stops.


Spam of the day:

Yet, which doesn’t mean i always couldn’t would suggest it again in order to any one because it gives you it’s amazing benefits plus works by using.

Man, I love when things work by using.

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¹ Thank you, Douglas Adams.

² Ibid.

³ Ibid.