The webcomics blog about webcomics

Holy Crap, It’s Supposed To Be A Quiet Week

I mean, it’s SDCC week, people are already traveling to SoCal for the nerd prom, and a billion items have come up in the past couple days. Okay, these are each going to be brief because it’s like seven things.

  • New SDCC offsite events In addition to all the programming mentioned last week, there are things happening outside the convention center. Singer-songwriter Marian Call (cohort of Alaska Roboticist Pat Race and famed portrayer of Top Space Man) will be part of a show called Space Time on 10 July (that’s Friday) at 7:00pm. Know who else will be there? Molly Lewis (aka Ground Control) and Bobak “We Are Go” Ferdowsi.

    Lewis will also be part of BAMF, the Bad Ass Music Festival, held 10-12 July in nearby Ruocco Park, alongside such luminaries as Kirby Krackle, Paul and Storm, and The Doubleclicks.

  • Future plans for The Response Matt Bors follow up on earlier announcements of what’s going on with editorial cartooning at Medium via an announcement at The Response. Short version: It’s a finite project, through the end of July, and more conversations will occur between now and then.
  • The AV Club loves webcomics Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor got cited as one of the best piece of media (not comics, all of media) for the first half of 2015, while John Allison, Noelle Stevenson, Ryan North & Erica Henderson, and Gemma Correll were cited as being part of the best of print for the same timeframe.
  • Kickstarts Magnolia Porter wins the Most Adorable Kickstarter Video, Like, Ever award … oh, yeah, and it’s part of the launch for Monster Pulse’s second print collection, Phantom Limbs. It’s no secret that Monster Pulse is one of my favorite webcomics (just check out today’s update to see why — wow), so I’m urging everybody to back this one because I want my book, dammit.

    And if that weren’t enough, longtime editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow announced his Kickstart via Make That Thing, and it’s a doozy. Twenty five years of strips will be constructed into a 1000 page, two-volume hardcover collection, with an estimated mass of nearly 7 kg. Such a huge collection needs a huge goal, and with less than 24 hours elapsed, Mr Tomorrow has exceeded the US$87,000 needed and is closing in on US$100K. And can I say holy crap, somebody took him up on the US$10K reward tier? This one’s gonna be metaphorically and physically huge.


Spam of the day:

Dr.Oz bikini secret

Man, I can’t find even one picture of Dr Oz in a bikini. Laaaaaame.

Good News All Around

Man, before we even get to the fact that it’s Canada Day and wish well to all our friends north of the border¹, there’s so many things to be happy about. I can’t even decide which would be most important, so I’m just going to hit these in chronological order.

  • In the past few days (call it a month or so on the early end), I’ve received packages full of joy from three separate Kickstarts: Evan Dahm’s lovely illustrated edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (now available via TopatoCo), Jon Rosenberg’s long-delayed² Goats book four, and Zach Weinersmith and Boulet’s Augie and the Green Knight, all of which are more beautiful than could have been hoped. Thanks for those, guys!

    For those keeping track at home, this brings my Kickstarter backing record to 49 projects, of which 1 was designated “no reward”, 36 fulfilled, 5 are due for future delivery, 3 are late less than a month (it’s the first, after all), 3 are in the vicinity of a year late (two for what I consider to be good reasons, one I’m mentally writing off) and 1 partially fulfilled three years back for a project that’s gone tits-up. Call it 36/44 success rate, or 81%, which I expect to bump up by the end of the month, and again by end of summer.

  • Meanwhile, yesterday David Willis started dropping hints of a new comic which hinted at the future erosion of his famous buffer. Then he dropped the proverbial other shoe:

    So on May 27, as I was trying to preregister for BotCon through my phone because our damned Time Warner wifi was having outages AGAIN, Maggie got back from the doctor, noted that there was, in fact, an Ultrasound due that visit despite our expectations, and then handed me this little printout, saying, “Here’s a picture of our baby.”

    And after pausing a bit, she pulled out another little printout and said, “And here’s a picture of our other baby.”

    It’s Twins! David and Maggie become at least the third webcomic couple to bring twins to bear³; previous twin-having webcomickers Jon Rosenberg and Ryan Sohmer were at press time reportedly pointing vaguely in Willis’s direction and laughing hysterically that at least they got to practice on single kids before having to learn how to be parents to twins before weeping uncontrollably. I think that means Welcome to our totally fun club!

    We at Fleen congratulate Willis on his impending great fortune, and are calling for predictions as to how far his buffer will slip. We’re taking 85 days in the pool.

  • But the news that will resonate outside our community hit after things wrapped up on the east coast; reports were seen (first in Deadline, later in other corners) that both Kris Straub and Jeff Smith have new Hollywood deals. Straub’s case is perhaps further along, as it was announced that Max Landis will be producing a horror anthology for SyFy, the first season of which will be Candle Cove. Straub has struggled in the past to be recognized as the author of this particularly unsettling piece of fiction, with occasional claims that the short story was in fact true from people who are overly credulous, misremembering their own childhoods, or possibly both.

    Meanwhile, a production firm named a vet of AMC to head up their TV unit, and one of the first projects that’s being examined is an adaptation of Smith’s RASL. A story that mixes art thievery, dimension hopping, Nikola Tesla, and existential horror, RASL is about as different a followup to BONE as could be imagined. It would be a while before we see it hit the screen, but in tapping RASL and Candle Cove for adaptation, it appears that the entertainment complex is showing a willingness to explore wholly original ideas and has an idea of who might be a good source for them.

    Which got me to thinking what webcomics would make a good TV series. Achewood or Wonderella could absolutely rule on [Adult Swim], A Girl and Her Fed could do well on a basic cable channel with experience in showrunning (say, A&E or AMC), and I’m convinced that the Henson Workshop people could do something really good with Monster Pulse. I’m not sure how far we are from effects being able to do justice to any of Overside stories, but Skin Horse maybe could be made to work. Any other ideas? Leave ’em in the comments.


Spam of the day:

cheater detox

I know those words, but can’t figure out they mean together.

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¹ AKA future ruthless overlords.

² The campaign for which coincided with, more or less, a high-risk pregnancy and birth of special-needs twins, who have defied every possible odd to be happy, healthy, distressingly clever young men. Well done, Team Babies!

³ It appears having a long-running webcomic must now be added to the contributing factors for having twins, such as being a twin yourself.

Congratulations All Around

This image sums up everything I love about Stevenson's work. Also, buy the book.

So I have a flight to catch, meaning this is going to have to be short; rest assured, each of these stories is worth many more column-inches¹ than I have time to give it right now.

  • It’s a great time to be Noelle Stevenson! Hot on the heels of the Lumberjanes movie news comes word that Stevenson’s webcomic, Nimona, is to be an animated feature. You can take your pick of stories — I like the one from io9, personally — it appears that toute les bandes dessine&easute;s-web is thrilled for Stevenson, and even more thrilled that more people will get to be exposed to Nimona.
  • It’s anniversary time in webcomicsland — Chris Hallbeck realized t’tother day that it’s been five years since quitting the day job in favor of comicking, and put together a recapof his best office-themed comics. This one’s my favorite. And Howard Tayler² can probably tell you down to the minute exactly when he quit the corporate world to concentrate on Schlock Mercenary, which strip started on this day in 2000, resulting in 5479 consecutive days and 5479 consecutive strips. You make the rest of us look considerably less industrious than we would appear to be otherwise, Howard — congratulations, you unstoppable machine, you.
  • This last piece is less about congrats and more about stop doing whatever you are doing right now and take five minutes to learn something. It’s been fallow times these past two weeks over at The Nib since parent company Medium messed with editorial focus and funding; editor Matt Bors has kept the lights on and run some longer pieces of what I’d call comic strip journalism, and today’s entry by Dale Beran is as good as such comics get.

    It’s a follow-on to his piece on the riots in Baltimore (where he’s a public school teacher) about six weeks ago, on the general topic of how “normal” times in the schools are both a perfect consequence of the situation that prompted the unrest, and a perfect predictor of the next situation. Go and read Warnings and Instructions right now, and the next time somebody tells you how “they” don’t care enough to do well in school, or don’t value education, or need to be willing to work harder to rise above their circumstances, share the link.


Spam of the day:

Hi,i believe t?at ? saww you visited my blg th?s i got here too return the favor?

World of Questionmarks is my new favorite site.

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¹ Or, if you don’t live in America, 2.54 many more column-centimeters.

² The best evil twin I could ever ask for.

Gifts Of The Day

Also, new Kate-centric website, suitable for all ages, at beatontown.com.

I’m in a good mood today, how about you? It’s actually suspicious how well today’s been going.

  • Oh, it’s a good day in webcomics, for we are at the start of the most festive time of year. I speak, naturally, of the start of Kate Beaton’s latest visit home to Nova Scotia, and the Kate’s Family Comics (aka Kate’s Mom Comics, aka Momics) that result.

    I’ve noticed eight of them arrive so far; if past visits are any indication, we’ll get 12 – 15 a day for a week or so, and Beaton will gather them all together in tall recaps when they’re done. In the meantime, keep an eye on her twitterfeed for little snippets of perfect humo[u]r, where we all get reminded that Kate’s Mom is the best, Kate’s Dad is the best, and Kate’s comics are the best.

    Oh, and the countdown to the release of The Princess and the Pony is on: 30 June, y’all.

  • Alert readers may have noticed that Dante Shepherd managed to put together some appropriate comics in the wake of his second daughter’s birth; he took four days off when said child was imminent, then produced most of a week before wisely declaring a paternity leave. The first of the guest entries is up today, with Rosemary Mosco contributing thoughts (as she is wont to do) on nature, and taking the time to pay homage to Shepherd’s ever-present Red Sox attire. I loved it, and can’t wait to see what other clever people take a whirl at the chalkboard.
  • Explain to me how the hell it’s been a year since BACK debuted. Time is running too damn fast these days.
  • Word came this afternoon that Chris Eliopolous (of Misery Loves Sherman and the lettering of seemingly every Marvel comic of the last two decades) has had a pleasant Monday:

    Cosby and Eliopoulos’ Cow Boy Headed to TV With DreamWorks Animation http://comicbook.com/2015/06/08/cosby-and-eliopoulos-cow-boy-headed-to-tv-with-dreamworks-animat/ … via @comicbookdotcom

    Cow Boy (written by Nate Cosby, illustrated by Eliopoulos) released a couple years back and it’s a delight; the deal with DreamWorks makes two big option announcements for BOOM! Studios in as many weeks¹ and once again, I’m hoping that this means a decent paycheck for the creators more than the publisher. In any event, congrats to Eliopoulos and Cosby!


Spam of the day:

Buy Flagyl Online

Why the hell would I do that? Flagyl makes everything taste like pennies forever and if you aren’t careful taking it, it messes up your gut bacteria and you end up with C. diff which means months of crapping uncontrollably. A’course, this is black market flagyl, which means it’ll probably not be real and have other charming (side-)effects. Have fun with that.

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¹ Cow Boy publisher Archaia was bought by BOOM! a while back.

Retirements, Returns, And Launches

It’s been odd, the past half-week or so: The Nib has been quiet, with no comics more recent than three or four days, a sad echo of what was the best congregator of editorial comics, story comics, confessional comics, comics journalism, and just plain comics¹ that we’ve seen come down the pike for a good long time. And they paid. We knew the end was coming, but it’s still disturbing to see the final week’s entries getting older. There was a new comic from (once and possibly still) site editor Matt Bors today, but it wasn’t his usual editorial work, more a randomized snark.

In a way, it’s a perfect companion to the new focus that Nib overlords at Medium want — more social, less contextual, more likely to be shared and digested in a quick bite than require some time and thought. Said overlords changed their minds about what they wanted from The Nib once, maybe they’ll change them again — or at least decide to take a hands-off approach to Bors’s editorial vision. Maybe he can get the band back together. Maybe it wasn’t just a fleeting moment that we’ll never have again. At least they went out with sharp elbows and some of their best work even as the lights were being turned off.

Happier notes:

  • If ever somebody doesn’t get why Oh Joy, Sex Toy [Not Safe If Your Work Is Insufficiently Awesome] is wonderful, show them today’s strip. I don’t know if I’m more in love with Erika’s description of the doodad² or the illustration of the pokébattle³ at the end, which she has seen to provide a mostly SFW version of at her twitterfeed. I don’t need a device that tracks how I’m doing my Kegel exercises, but thanks to this comic, I kind of want one.
  • Speaking of things I didn’t realize I wanted: of all the webcomickers that have drifted away from my daily attention, probably none has been so neglected as Marc Ellerby, creator of the long-wrapped Ellerbisms. I don’t know what it is — I like Ellerby’s work a whole lot, but if I don’t actively pay attention to him, he just slips off my radar for embarrassingly long intervals. The upside to this is I sometimes find in my absence, he’s completed entire works of comics that I get to enjoy all at once.

    Or maybe I’m lucky enough to catch a retweet of an announcement, such as this morning when Ellerby let us know that Gumroad has pay what you want pricing for Ellerbisms and Chloe Noonan. Ellerby’s Gumroad store is here and there I learn — holy crap! — that Ellerby is also illustrating for the Ricky & Morty comic book (makes sense — his style is right up the R&M alley). So go give him some attention and — more importantly — money.

  • I am behind on the news that Lumberjanes is being made into a movie; I could claim that I wanted to wait a couple of days to see if there would be any women assigned to the early creative effort, like pairing up with (or replacing) the screenwriter, but nothing since the news broke last week. That’s not really it, though — I saw the news last week and inexplicably didn’t write about it. Anyway. Lumberjanes is great, and if somebody on the inside can confirm something that I’ve been wondering about since the news hit — do Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Shannon Watters get paid as a result of the rights sale, or just BOOM!? — then all will be well (assuming I get the answer I want, namely, yes, the ladies are cashing big checks of screw this! money).

Spam of the day:
No quote, but a story. I got an email from a PR firm (bad start) that obviously just sent out a blast to every blog it could find regardless of relevance (gettin’ worse), asking me to consider covering the story of a 72 year old opera singer who is recording her first album and has only eight days left on her Kickstarter to reach funding. But the thing that tells me that this PR flack that I’m not going to name is very bad at her job is the fact that she didn’t include a goddamn link to the goddamn Kickstarter.

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¹ Man, I’m gonna miss having Gemma Correll delivered straight to my brain.

² A FitBit for your ClitBits.

³ Of course it’s Squirtle. I see what you did there, Erika.

One Door Closes, Another Opens

  • So applications for TopatoCon have closed, but they just opened for MICE, which is a show I keep hearing more and more good about. If you think you could arrange to be in Cambridge, MA¹ — across the river from the somewhat better-known Boston² — in the middle of October, this may be something you want to look into.
  • Yeah, I know — you’re waiting until the overeager crowds have quieted down before seeing the new Avengers³, you already binged on Daredevil, and have no idea what to watch that’s comics-themed this weekend. Might I recommend STRIPPED, which has joined Netflix and is now available for convenient in-home streaming?
  • So I got my copy of Cuttings in the mail yesterday, and it is expectedly gorgeous inside, but in and among the anticipated delights are some things that surprised me. One thing, however, surprised me more than anything else — more than the variety of styles and genres that Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh can work in, more than the amount of money I want to give them to see some of their as-yet-unrealized stories, more than the fact that when a wrist injury sidelined Ota’s right hand, she started drawing her comics with her left and quickly achieved mastery with it.

    And that thing is that Ota can not only draw better with her non-dominant hand than most people will ever draw period, but that there is a page included where she does gesture drawing with her right and left hands simultaneously. What the hell. You should buy all their stuff because anybody that can do that deserves your money.


Spam of the day:

Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.

You’ve linked to eyelash enhancers, and as I am widely reputed to have the best eyelashes in all of webcomics pseudojournalism, I don’t see why I should lend you any of my hard-won credibility on the eyelash front.

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¹ Our Fair City; requiscat in pace, Tommy.

² Don’t worry about the show not being in Boston — it’s not a big college town.

³ Alternately: you couldn’t get a sitter.

Although I Should Point Out That This Changes Nothing I Wrote Yesterday

It appears that come June, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will have to go vagabond for while, as it is being forced by circumstance to find a new location:

Following a notice to vacate, the Cartoon Art Museum will be closing its doors at 655 Mission Street on Sunday, June 28, 2015. The museum, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, began preparing several months ago for a possible relocation and will now continue those efforts in search of temporary gallery space as well as a new long-term home.

Well, poop. For those that haven’t had the pleasure, CAM is a great museum that puts up some great shows, and I imagine that at least half the effort of finding new space will be to find an appropriate place to keep and protect their collection — from the Smithsonian on down to the smallest, museums have more in storage than on display.

This has the unfortunate effect of making museum spaces expensive, what with requiring specific climate parameters to keep the collection from damage plus requiring nice, spacious, well-lit, and transformable space for all the public aspects. And San Francisco is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, which likely contributed to the requirement to move; no doubt their landlord can make a boatload of money by chopping up the space into fancy retail, restaurant, and/or residential units.

So if anybody wins the lottery and doesn’t have anything better to do with a couple-ten million dollars (or even just a couple of bucks), you can contribute to CAM’s capital campaign.

In better news:

  • KC Green let us know that his various comics projects might be a little less regular than expected for a month or so, for what I would call excellent reasons:

    I am doing a freelance gig with Adventure Time the cartoon series that will take up more than most of my time. Maybe. I am preparing you in case I miss an update or two. Just for the month. I suddenly have a lot of things I am doing at once and a plate or two might fall. Nothing serious tho, we can glue the plate back together.

    I can’t wait to see what a Green-designed or inspired episode of Adventure Time would look like, and on top of that, the Weird Al-edited issue of MAD due out next week (#533, if you’re keeping track) will include laugh-chuckles from KC, which means that Weird Al saw his comics and liked them. I believe that is the definition of professional validation.

  • Speaking of KC Green, he was the first announced guest of TopatoCon, which has made its latest pair of guest announcements:

    *holds out fists* ok pick a hand

    Left, you say?

    Or did you say right?

    For those that didn’t click through, those tweets led to the names of Danielle Corsetto and David Malki !. The full list of guests is behind the cut.

  • Still speaking of KC, he appears as a computer-generated pal for you (at least, a person named KC, along with other suspiciously webcomics-associated names as Sara, Anthony, Holly, Eliza, Frank, Becky, Tony, Karla, Erika, Jess, Eric, Kate, and more) in the latest Twine game from Tom McHenry, the man responsible for teaching us all the mastery of horses.

    Let’s Go Eat is a (specific type not stated, but pretty clearly comics) convention simulator wherein you must wrangle a crowd of people to dinner, when everybody has preferences and dislikes and it is possible to have your group break up due to hunger, impatience, attrition, and actual starvation death. It is absolutely 100% true to life and I encourage everybody to play it to learn why your favorite creators are that way by the end of the day.

  • We’ll finish out the week on a logistical and oddly KC-less note; the following comment was received on the last post I made about an arts space losing its location (way the heck back on Tuesday), regarding a bit of spam and not being able to find the contact page:

    To be fair to the spammer, I did use that Contact Us link on two different occasions the past few months, with no indication that anything had happened.

    Duly noted, and thanks for letting us know, Andrew; in the meantime, you can always reach me by utilizing the name gary, which is reachable at the name of this here site. I’m still not apologizing to that spamming bastard, though.


Spam of the day:

Helklo there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest too my friends.

Honest question: is Digg still a thing? I’m not sure it’s a thing.

(more…)

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 https://news.artnet.com/art-world/owne…

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!

    IT’S CHRIS HASTINGS! @drhastings IS GOING TO BE AT TOPATOCON!!

    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.

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¹ Evil twin, etc.

(more…)

Patreonage, Announcements, And New Things

We’re headed in several different directions today. It’s an adventure!

  • I need to start this first item with a disclaimer, and ask you to believe that while I would have certainly written about this regardless, how I learned about the item in question may give the appearance of a quid pro quo. Leaving aside all the roundabout verbiage, David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc and semi-pro Mr Bean impersonator) emailed me over the weekend with an extraordinarily generous offer — an original strip from his always-amusing Planet Of Hats, my choice, gratis.

    He mentioned that I should look over the list of available strips to see if the one I wanted¹ was available or taken, as he’d launched a Patreon and top contributors could call dibs on a strip. Which is how I learned that David Morgan-Mar, the man who started webcomicking a month before Ryan North, the man who famously has not sought to turn his thousands (to potentially infinite number) of strips into anything resembling a career and does this for fun (his own and his audience’s) had started a Patreon to defray the costs associated with all of his internet-shared japery.

    I’ll note that his campaign has the lowest milestone goals I’ve yet seen on a Patreon — ten dollars a month² to cover the costs of pens and paper, $35/month for hosting and registration on all of his sites (ten in all), $50/month to get one new LEGO brand construction brick toy-based Irregular Webcomic strip a week, and $75/month for two new strips a week.

    Guys, this is chump change, and please believe me when I say that a) we would be having this conversation with or without Morgan-Mar’s incredibly generous gift, and b) that after putting in what I’d estimate to be literal tens of thousands of hours on his various comics, this is just about the very least he could be asking for in way of audience support. His has been the most one-way transaction of laugh-chuckles in the history of webcomics; it’s time he was shown how much he’s appreciated.

  • Still on Patreon for a moment as I’d like to point out another act of incredible generosity by a webcomicker, and with a far greater impact on somebody’s life than some free artwork. Chris Rusche hit some tough times in his personal life last year, and his readers urged him to set up a Patreon so as to offer support — which enabled him to make his comic his main gig, and not coincidentally allow him to care for his kids (one of whom has a chronic health condition).

    So when Rusche saw another artist in similar circumstances whose tablet blew up over on Patreon, he organized his readers to resolve that and has been pushing as much attention towards her campaign as he can. The beneficiary of this kindness is Ginny Higerd, whose work you can find here; she may need to add a few more high-end milestone goals, seeing as how all the existing ones have now been filled. And kudos to Rusche, for using his powers (and followers) for Good and for Awesome.

  • Speaking of using your powers for good, yesterday Jon Rosenberg and family were returning from a Florida vacation when they were involved in a multi-car collision. All are unhurt, thankfully, but at last report the Rosenbergs were trapped in a Denny’s in South Carolina, which is far from the best Denny’s to be at without good transportation options. Maybe this would be a good time to look at his Patreon?
  • The list of confirmed TopatoCon 2015 guests now stands at four, with KC Green, Jeph Jacques, and Jess Fink now joined by Tom Siddell (who you can also see at this weekend’s MoCCA Fest alongside Magnolia Porter). And since we’re mentioning Siddell, I want to particularly congratulate him on his current story arc, which has me twisted up in knots, anticipating each new installment, even as he puts our main character through the wringer.

    It’s a masterful job of storytelling, causing an emotional response where I’m feeling protective of Annie, outraged on her behalf, and find my visceral loathing of her until-now-absent father growing by the day. It’s been ten years that we’ve been following Annie’s story and I’m well-invested in her narrative. Story threads that have been woven over that decade are being violently disrupted, and making the agent of all this upending be the person that should be apologizing to Annie (for his sudden and prolonged absence, particularly when he most needed her) is a bold stroke.

    But seriously — Anthony Carver is a jerk, fuck that guy, I also hope he gets lasercowed.

  • New strip alert! Otaku Dad looks to be hilarious, which is hardly a surprise as it’s coming from Ronny Filyaw of Whomp!; just one page and a cover so far, but the premise in that one page is delicious.
  • Live action Automata, possibly under production as soon as the fall and released next year? Intriguing.

Spam of the day:

Hi my name is Janette and I just wanted to drop you a quick note here instead of calling you.

a) It is very unlikely that is your name, and b) people that call me are subject to significant levels of verbal abuse. I once reduced a I am calling from Microsoft Technical Support, we have detected a virus on your computer to a frothing rage. Then again, it’s pretty easy to provoke that when you study the work of the master.

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¹ Which presented a dilemma — which episode of Star Trek would make the best fodder for a humorous piss-take? Something intentionally silly like Planet Of The Gansters A Piece of the Action? Something no-doubt well-intentioned but more than a litte train-wrecky, like Planet Of The Primitive Blonde Americans (Not Native Americans, They Get An Episode Next Season) And Yellow Peril Communist Stereotypes The Omega Glory? Something well-intentioned and a bit heavy-handed but not entirely train-wrecky like Racism Is Bad, Mmmkay? Let That Be your Last Battlefield? Something completely off-the-rails insane like Space Hippies Don’t Like Herbert The Way To Eden? Coming near the end of Trek’s run, Morgan-Mar’s skills ought to be nicely sharpened by the time that one comes up in the rotation. Ultimately, I went with a strip yet to be drawn — the urPlanet Of story — one which should sum up everything in SF’s tendency towards every planet is just one thing: Planet Of The Nazis Patterns of Force.

² I’m assuming ten US dollars a month, since Patreon in a US-based company, but don’t discount that he’s looking for ten Australian dollars, which would be about seven and a half American at today’s exchange rates.

April Non-Fools

Okay, one April Fools, because Emily Carroll’s work is too spooky for some people, she made the ending of her critically- and popularly-acclaimed His Face All Red less mysterious and spooky.

  • Congrats to the nominees in the NCS division awards for long- and short form webcomics. Repeat nominee (and past winner) Vince Dorse for the now-concluded Untold Tales of Bigfoot, Harvey- and Eisner laureate Mike Norton for Battlepug, and Minna Sundberg for Stand Still, Stay Silent are showing the world what you can do with long form; Danielle Corsetto’s just-concluded Girls With Slingshots, Jonathan Lemon’s Rabbits Against Magic, and Rich Powell’s Wide Open are the esteemed representatives of the short form.

    I should also mention that in other categories — graphic novel, gag cartoons, editorial cartoons — you’ve got indy- and webcomics types like Jen Sorensen, Jillian Tamaki, Mike Maihack, and Liza Donnelly recognized; between that, and seeing the animation categories recognize The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Song of the Sea, and Over the Garden Wall, it appears that new, bold works are getting their due consideration. I’m not a member of the NCS, but I’m pulling for Sundberg and Corsetto over in webcomics; best of luck to all the nominees. The NCS awards will be handed out at the NCS Reubens Weekend in Washington, DC, Memorial Day Weekend.

  • Congratulations as well to Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh for wrapping up Lucky Penny yesterday. It’s been a goodly while since Johnny Wander was an autobio/diary strip, and while we’re going to be getting strips about Ota’s trip to Japan in 2014, I doubt it will ever entirely be autobio again. Nevertheless, Lucky Penny was a damn good read, and the fact that it got completed despite Ota’s frequent wrist impairments¹ is a monument to either work ethic or stubbornness to the point of insanity. Read it again from the beginning, and look for it in print when it’s released.
  • The first guest of TopatoCon 2015 has been announced and it’s all-around great cartoonist KC Green, whose new comic (on which we speculated yesterday), He Is A Good Boy, is a now running and hitting on all the familiar Greenian themes — a semi-likeable protagonist, the requirement to grow up despite the desire for things to stay the same, a deep ambivalence (bordering on loathing) about things staying the same, and sudden outbursts of profane (yet I suspect utterly earned) fury. Oh, and the main character is an acorn who doesn’t want to go plant himself. It’s gonna be a good one, folks.
  • Zach Weinersmith has his hand in so many projects it’s tough to keep up, but one that he keeps circling back around to is BAHFest — the Festival of Bad Ad-Hoc Hypotheses — which aids the cause of science literacy by getting science types to laugh at themselves before going back out to show the world what is and what is not science.

    Weinersmith will be talking to public radio’s Science Friday this Friday about BAHFest, which is sure to be the most amusing segment until this year’s coverage of the IgNobel Awards. Check here for local NPR stations, and then with that local station to see if they run the show live 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT; alternately you can listen to SciFri segments at their website following the broadcast, or via iTunes.

  • Some day, Randall Munroe may tire of elaborate, experimental comics that act as crowdsourced idea factories, but today is not that day. Start clicking and don’t forget to eat at some point.

Spam of the day:

Mayo Clinic Study-Eradicate Diabetes

While more plausible than your previous attempt to hook me in by claiming NASA had figured out the cure for diabetes, I still somehow doubt the truthfulness of your claim. I’ve been up to the Mayo Clinic for work, and I’ve rarely met a group of people so dedicated to their work² and you know what? They have an actual public affairs office, one that does not announce major medical breakthroughs — and a cure for diabetes would rank up there with the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox in terms of medical breakthroughs — by direct-emailing me at my blog on webcomics. Try harder, you horrible people.

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¹ Finding herself under doctor’s orders to not use her right hand, she taught herself to draw just as well with her left, which she then promptly injured from overuse so the right wouldn’t be jealous. She’s gotten better about pacing herself but make no mistake — this is a woman that can draw better than you with either hand.

² In the main lobby there is a display case showing the gifts that they give you for your 5th anniversary working for the Clinic, 10th, 15th, etc. They went all the way up to sixty-five friggin’ years, which I believe is the definition of dedication.