The webcomics blog about webcomics

Dearly Beloved

This is going to be brief, and there will likely be no posting tomorrow, as I am on final approach to something I’ve been looking forward to for some months now. Tomorrow evening, I’ll be officiating at the wedding of friends, because I am totally a member of the clergy in a completely actual religion and the state of New Jersey (in its wisdom) does not judge the validity of ordinations¹.

So a lot of the time between now and then is being spent going over stuff in my head, so I don’t screw things up; thus, two quick callbacks and I’ll go back to prepping my homily and making sure my vestments are crisply pressed and in order. Also, for reasons that I can’t go into right now, I have to buy a pineapple².

  • Firstly, there are more installments of the Becky and Phil discussion at Benign Kingdom. Lo, gaze upon Part Three and also upon Part Four, and feel the stirrings of blessedness within you.
  • Secondly, a reminder that Kristen Siebecker’s August wine class is coming up next week and given that it’s the last week of summer vacation before everybody comes back to town, there’s plenty of room. You get 10% off with the discount code EMAIL10, but overdrink not wine nor strong drink thou, lest the inside of your skull smite thee the next day.

Spam of the day:

Whenever you get bored along with your writing, think about every one of the rewards of your graduate education.

Because I was stupid enough to attempt studies in two entirely unrelated fields (Electrical Engineering and History, because apparently I hated joy in my life), my graduate education’s “rewards” involved wrangling two advisors that neither spoke each other’s language, nor had much regard for each other’s fields. I can, however, talk endlessly about how independent systems on different technical standards (think power grid or local telephone exchanges) evolved and found ways to become interconnected wholes, and also how fights between standards get settled (i.e.: AC vs DC, VHS vs Betamax, BluRay vs HD DVD). In modern times, the answer is almost always Whichever one doesn’t forbid porn.

¹ Those that wish to debate whether or not I can perform my ministerial duties while being an atheist and also Jon Rosenberg is in possession of my soul may do so in the comments.

² That’s not code for anything, I have to buy an actual pineapple.

Time To Return The Favor

This page has, on several occasions, seen fit to mention one Philip ‘Frumph’ Hofer and his tireless work building infrastructure tools for webcomics. He’s responsible for the WordPress theme ComicPress and the WordPress plug-in Comic Easel, as well as tirelessly monitoring social media for hints of webcomickers with site troubles. Say his name and he appears, offering insight and assistance, sometimes before you even realize he was there. Accept his help and prod him enough, Hofer might allow in an oblique way that he takes donations and is available for hire, but he has never in my experience said I know how to fix your problems if you give me money.

I’ve wondered in the past how he can be available pert-near all hours of the day and how he can afford to give away so much knowledge and so many tools but never dug into the topic; I suspect that many other people who’ve had his assistance likewise counted themselves lucky without investigating. As it turns out, Hofer could use your help:

On Sunday the 17th of August my son and his friend were in my car; a ’96 Ford Explorer XLT; and unfortunately got into an accident, my truck flipped over several times. Much thanks to the strength and durability and weight of the truck my son and his friend walked away from the accident. My boy only had some minor injuries, head cuncussion and a chunk of skin off his leg. The friend had no physical injuries.

I am looking to replace it and I don’t have the funds to do so; so I need some help.

I would like to have the transportation to get to the doctor’s and other important appointments.

Hofer goes on to inform us that he’s looking to replace the vehicle with something comparable, and thus is asking for very little, with the aim of getting another 18 year old car:

That ’96 ford was only worth around $2200, I want to replace it with near the exact same thing because it is such a great truck to drive; mainly for peace of mind on how sturdy it is.

He also shares a bit that answers the questions that I never asked:

I’m not a complete sob story though — I like to think I’m not at least; I pay back everyone and everything that comes my way by helping others. The way I do that is by contributing my days writing and supporting software for artists and authors to put their works on the internet, which is available for free to download as a plugin for the WordPress platform. I spend my days supporting those artists; I receive close to a hundred or so tech support emails daily and am avid on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else I can to be available to help people out in anyways possible. I rarely ever ask for any donation for what I provide and even then it’s at such a low cost to allow those people to be able to afford work that companies would charge them thousands of dollars for.

How can I spend my days doing this? I am disabled, on SSI. I have had trouble getting a good job that would cater to my disability. As you can realize that every cent that comes in goes to just living expenses and nothing is ever able to be saved to be able to get a new car, wish it was different; but this is the way it is. So I spend my days helping others.

Here’s a thought — if you have used Hofer’s tools, if he’s ever given a quick answer on Twitter, or a longer one by email, or especially if he’s taken the time to fix things, howsabout kicking him a few bucks? I did last summer when Fleen shifted hosting and had WordPress issues, and in the year since I’ve had time to reflect on how I undervalued Hofer’s time, so I’m kicking in some more as soon as I finish writing this.

I won’t make any specific recommendation as to what you think his time is worth, but I’ll make this suggestion: how long did you try to resolve your issue before he gave you the point in the right direction? How much time do you think you saved as a result? How much do you value your time?

If you use ComicPress or Comic Easel, just make it a flat five or ten bucks. If you have a copy of Brad Guigar’s The Webcomics Handbook and enjoyed the sections on hosting and Comic Easel (and customizing Comic Easel), maybe that would be worth something to him as well.

Hofer may want to get another 18 year old car, but just maybe we can get him enough money that he can afford one that is just a solid, but has more modern safety features inside. And if the funding link closes because the goal is met, there’s still his page and the donation link over the left. He’s been giving to the community without end for years now, and it’s time we did the same for him.

Spam of the day:

You will not be able to understand why when you might be writing because you could not even know what Urdu poetry really is inside
the first place.

You got me, Sparky — I have little understanding of the nuances of Urdu poetry. I will try to remedy that for the next time we talk.

From The Far-Flung Corners Of The Commonwealth

Readers of this page will have long since recognized the esteem in which we at Fleen hold David Morgan-Mar of Irregular Webcomic and many, many, many other endeavours (especially, for the purposes of this discussion, mezzacotta, about which more momemtarily).

Those in the know will remember that Morgan-Mar (perhaps I should say Doctor Morgan-Mar, as he is part of a proud tradition of STEM PhD-holding webcomickers) does not make comics as anything other than a hobby; he works in optics research for a division of Canon (all the more surprising given that he may be responsible for more pages of webcomics of anybody this side of Andrew Hussie, especially considering mezzacotta, which I promise we’re about to get to). We typically don’t see Morgan-Mar on this side of the Pacific Ocean (or the equator, for that matter), except for his occasional attendance at a scientific conference, which he was coincidentally doing in the immediate past.

When he returned from the annual SIGGRAPH, Morgan-Mar responded to an email that I’d sent him on an unrelated topic (wine, to be specific), and he had some interesting observations about the overlap of the conference and webcomics. I found his experiences to be fascinating and I’m sharing them with you; lagies and jenglefenz¹, please welcome David-Morgan Mar. Yaaaay!

There was a talk by Ozge Samanci (who you’ve mentioned on Fleen:²) titled “Impact of Digital Media on Comics”, which of course I attended. It wasn’t really about webcomics per se, but rather a Scott McCloud-esque survey of what new things the digital presentation format can bring to comics. Looking at my scribbled notes:

Digital media can give 4 things to comics:

  • Procedural — you can generate content computationally.
  • Participatory — you can interact with the viewer.
  • Encyclopaedic — you can segment and categorise ad infinitum.
  • Spatial — you can play tricks with the spatial layout.

She showed examples of some comics with looping animations in each frame — each individual animation does not progress the story, it only provides atmosphere for the short segment of time captured in the panel, so it remains a comic rather than becoming a work of animation.

She said in 2014 there are still no true examples of McCloud’s infinite canvas, only approximations which fall short of the true potential. (xkcd came up as an example.) A true infinite canvas comic, she said, would need to be procedurally generated, so you could really scroll *anywhere*. I actually talked to her afterwards about mezzacotta, which is procedurally generated and offers an almost-infinite scope temporally with its archives. She wasn’t aware of it and said she’d include it in future revisions of this talk!

She talked about geocomics — making a comic readable via GPS coordinates, where you physically have to travel to certain locations to see given panels. She mentioned using the digital presentation to provide film-like effects such as panning and zooming for the viewer within a comic panel. She talked about engaging the reader as a character within the comic, letting them interact with the other characters. Or control the presentation of the panels, by allowing the reader to stretch the frame borders, for example.

She concluded by saying that webcomics pretty much haven’t really explored all of the possibilities of the medium yet, and there’s a very long way to go. The problem as she sees it is not the conceptualising, but the executation — you need an artist and a good programmer to collaborate (or be the same person).

After the talk I also mentioned to her my attempt to make a collaborative multi-stream branching comic with Infinity on 30 Credits a Day, and she said the problem with collaborative comics is always lack of participation. (Too true!)³

Anyway, it was plenty of food for thought.

On another minor note, in the interactive exhibitions there was a gadget someone had designed to provide haptic user feedback through an airbrush — to allow the roughest amateurs to paint desired works of art. They let you try the airbrush, and pulled up a stencil on a computer which guided the feedback system. They had a collection of several stencil shapes for people to use, most of them rather anonymous animals shapes, but one of them was a very familiar looking T. rex.

Many thanks to David Morgan-Mar for the info, and for the use of the photos.

Spam of the day:

Is your website about generating traffic from top of the page postings no matter quality with the content when you are ad supported. Things can be extremely starting to heat up since pre-season games are simply weeks away. … Think about the non native one who learns English language but can not utilize it properly and does some hilarious errors which will change the meanings of entire statement.

Believe me, it’s tough to not think about the non native one who learns English language but can not utilize it properly and does some hilarious errors which will change the meanings of entire statement.

¹ For some reason, I only ever think of that gag when I’m writing about David Morgan-Mar. I don’t know if he’s an especially big fan of The Muppet Show, Harry Belafonte, or Mister The Frog in general, but given that all right-thinking people are, it’s probably pretty likely.

² Editor’s note: want to swell my head way the heck up? Report on something fascinating and relate it to something I wrote. I have such a grin on my face right now.

³ Or perhaps too much; Hussie famously relied upon reader input to determine the action in the next update of Homestuck for a good long while, but ultimately turned away from it due to it being too difficult to tell the story he had in mind. I almost said a logical story, but just as there are different algebras, there are different logics, and Andrew Hussie’s logic does not always resemble our Earth-logic.

Awards Season

There’s an intersection of three different awards that include comics that have come together. Let’s take them in turn.

  • Last night at LonCon, they gave out the Hugos, as we noted in the recent past. I was hoping, but didn’t really think it would happen: the award for Best Graphic Story went to Randall Munroe for the xkcd update known as Time. Look at the other nominees: the latest Girl Genius chapter by Phil and Kaja Foglio with Cheyenne Wright (who won this category the first three years of its existence), a Doctor Who story by the author of the all-time favorite two-parter Human Nature/The Famiy of Blood, an adaptation of a George RR Martin story, and Saga, the most justly-celebrated comic on the shelves right now (and last year’s winner). And yet the winner was the one entry that could only exist in the digital realm — 3101 frames, released over a period of months. Well done, Randall.
  • The Harvey Awards are unique in that the electorate is made up not of a expert jury or whoever cares to attend a particular convention — these are voted on by working comics professionals, so we get to (in theory, at least) see what the people who make comics think are the best work of their peers. Final ballots (which can be submitted electronically) are due today, and if you make a webcomic you count as a member of the industry.

    The Best Online Comics Work category will choose between Mike Norton’s Battlepug (a previous Eisner winner), The Dreamer by Lora Innes, Tom Siddell’s Gunnerkrigg Court, JL8 by Yale Stewart, and Table Titans by Scott Kurtz, Mary Cagle, Steve Hamaker, and Brian Hurtt. Much as I like Table Titans (it’s probably going to be Kurtz’s career-best work), and despite terrific work from for years now, I think that Siddell is long overdue for recognition. A’course, I don’t get a vote, and those of you that do may we disagree. We’ll find out who gets the honor at Baltimore Comic Con, specifically on Saturday, 6 September.

  • A week later at SPX, the annual Ignatz Awards will present their ceremonial bricks, and the final ballot was released today. Given the focus of the Ignatz on indie comics, there’s a fair amount of overlap between those that might be considered purely webcomickers, and those that might be described as webcomics-adjacent. Nominees that caught my eye included a dual nod to Sophie Goldstein for Outstanding Artist (for multiple works including Darwin Carmichael is Going To Hell) and Outstanding Minicomic (for House of Women). Outstanding Graphic Novel is heavy on the :01 Books library, featuring Boxers & Saints and This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.

    Outstanding Story nominees include Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie story Brownout Biscuit (collected in Dead Forever). Jason Shiga has two nods for Demon, in Outstanding Series and Outstanding Online Comic, where he is joined by Anya Davidson’s Band For Life, Dane Martin’s Big Dogs At Nite, On Hiatus by Pete Toms, and Vattu by Evan Dahm. It looks like most categories will be tough for the SPX voters to decide, but given how much I love Darwin, Octopie, and Gran, I’m hoping that the Brooklyn-resident (formerly, in Goldstein’s case) contingent brings home the bricks.

Spam of the day:

At the completion on this meeting, the student
should submit a memo to committee members summarizing that which was agreed upon during the meeting.
Your way with words-at all will not impeded by whatever method you choose to use.

Your command of language is such that I will absolutely take your guidance in trying to obtain a graduate degree. Honest.

Weekend Ho!

That is, I’m looking forward to the weekend, much like Calvin’s Yukon Ho!; I am not referring to anybody as a ho, for the weekend or otherwise.

  • 9000-plus miles¹, dozens of personal appearances, six weeks of excellent guest strips, and at long last Danielle Corsetto can sleep in her own bed tonight. What did we learn?
    • Danielle Corsetto is such a webcomics machine that she needed four assistants to keep up with her in various parts of the trip.
    • Had she not engaged in careful planning, the entire back third of the tour would have been without books; she sold so strongly in the first couple of weeks, she had to make emergency shipments of fresh stock ahead. As it turned out, she didn’t do much re-packing of the car after any of her signings.
    • When it comes to her characters, people want more Thea and Mimi (stars of two guest weeks); me, I was hoping for some quality Clarice and Joshua time, but maybe now that Danielle’s back. Also, Hazel’s mom is badass.
    • Whatever needs to happen in order to incorporate these guest weeks in a future print collection must be done. Hold a Kickstarter to pay the guest artists more for the reprint rights, I’ll chip in. These were wonderful.
  • It’s been a damn busy time for Dean Trippe for the past year or so; Something Terrible changed the direction of his life (and that of many, many other people), and it must have produced an intense desire in him to get the print version exactly right. Looks like he’s finally satisfied that the epilogue will meet his exceedingly high standard:

    Thanks for all your patience and support this year. It’s been great, and terrible, and up-lifting, and soul-crushing, and all of it has been worth every minute to connect with other Batfans and fellow survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Remember I said to watch for my signal? This is it. Let everyone know. It’s time.

    For those of you who didn’t get in on the Kickstarter, you can order a copy of Something Terrible in hardback, and if you weren’t among the (criminally small) audience at Trippe’s San Diego panel, you can listen to it now. Oh, and Eisner nominating committee for next year that has yet to be named? Don’t repeat the oversight of not nominating Trippe for Best Digital Comic this year. He’ll be eligible in whichever print categories and he damn well deserves the recognition.

  • Randall Munroe’s forthcoming What If? print collection, reviewed by Jorge Cham for American Scientist. Despite the title of the review, I encourage any and all curious individuals to try to replicate Munroe’s work, just way the hell away from me since most of them seem to result in the erasure of a significant percentage of the Earth, or Earth’s population.

Spam of the day:

The coal that you just use in your backyard for barbeque performs far more important functions such as generating electricity for individuals in thermal power plants.

Charcoal and coal are not the same thing, by a factor of a couple of million years. Hey, Randall, care to explain the difference to this bozo?

¹ Or pert-near 15,000 kilometers, if you use proper units.


There’s a million of ‘em running around out there, and I’m up to my ass in alligators with one right now. Let’s look at what people are doing, shall we?

  • Re: Ryan Estrada’s Very Big Week; he released an image of what the entire Broken Telephone story (coordinated among some 20 creators, on multiple continents, to produce one large narrative) looks like. It looks like this and if you don’t mind the teeny-weeny eyestrain-o-vision¹ you can read the entire thing. Or just wait ten minutes, and knowing Estrada he’ll probably make it free.
  • Re: that mysterious image that the comics press couldn’t be arsed to research; told ya — Capture Creatures comic series, which BOOM! Studios has announced (as is their tradition) via Comics Alliance. I’d get mad about CA always getting the webcomic-related stories if it weren’t for the fact that they will get the story in front of far more eyeballs than I ever possibly could, and I want webcomickers to get those big audiences. Anyway, I still have two of the 151 Capture Creatures on my wall, so there.
  • Re: ongoing reactions to the suicide of Robin Williams earlier this week; the quality and educational value of the writings and comics about depression that have come about has been jawdropping. Today I particularly want to call out two personal essays about what it’s like to feel your brain out of whack and feeling unable to jolt yourself out of that situation; one is in words by Helen Rosner², the other in words and pictures by Erika Moen³.

    I was particularly struck in both reads about how depression messes with your perception of what the default state of existence should be — you shouldn’t feel like you’re in a fog, you shouldn’t feel like continuing to exist is just a meh thing. That, and the plain fact that Moen and Rosner both experienced time off of antidepressants — if you’re on them, please do not ever go off them without consulting closely and regularly with a doctor. Please. Read both pieces at Medium now, if you haven’t already.

  • How about a light note to go out on? Despite the fact that one half of Unshelved’s creative duo is on the road for the next year, there’s still creative stuff going on in the center of Librarianland. Feel like setting a song to video?

    It was extremely well received, with a lot of folks saying some very kind things indeed. Now we want to turn it into a music video featuring you.

    There’s like five steps to undertake, the results of which will be a crowdsourced music video, a verse or two here, a verse or two there from various contributors. Could be a complete masterpiece and/or trainwreck, and I’m actually hard pressed to decide which would be more fun for all concerned. Either one is good, as long as we’re all laughing together.

Spam of the day:

Few women know about the tiny, ever-busy microorganisms that inhabit our digestive system, how vital they are to our wellness, and what can be done to help them flourish.

Please don’t let this be an advert for gray-market transpoosions.

¹ Registered trademark, one of the Akbar & Jeff Hut-based businesses, can’t remember which.

² Until recently, the digital editor for Saveur magazine, and thus responsible for both the Recipe Comix series and much of Lucy Knisley’s overseas food comics reportage.

³ Force of nature and sportin’ arms that could bust a man down on into his component pieces.


Oh, Mercy. Art by Twitter user Sheana Molloy, all rights respected.

The first notice came on Monday morning, and except for the expected news some seven hours later, details were thin. Had the Straubchild entered the world already, a world not ready for something so good, so pure? Signs pointed to yes, and while confirmation has not been made public, neither have the many, many expressions of congratulations been dismissed. It now being Wednesday, it seems safe to assume that Kris and Marlo have welcomed their first young’un into their lives, and may soon (give it a week or so) stop bursting into spontaneous, happy tears.

Welcome, little one. I wasn’t kidding when I said that you were too good for this weary, broken world; we’ll try to make it better by the time you’d notice. Try to give your parents the occasional full night’s sleep, and be sure to provide your dad with lots of creative juice. It’s a weird, wonderful thing, life, and welcome to it.


Webcomickers not making their way towards Indianapolis for Gen Con¹ (a partial list of which may be found in yesterday’s post) may be instead making their ways to other shows happening in the immediate future.

Spam of the day:

free coupons applebees

Is that you, Zdarsky?

¹ So called because it originated in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin about the time I was born. It bounced around Wisconsin for a while and eventually settled in Indy.

² Where, I should note, webcomics compete against all other form of comics in the same category.

³ Not to be confused with the other Canadian Mike Holmes, the house builder on TV. I’m sure the comics Mike Holmes is plenty handy, and maybe the TV guy can draw, but they actually are two totally different dudes.

Getting Up

this is why no matter how bad I feel, I get up in the morning. you never know when the #weinermobile will show up. — Rich Stevens

The news that Robin Williams died yesterday — a suspected suicide — has stirred up a great deal of shock and sadness in the social media that I follow. I think he was likely a formative comedic influence (maybe the formative comedic influence) for a lot of cartoonists¹, and the further detail that he had been struggling with severe depression² likewise hit hard.

So many of the creators I follow — so many of my friends — have their own struggles with depression and other mental illness; as recently as five years ago I wouldn’t have realized it because it wasn’t talked about. We, as a society, have made strides in destigmatizing mental illness. I’m grateful that there are medications that help to rebalance whichever bits of brain chemistry get out of whack; I’ll be more grateful when it’s easier for everybody to get them, and to navigate the period of time it takes to get the right mix of brain drugs.

I’m grateful for every one of my friends that speaks up and says Here’s why today was a hard day; here’s what helps me have better days. And I am particularly grateful to whoever put together two words to get the most important idea across: depression lies.

If you’ve heard those lies, heard the falsehoods that nobody cares, that nobody would miss you, that you lack value, look around at everybody that’s been where you are while making things that you love. I haven’t had those lies directed at me but if I should in the future, remind me that they are full of shit until I can believe it again; we can only be there for each other.

And besides, listen to the lies and maybe you’ll miss out on your own chance to see the Wienermobile; it scientifically proven that you can’t help but have a better day when you see the Wienermobile³. Now I’m going to hit you with short items until we’re all feeling a little better.

  • What Passes For Journalism These Days, I Swear The utter lack of effort in this story makes me shake my head. Okay, maybe you don’t recognize the Capture Creatures but you couldn’t take ten seconds to ask around? Or take two minutes to browse covers at the Boom! site until you find some that look like the same style and wonder who this Becky Dreistadt is and then you’ve cracked the code.
  • Ryantastic and Estradariffic Ryan Estrada has answered my question from yesterday about what happens if one of his Patreon backers stops backing with respect to licensed works:

    @fleenguy Folks can continue to publish what they already published while a supporter, and if there’s a grey area- I’m happy if they are.

    Also, we now know why he’s willing to go to all the effort of researching and comicking Gimme Five! answers: penance.

  • Late Notice, Sorry A healthy chunk of webcomics will be at GenCon starting the day after tomorrow; Jennie Breeden’s done a floor map for you, so I just need to note that the PvP/Table Titans crews will be at booth 2435, Jim Zub and Howard Tayler at booth 1437, and Blind Ferret’s (booth 541) guests will include David Malki !, Alina Pete, Randy Milholland, James Hicks, and Sam Logan.
  • Even Later Notice, Sorrier Tonight at Modern Myths Comics in Northampton, MA is Ladies Night with Jess Fink and Kate Leth, presented by TopatoCo. I don’t want to promise anything, but Northampton is just one hampton over from Easthampton, where the Wienermobile was just an hour ago. It is not impossible you might see it if you go to Ladies Night at 7:00pm.

Spam of the day:

can vinegar kill mold

It is not widely known, but my superpower (my other superpower that is; my main superpower is moustachery) is that I can clean almost anything. I have gotten ground-in chocolate out of a white fabric couch and an olive oil spill out of a suede jacket. And when life calls on The Stainmaster, the two tools closest to hand are baking soda and vinegar. So I feel qualified to say that while vinegar is a tremendous asset in cleaning, its lethality vis-á-vis mold varies with the species involved. To kill mold, I’d recommend bleach.

¹ And given the longevity of his career, it doesn’t matter how old said cartoonists are.

² Along with long-standing addictions.

³ True story: one of my sisters was up for a job driving the Wienermobile right out of college but didn’t get it. It’s a damn shame, because I’ve always thought she’s exactly the sort of person you’d want driving the Wienermobile.




The Best Possible Thing

More webcomics, of course.

  • Readers of this page, or any other page for that matter, know that one of the great tragedies of modern webcomickry is that running a business empire has left Jeffrey Rowland too busy to do comics more than alternate fortnights, or possibly I mean “stone”; the sooner we get metric time units the better, but I digress.

    In Rowland’s most recent comics, Joanna the undead cat went missing in mid-June, was possibly sighted at the start of July¹ and the search was on again with only a minor hygiene detour, then promptly stopped for San Diego. Not to worry, Rowland assured me as I held a piece of pipe that would support TopatoCo booth banners, I got plans.

    And over the last week or so, a series of mysterious tweets² that mentioned the mysterious Iverly. Yesterday’s Overcompensating update was titled Iverly, and then a few hours later, a new domain went live at Iverly.com³, with an accompanying announcement:

    There’s a new comic on the scene and it is called Iverly. Journey Into The Hole with Joanna.…

    Actually, don’t click on that link in that quote, since it jumps you ahead to strip #4, and you’ll want to read Iverly from the beginning. Here is everything you need to know about Iverly:

    1. Iverly is the place where animals go.
    2. Iverly comics will update Monday-Wednesday-Friday, marking the return of Jeffrey Rowland to regular cartooning, and given the setup, it looks to be the sort of loopy, cryptid-filled flight of fancy that nobody does better.

    That’s it, two things. I’m already filled with questions: What exactly is Mel’s Hole? Will we ever learn about The Incident, or is it like Calvin’s Noodle Incident? What are the odds that this is a 100% true account of what’s under the trailer parked out behind TopatoCo’s warehouse?4 We’ll learn the answers on Rowland’s own schedule which, heavens be praised, will be regular for the next while. Hooray!

  • It would be ungracious to demand more than one creator to return to regular webcomicking, but that is exactly what happened by chance. With his Broken Telephone project nearing the end of his need to babysit, Estrada has jumped back into comicking with a Patreon-supported project, titled Gimme Five!

    Short version: people write into Estrada with questions, and he answers them in comic form. In case you’re wondering if he can actually explain the works of Shakespeare to the point you could learn about them in five minutes, remember this is the man that has taught more people to (phonetically) read Korean script than anybody else in history.

    While Patreon supporters will get their questions answered sooner, Estrada is open to answering anybody’s queries, probably particularly now as he’s trying to ramp up production. And that’s just for US$1 a month. Supporters at US$3 a month get a bundle of Estrada comics, more than 1000 pages; at US$5 per month, there’s another 400 pages of comics from collaborators. But from my POV, the really interesting thing happens at the US$10/month tier:

    The Commercial Use Program
    You have the right to commercial use of any Gimme Five comic, Learn To Read Korean in 15 Minutes, and How To Travel Anywhere on $20 a Day. This means you can republish the comics anywhere you like, and make money off of them.

    Syndicate it on your blog! Use it in your lesson plans! Publish it in your magazine! Make a poster! Staple up a mini! As long as I’m credited as the creator, you can do whatever you want.

    I will provide high resolution copies of any strip upon request!

    This is the most original form of licensing I’ve ever seen; one thing I wonder is if you lose your commercial reuse rights if you stop your support, so that’s something you might want to clear up with Estrada. From personal experience he’s a fairly easy-going guy and I doubt he’d want to take the time to police an enforcement mechanism more complex than Please don’t rip me off, but if you’re conscientious enough to want to license his stuff, you probably want to make sure you aren’t violating his rules. Magazines and books in particular will probably require something concrete.

    Weirdly enough, as of this writing Estrada has only three (3) supporters. Not a typo! One, two, three. I don’t expect that to last very long, and early backers will probably be the first ones to get their questions answered, so jump on this while you can.

Spam of the day:

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my agreement. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off?

Just keep spelling like that and I think you’ll solve the problem.

¹ Weedmaster P is never the most reliable eyewitness.

² Editor’s note: in this case, the DO NOT HUMP label is not sexual in nature; it refers to a technique that uses gravity to assist in the switching of rail cars.

³ Not that a new website associated with Rowland is in any way unusual.

4 Given that it’s Rowland, I’ll put it at 55-60%.

Friday Afternoon And All’s Well

Let’s just hit you with a quick list of things that caught my eye today, and then we can all enjoy the weekend.

  • What with all the (entirely justified) attention given to the comic-making juggernaut that is Raina Telgemeier, the world at large sometimes overlooks her biggest booster and cheerleader — namely, her husband, Dave Roman. Roman and Telgemeier have been travelling a bit since SDCC, checking out sites and ice cream places far and wide, but now it’s time to get back to the dual tasks of making awesome comics and teaching the next generation to make awesome comics:

    I doing a comics-making workshop at the New York Public Library, St. Agnes Branch, on [Thursday] August 21 from 2:30pm -– 4:00pm.

    This is part of the library’s Authors & Young Writers 2014 program, which is pitched to kids in 4th through 7th grades; you can follow that link for directions to the Upper West Side, and to pre-register.

  • RIP KC’s ass, but also please note what is written underneath that pictorial representation of an ass-related tragedy:

    Next week, we begin… The final chapter of Graveyard Quest. For pretty much all of August and a little Spillover in September, we will see how it all ends.

    In my opinion, Graveyard Quest is Green’s best longform work at Gunshow, even outshining The Anime Club. Speaking of which, there’s a small Anime Club-related character study up at The Medium. Oh Mort, you are such a jerk certainly factually correct in all things and clearly have your mother’s best interests at heart.

  • It’s been just about exactly a month since Shaenon Garrity and Andrew Farago welcomed their first child into the world, and one would hope that the grand adventure they have embarked upon is treating them easily. Although I’ll note that I ran into Farago briefly at SDCC and he had the look of sleep deprivation madness, and then there was this brief Garrity note on the Twitter machine earlier today:

    Tonight, nothing in this world would make me happier than if the baby could learn to fart without screaming. #parenthood

    So much is left unsaid. Is the child screaming in delight, because come on — farts! Or does he get startled by the physical, auditory, and olfactory sensations, reacting in fear? Perhaps it is a scream of pure challenge: World, I send forth this tangible notice of my existence! Tremble before me! In any event, I suspect that the fart/scream decoupling will have to occur before Garrity contemplates returning to Monster of the Week to take on season five of The X-Files, so lets hope the child in question gets on that quickly for all our sakes.

  • Good news:

    Vattu page 572 BOOK 2 IS FINISHED

    Vattu is a monumental accomplishment. I wonder how much more there will be?


    Oh, well that’s good, then. Okay, looking forward to Book 3 next week.

    No Vattu updates for about a month, now! Gotta write and work on other stuff.

    Well, poop. Citizens are urged to remain calm. If only there were a good reason for the hiatus!

    I hope that is cool with everybody. Main concern is that book 3 is the most densely-plotted thing i have ever written…
    …and i need to nail down some stuff in the writing. it will be better for this break.

    Based on past pronouncements from Evan Dahm about where in the story various things were happening, we may well expect Books 3 and 4 to be considerably longer than 1 and 2. Okay, Dahm, you’ve got your month, and furthermore, I’m looking forward to what you will do with this story.

Spams of the day:

Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. But imagine if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

And …

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

I’m just going to let the two of you fight this one out.