The webcomics blog about webcomics

Great Quotes For A Tuesday

Let’s just dive in, shall we?

MARCH:A Graphic History of the Civil Rights Movement By Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Cartoon Art Museum exhibition: February 1 – June 19, 2018
Reception with Artist Nate Powell Friday, February 9, 2018

— Andrew Farago, Cartoon Art Museum curator

There are few works of graphic fiction more historically important right now than the March trilogy, and it’s entirely right and proper that the Cartoon Art Museum will be kicking off Black History Month with a tribute to the book. Lewis, Aydin, and Powell are treasures.

By this time next month I will either be happily chugging away, drawing An Embarrassment of Witches pages or I will be trudging through a grim, apocalyptic landscape fighting other plague-survivors over post-dated cans of spam. Hopefully the former.

Sophie Goldstein

Sophie Goldstein is the creator of multiple amazing comic stories (not least being her collaboration with Jenn Jordan on Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell), so the news that she’s about to break ground on a 200 page graphic novel is welcome, to say the least. Good luck with the book, Sophie, and good luck fighting off the sickness that everybody seems to have right about now.

Starburns Industries Press, the publishing arm of Starburns Industries (the minds behind Rick & Morty, Community, Anomolisa and so much more) are calling for scary stories written by children aged 12 and under!
As a partnering editor for this project, I’m happy to offer mentoring and advice to any young imaginations looking to submit to this paid writing opportunity! [emphasis original]

Eben Burgoon, onetime man of mystery, alltimes man of comics

If the opportunity of working with a Starburns-associated title wasn’t enough, I think the notion that it’s a paid gig should put things over the top. More information here about submitting stories to the anthology. Again, this is for writers 12 and under, so pass it along to any budding writers you know (who, if they are reading this post themselves, are about to commit the next sentence to memory for future use).

Diamond can suck my taint.

C Spike Trotman on the least-loved monopoly in comics

Mostly, I just think that anybody that uses the construction verb my taint (for example, noted First Amendment attorney Ken White is known for his motto snort my taint) should be quoted as often and widely as possible. The fact that it’s Spike talking about how Diamond routinely ignores small press and independent comics that could have seen significant sales success and how much she wants them to notice her¹ is hilarious (as is the descriptor of the quote — a dulcet lilt).

The additional fact that it’s in a Vulture article about multiple companies and individuals breaking the comics industry mold of catering to middle aged cishet white dude cape fans is a delight. Give ‘er a read, and be sure to spare a little sympathy for the poor, neglected CWDCF at your local comics shop who isn’t 100% the center of attention any longer.

Like maybe a taint-suck’s worth.

Spam of they day:

Invokana Users Who Lost Toes, Feet or Legs May Have Legal Recourse

The text of this one reads like I should be checking my lower half and counting my toes, feet, and legs to make sure I haven’t suddenly come up short and didn’t realize.

¹ For those not familiar, Spike is the least likely person in history to worry about whether or not sempai will notice her.

And Children Of All Ages

What I think might be the longest read that The Nib has ever put up as a single update ran today; Andrew Greenstone has gone out and done participatory-type things and then done docu-comics on them, and today he brings the story of the days-long post-apocalyptic LARP known as Wasteland Weekend. It’s a cracking good read, and that’s before I consider that I know somebody that’s fought in Thunderdome. Take 20 minutes and enjoy the crap out of it.

  • Sometimes, you gotta start ’em young in webcomics; it’s been a week or so and I have shamefully not yet congratulated Randy Milholland and his wife Stephanie¹ on the birth of their daughter. As befits a reasonably private guy (who has attracted some of the worst, most entitled, boundary-disrespecting “fans” ever), Milholland has shared some anecdotes, but no details on the lil’ replicant, so if you’re wondering about name or birth weight, too bad.

    By all accounts mom & child are doing well (indeed, she appears to be mastering skills at a terrifying rate), and I’m sure all of us wish them all the best. Some more than others — KB Spangler did a kickin’ guest strip for Daddy Randy today, whereas I’m just saying nice things about him².

  • One of my favorite stories of recent vintage has been Ursula Ver … I mean, T Kingfisher’s Summer In Orcus (okay, okay, they’re the same person, and the TK name normally means a more adult bent to the stories than UV, which are decidedly kid-friendlier; I don’t see a whole lot of age range difference between, say, Orcus and Vernon’s Digger). It hit all the notes I want in a fairy tale (unsurprising, as Vernon/Kingfisher’s prose typically dig their way into my brain and wrap around the primitive structures, resulting in pure emotion³), and I’ve been recommending it to everybody ever since.

    The Kickstarter campaign to print what had been an online-only serial went up in July; the accompanying illustrations Lauren Henderson were gathered, the books (in both hardcover and soft) designed and printed, and fulfillment is happening now. I got my books (hardcover for me, soft for whichever niece or nephew I deem needs it most in the next round of birthdays) today, and I can’t say enough good about them.

    With those who Kickstarted getting their stuff in the mail, look for publisher Sofawolf to add them to their store in the near future. Okay, sure, it’s been available in e-book form for ages now, but you know what? Some books just demand to be held, pages flipped, corners bent, etc. Don’t sit on this one; it’s some of the best work of one of our best wordbenders.

Spam of the day:

Give The Gift Of Music! Rich, Room Filling Sound

I have a friend, an audiophile of note, who have more invested in his pre-amps than my wife and I do in both our cars combined. His speakers have a pricetag that resembles the student loans you take out to go to a top-tier med school. And you know what? In a blind test, I bet they sound better than these rich, room filling sound triangle speakers, but not hundred of thousands of dollars better.

¹ She and Randy haven’t been public about her surname online, so I won’t be using it here.

² For now; within webcomics circles, my new baby gifts are well-regarded. Speaking of which, Randy, I need your new address.

³ Normally joy, but sometimes rage, despair, and murderlust; whatever the story calls for at the time, really

TCAF News And What To Do If You Didn’t Get In

  • The TCAF application jury has ruled, and creators are being notified that they’ll be spending 12-13 May in Toronto; the exhibitor page hasn’t updated yet¹, so I went trawling on the sosh meeds for people saying they were accepted. Caveat: I’m not including waitlisted creators, I obviously didn’t get everybody, and naturally, there will be changes between now and blessèd springtime. But for now, expect to see some (if not all) of (in the order that I found them in my search):

    Rosemary Vallero-O’Connell, Sharean Morishita, Myisha Haynes, Mildred Louis, Taneka Stotts, Sophie Pass-Lang, Tony Breed, Chan Chau, Zainab Akhtar, Awuradwoa Afful?, Irene Koh, Dylan Edwards, Tess Reid, Shannon Wright, Meg Brennan, Jackie Reynolds, Angelica Maria, Allie Kleber, Christopher Sebela, Hope Nicholson, Anoosha Syed, Shing Yin Khor, Jayd Aït-Kaci, Kori Michele Handwerker, Melanie Gillman, Christian Ward, Megan Byrd, Becca Tobin, Sarah Horrocks, and Angel Cruz.

    (A quick perusal of those links reveals the changing face of comics, but maybe it’s a sampling/self-selection error; it may just be that women and POCs are better at saying look at me, I did a thing than white dudes and … yeah, no. Just made myself laugh out loud. It’s going to be a far less male, less white set of exhibitors than you’d find in nearly any comics show. Hats off to the showrunners for looking to the future rather than the past.)

    In addition to the individuals listed above, publishers including Fine OK Press, Retrofit Comics, and the Ladies Night Anthology will be present, and I imagine we’ll also see such TCAF stalwarts as TopatoCo, Koyama Press, D&Q, and :01 Books, all of whom will bring their own creative conspirators.

    And if you didn’t get in this year, remember that even the most well-known creators are basically on an every-other-year basis, and will remain so unless TCAF can find a venue that is 1) central; 2) free; 3) possessing about twice the floor space of the Toronto Reference Library and surrounding venues. So, basically, forever. Congratulations to everybody that will be heading to TCAF, and enjoy the crap out of the weekend.

  • Even if you didn’t get into TCAF, there are things you’ll be able to enjoy in mid-May. For one, Shaenon Garrity is now running down horror movies, making an appropriate recommendation for every day of 2018.

    And assuming whatever movies for 12-13 May aren’t enough to distract you, you’ll be able to tell yourself It’s only four and a half months until Amulet volume 8. Kazu Kibuishi announced cover, title (Supernova), and sale date (25 September) yesterday in a talk with Heidi Mac. But there’s no better teaser than from series colorist Jason Caffoe:

    When I first started working full-time on Amulet I asked Kazu about the trajectory for the series and he said “at some point there will be giant robots in space.”
    I 100% thought he was joking.
    He was not. [emphasis mine for giant robots in space]

    Form an orderly queue, and try not to get trampled by kids who will be in a frothy state of excitement for the release.

Spam of the day:

Wait!… We have a Free Sample of Sams Club for you!

You have a little chunk of Sam’s Club on a toothpick for me to enjoy while shopping?

¹ Nor would I expect it to, less than a day after notifications went out; some people are going to have to decline, the waitlist is going to shuffle … give it a week or so, it’ll be a definitive list.

New Things Of Interest

How’s everybody doing? First full week back to everything? First working Monday of the new year? Mine’s been pretty Mondayish, but it’s starting to look up. Let’s see what we can look forward to in the nearish (and in one case, fairly immediate) future.

:01 Books has shared its Fall 2018 release list, and that includes first looks at some covers.

  • For example, Castle In The Stars: The Moon King is the second half of a French BD that is very early-period Miyazakiesque (think Laputa) adventure tale; I’ll give it a review along with the first volume (which is excellent) when it releases (the books are, individually, a little too short to review alone).
  • Drew Weing’s Margo Maloo series continues with The Monster Mall, which I suspect will be a more than satisfying successor to the first volume in the adventures of the Monster Mediator.
  • And as long as we’re talking webcomickers, :01 announced the newest in the Science Comics series, this one written by science communicator/cute critters comics creator extraordinaire Rosemary Mosco. She’s partnered up with Jon Chad on art for Solar System: Our Place In Space. I’m a little surprised that it wasn’t to do with the sort of stuff you’d find on a terrestrial nature walk (birds, snakes, bugs), since Mosco is known for that, but it will be adorable (because all of Mosco’s stuff is adorable). Just check out her description:

    I’m so excited! Here’s the cover reveal for my graphic novel with @jon_chad. It’s about space, how it’s ok to be both brave and scared, and A NERDY SNAKE IN AN IMPROBABLE SPACE SUIT.

    Oh, and it’s out September 18th. Sorry, I should have mentioned that but I got distracted by the snake (his name is Mr. Slithers).

    Did I say she was known for things like snakes? Never doubt Mosco. She’ll probably work in bird parts somehow.

  • The big reveal, though, is the cover of the first combined volume of Check, Please! from :01; subtitled Hockey, it’ll cover the first two years of Ngozi Ukazu’s delightful (and zeitgeist-tapping) gay bro college hockey players love story (with pie). This is gonna sell a zillion copies.
  • And not all of the books have gotten the tweet treatment yet, but the announcement contains news of the third Nameless City book (The Divided Earth) by Faith Erin Hicks, the print collection of Tillie Walden’s On A Sunbeam, the final volume of Secret Coders by Gene Yang & Mike Holmes, a new Cucumber Quest collection by Gigi DG, another Science Comics volume on The Brain, a Zita The Spacegirl box set, the long-awaited next volume in the Walker Bean series, and more. It’s gonna be a busy fall.

And, for those of you that don’t want to wait, Ethan Kocak continues his fascination with elongated critters by launching a new comic. Punchy Punches Everyone is about a hard-boiled mantis shrimp private eye that … well, the title sort of says it all, and mantis shrimp punches are not something you want to screw around with. I’ll be honest here; I’m not sure how long Kocak can keep up the joke, but I’ll be there as long as he manages to do so.

Spam of the day:

[FREE GUIDE] Learn How Bitcoin is Creating Millionaires?

I’m guessing that, much like the California Gold Rush didn’t make many miners rich but did start the fortunes of mercantile empires (and a guy named Levi Strauss) from all the stuff they sold to those chasing fortunes in the gold fields, any Bitcoin-adjacent millionaires are mostly among those that are cobbling together special “mining rigs” out of extra CPUs and video cards they have hanging around and selling them at a vicious markup to those that think they’ll get rich on cryptocurrency.

New Year’s Stretch Goals

Get ’em while they’re hot.

  • So Gordon McAlpin went and made a Multiplex short (the funding of which was mentioned in the beforetimes), and before we get to that, can I commend him on one thing? The Kickstarter in question launched on 9 April; between that day and when the campaign finished on 8 May, McAlpin posted more than two dozen updates on the project. Since completion of the campaign, he’s dropped more than sixty progress reports. That degree of communication with backers is worth noting and emulating. Okay, back to where we were.

    Judging from the topic lines of the updates (most of which are backer-only), the short is done, seeing as how certain backers go the early-access link a couple days before Christmas. Hooray, project successful, all done, right? Nah, that’d be boring. The campaign was just to get the first short done; now it’s time to release the short wide, get shopped around the festival cicruit, and maybe make more. A very modest US$2000 (you read that right, two stinkin’ grand) will:

    [H]elp fund the film festival run, digital release, and promotion of the Multiplex 10 short film, in hopes of reaching the widest possible audience. Although the Multiplex 10 short film stands on its own, it was conceived as a pilot for a series, and reaching a wide audience will give us the best possible chance of producing more Multiplex 10 videos.

    [O]ffer a physical copy of the short for existing (and new) backers who want them, and to sell at conventions, screenings, and other venues. And …

    [I]f we can raise significantly more than the base goal, we can fund additional 2–3 minute Multiplex 10 webisodes, to be released free online. These webisodes will feature Kurt and Jason (and possibly some other familiar faces) talking about a then-current movie or facet of movie culture

    As of this writing, there’s 11 hours left and the campaign has passed the second stretch goal (US$4K), meaning that the USB cards the short will be sold on are 4GB instead of 2GB, and the first webisode will be made. At US$5K, the USB doubles to 8GB, at US$7K a second webisode gets added; at US$8K the USB doubles again to 16GB, and at US$10K a third webisode is produced. If you want to see any of these things happen, now’s the time.

  • It’s less than a month since we noted the up-wrapping and comprehensive collection-printing of Plume;; it’s got another week to go on its crowdfunding and is approaching double its US$25K goal. Today, K Lynn Smith announced that since all the financial stretch goals have been met, there will be one more based on backer count.

    1000 backers means that the book plate used for signing the omnibus edition (alas, the earlier single volumes don’t qualify) will have a fancy spot gloss added to it; this is not something I’ve seen anybody do before, and it’s a neat idea. Spot gloss and other fancy treatments get added to the covers of books, but this is a fancification that’s like a secret between creator and fan.

    Okay, that’s probably stretching the point a bit, but it’s a neat idea, and it may drive backers to up their pledges if they weren’t getting the omnibus, so it’s a smart way for Smith to push upsells. As of this writing, there are 903 backers and a bit more than six and a half days. Let’s see if that count can go up by 11% in a week.

Spam of the day:

IT Degrees with SE

Okay, gotta ask — what in the world is SE? Because I’m being offered IT degrees with it, nursing degrees with it, local hot wives not getting enough sex from their husbands with it, knockoff Viagra with it, and credit scores with it. Whatever SE it, it’s very flexible.

Wherein You May Come Out Ahead With Free American Cash Money

Time to get Caught Up, just in time for whichever holiday you celebrate! Some of this is new, some of this was getting ready to be mentioned when the whole Patreon category four shitstorm blew in. In any event, I hope you enjoy.

  • Longtime reader Mark V sent along an email pointing out something I’d have missed otherwise: an interesting post by Andrew Plotkin about … well, a lot of things. Firstly, Plotkin is the programmer that helped Jason Shiga come up with an interactive version of Meanwhile¹.

    Meanwhile, in case you’re forgotten, starred the childhood version of Jimmy from Demon, and was a pick-a-path adventure so complex that it required the invention of a new computer language to keep all the branching paths straight. If you’ve never seen it, you’d have eight or ten story paths you could follow on any page, leading to a colored thumb-tab on the side of the page, leading to the next page without requiring printed instructions like GO TO PAGE 37. It was a work of art. It also lent itself to computer-based implementations like whoa.

    Now that we know who, let’s talk about the what; Plotkin talks about starting a new job, about his many creative projects, and about all the insanely cool things he has/is/will be/wants to resume worked/working on. He’s exactly who we want to be out there, making neat stuff. And he spends a good deal of the post talking about the tax bill coming up for a vote in the Senate tonight, and how it pretty much guarantees there will be no more independent creatives like him in the new tax regime.

    If you love comics, love games, love art, do remember this (those of you in the US) and make it just one more reason that you make sure you register to vote and then fucking vote out the vultures that admit they’re only in power to benefit their donors.

  • But because we, as a species, retain the ability to look past imminent doom towards a somewhat distant future and make plans, please know that MoCCA Fest 2018 applications are now up over at the Society of Illustrators site. The deadline is 31 December, so a little less than two weeks. MoCCA Fest will take place 7 & 8 April, returning to the Metropolitan West events space, hard by the USS Intrepid on the west side of Mahnattan.

    It’s a bit off the beaten track, but there’s good food and snacks at Met West, it’s only $5 per day to get in, and the panel venue remains the swanky Ink 48 hotel around the corner. I’ve been to every MoCCA Fest that there’s been, and I’ve covered every one for the years Fleen has been in existence, so I’ll be sure to see you there.

  • Another Kickstarter fulfilled — this time, Anatomy Of Animals by Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett — another chance for those of you that didn’t get in on the campaign to get caught up. And unusually for a Kickstarter that’s just finishing up shipping, AOA is already in Kellett’s store, and may I point out for less than I paid for it during the crowdfunding campaign?

    Yup, it appears that I have subsidized latecomers, as it cost me US$30 + S/H for my copy, and LArDK is now selling them for US$29.99. A sucker is me, right? Well, okay, I did get a spiffy stretch goal in the form of a Gandalf Airlines fridge magnet, so I guess I’ll let Kellett off the hook this time. But there’s something I want you to do for me:

    LArDK included a flyer in the box, with a coupon code for the Drive book on one side² and an advert for the Sheldon Store on the other side; you can see it in the photo up top. But what’s that? Computer, zoom and enhance!

    Announcing now: show me proof that you tried to order Crisco, lettuce, or a 40-lb tub of Ovaltine from Kellett’s store, and I will give you a dollar; on the Crisco, that’s a 21 cent profit, my friend.

Spam of the day:

I saw you tweeting about reading and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Gary has come a long way!

Everything is, in fact, coming up Gary.

¹ Launching on Steam in a month’s time.

² Not sharing that code; it’s not up to me to give y’all a 30% discount.

You Can Tell The Measure Of A Man By The Enemies He Attracts

Not to mention the calibre of their attacks on him; in this case you have on the one hand Ryan Estrada, world traveler, bon vivant, endless creators of [web]comics, films, podcasts, radio drama, nonradio drama approximately legitimate theater, and all-around cool guy.

On the other hand, a bunch of whiny you’re oppressing me by trying to be a professional artist instead of giving me what I want for free and anyway it’s totally simple and I could do better than that but I don’t wanna chuds.

Estrada has been holding this mindset up to general ridicule for several years now via the For Exposure Twitter account, where he is scrupulously careful to attack the behavior, not the person. Everybody that demands art for free and berates artists for (gasp!) wanting money for little things like groceries and rent has their message shared, but carefully anonymized; Estrada doesn’t want the internet mob to form, and has stated he’ll close down For Exposure should that happen.

I think he might be reconsidering the policy:

The person(s) behind the scraper site, perhaps not appreciating the irony in asking for money to fulfill the holy mission of punishing artists that ask for money in exchange for their labor, has/have proved to be unreasonable; creators that attempt to follow legal processes to assert control over their copyrighted material find their emails posted for griefers to spam for months. Lacking anything better to do, they’ve decided that Estrada is the World’s Worst Person¹ and subject to their most withering insult.

Ah, yes. Cuck. The opprobrium of choice for GamerGaters, pseudoironic alt-righters, and outright white supremacists. I suspect that Estrada is so cut to the quick that he has retreated to a closest in shame, wondering why his wife prefers those specimens of obvious genetic quality to him.

Oh, no, wait, he’s working with PayPal to get their accounts suspended. It’ll be a game of Whack-a-Dipshit, but once it happens, others will join in. There will always be somebody pissed off enough in future to make a complaint to the financial providers, and the malefactors may learn the hard way that getting a PayPal account revoked for being a massive internet jerk carries over into other parts of their existence. Plenty of legit creators have had their PayPal accounts frozen or seized outright because of overzealous policies that misconstrue freelancing with nefarious endeavours; I can’t wait to see what happens when people are found to be engaging in fraudulent behavior.

And because Estrada deserves far better than to be associated with these bottom dwellers, let’s end on a positive note. As mentioned previously, Estrada and his wife Kim Hyun Sook are writing a graphic novel (to be illustrated by @kevin9143, whose actual human name I am not able to locate) about her experience defying South Korea’s military dictatorship by reading banned books.

A new Twitter account, Banned Book Clubs, will follow Estrada as he reads all the banned books she read back then and adding sassy commentary on them. So far: What Is History by EH Carr², The Iron Heel by Jack London, and Two Treatises Of Government by John Locke. Just the sort of thing any aspiring dictator would want to keep the populace from reading; not saying that there’s a pressing need for any USAians to start skimming, but maybe not the worst idea, either.

Spam of the day:


Pretty sure one of those women you’re promising I can date tonight is a Kardashian, and another is Denise Richards in the role of the worst Bond Girl ever, nuclear physicist Dr Christmas Jones. Try harder, scam-mongers.

¹ He’s not; I’d be willing to bet that in the competition for that title, Ryan will be coming in last, tied with Mr Rogers, Tom Hanks, and Mr Rogers again.

² Per Estrada: 22 people were arrested, beaten, tortured and imprisoned for reading this book in the Burim Book Club case.

Is It A Week Yet? Seems Like It’s Been A Week

Even when Patreon isn’t dropping news, they’ve cast a long shadow over webcomics for the past week (the last time I spent so many days on a single topic, it was the Great Todd Goldman Lawsuitapalooza of Aught-Seven). I’ll leave you to find the public posts of creators asking (begging?) for clarification from Jack Conte, Sam Yarn, et alia, which shouldn’t be too hard — just chuck a rock at your favorite social media platform and you’ll find some.

Instead, let me take a suggestion from Faithful Reader Robonun and point out that maybe not everybody has seen the good news: Randy Milholland — the absolute sweetest guy you could ever hope to meet — is gonna be a dad in the immediate future. On the one hand, that kid is going to have the coolest, most humane (but simultaneously profane) father possible. On the other hand, it’s Randy, so garbage people are out in force.

I don’t know what it is about him that makes terrible, terrible people of almost every self-identified, persecuted subgroup decide momentarily that Milholland is one of them, then discover that it was all projection on their part, then decide it’s an act of vile betrayal and determine he is the enemy of all that is good.

In this case, militant childfree types (who were already pissed that he brought kids into the strip, without making it clear that this is surely going to ruin the lives of anybody adjacent to the little carpet apes) have greeted the news that Milholland and his wife are expecting with all the grace and tact of a caffeine-crazed MRA/MAGA/GamerGate/incel/anime superfan/brony type¹ being told that somebody doesn’t like that thing they like.

Honestly, Randy does nothing to encourage terrible, terrible people, but they seek him out. I suppose we should be grateful, in that he draws all the detritus to himself, sparing the rest of us from their attention. He’s a human crap umbrella.

So assuming that you, by reading this page, are a rational person², and also assuming that you are able to recognize that other people do not have the desire to be exactly like you are and this does not invalidate their right to exist, and further assuming you get the laugh-chuckles from Milholland’s work, consider dropping him a note of congratulations, and encouraging him (as we at Fleen do) to take all the time he needs in this period of immense adjustment to a new mode of life. The comics are free, he owes us nothing, and we owe him at the least thanks.

Oh, and all four issues of his excellent superhero comic³, Super Stupor are now available for digital download. If you read these and don’t feel like Punchline is the greatest hero character of the 21st century, you and I will never understand each other. Just, uh, maybe don’t leave the comic around for any kids if you don’t want them to know about Mind’s Eye and his truth fucking power.

What? I said they were excellent, not that they were all-ages.

Spam of the day:

4 FreeViagara tablets with each order

Oh yeah? What if I’m ordering … I dunno, something very specific to kids? Whatever makes you sound horrible because man, you’re sounding sketchy as hell.

¹ Do I repeat myself? Very well, I repeat myself.

² Also? Very, very attractive.

³ It legitimately is my favorite cape comic except maybe Robinson’s Starman, Nextwave, Patton Oswalt’s Welcome To The Working Week, and issue 10 of All Star Superman.

Nope, Not Gonna Be Four

So if you want to know what the eff is going on with Patreon, we’re all waiting to Jack Conte to make an announcement that will somehow clarify everything¹; in the meantime, please enjoy the report of one Mr Jephry Jacques from his talk with Mr Conte.

I would be remiss not to note an intriguing theory posited since I spoke to you last, as well as a killer observation from Jenn Manley Lee the indicates that Patreon may have screwed the pooch in the legal dimension as well.

Dammit, that’s practically Day Four. Let’s get on to other things.

  • I coulda sworn that I’d discussed Plume, a western-themed webcomic of considerable vintage, by K Lynn Smith, before. It appears not, except for a mention of participation in the Kickstarter Gold event; that’s on me — it’s a good read and I should have mentioned it previously. Seventeen chapters and nearly 500 pages over six years wrapped up in November, which means it’s time for the omnibus print edition, Kickstarting now-ish. It’s still Day One of the campaign and Plume is sitting at 50% funded, so I suspect this one will succeed.
  • Know who’s awesome? Sophie Goldstein, that’s who. Seeing the great need still present in Puerto Rico — literally months after being hit by two monster hurricanes — Goldstein has thrown a holiday sale on print copies of Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell. As noted previously, DCIGTH is a great story, and now each copy (going for US$25.00) will result in all profits (Goldstein tells us that’s US$21.39) going to feed the hungry in PR via World Central Kitchen.

    I find the fact that Goldstein is giving up 85.6% of the price of each book to be only slightly more impressive that the fact that she made a book that’s worth every penny of the purchase price that has an 85.6% profit margin. That’s some good businessin’ there. Sale runs until 24 December, so get to clicking.

Okay, that’s it for today. Let’s see if the Patreon situation gets any less convoluted in the coming days.

Spam of the day:

Enjoy your retirement once again and let AAG help you with a Reverse Mortgage loan

AAG helped blow up the economy in 2008 so why the crap would I trust them? And why the crap-squared do you think I’m retired?

¹ On a side note, I have a bridge for sale.


Frank Zappa, in his autobiography, recounted the story of playing his then-favorite R&B tune for his high school music teacher and asking why he liked it so much; the reply was Parallel fourths. That was his introduction to twelve-tone theory and understanding why music works the way it does.

Similarly, when I read a comic and can’t figure out why I like it, there are a few people that I trust to make it clear — Zainab Akhtar, David Brothers, and Oliver Sava are at the top of the list. Sava heads up comics writing at The AV Club, and has gathered other writers that also get comics.

Today, they (that would be Sava, joined by Caitlin Rosenberg and Shea Hennum) talk about the best of the year, and there’s a significant representation of webcomics, and comics from people that cut their teeth in webcomics. Sava holds forth on Julia Wertz’s Tenements, Towers & Trash, Giant Days by John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, Whitney Cogar, and Jim Campbell (respectively: words, pencils, inks, colors, letters), and Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi (words, art, colors).

Rosenberg adds Tess Stone’s Not Drunk Enough, Wilde Life by Pascalle Lepas, Noora Heikkilä’s Letters For Lucardo (via Spike’s Iron Circus Comics¹), and Abby Howard’s Dinosaur Empire! Hennum’s additions are slightly further removed, but include offerings from Retrofit Comics (founded by Box Brown), Koyama Press (friend to indies everywhere), and 2d Press — Hennum’s definitely further into art comics than I usually read, but the writeups are making me revisit that decision.

The point here being, much like Mark Siegel promised his Macmillan overlords that :01 Books would contend for literary prizes within ten years of launch³, this recognition’s not just for bragging rights. It offers credibility, visibility, and the opportunity for further work, not just to the creators that have been called out by one of the premiere popular culture sites, but to their contemporaries and colleagues as well.

On a day that I noticed some chud on Twitter (no link for him … of course it’s a him) declaring that Andrew Farago was irrelevant and that real geeks don’t care about some museum in San Francisco, and it’s not like he’s Scott McCloud or anything4, it’s just further proof that comics is becoming more and more about new creators, new voices, new kinds of stories, and (crucially) new points of view, and the old stereotypes of what comics are/who reads them are slipping further into irrelevance. It’s a good day to read about some great comics, and an even better day to read some great comics. The list by Sava et alia is a damn good place to start.

Spam of the day:

Girls battle for your heart: choose Veronika or Kristina

Mail order bride spam, or anime series episode title? I can’t decide!

¹ Separate from the best of the year list, Rosenberg also reviews Crossplay, presently funding on Kickstarter, also from Iron Circus².

² Speaking of Iron Circus, Spike spent some time today pre-announcing ICC’s 2018 offerings, and it comes to at least six books (two of which are anthologies); Banned Book Club, previously announced, is due in 2019. Let that sink in — a one-plus person shop is making plans more than a year out, wrangling at least seven books in that timeframe. Try to deny her achievements, I dare you.

³ It actually took less than a year to break out the tuxes at the National Book Awards for Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese.

4 McCloud on Twitter in response: Andrew Farago is a prominent authority on comics and a good guy. Anyone saying otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Take that, chud!