The webcomics blog about webcomics

Well, Dammit

Just yesterday I was raving about the gallery/event space known as Center 548, site of this year’s MoCCA Festival in Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City, and how I hoped the Society of Illustrators had found a new, permanent home for the show. Turns out, nope:

Sad news for anybody who is currently enjoying MoCCA’s new location…

In case you didn’t click that link, the owners of the building has sold out to a new landlord who intends to — wait for it — build condos, or so say the rumors. I’m sure somebody will be making a buttload of money off the deal, and while I’ve only ever been in that space on one day of its entire existence, the continual repurposing of NYC real estate into high-priced residences is something that will set off another cycle of decline in the city if the real estate industry isn’t very careful.

It’s happened before, as the city became too expensive and people moved away; pretty soon there’s nobody to cook and clean for the owners of those multi-million dollar residences, or to make their coffee or deliver their dry cleaning. Then the super rich all decide to leave, the neighborhood falls into underuse, and then the artists and squatters move back in. Cue one of those Disney songs about eternal circles of real property valuation. Thanks to Darryl Ayo for digging up the story.

  • Welp, regardless of what happens with arts happenings in New York, there’s still going to be a TopatoCon in *hampton Mass this fall, and the exhibitor list grows by the day:

    Can you guess who the next guest announcement is? I’ll give you a hint; his name rhymes with “Schmanthony Slark”.

    I’m going to throw another guest announcement at you. Go long!


    The complete list as it now stands is under the cut.

  • That’s moving fast — Howard Tayler¹ has been making noise about launching a Kickstarter to fund a role-playing game set in his comic’s universe, and in the hours since launch it’s racked up 66% of of a US$45,000 goal. Not so unusual, but these things are unusual: the US$30K he’s gathered so far is from just 300 backers, for an average of a hundo per; he’s logged eight backers (out of total limit of 15) across two US$500 tiers, and five (out of a limit of 10) backers at the US$1000 (!) tier. People love them some games, but even more love them some Howard. No idea where this is going but I suspect all my predictive models would be garbage given the obvious skew going on.
  • How about a simple Kickstarter story? It’s been a while since we had one of thems. Dave Kellett has decided to celebrate the first anniversary of his film, STRIPPED (funded via Kickstarts), with a sale. Until 17 April, you can get the movie and bonus features for 50% off. If you didn’t see it before, see it now.

Spam of the day:

Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send yyou an e-mail.

Yeah, it would be that thing under the masthead on the right that says CONTACT US, can’t imagine how anybody’s ever found it ever.

¹ Evil twin, etc.


Again With Toronto

I got more comments on the post last week where I mused on the lack of a single, highly-visible song with which one might reference the grand T-Dot than any other recent topic. And here we are again with the news coming from that noblest of cities.

  • To start with, you got your Chris Butcher, retailer, showrunner, relentless promoter and lover of comics and those that make them, and real-life counterpart to the best character in Scott Pilgrim’s world. He’s been a major force in Toronto becoming a center for the comic arts, and it seems that scarcely a week goes by that he doesn’t get to announce something cool. Today, it’s the TCAF pop-up shop in the Toronto Reference Library, launched for the most recent year-end holiday season, with the promise of converting to an ongoing retail endeavour. Today, that conversion comes true:

    The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is thrilled to announce that its festival shop is here to stay for the foreseeable future! Located inside Toronto Reference Library at 789 Yonge Street, we’re pleased to announce that the shop has been newly rebranded as Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop (with a spiffy new logo design by illustrator Chip Zdarsky), and the store will continue bringing the very best of comics, graphic novels, art, design objects and book culture merchandise to Toronto.

    [Please note that the logo mentioned does not feature even one set of genitals.]

    Page & Panel already has author events planned for tonight (for Toronto anthology comic Monstrosity 2), 30 March (Carson Ellis), and 1 April (Jim Zub), as well as exclusive merch from local creators like Kate Beaton¹ and John Martz. Congrats to everybody at TCAF and TRL for making this happen.

  • Staying in Hogtown and speaking of Jim Zub, everybody knows that like every week is Jim Zub week down at the comics shop, but there’s a special coinciding of Zub-owned comics coming next week. 25 March is when we’ll see the release of both the first issue of the last Skulllkickers (aka the series that really launched Zub’s current career trajectory) story arc, and the first issue of the second Wayward (aka the series that took all the hard work that Zub’s put in since Skullkickers #1 and bumped it up even higher) story arc, along with the trade paperback of the first Wayward trade collection. While it seems the dude’s got comics coming out all the damn time, I’m declaring next Wednesday to be Zubday.
  • And rounding out our tour of The Big Smoke, Ryan North² has some news for us today regarding the interactive game version of To Be Or Not To Be:


    There’s now an Android and iOS version of this game, out THIS VERY DAY??

    Yesssssss it is a FACT

    I believe that this means that every single possible vector for distributing North’s CYOA version of Hamlet is now covered. If you don’t own at least one, there is something distinctly wrong with you.

Spam of the day:

Going time for the furnishings shop in Gloucester example

I am utterly unable to parse what this was meant to convey.

¹ Speaking of whom, Beaton is back in The Queen City after her book-promotion trip to Germany which she has comic-chronicled here and here. They aren’t trip-home-to-see-the-family comics, but if you’ve ever wondered about medieval German torture devices designed to wreck your butthole at 9:00am on a Sunday morning — and I sincerely hope that you have — then these will be right up your alley.

So to speak.

² AKA The Toronto Man-Mountain, AKA He Who Has Returned, AKA Lord of Castle North.

Big Damn Number

On his income taxes on the line where it says to enter your occupation, I hope that Jeffrey Rowland puts down internet merchandise mogul.

  • Speaking of moguls of all sorts, you know what they need to keep their air of dapper superciliousness? A Monocle. Know where you can get a supply of monocles? From Zach Weinersmith. As I write this, the campaign to bring single-use monocles to the world is fivehours old and less than US$100 from its goal. If you think that it’s a joke, well, that’s where you’re right, but if you think it’s a scam or fake, allow me to share proof with you that these exist. Thank you to Weinersmith et. al.¹ for gifting me with this indispensible bit of dapperment; I await only an occasion when I must exhibit extreme surprise to deploy it for its intended purpose.
  • Speaking of Kickstarters, I would like to mention that my very favorite webcomic for reading in book-length chunks — Gastrophobia — has launched its latest campaign for its latest book-lenth chunk (which is to say, a book). Gastrophobia volume 3: Best At Winning, Worst At Love has been fundraising over the weekend and currently sits at an inexplicably paltry 75 backers, although they have pushed creator David McGuire up to some 40% of goal. The strip is great fun, McGuire knows how to both build a damn good story and fulfill merch on a timely basis, and there’s nothing that should be keeping you from dropping the dough to pick up this book. Make with the clicky, already.
  • Never bet against Ryan Estrada. Whether it’s setting out to provide guest strips for every webcomic, teach the world to read Korean and Russian in fifteen minutes, or wrangle eighteen different creators to tell one story from six different viewpoints based on an experience from his time running an Indian call center, Estrada takes on seemingly impossible tasks with aplomb.

    The aplombed tasque du jour is the one about the call center, as he’s launched Broken Telephone launched today as his newest serialized webcomic at, and it launched with what I believe is the largest initial buffer on record. Namely, the full year-long story is queued and ready to go on a daily basis. Estrada was kind enough to send me a review copy, which I have only just begun to read; what I have seen, however, is really good and plays to the strengths of his various artists, so be sure to check it out.

  • It appears that the results of the SPX table lottery have gone out, and while there’s no list of who got in yet, there’s a lot of mention on the Twitters and such from people that didn’t. It’ll be interesting to compare the list of last year’s exhibitors (archived here) against the final list of who made it in. It looks like SPX has become a victim of its own success, with a desire to bring in new talent and meet demand for tables — but when your process is designed in such a way that it finds a way to not include such rarely seen on these shores talent as John Allison, it’s time to look at how well you’re balancing your priorities.

Spam of the day:

A friend of mine got off dialysis (stage 5 CKD) and healed his kidney.

You’re lying or fooling yourself. Go hang out with your flouride-decrying, homeopathy-loving, anti-vaxx friends, and keep your crackpottery out of here before I get some on my shoes.

¹ Which group, regrettably, includes the nefarious James Ashby, aka History’s Greatest Monster. And he gets the girl to “accompany him to the opera” in the promotional film! Boo, hiss!

Drumming Up Awareness

The gamification of the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter campaign continues; if you thought that just because the actual campaign ended two and a half weeks ago that Lee, Inman, and Small would stop telling the world about it, well, you’ve underestimated their desire to create an ongoing narrative.

See, there are elements of Exploding Kittens that are backer-specific (like the surprise in the box or the NSFW deck), but the game will be available in some form or another after backers have received their rewards — apparently in perpetuity, what with the game blowing up to be bigger than Jesus and all. So to keep interest at a high level, the EK team have decided to make early copies available to interested play-testers; presumably, the feedback will be used to tweak the game prior to release. You can be one of these playtesters, or Kitten Consul as they phrase it:

Create a YouTube video explaining why we should choose you to be a #KittenConsul for Playtest Deck #3. Tweet a link to your video to @gameofkittens with the hashtag #KittenConsul.

We’ll accept the top YouTube videos evaluated by YouTube likes. (Dislikes will be ignored, let’s share the love)
We’ll also pick a bunch ourselves that tickle our fancy.

Your tweet and video title must both contain “#KittenConsul.”
Video must be 60 seconds OR LESS, and it must be on YouTube.
Your playtest party event must occur between April 3rd and April 19th.
Video AND video description must include the location, date, and duration of your playtest party.
Your kitten consulate location must be open to the public. (No private residences please!)
Likes will be tallied March 24th 11:59PM EST.
We reserve the right to refuse applicants as we see fit.
No purchase necessary.

That all went up yesterday afternoon. As I write this, there are a few dozen tweets mentioning the hashtag, although in some cases multiple tweets reference the same video. Over at YouTube, there are bit more than two pages of matches for kittenconsul, with about two dozen of them being probably relevant videos. It’s looking like the 60 second maximum duration was a smart idea, as team Kitten will have a substantial number of these things to sort through on the 24th¹.

Is this all just a case of preaching to the converted? Sure, everybody that’s heard about the contest is probably already in the Exploding Kittens Kult, but if this thing has legs (and it likely will), a fair number of those videos will remain on YouTube for years to come. The name of the game is Exploding Kittens for glob’s sake — somebody is going to be putting actual cats into their entry, which means there’s a nonzero chance that at least one of them goes some degree of viral and hooks in people that don’t know about the game. Yes, yes, the game went huge, but you know what’s bigger than the number of people that pledged for Exploding Kittens? People that didn’t and might become later customers.

You know what’s bigger than those future customers by orders of magnitude? People that have never even heard of the damn thing. Your friend that only reads two websites and avoids all comments. Your aunt that sends you Facebook posts that make you wish you could force Snopes into her brain by wishing. The people who have jobs and school and fewer devices and don’t get to screw around in close proximity to the internet all day. Astronauts aboard the ISS, sailors at sea, military personnel on deployment, and the ever-popular Florida Man, just back from six weeks in county lockup. The people that don’t know about a thing will always outnumber those that do (no matter how popular it is in your experience), and Lee, Inman, and Small are going to reach as many of them as humanly or kittenly possible.

Spam of the day:

So if you wish you have a wonderful dinner some evening or you have a special event to celebrate, try Gary Danko Restaurant.

I find it utterly hilarious that this text was part of a spam that was shilling for Olive Garden. Maybe they were hoping that some reflection from Danko’s Michelin stars would stick to their sad, bland, revolting (yet cheap) food-like substances? Yeesh.

¹ I know, you don’t have to watch a video to count up how many likes it’s gotten — but you do if you want to declare additional winners that tickle your fancy.


We are close to finishing up a pair of long-running creations in Webcomickia, and I thought you should know.

  • For those that listen to Coffee & Cider¹, Friday’s update of Girls With Slingshots was a known quantity — a triple-size strip, a long-simmering plot point, and the melancholy landmark. As we learned around the end of last year, Danielle Corsetto is wrapping up GWS, and doing so by clearing up a final bit of backstory; namely, what’s the deal with Hazel’s dad?

    Today we meet him. Tomorrow, we’ll learn more. And in about two weeks (as that’s what Corsetto told us on C&C²), it’s all done. It is not going to be easy for Hazel to say hello, or for us to say goodbye. If you’ve read and enjoyed Girls With Slingshots for these ten or so years (and as of tomorrow, 2000 strips), it might be a good time to drop a note to Corsetto and tell her so.

  • It’s been apparent that Chris Yates has been making puzzles like a madman for years now, but the past few weeks he’s thrown it into overdrive. But nothing prepared me for today’s Baffler! Monday, where Yates unveiled 50 state maps, as big a work tranche as I can recall. But what caught my attention even more than the immense volume was the text that accompanied the announcement:

    Here’s our last Baffler release for awhile: All 50 states, all under 40 bucks!

    Did you catch the important part?

    our last Baffler release for awhile

    Yates has been doing fine motor control work for a decade now, the sort that would wear down anybody’s hands/eyes/other body parts³, so here’s hoping it’s just a case of refreshing the creative batteries and not medically mandated to avoid debilitating injuries because that would suck for all concerned. Well, except for somebody buying up a bunch of Baffler!s and selling them on eBay when Yates’s fame outstrips his output, but those people suck. So, anyway, last Baffler!s for a while. Get in on the back stock while you can.

Spam of the day:

I made a fool of myself.

No argument here.

¹ For those that don’t, it’s an approximately-weekly podcast conversation between Danielle Corsetto and Rich Stevens, named after their respective life-giving drinks; they talk about comics and whatever else pops into their heads. Also, if you don’t listen to Coffee & Cider, what the hell is wrong with you?

² She also said that Hazel’s dad was almost named Gary, about which fact there may be multiple conclusions.

³ For those that have watched his process videos, Yates has always been careful about proper eye protection, but there’s also a lot of squinting and close visual work that could lead to vision strain. The constant vibration of power tools has been known to do a number on motor and sensory nerves in hands and ears of factory workers, and I can’t imagine that Yates (powerful as he is) is immune to such rigors and dangers.

Wow. Just Wow.

When I pointed out yesterday that it was possible for Exploding Kittens to pick up some US$600K in seven hours to become the #3 most funded Kickstarter of all time, I wasn’t entirely convinced. But there it is¹, and with just shy of 220,000 backers (Heck there were more than 200,000 in one reward tier) it has set a support record that is not likely to be broken for a long damn time. Now let’s just hope it’s as fun to play as we’re all betting.

But first, let’s let the team of principals — Elan Lee, Matthew Inman, and Shane Small — have the weekend to not think about this project, its enormous community, and the immense task they’ve taken on of making sure everybody’s happy². Lee estimates that will take him the next two years.

  • Hey look at that — the Nebula Award nominations are out and Ursula Vernon recognized the Short Story category for Jackalope Wives, a cracker of a tale about skin-walking and Vernon’s latest excellent take on a feisty wise old woman (cross reference here). I haven’t read the other nominees in the category so I can’t say that Jackalope Wives is the best story in the bunch, but it is damn good and worthy of your time.
  • Uh-oh. Howard³ is planning something. Take care around your wallets, whatever he makes is going to look alway appealing, and it’ll no doubt regular readers & book buyers to make new purchases, and then he’ll do the I got paid three times dance. Last time that happened, I had to buy him a smoothie while we dodged a massive zombie walk snarling the Gaslamp district of San Diego.

Spam of the day:

Online Married Ladies Seek Immediate Offline Boinking*.

I do not want to know what kind of clarification is hiding in that footnote.

¹ And there’s still a week or so before the final figure gets adjusted due to failed payments.

² Which may be considerable. How many people in the world do you figure are complete and utter dicks about the smallest things, the ones who will complain and whine and make your life miserable, particularly if they figure that you’re faceless and remote and have infinite resources and why are you oppressing them? One in a thousand? One in two thousand?

By those extremely optimistic projections, Lee & Company will have to deal with literally hundreds of miserable sumbitches on the internet. Delivery delayed by a day? Box a little dented? Color scheme not perfectly as imagined? They’re going to be dealing with that for potentially years, so it is my sincere hope that the EK team spends at least 10% of the funds raised on whatever they find pleasurable and distracting.

³ Evil twin, etc.

Developing Stories

It’s Thursday. We could all use a little uplift today, so let’s look at some critical and popular successes.

  • Following up on yesterday’s story about The Sculptor becoming a movie, we have the closest thing we’re going to get to an insider view of what happens when your creative child gets adopted by the studio system.

    Lucy Bellwood has a unique point of view on Hollywood — her mother is a script analyst, and her father one the screenwriters of Highlander¹, so she can tell you from long experience what Hollywood bought your thing and now it’s going to be a movie! is like, and she shares it in comic form at The Nib. It’s not pretty.

    Don’t get me wrong; should a movie of The Sculptor actually ever be made — and that’s years down the road at the very least — I will be there on opening night, happy to see what got made. But unlike a big-screen version of characters defined with broad strokes and a few zillion plotlines to mine (see: any superhero movie), a story with a beginning, middle, and end is far more likely to end up significantly changed². I’m cautiously optimistic, and overwhelmingly glad that the movie version won’t ever cause the print copy to disappear from my bookshelf.

  • In about eight hours, we’ll find out exactly how huge a success the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter has been. As of this writing, they are probably going to cross the US$8 million mark in the next hour, and are about 500 backers from the 200,000 threshold. To put those numbers in perspective no wait scratch that, in the time I took to write that sentence things have changed. Literally in the two minutes that I looked away from the campaign page, the funding level jumped by about US$40,000 and the backer level by more than 800. They’re now over eight actual megabucks and 200K backers.

    To again attempt to put that in perspective, Exploding Kittens has the #4 all-time highest funds raised record on Kickstarter (and it’s not inconceivable it might raise the US$600K to become #3) and is by far the most-backed project ever. Right now, Exploding Kittens has eclipsed the Reading Rainbow (formerly #1) backer count by not quite 95,000 people, and has an even shot of outright doubling the onetime record.

    Here’s hoping that whole West Coast port-worker slowdown thing is resolved by the time that Exploding Kittens gets put on a container ship (I am presuming it will be printed in China, but with this kind of money, stateside manufacture might actually be economically possible), because otherwise a few hundred thousand pissed-off nerds are gonna be looking for some longshoremen and stevedores to beat up until their rewards fall out.

Spam of the day:

Oprah prevents carbs

I’m speechless. Who knew that Oprah could operate at a metabolic level?

¹ The good one. Also, sadly, the sequel which was … yeesh, not good.

² Please, and I say this as somebody who enjoys his movies for what they are, don’t let Peter Jackson anywhere near The Sculptor.

If I Were Him, I’d Be Shopping For Helicopters And A Better Class Of Friends

Of course, I’m not Scott McCloud (for which I think we can all be grateful), and he is a far nicer person than I am. And lets face it: with the byzantine practices of Hollywood accounting, it’s unlikely (and that’s a damn shame) McCloud will be be joining the ranks of the super-rich anytime soon.

But I may be getting ahead of myself. There’s going to be a movie made of The Sculptor.

When I saw McCloud’s talk at the 92nd Street Y, he did mention in passing from the stage that he wouldn’t mind a movie being made of The Sculptor¹, should that ever happen. He didn’t give any indication that a deal was in the works, but I find it doubtful that negotiations took place and everything approved in the two weeks since, especially since he’s been on the road. Doubly especially because this looks to be an actual movie deal.

Everything I am about to say should come with the obvious disclaimer that I’m not an agent, a lawyer, a studio head, or in anyway knowledgeable about how the entertainment industry works, apart from what I’ve read in Brian Bendis’s autobiographical Fortune & Glory. To wit: studios spend time and money to lock down story rights, both because they might want to make a movie, but also to prevent others from doing so. Snagging the rights is known has an option, and it doesn’t mean that anything will ever be made. In fact, people have had a tidy income sustain over decades because some studio or other keeps paying out occasionally to renew an option, but never actually goes to production.

How long ago did we hear about the right to BONE and Amulet being sold? Answer: a little shy of seven years. That’s the way the entertainment industry works, and more power to Smith and Kibuishi for getting checks and not seeing a butchered-up version hit the big screen that looks terrible (cf: The Last Airbender). A’course, it’s possible for good adaptations to hit, and sometimes even in a timely fashion, when the right combo of studio desire, director, and idea converge (cf: Scott Pilgrim vs The World).

What I am saying here is that The Sculptor looks like it may be more the latter than the former, because that story doesn’t talk about Sony just picking up the rights; it talks about Sony picking up the rights with specific producers attached. And while these things take time and The Sculptor does not have a director, a script, a cast, or an IMDB page yet², it has cleared more hurdles than most would-be movies ever will. What do you think? Joseph-Gordon Levitt as David (alternately: Jason Schwartzman), Ellen Page as Meg (alternately: Anna Kendrick), Donald Sutherland as Uncle Harry (alternately: Stephen Root)? And if we could get Kenneth Branagh to direct? That’s worth my twelve bucks.

In other news:

Spam of the day:

Selank Russian C is a nootropic, anxiolytic peptide based drug developed by the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Very interesting, but I don’t see how that qualifies as an ingenious method for boosting my wealth.

¹ It was in the context of works being designed to be read in a particular form, and how The Sculptor was designed specifically to be a book, and could he see it in other forms.

² McCloud does have an IMDB page. In fact he has three: Scott McCloud (I), Scott McCloud (III), Scott McCloud (V). Dude’s been busy.

Valentine’s Eve And It’s Cold

Very cold. Right now, it’s warmer in traditionally blizzard-swept regions like the Dakotas than it is here in New Jersey. My dog has gone completely lethargic¹. The only joy in life comes across the laser-etched wires of the internet, and that will have to sustain us until Spring comes, or we are devoured by ice weasels.

  • It was around the first of December of last year that the implications of the European Union tax-harmonization changes going into effect on 1 January 2015 (aka VATMOSS) first broke into the consciousness of webcomickers (as well as others selling e-goods on the internet). Uncertainty about the ability to comply with the requirements² led most creators on both sides of the Atlantic to decide that they would have no choice but to suspend sales to EU residents.

    However, I’m seeing word from more than one creator (KB Spangler, who was among the first to raise the VATMOSS alarm, as well as Jon Rosenberg) that Gumroad — a very popular mechanism for selling things like e-goods — is going to be addressing the VATMOSS headaches:

    Just got an email from @gumroad addressing changes because of #VATMOSS. Still reading over the terms but looks solid. Thanks, guys!

    Looks like @gumroad is changing their policy and they’re going to handle all the VAT bullshit on their end. Good. End of story.

    Gumroad’s announcement is here, with the critical piece being:

    We are tackling VAT in the same way. Going forward, this is what creators on Gumroad need to do to properly handle VAT for their digital products:

    Go back to making awesome stuff.

    In other words, we’re on it. Gumroad will collect VAT as required and remit it to the EU. You won’t need to fill out any forms, register for anything, or send anything out. Your (EU-based) customers, will see (and pay) the added VAT on their purchases.

    . . .

    These changes were neither easy nor cheap, but it was crucial to us to make this as smooth and invisible as possible. Handling VAT will cost us approximately 1% of each transaction. We’ve decided it is important to absorb that cost so there will be no change to our 5% + 25¢ fee.

    [emphasis original]

    I don’t use Gumroad to distribute anything so it’s likely that Spangler, Rosenberg, et. al., are getting additional details, but from the outside this looks like Gumroad has just given their clients a hell of a good reason to stay loyal to them, and once word spreads will likely be picking up new business. And as long as that’s one tax-related headache out of the way, how about you check out Brad Guigar’s guide to US sales tax over at Webcomics Dot Com; Guigar has kindly unlocked the subscription requirement for this post, so you can read the whole thing.

  • Horrible weather and taxes! Can’t you come up with anything pleasant today, Gary? How about a new Perry Bible Fellowship strip, which has just been added to the main PBF site after sitting on Twitter for a couple of hours. Some things to note here:
    1. This is the sixth of the six new strips that Gurewitch announced a few weeks back
    2. Holy [fill in the blank] this thing is gorgeous; Gurewitch gets so much mileage out of his cartoony style (as in these recent examples) that I sometimes forget just how accomplished an artist he is
    3. It’s pretty much a perfect joke; there is nothing to add, nothing to trim away nothing that could make it better

    Go read it; we don’t know when we’ll get more.

  • As a followup to KC Green announcing that Pinocchio would get an irregular schedule to allow him to work on other things, something really quite nice. And disturbing. Nice and disturbing. Green was a contributor to The Sleep of Reason, and he’s shared his contribution to that anthology with us. I AM SICK is based on the church Green attended as a child and is a profoundly unsettling story (not unlike his earlier The Dog’s Sins), and reinforces my belief that self-contained longform stories are where Green really shines. Go read it, but maybe be careful being around anybody with flu-like symptoms afterwards.

Spam of the day:

[incoherent string of placeholder symbols ]

Thanks, and while I’m sure that your selection of mail-order brides is excellent, you seem to be mistaking me for somebody who buys into MRA theories of gender roles and that makes you terrible. Please go be a garbage person elsewhere.

¹ Although, given that he’s a greyhound, that’s not unusual.

² In that a scheme designed to get large vendors like Amazon to pay up their fair share of VAT was going to whack mostly small vendors who couldn’t possibly meet the regulatory data-gathering and retention requirements, and there was no lower threshold of sales to trigger the compliance requirement.

Returns And Launches

Apropos of nothing, there is apparently a DJ-type guy named Diplo (I’d never heard of him before) who has apparently lifted art from Rebecca Mock, and when called on it proved himself to be human garbage. Just putting that out there.

  • I believe that I’m on record as finding Scott C’s work whimsical and wonderful, and I particularly love how he can made anything adorable. Consider: instead of the lifeless reanimated husks of Zombie In Love scaring the bejabbers out of its very young intended audience, it is charming and happy-making. That’s a heck of a trick to pull off, and one that should not be limited to 32 pages. Luckily, it no longer is:

    You’ve already seen the book, but here is an official announcement for the new Zombie in Love 2 +1!

    Ready to read something adorable?

    Mortimer and Mildred are back with the sequel book called Zombie in Love 2 +1! It follows the young couple as they journey into parenthood! A brand new human baby is left on their doorstep and they must learn to care for him. They discover quickly that human babies are not into zombie stuff. Parenthood can be a struggle normally, so you can imagine how tough it is for these two zombie parents to care for a human baby. I mean, just imagine! And guess what? All your other friends are in this book, the zombie dog, the worms, even a new zombie cat. You’ll probably love it.

    I’ma go out on a limb and guess that Mr C is right and you probably will love it. I still can’t get over that line about shrieking lullabies.

  • I wasn’t going to mention the whole Scribd thing for a couple of reasons:
    1. I have never trusted media that I don’t own¹, although I suppose a library access via subscription model is much less likely to hit my paranoia than the pay for it and download stuff that we can take if we want model
    2. I am innately suspicious of sites that offer no functionality unless I enable JavaScript²; seriously, you can’t so much as read a description of Scribd’s comics offerings without allowing scripting
    3. I’m not that interested in the vast back catalogs of print comics when there are so many good new comics (in print and not) coming out now
    4. I absolutely despise this whole tech industry thing of making up a word by randomly leaving out an letter; I’m not on Tumblr, either

    But gosh darnit, it seems like there are webcomics angles to consider, one of which is possibly why I haven’t been able to enjoy one of my favorite webcomics for months and months:

    At last I can reveal what I’ve been doing the past few months: curating the amazing new comics section at @Scribd!

    This is mixed news for me. One the one hand, I am not going to be a subScribder to this service for the reasons listed above. On the other hand Shaenon Garrity has pointed me to some damn good comics in the past, on account of our tastes track each other by about 70%, meaning I can innately trust her and she’ll still surprise me with stuff I wouldn’t have looked at before. Her palette for completely bonkers off the wall concepts (like, say, a 26 volume manga fighting series about the cut-throat world of competitive bread baking) is unmatched and has brought me much pleasure. Not buying into Scribd means I may be missing out on stuff I’d really like.

    But mostly importantly, I’d figured that Shaenon Garrity’s stellar X-Files recap comics were on hiatus still due to the challenges of raising her new son; it seems she’s been at work for a chunk of time, which means that now that Scribd’s comics service has launched, she might be able to get back to Mulder³ and Scully and Skinner’s Righteous Fists of Rage. Here’s hoping, at least.

  • Actually, one other reason to maybe hold back on Scribd, this one from the keenest mind in webcomics:

    Warning: Do NOT sign up for Scribd for its comics if you have a Kindle Fire! Every title I clicked so far is “not available for this device”

    Which is odd, considering that Scribd supports the Kindle Fire, albeit with a specific installation. Anyway, Kindle Fire owners emptor, I guess.

    Update to add: Brad Guigar has retracted his caution.

  • For those of you that keep track of these things, a card game that nobody has played yet is on the verge of raising US$6 million and having 150,000 backers and is now the fifth most-funded project in Kickstarter’s history. With eight days to go, it seems certain to move into the #4 slot. Yikes.

Spam of the day:

Hello. And Bye.

Not much to add, really.

¹ And yes, this means that I don’t have Netflix.

² Which, in terms of widespread crappy technology that opens up my computer to drive-by infections, is second only to Flash.

³ As I am finishing this post, David Duchovny is coming on the radio, being introduced by Leonard Lopate as I type this sentence. Spooooky.