The webcomics blog about webcomics

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’.

Title Later, Primal Screaming Now

Retroactive editor’s note: Well, I started writing this in the afternoon before work blew up in a chewy cluster of fuck. It’s past 8:00pm and while I’m in a lull I’m still there and my editor brain is about dead. Posting whatever I’ve got below and I’ll fix any glaring errors later (not to mention writing a proper intro) later.

  • Speaking of As The Crow Flies (we were too — yesterday, just down there, where we noted it’s now in the Library of Friggin’ Congress), we should mention that today is the last day of the Kickstart to print the first collection of Melanie Gillman’s story of (queer) friendship, (loss of) faith, finding oneself, and probably a few other things that start with F.

    The funding target has been long since met, and last night the campaign reached its solitary stretch goal, so all backers now get a bonus comic story, never seen before. Running up the total at this point just means that creators that tell unique stories with skill and delicate pencils get rewarded with the ability to support themselves. You’ve got (as of this writing) about an hour.

  • New webcomic alert! I mentioned 10-12 days back that David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) was launching a new webcomic. Eavesdropper (for that is its name) went live with page one today. Morgan-Mar is famously an early-stages artist when it comes to drawing, but that works pretty well here; Eavesdropper is meant to be presented in a film storyboard-like style, and the rough outlines and chunky style serve the chosen aesthetic well.

    The choice of storyboaresque makes sense beyond choosing a style to fit the artist’s abilities; Morgan-Mar partners with Andrew Shellshear¹, who conceived the story as a movie some years back, and finally gets to see it done in a visual medium thanks to Morgan-Mar’s continual willingness to experiment with comics. Expect Eavesdropper to run about two years, with updates on Wednesdays, at the end of which I expect to see Morgan-Mar’s cartooning skills sharp enough to take on whatever the next challenge will be.


Spam of the day:

3 Ways You’re Getting Screwed Buying A Retail Mattress

As my chances of seeing my mattress anytime soon are pretty slim, I’m all up to overpay at retail.

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¹ One of Morgan-Mar’s co-writers on the Star Wars-slash-RPG remix project, Darths & Droids. Having reached the end of Jedi, Morgan-Mar tells me the D&D team is taking a break before tackling Rogue One. He also mentions that the major collaborative webcomic in the Irregularverse, Lightning Made Of Owls, is running low on contributions. How to contribute may be found here

Respectability, Dammit

I was halfway through a post for today when news broke from the nation’s capital; I guess working for a local paper like The Washington Post means that when you’ve got DC-based webcomics news, they get the story instead of, say, hack webcomics pseudojournalists, not that i am envious.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The invaluable Michael Cavna has the news that the Library of Congress has discovered webcomics and is going big:

The library will announce Tuesday that the Webcomics Web Archive is officially launching at loc.gov as part of its growth in “born-digital” collections.

The first phase of the webcomics online collection will include nearly 40 titles, including such long-running works as Josh Lesnick’s Girly and Zach Weiner[smith]’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

More precisely, 40 (so far) webcomics sites are archived with years worth of comics, making for a Wayback Machine-like archive, with the imprimatur of cultural significance. Kate Beaton is there (2009-2016), as is Zach Weinersmith (ditto). Ryan North has comics from 2010, and Randall Munroe from 2007.

It’s a hell of a job of curation, too — I don’t want to say that anybody looked at my sidebar, but a lot of my recommendeded starting places are there: Charles Christopher, Nimona, Nedroid, Sin Titulo, SFAM, Girls With Slinghots, Octopus Pie, Darwin Carmichael, … the list goes on and on.

A lot of the listed comics are award winners or nominees (Eisners, NCS, etc); some are no-brainers, like the Library of Congress including the library-themed Unshelved¹, and the importance of politcal cartooning makes The Nib a shoo-in. But how to explain the presence of As The Crow Flies, Chester 5000, or DAR!, except that somebody over at The LOC really pays attention to work in a wide variety of genres² and story styles, over the past decade, from creators of all backgrounds?

Go check out the list, congratulations to the creators who’ve been found to be culturally important, and let’s see what gets added in future; I have a feeling new tranches will get the same scrutiny in our weird little cultural circles that additions to the National Film Registry get. I suspect that a lot of that scrutiny will come from me, as I got opinions.


Spam of the day:

Free & Clear Diapers

I have no infants at home, nor incontinence issues, nor any kinks along those lines. Hard pass.

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¹ Which, thanks to my writeups of the Coffee Cup Lid Challenge, means I might be in the Library of Congress! Neat! Except I just noticed that Unshelved is only contained from 2010 to 2016 and the CCLC was in 2007. Boo!

² Speaking of which, the countdown to some moralizing tool complaining that the collection exists at all (but particularly about godless science, brown people, lesbians, and robot smut) starts in 3 … 2 …

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?

Timely

One of the nicest features of The Nib is that the wide range of cartoonists they deal with regularly means no matter what’s happening in the world, somebody can drop a couple of pages on it, like 8-10 hours after the news hits. As far as editorial cartooning goes, it’s a huge amount of visuals — instead of one panel, there’s frequently a dozen or more. Case in point: Tom Humberstone’s report on yesterday’s UK election, which was not called (for him, at least) until the wee small hours.

And when there’s just a little more time to coordinate, editor Matt Bors and his staff can get multiple cartoonists to all comment on a timely issue. Case in point: Lucy Bellwood¹, Brittany Long-Olsen, Zack Giallongo, and Sukjong Hong offer four different responses to the question What happens if the ACA goes away?

Fittingly, three of the four are women; as Long-Olsen notes, women are charged more for healthcare than men. Also notable (and perhaps inevitable), all three women tell stories that relate to reproductive issues: pre-cancerous cervical cells; the direct costs of childbirth (complicated by c-section); the likelihood of children losing coverage. I don’t think it was intentional that Giallongo was left to ask What will happen to me? instead of What will happen to my [potential future] family?, but that’s the role he found himself in². No disrespect intended; diabetes is no joke.

Anyway, point is — four viewpoints, sixteen panels, one clear editorial voice in favor of acting in a timely manner to comment fairly and accurately on what’s happening. This is precisely what we need these days.


Spam of the day:

Kevin Harrington, financial expert, offers a way out of debt

Let me guess: pay Kevin Harrington money, going into debit if necessary?

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¹ Adventure cartoonist!!

² By sheer coincidence, the Senators currently crafting a tax cut disguised as healthcare legislation are all dudes asking But what about me? while gutting the reproductive care that falls more heavily on women. But I’ll bet you all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that when the bill becomes available, it covers boner pills. Betcha.

We At Fleen Are Ignoring #Comeyday

Because there must be things going on that are more cheerful than the death of the American institutions of self-governance. Perhaps our neighbor to the north can help.

  • Oh my goodness, has anybody told Kate Beaton about this yet?

    There may be volleyball and Val Kilmer in Top Gun sequel

    This is the best news. Nobody, and I mean nobody, appreciates beach volleyball like Kate.

  • Speaking of Kate Beaton, word came yesterday that she and a bunch of other (all Canadian, at least for now) comics artists are getting a new line of beautiful new prints from Toronto’s Papergirl Press. The Pushpin launched with more than a dozen artists, existing art and new originals, nearly 50 different pieces in all. Prices range from US$15¹ (for 5 x 7² King Baby designs) up to US$150 for a poster-sized screen-printed artists proof of a Michael Cho Batman design³.

    The creators represented by Pushpin (from [web]comics you have your Ryans North, your Chips Zdarsky, Kagan McLeod, Jeff Lemire, Johnnie Christmas, and Valentine DeLandro; illustrators include Chloe Cushman, Christian Northeast, Dani Crosby, Julia Breckenreid, Sarah Lazarovic, and Jay Dart aka Granduncle Jiggs) have all been enthusiastic on the sosh-meeds about how thrilled they are with the new endeavour, so it’s fair to say that unless Pushpin becomes sudden so popular that they can’t keep up (or Canada Post decided to mutilate all the packages in shipping), your choice of Fine Art For Your Walls should bring you pleasure.

    Just please, despite the name, do not affix these to your wall with actual pushpins. They deserve better than that.


Spam of the day:

28?Hot Girls and Their?Pets

Uh-huh. Let’s not.

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¹ With the option to purchase in Canadian dollars or Euros as well.

² Or 12.7 x 17.8, if you prefer centimeters to inches)

³ This is a rare piece not produced by Pushpin, and limited to existing stock. The in-house items are all giclée on heavy cotton-rag paper.

28 June: Two @ Twenty Bucks, Plus Tax

Two books arrive on that day¹, a mere three weeks away, from ladies that know their way around comics. Let’s take a look, yes?

  • First of all, you didn’t really think that I was done with my love for Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie after yesterday’s series-end tribute, did you? Because there’s a whole stack of comics that remain unprinted after last year’s four Image collections. Gran let us know that that’s about to be resolved:

    I’m thrilled to announce Octopus Pie Volume 5 will be out on June 28th! A giant, 336-page final collection. here’s a look at the cover [see above]

    Diamond ID APR170837, if you wanna order it at your local comic shop. I’m also hoping to tour it in the US a bit. news on that soon

    What Gran and Image have managed here is, frankly, amazing. She was still working on those last pages through May, and now less than a month after the final update went live, a full-color book is going to be printed, distributed, and in stores. Congratulations to Gran again for the series, and to Image for having the faith in her to rush this collection out while we’re all jonesing hard for it.

    Octopus Pie, vol 5 by Meredith Gran, with colors by Valerie Halla, will be priced at US$19.99. Pre-order it now at your local comic shop or bookstore or we are not friends any more.

  • Secondly, I have mentioned my love of Hope Larson’s comics many, many times on this page; last year’s Compass South was her first author-only long work, and it is possibly more compelling than when she both writes and draws. Since my interview with her at SDCC last year (and, coincidentally, about a year of projects with her working with various artists), I’ve come to the realization that one of her great strengths as a writer is in understanding her artists.

    When she does a book by herself, the words and pictures marry beautifully; but no less than understanding her own artistic abilities, she understands what her collaborators can bring to the page and she both pushes them and gives them room to soar. A more dour tone would undercut the bright visuals of Goldie Vance; just a little more or a little less urgency in pacing (and/or snark in dialogue) would render the most beautifully-drawn Batgirl lifeless.

    And it’s clear that the nineteenth century dialogue — which reflects modern sensibilities for young women chafing at societal roles while still ringing true in the ear — undergirds a sensibility and attitude that evokes the world of Four Points to a degree that plays off Rebecca Mock’s art beautifully. The slight exaggerations of Mock’s characters combined with a loving accuracy of settings and objects evokes both time-appropriate caricature and photography. If printing technology 150 years ago had been slightly different (and more colorful), David Malki ! wouldn’t be dealing with engravings as his creative fodder; he’d be playing with Mock’s designs.

    Compass South ended on a minor conclusion; not a cliffhanger, it could have stood alone or set up a sequel (or even a series); Knife’s Edge is that sequel as Shakespearean story patterns play out against a time when the age of sail gives way to steam. There’s turmoil in the world, with great wars in Europe just subsiding and the greatest war yet seen about to break in America; the boundary between civilization and frontier is still fluid, and there’s room enough to escape from society and make yourself into someone new in a different corner of the world.

    And if you’re a pair of long-lost twins finally reunited after adventure and heartbreak with your father, with treasure and infamy both dancing just at the edge of your reach? This is the time and place to seize destiny by the throat and do all you can while you can. We get to share in Larson & Mock’s high adventure on 27 June, also US$19.99 (a bargain at twice the price). Pre-order, not friends, etc.


Spam of the day:

Premium Military Eye Wear Designed for the Outdoors

In my younger days when I had many college classmates doing the ROTC thing, it was widely accepted that military eye wear was heavy, ugly, 1950s-era stuff that acted as reasonably effective birth control on account of nobody wearing it would ever get laid. Pass.

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¹ Wwweeellllll not quite. Bookstores see new releases on Tuesdays, comic shops on Wednesdays; one of these two will release on the 28th, the other on the 27th. Close enough.

Seriously, Olly?

Wow.

Just … wow.

This last arc at Octopus Pie opened in the aftermath of Olly’s Organix burning down and Eve Ning at a crossroads. Her life was upended (not least from a health scare), and it turned into a series of old recurring characters from her life trotting out for one last appearance. But as heartfelt a wrap-up as Meredith Gran gave us, there was still one voice to go, and in yesterday’s final installment we heard at last from Olly.

Olly. He’s a jerk (although his wife seems to love him). He’s exploitative, hucksterish, almost completely devoid of charm. He’s barely kept his business afloat all these years, and wouldn’t have if not for Eve. And it falls to Olly (Olly!) to deliver the final lesson (once you stumble over his utter inability to find a stand-in for female strength beyond Wonder Woman [or] the star of a skin care commercial) and it’s a damn good one: There’s more.

More time to grow. More time to decide. More friends. More good times. The celebration at times felt more like a wake or a farewell party, but one that was for our benefit. Olly (Olly!) is here to remind us Eve’s not dying or moving away, she’s just shifting jobs and will see all these people (some more, some less) tomorrow and the day after; we just won’t get to see it.

And, because he’s Olly, he’ll make a gesture that is at once kind of magnanimous, kind of panic-inducing, and ultimately very, very small. There’s depths in Olly; he was never just the cartoon semivillain, any more than anybody else in the cast was just the [fill in the blank]. Olly (for glob’s sake, Olly!) reminded me of that.

Because what Meredith Gran accomplished over ten years and 1026 pages of pure magic was a master class in comics, their ability to tell any damn kind of story you want to, and especially to provide a playground for your characters. Eve Ning isn’t who she was back in strip one; neither is Hanna, or Marek, or Will. Jane and Marigold, Julie and Park, Larry and Puget Sean and America frickin’ Jones, all of them¹ — they didn’t exist in a timeless, changeless story setting. By fits and starts, on camera and off, they lived and breathed, cried and loved and hated and indifferented².

For ten years, they were the circle of friends just adjacent to your real-life one. For ten years, I’ve been picking a storyline to start from and clicking Next over and over again, reading for hours, because the arcs don’t clearly have an ending point … the first strip of one arc feels like it follows directly on the last of the previous because it does. Life’s like that; we put arbitrary markers on some days, but really it’s a continuous stream of experiences.

For ten years, Meredith Gran has invited us along for the ride as her characters — grumpy, ridiculous, infuriating, sympathetic, violent, baked to the gills, righteously indignant, and every other emotional state possible — have interacted. If you’ll allow me a slight digression, think about the classic cartoon shorts of the 1940s and 50s, and the difference between characters do funny things and and funny characters do things.

Classic Disney shorts involve characters with very little distinguishing personality put together, and then they do things. The things are (potentially) funny. Classic Warner Bros. shorts involve characters that are all personality thrown into a situation³, then reacting and interacting according to their essential natures. They do things, sure, but the things they do are secondary to the interactions, which is where the funny comes from. Damn near every webcomic is, at its heart, Disney in aesthetic. Octopus Pie is Warners all the way, with the added bonus of organic (Organix?) growth.

So thank you, Meredith Gran. I thought about pasting in 1026 thank yous here, one for each strip, but I think you’ll take my meaning just as well from one. Thank you for sharing your stories, thank you for never resting on your craft, thank you for somehow making every single damn strip better than the one before it. Thank you in advance for whatever you do next. Thank you to the bits of you that are Eve, Hanna, Marek, Jane, Marigold, Julie, Will, Larry, and all the others.

Olly, too. Can’t believe I’m gonna miss that guy.


Spam of the day:

Discover the Best Rates for Burial Insurance

I swear, whoever convinced AARP that I was 50 seventeen damn years ago is responsible for this crap in my inbox. This, and ads for hip replacements, in-home health aides, walk-in bathtubs, and golf-based retirement communities with staffs of smiling brown people. When I find the person(s) responsible, they will learn that causing irritation to older gentlemen is a risky endeavour.

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¹ Except Manuel. He’s exactly the same. But then again cats aren’t exactly noted for their potential for personal growth.

² Shut up, it is too a word. You can verb any word you want.

³ Normally with just one initiating event; everything spirals out of control from there.

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.


Spam of the day:

PORN SURVEY Hi, my name is Jessica. Im the Head of the User Experience Department for this site. Please answer these 4 short questions to help us make this site better –

The only question I’ll answer is what my favorite PornHub search term typo is: lebsiam, because it’s actually two typos in one. Which, come to think of it, is probably a porn genre for spelling nerds.

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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.