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Archive - Sep 2010

September 30th

Overlooked Press Release Cavalcade: Inkbot Comics

Inkbot is an anthology site for webcomics that sent me a few press releases this month.  I like its mission statement - one new title a month and only creator-owned comics.  Inkbot says it does not retain any rights to the comic (other than presumably a license to display online).  Founder Christian Rubiano sent me a blurb on two webcomics: Odessa -- historical fiction centered around the question "What if the Nazi's won WWII, and what if Americans helped them do it?" and self-described as an examination on race relations, propaganda, and geo-politics; and American Ambition -- a comedy which features the last remnants of a once-great superhero team.

For the most part, and not to pick on Rubiano, standard press releases are kind of boring to a news site. Try to find something interesting about your comic project and RIGHT NOW that makes it especially interesting and compelling for someone to write about it instead of anything else that day.

September 29th

Finding the Right Webhost

I thought this post by Novil of Sandra and Woo was a pretty good overview of issues with hosting, particularly as a webcomic grows its readership.  There's also a pretty good forum on webhosts at the Comicpress site.

UPDATE: A long thread at ComixTalk from 2006 and renewed in 2008 actually shows up pretty high on the Googleplex results. No offense but the fact that Drunk Duck is still around isn't always on my mind -- how has their performance as a webhost been this year?  I also set up a SmackJeeves account -- that's been around awhile too but would love to hear updated views on its performance this year.

Marissa’s Bunny

A SPECIAL MAILBAG EDITION:  Jordan Anderson wrote in to "bring to your attention some generosity by a few webcomics creators. Lar deSouza, Ryan Sohmer and Tim Buckley have brought some attention to a story of a father raising awareness of a rare disease that his daughter was born with. The father created a blog, Marissa’s Bunny, over two years ago with the idea of bringing the story of Infantile Spasms to the rest of the world. Through a set of rabbits that go by a shared name of Fairfax, people around the globe have been telling the tale of Marissa and her disease. The blog shares the highs and lows, the hope and frustration, but most importantly the love."

"More recently, the family has come to a difficult decision. As other treatments have come by with little to no results, a more invasive procedure was put on the table. A costly brain surgery was brought forth as a potential way to lessen seizure activity. Facing fewer and fewer options for treatment, they reluctantly agreed to go forward. Finally caving into pressure from the people around them, Mike decided to put up a chip-in to raise money for Marissa’s upcoming surgery. With an estimate of $28,500 of out of pocket expenses, the family is faced with quite a substantial burden on top of having paid out thousands, upon thousands of dollars already. These creators have rallied their fans to help out a family in need. In the three days since posting on their respective front pages, they have helped raise $6279.50 as of the time I write this."

Archvillain by Barry Lyga

Archvillian by Barry Lyga

Every now and then someone sends me a non-comics book, usually an all ages one, probably because I've been reviewing more comics aimed at a younger audience in recent years.  Archvillian by Barry Lyga is one such book. Possibly, Scholastic sent it to ComixTalk because of it's superhero-inspired theme (okay make that likely because of...). Lyga has been writing superhero-inspired young adult novels since 2006, but to be honest I'd never heard of him before nor read anything else by him.  Which isn't surprising as my kids (aka the X-girls) tend more towards fantasy and mystery more than science fiction so far and I don't think they've ever gone for a superhero story on their own initiative.

Still I gave this one a shot -- it's the story of Kyle Camden who starts off the book as the smartest and most popular kid in school, but also a kid who has already decided that he has no time to suffer for fools and that by and large the rules don't apply to him.  He is loved and feared because of a trail of legendary pranks he's committed (although the book's recounting of the "pranks" in his past reveals that they are actually kind of pedestrian). It's a book told entirely from Kyle's point of view too so there's not much of a reality check on what he tells us of other characters in the story or about himself.

September 28th

Comix Talk for Tuesday, October 28, 2010

I have a new review of The Unsinkable Walker Bean up today.  You might also want to check out a recent interview the Robot 6 blog had with creator Aaron Reiner.

SPX Hangover: Jess Fink writes and draws up the best and the almost as good from this year's SPX.

INTERVIEW: Mike Rhode has an interview with Jeff Smith who was in DC for the National Book Festival last weekend.

HYPEPlease check out John Allison's comic on "Whatever happened to Jive Bunny (of Jive Bunny and the Master Mixers)" -- do it for the children.

CRAFT: Renderrxx Productions has a number of interviews with comic creators focused on their tools and techniques for making comics including Donna Barr and Peter Conrad.


The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier

The Unsinkable Walker Bean

I loved The Unsinkable Walker Bean -- it's an old fashioned adventure story full of vibrant characters and clever twists and turns.  Aaron Renier has delivered a fantastic book.  The coloring by Alec Longstreth is also really fantastic.  I was not really familiar with Renier's work beforehand, but this comic reflects someone in full command of their creative powers.  Everything fits together well -- strong characters, strong plot with great pacing throughout, and a whole world and mythology Renier has cooked up to support this tale.

September 27th

El Vocho: Environmental Webcomic from Steve Lafler

Steve Lafler wrote us about his new comic El Vocho which offers a crackling urban romance pairing Rosa, a brilliant inventor, with laconic Eddie, geek artist. Can love blossom in this tense thriller, pitting big oil against budding genius Rosa?  Rosa and Eddie meet in a fender bender and tempers flare, but cupid shoots his arrow and the two fall for each other. It takes their combined smarts and intuition to create the perfect clean energy engine. The results? A flying VW Bug with an engine that runs on air, of course!

Comix Talk for Monday, September 27, 2010

I posted a review this morning of Kazu Kibuishi's GREAT Amulet 3.  Great all ages comic.  I should have a lot of reviews coming up this week (making a big dent in the stack o' review books!).  In the meantime here's some comic news worth checking out this AM:

Let's All Go to the Movies:  I have Gordon McAlpin's first book collection of his comic Multiplex on the review book pile but the Art Patient blog has a review of Gordon's new book up now.  And Bleeding Cool has an interview with Gordon McAlpin (with one of my favorite comics from Multiplex featuring the "insolent blogger").

FULL TWEET AHEAD: Angela Melick (creator of the webcomic Wasted Talent) and her husband Trevor May have created Webcomic Tweets a portal for following webcomic tweets and other social media.  (h/t FLEEN)

OPINIONATED: Ward Sutton recreates the funny pages if they were all written by members of the U.S. Republican Party Tea Party.

INTERVIEW: The Charlotte Observer has an interview with Dustin Harbin.  I wasn't really familiar with Dustin before, but he moderated the SPX panel this year with Julia Wertz and Kate Beaton and more than held his own as a funny, intelligent person.  

iWEBCOMICS: Deb Aoki has an interview with comiXology CEO David Steinberger.

HYPE: Topless Robot picks 9 Indy comics its reader should know.  A few webcomics in there -- they all look interesting.

SPX HANGOVER: Some parting remarks from creators Jerzy Drozd and Sara Turner as they say their goodbyes to this month's SPX from the hotel parking lot.  I met both in person for the first time this year (if you missed it, I posted my interviews with them from SPX here).

NOT WEBCOMICS: I'm not sure if the teevee series adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book series is going to be good but this fan-made opening credits sequence using the art from the comics is AWESOME:

Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers

Amulet, projected as a 10 volume series by creator Kazu Kibuishi, is shaping up to be something truly special. Kibuishi is weaving a story mixing deep archetypes with images and character types familiar from other popular epic entertainment, and yet still something quite original. The Cloud Searchers is the third volume in the series and easily the most accomplished of the series to date. I'm sure people have compared Amulet to Harry Potter, or even Star Wars before on a superficial level and there's some merit there. Amulet is vigorously entertaining and really engaging in the way a truly good adventure story can make you care about the fate of fictional characters and a fantasy world.

September 25th

Comix Talk for the Weekend

Let's Go To The Videogame Chuck: Comics based upon (and licensed from) videogames: The Sacrifice by Mike Oeming turns the premise of Left 4 Dead into a webcomic and Chris Avellone created Fallout: New Vegas—All Roads! -- a graphic novel prequel to the upcoming videogame Fallout: New Vegas.

INTERVIEW: Pop Syndicate interviews Gisele Lagace and Dave of the webcomic Menage a 3.

REBOOT:  Captain Excelsior gets renamed Captain Stupendous for the forthcoming print edition from creators Zach Weiner and Chris Jones.

REVIEW: Lauren Davis has a nice write-up of John Allison's Bad Machinery at the IO9 blog

HYPE: Caldwell Tanner combines history and Frank Miller perfectly in a parody over at College Humor! Very funny and I thought he nailed the garish energy of Miller's covers.

MAILBAG: Ian Terrell writes about his webcomic The Grumpiverse "that takes on the news of the day and week that makes us grumpy for one reason or another.  We consider it a webcomic, although to some it might fall more under the category of political cartooning."