The webcomics blog about webcomics

How Did I Miss This?

What can I can? Sometimes I’m behind the game.

  • Julia Wertz has produced some of the most painfully funny/honest comics of the young century under the monikers of Fart Party/Museum of Mistakes; painful in the sense that anybody reading them would find something that resembled their own experiences and spend the afternoon cringing all over again. Growing up is often a process of accepting what an idiot/jerk/asshole you were and being relieved that you aren’t anymore¹.

    For most of a week, Wertz has had a print collection of her cartoons available for purchase (pre-orders, which I missed entirely, have been fulfilled, and it’ll be moving into bookstore channels in the coming weeks). Various editions of Museum of Mistakes: The Fart Party Collection (all of which are signed and doodled), offering various additional bits of art, knick-knacks, gewgaws, and tchotchkes.

  • Also how did I never notice this: Zach[ary] Weiner[smith], webcomicker par excellence, sketch comedian, meme wrangler, CYOA author, and children’s book wordbender uses one of two commonly-accepted spellings for [the root of] his last name: W-E-I-N-E-R.

    But when speaking of the male generative organ in slang, he uses the other of two commonly-accepted spellings: W-I-E-N-E-R. Now I have to write a graduate thesis on this non-singular self-image that Mister W holds and its likely impact on the origins of his irreverent — even transgressive humor. Either that, or dude typo’ed his own last name.

  • Not a missed item: yesterday, the Society of Illustrators announced the dates and special guests for next year’s MoCCA Festival, along with a shift in venue from the 69th Regiment Armory. In order, then, the show will be 11 and 12 April, guest will include Scott McCloud (fresh off the release of The Sculptor) and Raina Telgemeier (no doubt completing six months on the New York Times Bestseller List for Sisters, and about 150 weeks for Smile), along with Aline Kominsky-Crumb and JH Williams III.

    The new venue is Center 548 on Manhattan’s west side at 22nd, near to the famous High Line, one of the most innovative urban parks in existence. More information as it becomes available, but if you’re of a mind to exhibit, applications will open on 3 November.

  • Finally, Jeph Jacques launched his new comic today, which caused a demand that promptly made his hosting fall over. At some point in the future, then, you’ll be able to check out Alice Grove in its permanent home twice a week. Until then, you can check out the mirror at Tumblr, where the first two pages don’t give away very much. Can’t wait to see how this one develops.

Spam of the day:

does vinegar kill spiders

Why would you want to kill spiders? They keep nastier things under control, are interesting as hell, and occasionally hilarious with their HEY! LOOK AT ME! OVER HERE ME! ME! ME! LOOK! behavior. Unless you’ve got a crack spider, or live in Australia. Then again, everything in Australia wants to kill you, so no need to be mean to spiders particularly.

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¹ Of course, that just means that in a few years you’ll be looking back on now and realizing that you were still an idiot/jerk/asshole. With any luck, today is to a lesser degree, and eventually the lag time before you recognize your own idiot/jerk/asshole nature narrows to the point that you can see it in real time and adjust your behavior.

Broad Horizons

We at Fleen have spoken more than once about (and in this interview, with the key person behind) Make That Thing, the crowdfunding production-and-fulfillment arm of The Topato Corporation. The first part of that descriptor, production-and, is probably the most important, as MTT isn’t just a post-Kickstarter merch-shipping service. To quote MTT Supreme Honcho Holly Rowland on staying in a relatively narrow range of projects¹:

We do what we do, and we do it well. We want to stay “on message”, so to speak, and not fuck around with video games or whatever because we don’t do video games and someone’s massively successful Kickstarter doesn’t seem like a proper testing ground.

But it appears that after a series of print- and plush-oriented campaigns (including some of the very largest in the publishing/comics category), MTT has branched out a bit. After all, Rowland followed up her previous assertion with:

That is not to say that we won’t open ourselves up to it in the future.

Their foray into recorded media started with the Deathmöe album, and now they’re partnering on a documentary film that will be chronicling the effort of building the biggest thing ever:

12 men have set foot on the moon, and getting them there cost $25.4 billion dollars. The last moonwalk ended more than 40 years ago. Two men, Michael and David, are dedicating their lives to creating the next great leap for humanity, and they think they can give us permanent access to the moon for less than a billion dollars.

This is what I love about the Topato family of creators — there’s always something there that will surprise me. And while watching the process of STRIPPED’s production makes me doubt that Shoot The Moon will be finished by Fall 2015³, I would be thrilled to be wrong. Here’s hoping they raise the necessary US$37,000 in the coming month and we can all find out together.

As long as we’re mentioning crowdfunding, check it out: Stand Still, Stay Silent book 1 has already raised US$34,452 of its anticipated US$25K, with a mere 27 days left to go. Since it’s on IndieGoGo and not Kickstarter, I don’t have the data to apply the Fleen Funding Formula, but I’d anticipate it finishing in the US$75K (plus or minus) range. Well done, Minna Sundberg, can’t wait to read the book next summer (she has to finish drawing chapter 4 for inclusion, then printing, then shipping).


Spam of the day: Hello gary! I am looking for a man, i’m 21 y.o. let’s talk? My name is Svetlana, I’m from Ukraine.

Hello Svetlana, what is it like in the bridebasket of Europe?

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¹ To quote the MTT website on project scope:

We don’t know how to make USB toasters or solar-powered flashlights², so we simply won’t take on Hardware, Design, Video Game, or Fashion projects. Other people are better at that than we are. However, the rewards for your project are heavily weighed toward the following:

  • Printed materials (books, comics, posters)
  • Printed or embroidered apparel items (T-shirts, polos, neckties, aprons)
  • Novelties and baubles (stickers, patches, bookmarks, foam swords)
  • Other things that don’t involve inventing a new type of manufacturing apparatus

Then we might be a good fit. (You can take a look at the things we sell at TopatoCo.com for an example of the things we make day in and day out).

² The first time I saw that I read it as solar-powered fleshlights and thought Oh man, Erika Moen’s got to get her logo on those.

³ The target date as described on the KS page; to quote their Risks and Challenges:

We’ve been around the video production block many times, but this is the first feature-length production we’ve done. It’s possible we may face delays when perfecting special effects, the score and editing, but we think any extra time spent will make for a better film. Plus, once we’ve got the movie done, sending it out digitally will be a breeze. [emphasis mine]

Utterly no disrespect to the STM team, but a year seems a very short time to tackle the project and I hope they don’t kill themselves in the making.

Leaps, Bounds

Looks like late posts this week; gomen.

  • In the roughly one year since Matt Bors launched The Nib for Medium, the site has grown with rapidity; there are a couple of regular contributors whose work doesn’t grab me (and at least one who actively, consistently enrages me), a bunch that I like, and a few that I love¹ — I think that probably makes it a very good comics section by any measure, but especially as editorial comics, as it has avoided the trap of becoming an echo chamber.

    Even better, he’s got a budget and those contributors (a dozen or more on a regular weekly basis, maybe 30 or 40 over the past year in all) get paid. If that seems like a fair amount of work, you’re right, and a couple months back Bors hired Eleri Harris as associate editor.

    Apparently, the growth is too much for two people to easily wrangle, as three months later Matt Lubchansky (of Please Listen To Me and New Amsterdam Mystery Company) is now joining up as editorial assistant:

    Matt’s going to be helping me and associate editor Eleri Harris manage our day to day publishing schedule, as well as tweeting on twitter, contributing his own comics, and working with me on a SECRET PROJECT.

    This seems as good a time as any to share Lubchansky’s classic supersomething, Not-All-Man, as well as his Nibby contribution today, about a problem in the atheist community. Lubchansky’s a skilled skewer-er of those that need skewering, always punches up, and has a visual style that’s well suited to making points and chuckles in equal degree. Best of luck to Lubchansky, and we’ll report back on the rumor that Eleri Harris is thinking of changing her name to “Matt” in order to help confuse The Nib’s enemies.

  • In other news, the Joe Shuster Awards were presented over the weekend, honoring the finest in Canadian comics / Bandes dessinée Canadien. This year’s recognition for Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web went to Jayd Aït-Kaci with Christina Strain for The Fox Sister. Once again, the Shusters remain both well-curated and an excellent source for discovering new webcomics. And heck, anybody that wins in a field that includes Emily Carroll is well worth your attention; for reference, the nominees are found here.

Spam of the day:

Dearest sweet melissa, all the best sweet finerd! I will be here waiting for you but i hope you will drop by on FB once a while to connect with all of us!

Oh … kay.

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¹ Gemma Correll 4 Lyfe, yo.

Whooboy, Long Day

Let’s just assume I wrote something cool and erudite about each of these.

  • Stand Still, Stay Still print drive went live yesterday, and you can get a copy of SSSS in beautiful hardcover (judging from my copy of A Red Tail’s Dream) for US$55, shipped anywhere in the world. The usual premiums apply for signed bookplates/sketches (cats only, but cats are very important in SSSS), and what the heck — full color, hardcover, nearly 300 pages, and Minna Sundberg has proven her ability to ship and deliver. Get in on this before the IndieGoGo campaign closes on 21 October.
  • My evil twin is celebrating 10 years as a self-employed cartoonist with an AMA on one of the less scum-and-villainy-oriented corners of Reddit tomorrow. I’ll be working, so somebody ask him if Howard ever feels the urge to be the good twin for a while.
  • So matter of fact as to almost be missed over at Questionable Content:

    I am launching a new comic this Thursday

    Presumably, this is the new comic promised in the third milestone goal of Jeph Jacques’s Patreon and holy crap he’s on the verge of achieving the fifth milestone goal. Good for you, Jeph, and can’t wait to see the new strip.

  • New Dresden Codak, the first in two months. Aaron Diaz has been pretty absent from social media for some weeks now, and he tells us why:

    Sorry for the radio silence for so long. I’d been kind of not dealing with anxiety and depression for the better part of a year, and it reached a breaking point last month. I’m doing well now, but all this has necessitated a limited use of the internet for a while. For the next few months I won’t be available much through social media, so if you need to contact me, please email me at dresdencodak [at] gmail [dottity-dot] com. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, you won’t notice any difference, as I’ll still be updating the comic as always! I’ll also be posting sketches and little content updates on the Patreon blog.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — depression sucks the life right out of you and good for Diaz finding a way to deal with it; it appears that Diaz’s coping mechanisms must including lots and lots of drawing, because he hadn’t shared much of his usual in-process drawings when he went dark some weeks back. Oh, and as you may have noticed from the quote above, he’s opened up a Patreon, so check that out.


Spam of the day:

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr … well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

Yeah, that sucks. Also, nice spam links.

Quiet Day

Maybe it’s everybody getting back into the swing of things after SPX and XOXO Fest last weekend. Maybe it’s everybody trekking to Austin for MondoCon¹ (where one may find Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott C, and Becky & Frank) or to Portland (they just had XOXO last weekend) for Rose City Comic Con (where one may find Scott Kurtz, Dylan Meconis, Erika Moen, Ethan Nicolle, and the ubiquitous Jim Zub).

Or, to be more precise, those people listed around Rose City are merely the webcomickers who are special guests of the show. Wecomicky exhibitors will also include Christopher Baldwin, Jennie Breeden, Evan Dahm, Sam Logan, Tavis Maiden, Kel McDonald, Bill Mudron, and the various members of Periscope Studio. No doubt others are attending but not listed by their individual names, what with both Dark Horse and Oni being local to Portland, and the Pacific Northwest in general having such an embarrassment of riches in the depth of its cartooning talent.

  • Speaking of Dylan Meconis, did you see that today’s update of Family Man was the last page of Chapter 3 and consequently the last page of what will be the second print collection? My copy of the first volume has been sitting lonely on my shelf for four years, and it is thus thrilling news to me that Meconis took the opportunity to announce:

    [M]y traditional short break from page updates to start pulling together the print volume. In the meantime, I’ll update with notes on past pages every Friday. If you’d like to know more about something in particular, comment here and I’ll add it to my list!

    I hope to return to page updates in six weeks; you can follow the Facebook page or my Twitter account for alerts.

    Six weeks. Print volume pulled together in six weeks, then the Kickstart and/or preorders, then print time and shipping … I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

    None of which should take away from just how lovely today’s page is — a cut crystal glass breaking on floor by candlelight. It’s part of a violent moment, but it strikes me as oddly quiet and contemplative — if this were a movie, it would suddenly run in slow motion and the soundtrack would drop low for emphasis. Brava.

  • In contrast to the quiet, how about something loud? How about potentially the loudest thing ever associated with webcomics, namely the use of David Malki !’s greatest creation, the Piranhamoose, as a decorative element on a demolition derby² car. When said derbysters wrote to Malki ! to ask permission to include his design, he answered in the only way possible:

    I’m dismayed that you have not already completed said car so I can see it. This sounds like the best idea I have ever heard of.

    Click through to the before-and-after pictures. They are — in the literal sense — amazing.


Spam of the day:

September patch adds new levels and gameplay to Steam early access; terrifying new vision of Pac Man now available

That is the greatest subject line ever.

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¹ Whose Guests page is a beautiful piece of design, featuring logos and signatures that turn into actual names when you mouse over ‘em — but it’s a pain to determine who’s coming.

² Note for non-American readers: demolition derby is the most American possible of entertainments, where automobiles are purposely driven into each other at speed with the intention of damaging them to the point of no longer being able to be driven. It is loud, stupid, potentially dangerous to all involved, and requires a surprisingly high degree of both engineering and driving skills.

How’s WordPress 4.0 Working For You? Everything Loading Right?

Even though I’ve got excellent, real-time backups, there’s still a moment of uncertainty as my finger hovers over the button that says Update Now.

  • Speaking of fingers, mine is doing much better, thanks for asking; if you looked at it today you’d figure I’d had a particularly nasty papercut combined with an overly-aggressive session with the nail clippers. It’s still kinda painful if I get overly exciting while typing, but nothing too terrible. I bring this up because we are approaching open enrollment time for health insurance, and if you’re new to having insurance (thank you, ACA), you may not have had experience with renewing insurance.

    Long story short, there will be a fixed period of time that your insurer will notify you of, and that’s when you have to decide what kind of plan you want for next year. Guys, you want a plan. How much do you want a plan? Consider this — I got my insurance benefit statement for my little trip to the Emergency Department two weeks ago, and if not for that insurance my momentary bout of kitchen stupidity would have cost me nearly two thousand damn dollars.

    So consider this my semi-regular plea that you self-employed folks take the time to investigate this very carefully, because guess what? A cheapo high-deductible plan that’s meant to cover only catastrophes wouldn’t help in a situation like this; until we get this entirely bitched-up system of healthcare delivery properly fixed, you’ve got to have insurance if you don’t want something small to put you into potentially crippling debt.

  • So what should I do with all the money I saved on EMERGENCY SERVICES and STERILE SUPPLIES and DRUGS/OTHER¹? How about buying a metric crap-load² of cartoonist interviews? Hivemind filmmaker Freddave Kellett-Schroeder have a limited-time sale going on for all the extras associated with STRIPPED:

    STRIPPED SUPER AWESOME DELUXE EDITION

    ON SALE UNTIL FRIDAY! SAVE 39%!
    Get over 26 HOURS of additional content!
    WHAAAAAAT

    Compare to other editions:

    • Basic film: US$14.99 (10 DCPWH)
    • Deluxe Edition (film plus director’s commentary, 30 minutes of various interviews, full Jim Davis interview): US$19.99 (5.7 DCPWH)
    • Bonus Material 1 (Deluxe Edition plus 14 more interviews adding up to 16 hours): US$34.99 (2 DCPWH)
    • Bonus Material 2 (seven more interviews, including a nearly three hour extravaganza with Kurtz, Straub & Guigar, almost 12 hours inall): US$16 (1.3 DCPWH)

    Those numbers in parentheses after the prices are the dollar cost per watchable hours ratios; At US$40 and equal to the content of both Bonus Material packages, the SADE features almost 29 hours of video for less than 75 cents per hour. The only reason to hold off on this is if — like me — you hold out hope for a full release of all 300 hours of footage, in an Ultra Super Awesome Deluxe 75 disc boxed set.

  • Speaking of Brad Guigar (and honestly, why wouldn’t we speak of Brad Guigar?), if you’re like me you miss regular Guigar-heavy podcasts. Well, this is your lucky day, because the only thing better than a Guigar podcast is a multi-Guigar podcast:

    It’s official. The boys and I are podcasters. Subscribe to “Hey Comics — Kids!” on iTunes: http://ow.ly/BCMLv

    Everybody that always thought those other guys were holding Brad back during Webcomics Weekly, now’s your chance to swim in pure, uncut Guigar: Brad’s teamed up with his sons, Alex and Max, to talk about comics (or honestly, whatever pops into their heads … they are Guigars, after all) and they now have the imprimatur of Apple. Just listen carefully: science has hypothesized that if three or more Guigars end up in simultaneous laugh loops (click here, skip forward to the seven and a half minute mark, and glob have mercy), insanity may be the result.


Spam of the day:

Inspiring story there. What occurred after? Thanks!

nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd.

I’m sorry, what was the question?

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¹ The DRUGS/OTHER category featured a charge of one (1) dollar, and hell if I can figure out what it was for. I didn’t get any drugs. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that the billing category that equates to you showed up in the ER and sat on a bed was the largest charge; the one that represented the PA fixed your damn-fool finger was a couple hundo less.

² Or 2.54 imperial crap-loads, if you prefer.

Insights

We’re going all over today. Hope that’s not a problem.

  • The big news, of course, is that the MacArthur Foundation announced its annual fellowship grants — the so-called genius grants — and one of the 21 new Fellows is indy cartoonist superstar Alison Bechdel. When I heard the news of Bechdel’s entirely earned recognition, it occurred to me that we are going to see more cartoonists in future years¹, just as we see cellists and saxophonists now.

    Look around at who is doing interesting work now, and extrapolate to what they’ll be doing in the future; can you deny the possibility of an Emily Carroll or Kate Beaton or Hope Larson getting included in the classes of 2025 to 2030? I can’t. Not to mention the fact that about this time of year I always wonder when the MacArthur people are going to get around to recognizing Scott McCloud² and we are now one step closer to that day.

  • Rebecca Clements doesn’t have the time to do cartoons at Kinokofry as much as she used to; a period of time working in Japan and graduate studies in urban planning (not to mention doing her damndest to improve on the sustainability of Melbourne) have kept her from that. But new updates or no, she is somebody whose work will always fascinate me, because she looks at the world differently than most comickers — how things are laid out in the physical world excites her as much as how things are laid out at the drawing board.

    Today, she launched a new blog to talk about her time and experiences in Japan, through the dual lenses of both cartoonist and urban planner, and the first posting has me enraptured. Through the magic of Google Street View, she walks us around her stomping grounds in Yahata (a neighborhood in the Suruga ward of Shizuoka).

    Her Street View photos provide the basis for both textual narration and sketch overlays, making the whole into a photocomic with the theme Let’s go to the Yahata Shrine and see what neat stuff is along the way. I’m certain that future updates at Tadayou Japan will use other visual tools to express what Clements has on her mind, and I can’t wait to read them.

  • Drive’s back, Drive’s back, Drive’s back! It’s been months since a burst of updates in the spring, and close to 20 months now since Dave Kellett was able to put regular time into the strip, what with finishing off a major motion picture, having a second kid, and the fact that Drive makes an unfeasibly small percentage of his family’s income for the time it takes to draw. But now he’s gone and launched a per-strip Patreon, hopefully all of those concerns are addressed and we can find out what the heck is going on with the story.

    And we’ve got plenty of story to go, still. Sitting behind me on the shelf are three Drive print collections, which Kellet mentioned to me once could be combined into one larger collection. Three of those larger collections were anticipated to be the length of the story he had to tell (but stories often grow beyond initial expectations. Given where the third book ends, we might be halfway through the fourth book, or not yet to the halfway point of the story (especially considering that each book’s gotten thicker than the one before it). The major players appear to all be on the board, now we have to see what occurs and that is happening again. Hooray!

  • Finally, contrary to some vicious rumors going around, I am not a fish monster who lives in a lake, despite the similarity of names. Regard: Gary Fish Monster; Gary Tyrrell. See? Completely different. It is possible that Gary Fish Monster is the result of a “mash-up” of Gary and history’s most tragic hero, Desmond Fishman; only way to find out is to follow what happens in Lake Gary on the tumbls (daily so far, perhaps that schedule changes depending on how interesting life is at the bottom of a lake).

Spam of the day:

Protect and Beautify Your Garage Floor (criminals)

So much potential! Is this a call for criminals to protect and beatify their garage floors? Or perhaps an indictment that those who would protect and beautify such floors (destroying their heritage nature, perhaps?) are reprehensible to the point of criminality? I can’t wait to find out.

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¹ As near as I can tell, she’s the first; the browse-the-Fellows app at the MacArthur Foundation page doesn’t have a category for “Cartoonist” on its picklist, and in a quick browse of all Fellows in the catch-all category of “Arts” i didn’t find any others.

² A campaign I have been on since 2006.

A Trio Of Terrific Comicmongers, With Bonus Guigar

Because honestly, if you’re writing about [web]comics and can’t find a way to fit Brad Guigar in there somewhere, you aren’t trying very hard.

  • Chris Yates was at SPX and yet I didn’t mention him yesterday — oversight, or planned thing? In all honesty, a little of both, but mostly I wanted to run that photo up there on a day when nothing else would detract from it. Like all of Yates’s work, this Aku Baffler! is a gorgeous, precise piece of work, and I wanted to share it with you.

    You can catch up with Mr Yates as his peregrinations take him up the east coast towards Queens, and the World Maker Faire therein this weekend. People that Make¹ stuff always dig Yates, so if you want a shot at some of his best work, you’ll have to make² your way to the bedroom borough and check out the scrollsaw work.

  • Speaking of Aku, Jim Zub not only continues work on Samurai Jack and a zillion other comics, he was also in Maryland this past weekend, although over on the coastal part. He and Chart Polski were in Annapolis brimping their way through an in-store signing of their latest work; it would have been nice to see them in Bethesda, but they were on a whirlwind fast-turnaround schedule.

    Nevertheless, in that time, Mr Zub found the time to put me on the distribution list for a preview of his forthcoming official Dungeons & Dragons tie-in comic, Legends of Baldur’s Gate, which I loved and will be buying when it releases next month. It’s got that trademark Zub flair for mixing the right amount of humo[u]r and ridiculousness with solid fantasy, but the real thing that caught me was the essay at the back of the issue which I will now quote from:

    Jim Zub the storyteller exists because of Dungeons & Dragons, the game.

    Right from the start, I could tell this wasn’t like any other game I’d ever played before. No cards, no board, no limits. No matter how young or small I was in real life I could create a character just as capable as the adults I was playing with. The Dungeon Master asked us what we were doing and my decisions, along with nerve-wracking rolls of the dice, had as much value as anyone else’s at the table.

    If I did something memorable, the group would laugh and I got to feel like one of the grown-ups. Unexpected banter, battle cries, one-liners — I wanted to entertain everyone and make sure my character left an impression.

    As the years went by, I grew up and roleplaying games grew with me. I moved behind the DM screen and started building grand adventures for my friends to quest through. Drama, plot, dialogue, pacing — all those core creative skills were honed by sitting around the gaming table using my imagination.

    Getting the chance to tell a Dungeons & Dragons story as part of the game’s 40th anniversary, carving out a new chapter in the fabled city of Baldur’s Gate … it’s wonderful, ridiculous, and surreal all at the same time. Somewhere inside of me there’s an 8-year old Li’l Zub screaming with joy as he runs around the house pretending he’s kicking skeletons in the face.

    When issue #1 releases, take the time to read the entire thing; it’s as loving a paean to the twin values of imagination and play as ever I can recall. Also, I now want to see an Adventures of Li’l Zub backup strip in this book. Bonus points if we can get Chris Eliopoulos or Skottie Young to draw it.

  • Also not at SPX, because he was busy leading a Shakespeare Festival? Ryan Estrada. But that’s okay, he’s made up for it by teaching us to read another foreign language as part of his Gimme Five project. This time, he’s teamed up with Peter Starr Northrop so that we can all Learn To Read Russian In 15 Minutes and you know what? It works. I may not have any idea what the words mean, but I can now read Спокойной ночй, Gracie³ without too much difficulty. Okay, my accent needs work, but it’s a start.

Spam of the day:
Still nothing good. I am not necessarily upset by this turn of events.

________________
¹ … people … are the luckiest people in the worrrrrllllld.

Sorry.

² So to speak.

³ This gag courtesy of Brad Guigar’s failure to get a reaction from his students today despite dropping some classic laugh-chuckles on them. Kids these days., which I loved and will be buying when it releases next month.

Upliftin’ Frolic And Cavortment

SPX is done for another year, and it’s pretty safe to say that everybody who attended is looking forward to next year with the most baited of breath. It’s a show that’s just the right size, in that you can see everything in a few hours, but also spend the entire weekend in deep dives if that’s what you want. I didn’t have the entire weekend, alas, but I did manage to see the show floor on Saturday and have no regret except not being able to spend more time with everybody¹. Thoughts as they occur to me:

  • Congratulations to the Ignatz Award winners², and may I note that unlike every other awards program of the year, I have a good record picking Ignatz winners. Particular congrats to Evan Dahm, Meredith Gran, Sophie Goldstein, Robert Kirby, and Jason Shiga, who appeared on my ballot³, as well as all the other winners.
  • Speaking of Evan Dahm, he tells me that he’ll be launching his illustrated Oz book on Kickstarter in the near term, near enough to have the printer order submitted by end of the year. My only desire for this is that he offer a two-book bundle reward tier, as I need a copy, and I have a niece and nephew who will also need one.
  • I spoke to both KC Green and Anthony Clark, and somehow managed to completely space on talking about BACK, which makes me an idiot because I love BACK. I did manage to talk to Christopher Hastings about how his involvement in improv and sketch comedy is improving his comic writing and vice versa, but neglected to ask if he has any more major comic book writing gigs coming out soon, given that he’s become Marvel’s go-to guy for the slightly wacky story niche. In each case, I choose to blame the fact that I didn’t want to block the table from people that wanted to talk to these fine gentlemen and buy their wares. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • Speaking of Green, and similar to Dahm’s Oz project, did you see that he (Green) launched an adaptation of Pinocchio today? That is to say, the original story by Carlo Collodi, not the Disney version. In case you’ve never been exposed to the original version, The Talking Cricket (il Grillo Parlante) tries to advise Pinocchio and is squished for his troubles, returning as an advice-spewing ghost, whereas his American counterpart Jiminy not only lived all the way through, he got the good song. Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio runs M-W-F, with Gunshow shifting to T-Th for the duration. Five days a week of KC Green comics is like a fairytale.
  • Speaking of il Grillo Parlante, that’s been the name of the current story arc over at Skin Horse, where a series of guest artists have filled in for most of the summer for new mom/Radness Queen of Webcomics Shaenon Garrity. Garrity’s returned today to wrap up the last week of the arc, which gives me hope that we may also see the return of Monster of the Week.

Right, SPX. Got distracted for a minute there.

  • Becky Dreistadt and Frank Gibson are super excited for their Capture Creatures series, coming in November from BOOM!
  • Dean Trippe tells me that the print version of Something Terrible is with the book designer as we speak.
  • Tom McHenry, whom I’d never met in person before, is a far more normal person that I would expect to ask people what they named their horses and get excited when I ‘fessed up that my horse was named Buttplumber.
  • Carla Speed McNeil viciously underprices her original pages. I came home with three — two of them from the just-released Third World collection, which I have been obsessively reading and re-reading for the ten days or so since I picked it up — and I seriously considered taking out a second mortgage in order to buy the entire bin she had on her table. If you are not reading FINDER you are missing out.
  • SPX remains a readers con, with multiple creators (among them Dahm, Jon Rosenberg, and Spike) expressing delight on social media at how much less stock they took home than they brought. Spike, in particular, was essentially sold out on Saturday, some hours after she promised me that she’s getting back to Templar this month, dammit.
  • Power couples: Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya are maybe the living embodiment of Zen patience. Ota’s well-documented wrist difficulties4 are keeping her from drawing (or even signing!) at present, but they are dealing with the situation with admirable calm and equanimity. They shared booth space with Tom Siddell and Magnolia Porter, both of whom are presently doing the best work of their respective careers, and the latter of which was presented with a fan-made, near life-size plush of her character Rixis.

    They were directly across the aisle from Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, who are gearing up for the Princeton Book Festival next Saturday. Telgemeier was sporting a wrist brace which she assured me was precautionary: the last time she went on book tour (as she is now), she went to the National Book Festival (as she just did) and signed about a thousand books in a short period of time and blew out her wrist and then had to go home and draw a book (which became Sisters). Here’s hoping the precautions work, but at least for now she and Ota get to be wrist-brace superhero buddies.

    Meanwhile, creator duo Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline — so well known for their collaborations with Ryan North — have the time now that Midas Flesh has wrapped to put together their own story and series pitches. With any luck, in a year or so we may see something that they’ve written as well as drawn, and in the meantime they remain busy. Busy’s good.

  • Kel McDonald is having a blast working with Dark Horse on the Misfits of Avalon print collections (the first of which is out next month), and remains her usual, unflappable, hyperorganized self. How organized? She won’t be putting up the Kickstarter for the next Cautionary Fables anthology until the end of 2015, and she’s already got her contributors on lockdown more than a year in advance. Somebody come up with a planning calendar app and get McDonald to endorse it.
  • Tony Breed, by all accounts, KILLED it in the DJ booth at the SPX post-Ignatz dance party/prom. I’d never met him before and he struck me as an amazing nice guy. I picked up a copy of his mini of recipes in comic form, which makes me wish that Recipe Comix was still a thing oh wait look, it is. Also amazingly nice: Jess Fink, who in a just world would be in the midst of a bidding war from competing publishers for the soon-to-finish Chester XYV 5000: Isabelle and George. I am an entirely straight dude, and yet I had to tell Fink how thrilled I am to see that those two dudes are about to get down to some serious gettin’ it on. I think it’s my innate desire for George and Robert to get a happy ending, so to speak.
  • I know I’m forgetting people; mea maxima culpa.
  • New To Be or Not To Be artist signatures obtained count: 25.

Spam of the day:

Nuthin’ good. Sorry.

_______________
¹ That, and I completely lost track of time and missed Raina Telgemeier’s spotlight panel.

² I was already driving home by the time the awards got underway, so Heidi Mac’s writeup was invaluable to me.

³ To be clear, I voted for Shiga for Outstanding Series (which he won) and not for Outstanding Online Comic (which Dahm took), and I voted for Goldsteinn for both Outstanding Minicomic (which she won) and also Outstanding Artist (which went to Sam Bosma, which you can’t really argue with). Likewise, while I backed Gene Yang’s Boxers & Saints for Outstanding Graphic Novel, you can’t really get upset with that one being won by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki for This One Summer.

4 Taking advantage of the fact that I am totally ordained, I attempted a faith healing of Ota’s wrist. I don’t think it worked, despite invoking the spirits of Kirby and Herriman.

Transit Day

Much of [web]comics is on the move today, heading to sunny Pismo Beach and all the clams you can eat Bethesda, Maryland and SPX. Me, I’ll be driving down for the day tomorrow, waaay too early, so if you see me on the floor and I don’t recognize you, my apologies.

Meanwhile, on the far side of the globe, Ryan Estrada reports that tomorrow morning (which may be about now, given time zones) that he will be (already is?) the MC of the inaugural Busan International Shakespeare Festival, with twelve teams of performers from around the world. It’s all thanks to a group of expats in Busan that love Shakespeare, and who may be the same group of crazies (or at least significantly overlap with them) that put on the live-action Choose Your Own Hamlet as part of Ryan North’s Krazyass Kickstarter.

So what I’m saying is, wherever you are in the world, there is entertainment to be had this weekend so get on that.


Spam of the day:

That is a good tip especially tto those new to the blogosphere.
Brief but very accurte info… Appreciate your sharing this one.

I’m not sure, but I think the first line and second line each form a haiku. I guess it depends on how many syllables are in accurte [sic].