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April 12th, 2012

A Little Bit of Comix In Your Talk

Another day another Kickstarter - this one a bit more modest than comic efforts of late. Grant Thomas is looking for a mere $500 bucks to fund another print edition of his webcomic My Life In Records:

While we're here let's open up the ComixTALK mailbag:

Chance Argabright-Wees writes that Fat Cat Gameworks is going to collaborate with Christopher Hastings, of the webcomic, Dr. McNinjato create a game based on the comic. It is planned to be "a free-to-play, retro-style platformer for iOS, Android, and the web" which I suspect means something! A third Penny Arcade videogame and a Dr. McNinja videogame?  That's... four webcomic-based videogames!  There's a kickstarter for this project too!

Other recent radical emails to ComixTALK?

Terry LaBan writes in about a new iPad version of the comic Muktuk Wolfsbreath - a mysterious tale of love, murder and demons set among tribal reindeer herders. The comic appeared as an online graphic novel last year, has been published as both a downloadable pdf and an on-demand trade paperback. The pdf version of Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman: The Spirit of Boo can be downloaded here

Ray Hayden writes in about his webcomic Agatha Crup -- "Three issues in and we've got over 50,000 unique visits on the site."  He plans to put out another issue around the end of April along with an animated 3 minute video with characters from the comic.

April 7th

Nominees for Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story

The Hugo Award nominations were announced and the nominees for Best Graphic Story are:

  • Digger by Ursula Vernon (Sofawolf Press)
  • Fables Vol 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez (IDW)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication written and illustrated by Howard Tayler, colors by Travis Walton (The Tayler Corporation)
  • The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. Written by Mike Carey, illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)

This may be the first time a Foglio is not amongst the nominees, but congratulations and good luck to the webcomic contenders Schlock Mercenary and Digger.

April 4th

Nominees for Eisner Award: Digital Comics Category

The nominees for the Eisners are out - here's the Digital Comics category:

An interesting mix of new and familiar names (to me at least) and a range of styles and subject matters to boot.  I haven't read any of these so here's my quick ill-informed reactions and/or paraphrasing of the about pages:

 

The full title of John Neufeld's webcomic is Bahrain: Lines In Ink, Lines In The Sand and follows Mohammed and Sara, two young Bahraini editorial cartoonists who found themselves on opposite sides of Bahrain's short-lived Pearl Revolution. Neufeld met Mohammed and Sara at workshops he led while visiting the tiny Persian Gulf country on a U.S. State Department trip. Neufeld documents their impressions of the events, through their words, experiences, and their own cartoons, which were published as events unfolded.  A self-contained, non-fiction, journalistic effort.

Mike Norton's webcomic is about a giant pug. OMIGOD PUPPY!!  On-going serialized comedic, fantasy adventure tale.

Tony Cliff's webcomic takes place in 19th-century Turkey where an officer in the Janissary army must struggle to repay a brash adventuress for saving his life, even though she was the one who endangered it in the first place.  Another serialized adventure story albeit much less wacky than Battlepug.

Dylan Meconis' is a fable brought to webcomic form.

Ryan Andrew's webcomic also has the feel of a fable or better still an alegory.  Both Dylan's and Ryan's efforts are self-contained, completed works of fiction.

I realize this is far from the due diligence of actual reviews but even so, it's striking how challenging it must be to try to compare the merits of such diverse work with such clearly different artistic and other goals.  This year's nominees in particular feel like a world where instead of the Emmy awards, the Motion Picture Academy had just added a "Best Television Movie" category to the Oscars.

April 1st

No Fooling: ComixTalk Speaks the Truth

Just a reminder that the former ComixTALK P.O. box is no more.  If you want to send us physical objects please email first to find out where to send it.

KICKSTART MY ART: Kickstarter has cemented itself into comics in a way I doubt anyone really expected when it first debuted.  Shaenon Garrity just launched a kickstarter campaing for book 3 of her webcomic Skin Horse.  No question it will make it's modest goal (although - get over there and pledge!) -- in fact the interesting thing these days is seeing just how far past the goal these drives can go.

EXHIBTIONIST: The Dishman Art Museum in Beaumont, Texas (part of Lamar University) will be holding an exhibit of Ursula Vernon's work next month in April (begining April 4th) with a reception on April 6th. Make your travelin' plans now! The exhibit will featurie works from Digger, Dragonbreath (including a sneak preview of Dragonbreath 7), and several of Ursula's illustrations.  Ursula will also be doing a signing at the local Barnes & Noble.

MAILBAG

Richard Reynolds writes in about his webcomic, St. Shawshank's Infant School which he describes as "basically a re-telling of The Shawshank Redemption... only set in an infant school, and with all the added innocence that that implies."  That's an interesting twist alright!

Sasha Peric writes in to ask us to take a look at a new comic, Pustinja, hosted on Google+.  It's a wordless mini-comic, with artwork suggestive of wood-cuts. He's from Bosnia, and this new work looks like it's in a similar vein to previous examples of his comics.

March 28th

Kickstarter and Creative Commons Changing Art

I really liked this short PBS documentary on Kickstarter and Creative Commons.  Well worth a watch.

March 24th

The Post In Which Xerexes Catches Up On Various Webcomic News Items

iWEBCOMICS: So the new iPad 3 is out and it has a gloriously densely pixelated screen - RETINA-VISION or some such marketing moniker.  Of course I think this bodes well for comics. It doesn't mean legacy publishers won't continue to bobble their opportunities but for everyone not tied to the direct market, printed past, this is the best of times.  As far as digital goes I thought it pretty good news that Mark Waid is embracing digital and selling off his comic book collection, if not effective at raising funds is still a keen meta-commitment to his new direction

KICKSTART A WHOLE LOT OF ART: I blogged about some webcomic kickstarter projects yesterday.  I saw this morning that FLEEN had done some actual number crunching on recent Kickstarter activity -- worth perusing!

FINDING NEMO WEBCOMICS:  I also heard about Just the First Frame from Fleen and it's a nifty idea.  Time always tells whether it's a practical idea that one can use on a daily, regular basis but I'm intrigued enough to play with it.  Finding webcomics -- filtering -- well it IS the problem for the reader today. This site's approach is to show the first panel of a comic so that you can click through to it.  It doesn't really do any recommendation though and the guy behind the curtain is creating the panels manually (crop and paste) so I wonder how long it will be around.

MAILBAG: Lee writes that his webcomic, RiGBY, is updating on a regular basis again.  Update were slow for awhile when he was working on the new Screamland series for Image Comics.  That series has since concluded, and updates to RiGBY are now back 3 times a week.

March 22nd

Comix Talks the Talk; Walks the Walk

Hello hello hello.  Let's call today's post a rally round the flag, consider splashing some cash kind of all KICKSTART MY ART post.  It's amazing how many webcomic projects have been funded now through Kickstarter.

MULTIPLEX BOOK 2:  Gordon McAlpin was one of the first webcomic creators to use Kickstarter and now he's back to raise funds to put out Book 2 of his webcomic Multiplex.  He's still got a ways to go but 20 days should be enough time to make it.  If you're a fan of this webcomic pledge pledge pledge!

ALL NEW ISSUES: This webcomic is running a drive to print its first book.  You can check out the webcomic here before deciding whether to pledge or not.

GOATS IV: BACK IN THE SADDLE: It's finally over and I managed to get my pledge in before it finished.  Looking forward to my autographed book. Pledges passed $50,000 easily.  People love goats I guess.  

Fubar Press: These guys have made their goal but they've still got nine days to go. Their project is to print up an anthology to give away on Free Comic Book Day this year. Free comic book day is an annual event, held on the first Saturday in May where just about every major comic book company distributes a few titles for free to comic shops all across the country. The idea is to bring in new fans and get old fans back in on what ends up being one of the busiest days of the year for comic shops.   

CARPE CHAOS:  These guys are down to the wire trying to raise 7,500 and they have less than 24 hours to go (more or less).  The drama of Kickstarter! Jason Bane, Eric Carter, Anthony Cournoyer, Daniel Allen, Joe Slucher, and  others create Carpe Chaos, a free web-based sci-fi graphic novel series.  They want to create a concept art book called The Art of Carpe Chaos that will featureall of the artwork they produced when we were creating the universe. 

We've got a ton of material, we've got graphic designer Christopher Kosek to help us, and we've got a $7,500 quote from a printer. Whether we get 250 books or 1000, the price doesn't change much because most of the printing costs are for getting everything set up to print in the first place. 100% funding means a print run for us! 

YEAR OF THE DWAGON: This one is also over but Rob Balder met his goal for Erfworld and ran a pretty impressive Kickstarter campaign while he was at it.  Did I say "met his goal"? I meant smashed it, raising almost $85,000.

March 20th

Voting for Eagle Awards Ends this Month

The very British Eagle Awards for Comics is holding its worldwide vote online right now -- you can vote up until April 1st.  For Best Webcomic you can pick between Ace Kilroy, Axe Cop, Freakangels, Hark! A Vagrant, and xkcd.

Eisner Voting for Hall of Fame Ends this Week

This Friday, March 23, is the deadline for voting in the Hall of Fame for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. The Eisner Awards judges have selected pioneering newspaper cartoonist Rudolph Dirks (The Katzenjammer Kids) and comic book artistHarry Lucey (co-creator of Archie) to be automatically inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame this summer.  The judges have also chosen 14 nominees from which voters will select 4 to be inducted. These nominees are Bill Blackbeard, Howard Chaykin, Richard Corben, Carlos Ezquerra, Lee Falk, Bob Fujitani, Jesse Marsh, Tarpé Mills, Mort Meskin, Dennis O'Neil, Dan O'Neill, Katsuhiro Otomo, Trina Robbins, and Gilbert Shelton. 

Online voting is now open. To vote, you must be a professional working in the comics or related industries, as a creator (writer, artist, cartoonist, colorist, letterer), a publisher an editor, a retailer (comics store owner or manager), a graphic novels librarian, or a comics historian/educator. Eligible voters can visit www.eisnervote.com to register and then select up to four picks in the Hall of Fame category.

March 17th

Bye Bye P.O. Box

Hey, please note we are giving up our P.O. Box -- do not send anything anymore to it!  Go ahead and cross it out! P.O. Box 3362, Arlington, Virginia 22203  Just like that!  If you do want to send a physical object to ComixTalk please email us beforehand and we'll provide you with information on where to send it.  Thanks!