The webcomics blog about webcomics

Is There Any Other News Today?

Rassin-frassin Verizon throttling me down to 2585 kbps and now they’ve got me down to friggin’ dial-up speed¹. And on top of that I made a major mistake in logic in yesterday’s post so be sure to click back and read the correction. Is there any good news today?

  • Actually, yes. Today is the day that we acknowledge the birth and continued existence of the very sexy R Stevens Three. Long may he continue to consume oxygen, coffee, and the envy of weak mortals that require sleep. Stevens, of course, is ever-changing, ever-adaptable, and ever-present wherever webcomics are known, and thus will be figuring out new guerrilla marketing strategies for viral merch after the rest of us are food for worms. Let us praise him with great praise, may his deeds never be forgotten while the thrones of the Valar endure!²
  • Speaking of good news, I finally noticed the back cover of Invader Zim issue #6 — written and drawn by KC Green and available at fine comic shops near you since last Wednesday — wherein I learn that Green’s Graveyard Quest (the last long story arc from the now-finished Gunshow) is fixin’ to be published by Oni Press. I’d known that, I’d even written about it, but I’d completely forgotten it. Thank you, house ad on the back of Invader Zim #6, for letting me know we’re a mere eight weeks or so away from the Graveyard Quest print collection!
  • And speaking of webcomickers and work that will appear in the spring, news came today that MoCCA Fest (the 14th iteration of same) will feature a show poster by none other than Noelle Stevenson, and boy is it purty to look at. As a reminder, MoCCA Fest will be in its second new home in two years (owing to last year’s space getting snagged for condos, screw you runaway NYC residential real estate market), the Metropolitan West event space, at about 12th Ave (way far west) and 46th. Panels will take place at the Ink48 hotel at 10th & 48th.

Spam of the day:

What would happen to your family if you died today gary.tyrrell?

I’m guessing a massive party with hookers and blackjack. Why? You got a good supply of either?

¹ Seriously, I’m metering out at 28 to 40 kbps right now.

² I seem to be channeling Aaron Diaz, the Latin Art-Throb.

If I Were A Writer Or Artist, I Know Whose Page Rates I’d Want

Pretty much everybody in comics is talking about the page rates survey that dropped over the weekend. Some few thoughts:

  • This is a very small sample size (60), but as far as I know, the largest published data set on such things so far. It’ll get better as more people share information, but at the moment it must be considered preliminary and not yet fully accurate.
  • The survey combines different kinds of pay (work-for-hire vs Image’s more creator-owned approach), which makes the small sample size even more subject to wobbles in the data.
  • That being said, holy crap BOOM! does not come off well. Their rates are crap and there are lots of comments indicating the degree to which they pay slowly and randomly. Since their numbers are based on work-for-hire, they may not apply to creator-owned work, but very possibly the (apparently pervasive) late payment issues apply to both sides of the publishing game.

I’ll note that the survey lists Smut Peddler (that is to say, Iron Circus Comics) as a Misc Publisher, at a page rate of US$50 (script + finished art) plus potential for artist bonuses (but not guaranteed). For reference, the four projects that ICC has run under that not-guaranteed bonus plan have paid an additional US$450, US$300, US$1700, and US$400¹ per page, making ICC’s page rate effectively US$350 to US$1750, meaning the least paid ICC rates are comparable to DC/Marvel, and her top rate blows everybody else away [Editor’s note: see below] (the only comparable rate is that of Cards Against Humanity — US$1000/page for art and script — presumably for their comics anthologies in their Holiday Bullshit packages).

[Editor’s note resumes: Okay, I had a bad misinterpretation of ICC’s bonus structure, which was kindly pointed out by Alert Reader N in the comments, and by ICC supremo Spike via email. ICC’s bonus is per-job, not per-page, which makes the effective page rate variable. However, that does raise the ICC rates into the triple-digit range for much of what they’ve published and certainly puts them above some established comic book companies in terms of effective rates, although not on par with The Big Two, as was originally stated.

Some numbers: if you did an 8 page story with a US$1700 bonus, you get 8 * 50 = 400 + 1700 = US$2100; a 20 page story would be 20 * 50 = 1000 +1700 = US$2700. BUT, that means the 8 page story has an effectively higher page rate than the 20 page story. From Spike’s email, she is working up a new structure that will pay bonuses per page to make things more equitable.

Fleen apologizes for the error and confusion.]

To date, that’s been limited to anthology work, but since ICC is in open-submission territory for book-length projects, I’ma guess that Spike is going to be writing checks with a crapload more zeros on them than any of the established publishers. Creators that have not bought into the myth that you need to suffer don’t-even-cover-rent jobs to establish your career, take note.

Oh, and those who like the work of creators that aren’t getting screwed on their rates? Iron Circus has a double-header² of Kickstarters coming³ up on 25 January. New smut!

On the off chance that you want to be one of those creators that has pride in their work and wants to be paid fairly for it, time to brush up on your skills! Danielle Corsetto is offering a light version of her illustration class via Patreon at the low, low price of US$20 per month. Folks, that is the greatest bargain in the history of illustration and I urge you to hop on that even if you’re pretty good. You can always learn a trick or two and up your own game by comparing notes and experiences.

Spam of the day:

View Photos of Senior Singles on Match

Okay, what the hell, you are identifying senior as over 45! Is this spam run by the same genius that’s decided to send me Medicare information nearly 20 years early? I’m sending all the prepaid envelopes back with YOU’RE TWO DECADES EARLY, FUCK OFF scrawled across the paperwork in Sharpie. It’s kinda fun, actually.

¹ For Smut Peddler 2012, The Sleep of Reason, Smut Peddler 2014, and the not yet released New World, respectively.

² You’ll see what I did there.

³ And there.

At Least Three Points Makes A Trend

Or "Helpwood", whichever.

Sometimes, it’s the things that you didn’t even look for that you realize you wanted the most. After a series of tentative steps back into comicking — new art, new blogsAchewood has come back with three new strips in three weeks. Reached for comment, Achewood fan and Fleen editor Gary Tyrrell described himself as cautiously optimistic.

The hiatus — unlooked-for when it happens, often equally unlooked-for when it ends — it by no means a phenomenon unique to the knuckleheads of Achewood Heights. The various denizens of Ubersoft have spent long stretches apart from prying eyes, but just as Achewood was getting back up to speed, Help Desk has not only been dropping new strips, but has done so daily this week. Regard: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today. The strips are listed as being one-off rather than part of a storyline, but one likes to think that just perhaps we’ll get a nice chunk of tech support shenanigans to make the dreary wintertide less dreary.

Fleen thanks Chris Onstad and Christopher B Wright for their efforts, and appreciates any future strips in advance.

Spam of the day:

From hair oil to cricket, wherever Amitabh Bachchan has his name hooked up in just one way or perhaps the other he assures achievement.


In Non-Paris Desk News

There were a few other things (some of which got displaced by yesterday’s dumbassery) so let’s talk about them, yes?

  • Jess Fink has finished — for the second time, no less — the ongoing story of Chester 5000 and the people who built him, love him, and love each other. It started off as straight Victorian robo-erotica (that old saw) way the heck back in 2008 but quickly became something more. It wasn’t just about heaving bosoms sprung free of corsets and a startling array of gadgets put to increasingly hot use; it was about neglect and jealousy and absorption and fury and reconciliation and forgiveness — it was about love.

    And then in 2011, Fink went back and told both what came before and what’s happened since the original run of Chester; subtitled Isabelle and George, it dealt with the characters in even greater depth, added a dash of adventure and vengeance, and gave us a better idea of who these people (Chester himself appears less and less as the story goes along) really are. It’s full of heart, completely lacking in dialogue, and immediately engrossing. Not to mention hotter than hell. Thanks for letting us ride along for the last 300 or so pages, Jess. Here’s hoping that we get a print collection of Isabelle and George to go alongside the first Chester collection.

  • We mentioned not too long ago the Voltron-like collaboration of KC Green and Shmorky to make some animated bumpers for [adult swim]. Via Shmorky, we now have a collection of GIF clips from the other bumpers (ten in all), which are conveniently collected for your viewing pleasure at NerdSpan
  • From the Big Damn Numbers department, today is as good as day as any to declare an end to Child’s Play 2015; per the CP site (which hasn’t changed for the past couple of days), the lifetime fundraising total for the campaign sits at a little north of forty million damn dollars. Taking into account data from previous years, the history of Child’s Play looks like:

    2003: $250,000
    2004: $310,000
    2005: $605,000
    2006: $1,024,000
    2007: $1,300,000
    2008: $1,434,377
    2009: $1,780,870
    2010: $2,294,317
    2011: $3,512,345
    2012: $5,085,761
    2013: $7,600,000
    2014: $8,430,000
    2015: $6,438,053
    Total as of 7 January 2016, the arbitrary end of CPXIII: $40,064,723

    So, in case you were wondering what it looks like when Child’s Play doesn’t raise more than the prior year, it looks like they still raised almost six and a half million. If that counts as failure, we could all use some more failure in our lives and endeavours.

  • New show alert: Pat Race, the never-still creative force behind Alaska Robotics, has with some partners brought a bunch of indy/web comics types up to Juneau, Alaska for talks, cultural events, and meet & greets; word on the street is that the creators have had a fabulous time, and the denizens of America’s least-accessible capital city have enjoyed ’em even more. So how to top a record like that? With a mini-con, naturally:

    I’m very happy to announce Alaska Robotics Mini-Con, a festival and artist camp taking place right here in Juneau from April 22-26th.

    Aaron, Lou and I have been hosting guest artists for several years through our work at the Alaska Robotics Gallery and JUMP Society as well as through partnerships with other non-profit organizations like the Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries. We’ve also spent many years attending and exhibiting at comic conventions and arts festivals. Encouraged by those wonderful experiences, we decided it was time for us to host our own tiny comic convention and artist getaway.

    I hesitate to even use the phrase “comic convention” when describing the event but those who have attended such things know that the term has grown to include a much more broad collection of pop and contemporary arts, games, music and more. We’re planning to embrace the spirit of those outside conventions but provide a far more down-to-earth, Southeast Alaska experience.

    The draft schedule calls for a one-day public event on Saturday, 23 April, followed by a two day artists camping retreat with a limited number of attendee slots — applications will open on 18 January. Look for a roster of guests in the near term but for now, if this sounds like fun, I’d say start looking into transport to Juneau before knowing the lineup; the on-faith, camping-centric thing works for MaxFunCon, and it ought to work as well for ARMCon. Given the talent that Race has attracted to Juneau in the past — Kate Beaton, Vera Brosgol, Dylan Meconis & Katie Lane — I’d bet on there being some killer guests hanging ’round the campfire under the northern lights.

Spam of the day:

Reverse your Blood Pressure in only 7 Days

If I reverse my blood pressure, doesn’t that make my entire cardiovascular system collapse? That doesn’t sound good. Then again, this particular bit of sparkling medical science (featuring the obligatory one weird food) came from an actual email address that I swear I am not making up: Dr. Dave <cretin @[redacted].date>. That’s just beautiful.

From The Fleen Paris Desk

The inestimable Pierre Lebeaupin was good enough to leave an extensive comment on yesterday’s post on the dumbassery surrounding this year’s Grand Prix d’Angoulême. It was too good to be potentially overlooked, so I’ve copied it here. Please enjoy this bonus post for today.

A message from the Fleen French correspondent …

  • The FIBD published a communiqué telling that they are going to “without removing any name, reintroduce names of female creators in the list of nominees” (via everyone in France including mainstream media; Robot 6 post. Take it for what it’s worth, especially the communiqué is still quite on the defensive in this correspondent’s humble opinion.
  • Analysis from Isabelle Bauthian, via Boulet’s twitter; my translation:

    I had an inkling for a detailed article on this absurd lack of any female creator name on the list of nominations for the FIBD Grand Prize, but I am swamped with work, which is probably a good thing as it will avoid me a few blood tension spikes. So, we’ll make it short:

    • No one is asking for strict parity (about 12% female creators in the field. We’re not completely dumb), nor even quotas.
    • Yes, there is a good choice of influent female creators in the generation of some of the nominees (even just in manga, seriously …).
    • No, you don’t just have to “wait for society to change”. Society has already changed and the leading bodies in many domains do not correspond to it, that’s the very issue.
    • I do no condemn men unconscious of their “privileges”. We all are to some extent, or have been. But I find it fundamental that people can make their biases known to them.
    • To raise awareness the presence of discriminations and consciously correct them is not “favoritism”. Favoritism is what created them in the first place.
    • The decision from Riad Sattouf [correspondent note: first creator, and probably only one at that time, to have withdrawn in protest] forces respect (possibly even admiration), but I can’t help but witness that “feminist men” are considered classy, but “feminist women” are considered damn nuisances.
    • YES, this selection is also 100% white and Asian [correspondent note: and this argument doesn’t even stand if we consider Riad Sattouf, precisely, who is half mid-eastern, this is even the whole basis of “l’arabe du futur”]. I don’t know the percentage of black authors in comics [correspondent note: originally put as “bd”] (it seems to me very low in France-Belgique but I could be wrong) [correspondent note: it might even be illegal to make such statistics anyway], nor, among them, which ones have gained enough influence to earn a Grand Prize, but the fact is the FIDB is barely starting the earn its “I” [correspondent note: stands for “International”] and it should put a light on ALL comics [correspondent note: originally put as “bande dessinnée”].

      Let me remind you that, as late as last year, people would bemoan the presence of manga creators in the selection. If African author collectives have ideas to improve this situation, I am certain that a bunch of female creators will support them, individually or through their collective. But here, right now, this is not the case, so thanks for wanting to save the world but let us start with helping those who are struggling against an issue rather than tell them to shut up because they are not the only ones with a problem, thank you very much.

    • Yes, creators have other issues, starting with an iniquitous reform of their retirement pension system and, especially and more complex, their increasingly lowering revenues. The good news is that talking about the lack of women in the selection does not prevent from tackling those. The bad news is, if we stop talking about the lack of women, it will start becoming apparent that the bulk of your actions for “authors in general” just amount to complaining on Facebook.

      So don’t blame us for multiplying the struggles. Rather thank us for putting a veil on your passivity (And if I’m wrong concerning you, let me remind you that the SNAC is recruiting, hey, friends. Punchy, coordinated and exhaustive actions are not set up in 15 days between 10 voluntary suckers).

    And on that, allow me to take my leave, I’m going to go ahead and improve the percentage of “women’s books” to be published in 2016.

Now from the correspondent analysis:

  • Gotta concur on the somewhat parochial aspect of the FIDB, in particular your correspondent was not particularly aware of the general importance of EW as compared to, say, Megan Fox Tits Wolverine [Editor’s note: how we at Fleen refer to that onetime exemplar of comics news, Wizard magazine], so he wouldn’t be particularly surprised if the head of FIBD wasn’t either. Not an excuse, but not a scandal either.
  • Double checked his comments on Le Monde and Télérama, and yes, he did actually say that in the original French. His comments about Tintin and Pilote are disingenuous, in particular, given that the most late breaking of the nominees broke out in the 90s, while both Tintin and Pilote went under in the 80s.
  • Raina Telgemeier (haven’t checked the other female creators you mentioned) may indeed however be of a later generation than any of the nominees; it’s indeed not about creators “running around today” (except, as Télérama mentioned, for Zep in 2004 …). Takahashi-san however would certainly qualify by that measure.

Because The Head Of FIBD Apparently Needs The Info

Hey, Franck? Franck Bondeux? I know that you think that women just haven’t ever made comics, and that your complete dismissal of considering even one woman for inclusion on the list of nominees for the Grand Prix d’Angoulême is therefore just logical¹, but let me help you out a little.

On the very same day that you decide there’s simply no notable women making comics for a lifetime, the cover of Ghosts, Raina Telgemeier’s next book — not due for nine months! — was released along with a brief excerpt. It wasn’t released to the comics press, it was released to Entertainment friggin’ Weekly because she’s that ingrained in the popular culture. But, you know, women haven’t made careers of comics.

Or maybe we could look at today’s announcement of Hope Larson’s upcoming series, Goldie Vance, a collaboration with Brittney Williams. That one ran in the LA Times, the paper of record of the popular entertainment capital of the world … but you can’t think of any women that have made contributions to comics.

Franck? I hate to say this, but you are not very good at your job. I’ll leave it to others to provide the extensive lists of names that support this argument (and seriously, Rumiko Takahashi is gonna surpass Tezuka’s lifetime page count before long), as there are so damn many of them running around today.

Just — just stop doubling down on the stupid, okay? Withdraw the award for 2016, let some other person start transitioning into your position, and they can do better next year. Because honestly, if you give out the Grand Prix this year, you’re gonna have to mark it with an asterisk that notes the severe dumbassery that surrounded this entire process.

Spams of the day:

Find Divorce lawyers here

Is there something that you know that I don’t?

Your name nominated to list of distinguished women of achievement

Seriously, is there something that you know that I don’t?

¹ In the most fedora-topped sense of the word.

January Dates To Note

One of which is basically today, so be sure to read this one quickly.

  • Apologies for the lateness of this announcement, but I think it snuck up on all of us. We’ve mentioned previously that Christopher Baldwin has a forthcoming original graphic novel of Little Dee (in color!), roundabouts April or so. I’ve actually got a review copy here and will be sharing my thoughts closer to the release date. Now for the time-critical part of this announcement:

    As part of the deal for this new Little Dee story, the old books must be withdrawn from sale and today is your last day to buy them.

    If ever you wanted to get in on the print adventures of an adorable little girl, her wise bear friend, her loyal dog friend, and her terrible, terrible vulture kinda-sorta friend, do it now. You’ll have to pry my copies from my cold, dead hands.

  • Also as previously noted, the Cartoon Art Museum is doing a spiffy job of keeping up programming even without a place to hang its collective hat, much less its extensive collection of cartoon art. To that end, they will be holding their first cartoonist-in-residence event since leaving their former home on Mission Street this weekend:

    On January 9, 2016 from 1:00pm-3:00pm, enjoy a family-friendly event in beautiful Fort Mason exploring the creative process of cartooning with Rachel Dukes and creative possibilities with FLAX at their new location, 2 Marina Boulevard.

    Rachel Dukes will be the first Cartoon Art Museum Cartoonist-in-Residence since the museum vacated its gallery space at 655 Mission Street, and will be the first artist in a series of traveling Cartoonist-in-Residence events in 2016. These events will be held throughout San Francisco in 2016 at creative institutions like FLAX, Comix Experience, Mission: Comics & Art, and Two Cats Comic Book Store.

    You may recognize Ms Dukes from her work for BOOM! or her own webcomics. She does good stuff, so if you’re anywhere near the Fort Mason area in San Francisco,the FLAX art & design store is where you want to be.

  • On the far side of the continent, Jeph Jacques will be doing his own public talk in his new hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the Halifax Central Library. Fun starts at 7:00pm on Wednesday, 27 January, on the first floor. Halifax is one of those towns that have attracted more than the demographically-proportional number of comicker types, so who knows who else you might see in the audience? Actually, I have no specific knowledge and don’t want to mention names, lest I create false expectations, but you know — comics types go to catch up with each other, so keep your eyes peeled.

Spam of the day:

Enter the Computer Training Field – Get Degree Info.

You know that I’ve been in that field for more than twenty years, right? In terms of picking your victim, this is worse that the physical junk mail I’ve gotten the last two days running offering me Medicare plans, which ignore the fact that I am nowhere near 65 years old.

The scammier of the two — the one filled with dire warnings about OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS and PENALTIES UNDER FEDERAL LAW FOR FAILING TO DELIVER — just got sent back (I love prepaid postage) with a cheery Fuck off! scribbled in Sharpie.

All This And A Bag Of Fatty Chunklins

As the various year-end holidays loomed, I looked out daily at the Wide World o’ Webcomics and saw a bunch of crickets putting away their instruments and heading home early cause wasn’t nobody around to listen to ’em. It was a dead ten days or so for news¹, but I said to myself, Self, I bet things pick up as soon as January rolls around. And hoo boy, was I ever right. In no particular order then:

And there’s even more if you look at what got hit the net in the last 24 hours or so:

  • Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett announced that he’s cutting back Sheldon to three days a week in order to concentrate more time on Drive. Now I stand second to no man in my love of Drive, but fact is that LArDK has not yet provided canonical proof that Fatty Chunklins exist in the Second Spanish Empire (as opposed to, say, Denny’s) and therefore Sheldon is — by some infinitesimally-small interval — the superior strip. Until we find out exactly what Fatty Chunklins are, I’m going to have to call this one a wash.
  • For what is I believe the first time in its nearly ten year history, Three Panel Soul has broken the format declared there in the title. Always it’s been three panels, although not always equal-sized and side-by-side, and breaking the format today comes with a very good — not to mention heartbreaking — reason. Our condolences to everybody that knew and loved Jess McConville’s Poppy, and to everybody that deals with the bastard of a disease known as Alzheimer’s.
  • Oh, and then there’s this, fresh from the New York Times, the School Library Journal, or anybody else that’s paying attention: Gene Luen Yang has been appointed by the Children’s Book Council, Every Child a Reader, and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress to a two-year term as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He will be inaugurated into the role by the acting Librarian of Congress on Thursday, 7 January 2016, in a public ceremony at the Library of Congress.

    Yang is the first graphic novelist to be appointed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, but then again he has a history of being the first graphic novelist to do things (first to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the ALA’s Michael L Printz Award, both for the masterful American Born Chinese). He basically hasn’t slowed down since ABC, releasing (either alone or with an art partner) Level Up, Boxers & Saints, The Shadow Hero, Secret Coders, The Eternal Smile, Prime Baby, a stack of Avatar tie-ins, reprints pre-ABC work, and much, much more. Oh, and he’s writing something called Superman these days, too.

    Point being, you could hardly find anybody that’s written more for readers of all levels, approaching more different topics, in more different genres, and with a greater level of penetration into the the world of young readers4. The next two years are gonna be great for fans of YP lit (not to mention all those YP), and should Yang go mad with power and stage a coup to declare himself National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature For Life, we at Fleen would like to point out that any good benevolent overlord needs good PR and we would be up for the job.

Spam of the day:

Subject: Benachrichtigung

The rest of the spam appears to be a lottery scam in German; I’m just entranced by that wonderful, wonderful subject. Could any other language cram as many awkwardly-sounding syllables into such a randomly-discordant order?

¹ Unless you want to count as news the ongoing attempts of a very large corporation to get me to want to keep giving them money by withholding services and pulling no-shows on repairs. But that word implies something novel or unique, and this was anything but.

² Go here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

³ Because all you have to work with in DC is dialogue, which means you’re not really messing with the form. Besides, he already has a comic for that. I also feel that I should note here that as an electrical engineer, this new endeavour should really be called jToons.

4 Okay, yes, Raina Telgemeier, but I would argue her contributions are fewer and more concentrated, whereas Yang’s are greater in number and broader in scope. I still think she’s probably the most important person working in comics today.

Inadvertent Oversight

It occurs to me that I have somehow managed to not write about Child’s Play yet this season, and that my memory was jogged only by seeing the news that CP coordinator Jamie Dillion has decided to move onto other things. Sorry for missing it until so late into the season, and let us jump immediately to the fundraising history. For those that may not remember the numbers, Child’s Play has over its existence raised (all numbers in US dollars):

2003: $250,000
2004: $310,000
2005: $605,000
2006: $1,024,000
2007: $1,300,000
2008: $1,434,377
2009: $1,780,870
2010: $2,294,317
2011: $3,512,345
2012: $5,085,761
2013: $7,600,000
2014: $8,430,000
Total as of 5 January 2015, the arbitrary end of CP12: $33,626,670

As of this writing¹, cumulative funds raised sit at $38,173,191; that puts CY 2015 at about $4.5 million. I always wonder if any given year is when Child’s Play will fail to exceed the previous year’s total, and I always learn that my doubts did not come to pass. Naturally, there’s only a few days left to go and about four million dollars to exceed 2014; I honestly don’t know if this is the year the streak is broken, but I’ll not be surprised if we have to put that questionable achievement off until next year.

In any event, taking notice of how much or how little is raised in a given year is less important the that fact that Child’s Play has raised nearly forty million damn dollars to help make forays into the world of healthcare less terrible for kids. I’ll keep that in mind, and in my heart all the year.

And to Ms Dillion, tackling an enormous job at a young age and running with it — thanks for all of it.

Spam of the day:

If you don’t want any further emails for this specific offer, Unsubscribe from this offer only here [link and mailing address in California]

If you wish to unsubscribe from all future mailings, click the unsubscribe link below [link and mailing address in Missouri]

Both “links” are part of the same image, and anywhere you click takes you to the same address as any other part of the email offering English-speaking Russian ladies who want to date me and come with professional translation services. That’s a lot of contradictory messages for just one spam.

¹ Updated immediately before publication, on account of the number keeps changing as I type.

Things To Look Forward To In 2016

Happy Festivus Eve, everybody. I got my gifts early.

From the Twitters, evidence that Chris Onstad may be working on new comics:

Dusted off the old Com-ex 5000 and started banging around

This makes me think back to the waning days of 2005 when this act of embloggenation was brand new, and we were two weeks away from Todd needing to make fake nuts for your ride phone, which two weeks later turned into The Great Outdoor Fight. You guys, it has been nearly ten years since The Great Outdoor Fight.

That means it has been nearly ten years since I met Christopher Hastings in a Great Outdoor Fight t-shirt¹. And, as luck would have it, the other big news today concerns Mr “Doctor” Hastings, and what he’ll be doing for the next while:


For those of you not clicking through, there’s a great big picture of issue #1 of the ongoing Gwenpool series that Hastings will be writing, and a link to an interview with Entertainment Weekly. You guys, Hastings for all intents and purposes is the only writer this character has had (or will have, for some time), and will indelibly put a stamp on her for all future time. That’s really (pardon my language, but I feel the situation calls for it) fucking cool. When Gwenpool shows up as a cameo in some future Phase IV or V Marvel movie? There’s gonna be a credit thanking him. I am so very proud of him and cannot wait to see what kind of goofball adventures Ms Poole has².

Spams of the day:

The New Blue Pill: Confirm Your Shipping Address – (1) Free Trial Available – 235905998

Received two minutes later:

Why You Must Stop Taking ED Pills NOW

Okay spammers, get together and figure out a consistent message please.

¹ The day we met would have been the day we all met Ramses Luther Smuckles.

² In all honesty I had little interest in the character until I found out that Hastings would be writing the three backup stories in Howard the Duck and the Gwen part of the holiday special. I planned to buy them because I know that Hastings doesn’t have a bad story in him, but they’re hilarious and far better than such a contrived character birth deserves to be. If you doubt me, pick up the holiday special and tell me that the bit with Swords isn’t the funniest thing in any comic book from calendar year 2015 that isn’t primarily about Squirrel Girl.