The webcomics blog about webcomics

Some Days, The Obvious Story Gets Displaced …

… but it all goes back to The Nib.

Today was gonna be easy; I was going to point you to the first strip Rich Stevens has done (so far!) for the recently-revived, back-from-the-conventions The Nib. Then the subject of said strip went and one-upped things. The was only one possible response, and then the horde of people who don’t get humor descended and Stevens mined the funny, even managing to drop in a link to his store. It was beautiful.

And this Best Use Of The Internet lasted mere hours until KC Green provided the definitive, final refutation of his most famous strip (and all the mutated, meme-y variations on it) today, also at The Nib. This Is Not Fine is a brilliant encapsulation of the times and all the feelings we have about This Year¹. And then, again, the new summit was topped, because there’s only one place you can go from This Is Not Fine — plushes.

In the roughly hour and a half since the Kickstarter went live, the campaign has exceeded goal by more than five grand. Make that seven, since I started typing this post. Annnd work interrupted and it’s now three hours in, and we’re at more than double the US$35,000 goal². Buy two — one for yourself, and one for the human trashfire you know that’s insisting all is fine when things are not fine.

And if we’re all very good, maybe Green will do a stretch goal, or a second campaign to make a variant Question Hound, one that looks downtrodden or has a fire extinguisher like we saw today.

Spam of the day:

[Russian characters –> Google Translate –> You deserve to get married to a reliable, successful man. All in your hands!

Gay marriage became mandatory so gradually, I never really noticed.

¹ Seriously, 2016, what exactly is your deal?

² Specifically, as I update this line immediately before hitting publish, US$87,934 from 2461 backers. The Fleen Funding Formula (Mark II) may well prove useless, as it appears that most everybody who wants one of these bad boys is getting it in the opening hours.

A’course, in San Diego Kel McDonald said that in her experience the first three days = 1/3 your total funding, which will put Green well over a quarter-million, and we’re not even a quarter of a day in yet. Yikes!

Something For Those Not In San Diego

You might want to check out the #NotAtSDCC hashtag on Twitter and Tumblr (sorry, I don’t know how Tumblr works so I can’t find the search term; you’re on your own) on account of C Spike Trotman and Taneka Stotts (whose Elements anthology is still funding and well into bonus page rate territory on Kickstarter) decided to have a no-SDCC online sale from now until midnight Sunday (I’m guessing Central Daylight Time). Everybody who wants in on the fun is welcome to use the hashtag to make their announcements.

Callbacks And Creator Ownership

All things we’ve mentioned previously today, with new bits layered on top. Let’s dive in.

  • It’s about six weeks since we mentioned the launch of a Patreon to support Christopher Bird and Davinder Brar in making a sequel to the thoroughly wonderful Al’Rashad. Support has hit the one page per month level (and is closing in on two pages per month), so yesterday saw the launch of Ra-Boka: Kingdom Of The Bound with page one picking up directly after the end of Al’Rashad so maybe go read that if you want to read this. Given the apparent shift in time storywise, I’d say that the Rashadi caliphate has seen as much time pass as we have since the last update — a year and a half, give or take. Buckle up, this one’s going to be good.
  • Oy. Not content with nearly breaking Kickstarter with the sixth highest funded project of all time¹ which is simultaneously the most popular project of all time, not content with topping three quarters of a million dollars of pre-orders of adult (and in one case, they do mean adult) coloring books, Matthew Inman and the Exploding Kittens crew took today — Amazon Prime Day, no less — to launch the first expansion to Exploding Kittens.

    It’s US$10 and I’m guessing pert-near everybody that bought Exploding Kittens (that would be a nearly quarter million people) is gonna drop their tenner for the expansion. Put another way, approximately US$2 million of capitalization just hit BoomGoKittens, LLC (or whatever they call their company) and they’ll be able to repeat this feat to a large proportion of their customer base, oh, once a year or so. I’m reminded about King Camp Gillette and his famous thoughts on how to get rich.

  • What can we say about both Ra-Boka and Exploding Kittens? They are creator owned, not dreamed up by a band of contentgineers working for a multinational that just wants to slap a name and logo on something and flow the money upwards. The people doing the thinking are the ones benefiting, either now and hugely (ExKit) or potentially in the future and modestly (Al’Rashad, Ra-Boka). At least, I hope they are.

    As the invaluable Katie Lane takes the time to remind us today, Creator Owned is not a legal term, and there are both benefits and pitfalls to be found in maybe (maybe) selling some of your creation (or better, licensing it, with clear terms about which rights are up for assignment and when they revert. Confused? That’s why you need a lawyer, Chuckles, but in the meantime check out Lane’s primer on the topic; it won’t give you all the answers, but it will help you figure out what questions you need to ask.

Spam of the day:
Today’s winner features a mass of Cyrillic letters followed by:

Who’s ready to have sex c 37-year-old woman? I’m totally serious. I’m not 21 and my time is coming to an end, sex c husband no no.

Her time is coming to an end? I know that life expectancies are dropping in Russia, but 37 seems a bit young to be so fatalistic.

In real life I can’t find a young partner in any way. I’m afraid it’s perceived as a joke. And I need to fucking understand? Not with his son am I to do? Why I write here. I’m aware that the so-called milham you think positively.

Milham? Okay, I’m going to thank you very kindly for your putatively sincere (if widely distributed) interest in gettin’ it on with me, and politely decline. Good luck finding a dude who doesn’t mind having sex.

¹ Arguably the fifth, as the second ain’t never going to complete fulfillment.

Still Holding Out For Solo, By ChatSack With Karl Lagerfeld

Holy crap, somebody went and made Ana-Tomix. Chris Onstad is, once again, ahead of his time. Let me know when you’ve got the three-ball option, or the counterintuitive uniball model.

Okay, so the Harvey Awards. The ballot got announced yesterday and again there’s the inexplicably high number of nominations for one publisher (Valiant this time) due to block voting (it’s part of the game)¹, and again there’s an inexplicable set of nominees for the webcomics category. Let’s take a look:

Best Online Comics Work

Where to start, where to start? Once again, nominees are distinguished solely by their medium for distribution, with no regard to length, format, genre, or purpose. The longform Battlepug and Albert the Alien are up against the strip-based Bloom County and Zombie Boy, and the educational, page-oriented Oh Joy, Sex Toy. Could there someday be a recognition that OJST should be in the educational category (okay, the Harveys don’t have one, but the Eisners do, if memory serves), or at least matched up against educational comics like Your Wild City and Battlepug against Dr McNinja? Also, how is Bloom County nominated for both Best Online Comics Work and Best Syndicated Strip or Panel? The one really should preclude the other.

Then again, complaining here has no value, since this is based off of how many people nominated their own work and got their friends to do likewise. Get organized and see what you can do for next year. And while you’re plotting out the takeover of the webcomics category next year, check out the webcomickers that are competing in the print arena:

  • Giant Days (written by John Allison, art by Lissa Tremain and Max Sarin on art) and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (written by Ryan North, art by Erica Henderson) are competing for Best Continuing or Limited Series against the likes of Bitch Planet and Saga
  • The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal (written and drawn by EK Weaver) is contending for Best Graphic Album Previously Published against five Valiant books²
  • Giant Days again, up for Best Original Graphic Publication For Younger Readers versus Lumberjanes and Over the Garden Wall (although, mysteriously, nothing by Raina Telgemeier or Kazu Kibuishi)
  • Lissa Tremain is up for Most Promising New Talent, to complement Giant Days (again!), up for Best New Series

It’s John Allison’s year, people. We’re just living in it.

Balloting for the Harveys is open until 8 August, with comics professionals eligible to vote. The awards will be presented at Baltimore Comic-Con on 5 September.

Spam of the day:

truTV PR: Media Alert: truTV’s Impractical Jokers Invade San Diego with Fan Events

Heh — Gmail has categorized an actual PR email blast as Be careful with this message. Similar messages were used to steal people’s personal information. Unless you trust the sender, don’t click links or reply with personal information. Awesome.

¹ Then again, I see that both Terry Moore (for Rachel Rising)and Stan Sakai (for Usagi Yojimbo) are nominated as Best Cartoonist, without publisher-wide blocks behind them. That’s gotta be purely the respect of their peers, and well deserved, too.

² Take that, voting block!

Various Announcements

Things are starting, things are discontinuing, things are changing. It’s almost like time exists so we don’t have to experience all possible quantum superposition states simultaneously, causing fractured perceptions of reality and widespread insanity! So, in roughly chronological order of when they occurred:

  • Advanced notice: The Nonadventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce is a gem; I don’t talk about it much on account of it updates on the weekends, but it’s never not worth reading, and frequently is the most biting (not to mention hilarious) cape comic currently in production. And come August, there’s gonna be some changes:

    August 27, 2016 will officially be the end of the weekly one-page schedule. From then on, I’ll update when I have a completed story to post. Based on feedback, people seem to enjoy longer comics as much as, if not more than, the shorties. But that raises a few questions, and while a lot of this is in the ether for me, I think I can answer:

    Much like Octopus Pie, I suspect that we, the Wonderella-loving public, will get net more comics than before. My advice is to stay in the habit of checking the site on Saturdays (since that’s still when new comics will drop), follow Wonderella on Twitter, or take advantage of the fact that — popular announcements in the technical press aside — Justin Pierce understands that RSS is hella useful.

  • Congratulations in order:It was closing in on midnight Saturday night, east coast time, when the news came from Nashville (courtesy of the incomparable Terry Moore in my case, who was kind enough to live-tweet results) of the NCS awards ceremony. The newest laureates for Online Comics are Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett (Short Form, for Sheldon) and Drew Weing (Long Form, for The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo). I was pulling for Meredith Gran for Long Form but honestly — when your competition is named Weing, Kellett, Holbrook, and Boulet, you can’t say you’re in bad company. Congratulations to Kellett and Weing.
  • Pretty!: It’s been a while — three years, to be precise — since the creators at Benign Kingdom released one of their famous art book collections. Too long, I say! But the attention required to coordinate so many creators (at its forming, B9K had six principals: Yuko Ota, Ananth Hirsh, KC Green, Evan Dahm, Becky Dreistadt, and Frank Gibson; they’ve since pruned themselves down to a more manageable three as Ota, Hirsh, and Green have moved on), combined with the time taken up by so many other projects (the six named above must have released between them a dozen and a half print projects, literally thousands of pages worth), means that some things get back-burnered.

    Time for the front burner, then. The Kingdom is back, with a brand-new series of four art books (or one hardcover collection), this time from Dahm, Dreistadt, Dustin Harbin, and Meredith Gran (who’s just all over today’s post). I actually saw a number of pieces that Gran’s done for her book at the Octopie launch party last week, but as the B9 book hadn’t been announced yet it wasn’t yet the time to discuss.

    In any event, it’s the usual handsome, high-quality art on offer, with a campaign that’s off to a bit of a slow start, most likely due to having launched on a holiday. It’s also worth noting that this iteration of the books is being printed in the US, so delivery will be at the end of the summer; that’s a tremendously fast turnaround, leading me to conclude that the books and layout are complete, awaiting only that sweet, sweet Kickstarter check to tell the presses to make with the printing.

  • Holy heck: It’s been twelve years since a spider tried to kill Jeff Rowland and failed? Time friggin’ flies. I still recall seeing Rowland’s necrosis get done up all cheerful-like [warning: gross] by Vera Brosgol at SPX some months later, and now I’m wondering where the hell the intervening time has gone. Glad the spider failed, Jeff!
  • Pretty! redux: Not the least because in the intervening years, you’ve turned TopatoCo into a vital resource for dozens of independent creators, including (as of today) new TopatoCo Pal™ Ursula Vernon’s art prints. Some day, I sweart I’m going to get the full set of animal saints, weather them to look old, put ’em in fancy distressed frames, and sneak them onto the walls of the local cathedral.
  • All good things: Christopher Baldwin has been doing webcomics for about forever, in every imaginable genre, but for a lot of us he’ll always be best known for Little Dee. Following a comprehensive re-run of Little Dee (with commentary), Baldwin ran twice-weekly new, classic Dee strips starting last November. Since then, he’s finished one sci-fi epic (Yontengu), started another (Anna Galactic, his fourth following Spacetrawler, One Way, and Yontengu), released a Little Dee OGN, and started planning for what comes next. And that’s enough work that something’s got to give:

    So, today is going to be the last day of daily “Little Dee” strips for now. [I]t has become harder and harder (and less fun) to focus and come up with “Little Dee” strips, and I wish to put it aside before I start putting up sub-standard work.

    If you wish me to send you an email if there is more Little Dee material to come, email me here, and I’ll add you to an email list….

    The past six months of extra Little Dee has been a gift, and thank you for it, Christopher. We’ll be waiting when you decide to revisit the forest and that deeply goofball family.

  • And not the fancy Himalayan kind, either: Today marks eight years of chalkboards (oh glob he looks so young) and children¹ from your favorite semi-pseudonymous chemical engineer, Dante Shepherd/Lucas Landherr². Happy Strippiversary, Dr Shepherd/Landherr, good luck on the currently-running Kickstart, and here’s to more chalk-encrusted comics from what is almost certainly not a rough-hewn murder basement.

Spam of the day:

thingCHARGER — Use THIS To Charge Your Devices Without Cables or Outlets

I do have things to charge, but no cables or outlets? This is gonna turn into a a thing that tries to spin some of Tesla’s more theoretical devices into a grand conspiracy by the electric companies and smart phone makers, isn’t it? Maybe next time pitch your through the aether magic charger at a guy that didn’t get a degree in electrical engineering?

¹ Apologies to Andy Partridge.

² He’s like Two-Face, only without the murderous tendencies and numerical obsession!

I Really Thought Somebody Had Died

Screencapped that for you, Jess.

When I first checked social media this morning I was surprised when Twitter told me I had 456 unread tweets; usually an overnight is good for fewer than 200, given the number of people I follow and their sleep patterns. 250 would be a lot for one night, above that indicates something stupid happening in a Republican presidential debate that I didn’t stay up for or somebody influential kicking it.

This time, however, it was down to one person — and if you’re gonna do a serious tweetstorm, this is the one to do. [C] Spike [Trotman] has been on top of the Rat Queens brouhaha¹ and last night during her typical small hours worktime decided on a course of action:

In light of Rat Queens disappointing everybody: Women/NB creators, tweet me w/links to your cool comics starring tuff gals. I’ll RT.

There was an immediate flood of responses and Spike made with the retweets, blowing up my timelines, pausing for a while to catch some sleep before resuming some hours later. I’d be hard pressed to estimate how many creators she retweeted, but I’d say probably in the vicinity of 200-300 before giving it a rest about eight hours later. Best of all? I recognized a mere handful of the comics that got the RT treatment (and by that I mean literally five), so there’s a lot of new comics to check out.

Probably most of them aren’t great, because most of everything isn’t great. But I’ll betcha there’s 20 to 50 in that grouping that damn good to excellent, just waiting for anybody that’s got the time to start collecting links. Anybody that’s really enterprising could Storify the list; do it for the children.

In other news:

  • My evil twin announced pre-orders on his next book open on Monday along with a deadline to provide shipping info for this last Kickstarter and another deadline to register for the chance to take a tropical cruise with him. If you can think of something better to do for a week in September than spend it on a ship with my evil twin, sipping on fruity drinks and learning about writing, I don’t know what it is.
  • Speaking of Kickstarts, Dante Shepherd² announced that he’s doing another page-a-day calendar for 2017, seeing as how the 2014 one was a success³. Kickstarter went up a couple hours ago, with the able help of TopatoCo and Make That Thing.
  • Heh, when I went by the MTT page to check on Shepherd’s calendar, it told me that Jess Fink’s second Chester 5000 collection will finish its funding round in 69 hours. Yes, I am perpetually twelve years old.
  • Finally, KC Green and Anthony Clark are making the best weekly-updating comic publishing today (BACK) and they are not the sort to screw around with pre-orders or crowdfunding. No! They are men of action and when they want to print a collection of their work they by Glob go out and print it and and pay John Keogh and Britt Wilson for enhancements to the book and then they sell it, financial risks be damned. As a result, you can now purchase a copy of BACK Book 1 from the web’s finest boutiquery so go do that.

Spam of the day:

Stunning waterfront property in Michigan’s majestic Upper Peninsula
Private setting with convenient location to ATV / snowmobile trails.

Translation: no roads, no utilities, you will die out here alone. Also, for a significant portion of the year, the Upper Peninsula is cold as fuck.

¹ Long story short — a comic about female empowerment had its original artist yanked from the book after a domestic violence arrest; other artists have since filled in. A hiatus announcement led to the current artist indicating she was removed from the book in favor of the original guy returning — meaning an abusive husband would again be drawing a book about women that don’t put up with shit, yikes.

On a personal note, literally two days before the news broke I picked up Rat Queens trade paperback one on the recommendation of my niece and loved it, having been unaware of the unsavory reputation of the original artist, and was planing on purchasing the second and third collections but now I’m not sure.

² Who is his own evil twin, or at least his own dark reflection. Which one is more like Batman?

³ He was kind enough to send me one — it took up so much space on my desk. This is not a tiny page-a-day, it has heft and also terrible jokes.

Review, Preview, Recap, And Commerce

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: I think it rests in the heart of every person — some deeply, some closer to the surface — the desire (if not always the opportunity, or the inclination) to make the metals kiss and the fuel turn lively. This time it is Ray that has the plan, and he has set Beef down and pointed him in the direction of victory.

  • There’s probably no indie creator with as recognizable a style that can be put to as many different contexts as Sophie Goldstein. Her artwork is slightly cartoony, and in the bright, colorful expression that you had in Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell you got the world’s cutest Apocalypse with a subtle, existential melancholy underneath. The environmental degradation of The Oven made use of her tendencies towards stark iamges.

    Her sense of blocky color is at its most Kochalkaesque in The Good Wife, providing a startling contrast with the body horror of the plot. Comics as different as Strands and Coyote clearly come from the same artist — and the very cynical undercurrent of the stories from the same writer — but have very different feels. Everything she does is at once the same and different.

    And most same and different of them all is House of Women, the first part of which garnered Goldstein an Ignatz Award in 2014, and the second part of which has been recently released in Goldstein’s store She was kind enough to send me a PDF copy recently and I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

    Because that same style — that simple, clear style, no more lines than are absolutely necessary — is working overtime in House of Women, tackling such themes as colonization, homogenization, appropriation, gender (the males we see may as well be separate species from their corresponding females), and the breakdown of a sororal religious order as women lose the roles they chose for themselves (maiden, mother, and crone are there, but so is a fourth, a combination of the other three) and find themselves at odds.

    At first it seems to have a dim view of the titular Women — they land on a planet with the express purpose of capital-c Civilizing the poor, benighted, unenlightened, stupid natives for the benefit of their Empire — blundering about, sure of the rightness of their cause. The local advance agent — a male from Back Home, but alien in his own way — seems to be more in tune with the local planet and its natives, but he’s exploitative in his own way.

    The Women, in turn, are motivated by such noble impulses as Seeking Knowledge, Duty, Sacrifice, and Kindness, but not all those impulses turn out to be benevolent. Meanwhile, their notions of What Is Right clash against the implacable reality of biology on their alien world to tragic ends.

    Everybody’s convinced that they’re doing the best most sensible thing possible in whatever circumstances present themselves, and that’s the cause of all the troubles — nobody’s asking Do you need help? when Here’s what you need to do is available as an alternative. There’s greater tragedy coming in Part III, no doubt, and while some of it is beyond anybody’s control, a great deal is down to thinking that frontiers and other cultures are things to be messed about with. It’s an affecting, lingering read.

  • For those of you that missed the news, the newest Girl Genius book collection — The City of Lightning¹ — has gone up for pre-order on Kickstarter; as of this writing, more than 800 backers have contributed in the past three days, bringing the project to bout 75% of its US$70,000 goal. Which, granted, it a heck of a lot of money, but Kaja & Phil Foglio put together heck of beautiful books, on heavy paper, with eye-popping color (by Cheyenne Wright) on every page, and plenty of extras. Given that they historically see 3000-4000 backers, expect this one to go to the 2.5x to 3x funding level over the next three weeks.

    And look, this is the fifteenth Girl Genius collection², plus all the other print collections that the Foglios have done over the past couple decades, so they know this game. The art will be done (the strips in question ran from January to November of last year), the production work will be submitted on time, and the finished product will be in your (my) hands on time in July. The only reason not to pledge now is because you expect to see Professoressa & Professor Foglio some time after July and want the visceral thrill of handing them money in person. Me, my luggage is gonna be full enough at San Diego, so I’m pledgin’ now.m There, I just pledged.

  • If I were to name one person that I never would have met but for this blog, one person who I cannot imagine at this date being absent from my life, it would be KB “Otter” Spangler of A Girl And Her Fed. I discovered her strip in the summer of 2006 and got hooked pretty instantly; one AGAHF collection³, four tie-in novels, multiple minicomics, several terroristic threats against my person and sanity, numerous Thin Mints, and one trampling by her bear-sized dog later, Spangler and I are great friends.

    Oh yeah, her comic and her novels are stronger than ever. So there’s nothing for it but a retrospective:

    The comic will be ten years old in April! What better time to start releasing the archives on tumblr with occasional snide remarks?

    Keep in mind that Spangler’s art has come a long way in ten years, and that she’s done multiple passes at old strips to improve the art from its original state, but that her redos stop just shy of 100 strips in so pretty quickly we’ll be back to the no-eyes style that I still think of fondly (albeit with occasional snide remarks of my own). S’gonna be fun.

  • Oh, and did I mention up top that it’s Sophie Goldstein’s birthday today? And that to celebrate, she’s letting original pages from The Oven go for US$85 each, domestic shipping included? It’s her first sale of originals in years, so check out what’s still up for grabs before you miss out.

Spam of the day:

While we don’t know what the smitten Instagram star will wear on her big day

I know, I know, context is for the weak, but trust me — that sentence made absolutely zero additional sense in context.

¹ You didn’t think sparks were going to stop at mere Light, did you?

² In fact, there is a backer level that will get you all fifteen books if you’ve slacked off until now.

³ Disclaimer: I wrote the foreword.

Kickstarts And Medical Memoirs

To be fair, I don't think it was necessary to demonstrate that Ray has a cruel sense of humor.

This day in Great Outdoor Fight history: Running credit and the relative merits of recumbent Tai-Chi.

  • Well, that was fast. Between morning break and when I caught up at lunch, the lads over at Cyanide & Happiness launched, funded (about 30 minutes later), and continue to overfund (as of this writing, by about a factor of nine) a Kickstarter for a card game, Joking Hazard. Short version, it appears to be an in-person, competitive version of the C&H random comic generator. It’s Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity with pictures. It’s going to fund a million dollars (we can do a proper prediction when the Kickstart’s not two and a half hours old.
  • As a quick reminder, the Smut Peddler Double Header Kickstarter is about halfway through its run, and is just shy of US$100,000. What’s more popular? A somewhat rude card game, or hot, hot pornography? Reminder: it can be both! Success of one need not come a the expense of the other.
  • Going back to 2011, I’ve been keeping an eye on Tyler Page’s slowly-evolving Raised on Ritalin, a memoir-slash-exploration of mental health issues (specifically, ADD/ADHD) in comic form. It’s been released in chapters approximately 3 – 4 times a year, and today’s latest update bears both the tagline What does the future hold? and a notation that the next chapter will be the last. It’s been a long, sometimes painfully honest story that Page has shared with us, and while I’ll be sorry to see it go, I’ll be happier to know that he got such a monumental project finished and in shape. It’s worth a read from the beginning.

Spam of the day:
Compare and contrast —

local moms need easy sex


local mom in need of some very hardsex

Firstly, get your message consistent as to the hardness of the needed sex. Secondly, if you want to make people think of sex, stop using the word mom in any context in my direction because ew.

Turns Out They Don’t Work On Snow

I would have been willing to spend two or even three of my Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys coins but it turns out blizzards (70.3 cm of snow!) don’t work that way. My spine and I are going back to bed as soon as we’re done here.

  • Scott McCloud will be teaching a two day class on comics at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art on 20 – 21 February (that’s a Saturday and Sunday) in Van Nuys, California. It’s US$495 for the course, but it’s probably equivalent to at least a semester’s worth of classes at Art School™ if you want to make comics, so jump on that.
  • First noted during the blizzard thanks to the work of Fleen Senior French Correspodent Pierre Lebeaupin, cartoonist extraordinaire Boulet had released a do-it-yourself avatar-o-matic, the products of which I’m already starting to see pop up on Twitter. I’ma have to play around with this.

    FSFC Lebeaupin is also staying on top of the ongoing Angoulême story, and we’ll be looking to him for his reactions on the eventual winner of the Grad Prix, and whether or not the voters take the opportunity to leave off for a year.

  • This makes so much sense I’m surprised it didn’t happen before today: Angela Melick, engineer and cartoonist, now has a Patreon. Jam’s one of the best — do support her.
  • Of course Jim Zub is announcing another series that he’ll be writing for Marvel (Thunderbolts this time). It’s what he does.
  • Diana Nock (of Intrepid Girlbot fame) is launching a new webcomic, Wonderlust, today-ish, with five pages, so be sure to scroll back to the beginning. It’s too soon to make a recommendation, but Nock’s past work makes this worth a look.
  • There’s a new Science Comic from Dante Shepherd, this one illustrated by Matt Lubchanksy on the topic of heat exchangers.

Spam of the day:
So, you guys know that I’ve been in an ongoing dispute with Verizon, which is why it’s especially amusing that they sent this:

Jonas is coming, are you ready?
The most common storm-related occurance is a power outage which can affect your Fios® by Verizon services.


  1. I don’t have FIOS. They know this, despite the fact that they’ve been trying to upsell me FIOS in lieu of fixing my DSL, and oh yeah — FIOS is available in my area.
  2. They sent this oh-so-helpful prep email approximately 03:11 on Sunday, after the snow had been stopped for some six hours.
  3. They sent it again twelve hours later.

So in addition to an ongoing dispute, Verizon apparently believes I have the ability to go back in time by 36 – 48 hours.

Holy Book

What’s this package with no return address and a mess of British stamps on it?, I asked myself. One quick rip of the opening strip later, I had an answer: my personal philosophy encapsulating notebook, courtesy of Stefan Johnson’s Book Block Kickstarter campaign; a bit late, but absolutely exactly what I wanted in all of its Figure 1 glory. This is enough to make me carry a sketchbook to conventions again.

And, per the letter included with the delivery, the Book Block team are gearing up to launch a commercial upload/customization service in the coming months; keep your eyes on in the near future if you want to get in on it.

  • I realize that January is not, traditionally speaking, an especially spooky time of year (Straubian efforts notwithstanding), but there’s a nice bit of info for those of you that are interested in good, hearty scares. Namely: Abby Howard (whose The Last Halloween just pulled an eleventh-hour reversal on us and now I have no idea where the story is going, in the best possible manner) has announced a new website for her short horror projects, which makes it easy to find some really great work. Bookmark Terror Town to get your short- to mid-length startles on, which so far has features Howard teaming up with writers.

    I love Howard’s take on what’s truly scary, but seeing her work in somebody else’s voice makes it somehow even more unsettling — I’ve perhaps gotten used to how Howard would develop a scene and to see her pictures following a different pace and progression makes everything more a surprise. And you can purchase these comics for your very own in both digital and physical forms, so you’re helping Abby make a living being Abby, which is the very best thing you can do. Check ‘er out.

  • The Verge has a nice roundup of upcoming comics adaptations to film and/or TV, as compiled by one of my favorite former writers at The AV Club, Tasha Robinson. Of particular interest to those of us that dig the web-slash-indy comics scene: Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet¹, Ursula Vernon’s Castle Hangnail², Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor³, Jeff Smith’s RASL4, and the omnipresent Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona5.
  • Continuing their involvement with the community while awaiting a new home, San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum is about to have the first of a traveling series of events to be held on the third Thursday of the month, hosted each time at a different Bay Area museum. The inaugural Traveling Third Thursday will be next week, 21 January, at the Museum of the African Diaspora in Yerba Buena.

    The program runs from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, and is free and open to the public. This first event will feature Ajuan Mance, CM Campbell, and Myisha Haynes; those attending can pick up a wristband at MoAD good for all-night happy hours at area bars and restaurants. For info on events in the coming months, visit

Spam of the day:

It will flop out of his pants and into you

Oooo, floppy. That’s not half-hearted and mediocre at all!

¹ With book 7 getting ready to release, this one’s got franchise written all over it.

² From her kids-lit career as opposed to her webcomics career, but man it would be great to get a Digger adaptation.

³ That’s gonna take an SFX budget and a half.

4 I love RASL but where the heck is our BONE movie Hollywood do you hate making money or something.

5 About which enough good can never be said.