The webcomics blog about webcomics

Gettin’ To Be That Time Again

The time when hopefully-smart people tell us what the best things of the year were; a couple of well-curated lists have hit in the last day or so, and I thought I should point out some of the recognition that webcomics (and the webcomics-adjacent) have earned.

  • There are very few writers on comics (of all types) working in English that are as good as Oliver Sava at The AV Club; even better, Sava has an eye for talent and has sought out others that have interesting, smart perspectives on comics and gives them plenty of space to write. He’s joined on the 2018 list of best comics by Caitlin Rosenberg, who nearly always has something to point out that I’d missed in whatever we both read.

    Giant Days (by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar) continued its run of excellence, so no surprise to see a little love for the Tackleverse. Print (or reprint) runs of On A Sunbeam (by Tillie Walden) and Rice Boy (by Evan Dahm) also get nods — they’re both still available in their entirety online, but this is the year that :01 Books and Iron Circus, respectively, pushed the stories wide. Finally, they note that the single best strip — heck, the single best panel — of 2018 can be summed up in three words: Sluggo is lit, from the revamped Nancy by pseudonymous webcomicker Olivia Jaimes, who’s made the comics page safe for weirdness again.

  • NPR, meanwhile, has produced a deeply curated list of the best books of 2018, and as usual they include a healthy selection of words+pictures; close to 10% of this year’s recommendations could be called comics. Like On A Sunbeam and Rice Boy, you can find much of the comics that went into Check Please!: Book One (by Ngozi Ukazu) and Your Black Friend (by Ben Passmore) online; the print editions of both are surely spreading their reach, though.

    I’m on record as being deeply conflicted about Jen Wang’s The Prince And The Dressmaker, but I’m not going to say that the NPR reviewer’s delight is misplaced or wrong — we all get from books what we get¹. Other books from onetime or sometime webcomickers include Vera Brosgol’s delightful and cringey Be Prepared, Lisa Hanawalt’s Coyote Doggirl, and Luisa — Now And Then, adapted by the invaluable Mariko Tamaki.

    Finally, in the realm of pure literature, you get some love for the only book that will let you jumpstart an entire civilization if stranded in the past, How To Invent Everything, by Ryan North (illustrations by Lucy Bellwood). Fun fact! According to North, one of the key technologies for your civilization is non-sucky numbers², which seems a random thing for me to mention here for no reason at all, but I sure did that.

  • Hey, you know what you can do with non-sucky numbers? Measure stuff and calculate ratios! And you know what the greatest ratio in the world is? North, building on the work of Karla Pacheco, gifted us with such a ratio just today:

    Big Cow was photographed next to Small Cows. So how does Knickers compare to REGULAR cows?? Well @THEKarlaPacheco is slightly taller than a standard Holstein, and since I am slightly taller than Big Cow, the ratio between Big Cow and a regular cow is about… THIS

    Pacheco, I should note, has made a habit of being photographed with taller people — because pretty much everybody is — including, sometimes, much taller people like the Northesque Jeph Jacques. And North, I should note, has made a habit of being photographed with shorter people — because pretty much everybody is — including, sometimes, much shorter people like the Pachecoesque Shin Ying Khor. It is now my goal to measure as many comics folk as possible against one of these Big Cow/Small Cow metersticks, for science. Moo.

Spam of the day:

Target customers directly with email marketing tactics

a) No. b) Your email domain is, which sounds … wrong. Like cinemarama or perhaps Estradarama, but with duders?

¹ However, I stand by my contention that Molly Ostertag’s The Witch Boy covered much of the same topical ground with more subtlety and honesty. It was released in 2017, so it’s not on the list. The sequel is, if anything, even better, but both books suffered from releasing at the end of October, too late for inclusion in lists that must have already been under construction.

² The others being verbal language, written language, the scientific method, and a calorie surplus.

No Post Today — It’s My Birthday

Instead, why don’t you take a moment to enjoy the fine wares of Jon Rosenberg, cartoonist, soulkeeper, bon vivant, and my co-birthdayist? Buy something at his store! Support his Patreon, especially at the US$30 tier, where you get to argue with him on Twitter.

And if you’ve already argued with him on Twitter, pay him the thirty bucks, cheapskate.

Happy Birthday, you magnificent, cranky bastard. Hope it’s a great one.

Every Monday Is Cyber Monday If You’re Horny Enough

Welp, it’s Cyber Monday, and there are sales o’ plenty, as well as some not-sales, but nifty merch nonetheless. It’s not all cybers, though.

For instance, Jamie Noguchi woke up today to find that he’s in the Washington Post, particularly in a story about Super Art Fight, the perpetually-bizarre art head-to-head where he’s a regular and oft-champion. It’s behind a paywall, so maybe you wait until the end of the week to read it, or maybe you could give the richest guy in the world a few bucks and subscribe.

To my mind, though, the big thing to check out is the reaction to a piece that hit Twitter over the weekend that argued indie comics shows are blatantly unfair to new creators, exploiting them to benefit big name guests. I’m not linking to the original here, because I think there’s a lot of subtlety in the position that is poorly suited to Twitter, and don’t want to cause the original poster any grief or pile-ons. The reactions that I’m going to point you towards have been measured, respectful, and thoughtful. Unsurprisingly, they’re from Jim Zub and C Spike Trotman.

Zub, as he frequently does, talks about the work and preparation that all aspects of a creative career require. The key part, I think was his conclusion:

At almost every show I see at least one a new creator who has spent a ridiculous amount of money, assuming their huge banner and flashy booth will provide them the big splash they need to ‘break in’, not realizing that these creative fields are a marathon, not a sprint.

Spike also emphasizes the skills one must develop to pick out which shows to attend, and the importance of right-sizing both your expectations and your career growth, but more importantly she pointed out that those starting creators have resources they can call on, like the Creators 4 Creators grant, which just so happens to be accepting applications.

And, not wanting to hash things out on Twitter, Shing Yin Khor decided to cut through the noise and just do something about it:

I don’t like having opinions on the internet much anymore. My opinion on the convention table cost issue is that we should try to create ways to make them accessible for those who need it most. Anyway, I’ve created a small microgrant ($200 x5) program.

You are eligible if: 1. You are a comics creator accepted to or intending to apply to exhibit at a 2019 show. 2. You have exhibited at fewer than 3 conventions or zinefests. 3. You do not have a published work with a major indie or traditional publisher (anthology work is fine).

It is intended for newer members of the comics community who need a bit of extra help to exhibit at conventions, zine fests or festivals. It can be used for costs associated with travel, lodging, tabling, and creating books and merch.

It’s an easy form. It should take less than 15mins to fill out if you have already been giving thought to exhibiting. This is a small thing. What’s gonna happen is that I’m gonna sit down with some trusted people in late December, and then PayPal or Venmo 5 good people.

And, because comics is full of awesome people, there’s been a knock-on effect:

It has only been 15 mins, but the number of microgrants we can actually offer thanks to some good people, is now 8! I don’t want to collect money (I don’t have the resources to organize it), but if you’d like to sponsor a grant and be matched with a recipient in Dec, lemme know.

You hear the woman — if you’ve got a spare bit of cash and want to help a just-beginning creator, let her know.

Spam of the day:

Hope you are doing great Today.I have a proposed BUSINESS ARRANGEMENT that will benefit both parties. This is legitimate,legal and your personality will not be compromised.Please Reply to me ONLY if you are interested and consider your self capable for details

Okay, bonus points for sending this one from Japan, spammers. Don’t usually see that.

Happy [American] Thanksgiving, Have A Picture Of My Dog

I’m thankful that she’s developing indoors manners at a prodigious rate, and is settling into the house nicely. If you’ve ever thought Hey, know what I need around here? A good dog!, there’s going to be a huge number of pointy girls and boys that needs homes because Florida banned dog racing. You can find an adoption group near you here.

I’m also thankful that Randy Milholland has revived one of my favorite hiatused comics projects, Super Stupor, at least for today and tomorrow. It’s been a bit more than six years since we got a Super Stupor strip, and going on seven since we saw any of the semi-regular characters.

For those that haven’t read the strips, they’re an easily-managed archive dive from the first, the four comics are the best cape books of the past decade — really! — and they dismantle the tropes of super heroes in ways that Alan Moore and Warren Ellis hadn’t even considered. At least I don’t remember either Watchmen or Nextwave inverting the Women In Refrigerators thing.

They might have had super-powered dick-punching, I’d have to check.

But seriously, the entire strip is terrific, and Punchline may be my favorite costumed hero, because for all the extraordinary rudeness, there’s a tremendous amount of heart to him (especially in Super Stupor issue #2). Same for Eyesore, and Big Killhuna, and Rumble Bee, and Archangela, and, and, and…. Milholland’s always had a knack for making his characters people in addition to vectors for jokes, and he makes the most of it here.

Okay, probably that’s it until Monday (I have holiday duty on Thursday, so it’s gonna be a bit hectic around here). We might not see each other until then, but I’m thankful for you, too. Most of you. One or two, not so much; you know what you did.

Spam of the day:

We did check your website and it is not on the first page of Google.

Then I guess you’re searching for the wrong term.

Because Chuck Got It Right, Dammit

When I saw the email from the good folks at the Cartoon Art Museum, I knew I had to talk about it. After, a story about why I had to talk about it.

Mark your calendars for a celebration with the Chuck Jones Gallery special guests and the Cartoon Art Museum as we ring in the holidays with a spotlight of original artwork from How the Grinch Stole Christmas showcased as part of our Treasury of Animation exhibition.

The Grinch, and not that Cumberbatch-associated abomination that somebody felt the need to make. When will people learn that the 26 minute original, starring Boris Karloff, June Foray, and Thurl Ravenscroft is definitive, and needs no reinterpretation? Particularly not a 90 minute long 3D animated version, but at least it’s got to be better than the previous abomination.

Ahem. It’ll be a week from Saturday, 1 December, at 6:00pm for US$8 advance/US$10 at the door, with CAM members free with RSVP. You’ll get to marvel at original artwork until 9:00pm, and I’ll wager there will be at least some cocoa and cookies (although probably not Who-pudding or roast beast). But there is one piece of artwork that won’t be there. It’s at the top of this post, or more accurately, a photo of it is at the top of this post.

Because it — the original it — hangs on my wall.

I mentioned a story, and here it is — at least, the short verion. When I got this piece from Chuck Jones’s gallery in Santa Fe more than 20 years ago, the gallery director told me about a previous customer who knew he wanted a Grinch cel, but wasn’t sure which one. He went flipping through the entire collection, skipping over such highly sought-after cels as full-body Grinches and horned Grinches¹. Suddenly, he stopped, pointing to one of the cels of the Grinch and Max on top of Mount Crumpit, and said That one².

She wondered about the choice — it’s a distant shot of the Grinch and Max, the sled is really the focal point, but wrapped it up. Finally she asked about his choice. He explained (and this is thirdhand, so don’t take this as a direct quote) I’m an aerospace engineer and I love this scene. If we assume the Grinch is about human sized — five and half, six feet — then those clumps of snow are falling correctly. They’re accelerating downwards at 32 feet per second squared. Chuck Jones didn’t have to get that detail right but he did, and it’s always stuck with me.

For all the lumpy, stretchable, rubber-limbed implausibility of Grinches and Maxes, for all the ways that the laws of physics were stretched to the breaking point throughout the story, Chuck Jones knew that at the moment of tension he had to make it feel intuitively correct and let us spend all our brain cycles on the danger and not have even a single fleeting nanosecond of whatever the physical world equivalent of the uncanny valley is.

That’s why there no need for any of the reimaginings or reboots. That’s why I’ll never admit that the Grinch has ever been portrayed by anything other than a single book and a cartoon from 1966. That’s why, if you’re in the Bay Area Saturday next, you should drop in and let us know how it feels to have your heart grow three sizes.

Spam of the day:


Unless Danny Trejo is playing Roxanne, I ain’t interested. And screw you, PR shop, for having no unsubscribe link in your email, that’s why you end up in spam folder.

¹ Me, I knew I wanted a Grinch-and-Max. Even in the 90s, damn few of those were still available.

² Not necessarily this exact cel, but one very similar to it, as we will shortly see.

The First Thing We Do: Let’s Alienate All The Content Makers

If there are people that have thought more about how to interact with their respective audiences than Zach Weinersmith, Ryan North, and Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett, I’m not sure of who they are. And when they start kibbitzing in public about how you done screwed up and made them want to not work with you any more, then Sparky, you screwed up.

And by Sparky, I of course mean Facebook.

LArDK’s feelings have been well-established for some time now, and Weinersmith cited Kellett’s thesis in his public musings on Friday:

For the record, though: We used to do lots of “free” stuff on facebook, back before they turned into an extortion racket for artists.

Btw, @davekellett pointed this out in 2015 ( …) and I poo-pooed it. But, facebook’s basically just gotten worse since. I personally have doubled my facebook “audience” since then, but my reach among them has dropped.

… which prompted concurrence from North, LArDK, MC Frontalot, and others:

yep! same here. I actually did an interview for an article explaining this and giving numbers for why it was so bad, but then the next week it was revealed how bad Facebook was for DEMOCRACY ITSELF, so I think the article got canned :0

I’m actually really close to closing down DC on Facebook – I don’t want to lose the readers, but at a certain point supporting FB becomes a tacit endorsement of what they do… and besides, if they’re not actually showing my stuff to the readers there anyway… SHRUG EMOJI

I would love love love to see Facebook become a vast content graveyard, just page after page perpetually autoposting “we’ve moved on…”

I ended up taking down my personal FB page. For me, their role with Cambridge Analytica and the other groups tacitly working for the FSB/GRU was the final straw.

The last being a reference to the fact that Facebook, presented with evidence that it was being used to spread propaganda, responded by hiring a political hit-firm to spread stories that their critics were paid by George Soros, playing into the most vilely antisemitic tropes that — gosh! — they’ve been so instrumental in spreading. Not that Zuckerberg knows anything about it. Nope, not it.

Which is leading to a fairly fundamental question: why should (in this case) Weinersmith post content for free to Facebook, who then sells ads and makes money that they don’t share with him, and which further charges him money to actually deliver his posts that might make him money so he can afford to keep making the content they’re monetizing? Why should anybody?

And, as I’ve been writing this post, I’m seeing word that Tumblr is apparently taking down NSFW accounts, despite the fact that NSFW content isn’t prohibited by the terms of service. If you don’t trust Tumblr randos, trust George, who’s reporting the same, and back up your content.

There’s been a major shift away from webcomics folk maintaining their own sites in the past few years, with Tumblr and various portal-type sites (Taptastic, Webtoon) offering free hosting and eyeballs that might not have landed on an individual site in this mostly post-RSS (and bookmarkless) world.

But any time you rely on somebody else’s infrastructure to run your business/art/lifestyle/whatever, you run the possibility of it being taken away by somebody whose priorities are not yours. Let us not even talk about Flickr’s forthcoming changes or the fact we’re coming up on the anniversary of the Great Patreon Balls-Up Of AughtSeventeen.

So today’s sentence¹ is as follows: use other (free) services all you like, but keep your content someplace besides the free service. You don’t have to put up your own site! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want! But please, for the sake of your work and my peace of mind, keep a copy someplace so you can rebuild when the free service du jour decides you don’t get to use them for free (or at all) after today.

Spam of the day:

Furnish Your Outdoor Area in Style

Let’s leave my area out of this.

¹ And how is it more than ten years since today’s sentence?

Join Us

I was of two minds about using that title, Join Us, because there’s only two ways to read it. Either it’s what you hear from creepy cult folk as they try to entice you into whatever their deal is, or else what you hear from a kaleidoscopic frenzy of Broadway circus folk in full Bob Fosse mode¹. And the thing is, what I’m talking about bears² at least a little resemblance to both of those.

Readers of this page will perhaps recall that on an occasion or two, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of attending the Alaska Robotics Comics Camp in Juneau, and I may be a bit of a proselyte about it. Cult is possibly too strong a word for the intentional community that’s grown up around Camp, but there’s a depth of feeling and fellowship that’s realer than any church I’ve belonged to³.

And, since Ben Hatke will be there, there will be plenty of circus artistry. Seriously, any time he does a talk for kids and there’s room, he’s going backflips. He’s a skilled archer, and he’s been known to engage in fire breathing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out he’s got mad trampoline, rope-walking, or trapeze skills. Dunno his opinions on Bob Fosse, though.

But you don’t have to talk my word for it; applications for Comics Camp 2019 are now open. A description of Camp is found here, a preliminary list of guests here, and questions are answered here.

As I’ve said before, I will return to Camp as often as the organizers are willing to have me (and should they decide that their curation of attendee backgrounds/experiences would favor one less white guy, I completely understand), and as a disclaimer, I sponsor one attendee’s fees besides my own because I’m in a position to do so. I figure the creative interplay that results will cause comics to be made over careers that otherwise wouldn’t, and I consider that to be a terrific investment.

Applications are due by 15 December, and you can find them here here (an abbreviated version is available if you’ve been before). Comics Camp and its associated events will take place 25-30 April 2019 in Juneau, Alaska.

Spam of the day:

Implant Dentistry

I swear, I read the word implant and my brain went some very weird places.

¹ That is to say, vaguely menacing.

² No pun intended.

³ Brought up Methodist, seriously questioning by the time I went to college, where a lot of my fellow students were Born Again and that accelerated my exit from the realms of doctrine. I maintain Shannon’s Figure 1 is as valid an inspiration for a philosophical system to explain the universe and our place in it as anything, and it’s what I had in mind when I accepted ordination. Plus, I recommend that everybody officiate at least one wedding in their lives. As my friend Yakov (rabbi, cantor, mohel, and jazz trumpter) says, conducting a wedding for those you love is a mitzvah.

On The Value Of Artificial Scarcity

Leave it to Dave and Brad — sorry, I meant Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett and Brad Guigar¹ — to come up with a great new method to drive interest and support in their work. I don’t want to use the word scheme because it’s full of negative connotations, and this is actually completely above-board. But it’s got a hook, and it’s brilliant, and it’s got a means to extract more than the intended recipient is necessarily aware of, which is why the s-word is so tempting. Nothing else that’s brief and punchy that conveys those concepts, and so we’ll just have to do without.

Here’s the deal: join their Patreon at the US$5 level by [American] Thanksgiving, and get something awesome. In Guigar’s case, the full e-library of Evil Inc, ten volumes worth. It’s a great deal that costs Guigar probably nothing — the books are already produced, the back library probably sells negligibly compared to the latest volume, that’s five bucks he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and with a download code, it’s even on the recipient to provide the bandwidth.

Kellett’s come up with a more intriguing offering — a 55 page compendium of the non-story pages to Drive, all material that you could read for free, but scattered through the nine year archive (which is distressingly linear and offers no ability to find particular strips quickly) (get on that, LArDK). They’ve taken a similar idea, but put two different spins on the execution.

Guigar will give you the chance to pull down the books any time between now and Thanksgiving, then it’s back to purchasing them like a chump. Kellett is offering the material in a form that will be available on the day of only, then it’s taken down; I think this will do a lot to deter the jerks out there that would load a relatively small offering to pirate sites and undercut the people that want it, but are maybe a little cheap.

Consider, too: you have to be signed up in the next eight days. A person that wants the book (and oh my, I want it — but more on that in a moment) but doesn’t want to really lay out that much over time might join Patreon at the US$5 level (or increase their pledge) knowing that they’re going to get charged, but cancel or revert their increase right after they get the goods. But in the meantime, they’re getting all the other stuff one gets at that level of Patreonage and then they even have another week-plus after Thanksgiving before the next end-of-month charge to decide — I like this.

That’s why this is a smarter play than having a one-day sale on the book set or offering the book for one day only; up to two weeks to get somebody used to the idea of being a Patreon, and you don’t have to decide to stop until after you’ve read a goodly chunk of ten books, or read the ultra limited edition bonus material² and then get sucked back into reading the whole damn story again. It’s the sort of thing that makes you really well-disposed to the creator and figure Well, I’ll stay at the five buck level for another month. He deserves it.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Except it’s entirely benign. The value you get is far more than the fiver you spent, and any continued support past that is voluntary. Once, I was talking with Howard Tayler³ about a particular piece of work that he managed to get paid for three different ways and witnessed the fabled I got paid three-ee-ee ti-imes dance. I think that Guigar and Kellett need to work up their own choreography, because this one is in a league of its own. What they’re doing is getting the less-committed fans the opportunity to try out being more-committed fans, and charging them five bucks for the privilege of doing so.

In fact, I’m ready to get that book from Kellett myself except — I’m not going to.

Understand, I’m a tremendous fan of Drive, and all that he is (and via Tales Of The Drive, his guest contributors are) doing with the story and the universe it occupies. But (and I think I mentioned this once before, but if not, here goes) I have to draw an ethical line.

I buy a lot of comics and graphic novels — including via Kickstarter. I accept review copies when offered the opportunity to request them. My reviews are based solely on my reading of the work, and not on whether or not I paid for whatever I’m reviewing (and I count myself lucky to have mostly reviewed work that I honestly enjoyed from top to bottom, because I really dislike writing negative reviews … whatever Anton Ego may say, I don’t find them fun to write). So I have no problem either giving money to creators4, or accepting something I wouldn’t have otherwise bought.

But I draw the line at Patreon, because that’s where you start getting into the territory that I get access to material that not everybody gets access to. I think it’s also possible to influence a creator by having a financial stake in the support a career beyond that of purchasing a specific finished thing. It’s possibly a meaningless, pedantic line to draw, but I’ve drawn it. I’m not a Patreon of anybody whose work I may discuss here. So if you do cash in on the 10-volume set, or the Secret Book Of Forbidden La Familia Knowledge, enjoy them for me.

Spam of the day:

Lil Elf Paper Cutter

I read that subject line and all I can think of is David Sedaris describing Santa Santa in his brilliant Santaland Diaries: Oh, little elf, little elf, come sing Away In A Manger for us. He had a name Santa, and it’s Crumpet.

¹ He’s dreamy.

² Never underestimate the nerd’s tendency to go for the exclusive premium packaging.

³ Evil twin, etc. Hi, Howard!

4 Often via the facilitation of the fine folks at TopatoCo, who celebrated an anniversary yesterday. Happy Birthday, you old building and loan marvelous collection of weirdos. ANd congrats on being the one 14 year old that isn’t terminally snotty about everything!

Things To Check Out

Well I mean I would bet basically one dude or maybe none in a million from the vast Fleen audience is unaware that Noelle Stevenson’s take on She-Ra debuts at Netflix today, so I’m not sure why you’re reading this instead of binging. From here, I can tell you two spoiler-free things:

  1. It’s cool that the closest thing to costume cut-outs are on characters that appear to be dudes; no boob windows here!
  2. It appears that episode 8 (Princess Prom) is going to be cameoriffic. Keep your eyes peeled for awesome people in animated form.

That keening sound you hear in the distance, ever so faint? That’s either the whiny manbabies who are upset that these characters are no longer designed for the male gaze¹, or my new dog when she perceives and insufficient amount of attention is being paid to her².

The much louder cheering sound is a mix of adult animation fans seeing something well-made and entertaining, and younger kids seeing something aimed at them that broadens their perception of who can be a protagonist — shapes, sizes, skin tones, and apparent genders are are broad enough that kids who didn’t get to see themselves as the hero now have a chance to. Bravo.

In other news:

  • We mentioned comiXology’s move into creator-owned stories back around SDCC, and how they’d tapped a series of webcomics creators to help launch the new comiXology Originals endeavour. One that looks particularly promising is The Stone King by Kel McDonald and Tyler Crook. I had a chance to read issue #1 before its debut tomorrow³. The story’s a little Moebius, the art is a little early Finder crossed with War Child-era Grendel. If you’ve got a comiXology account, I strongly recommend checking this out.
  • Ever since Goats celebrated 20 years of comics last year, we’ve been in the territory where more and more webcomics (and/or webcomickers) of a similar vintage would be meeting the mark. The Walkyverse hit 20 about five months after the Goatsiverse, and Penny Arcade will roll over the two decade odometer on Sunday, with a retrospective up at the site.

    PvP actually cleared the Big Two-Oh back in May without much fanfare; the actual day didn’t have even an oblique reference in the strip, unless you count that obvious 20-sided die in panel two. And now, it’s clear there was a reason for the earlier quietude.

    Scott Kurtz is doing a comprehensive reprint of the entire damn thing. Oh, sure, you can get a single hardcover with 200-odd pages of the best PvP strips (plus Kurtz’s Wedlock and Elementary, the former of which hasn’t been seen in forever and which I still maintain is his most promising work) for US$50. Or you can admit you’re a completist and get the strips not in the 20th anniversary volume. That’s nine damn hardcovers, every single strip, 2500+ pages, for US$200 which is kind of a bargain.

    I mean, it’s not spare change, but US$50 is an eminently reasonable price for a 200-ish page color hardcover, and by rights nine of them should come to US$450. Oh, plus whatever it costs you when you go to the doctor for painkillers after you throw your back out lifting the box they came in, because it comes to more than 22 frggin’ kilos.

    The PvP Definitive Edition 20th Anniversary Collection Kickstart runs for another 24 days, and by the FFF mk2 can expect to raise US$92K-138K (the midpoint of that range is about 153% of the US$75K goal). One potentially important factor: due to the relatively high price points on all rewards (US$10 for 1 PDF, US$45 for all 9 PDFs, physical rewards from US$50 to US$2000), this is going to be a relatively low backer campaign (as of this writing, the amount pledged per backer averages a staggering US$141!), and campaigns with fewer than about 200 backers on the first day (Kurtz had 90) are notoriously hard to fit to the prediction model.

    The McDonald ratio (hey, there’s Kel again) is probably a better predictor and it says US$108K. We’ll all find out together in a bit less than a month, and I for one am intensely curious to find out how many superfans out there are willing to engage in this degree of purchase.

Spam of this day:

At launch, the service includes comic titles such as, ‘Give My Regards To Black Jack’, ‘Vanguard Princess’, ‘Danity Kane’, ‘God Drug’, ‘Soul Ascendance’, original animation videos such as ‘Demian’, ‘Break Ups’, ‘Short Age’, the official soundtrack to the video game ‘Vanguard Princess’, and the award-winning feature-length animated film ‘Padak’ among others.

I wouldn’t even have mentioned this one except for two magic words: Dannity Kane. Because now I get to point you again to the one of the best editorial cartoons of the year: Reality Star’s Son Allegedly Had Affair With Reality Star by Kendra Wells. It never fails to make me giggle.

¹ That’s pretty much their entire argument — if they can’t see copious titties in the kids cartoon, it’s devoid of worth and a dire insult.

² So same thing, really.

³ And dropping new issues on New Comic Day? Smart. Getting the readers to accept these are just another form of comics is going to drive readership, I’m sure.

New Dog In The House

She is getting settled, and learning that not everything has to happen at the same time, that kitchen counters are off limits, that small animals are not the be-all and end-all of life, and what an acceptable amount of whining is. She’s actually very good, but it’s also apparent some of her ultra-chill the day we got her was from being overwhelmed by the changes she’s undergone since leaving the dog track.

We’ve been here before and she’s leaving the withdrawn stage with rapidity, and then she’ll hit the acclimation stage. Until then, we may be a bit sparser with updates than usual.

In the meantime, please feel free to bust your holiday spending plans on a series of beautiful Baffler!s from Chris Yates, taken from Rosemary Mosco’s bird sounds comics — you got your Indigo Bunting (Fire! Fire! Where? Where? Here! Here!), your Common Yellowthroat (Witchity, witchity, witchity.), and your Acorn Woodpecker (Wake up! Wake up!).

They’re each US$295 (plus US$32 shipping and handling — and Yates ships his puzzles with vault-like protection), feautring 98-125 pieces, and fall 6.8-7.1 out of 10 on the Yates Difficulty Scale¹, which means if you’re me², you’re looking at an hour or so to put these handmade, unique artworks back together.

Spam of the day:

Juice Cleanses

Get out of here with that cleanse bullshit. Stay the hell away from my colon.

¹ Which he once allowed may be logarithmic, just like warp factors.

² I don’t believe I’ve ever managed an 8/10 on the Yates scale; I have #2161 (rated 7/10) and number 3400 (unrated, I’d guess about the same) and they’re about as complex as I want to go.

I’d never attempt one of his notorious complex multi-level behemoths if I didn’t have a week to set aside. And with a new dog in the house, I’m not sure the pieces would be safe, anyway.