The webcomics blog about webcomics

I’m Declaring :01 Week

The promo image says "Fall of the House of West", but the review copy I have shows "The Fall of the House of West". Close enough, either way.

Yeah, there’s lots of stuff to talk about, like how many people are reporting their receipt of Exploding Kittens, even unto the far corners of the earth¹, Kate Beaton getting a cartoon in the New Yorker² (her first solo placement), and Christopher Hastings announcing the wind-down of Dr McNinja. Go browse those in your free time, because we’ll be talking about something else today.

And tomorrow.

And likely several days after that, as Gina Gagliano at :01 Books has been busy with the review copies, as I have a literal stack of them that have arrived here at the ol’ Fleenplex in the past couple of days. They’re for books that will be releasing in the Fall season, and I get to read ’em and tell you what I thought. Given that this is :01 we’re talking about, I don’t think that you’ll be surprised to learn that the three I’ve pulled so far are really good, which lead to the minor dilemma of which one to write about first.

Ultimately, I chose Battling Boy: The Fall Of The House Of West for a couple of reasons: I really liked its predecessor, Battling Boy: The Rise Of Aurora West; I really like how this book continues its subversion of the Hero’s Journey trope; and I really, really like how Ms Gagliano summarized the book in the cover letter she sent:

With Battling Boy, [Paul Pope] rewrote the hero trope with a kid main character; with Aurora West, he’s telling the story of a teen girl. Expanding the terrain of who can be a hero — and a superhero — is one of the things that he’s best at, and this story is full of action and adventure and also punching.

I love that and also punching line, not least because it shows that Gagliano is the best at getting people to want to read books. But I love the first sentence even more, because it gets to the heart of what Pope’s doing with the the BB series³: finding new ways to tell the story of heroism and what it takes — what it costs — to be one. And quite frankly, Aurora West is the better story to explore that theme.

I described Battling Boy as Paul Pope at his Paul Popiest and his Jack Kirbiest but it didn’t get into my brain the way that the Aurora West books have; it’s good (damn good), but it’s several stories we’ve seen put together: godling (however old he is as his people measure such things, he’s 12 or 13 emotionally) must undergo his rites of adulthood and go out into the wide cosmos to defeat evil.

Doesn’t matter much what evil or which, just do that and his society will accept him as a man. He settles on a city in a world beset by monsters and at whatever point in time his Labors are done (there’s a clear parallel to Herakles in that there are 12 magic garments — specifically, t-shirts, on account of he’s not earned his Kirby outfit yet — to let BB channel great power) he’ll leave. We’re just at the beginning of his story and it’s being told in a fresh way, but it’s a template we’re all familiar with.

The Aurora West books, on the other hand, are different. Aurora isn’t destined to greatness because she comes from godly power, but because she’s pissed at the monsters that killed her mother. So is every other teen that made it past puberty and is relatively safe from the nightly thread of kidnap, but they’re mostly resigned to the monsters that prey on the city’s children. Her only advantage is that she hasn’t been taught to deal with monsters (who are presented as half supernatural ghouls, half mobsters) by locking herself in when the sun goes down.

Her father, Haggard, is the (soon to perish) protector of the world (that BB has yet to visit) partly because he worked hard his entire life to become such, and partly because somebody has to do the job and ain’t nobody else stepping up. Daughter and father are bound by a sense of familial duty and different reactions to the absence of their mother/wife. He puts as much of the grief away as possible to concentrate on the crusade; she is driven by a need to know which particular monster killed her mom and to take individual vengeance. They aren’t talking to each other about the things they most need to, which makes both of them less effective than they should be, and more paralyzed by the fear of further loss than they will admit.

Along the way, Aurora is training to help her father as protector; she thinks he’s cramping her progress, he thinks she’s too reckless, but the key thing is that he’s training her. BB’s parents essentially threw him over the corner of reality and said Don’t screw up or you’ll die, we’ll see you when you get back. BB is leaning to stand on his own out of complete necessity; Aurora is learning about herself, her father, and the importance of sharing your burdens.

Along the way, she learns that even earthbound, mortal heroes must be more than mortal, bigger than life, with a manufactured myth about them that is as important — maybe moreso — than the reality of the great struggle. She learns that heroes are built on a kind of benign deceit, one that lets them do the job without breaking; sometimes it’s fostered on the lies they tell themselves, sometimes on the lies that they are told because the truth will render them unable to fight on. She learns how fear-borne nightmares can destroy, how love is a strength and a weakness, and how benevolence and protection must be undergirded by ruthlessness.

BB see his quest as an especially challenging game. The Wests are fighting a protracted war of attrition and barely holding onto a stalemate. It’s a narrative that’s thematically richer and deeper; call Aurora West the Lord of the Rings to Battling Boy’s The Hobbit, or maybe Harry Potter books 4-7 vs books 1-3.

BB:TFOTHOW (story by Paul Pope and JT Petty, with gorgeous, scratchy, menacing B&W art by David Rubín) will release on 13 October; that’s enough time for you to track down BB:TROAW and read it through a couple of times. You should also go find a copy of BB and see where Aurora is headed once she’s on her own. I have a feeling that the godling will become a lot more interesting once he and Aurora determine that their goals are complementary: she needs raw power, he needs guidance and wisdom, they both have plenty to learn from the other, and a dual Hero’s Journey would be a neat way to really turn all the usual tropes on their heads.

As always, many thanks to :01 Books for the review copy.

Spam of the day:

You can get the buns from the store(commissary is what the inmates call store ), or you can trade or gamble.

¹ The game itself is fun, leading to much in-your-face triumphalism and a three-Nope chain when were were playing it yesterday between EMS calls.

² Scroll forward from the landing page; it was the sixth cartoon when I looked, but there’s at least one sponsored cartoon advertising Bojack Horseman in there.

³ Considering it’s now one book for the titular Boy and two for Aurora West, I’m wondering if Pope doesn’t feel as I do and find that West is the more interesting and compelling character.

Exploding Kittens May Reach My House Before I Do

Got my shipping notification, and now it’s a race to DFW to see if I can make it home to blessed New Jersey in time. Say what you want about my home state, at least our airports have actual exit roads.

With that in mind (and time short) please enjoy a quick view into what my email and website spam filters are like these days.

Spam of the day: Lightning Round!

Bathe Safely with a Whirlpool Walk-In tub

How old do you people think I am? I don’t need a walk-in tub.

I am a, staff of Private Banking Services at the Bank of China (BOC).

How much? US$8.35 million? Snore. I don’t answer 419 scams for less than 50.

Rachael Ray Bikini Body Diet

Seriously, what is it about Rachael Ray in particular that she keeps getting mentioned in this context? She’s got a good cosmetic dentist, some irritating catchphrases, and pretends to cook.

Your PayPal account has been suspended Case ID 364-186

That would be the PayPal account I don’t have? I will absolutely provide you all my information now.

Holy Cats

  • Holy cats! Raina Telgemeier has somehow slipped, as the latest iteration of the New York Times Best Seller List includes only three of her books, in the relatively modest #4, 5, and 6 slots (although we’re also a mere four weeks away from Sisters being on the list for 52 consecutive weeks, so there’s that). Not to worry; although the first Baby-Sitters Club color reissue has slipped off the list (after dropping to #10 last week, its 11th on the list), the second BSC color reissue released the day before yesterday.

    You can see where I’m going with this.

    There’s a lag time on the NYTBSL, but I’ma guess we’re shortly going to see The Truth About Stacey join Smile, Drama, and Sisters, and very possibly see the return of Kristy’s Great Idea. Can we do five Telgemeier books simultaneously? With the remaining two BSC color reissues due in October and January, could we see an actual majority of the ten slots owned by books about tween girls? No bets, my friends.

  • Holey Cats! Now this is how you meet promised Kickstarter fulfillment goals:

    When we launched our Kickstarter back in January, we hoped to sell 500 copies of our game. With that in mind, we wrote the following on our Kickstarter page: “Estimated delivery: July 2015″

    We wound up selling more than 500 copies. We sold 460,000 copies.

    I know we promised we’d deliver in July. But that’s a lot of things we had to do. So, the new expected delivery date is …

    Still July!

    Yep, kittens that ‘splode start their rolling shipping today; it would be impossible to ship to ship every one of the 220,000-odd (some very odd) backers in 122 different countries on the same day, despite the fact that the EK crüe have sent massive quantities of games to various countries around the world to ship domestically, rather than from the US (which would involve customs, and international shipping, and headaches and delays and missing packages galore). Heck, they had to partner with six companies for production and fulfillment, including seeing the Cards Against Humanity folks set up an entire company — Blackbox — just to handle the shipping and notifications.

    Those specific details — 122 countries, six companies, Blackbox — all come from the shipping-commencement announcement along with other facts about the game; my favorite fact-cluster is that printing the 26.8 million cards required 2356 gallons¹ of paint, producing a gross tonnage of 104,000 pounds² requiring 17 rail-car sized shipping containers to hold them all. You can find at least one member ExKit team at GenCon, with copies of the game, just in case you didn’t back the campaign and/or can’t wait until sometime next week. And if you need a primer on how to play, they released a video starring the voice of Dr Krieger, because listening to Lucky Yates talk about stuff exploding won’t cause nightmares at all.

  • Depending on what topics he decides to cover, there may or may not be cats (holy or otherwise) involved! Ryan Estrada is feelin’ creative again, and we all know what that means: a burst of comics to bury ourselves in. This time, he’s decided to do fake pitches for licensed comics based on existing concepts, and Dylan Meconis has already tossed the first suggestion out: an animated version of Murder She Wrote. But Estrada being Estrada, he’s already got a half-dozen in the pipeline, and posted his unlicensed adaptation of Bringing Out The Dead. Keep your eye on Unlicensed By Ryan Estrada for more insanity in the coming … forever, possibly.

Spam of the day:

All are hands-free, water-proof, rechargeable, and 100% medical grade silicone. There are specific nipple toys which are created to improve nipple stimulation.

Hey, Erika and Matt? I think this one is for you.

¹ Just shy of 9000 liters, or 0.007230289 acre-feet.

² About 47,200 kilos, or 1 adult humpback whale.

“Unable To Reproduce Problem” My Ass

So, massive tech failure at work affecting me and many colleagues, fun!

While I wait for my critical-priority IT ticket to get picked up (which I am sure will not be delayed in any way, shape or form¹), please enjoy today’s spam message because as soon as I finish typing this, my expected response time will be up and I will have to get on the phone to scream at people who are bad at their jobs.

Spam of the day:

A Libyan oil business man made a fixed deposit of $24,500.000.00 in my bank branch where I am a director, and he died with his entire family in the war leaving behind no next of kin. I Propose to present you as next of kin to claim the funds

Yes, and I am certain that “Gary al-Tyrrell” will be a perfectly plausible name for the next of kin of a Libyan oil baron.

¹ I crack myself up sometimes.

Okay, Not Spam Per Se, But Close Enough

More of a trolling attempt, actually.

If you’ll indulge me a little, I want to rearrange the order of things on today’s post.

Spam of the day:

um, he book WAS DONE WHEN HE STARTED THE KICKSTARTER, WAS Intended to help _print the damn book_ hello??!???!!!!!!!!!! IT WAS DONE WHEN IT STARTED!!!!! But you’ll believe his bullshit about being stressed causing him to be a YEAR AND A HALF LATE???


I suppose I should start with the acknowledgement that I’m breaking one of the fundamental rules of the internet by reading the comments, but there’s a general exception for reading comments on your own site; indeed, this comment was submitted here to Fleen in re: our most recent post on Something Terrible and held for moderation¹. Its author is using what I believe to be a pseudonym and fake email address, which is always the sign of quality opinions! Let’s address the author’s points one at a time, shall we?

  • That sure is a lot of correctly-spelled words, Bill (Can I call you Bill? That’s the name you gave although I doubt it’s yours). Not so much with the spacing, capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and syntax, though.
  • Regarding the book being done when [the Kickstarter campaign] started, surely somebody as erudite as yourself will acknowledge that pre-press design is a skillset in and of itself, and having images for web done is not the same as just sending things off to press.
  • Regarding [Trippe’s] bullshit about being stressed, two things: First, please educate yourself on the concepts of depression and PTSD, which are not the same thing as being stressed. Second, Trippe’s been remarkably honest in social media and in person about the toll that telling his story has had on him. You may, from your comfortable distance, have decided that it’s bullshit, but I’d defy you to talk with the guy in person and come to the same conclusion. Dean’s one of the most open and honest people I’ve ever met.
  • Regarding a YEAR AND A HALF LATE???, PDFs meeting the lower tiers of Kickstarter pledges were promised in April of 2014, physical hardcopies in June of 2014². Certainly they’re late, but your all-caps exaggeration does not do your argument any favors.
  • Regarding YOU. ARE. AN. IDIOT., it’s entirely possible (have you been talking to my family?), but what about this particular project has you so het up (as my grandmother used to say)? Dissatisfied backer? Trippe’s already made the offer to refund you, which granted means that you lost out on the massive interest you would have earned on your pledge amount over the course of a year. Tell ya what, Bill, I’ll make good on that twelve cents you lost out on. Worried for my financial well-being because I got scammed? That’s adorable, thanks for your concern.
  • Not specific to anything you wrote, but are you familiar with Kickstarter? Almost nothing fulfills on time. That’s practically built into the site’s DNA.

It’s interesting, though, that you’re so concerned about getting THE TRUTH!!!!!!one!!!! about evil, evil Dean Trippe and stupid, stupid Gary Tyrrell out there, speaking boldly against our obvious corruption and collusion. You’ve had many opportunities to do so since January of 2014³ when I started writing about the campaign.

But you dropped in a drive-by comment from with a fake name and fake email, leading me to believe you aren’t a regular reader as they tend to be reasonable people who aren’t afraid to sign their own names to their opinions. I’m talking about something that I like and you have come into my metaphorical home to tell me Trippe’s full of shit and I’m an idiot — thanks so much for your obvious righteousness, but it was an unnecessary effort.

Much like the last 600 or so words I’ve spent on this response; I trust that we’ve both gotten this out of our systems and can go find other people who are wrong on the internet to confront?

  • Speaking of book Kickstarts, Steve Hamaker has just launched one to print volume one of Plox, and it would be really cool if he could spend GenCon weekend (where he’ll be tabling with Scott Kurtz & co at the Toonhound Studios table) not worrying about if it was gonna fund or not.

    Hamaker’s one of the low-key maestros of modern [web]comics, a colorist that makes even the best work better, and he doesn’t get enough attention for his own creations. Back it now, and if you see him in Indianapolis be sure to let him know that if he doesn’t have the book to you by the last day of March 2016, Bill up above is gonna have a fit at him how much you enjoy his work.

  • In other news, Los Angeles Resident Dave Kellett has announced the latest contributor to his Tales of the Drive project:

    So! That makes 4 super fun DRIVE short stories written/drawn by @ZachWeiner @drhastings @dmeconis and @jonrosenberg!

    That would be Zach Weinersmith, Christopher Hastings, Dylan Meconis, and Jon Rosenberg (okay, that last one was a little obvious). Judging from Twitter traffic ‘tother night, Rosenberg’s still in the writing stage, and LARDK hasn’t said when he’s going to start posting story pages yet. Maybe a nice little back-to-school celebration? A whole story up as a Thanksgiving present? Come on, LARDK, give us something to mark on our calendars and pine away in anticipation for!

¹ Typically, this happens for tripping keyword lists, having excessive links in the body of the message, or being from unfamiliar IP addresses.

² Which, between you and me, was optimistic in the extreme; closing the campaign in February, if everything went perfectly, means that hardcover books before September of 2104 would be just barely possible.

³ Is that where you got the year and a half from?


The TopatoCon exhibitor list grows by leaps and bounds! When last we spoke of such things, it looked like this:

KC Green
Jeph Jacques
Jess Fink
Tom Siddell
Rosemary Mosco
Kate Leth
Anthony Clark
Christopher Hastings
Danielle Corsetto
David Malki !
Dante Shepherd
Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson
Michael Rapa
Mildred Louis
Sara Goetter
Jon Rosenberg
Karla Pacheco
RJ Lake
Allison Shabet
Lauren Jordan
Joshua AC Newman
Magnolia Porter
Alison Wilgus
Shoona Browning
Randy Millholland
Brian Lee
David Willis
Kori Michele
Hannah McGill
Blue Delliquanti
Evan Dahm
Molly Ostertag

And thanks to the list that’s been posted at TopatoCon’s Internet Information Center, we may add to the list:

Amazing Super Powers, Kory Bing, Boston Comics Roundtable, Tony Breed, Cardboard Fortress Games, Eric Colossal, Matt Cummings, Megan Nicole Dong, Catie Donnelly, The Doubleclicks, G Town Games LLC, Games By Play Date, Erin Gladstone, John Green, Tyson Hesse, How To Win At Everything (Daniel Kibblesmith & Sam Weiner), Kitfox Games, Amanda Lafrenais, Braden Lamb, Matt Lubchansky, Ira Marcks, Kel McDonald, David McGuire, Tom McHenry, Maki Naro, Nerdcore Medical, Cole Ott, Aatmaja Pandya, Amanda Scurti, Sarah Winifred Searle, Small Beer Press, Sarah Sobole, Space Whale , Spriteborne, Olivia Stephens, Jordan Witt, and Jessi Zabarsky (whew!).

Sadly, we appear to have lost some exhibitors from the list. Rosemary Mosco reports that she’ll be attending, but not tabling. Jeph Jacques isn’t on the new list, and TopatoCon falls right in the midst of the time that he reports he’ll be moving to Canada, and so it may be too uncertain to promise an appearance. I’m sure that there are other missing names, but as my previous list was sequential-by-announcement and the new one is alphabetical, maybe it’s best that you double-check yourself.

In other TopatoCon news, the venue has changed to allow more attendees, and the show will now be taking place at the venerable Eastworks, site of the much-loved NEWW and NEWW2 shows in 2009 and 2010. Hotel/ticket information will be coming soon, and the showrunners have released a code of conduct that lays out a zero-tolerance policy for:

… offensive comments (related to a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, disability, or religion), stalking, unwanted photography or recording, unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention, and disruption of events. In general, the polite and courteous method is to err on the side of caution. If you feel you may be making someone uncomfortable, end your interaction with them. No one owes you their time or attention (and you don’t owe anyone yours), so be cool. [emphasis added]

I bolded that part because it seems necessary to remind the Sea Lions out there that the world does not, in fact, revolve around their obsessive needs to talk you to death. Hooray!

Spam of the day:


You know, just waving about your hands and saying SEO is not how that actually works. Maybe in the LARP of website management, but not in the real world.

It’s Tightly Cropped For A Reason

This page has long been a fan of Dean Trippe’s Something Terrible, which has been a webcomic and Kickstarted as a book-book. The elephant in the room is that the book is late — delivery was estimated in June of last year — which I’m willing to give Trippe all kinds of slack for. He told a story about himself, and as a result found himself the impromptu leader of a tribe whose price of membership is way too high but whose fellowship is literally lifesaving.

This is especially apparent with the next PDF version of Something Terrible that Trippe sent to his backers this week, which features a new essay about what the experience of sharing his secret origin is like — having stepped into the spotlight, he’s experienced stressors that weren’t there before:

I’m humbled to know how many people desperately needed my story, and most of the time, I don’t regret it. But if I’m being honest, it’s hard. Even revisiting all of this in order to complete this print edition has been tough. I thought doing the digital edition was all the therapy I needed, but I’ve learned that it’s an everyday thing. Always healing. Always training. Just like Batman.

So, yeah. Next time you find yourself with hundred of abuse victims reaching out to you to make it better, I’ll give you slack on your missed deadlines, too.

But Trippe’s done more than work through the mechanical and logistical aspects of putting Something Terrible into print; he’s added a new four-page epilogue to the PDF that he sent to backers this week. It hits a payoff that is even more emotionally overwhelming than the justly-lauded You’ll Be Safe Here.

Think of it as the post-credits scene in the superhero movie that is Trippe’s story, one that required the very tight cropping shown above to not spoil. It’s a perfect coda, I can’t wait for you all to see it, and never forget: not all heroes wear capes.

Updating yesterday’s list of GenCon exhibitors from the wide, wide world of webcomics, Steve Hamaker reports he’ll be there with Scott Kurtz (but not sure where, exactly), and David Malki ! reports that he’ll be at the Blind Ferret table.

So I Have To Go Back To The Airport In A Coupla Hours

Where, @Delta willing, there will be no hassles in getting back home. If there are, however, I’ll most likely be the cause of the disruption at the Atlanta airport that makes the news. Not much going on (Thursdays are always the quiet day in Webcomicstan), so let’s consider a couple of Kickstarters that I think are funding too slowly for comfort. Disclaimer: I am backing both of these and want my books, dammit!

  • We’re about a third of the way through the Eat More Comics campaign to print the best of The Nib, and well into the fallow period where little activity takes place, with an uptick in the last week or so. It just barely makes the cutoff for analysis under the FFFmk2 with 201 users on day one, giving us a prediction of US$53.8K +/- US$10.8K, which is a bit worrying — the low end of that range is below the goal of US$45K, and even the midpoint is not enough to get more money for the contributors.
  • In happier news, we’re at about the 60% point in terms of duration, but the 75% mark in terms of funding for Monster Pulse volume 2, and what puzzles me the most is the very low backer count for Magnolia Porter’s well-loved story of teens in a weird situation. More than 500 people backed Porter’s first print collection, but we’re only at 210 people on book 2 so far. Where’s all the former backers? I know you didn’t fall out of love with Monster Pulse since that’s not possible, so are you deep in student debt? Lost your jobs? Time to sell some blood plasma, Gary needs his book.
  • Okay, okay, let’s make this a little bit not about me. GenCon has become much more webcomicker-populated in the past couple of years, and this year may set the record for participation. Off the top of my head, those in Indianapolis next week can see folks like the Blind Ferret crew, Jennie Breeden, Rob Balder, Randy Milholland, Jeph Jacques, John Kovalic, Howard Tayler, and the ubiquitous Jim Zub. Note that they won’t all be listed under their own names; Zub and Tayler will be with Tracy Hickman at booth 1935, Milholland at BFE, and I’m not sure where Jacques will be. When in doubt, check twitterfeeds.

Spam of the day:

Esta me funcion realmente y la compr en una promocin

“This really function and bought me a promotion”? Okay.

Travel Trubs Over, Lack Of Sleep Remains

Oh, and also the previous strip, where the barista cabal that secretly controls everything has functioning transporter technology because OF COURSE they do.
Thanks to the tender mercies of Delta, I spent the majority of my waking hours yesterday at Newark airport trying to get to Atlanta for a work gig, a tale of woe I was only too happy to share on Twitter. Getting in eight hours late has left me a bit punchy today, so let’s keep today’s discussion brief.

  • I don’t know how many of you noticed that it’s Comics Week at The AV Club, and while there has been some webcomics in the discussion threads, today saw the first overt recommendations from staffers. Asked What comics are you reading this month?, staffer William Hughes threw props to A Softer World and Achewood before a lengthy analysis of what makes Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie so damn good:

    It’s a tricky book to summarize, honestly, because the thing that makes it great is Gran’s unwillingness to let easy labels dictate who her characters are—in the initial comics, Eve is “grumpy,” while Hannah is “the carefree stoner,” but the longer they spend on the page, the less those titles make sense or apply. It’s a book that’s less about big plot arcs or romantic entanglements—although it has its fair share of the latter—than about what those events mean for the characters and their attempts to build a stable sense of who they are and what they want.

    He also notes that Gran shifts between slice-of-life and magical realism (although not the Mexican variety), which by coincidence is well demonstrated by today’s installment; whatever else might be going on in Jane and Marigold’s inner feelings, those little homunculi are absolutely real.

  • We may be coming to the end of the Cartoon Art Museum’s cartoonist-in-residence program, what with the loss of the physical space coming at the end of September and all. But it’s not the end of September yet, and curator Andrew Farago shows every sign of wanting to pack as much programming as their remaining lease time will allow.

    Thus, those of you in San Francisco on Saturday, 1 August 2015 can participate in the residency of Hannah McGill from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. For those not familiar, McGill is the creator of RAWR! Dinosaur Friends, as well as being a graphic designer with work visible around the Bay Area. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Spam of the day:

Technological advances in home based surveillance allow one to keep out hackers from your home alarm system.

Oh son, do not even bring your claims about Internet of Things security here. That bullshit will not fly with me.

Tuesday Miscellany

We’re all over the place today, from the neatest, most encouraging news to the most horrifying visions of what eternal damnation must surely look like. I suspect that no two of you will precisely agree where on that scale each of these items will fall.

  • Well, okay, I suspect that everybody will place the already-fully-funded Kickstart for Lucy Bellwood’s nautical comics collection, Baggywrinkles, on the positive side of that scale. It’s part autobio, part educational, a downright bargain with physical copies of the book going for as little as US$16, and featuring an all-new story about scurvy! And a very modest US$20K stretch goal will take the collection from B&W to color!
  • Sticking with Kickstarter for the moment, we’ll note that Matt Bors was lying to us when he said that the Eat More Comics Kickstarter campaign would not have stretch goals, on account of they just announced some stretch goals. Every coupla’ thousand bucks from the US$45K goal means exclusive comics from the likes of Zach Weinersmith, Rich Stevens, Gemma Correll, and Bors himself.

    Even better, hitting US$60K means that all the artists — who are getting paid for their comics to run in the collection, on top of the pay they received to run at The Nib, on top of whatever they made from drawing them in the first place — will get a page rate boost. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the best part about Bors & Co is that they pay, and even if some of what The Nib ran made you grind your teeth and regret that money went/will go to cartoonists you despise, I can pretty much guarantee that even more money went/will go to cartoonists you love. Let’s help ’em make rent.

  • Love ’em, hate ’em, wonder how they became so dominant in at least one field (webcomics) and superdominant in another (videogames), there’s no denying that the lads at Penny Arcade cast a long shadow and that they attract attention from outside both those areas of endeavour.

    This time it’s the advertising world, where Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik were named to a list of 10 visual artists who are remaking advertising, part of an overall list of the 100 most creative people in/adjacent to advertising. Also on that list with Krahulik & Holkins: Annie Leibovitz (the most important portrait photographer of the past four decades) and Brett Doar (who creates all those Rube Goldbergian installations for OK Go music videos).

    And as long as we’re on the topic, Randall Munroe was recognized not specifically for comics or art, but for his ability to create viral content that blows the hell up. Also on that list with Munroe: Serial’s Sarah Koenig. Looking at the other 80 names on the list, you’ll find the likes of John Carmack (for Oculus VR), Amy Schumer, Janelle Monáe, Mindy Kaling, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a whole bunch of ad pros and commercial directors you’ll never have heard of. This time next year I’d expect to see Raina Telgemeier or somebody at Ad Week is missing the boat.

  • Finally, I think that we all also will agree on which item definitely falls on the negative side of the scale: for all those who have ever seen Lar DeSouza’s Sailor Bacon cosplay has never been able to un-see that spectacle, that extravaganza, those bloomers. We can console ourselves that the display was always for a good cause (namely, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada), even if there was no way to convey the full horror to those that weren’t there to share in the mental scarring.

    Until now:

    In a grand effort to support me and my wife in our annual fundraising efforts for Multiple Sclerosis research, [Ryan] Sohmer and Blind Ferret have made available these adorable and somewhat disturbing Sailor Bacon plushies!! Designed by me and manufactured by the fine folks at Soft Stuff (who also donated a portion of their manufacturing costs to the MS Society of Canada!), these tiny ambassadors of hugs are now shipping from the BFE headquarters.

    You can order up one of these abominations and send it to somebody that needs a good disturbing! Why should you be the only one unable to ever sleep again without seeing … that … lurking behind your eyeballs? Drop your twenty five bucks, spread the madness, take some minor solace that this great sin against Nature benefits a worthy cause, or maybe just buy them all up and see if you can destroy them before they worm their way into your brain.

    It’s too late. They’ve got you. Pray for the mercy that you’ll succumb to sweet, forgetful madness quickly and Glob have mercy on your soul.

Spam of the day:

Your LED Flashlight Coupon, 75% off expires 07/21/2015

I’ll admit — this one almost got me. I’m a sucker for a good LED flashlight.