The webcomics blog about webcomics

This Thing Hardly Changes From Year To Year

By which I mean, the map of San Diego Comic Con’s exhibitors, in handy PDF form, which I painstakingly re-capture and format every year. Well, not this time! I’m keeping the maps from last year to the extent that they match the layout this year

The North Half Layout Is The Same
It’s on the right side of the overall floor map, and apart from a logo change or two, the booth numbers and major players correspond to the same layout as last year:

The Webcomics, Small Press, and Independent Press Pavilions remain reasonably accessible from the “B” lobby. Let’s break ’em down.

The Last Stand Of Webcomics?
It’s been a long run, but more and more creators are opting to skip SDCC; of course, once you give up a booth you won’t get it back in the current decade, so expect to see a bit more holding on. Centered roughly on booth #1332, you’ll find a majority of the webcomickers who will be at the show within about a 1.5 aisle radius; some are slightly outside the orange area, but not too far. Those that return are for the most part at the same booth number as previous years, but there’s been some upheaval, as we shall see.

Alaska Robotics
with Marian Call
Booth 1137
Blind Ferret Booth 1231
Cool Cat Blue Booth 1330
Digital Pimp Booth 1237
Cyanide & Happiness     Booth 1234
Dumbrella Booth 1335
Girl Genius Booth 1331
Jefbot Booth 1232
Monster Milk Booth 1334
Rhode Montijo Booth 1329
Sheldon and Drive Booth 1228
TopatoCo Booth 1229
Two Lumps Booth 1230

Notes:

  • :01 Books appear to have been relocated to booth 2800, and taken Macmillan Children’s Publishing with it (2802).
  • Rhode Montijo (of Happy Tree Friends fame) in 1329.
  • No news yet on which TopatoCo creators will be along; we’ll update once we know.
  • Hachette (1116), Harper Collins (1029), (1117), and Simon & Schuster (1128) remain in Publisher’s Row; Knopf Doubleday appears to be skipping.
  • As of this writing, Booth 1332, the heart of Webcomics Central, is listed for Flex Comics which sells (quoting here) Bro Tank shirts and does occasional mash-up strips with a fitness theme. Far be it from me to criticize a webcomic for selling t-shirts, but given that the shirts are on the front page and the comic found off at a link, I’d say it inverts the normal order of things.
  • But that’s still not as bad as booth 1235 going to Pulsar Entertainment LLC, which appears to have its origin in a talent contest (ugh) and is celebrating its own launch by running its own contest (double ugh) with all entries granting a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to Pulsar Entertainment (triple ugh). They’re over next to Blind Ferret; I’m sure Sohmer will have lots to say to them.
  • Dumbrella this year will only be Rich Stevens and Andy Bell; they’ve invited Cards Against Humanity to share space.
  • Meredith Gran will be at the show with husband Mike Holmes, but I don’t have a definitive location yet. Possible locations include Image (Gran), :01 (Holmes), and Dumbrella (both). More when I have it.

Small Press Abides
Right by the Webcomics section is Small Press. Here you should find:

Bob the Angry Flower Table K-16
Ben Costa Table O-07
Claire Hummel Table Q-15
Kel McDonald Table M-12
Wire Heads Table N-15

From the Small Press section, you’re close by:

Cartoon Art Musuem Booth 1930
CBLDF Booth 1918
BOOM! Booth 2229
Oni Press Booth 1833
Gallery Nucleus Booth 2643

Notes:

  • Gallery Nucleus will feature arty types when they aren’t hanging out at Mondo down in booth 835. Keep an eye out for your Scotts C, your Beckys and/or Franks, and alumni of the various Flight anthologies.
  • No confirmation yet on which webcomickers will be at the BOOM! booth when, but I’d expect a pretty strong rotation.

Now head back toward the “B” Lobby into the Independent Press area and you’ll find Terry Moore at Booth 2109, which is split (in accordance with tradition)with Jeff Smith (who remains the best). You’re also not too far from the Jack Kirby Museum at Booth 5520 which, yes, is a very large number but is actually just inside the B1 entrance. Weird, right?

Going back to that larger map of the northern half of the exhibit hall. Wedged in between the Marvel and Image megabooths you’ll find Keenspot in Booth 2635.

The Far End Is Exactly The Same
There’s still some neat stuff if you keep wandering past the video games, Star Wars, Legos, and suchlike.

Give yourself half an hour or so, try not to spend all your money on Copic markers (Booth 5338), and you’ll find both Udon Entertainment (home of such worthies as Christopher Butcher and Jim Zub — although rumor is Zub is sitting this year out — at Booth 4529); and The Hero Initiative (at Booth 5003). Zub’s onetime Skullkickers artist, Edwin Huang will be in the Artists Alley at table EE-19, and Katie Cook will be at table HH-17.

Offsite
Every year for the past half-decade the amount of stuff you can see outside of the exhibit hall has grown; I’m guessing we’re only a year or so away from complete parity. If you know of anything especially good, let us know and we’ll add it here. Otherwise, just wander the city and see what you got.


Spam of the day:

Getting Christie Brinkley’??Perfect Skin Just Got a Lot Easier

This sounds suspiciously like it’s intended for serial killers.

Lyon BD Is Just Three Days, Or He’d Keep Writing

We at Fleen continue to bring you all the news from the world of French [web]comics, courtesy of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin. Take it away, FSFCPL!

Lyon BD, like most French comics festivals, is run as a non-profit. That does not mean admittance was free (5€ a day, or 8€ for both days), but that means among others aspects it relies a lot on volunteer labor. [Editor’s note: That admission rate would be in the range of US$5.50 to US$9.00 for a city-wide festival]

But just because it is a non-profit does not mean you are dealing with unprofessional people. Case in point: when I came Friday morning to get my badge as an accredited member of the press (which also allowed me free entry), they couldn’t find my name among the envelopes containing the individual badges. That was going to be a problem: without a badge, I would not have been able to enter no matter how much I paid, since the first day was reserved to professionals (and accredited hack webcomic pseudojournalists).

But Mélodie Labbé, who was the Lyon BD point of contact leading up to the festival proper (for RSVPing to events, notably) was present and doing badge delivery herself too, my name did ring a bell to her, and so she took a blank badge and wrote in my name so that I could enter and access everything I could as accredited press; I did not even have to show the email accepting me as accredited press (I was able to come back on Saturday, and this time my “real” badge was found. I won’t lie: getting to wear [this](attached image) rocked).

More generally, Lyon BD did treat attendants and exhibitors well: there was free water from water dispensers (as previously mentioned), tables for lunch inside the city hall, allowing food brought in, and nearby seating allowing for a pause to read your haul, signage in the streets to find your way when going to offsite events (exhibitions, lectures, etc.), and lastly but most useful for me this Sunday¹, the last day: a free cloakroom, since my train was departing straight after the festival (admittedly, that last service was not open to the public: only exhibitors, journalists, etc.).

Lyon BD is also remarkable for its initiatives besides running the show proper. For instance, I previously mentioned they originally commissionned the Boulet/Inglenook drawn concert collaboration, but even though this was the 12th edition I first heard of Lyon BD only three years ago from their Hero-ïne-s exhibition, where they asked comic creators (including Boulet, through which I heard of it) to reimagine comics with female leads, because even in this day and age in French comics, female leads are still rare.

The works themselves have been posted on the web (some of which I’d very much pay to see made!), and you can buy it as a book which additionally contains interviews with the featured creators, small essays on sexism in and around comics, etc. The exhibition itself is touring (it was not at Lyon BD this year, though), but I do not know where it will be shown next.

Since there were fewer events of interest to me on Sunday (there were a few, but colliding with Scott McCloud’s lecture, and there was no way I was going to miss that), I decided this was the opportunity to try and meet some of the creators showcased in this project, especially as a number of them are local to the area.

Highlights of the day:

  • Meeting with Paka at the Lapin booth, who mentioned to me that his collaboration with Cyprien, Roger et ses humain (previously mentioned here) was now available in English on digital platforms, among them Comixology; this can be a viable way to discover this work, at least as an artist.
  • Catching Hero-ïne-s contributors Efix, Marie Avril, Emy), Anjale (note that I was still dressed as Clark Kent), and Yan Le Pon (links to their own pieces) and chatting with them about their contributions and the general state of comic book heroines. Most of them were even generous enough to sketch in my copy of the book.
  • Watching Scott McCloud’s lecture presenting his latest book project: the pitch, the need for it, case studies of examples and counter-examples, etc. Even with half the time taken by the translator, it still had so much information density that no summary could not possibly do the lecture justice. McCloud is going around the con circuit, so I implore you to go and catch a performance of his lecture, you won’t regret it.

    He went straight to a signing after the lecture (in fact, he was signing for most of the duration of the festival, and his line was always packed), so I was not able to have any aside time with him, but I did get a few answers: during the lecture, he had a few words about Powerpoint (probably the visual communication medium office dwellers create the most), and it will be covered in the book (one of my interrogations from the announcement).

    At the end of the lecture, during the Q&A session, he confirmed in response to my question that, while there would be no dedicated chapter (the book not being organized along media type, but along other concepts), the teachings would not just be applicable to static media, and some of the examples would be from interactive media.

    Lastly, I went in line for the signing, and once I reached him I asked one last question: what, if anything, he did find different in French cons as opposed to U.S. cons. His answer was that in his experience signings were mostly the same, but in panels in France he appreciated not having to spend nearly as much time justifying how comics could serve important endeavors: French people have little trouble believing that.

  • At the same signing, meeting Bou … oh, wait, is that the line for him?! One, two, three … ten … OK, there is no way I can reach him before the festival closes its doors. Too bad, maybe next time.

It was then time to leave, but if they keep up like this, I will most certainly be back next year. I would like to close by thanking Lyon BD festival for evaluating and accepting my press badge application, without which I would not have been able to cover the festival as much as I did; and of course, for putting out a great festival.

And that will wrap up Fleen’s coverage of LyonBD 2017. With any luck, we’ll have more reports from a variety of festivals from FSFCPL in the coming years.


Spam of the day:

Xarelto Lawsuit Information

Xarelto is an anticoagulant. If there’s one things EMTs hate, it’s anticoagulants, because they make our lives more interesting on calls. Nevertheless, I think it’s a little disingenuous to sue the maker of an anticoagulant on the basis that it caused you to have difficulty stopping bleeding because that’s what the damn thing is meant to do.

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¹ Fun fact: Sunday was also polling day for the French general elections, and mainland France does not have mail-in voting or early ballots, and I hope it never has online voting: so I had to appoint a proxy to vote on my behalf, there is no other way to vote while away on polling day.

Lyon BD, Deuxième Jour

We continue the reporting of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin from the grounds of Lyon BD. If you missed Day One, it may be found here.

The main attraction of a French comics festival is getting to meet the comics creators themselves, or more specifically, getting them to sketch and sign in one of their books you brought; that last part is important: the creator typically won’t have his books on hand, and by himself is not set up to take your money. This means sketches are free as a rule. Though if you don’t own any of their books, not to worry: they are available for sale at the festival so you can have your copy when you get in line for the signing.

So for instance for Lyon BD:

  • A temporary location inside the city hall was set up as a bookshop (an offshoot of a local bookshop, in fact).
  • A big reception room and several smaller ones inside the city hall were set up as table space for invited creators, independently of any publisher.
  • Inside a common tent on the Place des Terreaux, Glénat (one of the biggest French comics publishers) had set up a giant booth where one end was set up as a bookshop, and the other end as table space for their creators; same for Decitre (the association of Dupuis, Dargaud, and Le Lombard).
  • In the same tent, smaller publishers (Lapin, Warum/Vraoum, Rouquemoute, etc.) had booths where the creators were set up directly behind piles of books (though the publisher himself handled the transactions).
  • And a few isolated signing events were set up in bookshops around the city.

And so that you could best visit creators at the right times, this giant banner¹ was put at critical junctions in the festival … Oh wait, that is only creators A to K, a second banner was needed for creators L to Z. Columns are approximate time: Saturday morning, Saturday early afternoon, Saturday late afternoon, etc. up to Sunday late afternoon.

Other booths present included booksellers specialized in original and historical editions of comics, art schools, publishers of youth books (not just comics), etc. It was not a big festival: for instance, a few major publishers (Delcourt, Soleil) did not have a booth. But as you know, it is not the size that counts: what counts are the people I wanted to meet and that I knew would be there.

So, Saturday: the first day (out of two) of the main festivities.

This setup was less than ideal by some aspects. For instance, France remains under a high terror alert level which means bags had to undergo visual inspection whenever entering the festival, and that included whenever you wanted to go from the city hall to the tent on the Place des Terreaux (and the converse) as they were close, but not directly connected.

Furthermore, weather became rather nice and actually a bit hot (28°C, or about 81°F) which was felt more under the tent due to the lack of air circulation (a few booths were able to put up ventilators); especially by your correspondent, who chose to go that day dressed as Clark Kent: in a full suit (plus hat, and small S on the chest, under the shirt. My apologies: I forgot to take photos). But those were only inconveniences, and volunteers were on hand to help, for instance to bring drinks to people stuck in their booths; the organizers had also put water dispensers under the tent for attendees to get water, for free.

Interesting live programming was also scheduled for Saturday, in particular a jazz and drawn comics concert involving Florence Cestac (only woman so far to have received a Grand Prix at Angoulême), which unfortunately I had to pass on due to a collision with another event I wanted to attend at 3:00 PM.

By the way, did I mention the Lyon city hall was a very nice place?

Highlights of the day:

  • In the main reception room used for signings, getting to say hello to the German creators showcased in the exhibition (mentioned in my last post): Reinhard Kleist, Thomas Von Kummant and Isabel Kreitz (Birgit Weyhe was signing elsewhere), but I spent most time chatting with Flix about his book, The Pretty Girls; this is actually a series of relationship and drama strips self-contained in one page, and contrary to most body representations in comics (comics being a very coded medium), even from France, he features great body diversity: his girls are fat, slim, tall, small, even old or young… they are all meant to be pretty.
  • Chatting with the creators at the Lapin booth, in particular Tim, who reminded me I could point you to his Promenade (going for a walk), since there is no need to translate it. And he’s right. It it comics? You decide. And Cy², since I was interested in her Real Sex From Real Life [NSFW], but more on that later.
  • A panel on comics being featured in Le Monde’s morning digest app. Of note was the fact it is still hard for comics to make inroads in a newspaper that was one of the last holdouts of the “if it’s boring, it must be serious” school of thought: often interesting initiatives around comics are declined, even when money is not an issue. On the other hand, when the principle of having comics in the app was accepted, then getting budget to pay lump sums to the creators was not an issue.
  • A panel with Cy, Fabien Vehlmann, and Julie Maroh about their respective comics projects around sex Le vrai sexe de la vraie vie, l’Herbier sauvage, and Corps Sonores). Their approaches vary in the details (Vehlmann collected anecdotes through in-person sessions, while Cy used an online form), but the basic approach is the same: in order to show sex not as an ideal, but as it is practiced, they use comics to show such stories of real sex, and build them around raw material collected from other people so as to provide actually representative and diverse experiences. As such, even if not directly educational they all have a documentary aim.

See you next time for Sunday …

Fleen, as always, thanks Lebaupin for his attention and insight.


Spam of the day:

Your Car Service Reminder

I don’t own a Vauxhall, don’t live in Central England, and don’t need a service plan, thanks. While we’re on the subject, because it’s only British spammers that ever bring it up, I’m fine on double glazing, too.

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¹ Note the use of autrice, a feminine form of the word auteur which has recently resurfaced (because when auteur is used for both masculine and feminine forms, it tends to erase female creators), and is still not widely accepted.

² Who, by the way, is tag teaming with Boulet to cover the animation festival in nearby Annecy this week.

He’s An Entrepreneur, A Job Creator, And Hell Of Smart

As seen on Rob Den Bleyker’s Twitter just now:

I just applied to run for U.S. Representative as a democrat in my district (Texas 32nd). I have no experience. Let’s see where this goes.

As recent elections have shown us, having no experience is no bar. I’ve known Rob for years and he’s really, really sharp. If I lived in Texas’s 32nd, I would absolutely consider him sincerely; taking into account that the incumbent is the odious Pete Sessions, I’d be even more inclined.

It’s a long way until November 2018; Fleen will attempt to interview DenBleyker on his candidacy as the opportunity presents itself.

From Our BD Desk

"Crayon", they said. Right. Photo by FSFCPL. Click to embiggen.

Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin¹, as noted earlier in the week, spent some time prowling the recent Lyon BD, and he’s brought an extensive recap. Pret-ty sure that there’s no other webcomics blog this side of the world with a report from Lyon (or anyplace else in France), so be sure to share with your friends. Take it away, FSFCPL!

The Lyon city hall is a very nice place.

This is in fact not the usual location for Lyon BD, but with the French general elections, which happened the same weekend, preventing the use of the Palais du Commerce where it usually takes place, it had to find a backup location, and kudos for the city council of Lyon, and in particular the mayor, Gérard Collomb, for opening the city hall for use by the festival.

And so that is where your correspondent found himself in Friday morning to attend the first day of Lyon BD festival. The public was not allowed yet, reserving that day for interactions between creators, publishers, booksellers, students, and other professionals, including journalists. For instance, a number of publishers were set up with tables in a dedicated room so that students could come get feedback and inquire about opportunities; but KissKissBankBank also had a table there, for instance.

Additionally, most of the exhibitions were already set up, so it was possible to visit them while not too busy with everything else that would be happening the following days. And of course, there were panels on matters of interest to the comics community. Most of the booth space, however, would be in a tent on the neighboring plaza, which was still being set up.

Highlights of the day:

  • A panel on the interactions between museums and comics. In particular, a representative from the Centre Pompidou emphasized that it housed more than a museum of modern art, and in particular a library which has of late presented a number of exhibitions, on Claire Brétécher and on Gaston Lagaffe for instance. They also touched a word on museums acquiring original art, exposing it, and in a few cases publishing comic works (e.g. around a fine art exhibition).
  • Inside the city hall, an exhibition of comic works from German creators. Germans read more comics, in particular French, than they produce, but they do produce some, and as part of an exchange with the Frankfurt 2017 book fair Lyon BD presented this exhibition of German creators, most of which were present in the festival.

    I had already heard of Mawil through Safari Plage (which itself was pointed to me by Tim), but the others were new to me, and I would get to meet them the following day (except Mawil, who was not present). The exhibition will go to the Goethe Insitut in Lyon now the festival is over, so you can still catch it until September 14th. As part of the collaboration, the involved creators are creating comics to present French and German culture which are being posted in a dedicated site, including in English.

  • An exhibition [PDF] centered on Understanding Comics at the Lyon Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication a few blocks away. Organized around excerpted chapters from Scott McCloud7rsquo;s œuvre (it would be impossible to cover it all in a reasonable space), the exhibition illustrates concepts from the book (time and sequence, page construction, etc.) using French-Belgian comics (and a few others), notably Blacksad from Diaz Canales and Guarnido (as Boulet writes, #IMComingBackTonightWithACrowbar).

    The last room deals with digital comics and excerpts from Reinventing Comics instead. A must visit. It remains there until September the 20th, so if you are in Lyon for any reason, check it out².

  • A panel with Lisa Mandel and Matthieu Sapin, on how they work with the raw material they turn into comics. Both creators have used comics as a way to report on current events, for Mandel on the life and evacuation of the Calais migrant camp, and for Sapin on the life in the Elysée for a few months during the presidency of François Hollande.
  • A panel on graphic novels with McCloud, Yannick Lejeune, and Reinhard Kleist, specifically trying to tell what they are. Lejeune, an editor at Delcourt, provided examples more than a definition, starting with Tardi and Pratt in the 70s, followed by a renaissance in the 90s, starting with Satrapi’s Persepolis. Kleist, one of the invited German creators, told he uses “graphic novel” more as a container in particular for his own work, because he finds the word “comic” (used in German as well) as being inappropriate to represent his work, which is anything but funny.

    McCloud emphasized that, in the US, the expression “graphic novel” was a weapon meant not so much to add meaning than to escape the baggage of the word “comics”; he told he considers it all comics, while recognizing that the expression can be useful. On the matter of what they are, he said that while you always see the artifices of comics, a graphic novel for him is one that is deep and long enough that you end up losing yourself in the story and not noticing them any more.

    This is my favorite definition, because while his introduction of graphic novels in Reinventing was strictly in the context of US comics, now this definition is workable for Euro comics, and manga as well. After introducing myself, I told him as much during the opening ceremony for Lyon BD that followed a few minutes later.

  • During the reception that followed the opening, getting to chat with Phiip, local creator, host of many French webcomics and publisher of even more, about crowdfunding and its impact on comics publishing and self-publishing.

As always, Fleen thanks Lebeaupin for his contributions.


Spam of the day:

Ich habe hier mein Sofa im Test online gefunden.

A discussion of a sofa in German? I suspect that either Rich Stevens or Brett Porter is trolling me. In which case: Bravo, gentlemen.

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¹ Who, I should note is now the first person besides yours truly authorized to carry a Fleen business card (complete with a rendering of our masthead mascot by Meredith Gran). You’re officially a pixel-stained wretch, FSFCPL!

² The permanent collections are also worth checking out, including this bit. The caption reads: Crayon drawing This portrait drawn in crayon by the celebrated caricaturist Gavarni is of particular interest. Comparing the proof with the stone it can be seen that a moustache has been added. This kind of alteration was made possible by a process developed by Godefroy Engelmann in the 1820s. The stone is in its final state, the proof from a previous state ‘before the moustache’.

That’s Why They Call It ‘Work’ And Not ‘Fun’

Thanks to a frustrating, blinkered, blind adherence to arbitrary rules on the part of various IT types¹ that make it impossible for me to do my job² , possibly of possibly my entire career, has struck me today. How bad? I actually spent a good ten minutes this morning calculating whether or not I’d be beaten by Security if I pitched my laptop out a third floor window and screamed YOU CAN BILL ME (laced with appropriate profanity, naturally) in front of horrified customers.

So, Monday.

But I’ll not leave you wanting. By coincidence, today’s classic episode of You Damn Kid (which will eventually permalink here, unless I miss my guess) neatly parallels my feelings today, substituting for the titular Kid’s Dad. I don’t want to be an old man, much less the Old Man, but there you go. I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that Owen Dunne has a placeholder on the front page of YDK that promises

YDK TV
Starts Monday, June 12!

… which would be today. Nothing yet, but still quite a few hours left in the day.

And while we’re waiting to see what Dunne has cooked up,, let’s also whet your appetite for a fresh field report from Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, who spent the weekend at Lyon BD:

I did get to meet authors and glean interesting info from them, to visit expos, to attend panels, etc. Oh, and I managed to ask Scott McCloud a few questions, too.

Oh, good — glad those two go to meet. Better mood, more news tomorrow.


Spam of the day:

Je demande pardon qu’est intervenu … Chez moi la situation semblable. On peut examiner.

Good to know that French spam has as little regard for sensical reading as English spam.

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¹ And I work in IT! Hey, IT guys making my life miserable — there’s a reason why we’re hated, and it has to do with you not even helping your colleagues. Jerks.

² While simultaneously putting me in violation of other rules for not doing my job.

YDK TV starting today?

Comme Convenu Est Mort, Vive Valerian

Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin alerted me on happenings in French webcomics at the start of last week, but also asked me to hold the story as it was known that more details were coming down the pike. The tail end of the story arrived at the end of the week, so let’s turn it over to him and get caught up on Continental goings-on.

  • After 500 pages of an harrowing story inspired from her own experience, Laurel has recently concluded Comme Convenu (non-spoilery ending). Congratulations to Laurel for bringing this story to its conclusion!

    Now it is clear this is leaving a sizable hole in the daily trawl of many readers. And while we’re expecting to hear what she’ll be working on next, it turns out she’s been expecting, period.

    Everyone, please welcome Valerian, who [on 1 June] joined his big sisters Cerise and Hermione. And congratulations again to Laurel, as well as to Adrien Duermael.

  • Thomas Pesquet has been regaling us with photos from the ISS for the last six months, but [2 June] he is set to land back on Earth. But fear not! For Marion “Professeur Moustache” Montaigne is busy narrating his odyssey in comic form in a new book to be published in November. Yes, Commander Hadfield, you too have given us fantastic photos from space, but have you had a 200-page comic made about you? I don’t think so!¹

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¹ Ok, ok, he’s told us his story in illustrated form. Good enough. Sorry Commander, please don’t hurt me.

Gary again, with two thoughts:

  1. Commander Hadfield has never hurt anybody; he’s a friend to all. Nevertheless, I will be most intrigued to read Pr Moustache’s GN, for a litany of fairly obvious reasons.
  2. A footnote! Oh, FSFCPL, you are making a hack webcomics pseudoeditor very happy.

Okay, third thought: welcome, Valerian. I hope that we can make the world less stupid and cruel by the time you notice what it’s like. Your mother and father will love you unconditionally, but give them the occasional full night of sleep, and they spoil you rotten.

Also, grow up safely and quickly so that you can see what looks to be a completely bonkers Luc Besson movie named after you². It’s either going to be completely kickass or incredibly stupid, but either way it’ll probably make The Fifth Element look like a model of understated restraint and I can’t wait.

Edit to add: Octopus Pie just ended. Too soon to get my thoughts wrapped around that fact. Tomorrow, promise.


Spam of the day:

Bionic Steel Hose

Is this some kind of robo-Real Doll thing? Because, ew.

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² Seriously, have you seen the trailer? Bonkers.

Busy Weekend Approaching

Dunno about you, but for me this first weekend of June is gonna be all-EMS, all the time. It’s time to get smarter and practice the skills you hope you never need, which is a time-consuming process. If you have anything to announce between now and Monday, maybe drop me an email or I’ll probably miss it. What kind of anything? Oh, you know, new comics, appearances, that sort of thing.

  • New comic! Maybe nobody has had a hand in more different webcomics — and certainly more updates, given that mezzacotta has an update in its archive for damn near every day from the Big Bang until today¹ — than David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc), and since he wrapped up Planet of Hats a few months back, he’s obviously ready to start another².

    Thus, a note at the bottom of Irregular Webcomic t’other day about the next project:

    Eavesdropper is a new, original webcomic story.

    It is a collaboration between Darths & Droids authors Andrew Shellshear and David Morgan-Mar. Andrew is writing the story and David is drawing the artwork.

    The comic will launch on Wednesday 14 June, 2017, and update weekly every Wednesday.

    That’s all we know so far. And since Morgan-Mar himself is about to embark on a couple weeks overseas travel with limited email access, that’s all we’re going to know until just before Eavesdropper, uh, drops. Morgan-Mar’s art chops have come a long way since he decided to learn how to draw, and given his tendency towards paronomasia (look it up), there’s a better than even chance that the title refers to clumsiness around actual roofing features.

  • Those in Ann Arbor, Michigan have a treat in store at the Downtown Library: an exhibit of Ben Hatke’s original artwork launched yesterday and runs through 31 August, in conjunction with his upcoming appearance at Ann Arbor Comics Art Fest (formerly the Kids Read Comics Festival). A²CAF³ runs Saturday and Sunday, 17 and 18 June, at the Downtown Library, and is free and open to the public.

    Hatke will be featured at a reception on Friday the 16th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, and again at a Q&A on the 17th at 4:00pm. On the off chance that the firebreathing creator of Zita the Spacegirl, Nobody Likes A Goblin, Mighty Jack, Little Robot, Julia’s House For Lost Creatures (and much more) doesn’t catch your fancy, A²CAF will also feature appearances by Zach Giallongo, Kean Soo, Katie Shanahan, Lee Cherolis, Raina Telgemeier, and many more. Did I mention that it’s free? It’s free.


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¹ Okay, technically as far back as 1 January 9999999999999 BCE, which is about 73% of the way to the Big Bang. Close enough.

² He’s the embodiment of the notion that it’s not hard to come up with ideas, it’s hard to find the time to act on them.

³ That’s A-sqaured, not a footnote.

Checking In On The Holiday, For Timely News

Two tweets of interest, from Sam Logan:

15 years of Sam and Fuzzy! That’s a long time on the internet. 3 years older than YouTube, 2 older than Facebook, 4 younger than Google.

Today is Sam & Fuzzy’s 15th birthday, but I got YOU a present! It’s a free e-book copy [of] Volume 1. Spread and enjoy! http://gumroad.com/samandfuzzy

Fifteen years is forever in internet times. To give you an idea of how much Logan is giving you, each of the first five collections are normally US$9. Bonus: as part of the anniversary special you can get volumes 2-5 for US$10 or more; for US$20 or more, you also get the giant omnibuses that comprise all of the first thirteen years of the strip. If you haven’t read Sam & Fuzzy, this would be a good (and economical!) time to start.


Spam of the day:

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Of Course, It’s Portland

Lotta signing creators going to be happening at the end of the week/start of next, mostly in conjunction with the NCS Awards weekend extravaganza, this year touching down in Stumptown, USA. I can’t recall a similar event happening at NCS gatherings in the past, but Portland is a pretty comics-intensive town so if this were going to be introduced, it makes sense to do it this time out.

Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett will be repping webcomics at the big signing event on Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at the Hilton Portland, ‘long with other independent creators like Andrew Farago of the Cartoon Art Museum, Scott Kurtz, and Shannon Wheeler. The fact that most of the signers will be syndication types shouldn’t keep you from going if you’re in town; I met a lot of them the year I went to the Reubens Weekend and they are almost exclusively really funny and cool people¹.

Along the same lines, Meredith Gran will be signing on Friday evening, at Portland’s Books With Pictures, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Gran, one may recall, lived and worked in Portland for a couple of years some time back, and also happens to be nominated in the Reubens for Online Comics — Long Form (along with Kathleen Jacques and Ngozi Ukazu). Speaking of which, today’s Octopus Pie appears to open the possibility that the imminent conclusion of the strip will end with the earth swallowing all the main characters. Perhaps Eve will become monarch of Brooklyn Below? I’d be cool with that.

And bringing things back around to the start, LArDK is also appearing in Portland in conjunction with his own nomination for Online Comics — Short Form (along with Sarah Andersen and Ruben Bolling²). Best of luck to all the nominees, and have fun in Portland. Tell everybody I said hi.


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¹ Pretty sure the one guy who was a dick to Jon Rosenberg is dead now.

² Who may have an unfair advantage vis-a-vis his name.