The webcomics blog about webcomics

Things That Caught My Eye Today

Evan Dahm started running illustrations from his forthcoming edition of Moby-Dick about 17 months back, and in that time he’s given us gorgeous art, styled like woodcut illos, heavy and dark and brooding, things of substance and weight. The white of the page is wrestled into submission, the slivers that exist here and there acting as contrast and accent rather than the space to contain the black. They’ve all been beautiful to look at (and you can see the full set at the Tumblr), but today’s art tops them all. No part of the book’s text that Dahm chose to accent with this drawing can be omitted and still give full context and power, so here it is:

Rising with his utmost velocity from the furthest depths, the Sperm Whale thus booms his entire bulk into the pure element of air, and piling up a mountain of dazzling foam, shows his place to the distance of seven miles and more. In those moments, the torn, enraged waves he shakes off, seem his mane; in some cases, this breaching is his act of defiance.

“There she breaches! there she breaches!” was the cry, as in his immeasurable bravadoes the White Whale tossed himself salmon-like to Heaven. So suddenly seen in the blue plain of the sea, and relieved against the still bluer margin of the sky, the spray that he raised, for the moment, intolerably glittered and glared like a glacier; and stood there gradually fading and fading away from its first sparkling intensity, to the dim mistiness of an advancing shower in a vale.

“Aye, breach your last to the sun, Moby Dick!” cried Ahab, “thy hour and thy harpoon are at hand!—Down! down all of ye, but one man at the fore. The boats!—stand by!”

I want more than just an illustrated Moby-Dick from Dahm; somehow, somebody make is so that Patrick Stewart reads these textual excerpts as an audio accompaniment.

The other things I saw today were pretty good, too.

  • If you make your living by submitting invoices, then you should already know who Katie Lane is; she’s asking for information today, in the form of a brief, two question survey:

    If you have to invoice clients to get paid, I’d appreciate your feedback on two quick questions I have:

    The answers she gathers will be used to help construct a course she’ll be delivering come October, aimed at how to draft invoices that will make clients want to pay. I’m assuming this is more subtle than having the invoice stapled to a guy named Rocko The Knucklebreaker, but honestly I’m not sure what could be as effective as him. I guess we’ll have to give Lane her feedback, let her design the course to answer her audience’s most pressing concerns, and then attend to find out what’s to be done. I’ll keep Rocko on speed dial, just in case.

  • I mention now (in accordance with longstanding blog policy) that Kate Beaton is the best, and point those of you that may not have had the occasion yet to experience her bestness in person towards a forthcoming event wherein you may sample some of her bestosity. The National Book Festival, put on by the Library of Congress, is kind of a big deal. And in keeping with a mission to bring the most interesting people in literature together regardless of petty distinctions like national origin, the NBF people have prevailed upon Beaton to leave Nova Scotia and travel to Washington DC to talk about King Baby on 24 September.

    The National Book Festival is free and open to the public (with the exception of some high-popularity events, which require ticketing, but still free), taking place at the Washington Convention Center; Beaton will be part of the Children programming track, from noon to 12:30pm, with a signing from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Between that and SPX happening just a week before (the exhibitor list isn’t up yet, but given her history of being there and her Ignatz nomination this year, I’d say it’s a pretty good bet she’ll be there), the Mid-Atlantic region has never had a better chance to drink in the bestitivity.

  • Okay, so I know that Zach Weinersmith uses a repertory company approach to his characters, with certain designs in recurring roles (or, more precisely, to play certain types of roles; he’s like Tezuka that way). But how did it take me until today to realize that the big, philosophical (one might even say navel gazing) discussions always go to the same two kids? Way to make me see patterns in the world, Weinersmith!

    I really should have been able to predict it, given that the same system was used in the SMBC Theater shorts, where it was well established that James Ashby is the worst person ever. Thought you could make us forget by keeping a low profile, didn’t you, Ashby? Well forget it! We at Fleen know you are history’s greatest villain¹, and we will never let go our vigilance, so watch it.

Spam of the day:

You are like one of those “denialist”s. Your comments about the internet are so contradictory to what is happening in the real world that I feel sorry for you. The world is changing. I hope it changes so that there is less stealing in our world.

The link to this went to a Tumblr dedicated 100% to high quality photos of lingerie-clad women’s butts, so I don’t think he (of course it’s a dude) is actually mad at me for something I did here at the blog.

I will note that it appears said butt photos are not by the dude in question, but taken with minimal attribution from around the internet. Oh, irony.

¹ Need proof? Google search for james ashby and all you get is a cop convicted of murder. Okay, he doesn’t look anything like the James Ashby we’re talking about, but that’s just what he wants you to think.

Monday Miscellany Returns, Sales, And The Fleen Book Corner

I see from the permanlink generator in WordPress that this would have been the third time I’ve used the same title, so time for a rewording!

  • Today marks the long-awaited return of Spacetrawler, and Christopher Baldwin’s off to a great start, mixing some tragedy, some backstory, and a pefectly-paced payoff gag. Welcome back, crew of the IA Starbanger GOB Spacetrawler, we’ve missed you. And in a related note, the run on Anna Galactic was miscalculated and runs another three strips, hooray! Even better, the Kickstart to print Anna Galactic has cleared the 50% mark with more than three weeks to go.
  • [C] Spike [Trotman] has a problem — a mishap over the weekend resulted in a busted Cintiq, depriving her of the very lifesblood of a modern cartoonist’s career. When unexpected expenses come your way, there’s only one thing to do: sell your employee’s organs declare a sudden sale, and Spike’s opted to do so by putting slightly knocked-around copies of Iron Circus books on discount and offer up the savings to you.

    Held off on getting a copy of Smut Peddler and worried you’d missed your shot? If you’re willing to put up with some flaws that don’t affect the reading experience at all, now’s your chance to remedy your oversight and get Spike back to comickin’.

  • I missed a couple of books when I was talking about the excellent fall release season last week: 13 September has another must-read book dropping, The Creepy Case Files Of Margo Maloo, a collection of the first 100 or so pages of the Drew Weing webcomic of the same name. And 6 September sees the latest from Ben Hatke, Mighty Jack; both are from :01 Books, with review copies kindly provided by Gina Gagliano.

    What I found interesting about them is they’re both stories about young boys discovering a world of monsters and creepy thing, both partnering up with a more competent girl of about the same age. In Margo Maloo’s case, it’s played more for laughs and the occasional lighthearted creepiness, as evidenced by the fact that the titular heroine isn’t a monster fighter or monster slayer — she’s a monster mediator.

    She know what’s under the bed is a person (granted, a ten foot tall person with enormous teeth and horns, but a person nonetheless) with just as much right to the closet as the kid who lives in the room. She finds the compromises and solutions without too much drama — possibly because in the past she brought the drama hard. The monsters are terrified of her, as are kids with sense.

    In Jack’s case, he just wants to enjoy his summer, but a rare burst of responsiveness from his autistic sister Maddy drags him into a protector role — the garden they planted is full of magic — or maybe alien¹ — vegetation and there’s a dragon wandering about full of cryptic warnings and doubting that he’s a real Jack. Because he’s the one from all the stories: Jack and his beanstalk, Jack the giant-killer, Jack the house-builder, Jack who rules winter and Jack who is nimble.

    An early teens kid in the borderlands between the suburbs and the farms, with an overworked mom and withdrawn sister isn’t a hero — until Lilly from down the block (who swordfights in medieval recreations with her brothers) takes and interest in his challenges and adopts the role of teacher/coach. There’s some alien magic involved, but a lot of it comes simply of caring: Jack wants to impress Lilly (he likes her), take care of his sister (he doesn’t want to spend the summer taking care of her while Mom’s at work, but he still loves her), and not disappoint his mother (and also, if she finds out he grew a dragon she’s going to kill him).

    It’s a potent metaphor for growing up, particularly in the first Hatke male protagonist²; girls face different challenges navigating the throes of maturity (indeed, Lilly presents as the same physical age as Jack, but seems older, wiser, and more capable). The first of a series (but no word yet on when we can expect the next one; given that :01 announced it’s upping its output from 20 books/year to 40, I’d imagine not too far in the future), Mighty Jack ends on a cliffhanger and a promise as Jack gears up to defend his home and family. Darn beanstalk creatures didn’t think he was a Jack? He’ll show you a Jack.

Spam of the day:

Check Out Hot New Model

Now we’re talking!

… Bathroom Fixture Options!


¹ Cameos from some lovable rogues out of Hatke’s Zita The Spacegirl series pretty much cement the alien interpretation.

² Per the dedication page, Hatke and his wife have five daughters, so it’s no surprise he’s spent so much of his career drawing kick-ass girls.

End Times A-Comin’

We as a society have obviously done something seriously wrong, in that the latest New York Times Best Seller List for graphic novels (paperback) shows only one title by Raina Telgemeier: Smile, in week #218, at slot number 9. It’s hard to argue with the top three slots being taken with the three volumes of March by Rep John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, or with Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese getting some love (ten years after release, but there was no NYTBSL for graphic novels ten years ago), but still&sup1!

Then again, Ghosts is due on 13 September, and the list starts ramping up a couple weeks before launch day (remember, it represents sales to the retail trade, and the list runs early — this week will be published on 28 August, but represents sales ending 13 August). What I am saying here is that we should expect to see a run on All Things Raina in about two weeks.

And in any event, the next six weeks or so is going to be a glorious time for webcomickers in print — the second volume of Secret Coders by Yang and Mike Holmes releases on 30 August; Ghosts will be joined on the 13th by Kate Beaton’s King Baby and Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World by Colleen AF Venable & Ruth Chan to form The Best Tuesday Ever.

Then a scant three weeks later we’ll see the first volume of Jason Shiga’s Demon on 4 October, and Box Brown’s Tetris a week later on the 11th. I’ll be reviewing as many of these as I can between now and release day(s)².

In the meantime, I’ll note that we’re halfway through the crowdfunding campaign for KC Green’s This Is Fine plush and looking at an astonishing 10,366 (as of this writing) backers and US$370,770 (ditto) in funding. This is more than 1000% of goal, and heading for a finish somewhere around 750 thousand damn dollars³. I can’t wait to see the bump that occurs in the last three to five days.

Spam of the day:

Are You METAL Enough to Take on the Heavy Metal Machines, Gary?! In case you missed the news, WE WANTED TO SCREAM IT INTO YOUR FACE WITH THE POWER OF 5000 DIESEL ENGINES! \m/


¹ Also contributing: the annual return of Persepolis, as various college classes that use it (also MAUS) stock up for the new academic year.

² Obligatory disclosure: Gina Gagliano at :01 Books sent me copies of Paths & Portals, Demon, and Tetris; Raina gave me an advance review copy of Ghosts, and Kate gave me a copy of King Baby. I still have to track down a copy of Mervin.

³ Using Kel McDonald’s rule of thumb: first three days equals one third of final total. Per Kicktraq, Green raise approximately US$265K in his first three days, yikes

Considerably Better Today, Thanks

I’m in a much better mood, and things have happened that allow me to write considerably more than I would have otherwise. Let’s do this.

Recent Past! Yesterday marked eighteen damn years of Jerkcity, which I freely admit is a bit too unstructured for me, but for which I will always be grateful because it was my introduction to Rands, who in real life has taught me more than I can recall about the industry I work in, the people that inhabit it, and how to interact with them. Also, bags and pens. He’s smart like that.

Past, Present and Future! Josh Fruhlinger wrote a book which I enjoyed a great deal, and he has very kindly opened the metaphorical kimono to share data regarding it. The Enthusiast was funded via Kickstarter, and Fruhlinger has done a detailed post on how the money got spent, which anybody considering a crowdfunded project should consider to be a valuable look at what to expect. Read carefully and absorb.

Today! One year ago, Ryan North did the most Ryan North thing possible when he got stuck in a hole and got out by treating it as a text adventure game with all of Twitter as the controlling player. It’s well known that there are no holidays in August, with some countries resorting to making up arbitrary “bank holidays” to make the month less suicidally depressing, so may I suggest that from now on, 18 August¹ be known as Northole Day? We can celebrate by walking our dogs with umbrellas and seeking out holes. Somebody tell David Malki ! to include it in the list of holiday’s for next year’s perpetual calendar.

Also Today! I got my copy of Chester 5000 XYV: Isabelle & George. I will never not love Jess Fink for her ability to mix together real emotion, real pretty pictures, and really hot, hot sexytimes in one story. I think I understand the whole Stucky thing now.

Next Month! It’s just four weeks until SPX rolls around (sadly, I won’t be able to make it, as it will fall in the middle of back-to-back weeks where work sends me to Minnesota), and the Ignatz Awards nominees have been announced. I first saw the slate over at Comics Worth Reading, so props to Johanna Draper Carlson for being on the story early.

What I found especially interesting is the jury members: Tony Breed, Summer Pierre, Keiler Roberts, C Spike Trotman, and JT Most²; There’s a lot of web-first art from these creators, and unsurprisingly the category for Outstanding Online Comic is super strong:

That’s an impressively wide range of styles, topics, and presentations, and really no bad choices there.

Other nominees that hail from the wide world o’ webcomics include Melanie Gillman (As The Crow Flies) for Outstanding Comic; Jason Shiga (Demon) and Keiler Robert (Powdered Milk), and various contributors to the Isaac Cates-edited Cartozia Tales for Outstanding Series; Lisa Hanawalt (Hot Dog Taste Test) for Outstanding Graphic Novel; Kate Beaton (Step Aside, Pops), and various contributors to the Sfé R Monster & Taneka Stotts-edited Beyond: The Queer Sci Fi and Fantasy Anthology for Outstanding Anthology Or Collection.

Uniquely, the Ignatzes (Ignatzen?) are voted on by the attendees of SPX, with the votes quickly tallied between end of exhibit hours and the start of the awards ceremony on Saturday, 17 September. Best of luck to all the nominees.

Spam of the day:

30??nimals Surprised By Their Owners Coming Home Sooner

Cute, but why is the same address in Romania sending me pictures of animals, pictures of Asian women, pictures of beautiful vistas, and pictures of “unbelievable fails”?

¹ No shifting to a Monday or Friday for a long weekend, it has to fall on the 18th.

² I’m not familiar with Most and I’m finding it impossible to Google them, as all the responses refer to Justin Timberlake and headlines like Is this JT’s most awesome video ever?.

It’s sort of like how the one person I’d be interested is finding from high school, my old physical lab partner, is un-Googleable, because her name closely matches the nickname of an old aircraft carrier and all matches are for sailor reunions. Her sister is also un-Googleable, as her name matches too closely with DC superhero Robin. They’ve achieved the dream: no digital footprint thanks to a favorable signal-to-noise ratio.

The Short Version Is Work

The longer version is OMG, WORK.

There have been times I’ve needed to take a skip day because I’m experiencing technical difficulties or am limited in network access; I don’t like doing that, but I don’t beat myself up over it.

Then there are days (like all of them so far this week) where I am seriously exploring career alternatives (get out of technical training of database administrator-types, get into, oh, sheep-herding) because of the people I’m having to interact with. If you teach adults (as I have done for pert-near 25 years now), you end up categorizing students into certain lists:

  • Competent
  • Will Be Competent After This Class And A Little Practice
  • Scary Smart, Why Are They Even Here?
  • I Need To Buy Them A Beer Because They’re Awesome
  • Pain In My Ass
  • Pain In Everybody’s Ass, Not Just Mine
  • Unable To Follow Directions If Their Life Depended On It
  • Unable To Pay Attention For More Than Twelve Seconds At A Time
  • Clearly Sent To Class To Give Colleagues A Much-Deserved Break
  • Unable To Participate In Modern Technological Frameworks And Baffled By The Very Concept Of A Computer

90% will fall into one of the first two categories; the Beer category is occupied by a guy named Wayne who came to class with his seeing-eye dog, Abby and learned database administration by hearing alone. And I have two students who have managed to put themselves in all of the last five categories, one of whom comes Top Three Ever on those lists.

Worse? They’re spreading. People that were good for the first two days of class are losing the ability to spell or remember their passwords. I think it’s probably a sociological effect that Shankar Vedantam could explain where they see that the poor performers are getting all my time and they want some of my time to, so they’re performing down to where I have to spend that time. This has provoked an actual, spontaneous head-desking this afternoon, because I’m not allowed to use bad words at students¹.

So here’s the deal — there’s stuff I want to talk about, but I am so mentally exhausted that I can’t do the subject matter justice. I learned long ago that if I don’t throw myself headlong into the job, if I don’t to some degree jduge my own worth by how well my students do, I can’t teach. It’s not healthy, I really should learn to step back or even half-ass it a little, but it doesn’t work for me. As a result, I am only capable at this time of complaining about work², because I am spending all of the time I normally get to think about things not work — lunch, breaks — trying to drag them kicking and screaming into something resembling learning.

I’m going to bed. I will try to get something webcomicky up tomorrow, and I thank you for your patience.

Hello, $name, Good day.

Oh, good. Somebody less technically capable than my students. This is oddly comforting.

¹ I expressed to my boss that I am seriously considering drinking heavily before noon for the remainder of the week.

² While reminding myself intellectually that I am very well compensated for my work, that it’s hardly ever this bad, that I never have to deal with these problem children again after Friday. Also, I am extremely grateful that they’ve all managed to stay off of the Too Stupid To Live list, which is occupied solely by one guy who managed as a result of his actions in class to get himself, his boss, and his boss’s boss fired. Ask me about that sometime when there are drinks.

Holy Crap

It’s a How on earth did I miss this before? kind of day, as I’ve just seen (thanks to a tweet I was pointed to by herself) that Rosemary Valero-O’Connell — aka my new favorite creator — has done a creation myth comic and shared it with Paper Darts and it is transcendent. Seriously, that text wouldn’t be out of place in a Gaiman short story¹ and the art makes me smile through all the myriad idiocies and hassles today has offered.

The World And How It Came To Be has been on her page and I just never noticed. Bad blogger, bad! It’s astonishing to me that she’s barely three months out of college and putting out work this good. Go read it. Read everything on her page; I’ve linked it over to the right for easy reference.

So that you not miss them and kick yourself (as I do above), some things that have come up more recently that you should note:

  • The invaluable Katie Lane (attorney at law and best friend of the artistic community) has this day included on her blog a post about collaboration and how to handle the potentially tricky issues of copyright/ownership. It’s never fun to think that your great artistic partnership could end in acrimony, but acknowledging the possibility and acting in advance to clarify outcomes² if far preferable to letting it all blow up in your face and end in limbo.

    You may have read thoughts along these lines from Price previously (it previously ran in issue #3 of Island from Image Comics), but the original location seems not to be easily available any longer. Partnering with somebody? Read it, all partners. Maybe partnering with somebody in future? Read it, and make potential partners read it. It’s going to save you heartbreak.

  • ‘dja ever wake up and say to yourself, Self, there’s just not enough wangs in my life, or really any kind of sex toy? Lucky you, Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan have got you covered. As a side-effect of running the premiere sex toy review blog/webcomic, Nolan and Moen have amassed a surplus of fun things for your joybits, and they want to spread the fun around.

    There’s a big ol’ giveaway going on for US-resident supporters of Erika’s Patreon, with a list of the stuff up for grabs over at OJST. You’ll have to go to a Google Form to fill in your deets (including which items you want to be considered for); since they won’t be doing the draw until early September, you’ve got two weeks to support Moen’s Patreon and be eligible.

    Remember, no support, no chance to get toys. Even better, Nolan says that they may also be doing a porn giveaway in December³, so get in there and pledge.

Spam of the day:

Shock Your Golf Friends – Hit 20 yards Farther!

If I ever have friends with whom what I have in common is golf, kindly put a bullet in my skull and burn the corpse as that will be proof that what you see if not me but a goddamn alien brain-sucking body snatcher.

¹ Heck, it could form the complete text of a very short story.

² Or to mitigate potential damage, if you prefer.

³ Just in time for last-minute holiday shopping!

Changes Afoot

It’s definitely one of those days, when nobody around you is capable of following even the simplest directions. So let us talk about webcomics, that I may regain some sanity. There’s some things we mentioned in recent times“>recent times that are come to fruition that I would share with you.

  • One may recall that The Nonadventures of Wonderella has been offering up slacky delight for approximately forever. More specifically, 11 days from today (that would be 26 August 2016) marks ten years of Justin Pierce chronicling the events around Wonderella, Wonderita, Hilterella, Jokerella, Wonderella’s mom, Jesus (Lamb of Hosts), Dr Shark, and the other residents of a cape-common world gone … not mad per se, but vaguely annoyed. Add in the five years that that Pierce ran the much-missed Kilroy & Tina at Modern Tales (RIP) and you’ve got a seriously long run of weekly (or better) comics and it’s time for a shift.

    We mentioned all of this back in May when Pierce announced it, but it seems like a good time to remind y’all that the 27th will be the last weekly Wonderella; thereafter, Pierce will be updating whenever he’s got a story to tell — might be a page, might be five or ten. If you’ve enjoyed the world’s greatest superhero (with the world’s greatest idea), maybe take the time between then and now to drop Pierce a line and tell him so?

  • Toward the end of June, we noted that Anna Galactic (the third? I think it’s third and Yontengu the fourth) scifi (mostly) comedy (mostly) webcomic by the prolific Christopher Baldwin would shortly be wrapping up and Spacetrawler returning. At the time he wasn’t much more specific than sometime in August/September, but if you’ve been following Anna, you know that she’s in the endgame, and while there’s a reasonably happy ending for our protagonists, it comes with a side helping of every other human in the cosmos is dead (oops).

    Endgame enough, in fact, that Spacetrawler will be relaunching next Monday, 22 August! And to celebrate the end of Anna Galactic, the traditional let’s print the completed story Kickstarter went up today. Baldwin has set an extremely modest goal of US$4000 (his last Kickstart, for One Way, was unsuccessful¹, and he’s gone even lower on his ask this time), of which about a quarter is covered so far. It’s a simple, straightforward campaign: you can get a postcard, a PDF, a book (signed or unsigned), or two books (signed or unsigned). No crazy rewards, no stretch goals, just order up here if you like his stuff. PS: His stuff is very likable, so go like with money.

Spam of the day:

Your Mechanical Engineer Training Options — Graduate with strong job prospects

Oh son you seriously did not just try to get an electrical engineer to click on your scam for fake credentials as a mechanical engineer. The only thing more insulting is if you tried to entice me to become some kind of chemical engineer².

¹ In a lot of ways, One Way was the least Baldwin-like of his SF projects — there was some real philosophical heaviness to it, a sense of resignation that contrasted heavily with the serious-but-leavened-by-goofball-antics Spacetrawler.

² Hi, Dante.

Nothing Going On Today

How’s about we reconvene after the weekend, and maybe there will be some news. Cool? Cool.

The Interesting Quadrant Today

It’s always Thursdays in the summer doldrums when the news dries up; students aren’t back to college yet, con season is in a lull between major shows, even the occasional artist might take an afternoon to enjoy the weather. But still, things are on the horizon.

For example, the Boston Comics Con is a newish show that’s trying to keep a comics focus. Although it’s giving prominence to media guests (like William Shatner), the biggest draw of the show this year appears to be Frank Miller¹. It’s running from tomorrow afternoon until Sunday, with webcomicky types (and Massachusetts natives) Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb, as well as creator-owned types like Stan Sakai and Terry Moore as guests.

Webcomickers and webcomics-alikes are also starting to make an inroads into the Artist Alley, where you’ll find representatives of the Boston Comics Roundable, the guys behind First Law of Mad Science, Lunarbaboon, Sarah Andersen, Yuko Ota & Ananth Hirsh, and Tessa Stone. With TopatoCon 2: The TopatoConenning off the table this year, it may be the best chance for New Englanders to see webcomickers nearby.

Unless they want to head north, that is. The Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival will be happening on Sunday, in Dartmouth (which is across the harbo[u]r from Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia), and they’ve invited the likes of Ryan North, newly local Jeph Jacques, Kate Beaton, and a whole host of Canadian talent whose names I don’t recognize, but who are in all likelihood very, very good because let’s face it — Canada has a disproportionate number of amazing creators to its credit. If you see Ryan or Jeph or Kate tell ’em I said hi and can’t wait to pet their dogs.

Spam of the day:

40?Hot Cuties Ready To Warm Up The Party

Oh boy, Stock Photos Of Women Showing Cleavage: The Spam!

¹ Whether or not you consider that to be a good thing is dependent on personal taste.

Raina. Just Raina.

She had, in the hearts of her numerous fans, entered the territory of the mononymic, like Madonna or Bono or Frank¹, there is no doubt who you are talking about when it comes to superstars². And today there are things to mention regarding Raina [Editor’s note: okay, fine, Raina Telgemeier] that you should know about, at least if you’re out in the Bay Area.

Firstly, Ghosts is rapidly approaching release date, and that means release parties. Green Apple Books in San Francisco (that would be Raina’s hometown) will be hosting such a party at 6:00pm (reading at 7:00pm) on Tuesday, 13 September (that would be the release date), and while they don’t explicitly say that Raina’s going to be at the party, she is tweeting out the event announcement.

In order to bring some order to what’s going to be a busy, busy night, Green Apple are pre-selling tickets which are good for a paperback copy of the book, and have shifted to a location with ample parking and space away from the main store. No doubt other bookstores will be holding their own events to meet reader demand; if you know of one, drop me a line and I’ll share it.

And in the meantime, whether you can get to the release party or not, there’s a display of original pages³ from Smile, Drama, and Sisters at the Berkeley (that would be just across the bay from Raina’s hometown) Public Library Central branch. They’ve even got five original pages from Ghosts, on view in the second floor through 26 August. Central’s hours and address are at their webpage, and like all libraries it’s free and open to the public. Since it’s a proven scientific fact that you can never have too much Raina, I’d advise everybody in the area to make the trip and look at some pretty damn great pages while we all count down to the 13th. Given the fact that Ghosts is going to have a print run of 500,000 copies (pretty sure that’s a graphic novel record), you should be able to get a copy without too much difficulty, but I’d put in a pre-order, just in case.

[Media Alert] Behold the Instruments of Righteousness in Super Dung


..eon Tactics!

Oh. Gotcha. Not a good place for the subject line to get truncated.

¹ Okay, there is a little ambiguity here as to which Frank one might be mentioning: Frank as in Zappa, or as in Becky and.

² Also: George.

³ Hat tip: Mark V of Electric Puppet Theatre. Read his comic!