The webcomics blog about webcomics

Full Of Lebeaupinesque Goodness

I know you’ve been anxiously waiting since I announced it yesterday, so let’s give it up for Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin!

It’s all about crowdfunding today.

First, Laurel launched the campaign for the second (and final) volume of Comme Convenu. No FFF estimate, because:

  • I missed the 24 hour mark and
  • The beginning was so explosive (reportedly being funded in minutes) that from the look of things it would have predicted a 200-300% campaign-over-campaign increase, which while it remains possible, I don’t feel confident predicting at this time.

Nevertheless, at US$308,796 with 15 days left (2998% of goal) at press time, the campaign is well on track to blow away the total of the previous one: $294,666. [Editor’s note: Lebeaupin submitted his piece well prior to press time, and so his prediction has become self-evidently fulfilled.]

Given the imminent launch of the new campaign, Laurel wrote a retrospective of the first one, with a number of interesting production tidbits. In particular, while most books were directly sent from the printer to the France-based distributor she hired, she also had 1000 books be sent to her in the U.S. so that she could sign 700 of them, then send those to the distributor in France by plane. It is one aspect she intends to avoid for the second volume, where she will sign on a separate sheet.

Laurel also took this opportunity to remind us about an explainer on crowdfunding she drew just prior to the first campaign. Nothing long-time Fleen readers are unaware of, but one aspect she mentions is in fact specific to Ulule and KissKissBankBank: for those, pledges are in fact debited at the time of the pledge (though not remitted to the creator yet), and refunded if the project later fails to meet its goal. This is different from the system used by Kickstarter for instance, where at that time the pledger only provides a temporary authorization for an amount to be debited, and nothing gets debited if the project fails.

Both have their benefits and drawbacks: for instance, in the latter case the payment method might have become invalid by the time the campaign ends, which means Kickstarter has to message the pledger for him to provide an updated payment method and allow him some time to do so (it happened to me once when my credit card expired); this in turn impacts when Kickstarter is able to wire the funds to the creator.

And on the occasion of the new campaign, Laurel has been featured, along with Maliki, by France’s oldest extant newspaper, Le Figaro, in an article about crowdfunding of comics in France (also available on the web)¹. Chloé Woitier knows the subject, her article avoids the tired Comics on the web! Without a publisher! Who knew? trope and is very informative, even if unsurprising to someone in the field.

The article does warn, supported in that by a quote from Maliki, that newcomers still can’t use crowdfunding to go around publishers when starting out, as both her and Laurel’s successes are undoubtedly related to the existing reader base they accumulated from their long-running comic blogs (during which they were supported by publishing contracts, related or not, or another job). But if this correspondent might add: how long until sequential art students are made to maintain a webcomic as part of their curriculum, and thus are able to start their career with an existing reader base? Not long, I’d wager.

And in completely unrelated news, Team Maliki just moved to a new house with proper studio space. A move less protracted, but just as entertaining as Jam’s Office Saga.

As always, Fleen salutes FSFCPL and thanks him for his rigor and attention to detail.

Spam of the day:

Eat THESE 2 Foods to regrow hair in 19 daya

Firstly, got plenty of hair, thanks. Secondly didn’t realize there was more than one Daya.

¹ Preceded by another article (web-only) in the tech section, focusing on the other side of the picture of Silicon Valley that Laurel tells about in Comme Convenu.

Not That Today’s Stuff Isn’t Great, Too

Hey, who wants to learn about the state of webcomics-related crowdfunding in Europe? Well, you’d better have said I do!, Sparky, ’cause it’s what you’re about to get … tomorrow, courtesy of Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin. Start feeling the anticipation, because it’s coming right at you. In the meantime, let’s catch up with a couple of notable news items.

  • First up, and I’m a little late on this one, the annual Slate/Center For Cartoon Studies Cartoonist Studio Prize shortlists have been released. This is the fifth year for the CSPs, which have a breathtaking simplicity for comics awards: ten print comics and ten webcomics (equal billing!) are nominated by the faculty and students at CCS, Slate’s technology & culture writer Jacob Brogan, and a guest judge (this year, it’s Karen Green of Columbia University, where she’s the curator for comics and cartoons Rare Books and Manuscripts Library¹).

    Announcement gets made, a month later the two winners are announced, and the creator or creator team gets a check for US$1000. No muss, no fuss. This year’s nominees include John Martz, Eleanor Davis, the March team, Sarah Glidden, Sonny Liew, and Leela Corma (print), and Tillie Walden, Jess Ruliffson, Christina Tran, Meghan Lands, Luke Healy, and Diana Nock (webcomics).

    The print nominees are dominated by publisher by Retrofit/Big Planet Comics (three nominations), with the usual suspects (Koyama, D&Q, Top Shelf, Fantagraphics) also represented. The webcomics are dominated by single stories with beginnings, middles, and ends (including a biographical profile from The Nib, which is also my pick on the webcomics side, with Walden’s On A Sunbeam as a close second), with few ongoings. None of this is good or bad, just how the nominating panel found things to be this year.

    Best of luck to all the nominees; the winners will be announced on April 10th.

  • Speaking of the Center For Cartoon Studies, one of its alumni, Sophie Goldstein, has something to share with you. Goldstein’s been on my radar ever since she was one half of the team behind Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell, and she’s not wasted the time since. She’s been nominated for the Cartoonist Studio Prize, won a pair of Ignatzen, and produced a stack of damn good comics as long as your arm. And yet, as successful as her career has been, it’s been part time work; time for that to change:

    With the help of Patreon, I hope to make writing and drawing graphic novels my full-time job. Like many creators I’ve had trouble stitching together a steady income from my work. Currently, I work part-time at a rock climbing facility and take on occasional freelance to make ends meet. However, long-form storytelling is what I love to do, and with the help of my patrons I can focus on the big projects closest to my heart and and get them out in the world as soon as humanly possible.

    Note to self: organize a webcomics rock-climbing outing sometime. Goldstein, Jamie Noguchi, Matt Boyd, and Yuko ‘n’ Ananth are probably not all of the webcomicker climbers out there, and I’d trust any of them to catch me on a whipper. But I digress. Goldstein’s base goals are very modest:

    • US$60 — the amount she was recently paid to participate in a medical experiment
    • US$200 — her monthly food budget
    • US$650 — her monthly rent and utilities

    She’s reached the point where she no longer has to be subject to the whims of mad doctors and can eat; it’s time to make sure she has a place to live while making comics. Go check out her comics (so much is available for free on her site) and if you like what you see, give just a bit so that she can make more.

Spam of the day:

Re. For Whom It May Concern.

Oh, this is one just bad — two different names from the introduction to the signature, a third name as the point of contact, tortured English, a vague promise of a grant to me just for being awesome (with no amount specified) from Google and/or the UN and/or the EU and/or an Act of Parliament, but only if I’m American. Hello, hi spammers, you are very bad at your job kthxbye.

¹ Green is really smart; I saw her talk about how graphic novels have changed in the ten years since :01 Books hit the scene at last year’s SDCC.

If Mr Rogers Were A Member Of The House Of Saud

Okay, so I know a lot of you read DRIVE by Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett, but a lot of you don’t, so here’s where you get caught up. Imagine a star-spanning human empire, ruled by the one family that controls the resource that holds it all together: the secret of faster-than-light travel; now forget the usual star-spanning parts, like the hostile alien cultures that are at war with Earth, because the really interesting part of the story is one of family.

Much like the modern Saudi royal family’s control over oil, the Cruz family control the drive, and the only La Familia benefits. The best jobs in government, industry, the military, the sciences, and all other aspects of human society are held for them when they finish their stint in the Drive Corps. But like the Saudis, the royal family keeps growing — there are thousands — and keeping all the factions happy and rich is like holding a tiger by the tail.

But three of them — Los Tres Primos — have a Robin Hood thing going, stealing from the Emperor for the benefit of the people; this story thread has been going on since near the beginning of Drive (and would it kill LArDK to have a decent archive, so I could easily link you to strips? I believe it might), but it only comes to fruition in the latest strip¹.

You don’t need to have read DRIVE to read it; there’s no spoilers (well, one, but you’ll gloss right over it if you get to reading from the beginning). Instead, encapsulated in a single page, is what you could argue is LArDK’s thesis statement about DRIVE and its universe: that advantage and privilege demands responsibility and altruism, or we’re all doomed.

The tall Primo there (his name hasn’t been revealed yet), seven and a half years into the strip’s run no less, finally lays out all that’s at risk. Humanity could win or lose its wars and it doesn’t matter, because the entire culture is stagnating and regressing. Worse than wealth being concentrated and the poor at least being able to dream of being rich, every single one of the billions of humans, minus 7000 or so Familia, know that they can never achieve to their potential. They chose their parents wrong.

And yet — even in the bed of intrigue and selfishness that is La Familia, the thought cannot be entirely burned away:

This universe cried out to those that can help, to help. And in the finite time we’re given in this life, our job is to make this world better than we found it.

It’s an important enough thought that LArDK’s already shared it¹, from the mouth of a smart (but poor) alien critter, apprentice to a master of a race of godlike inventors who has likewise lost the thoughts of altruism:

When I was young, my Pa would always say, “Kik, if there’s trouble — like a field-fire, or a swarm o’ fang-weevils — you gotta look for the helpers.” The helpers. There’s always gon’ be helpers. People that run toward the trouble ‘stead of away from it.

Those that follow LArDK on the sosh-meeds have seen more than one expression of wondering what the hell is going on in the world, and an occasional admission of feeling helpless in the face of reckless would-be authoritarianism². It would seem that he’s decided on his course of action and is calling on us to do the same:

Don’t fear the days ahead. Fear not walking toward them.

Damn, Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett, that is the quietest, calmest call to courage and resolve³ to make things better that I’ve ever heard. Well done.

Spam of the day:

Alert: Someone has just run a full-back-ground check on you

Pffft. Unless they lifted my prints from somewhere, it’s not as thorough as checks I’ve had in the past.

¹ NB: those links may change in the coming week or so. LArDK runs his DRIVE strips alternating with the Tales From The Drive stories from other creators; when a Tales story wraps, he rearranges the order of his strips so that the Tales story runs as a continuous series. This makes permalinks a bit challenging.

² Feelings which I think many of us are familiar with at this point.

³ I blame Shakespeare. I stand second to no man in my love of the Saint Crispin’s Day speech [A/V], but it kind of set the pattern for calls to courage and resolve and ever since they’ve been rousing and a bit shouty.

To The Rescue, Like The Boss He Is

So this week, I’m teaching a full five-day class in four days (read: 10+ hour days), in a basement (read: no cell signal), hooked up to a highly-restrictive guest wifi account (read: no webcomics). I am arriving at the client before the sun is up, and gonna be exhausted by the time the day is done. This would ordinarily be a recipe for no content, but these are not ordinary times.

These are times that feature Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, who always finds interesting stuff to talk about, and sends it to me at my least-likely-to-post times. Tell us about state of webcomics live performance events in the European Theatre, FSFCPL:

Tuesday I had the opportunity to attend a talk organized by the SOFIA at the Maison de la Poésie, which was about the ways cartooning can be put on stage; to talk on the matter, Boulet and Marion “Professeur Moustache” Montaigne¹ were interviewed by Paul Satis.

Readers of this blog are no doubt aware of events of this kind in comic conventions, most notably the Super Art Fight format created by Jamie Noguchi [Editor’s note: I believe that Ross Nover also deserves mention here], and such events are a regular occurrence in French comic festivals. Photos were shown of such an event a few years back of a format where cartoonists were costumed, in tribute to wrestling competitions, and where Boulet was a contestant (and he remarked that, just like wrestling, the refereeing was rigged).

However, most of the time these events do not conform to a particular format; in fact, Boulet was critical of these festivals that just put two cartoonists in front of one or two easel pads on a stand as a cheap way to create an event, and he added he did not like participating to such “battles” in general, or to similar “challenges” (e.g. quick successive drawings based on a surprise theme) because of the inability to build up towards a goal.

The same went for events where he had to improvise live based on, say, the music the band played: he mentioned having barely settled on what he was going to draw and started it when the mood of the music changed, leaving him always catching up to it and not providing an experience that made sense to the public. He still does live drawing in festivals, but he plans in advance the scene and only the actual drawing is performed live; no improv.

Montaigne mentioned that, unrelated to the challenge of improvisation, there was the matter of some artists having styles that were less suited than others for the exercise, in particular for artists who always rely on an initial sketch; this made Boulet and her sought-after artists for such events, as both can whip up expressive drawings in no time at all. She also mentioned feeling a duty to show up for such events whenever she could, so as to provide representation for female cartoonists for the people this could inspire in the audience.

Boulet then introduced the “drawn music performance” format he performs with band Inglenook. When Lyon BD festival initially asked him whether he could come up with an event combining music and live drawing, he contacted this band who he knew beforehand to see how this could be done.

He mentioned the biggest challenge was to come up with scenes than could each be drawn in the 3-4 minutes of a typical song: the band plays its songs like it would for any other performance, and he adapts to them, a bit like an additional band player who would play with a graphic tablet and a stylus instead of a violin and bow. He based his drawings on the song lyrics — or how he understands them, anyway, as they are often very symbolic. So as to provide some variation, they alternate songs where he draws with songs where he plays a prerecorded animation.

The talk was followed by a full performance of this “drawn music”. I found it pretty enjoyable; without giving too much away (it’s a kind of “you had to be there”-style event anyway), besides the songs where Boulet actually draws, there are others where an animation is being played where lines progressively appear and end up building a scene which feels much like when he draws, only that some light animation (e.g. red scribbles evoking a flame) occur, and lines progressively disappear at the end of each scene before the next scene starts (this also allows having a few scenes for a song, rather than a single one).

And for other songs a completely different “animation” style is used. Lastly, some songs are accompanied with a speed draw, which I found a bit odd: I am used to watching speed drawings set to music on the web, so I ended up paying more attention to the drawing than to the song, which may not be the aim here.

If you want to attend such a performance, I do not know where or when this will happen next, though your best bet would be Lyon BD, in June.

¹ Disappointingly deprived by nature of any facial hair in real life, much like our favorite mechanical engineer

As always, thanks to Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin for his reporting and analysis; as a special bonus treat, we’ll have another post this week regarding the latest on European webcomics crowdfunding. It’s a good’un.

Spam of the day:

Lost Navajo remedy found to reverse hearing loss

So, I’m confused — is “Chief Running Water” (ick … just ick) the “retired NASA engineer” who discovered the lost Navajo remedy? And if not, why is white dude in possession of more Navajo lore than any actual Navajo? It’s the implausible mixed with the irredeemably racist in one horrible, horrible spam. Good jorb!

² Fun fact that FSFCPL could not have known — as a result of supporting Angela Melick’s final Wasted Talent Kickstarter (whose books you non-backers can still obtain until 15 April!), I am (or will be, once shipping happens) the owner of the original of that particular comic. I know! Terrifyingly appropriate!

A Rare Image Header That Refers To Spam Of The Day

Also, a Spam of the day with a blockquote in the reply. Everything is upside down today.

We are coming up on a barn-burner of an anniversary in webcomics; over the next couple of years we’ll see it repeated, but this is the first one. Jon Rosenberg¹ may try to imply that Goats only became acceptably good about the time he went to color full time, and that no comics existed prior to the end of 2003. Au contraire, mon frère! Goats was birthed of frustration and spite boredom and not a little beer on 1 April 2007 1997, or just about twenty damn years ago.

[Thanks to alert reader maarvarq who caught my typo; I blame it on the fact that while Goats could be nearly 20 years old, it couldn’t be from 1997 because that would make me old.]

Thanks to the magic of the Wayback Machine, we can share that first strip (I will spare you what the site looked like back then). It’s been nearly seven years that the story has been on hiatus (what with Rosenberg working on SFAM, winning NCS awards, and figuring out how to end a story when the inspirations for same have radically changed².

Not that that’s stopped him, I mean:

I’m almost done inking and I gotta say I forgot how much fun making Goats was. This is okay. I can do this occasionally.

Yep, Goats is back, and the worlds-spanning weirdness has an end envisioned. But in the meantime, celebrations must be had:

I’m doing a 20th comicsversary thing at a pub on the 31st. Come celebrate with me! …

That would be the Peculier Pub in Greenwich Village, where Goats was born and where so much of it took place. It’ll be the very last day of the 19th year of the strip; for those that hang around until midnight to ring in Year 20³, don’t forget that the next day is the start of MoCCA Fest 2017; I find that synchronicity to be pleasing. Fun starts at 6:00pm, and there will (needless to say) be booze. See you there.

Update to add: New Goats strip! What may be the longest webcomics hiatus (and our non-Trump related national nightmare) is over!

Spam of the day:

The Black Eyed Peas Debut Original Graphic Novel, MASTERS OF THE SUN – THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES

I’m with Ms Ludgate in my general opinion of BEP, and also Mr Nathan Rabin of The AV Club, who dubbed them:

[E]ssentially a four-person advertising agency flimsily masquerading as a pop group. Think of them as the distinguished firm of Hologram Man, Meth Lady, The Other Guy, and The Other Other Guy, Inc.

After discerning the most irritating possible melody imaginable, Will.I.Am then moves on to the next step in the songwriting process. He heads down to the lyrics lab of Hologram Man, Meth Lady, The Other Guy, and The Other Other Guy, Inc., where scientists with clipboards monitor crazy homeless men around the clock and write down their most annoying patter. Once the most irritating possible melody is married to the most obnoxious conceivable lyric, the song is given to Fergie and the horrible-ification process is complete.

¹ Obligatory disclaimer: the reason that this blog exists, and guy that pays for my hosting (if no longer my beer).

² Not the least being the births of his three children, including twin boys from a high-risk pregnancy that necessitated some fairly extensive physical therapy. He’s basically not slept in the past six years.

³ Just one more year and Jon’s cartooning career can legally drink.

There Are Snow Boulders At The End Of My Driveway And I Feel Fine

I mean, I’ve had big snowstorms before, but not with such wet, heavy, packed snow … a day and a half below freezing since, and the piles cleared are solid masses of ice. It’s a winter wonderland barely tolerable, slippery, hurts-when-you-fall-on-it slap in the face mere days before the official arrival of spring, but at least I’m starting to catch up with things.

  • Know who missed out on a decent chunk of winter — Midwest winter no less — weather? David Willis. I mean, not that a snowstorm, even of the consume your life so you can’t draw comics variety is gonna affect the guy with a buffer that stretches past the next solstice. Yeah, he was on the Nerd Boat last week, and apparently tropical sunshine and cool folks and wonderful weird times put him in a good mood, on account of he announced that he’s gonna do a comic shop signing, presumably in an effort to tamp down some of the residual happiness:

    I will be at Laughing Ogre Comics here in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday (St Patrick’s Day) from 5-7pm! I will have books and probably magnets with me to trade to people for money. That’s right, I have one single event scheduled this year that I’m currently aware of, and this is it! No ECCC, no SDCC, Webcomic Rampage is over, and it’s too soon to schedule my annual Bloomington trip, SO THIS IS IT, THIS IS IT, ONE DAY’S NOTICE, COME SEE ME I GUESS

    Comic shop denizens scheduled all ninja-like on a day famed for public drunkenness? Willis is either very brave, very foolish, or very both. Go tell him I said hi, and don’t make him regret his willingness to be among the outside people.

  • Steve Lieber of Helioscope Studios (formerly Periscope) in Portland is well known for a number of things: comics ranging from Whiteout to Spider-Man titles, tons of storyboard and concept work, and damn good advice from the trenches of a freelance comics career. He dropped some of the latter today on Twitter (starting here) that anybody doing work for hire should memorize, and possibly tattoo on the insides of their eyeballs.

    Key thought: document everything that you’re willing to do, how much it will cost, and what the client gets in return for their money¹. Documentation is critical, as are minimizing the number of voices providing you wth contradictory instructions, and the ability to advocate for yourself. Remember: it’s not that your client is actively evil per se; they aren’t out to actively make you miserable, it’s just that your time or happiness do not enter into their thought processes at all.

    And the two most useful pieces of advice are, in no particular order:

    Tape this phrase to your monitor: “That’s beyond the scope of our original agreement. We’ll need to work out what doing that will cost.”
    And ffs, sit up straight. You’re gonna need that spine even after the job’s all wrapped up.

    Go read it all.

Spam of the day:

Cannabis Extract now Legal to Buy and Ship in All 50 States

I doubt the veracity of this statement, as well as the claim that it came from Dr Sanjay Gupta. Somehow, I think that a world-famous neurosurgeon has more to do with his time than hawking fake weed oil.

¹ Implication: no money? They get nothing.

Channeling My Inner Randy Milholland

So having to clear my driveway of about a metric ton¹ of snow so I could go on EMS duty last night wasn’t enough. Having my driveway plowed in four separate times after I initially cleared it (including once as I’m frantically gesturing at the plow driver to please let me pull out first while shouting I have to get on duty, dammit) wasn’t enough. Having to then clear sidewalks and drives so that the ambulance can roll wasn’t enough. Having multiple calls — including a two-hour trauma at four in the morning, leaving me with about three hours sleep — wasn’t enough.

No, today my students have all apparently decided to chow down on (in the immortal words of Heather Chandler) on brain tumors for breakfast and go out of their way to do all the things I told them not to do because it will cause big failures. One of them did the thing I told him not to do because it’s a 20 minute fix and I’d kind of like to have lunch today; he did it anyway. Then I explained to all of them exactly why this was bad.

Which caused a second student to promptly do the exact same thing.

Honestly, this week has about reached the write-off stage; the 20- to 30-minute intervals I should have had to breathe and relax and see what’s going on in the world have evaporated as my students have somehow lost the ability to do things they did successfully earlier in the week. No webcomics today, and if this keeps up and you see me on the news covered in blood muttering about how they deserved it, maybe no webcomics for the next 15 to 20 years.

In the meantime, please enjoy 300 words of me bitching about work, courtesy of my 80 wpm typing speed.

Spam of the day:

These 4 Ingredients Can Stop Alzheimer’s?

No. Next.

¹ A literal metric ton, given the dimensions of the driveway, the depth of the snow, and its very heavy character.

Of Course They Did

So, at least for me locally, the blizzard turned out to be significantly less terrible than it could have been; a last-minute shifting of the low pressure and very slightly elevated temperatures cut the snowfall to less than half of what was predicted just 12 hours ago. I still have to dig out, though.

And despite the day ending up less terrible than it could have been, I woke to a notification from my backup service (VaultPress are legit great, y’all) that they’d been unable to contact Fleen overnight. The site was down for at least six hours, and I spent the morning trying to get the hosting company (no names … yet) to take my damn outage report.

They couldn’t take the report without a Support Code, which required logging in. For whatever reason, my login/password weren’t working, and the reset page wasn’t sending the promised email. Ninety minutes later the reset email showed up, but when I clicked the link, it informed me the reset key was invalid and to either try again, or send an email.

I chose the email on the support page, the one that says they’ll respond to emails and open tickets 24/7, only to get a response that they don’t actually do support off of emails. Fine, back to the live chat system, where the world’s slowest typist took 17 minutes to ask if I wanted him to reset my password. Which he then refused to do because I’m not the primary account holder¹. I tried to send an email to a different account (one listed in the nonfunctioning password reset email I’d received), only to get an immediate delivery failure because the account apparently doesn’t exist.

To sum: no phone number to call, no way to email anybody, and the live chat people are typing with one finger up their nostril and one thumb up their ass. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Fleen came back on its own, and I feel like it’s time to get ‘hold of some folks in billing and ask exactly why I’m paying for this².

Which is why I have no idea what’s going on in webcomics today. How are you?

Spam of the day:
Also, I accidentally deleted my hand-curated list of spam emails to write about. Apparently young, hot, wet, willing Russian sluts aren’t interested in me any longer.

¹ Obligatory disclaimer that Jon Rosenberg hosts Fleen and also bought my soul for a dollar. Thanks, Jon!

² Or, more precisely, why Jon is. Thanks, Jon!

Snowpacalypse Now

As I’m sure you’re hearing already, the I95 corridor from somewhere south of Philadelphia to roughly Boston is about to get hit with blizzard conditions and somewhere in the vicinity of 40-60 cm of snow, depending. The National Weather Service has, over the past six hours or so, revised the start time of the storm in my area earlier by an hour, the extended the duration by an hour, and upped the predicted snowfall from about 35 cm to just shy of 50 cm. Considering that until about five hours from now, this was the winter that wasn’t, I ain’t real pleased with this Ides Of March Snowy Crotchkick™.

So what I’m saying is, don’t expect much from me tomorrow; I’ve still got to work (from home, thankfully) during the day, then somehow dig myself out and engage in my regular Tuesday night EMT duty afterwards. It’s gonna be … what’s the word that means the complete and total opposite of fun? That.

So in my absence (on account of I can’t guarantee power or internet will hold up here in the weather conditions we’re about to see), please spend an extra day enjoying this excellent set of suggestions from Zainab Akhtar (if you don’t know her writings on comics, you really should; she’s incredibly smart and insightful) at The AV Club on women in comics you should be paying attention to.

I would be pointing you towards this even if the first name on the list wasn’t Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, who readers of this page may recall I’ve been incessantly yapping about for the past year. The fact that Akhtar shares my views on Valero-O’Connell’s work is tremendously heartening, because any time I find I share her views on comics I’m invariably doing something right, and whenever we disagree I wonder what I’ve overlooked and/or where I’m wrong.

Oh, and for everybody that’s publicly wondering why the list doesn’t include (choose as you wish) Kate Beaton, Hope Larson, Faith Erin Hicks, Raina Telgemeier, Meredith Gran, Jen Wang, Noelle Stevenson, or any one of dozens of other creators, it was meant to spread word of those that are less established in the market and minds of comics readers. The focus isn’t on the big names, it’s those that are on their way towards joining the big names. And honestly: finding new, exiting talent is even better than having your existing tastes validated; it’s even better than having my existing tastes validated.

Okay, see you tomorrow if possible. If not, after the dig-out is complete.

Spam of the day:

Morgan Freemans Pain Relief Cure

Huh. You claim that this miracle cure (whose name strongly suggests that it’s pure, uncut weed oil) is from Morgan Freeman, but you’ve provided a picture of Montel Williams as your celebrity endorser. You think that Morgan Freeman is Montel Williams? Don’t you ever lie to Morgan Freeman like he’s Montel Williams. He is not Montel Williams. He is not Montel Williams!¹

¹ That one’s for you, BgP.

Very Behind Today; Likely Tomorrow As Well

So, quickly then: MoCCA Fest 2017 (brought to you by the Society of Illustrators) has announced its programming slate; two rooms (at the Ink48 Hotel) each running three sessions on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (unfortunately, head to head; in past years, the rooms have staggered their start times), six per day, twelve total.

Best looking one from here: Gene Yang (Ambassador, Genius, etc) talking about diversity in comics with Damian Duffy, Hazel Newlevant, and Whit Taylor (Saturday, Garamond room, 12:30pm). Artist spotlight panels include Drew Friedman (Saturday, Helvetica room, 12:30pm), Cliff Chiang (Saturday, Helvetica room, 3:30pm), David Lloyd (Sunday, Garamond room, 12:30pm), and Becky Cloonan (Sunday, Helvetica room, 3:30pm). Politics gets a workout in Covering Trump (Saturday, Helvetica room, 2:00pm) and RESIST! (Sunday, Helvetica room, 2:00pm). Honestly, the other five panels look like they’ll be just as good.

MoCCA Fest runs Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 April, from 11:00am to 6:00pm at the Metropolitan West event space, West 46th between 11th & 12th. Admission is five stinkin’ bucks.

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