The webcomics blog about webcomics

San Diego Looms

So, yeah, probably a regular post tomorrow (I’ve got a late flight) but for a solid week after that? Irregular as heck. Let’s clear a few backlog items before the madness descends.

  • I’m three days late on this, but I wasn’t going to let it go: buried in at the end of a discussion of Canadian literature being developed for broadcast is a line that could almost be overlooked:

    FGF is also mid-production on a number of other screen adaptations of Canadian books, most notably Kate Beaton’s picture book The Princess And The Pony and Jeff Lemire’s graphica trilogy, Essex County.

    I’m not sure what’s more charming — the thought of Kate Beaton’s wonderful story about believing in yourself (and also farts) arriving on the small screen (I’m figuring 30 minute animated special), or that identification of The Princess And The Pony as a Canadian book. Mark my words, Beaton will be regarded in the Great Northern Pantheon alongside Atwood, Davies, and Mowat. Everybody feel good for Kate!

  • Second, after too long a time¹ away from their many fans, Becky [Dreistadt] and Frank [Gibson] have returned to the webcomics game with Bustletown. Let’s run down the criteria for Becky&Frankness:

    The first sixteen pages of Bustletown are up now, with the next chunk of story dropping after SDCC; no word yet on how often it’ll be released, or if there will be an RSS feed, but if you find you want to keep up with Bustletown, it’s now listed over to the right in the link library. Everybody feel good for Becky and Frank!

  • It’s been more than two years since Girls With Slingshots wrapped, since it started over again as [re-]colored strips with commentary. Creator Danielle Corsetto spent some time getting the final two print volumes produced & distributed, and she’s been teasing us with the eventual color omnibus edition².

    And, quietly (or at least as quiet as you can be when you’re trying to keep things on the downlow amongst 1300+ Patreon supporters), she’s been doing some marvelously revelatory autobio comics under the title 32³. There’s everything there, from the ordinary to the deeply personal (although if you follow Corsetto’s twitterfeed, you know that she’s genetically designed for #TMITuesday, so personal is not really a problem).

    Anyway, Corsetto has just opened up the formerly Patreon-only strips to public view, and they are excellent. The dozen in the archive so far (with updates approximately weekly) range from multi-page college flashbacks to four panels on the logistics of groinal grooming; they’re all pretty damn hilarious, and any day with Danielle Corsetto telling a story from her life is automatically a better day than it would have been otherwise. Bookmark and read, and everybody feel good for Danielle!

Spam of the day:

Do you need to find a DNA lab for immigration?

No … and if I did, I don’t think I’d use a lab that looks (from its advert) like it should be called Akbar & Jeff’s DNA Hut.

¹ Including a suspiciously incomplete Capture Creatures print comic series; hey, BOOM!, since you’re obviously uninterested in completing the series, hows about releasing rights that you’re apparently squatting on and letting Becky and Frank complete it elsewhere? Or is the money that it would take to negotiate a fair rights reversion earmarked instead for giving away 1000 drinks at SDCC?

² Which, for once, I probably won’t get. I’ve got the 10 original collections, most signed-and-sketched, and I’d hate to give them up. No room for both on the shelf, so I’m keeping the softcovers.

³ No, she’s not 32, she’s 36 as of this writing. Explanation for the title here and here

Cycles Inside Cycles, Messages Inside Messages

We at Fleen have been known to wrestle with what a webcomic actually is, and going on twelve years in the blogging game, hell if we know. It’s basically whatever feels like it fits the definition; if you can imagine related stuff being sold by TopatoCo, it’s probably webcomicky.

Which is why we’re engaging in a first today, and taking a deep dive into something nonvisual.

Standing Stones is the tenth album by internet musician Marian Call, now on tour (including a show in a week’s time adjacent to next week’s San Diego Comic Con). It’s been a long time in development, some two years, and it turned out to be rather more than an album. She describes it as a song cycle, which is not a term that you can use casually. It’s appropriate, though: there’s not just a theme to the album, but meaning in how the songs interact with one another; the order is particularly important, and it’s probably the best trace the stages of life collection since XTC’s Skylarking.

Call drops multiple references to The Twelve Ages Of Man and each song evokes an age, starting with a musing on both birth and death (Bones), continuing through the wild creativity of childhood (Paper), the realization that we’re not as fantastic as we thought (Oregon Trail), the desire to leave our mark on the world (Standing Stones), the reality of loss (Hope), the cynicism of modern life (Like This), the compromises that we fight against (Mediocre Algorithmic First Date), the need for community (Independence), the acceptance of pains and struggle (Vespers), our struggles with ourselves (The Devil), and a reflection on endings and the infinite (Grandpa Had It Right).

But here’s the thing — within that linear ordering, there are at other patterns. Through much of the album, there’s an alternating quick/slow tempo to the songs, moving quickly and then relaxing, like a heartbeat¹. Adjacent songs act as reflections of each other (Paper v Orgeon Trail looking at dreams; Standing Stones v Hope on what we build and lose; Like This v MAFD on how we present ourselves and who we really are). And Taking the Twelve Ages as reflecting both the progress of a life and seasons of the year, there’s a little cycle in each cluster of songs — dreams, building, relationships, sunsetting, each following a similar cycle.

As you noticed, there are only eleven tracks to go with the twelve ages, but Call’s got you covered there. Grandpa Had It Right reminds us that we’re only bones with stories on and carries us back to the start. Those bones show up throughout the cycle, and they’re an apt framework to hang the songs on. Another writer might have tried to get to the heart of who we are², but Call seeks to get to the bones of it; she knows that hearts break and fail, but bones persist. Long after our hearts are gone, our bones and the stories we grow on them will still be there.

I haven’t mentioned the music yet, or Call’s vocal performance, and it’s not because they’re lacking. I know words; I get them, I can pick them apart, find the meaning and truth (or at least a meaning and truth) in stories. My brain doesn’t pick apart music the same way; I can tell a good performance from a bad one (or more precisely, one that accomplishes what it sets out to do from one that doesn’t), but I can’t tell you about the importance of how this instrument plays against that, or how the scales line up. Hell, I’m practically beat-deaf.

But I can tell you that there’s a lot of richness to the playing, blending into an integrated whole that never overwhelms the most important instrument — Call’s voice. There’s discussion in these songs, as she talks to others we cannot hear (and sometimes, to herself). The emotional heft — from wistfulness to optimism, determination to acceptance — has a depth and breadth, drilling into the feeling part of your brain and not letting go. You won’t catch it all on a single listen, or even two. You’ll need to listen to think, and again to feel, and again to bring them all together.

And, if you’re like me, a half-dozen more times in short succession just because it all helps you make sense of the world when it’s not making a lot of sense on its own.

Standing Stones is available for download in a variety of formats, and as a CD. Marian Call is on tour through November; if you don’t see your city listed, email her.

Spam of the day:

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Ain’t that old yet. Get lost.

¹ Is it my imagination that the strength of that heartbeat is greater at the beginning of the album than at the end?

² Or, in one writer’s equally valid argument, the liver.

Fleen Book Corner: Knife’s Edge

Here’s what I wrote eleven months back regarding Compass South (book one of the Four Points series, words by Hope Larson and pictures by Rebecca Mock):

Much has been made of the similarity of comics and movies, but Compass South makes me think that the stage is a better comparison. The stock characters of comics — mysterious playboy/nighttime hero, the youthful ward, the alien with powers beyond those of mortal men, the angsty teen thrust into responsibility — are just as recognizable as the stock characters of the commedia dell’arte — the doomed lovers, the evil prince, the hidden twins, the unscrupulous businessman, the unrepentant villain, and the jolly comic relief — that Shakespeare appropriated and made central to the theatrical world. Larson’s combined the two traditions, and it makes for a cracking story that enriches both.

There was a footnote, too, where I commented on another influence:

[I]n addition to comics and theater, there’s the literature of the time. More than one character in Compass South is more than a little Dickensian, including a guy who’s very possible Fagin’s second cousin twice removed (in temperament, if not not actual relation).

I think I was onto something there; Knife’s Edge (book two of the Four Points series¹, words still by Larson, pictures still by Mock) switches from the Shakespearean mode of shifting between competing protagonists to the Dickensian mode of a primary protagonist with supporting characters of varying importance in orbit.

In part that’s because of where we are in the story (which Larson efficiently recaps, oh and obviously — spoilers ahoy): we’re down one set of twins, we’ve found one long-lost father, and the villain is already established. Not having so many balls to juggle, Larson can focus the story more narrowly, and she’s chosen to put it squarely on the distaff Dodge, Cleo.

(This is where the Dickensian analogy fails somewhat — Pip and Oliver can suffer travails and come out happily prosperous; Little Nell is doomed to die of consumption.)

Alex has it easy — he can declare he’s going to be a tall ship captain and have a shot at making it come true. He can indulge in the relatively simple, linear path that male heroes get to follow:

  • Long-lost father found? Check!
  • Villain identified? Check!
  • Clear and reasonably achievable (if challenging) goal to ensure lifelong success? Check!
  • Sudden revelation that there’s a long-lost mother as well? Don’t care!

Cleo has to navigate the much more labyrinthine path that she’s afforded in 1860: she’s expected to take care of her semi-invalid father and help out in the ship’s galley. No sailcraft for her, and as soon as it’s discovered she’s convinced the captain to give her swordfighting lessons², that’s stopped because it’s inappropriate.

But here’s the thing — she’s got more imagination than Alex; she sees the many possibilities that aren’t laid straight out, living in a world with greys instead of pure blacks and whites. Alex isn’t interested in learning about their piratical heritage, but it doesn’t quench Cleo’s wanting to know who and why.

That ability to think laterally proves critical in the final defeat of the villainous Felix; Cleo can imagine how clever her never-met mother would be, where Alex only sees the situation directly in front of him. And if finding answers — not treasure, not glory, answers — means declaring truce with the enemy³, then that’s what she’s going to do.

The internal character of Cleo and Alex is found throughout Mock’s gorgeous illustrations; it’s not easy making 12 year old twins look different, but she does. Cleo and Alex wear slightly different clothing, but it’s subtler things that let you know who they are. They part their hair on different sides; they have different postures; Alex’s gaze more frequently angles slightly down, while Cleo’s is up.

But the real difference is on the gorgeous cover. Alex is solidly braced on the railing, in his environment, but a little behind Cleo and subconsciously following her lead; she’s looking out to the horizon, posed like she’s ready to leap forward. The sailor’s world may not wholly accept her, so she’s looking for the place that will. That vision makes her susceptible to temptation and corruption, but brings with it the strength to achieve redemption.

By the end of the story, she’s ever so slightly taller than Alex, too — grown sooner than the boy that’s got it all figured out. And if Cleo (and Alex, and Father) doesn’t quite get the ending she figured, she’s smart enough to know that the happy outcome can be more subtle than a 12 year old with a head full of imaginings would initially suspect — finding her place in the world is a smaller victory than she’d expected when she set out from Manhattan’s slums, but a meaningful one.

Give both Knife’s Edge and Compass South to anybody that loves a good story of adventure, but particularly the pre-teen that needs reminding girls have awesome adventures too.

Spam of the day:

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¹ Alas, it appears there will not be a third or fourth book (which you’d think would be a natural with a series title like Four Points).

² She has a well-founded fear of what a particularly nasty pirate has in mind for her family, and doesn’t want to meet a potentially bad fate passively.

³ No matter how obviously that’s going to blow up.

Deep Bench

Did I just accidentally use a softball term? I think I did.

  • One may recall that, oh, two months back or so, NPR Books asked for input as to what comics people should be reading as part of a summer reading list. More than 7000 entries were submitted, and an expert panel¹ (revealed yesterday to include webcomics own Spike) broke that mass down to a list of 100 comics. Not the best, not the most well-known², but a wide list of comics works; having a familiarity with a good chunk of them means that you’ve got a handle on the art from (although dominantly as expressed by American/Canadian creators; there were not a huge number of manga on the list, and even fewer Eurocomics).

    And, as noted a couple months back, they gave webcomics a seat at the table — nineteen of the even 100 entries on the list are explicitly identified as webcomics, with more items listed in other categories that originated as webcomics, or are created by people that came up from webcomics, or which are web/indie in their essential nature. Here, then, are the webcomics (and webcomics-alikes) that mass agreement and expert opinion think you ought to be reading:

    John Allison’s Tackleverse comics, the editorial stylings of The Nib, Wondermark, Hark! A Vagrant, Homestuck, As The Crow Flies, Oh Joy, Sex Toy (!), Stand Still, Stay Silent, Check, Please!, Gunnerkrigg Court, Kill Six Billion Demons, O Human Star, The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ And Amal, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Vattu. It would be hard to disagree with any of them.

    Originally (at least partly) webcomics, but tagged under different categories, you’ve got Nimona, Through The Woods, Megahex (Graphic Novels); Finder³ (Series Comics); Dykes To Watch Out For (Newspaper Strips, although it’s at least as much a webcomic); American Born Chinese (All Ages — not that age appropriateness alters the ability of a story to fall in one of the genre/topic categories). You also had once-and-future webcomickers Raina Telgemeier (Ghosts), Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet), and Ryan North (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). In all, better than a quarter of this stab at a canon is webcomics or webcomics-releated.

    There will be plenty to disagree with, naturally (no Achewood, Octopus Pie, or Drive?), but that’s why canons exist — to be argued over, refined, resolved, agreed upon, and rejected all over again. It’s a good start, though, and there’s almost certainly plenty for you to discover (on a fast skim, I appear to have read 53 of the 100 suggestions).

  • Also not on the list, for the piddling reason that it’s not technically published yet: a print collection of 100 Demon Dialogues by Lucy Bellwood (Adventure Cartoonist!), which project wrapped up about two hours ago (as of this writing), and which Kickstarter launched shortly after.

    It’s been a terrific project to watch over the past three months or so — Bellwood has been dealing with the voice in her head (he’s a jerk) that tells her what she can’t do by forcing the little bugger into conversation. We’ve all got that demon, reminding us of our failures and telling us not to bother, and remembering that fact is a pretty good way to rob them of the power they have over us.

    The book is going to be gorgeous, the demon plushes are going to be great, and you want to get in on this. At the (again, as I write this) 1 hour 45 minute mark, Bellwood’s at just under 38% of goal, but kindly do not sleep on this. The campaign will run less than three weeks, and if you miss it your little jerk demon will certainly tell you that you screwed up.

    And if nothing else, the video is priceless. I need to know who does the demon voice because it’s perfect.

Spam of the day:

Confirmation Needed: $100 Kroger Gifts Inside

I don’t believe there is a Kroger (or as we said in my Midwestern college days, kro-zhay, ’cause it’s obviously French) grocery store within a 5-6 hour drive. Maybe next time try to bait me with a fake coupon that wouldn’t be essentially impossible for me to use?

¹ Somewhere, heads are exploding over the fact that four of the panelists are women. Sources close to the explosions were quoted as saying Girls are icky and get their cooties on my funnybooks.

² But which inevitably includes Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Persepolis, Maus, Jimmy Corrigan, A Contract With God, and Action Comics #1

³ Finder’s been both, so this one is arguable.

True North

That would North, be the actual compass direction, and not North, Ryan, who although he comes from the northerly climes, we are not referring to at the moment. We will be shortly, however, because one will recall that Ryan North is one of the fabled three living embodiments of a Nexus Of All Webcomics Realities.

North (again, direction) because news has come of this year’s Joe Shuster Award nominations, recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics by Canadians, and named for the Torontonian co-creator of Superman.

The Shusters (like their co-Canadian awards, the Doug Wrights) have a narrower range of categories than the large American awards, and do damn good job of recognizing what makes a webcomic (or bande dessinées web, if you prefer) worthy of notice. Let’s check out the 2017 nominees.

As in the past, the Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web has drawn from a wide variety of forms and story types, and this year is no exception. The seven nominees are:

There are webcomics types in other categories, too. For example, Writer / Scénariste includes nods for Ryan North (Squirrel Girl, Jughead), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Snotgirl), and Chip Zdarsky (Howard The Duck, Jughead)¹. Lagacé also got nominated for Cover Artist / Dessinateur Couvertures (mostly for Archie titles, but also Jem and Street Fighter), alongside Ramón Pérez² (again for multiple Archie titles, but also Hawkeye and Nova).

Lagacé also pops up in Artist / Dessinateur (Archie again, Betty Boop, Die Kitty Die), with Stuart Immonen³ (Empress). And The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids) / Le Prix Dragon (Bandes Dessinées pour Enfants) includes Faith Erin Hicks for The Nameless City (so, so good).

The awards will be presented the first weekend of September, with time & venue to be announced on 30 July; Fleen wishes the best of luck to all the nominees. Except Zdarsky. He knows why.

Spam of the day:

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Payday loan firms are the absolute closest thing to a completely parasitical business model, existing only to heartlessly exploit whomever they get their hooks into, so I most sincerely and politely invite whoever sent this to me to reconsider their lives and perhaps find something more worthwhile and less reprehensible with which to occupy themselves. May I suggest aimlessly rolling around in an open sewer full of broken glass?

¹ Also Tragically Hip frontman/Canadian living saint Gord Downie, for Secret Path, a graphic novel illustrated by Jeff Lemire to accompany the album of the same name. Secret Path is the story of Charlie Wenjack, a First Nations boy who escaped from Canada’s residential school system and died trying to make his way home.

² I still believe in my heart that Kukuburi will continue some day.

³ Some of us still remember Moving Pictures, done with wife Kathryn Immonen, taken down because pirates suck.

Yeah, Can’t Think Of A Title To Keep The Theme Going

Looks like the weekend at San Diego Comics Con is gonna be quiet compared to Thursday/Friday; not that there’s any less programming per se, just that the descriptions provided didn’t reach out and grab me or seem particularly relevant to the purpose of this page¹.

Saturday Programming

Comic Book Law School 303: A Helping Hand
10:30am — 12:00pm, Room 11

And the legal lessons conclude with fan-centered issues: Fair Use, fanfiction, fanart, fanfilms, and fansuchlike.

Real Life On The Page
12:00pm — 1:00pm, Room29AB

With (all together now) Box Brown, who really can talk about other things, a discussion of history and education topics. Moderated by NPR’s Petra Mayer, the panel includes MK Reed, Alison Wilgus, Tillie Walden, and Landis Blair.

BOOM! Studios: Discover Yours
12:30pm — 1:30pm, Room 24ABC

I mentioned a stealth BOOM! panel on Thursday, and here’s an overt one (also featuring John Allison), and the offer still stands: one dollar American cash money to anybody that asks why BOOM! pays so poorly and (perhaps more importantly) so late. Filip Sablik, president of BOOM! publishing and marketing will be present, so this is probably your best chance to speak truth to power.

Superheroes and Comics Can Transform Learning
1:00pm — 2:00pm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

Lots of variations on this theme from year to year, but how many feature Jorge Cham? Sadly, his We Have No Idea co-author, Daniel Whiteson, doesn’t appear to be part of the panel.

Unconventional Comics
1:30pm — 2:30pm, Room 8

Did you know that there are comics without superheroes? (I am paraphrasing the original description only slightly) Gemma Correll, Melanie Gillman, Simon Hanselman, and R Sikoryak in conversation with Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago.

Spotlight On Box Brown
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 4

Like this, for example: Box Brown’s a huge wrestling fan, and the interview for this session will be conducted by Uproxx’s pro wrestling editor, Brandon Stroud. Let Box Brown stretch his conversational legs!

Sunday Programming

Steven Universe: Art & Origins
10:00am — 11:00am, Room 29AB

What’s this? A small scale Steven Universe discussion? Rebecca Sugar, Ian J-Q, and zero voice talent? I think I just found my new must-see panel.

The Not-Keenspot Panel
I always mention the Keenspot panel, but when the title talks about how your Bobby Crosby-helmed YouTube show is taking over the Keenspot panel slot? Yeah, no, calling shenanigans on that. You can find it easily enough, though — it’s the actual, literal last panel in the programming list.
[Editor’s note: Keenspot impressario Chris Cosby disagrees with my characterization; you may find his rebuttal below in the comments.]

Spam of the day:

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You miss me, alleged legitimate vendor of Oakley sunglasses? I think we both know my got-up face is fair/middling at best.

¹ For example, an hour with Duff Goldman? I’d be all over that, but it doesn’t have much to do with webcomics, y’see.

Wisdom Was Sore Lacking, On Account Of Who Schedules Panel Discussions At 9:00pm?

Continuing our look at programming for this year’s San Diego Comics Con.

Friday Programming

Biographical And Autobiographical Comics
10:00am — 11:00am, Room28DE

Sonny Liew, Box Brown, Sarah Glidden, and more, on nonfiction comics.

Cartoon Network: OK KO! Let’s Be Heroes
10:00am — 11:00am, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Ian Jones-Quartey may have moved on from Steven Universe, but his new show is getting loads of attention right now. I’d say this was my chance to see him in a session panel without having to line up, oh, now, except for the fact of what’s in the Indigo Ballroom immediately after, and how many people are going to attend this one (not all of whom will have an interest) to have a better shot at the next one.

Comic Book Law School 202: Help Is On The Way
10:30am — 12:00pm, Room 11

Continuing the series from yesterday with a focus on where the money gets involved: licenses and transfers of rights, publishing, manufacturing, merchandising, and distribution agreements, including contracts and incorporation.

Cartoon Network: Steven Universe
11:00am — 12:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Yeah, here’s the next thing in Indigo. Rebecca Sugar, Deedee Magno-Hall, Michaela Dietz, Estelle, AJ Michalka, and Zach Callison (respectively: creator, Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, Stevonnie, and Steven). Gonna be a madhouse.

Taking Comics From Web To Print
11:30am — 12:00pm, Room 24ABC

Simon Hanselmann and Liz Suburbia talkinga bout how to get from web to print. Seems an odd topic for Hanselman since his pre-publisher career was dominated by self-published minicomics, and a weekly comic run by VICE, which is pretty much a publishing deal that’s merely not on paper.

Handling Challenges: Bans And Challenges To Comics
12:00pm — 1:00pm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

Raina Telgemeier, Candice Mack, Gina Gagliano, and David Saylor talking with Betsy Gomez about people that have nothing better to do than to police what other people are reading.

Condemned To Repeat?
1:00pm — 2:00pm, Room25ABC

This is like the third time that Box Brown is on a nonfiction-focused panel, right? I think it’s third. Andrew Farago moderates, Nathan Hale, Sarah Glidden, John Holmstrom, Lewis Trondheim, and Brigitte Findakly talk.

Read Like a Girl: Middle-Grade Fiction for Girls (and Boys)
1:00pm — 2:00pm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

The SDCL is where you want to be if you want to see Raina this show apparently; this time she’s talking with Nidhi Chanani, Shannon Hale, Jenni Holm, Molly Ostertag, and moderator Brigid Alverson. Lotta smart on this panel.

Spotlight on Marguerite Bennett
1:00 — 2:00pm, Room 28DE

I have to quote the official description for a bit: Do you like sassy broads in good dresses mouthing off about storytelling? If your answer is, “What a weird panel description,” then come see Ryan North interview Marguerite Bennett on comics, craft, work ethic, process, representation, feminist wrath, queer culture, comedy, kissing, storytelling, and more! I can’t decide if that was Bennett, North, or the two togther that wrote that description; either way, awesome.

Nonfiction and Memoir in Graphic Novels
2:00 — 3:00pm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

Box Brown nonfiction comics panel count: four. Panelists include Thi Bui, Nathan Hale, Tillie Walden, and Alison Wilgus.

Spotlight on Gemma Correll
2:00pm — 3:00pm, Room 4

Oooh! Gemma Correll!

What’s New With Terry Moore
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 28DE

Because Terry Moore is freakin’ awesome, and because Strangers In Paradise is back in 2018.

Monetize Your Comics On LINE Webtoon Discover
7:00pm — 8:00pm, Room 4

Quoting here: LINE Webtoon’s Tom Akel will walk you through how to publish and promote your own IP on the Discover platform, and Patreon’s Heather Wilder will provide details on the partnership between Patreon and LINE Webtoon and how creators can take advantage of the Webtoon creator investment program. Hear from creators who have published their work through Discover while building huge audiences, including Kaitlyn Narvaza, Stephen McCranie, Tiffany Woodall, and Sarah Andersen. This is really how SDCC sees webcomics: a means of getting to a point where you can involve an IP company; outside of that, nothing. Interested to see what Patreon has to say, though.

The World Of Drive
9:00pm — 10:00pm, Room 9

Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett will be talking Drive which is a damn shame because I’m obligated elsewhere on Friday night and who thinks you’re going to get a panel crowd at 9:00pm? The Eisners are happening, there are screenings, but a panel? Dumb. Which is a shame, because I really want to hear what LArDK has to say about one of my favorites, in a rare panel actually dealing with a webcomic.

Webcomics Advocates: The Webcomics Gathering
9:00 — 10:00pm, Room 32AB

And just in case webcomics weren’t being disregarded enough, let’s bury two separate panels in the death timeslot against each other, on the far sides of the San Diego Convention Center to make it practically impossible to hop between if you found both interesting. Anyway. As in previous years, you get 30 seconds to deliver a pitch about your webcomic.

Spam of the day:

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Bonus points for the irregular spacing and tortured English — makes me think you just might be an isolated secret master of … well, something.

Emergency Post To Add Cool Stuff

Oh, man, a bunch of stuff that I thought wasn’t captured on video from Comics Camp turned out to be captured on video! And thanks to Marian Call’s Twitterfeed, you can see them now. Seth Boyer singing Part Of Your World! Moebius music box! I went back to Camp posts to add links, but you should click through and enjoy them now.

Came They Then, Seeking Wisdom, Or At Least An Exclusive Collectible

They’ve started putting up the programming schedules for San Diego Comic Con 2017, starting with Wednesday night and Thursday, the traditional two weeks in advance. We’ll be digging into things that are of possible interest¹ to those who read this page (which really means whatever caught my eye). Let’s dig in.

Special Program For Those Who Maybe Don’t Even Go To SDCC

Marian Call solo show
FRIDAY 7:00pm — ??, Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Santee

An evening of music; tickets $10 to $20, or pay-as-you-wish at the door. It’s a ways out, you’ll probably want to split a cab. It’s not going to be a wide-ranging show like previous years, probably because she’s going to be part of W00tstock the night before; hey, Marian, tell John Hodgman I like his work and respect his moustache.

Thursday Programming

Real World Retellings
10:00am — 11:00am, Room 29AB

Nonfiction, from a panel including new father Box Brown, presumably talking about André, Tetris, and (not out until February) Andy Kaufman.

Creators, Libraries, And Literacy
10:00am — 11:00sm, Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

You won’t be on the floor for the start of the show, but you’ll be listening to Raina Telgemeier, Molly Ostertag, and others talk about about the importance of libraries. Cool.

Comic Book Law School 101: Help Me Understand
10:30am — 12:00pm, Room 11

The long-running legal education series returns; this session is on the basics of IP law. Attorneys attending get 1.5 credits of California continuing education.

Spotlight on Jeff Smith
11:00am — 12:00pm, Room 32AB

Because if you don’t love Jeff Smith, you don’t love comics.

Discover The Impact Of The Web On Mainstream Comics
1:00pm — 2:00pm, Room 28DE

Making the jump from webcomics to print, with Molly Ostertag, John Allison, and multiple namechecks of BOOM! in the description. No mention of who is moderating, but if it’s somebody from BOOM!, I will give a dollar to whoever asks them why, if they love comics and web creators so much and have the cash to spread around booze, they pay them so poorly and only after considerable effort.

Editing Comics
1:30pm — 2:30pm, Room 4

Editors are great, the panel includes people like Cassandra Pelham (she edits the like of Raina, and Mike Maihack) and Mark Siegel (runs a little shop called :01 Books is all), and it’s moderated by the invaluable Christopher Butcher.

Writing From Life: Turning Personal Experience Into Relatable Stories
3:00pm — 4:00pm, Room 29AB

Ooh! Gemma Correll and Tillie Walden!

The Mark, Sergio, Stan, And Tom Show
3:30pm — 4:30pm, Room 8

Same time, same room, same day as last year and every year prior. Because Sergio, Mark, Stan, and Tom friggin’ rule, that’s why.

Spotlight On Erica Henderson
5:00pm — 6:00pm, Room 32AB

John Allison talking to Erica Henderson? No brainer.

25 Years Of Bob The Angry Flower
5:30pm — 6:30pm, Room 4

Stephen Notley on a quarter-century of what was always a webcomic, even when there wasn’t a web.

Superhero Family Feud
6:00 — 7:00, Horton Grand Theater

Gameshow, with writers of various superhero fare eager to prove who knows the most about comics, characters, and capes. I can tell you from personal experience that Ryan North digs down deep to come up with the characters — some only seen for a page or less! — that he has encounter Squirrel Girl. Do not bet against him.

Spam of the day:

GPS devices: Monitor performance as well as location

My location is here in my office chair, and my performance is outstanding.

¹ Handy hint: the Web tag is useless and has approximately zero to do with webcomics.

I’m Pretty Sure It’s A Webcomic

  • Words+Pictures, right? That’s McCloud 101, and it’s on the web …

    Let me back up.

    Back at Comics Camp, one may recall, I had a talk about the history of webcomics, where I took a pretty expansive view of what constitutes a webcomic (despite, at this late date, the fact that it’s still a terrible word). The emphasis on collaboration, on individual vision, were as important as any other aspect. Homestar Runner is a webcomic, I declared, and I stand by it.

    So what to make of a still-being-released-in-big-chunks sort-of-story, sort-of-multimedia-experiment being run at (of all places) Vox Media’s sports site? What Football Will Look Like In The Future is the putative title of Jon Bois’s article¹, which very nearly immediately mutates into something else². Something going by the name of 17776.

    Something involving love, time, communications limited by the speed of light, the average windchill at the 1967 NFL Championship, tornadoes, Nebraska, and some satellites, one of which doesn’t fully exist yet. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the first page through carefully, and enjoy the list of future Presidents of the United States.

    It’ll take some time to read, and longer to get a handle on what’s happening, but take the half hour or so. It’s webcomics.

  • Speaking of webcomics, Katie Lane³ will be hosting a webinar next Friday, 14 July, for webcomics creators (and others) on her favoritest thing in the world, contracts. Specifically, what you should watch for in the contracts you sign.

    The fun kicks off at 12:00 noon PDT, and it’s free, but does require registration; if you don’t find anything at that link, all the slots are taken and you miss out, so browse over sooner rather than later. And remember: Katie Lane is not your lawyer unless you pay her, but if you think you need a lawyer, she’s probably a damn good one to consider paying.

Spam of the day:

Get the Ball rolling with 90% off until tomorrow …

This email comes from “ilouboitin”, which I think comes from somebody overseas misreading the logo of famed over-expensive shoemaker Christian Louboutin.

¹ A plausible enough situation, given that Bois has also written on the death/future of basketball.

² A note about that mutation — after your first visit, you don’t start from the pretense of an article about the death of football; you jump to a page that lists out the chapters of the story, presently standing at two. Like many things in life, you can only be sucked into this story once (unless you switch browsers).

³ Light-ning Law-yer!