The webcomics blog about webcomics

Full Of Lebeaupinesque Goodness

I know you’ve been anxiously waiting since I announced it yesterday, so let’s give it up for Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin!

It’s all about crowdfunding today.

First, Laurel launched the campaign for the second (and final) volume of Comme Convenu. No FFF estimate, because:

  • I missed the 24 hour mark and
  • The beginning was so explosive (reportedly being funded in minutes) that from the look of things it would have predicted a 200-300% campaign-over-campaign increase, which while it remains possible, I don’t feel confident predicting at this time.

Nevertheless, at US$308,796 with 15 days left (2998% of goal) at press time, the campaign is well on track to blow away the total of the previous one: $294,666. [Editor’s note: Lebeaupin submitted his piece well prior to press time, and so his prediction has become self-evidently fulfilled.]

Given the imminent launch of the new campaign, Laurel wrote a retrospective of the first one, with a number of interesting production tidbits. In particular, while most books were directly sent from the printer to the France-based distributor she hired, she also had 1000 books be sent to her in the U.S. so that she could sign 700 of them, then send those to the distributor in France by plane. It is one aspect she intends to avoid for the second volume, where she will sign on a separate sheet.

Laurel also took this opportunity to remind us about an explainer on crowdfunding she drew just prior to the first campaign. Nothing long-time Fleen readers are unaware of, but one aspect she mentions is in fact specific to Ulule and KissKissBankBank: for those, pledges are in fact debited at the time of the pledge (though not remitted to the creator yet), and refunded if the project later fails to meet its goal. This is different from the system used by Kickstarter for instance, where at that time the pledger only provides a temporary authorization for an amount to be debited, and nothing gets debited if the project fails.

Both have their benefits and drawbacks: for instance, in the latter case the payment method might have become invalid by the time the campaign ends, which means Kickstarter has to message the pledger for him to provide an updated payment method and allow him some time to do so (it happened to me once when my credit card expired); this in turn impacts when Kickstarter is able to wire the funds to the creator.

And on the occasion of the new campaign, Laurel has been featured, along with Maliki, by France’s oldest extant newspaper, Le Figaro, in an article about crowdfunding of comics in France (also available on the web)¹. Chloé Woitier knows the subject, her article avoids the tired Comics on the web! Without a publisher! Who knew? trope and is very informative, even if unsurprising to someone in the field.

The article does warn, supported in that by a quote from Maliki, that newcomers still can’t use crowdfunding to go around publishers when starting out, as both her and Laurel’s successes are undoubtedly related to the existing reader base they accumulated from their long-running comic blogs (during which they were supported by publishing contracts, related or not, or another job). But if this correspondent might add: how long until sequential art students are made to maintain a webcomic as part of their curriculum, and thus are able to start their career with an existing reader base? Not long, I’d wager.

And in completely unrelated news, Team Maliki just moved to a new house with proper studio space. A move less protracted, but just as entertaining as Jam’s Office Saga.

As always, Fleen salutes FSFCPL and thanks him for his rigor and attention to detail.


Spam of the day:

Eat THESE 2 Foods to regrow hair in 19 daya

Firstly, got plenty of hair, thanks. Secondly didn’t realize there was more than one Daya.

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¹ Preceded by another article (web-only) in the tech section, focusing on the other side of the picture of Silicon Valley that Laurel tells about in Comme Convenu.

And It’s International Women’s Day, Just For Good Measure.

Readers of this page are, by now, well aware of my opinions regarding Raina Telgemeier. Namely, that she is the most important creator in comics, bar none. About once a year, thanks to comics retailer Brian Hibbs, we get actual, numeric proof of this hypothesis. Specifically, Hibbs does a yearly analysis of BookScan numbers for graphic novels; now BookScan is tremendously flawed — it aspires to be the Neilsen ratings of the book trade — but at least it’s flawed in the same way year after year, meaning that the trendlines are probably credible.

Specifically, while it includes major bookseller chains and big-box stores, it specifically excludes comics shops (good thing they don’t sell graphic novels), schools, libraries, book fairs (this will be important in a moment) and other non-corporate channels. So within the flawed environment of BookScan, Hibbs has determined an absolute floor on the size of the comics industry (remember, we’re not counting floppies or the direct market), and sees growth year-on-year. He also found that 2016 saw the publication of 21,000 items that could be called graphic novels, pared down to the top 750, selling just shy of 18 million units (about half of that in the top 750). Then this observation, near the start:

Clearly, the first thing you can’t help but notice is that eighteen of the Top Twenty are books aimed at younger readers –- it was just fifteen last year. The second thing you can’t help but notice is the complete domination of the Top 20 by Raina Telgemeier, clearly the “it” cartoonist of our day. The conventional wisdom is that the BookScan reporting is only the tip of the iceberg because the real market for kids books (and Raina, in particular) is going to be through things like Scholastic Book Fairs that run directly through elementary schools all over America. That’s all largely invisible, though, and something we can but speculate on.

The #1 book, “Ghosts” is Raina’s newest -– just released this year (and not until September, for that, which means that this is the #1 book with just three months worth of sales!)

Raina also takes slots #2 (“Drama”), #4 (“Smile”), #5 (“Sisters”), then, with her adaptations of the “Baby Sitter Club” books, also takes spaces #6 (“Kristy’s Great Idea”), #7 (“Claudia and Mean Janine”), #10 (“The Truth About Stacey”) and #11 (“Mary Anne Saves the Day”) –- literally every book she’s done that is in-print is a top-of-the-charts best-seller, which is wildly unprecedented in our dataset. [emphasis mine]

Let’s put that in other terms: Raina is responsible for fully 5% of all graphic novel revenue in 2016 through the book trade, with her best seller only available for 1/3 of the year. Futhermore, because as Hibbs notes, BookScan doesn’t account for the massive traffic Raina does via in-school book fairs, it’s not known how low those numbers are. I’m going to say they could easily be twice as large, especially considering Scholastic ordered a first print run of 500,000 for Ghosts.

Other people made more money than Raina on their sales — the Walking Dead collections go for between two and five times what Ghosts costs — but she still takes slots #6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, and 18 (the lowest of which has a revenue report — again, not counting all her sales channels — of US$1.28 million), off of books that are budget priced and aimed at the most critical audience in comics: kids who will be the core of the market. The Walking Dead sells high-priced copies to an ever-shrinking adult fanbase. Raina is creating an entire new demographic of comics readers, and the first publisher that figures out how to convert her fans to regular readers of their offerings will be set for the next half-century.

So naturally, they ignore her and engage in endless fanboy circle-jerks about how her books aren’t real comics. I’m absolutely convinced that her lack of acceptance by the gatekeepers haunts her every night as she falls asleep with nothing but universals critical and popular acclaim to buoy her. I have seen the future of comics, and she’s a slightly nerdy woman with excellent teeth that makes kids feel welcomed and happy. Long Live The Queen.


Spam of the day:
Taking the day off. Spammers don’t get to share today with Raina.

One Project Done, New Project Starting

Business model just starting, business model just wrapped up. Let’s get digging.

  • Know what I love? Kickstarter post-mortems. I can’t get enough of people sharing how a campaign went, and especially talking about how finances measured up (or out, or whatever ever direction finances are measured in). The latest one comes courtesy of David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc, arbiter of image quality standards and part-time Mr Bean impersonator), who spent a longer than average (and more expensive than usual) time last year putting together the first print collection of his comics.

    Since Morgan-Mar works in LEGO-brand construction sets and minifigs, he had to consult with lawyers to figure out if printing a book made up of photos of LEGO things he built would possibly raise the ire of the Danish brickmongers before he even got to the usual book parts of making a book. Conclusion: maybe, but if they did sue him, he’d be able to mount a credible defense (whatever that might cost).

    Not quite as reassuring as Heck no, they’d never be able to touch you!, but good enough to get started! And, in fact, if not for the more than three thousand Aussie fun bucks, he would have lost only AU$260.21 on the endeavour. With the legal fees — well, ouch. But one thing not included in the breakdown is how many books over the Kickstarter rewards were printed, and thus may make a dent in the debits column as they sell in future.

    But the good news is, he notes in the post-mortem that he intends to print more books, and considerable costs are one-offs, making what would otherwise be a pricey hobby a less pricey — or even slightly remunerative — hobby instead. And in case you missed out on the Kickstart and wanted to help Morgan-Mar reduce the loss he took to provide you, his loyal readers, with what you always said you wanted, the book’s available at TopatoCo¹.

  • I’ve mentioned Douglas Wilson on this page previously; he’s a cartoonist and animator from Manchester, England, UK, and work’s pretty damn good. He’s looking to shift a character — Jack Astro — that’s he’s been working into animated shorts for about five years into a longform story, and the first part of that went live yesterday. Take ‘er away, Doug:

    Jack Astro is a test pilot for the experimental Singularity Drive program. After sending a duplicate version of Jack and his ship to multiple galaxies in the universe – the drive scattered across space. He must reassemble the lost pieces before the drive re-activates to send him home. Doug is currently writing and drawing a 130 page comic which will update twice a month in 5 page vertical scrolling chunks of story on his website BandOfOne.co.uk.

    Patreon backers will receive PDF downloads of each issue of the comic as he completes them so they can read the story in larger chunks (first issue is 33 pages) instead of waiting for the story to unfold on the website.

    More precisely, Patreons at the $1 level get access to that first block of story, and if you aren’t on Patreon you can also obtain it via Gumroad for £1.50 (along with the Jack Astro shorts & earlier works as pay-what-you-want). Wilson kindly sent along a copy of issue 1 for me to peruse, and I enjoyed it — it’s well worth an entry-level Patreon pledge or cost of a cup of coffee (not even the fancy coffee, just the regular kind).


Spam of the day:

Magnificent things from you, guy

Spelled my name wrong.

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¹ Just sayin’. Also, if Morgan-Mar received 100% of the cost of the books (which won’t be the case — TopatoCo’s providing warehousing and handling services, and gets paid for them), a mere eight books would erase the non-legal loss (which is reasonable, as the legal costs will apply to future books). If you wanted to bring him all the way up to zero loss (which also means making nothing on considerable personal effort), it’ll take just about exactly 100 books (AU$3560.21 lost, US$27 or AU$35.57 per book at today’s exchange rate).

A Week Later, It’s Still Awesome News

The news is out, albeit after an unavoidable week’s delay: Kelly & Zach, the principals of Weinersmith & Weinersmith Enterprises, have announced their biggest project to date¹: a book on the technologies most likely to change the world in a relatively immediate timeframe (call it the next handful of decades) and how likely each one is to come to pass as their adherents claim.

It’s called Soonish, it’s got wonderful introductions to ten areas of technological exploration², and the occasional cartoon. Explainer here, pre-orders here, and despite the fact that Soonish has a major publisher behind it (Penguin), Weinersmith (Z) can’t get away from the indie creator let’s Kickstart this to the moon! habit, and thus the number of pre-orders (release date is in October) will determine rewards that will be widely distributed.

Oh, yeah, and Weinersmith (Z) has also produced — in addition to today’s announcement cartoon, with requisite Phil Plait mockery³ — two regular SMBC comics today. I say regular advisedly, as it’s not a word I’d normally apply to W(Z). The first of them is a fairly standard SMBC, but the second features the single most horrifying thing ever drawn in a comic by a Certified Genius Master Hypnotist. Steel your hearts and be not afraid. Or actually, just don’t eat anything before you read that second one. Trust me.

For non-Weinersmith related news:

  • I’m not sure if it’s pop-culture saturation or just Rich Stevens being really good at expressing the intrinsic character of things in the minimum number of pixels, but you can totally tell exactly what each of those action figures behind Electron Mike are in today’s Diesel Sweeties. It’s a marvel of refined deisgn.
  • The Creators For Creators grant was announced about eleven months ago, took its first applications about ten months ago, closed them about four months ago, and announced its first recipient over the weekend and EmCity. M Dean, illustrator and cartoonist, is figuring out what to do with an extra US$30K to support her creative efforts while working on her next project, titled I Am Young. There’s a brief interview with Dean at the C4C homepage (undoubtedly, it’ll move to a subpage in future), which is well worth a read.

    Also worth mentioning: that the C4C grant was founded with the financial backing of a bunch of Image folks and C Spike Trotman, who continues to rip shit up in webcomics publishing. It’s been a bit less than two days since Dean’s recognition, so give ’em a bit of time to regroup and then we’ll see what this year’s application cycle looks like; I’d imagine it looks a lot like last year’s six month application period, but we’ll all find out authoritatively in the near future.

  • It is a well established phenomenon that we at Fleen — that is to say, me at Fleen, aka Gary — loves me some Digger (yes, I know there’s serious singular-plural disagreement in there; deal with it.gif). A large part of that comes from the fact that Digger creator Ursula Vernon is probably the best writer of (vague handwavy gestures because I know this is an almost wholly useless term) fantasy this side of Neil Gaiman, the best writer of (more gestures) YA this side of Raina Telgemeier, and the best combiner of the two this side of Jeff Smith. Specifically, she does smart, empathetic, actual-person girls better than anybody this side of Hayao Miyazaki.

    Thus, when her serialized novel Summer in Orcus debuted online last equinox, I recommended it sight unseen. Well, not quite, she’d done the equivalent of the first chapter on LiveJournal a few years prior, so I knew it started with Baba Yaga’s chicken house trotting down the back alley of suburbia, and how can you dispute a start like that? It was going to be damn good, there existed no other mathematical possibility.

    It exceeded my expectations significantly, and caused me no small outbursts of emotions at regular intervals over the next three months. Frustrations at the days-long waits between chapters. Utter and true heartbreak at loses suffered (and I use that word precisely; Vernon made her heroine hurt, because sometimes that’s what life teaches you: that you can do your best with the best of intentions and people still get hurt and you can’t shake the feeling it’s your fault even when it isn’t but maybe it is a little), blind hatred of the second-tier villain, soaring exultation at particularly smart or heartwarming or weird circumstances in the story.

    This is not a fairy tale that instructs moral lessons, it’s one that offers warnings about what the world is like. It’s certainly not one that gets you to Happily Ever After without an equal measure of regrets. Also, there’s the bit with the cheeses, which is pretty damn hilarious.

    The complete Summer In Orcus has been available in various e-formats since the story wrapped eight-ten weeks back, and Vernon acknowledged the wants of those of us that craved a book book version, one that works by flashlight under the covers, and said she’d try to figure something out. The figuring is apparently past, as her Digger publisher, Sofawolf Press, had an announcement over the weekend:

    We are still working out final details, but we can reveal that there will be both a softcover and a hardcover edition, and the cover and interior illustrations will be done by Lauren Henderson (aka: “Louvelex”). We’ll be doing a very simple Kickstarter to help us gauge demand, but we’ll also have a couple stretch goals that will allow us to spiffy up the final book.

    Final details to come over the next month or so. For me, that’ll be a hardcover for my library, and I figure I’ll get a stack of paperbacks — I’ve got nieces and nephews that need this book, and for half a year I’ve been pointing people at Summer In Orcus as the entry point to Vernon’s work; now I won’t have to try to remember the URL, I can just put a copy in their hands.

    We’ll be sure to let you know about the Kickstart when it comes, but do yourself a favor and start clearing space on your shelves now. And if anybody reading this is at Laika and wants to figure out their next project, I would suggest that Summer + stop motion is a friggin’ license to print money.


Spam of the day:

Up yours!

Somebody’s seen Sweet Charity too many times. Yeesh.

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¹ Again, if we discount the production of two miniature alive humans.

² Reminder-slash-disclaimer: I’ve read a late pre-final version, and it’s impressive how many absolutely brilliant, Nobel laureate-level people were willing to go on the record in a book that also features dick jokes.

³ Scroll to the bottom, and don’t forget to hover over the comic for a bonus gag.

The Best Possible News

Hey, are you a person that loves the dinosaurs? Ha, that was a trick question because everybody loves the dinosaurs, they were the best and knowing that they existed is a pure joy for every living human today. I think this may be the one instance of R Stevens being factually wrong about something, there being only type of person in the world: the type that loves dinosaurs.

(I’m not even going to mention the fact that I’m contracting with an artist that makes bird models out of PVC pipe that you can plant in your yard; I want him to construct for me a pack of velociraptors to hide behind the big tree in my front yard.)

When there’s a new book that will teach the young (and when it comes to dinosaurs, we are all young), I am there. And when that book comes from a onetime paleontological field worker, one with a deep and abiding love of dinosaurs (and other extinct critters that were not dinosaurs), and who does comics that are delightful? I’m swooning at the news:

Oh! I guess this was announced!! You can now pre-order Earth Before Us: Dinosaur Empire, my book about the Mesozoic~ https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaur-Empire-Earth-Before-Us/dp/1419723065/…

I can’t think of a webcomicker I’d want to do a book about dinosaurs more than Abby Howard. Her art style is clean and accessible, her mania for getting dinosaurs right is mighty, and her knowledge of extinct critters is damn near encyclopedic. Dinosaur Empire! wouldn’t be out of place in :01’s Science Comics series, but for the fact that they led off with a book about dinosaurs which was pretty damn good. The color is going to let her imagination run riot with respect to what the pelts and plumages of dinosaurs looked like¹, and the premise (young girl and retired paleontologist neighbor lady go on a tour of the Mesozoic thanks to Science Magic) will let Howard drop some knowledge in an easy, conversational fashion.

Dinosaur Empire! (128 pages, color, hardcover) releases on 1 August from Abrams Books, with a list price of US15.99; pre-orders are available now from your preferred vendor. With any luck, we’ll see a book tour to natural history museums.


Spam of the day:

The Meaning of 24

Well, numerology-peddling spammer, I’ma go out on a limb here and say that the meaning of 24 is it’s one more than 23 and one less than 25. I know that multiples of 6 and 12 are really, really significant if you’re an ancient Babylonian (and we can thank them for things like 360 degrees in a circle), but round these parts, it just means that eggs were on sale and I bought two cartons instead of one.

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¹ The one part of my own youth-born interest in dinosaurs that I resent is that I grew up being taught they were drab grey and green and brown creatures. Boring! Kids these days get crests and colors and displays and their dreams of dinosaurs are so much richer for it.

Bless You, TCAF, For You Bring News On A Harried Day

In this case, their announcement of Kids and YA Guests for 2017 (held, as always, in/around the Toronto Reference Library, this year on 13 & 14 May), which includes some huge names: Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt! Svetlana Chmakova! Elise Gravel! Matt Forsythe! Jarrett Williams! And also a huge crew of creators coming with :01 Books, including Scott Westerfeld, Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham, Faith Erin Hicks, Molly Ostertag, Matthew Loux, Mike Cavallaro, Mike Holmes, George O’Connor, Farel Dalrymple, Box Brown, Penelope Bagieu, and Alison Wilgus, half of whom will have debuts. It’s gonna be a great time in the Big Smoke¹.


Spam of the day:

Monthly curated natural treats and toys for your pup

My dog is presently barking his head off at a pile of squirrel poop. Got that in your curation?

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¹ They call Toronto that, right? I mean, I knew about Cabbagetown being a nickname, but I’m pretty sure I saw Big Smoke somewhere.

Revised: I Feel Fine, But Man Is My Voice Ragged Today

No big, I just make my living by speaking all day, argh. Let’s do a roundup.

  • I had a chance to talk to him about it a month back at the Dr McNinja Wrap Party, but as the announcement hadn’t been made, I told Christopher Hastings that I’d hold onto the news. But now the announcement is live and we can all enjoy the fact that Hastings is writing a Baby Groot series for Marvel, starting in May. It’s planned for a story arc that can extend depending on how well the early issues sell, and I both like to read Hastings’s stuff and want him to make a living¹, so make a note to order I Am Groot from your local comic shop.
  • A two-fer from the Theorist Emeritus Of Comics, Scott McCloud: Firstly, a general announcement of his next book, which we won’t see for a couple of years. He told me about this one in the wake of The Sculptor, and it’s been on my mind ever since. Short form, he’s doing a book about how visual communication works, which means that he’s combining the philosophical thrusts of three of my favorite works: The Visual Display Of Quantitative Information by Tufte; The Elements Of Typographic Style by Bringhurst, and his own Understanding/Reinventing/Making Comics trilogy.

    Speaking of the trilogy, McCloud also gave us a sneak peek at the new cover for Understanding Comics, with a promise of Reinventing and Making getting a similar redesign. I have great affection for the original covers and I’m not running out to replace them with the new, but I do like the strong design and statement the new cover(s) make(s). There’s a shift in emphasis from the comics to McCloud himself, with his cartoon avatar’s face too prominent to even entirely fit in the image.

    The message is unmistakably clear — these glasses have seen some things, and behind those lenses there is wisdom waiting to be dropped. The medium isn’t the message any longer, the messenger is now the focus; in a few decades, cartoon!McCloud will be as iconic and indicative of the idea of comics as cityscape spelling out The Spirit or a superhero surrounded by Kirby crackle.

  • Speaking of prophets, Jon Rosenberg² has been killing it on the editorial cartooning lately, with his Michael Flynn cartoon sneaking in mere hours before Flynn’s resignation. In today’s contribution at The Nib, he seeks to harness this power for good. Meanwhile, Tatsuya Ishida just cuts to the chase to say what we’re all feeling.

Spam of the day:

Hey man… hows it going I noticed the debt you are in and I’m here to help

Nice try. My debt-to-income ratio is negative. Those predatory banks owe me money, that’s how good I am at savings.

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¹ Also on the want list — in some future Marvel movie, I want to see his name listed in the credits for his work defining Gwenpool; for that matter, lets see Ryan North and Erica Henderson listed for their definitive work on Squirrel Girl in the same credits.

² Disclaimer: the guy that first prompted me to start this page, and my source for hosting.

Happy Valentine’s Day, I’m Sick, Blerg

So this is gonna be quick so I can get some tea and sleep.

Coincidentally after yesterday’s noting of Iron Circus’s distribution deal putting new books into stores, C Spike Trotman is making it worth your while to get any of the Smut Peddler series of books — in print or PDF — at a discount, for today only:

With the Smut Peddler Double Header Kickstarter rewards shipping out to backers, we’re finally able to offer the print editions of My Monster Boyfriend and Yes, Roya in the store! Additionally, the 2012 edition of Smut Peddler is back in print at last! Finally, it is Valentine’s Day, so we thought we’d give you a little love.

Today only, you can use the voucher code VolcanicDeclaration at check out to get 15% off on these three dirty books. This applies to both the print and PDF editions, too.

So get your Valentine something romantical or treat yourself! Today is all about lovin!

Thanks for all the love facilitation, Spike. Rest of you, get on that¹. Oh, and while I’m absolutely, mathematically certain that Spike decided to do this weeks ago — she is not a woman that leaves things to chance — if by any happenstance my post yesterday prompted her, you’re all welcome, and please enjoy the high-class erotica.


Spam of the day:

Go here to help out someone’s super hot mom

You know what they say: every horny MILF slut is someone’s super hot mom, so treat her right [SFW, promise!].

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¹ And get your mind out of the gutter.

On Horny Werewolf Day, No Less

Oh, that’s not what you call it? Internet Jesus was the first person I ever saw to point out that Saint Valentine’s Day was originally a Roman celebration of blood, werewolves, and sex called Lupercalia; they’ve got cards and everything. ANYway, if you’re into the modern interpretation of sexytimes without the blood and werewolves, read on.

Because webcomics (and even webcomics collections) often don’t make it into traditional distribution channels, it is sometimes months or even years before a long-since-available webcomic collection makes it to comics shops, or regular bookstores¹. Case in point: I’ve had my copy of Chester 5000: Isabelle And George by Jess Fink for months now (and it’s been in her TopatoCo store for nearly as long), but even with Top Shelf Comix behind the book, it’s lagged getting into the stores.

Until now:

Chester 5000: Isabelle & George comes out in stores & on Amazon tomorrow, VALENTINES DAY!! ? ? ? http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/chester-5000-book-2-isabelle-george/954 …

Not sure if those heart emoji are going to come through or not. They’re cute, so I hope they do. [Editor’s note: they didn’t.]

Anyway, if you haven’t read Isabelle And George, it’s mostly a prequel to Chester 5000. That is, it tells the story before Chester 5000, then there’s a tiny bit in the middle that recaps the events of the earlier book, then adds a coda to the now-expanded cast and all their various combinations of friendship, love, and hot, hot Victorian boning down (with or without robots).

But seriously, though — even though both Chester books are definitely (defiantly, even!) adults-only, there’s a sweetness to them, a sense of empathy towards the characters that is utterly charming as well as pulse-quickening; Fink is unparalleled in her ability to make us care about her characters as people, and to be happy for their joys and orgasms.

Get a copy for the love of your life and let it inspire you towards feats of horny werewolfdom. Don’t give it to your kids (even though, being largely wordless², it’s an easy story to follow), and probably don’t give it to your mom. Your cool aunt, though, the one that your parents vaguely warn you about, but who takes you ballooning over river gorges? She’ll love it.


Spam of the day:

:):)LetsPlayCALLOOFBOOTY:):)

Gosh, @SeXXXyChikk69, thanks for the offer, but did you really mean Call Oof Booty? The Oof makes it sound less fun and more like moving furniture, you know, like Oof, this damn sofa is heavy, gonna be sore tomorrow.

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¹ And mad props to C Spike Trotman, as Iron Circus’s distro deal means a whole lot more webcomics gonna make it to a whole lot more store a whole lot quicker. My Monster Boyfriend made to the trade last week, concurrent with its initial release; Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here never would have made it into shops widely without the deal, and is now playing distro catch-up.

² Seriously, the only wordless story that’s easier to follow would be one of Andy Runton’s Owly books. C5K: I&G would make Owly and Wormy hell of blush but they’d seriously be happy for all involved.

Don’t look at me like that. Find any cluster of comickers in the bar on a convention night, and they’re drawing their characters getting up to shenanigans. I seen some things that Owly and Jellaby have done that’ll turn your hair white.

A Long Time Coming

Oh my goodness, are you ready for some terrific news? Hundreds of strips that are (by any reasonable measure) long past due in print will finally be collected, and there was much rejoicing:

Cat and Girl has been a thing online since 1999, publishing three print volumes and 1,420 comics. Now finally (FINALLY!) we can make the comics from 2010 to 2015 available in print. That’s 536 full color pages of mostly black and white comics in two books. We’ve decided to call them Cat and Girl Vol. IV and Cat and Girl Vol. V. Dinotrux was taken.

That’s straight from Cat and Girl creator Dorothy Gambrell, via the fine folks at Make That Thing; MTT’s involvement means that the Kickstarter campaign [link pending] is planned out in detail, will run by the numbers when it goes up next week, and that the physical production and fulfillment will be out of Gambrell’s hair leaving her free to make comics.

Comics which, it must be admitted, we do not talk about nearly enough here at Fleen; the greatness of Cat and Girl is self-evident and omnipresent. Just as it would be a waste of time to say The sky continues to be above the land or This background radiation occurs according to mathematically-predictable patterns, so would it be to say Cat and Girl is one of the sharpest observations of life in the world, and at times is also startlingly prescient. Just take it as a given that this remains true, and if ever it isn’t, be sure to duck and cover because we’ll be full into the eschaton.

And the data geek in me would be remiss if I didn’t notice that line in Gambrell’s announcement about mostly black and white comics, which means some will be in color, which means we’ll get the data shares, yes. So keep your eyes peeled on Thursday, 16 February, as Cat and Girl’s next half-decade worth of strips go up for crowdfunding; you have until then to make room on your shelves.


Spam of the day

Enjoy Free Live Chat with Russian Beauties

But you’re claiming to represent UkraineBrides4You.com! Classifying Ukrainian ladies as Russian is sort of a manifestation of the nationalist hegemony that is causing armed fighting in eastern Ukraine. Your come-on for your identity-theft site is lost in all the tragedy that you have glibly tried to gloss over.