The webcomics blog about webcomics

Very Behind Today; Likely Tomorrow As Well

So, quickly then: MoCCA Fest 2017 (brought to you by the Society of Illustrators) has announced its programming slate; two rooms (at the Ink48 Hotel) each running three sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (unfortunately, head to head; in past years, the rooms have staggered their start times), six per day, twelve total.

Best looking one from here: Gene Yang (Ambassador, Genius, etc) talking about diversity in comics with Damian Duffy, Hazel Newlevant, and Whit Taylor (Saturday, Garamond room, 12:30pm). Artist spotlight panels include Drew Friedman (Saturday, Helvetica room, 12:30pm), Cliff Chiang (Saturday, Helvetica room, 3:30pm), David Lloyd (Sunday, Garamond room, 12:30pm), and Becky Cloonan (Sunday, Helvetica room, 3:30pm). Politics gets a workout in Covering Trump (Saturday, Helvetica room, 2:00pm) and RESIST! (Sunday, Helvetica room, 2:00pm). Honestly, the other five panels look like they’ll be just as good.

MoCCA Fest runs Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 April, from 11:00am to 6:00pm at the Metropolitan West event space, West 46th between 11th & 12th. Admission is five stinkin’ bucks.


Spam of the day:

The Payment will be posted in 2 days. See the document (u29aq88b23vs86xh60d.docx) attached. Document Access Key: gLOcaNlBVY52

Everybody? This is a lie. Never believe these. These are bad people.

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.

_______________
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.

_______________
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.

And The Next Comics Event Is …

Man, Becky Cloonan's good. This is so pretty.

Yeah, yeah, I know everybody’s living it up in Seattle, what with the many, many webcomickers and Ass Swordsman Tetsuo sketches and all, but have you considered the fact that we’re just a month away from MoCCA Festival 2017 in New York City?

The weekend of 1-2 April, from 11:00am to 6:00pm is when, the Metropolitan West event venue (mere steps from an actual damn aircraft carrier with an actual damn space shuttle) is where¹ — a venue with some pretty decent food options, bee-tee-dubs — at a cost of five friggin’ dollars a day. For that you’ll get the best comics artists on the coast (always a well-curated mix of familiar standbys and new talent²), and Guests of Honor including Cliff Chiang, Becky Cloonan, David Lloyd, Blutch, Drew Freidman, and some guy named Gene Yang who’s supposed to be a genius or something.

Programming’s not been announced yet, but traditionally MoCCA have GoH spotlights, some smart people doing profile-type interviews, and no conflicts — every panel runs in a unique timeslot to avoid having to choose who to see talk at a given time. It’s usually six or so panels on each of the two days, meaning the only thing keeping you from seeing every panel is how much time you want to spend on the show floor.

Webcomicky types due to table at MoCCA include Bill Roundy, Carey Pietsch, Evan Dahm, Josh Neufeld, Julia Gfrorër, and slates of creators from :01 Books, the Center for Cartoon Studies, and Top Shelf/IDW.

As a bonus, the Festival will almost certainly not catch fire. I’ll see you there — I’ll be the guy with the notebook and the moustache.


Spam of the day:

XXX__PPOORRNN WATCH HER GET F**CKED IN THE A$$

I’m not sure I understand the gist of your offering. It’s mysterious and too subtle to be understood.

_______________
¹ Sessions will be held in the nearby — and gorgeous — Ink48 hotel, 11th & 48th.

² I met nascent superstar Rosemary Valero-O’Connell there last year, let’s not forget.

For Those Not In/Going To Seattle, And Heck, For Them Too

EmCity will be kicking off in a few hours, with toutes les webcomiques in attendance. Some of us never quite get to go, but that’s okay; we at Fleen are not bitter. For those that don’t get to explore the Washington State Convention Center this weekend, but who do find themselves on the Left Coast (specifically, the San Francisco Bay area) come Monday, there’s stuff going on in observance of Will Eisner Week¹ from our friends at the Cartoon Art Museum².

Specifically, you’ll find CAM over in the space of Comix Experience (305 Divisadero Street, SF), celebrating the centennial of Eisner’s birth from 5:00pm to 8:00pm:

Birthday activities include making party hats out of comic books, games including “Pin the Fedora on the Spirit,” and Will Eisner trivia. A spirited selection of birthday cupcakes will be provided!

Cupcakes! Activities! Fedoras in a non-horrible context! Best of all, the event is free and open to the public, but I’d wager there would no complaints if you donated a few bucks to help CAM’s mission/ongoing moving expenses. Or, for that matter, if you picked up one of Eisner’s many excellent graphic novels, or a collection of The Spirit from the height of the strip (call it 1946 to 1948, when Eisner returned from World War II and resumed direct creative control from his assistants³).


Spam of the day:

SqrtnAmy16 Sent You This Message: “Well, hey there! Young and energetic cutie here looking to continue exploring my wild side with a new man.

I don’t think I get your username, square root of (n) Amy. Are self-described hot-and-horny sluts really that into math?

________________
¹ Which is already underway; it runs from 1 March (yesterday) to 7 March (next Tuesday). Eisner was born on 6 March 2017.

² Whose relocation into new, permanent gallery space is so close we at Fleen can practically taste it.

³ Who included the likes of Jules Feiffer and Jack Cole.

Dunnn, Dunnn, Dun-Dun-Dun

Blast, meet past. From the mailbag:

Even though the Crown Commission website went offline late last year, and the domain expired in early February, the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge continues. Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 marked the 12th anniversary of this round of madness.

For the record, there are still two people in it: Michael H. “Daily Grind” Payne and Andrew “TRU-Life Adventures” Rothery.

That courtesy of Rothery himself, in a note misleadingly titled Minor webcomic milestone; for those too young to remember, once upon a time (before this page even launched), a whole damn bunch of webcomcikers — some of whom have become pretty damn famous — each kicked in US$20 in a bet to see who could update daily the longest without missing an update¹.

Almost immediately, people started dropping out; by the end of year one half the field was gone². After three years, three out of four competitors were done, and half of those were absent by the start of year five.

The ten year anniversary saw but two remaining (Brad Guigar’s update patterns changed around New Year’s Day 2015, making him the last competitor to finish out of the money), and so we stay to this day. Either Payne or Rothery will win this thing one day, taking home US$1120 (and eternal bragging rights); the other will take home the funds raised by advertising, last noted to be US$135 (and also the ignominy of being First Loser).

Should you come across either in the days and months to come, be sure to congratulate them, and understand that at this point neither will give up for any reason short of death. Fleen congratulates both Rothery and Payne, and assures you that whatever else you manage in life, this longevity in webcomicking will be in the first paragraph of your respective obituaries.


Spam of the day:

CONTROVERSIAL REJECTION-PROOF TRICK FOR SEDUCING WOMEN
Women need to feel in control. So when they lack that feeling, they get NERVOUS. And that is exactly why they want this technique BANNED.

Okay, a) Your shitty MRA cheat code is not a free pass into the pants of ladies. To quote the indispensable Randy Milholland, no one owes you access to their body. And II) Your shitty MRA cheat code is not something that can be banned, exactly how stupid do you think the people you’re trying to sell this crap to are? Oh, wait, I think I just answered my own question.

_______________
¹ There were rules to determine what counted as an update, and what to do in case of site outage, and how many days could be missed based on your strip’s schedule.

² Including, in a shocker, cartooning machine Chris Crosby.

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.

______________
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.

Goddammit, This Is Killing Me

You may have noticed in the past week-ten days that Zach Weinersmith has been slowly but surely working up anticipation for a major new project, to be announced today. He’s said that he’s very excited, that it’s something distinct from past projects, and that it’s a collaboration with his wife, Dr Kelly Weinersmith, professional parasite wrangler. I’ve been waiting all day to tell you about it.

Sorry everyone. We’re having to delay the Big Thing due to technical difficulties. More info shortly. Hopefully tomorrow.

Dammit! You don’t know how frustrating this is, because I know what Secret Project X-37¹ is. So courtesy of my pledge to respect a publication embargo, please accept this spoiler-free discussion of what’s likely to be the second and third-most (respectively) significant project that Zach and Kelly (respectively) have produced to date².

Zach asked me for feedback on ________ some months back, so I’ve seen the full ____ of _____ and can tell you it’s ambitious, authoritative, intriguing, and _____ _____ ______ in a way that makes the Weinersmiths the natural heirs to _______. Really, I had very few comments other than This was done really well and I always wondered about this and Oh glob this is terrifying is this really going to happen please let sweet death take me before it comes to pass.

They’ve done a great job, and _________ should be proud to be working with them. Naturally, even with the partnership of _________, there’s a lot to be said for leveraging your existing audience, which is why Zach is pointing you to _______ and the magic of pre-orders. Look at what you get for pre-ordering _____ before ______!

Let me be clear, I want ______ so even though I’ve got an early _______ largely committed to memory, I’m going to be spending money and contributing to the pre-order totals so that I — and all of you as well — can see _____ as we work together for a better future and cool free stuff.

________ is available for pre-order at _______, with a pre-release price of US$_____, and release date of _______. In the meantime, be sure to check out ____________ for more information.

Weinersmiths thank you for your patience. We at Fleen wish the Weinersmiths well on their new event, product, and/or service. All kidding aside, when you hear what they’ve put together, you’re gonna love it.


Spam of the day:

Have Sex With Someones Wife NOW

Does my wife count? Because she’s out right now but will be back later.

_______________
¹ My own invented name.

² I would say it’s surpassed by a doctoral dissertation with respect to Kelly, and by the births of their children with respect to both.

And Here We Are Again, Friday

I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready for the weekend. Let’s boogie.

  • For the life of me, I can’t figure out how Reed!Pop could buy Emerald City Comicon (and, not coincidentally, the services of showrunner team Jim & Andrea Demonakos) and still have their two opposite-coast major comics shows (that would be EmCity and New York Comic Con) be polar opposites when it comes to indie- and webcomics. EmCity, in case you didn’t know, has essentially eclipsed San Diego as the big attendance show that webcomics flocks to, and NYCC is inhospitable to the very same crowd. Most perplexing.

    But, since EmCity is next week and all, how about a rundown of who you’ll find there? I love the maps that people create to show where they’ll be (although they’re a bit rarer this year than past), but even without the maps we can give you a list of who’s gonna be there (in no particular order, and we quote):

    Pat Race and the Alaska Robotics crew (booth 204, including Marian Call, whose new album dropped today and is awesome and she’ll have shows concurrent with EmCity); Sohmer, Unca Lar, and the Blind Ferret folks (booth 110); (Brad Guigar (booth R5); Danielle Corsetto and Randy Milholland (booth 1413); Jennie Breeden (booth 1322); all of the miscellaneous Explosm weirdos (booth 828); and Kaja & Phil Foglio (booth 118).

    There’s a hefty delegation from Helioscope (formerly Periscope) (booths H1 through 16 inclusive, to be occupied by Aaron McConnell, Aud Koch, Ben Dewey, Brian Wolf, Bridget Underwood, Cat Farris, Dan Schkade, Lucy Bellwood, Lukas Ketner, Ron Chan, Ron Randall, Roxy Polk, Steve Lieber, Tadd Galusha, Terry Blas, and Zach Fischer).

    Want more? How about Spike Trotman, Blue Delliquanti, Takneka Stotts, and Amanda Lafrenais (together at booth 212); Jake Richmond (booth X4); Molly “Jakface” Nemecek (booth Q3); the ubiquitous Jim Zub (booth V3); Kate Leth (booth J6); Kazu Kibuishi (booth K1); Lars Brown and David McGuire (booth Z1); Ngozi Ukazu and Tessa Stone (booth M9); and Pascalle Lepas (booth P16).

    We’re still not done (even allowing for the fact that I probably missed a bunch of people), consider that you’ll also find Dave Kellett (booth 1116); Der-shing Helmer (booth K6); Matt Inman (booth 410); Tony Breed and Lonnie Mann (booth M10); and Yuko Ota and Ananth Hirsh (booth M10).

    Finally, you gots the creatorpaloozas that will be the :01 Books (booth 1602) and TopatoCo (booth 1102) contingents. The former will include Box Brown, Gene Luen Yang, Matthew Loux, MK Reed, Pénélope Bagieu; the latter is bringing Jeph Jacques, Sam Logan, David Malki !, Dylan Meconis, Erika Moen, Alina Pete, Tyson Hesse, Becky Dreistadt, Matt Lubchansky, Abby Howard, Catie Donnelly, and Brandon Bird.

    Emerald City Comicon runs from Thursday 2 March to Sunday 5 March 2017 in Seattle.

  • For those that can’t make it to the upper-left corner of the country, may I suggest curling up with a good podcast? Owne Dunne may be back to hiatusland with You Damn Kid, but that doesn’t mean that he’s idle. Dunne’s always done a stack of projects simultaneously, one of which was the webcomic parody of old-fashioned, hard-boiled cops, Banion.

    Of late, Banion has been audio-enhanced for your listening pleasure, and is now downloadable from Google Play and iTunes. Dunne’s at his best when he takes a classic form (the childhood memoir, the Dragnet style cop, the British prestige drama) and knocks it 47.3° to the side, which pretty much describes Banion, The Podcast


Spam of the day:

A Better Way to Inflate Everything

Nnnnooope. Not going near that one.