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Brad Guigar

ComixTalk for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greystone Inn by Brad GuigarWe had the Son of Snowpocalypse in Washington DC yesterday.  Not all that exciting actually.  Also finally saw AVATAR in 3D on Sunday night. (Ain't Mrs X cool to take me to that for Valentines Day?!)  Reviews were dead-on; awesome world-building and special effects to carry it off, story was Dances With Wolves With Four Eyes and Gil Slits.  All in all, a great movie experience.

AWARDS: Tom Spurgeon has a list of the nominees for this year's Glyph awards.

MILESTONES: Congrats to Brad Guigar on 10 years of comicking!  Brad has had a heck of a decade pioneering this thing we call webcomics and I hope there's lots more to come.  In his blog post there's a BIG hint that a full collection of his first strip, Greystone Inn, will be coming to print.

Also docking in close to 10 years is the Flight anthology series.  Kazu Kibuishi announces that Flight 8 will be the last edition of that very successful project.

INTERVIEWS: Growly Beast has an interview with Tom Dell'Aringa of Marooned and The Internet Review of Science Fiction has a fairly indepth interview with Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary.  UPDATE: Graphic NYC has an interview with Raina Telgemeier, who's most recent work is the graphic novel Smile.


AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS:  Kids book author/illustrator Mo Willems takes a crack at Hilary Price's Rhymes With Oranges this week.  Also details on Hilary's trip to Cuba with Jeannie Schulz and other cartoonists including Alexis Fajardo.  Haven't talked with Alexis in years - maybe I better catch up with him! :)  (h/t Daily Cartoonist)

SECRET SCIENCE ALLIANCE ACTIVATE!  The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis won this year's CYBIL award for the graphic novel category. The CYBILs are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.  And TCJ posted a four part interview with Eleanor, husband Drew Weing and the rest of the creative crew from the Secret Science Alliance book.  Here's part one (with links to part 1 & 2 and part 3 & 4):

It's Just Wednesday and Boy... Are My Gills Tired!

State of the ComixTALK update
Working on a Wordpress-powered version of the site on a development server.  Had out the MySQL book last night trying to write queries for moving over a few of the tables from Drupal to Wordpress.

Patric Lewandowski gave a 20 minute talk on ideas about comic theory he first explained in a series of articles he wrote for ComixTALK in 2008.  You can see the video of Patric's presentation at his website.

After the one webcomic (Girl Genuis) in ComicRiff's "Best Comic of the Decade" poll kicked serious tail, ComicRiff decides to hold a "Best Webcomic of the Decade" poll.  They're looking for nominations if you're interested in helping them out. Update
I got a press release from Brad Guigar this morning announcing that subscribers to are eligible to get tables in the Webcomics Pavilion area of the Chicago's Comics and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a special creators' discount of 15%.  According to Brad that's a total savings of $60 - which is pretty nice (and more than the annual $30 subscription fee to the site btw).  This is very smart -- if Brad can leverage the new community he's building for partnerships and other promotions than that certainly adds a lot of value to joining that site.

And El Santo adds his two cents to the subscriber model story.

Jeph Jacques redraws Questionable Content #1.

John Allison is redrawing some of his SGR comics for the latest print volume.

Artpatient linked to a funny comic by Caldwell Tanner called "What Kind of Artist Are You?" I fit in there.... somewhere!

Under Construction?!

January is going to be like one of those "this ol' haus" shows on PBS or TLC  all month long as I patch, prod and pull apart things at the site.  I didn't get a lot of feedback to my blegs from you lot on what you like or dislike here at ComixTalk so I'm left to my own devices which is...usually a mixed bag in terms of results.  But let's have fun with this, shall we?  I'll be putting up notes on site status to keep everyone on their toes updated on developments.

THESE RIDES ARE CURRENTLY NOT OPERATIONAL: auto-importing of blogs ; new user sign-ups

A surprisingly big story - Brad Guigar's sudden move of to a pay wall has been chattered about all week.  Brigid Alverson does another good job of rounding up all of the talkingFLEEN interviewed the Guigarster where Brad describes the number of subscriptions purchased so far as “For a non-porn site, encouraging."

One wrinkle to this story is that there were third-party articles published at -- for those authors who want a non-pay wall home for those articles, give me a buzz (tweet xerexes or xerexes AT gmail) - ComixTalk would probably be a good home for them.

Webcomic Marketing looks like a decent site that's been updating for a bit now.  The most recent post provides a Convention checklist from the creators of Steam Crow.

Drawn! points to this video demonstrating the "theoretical" Mag+ e-reader; Gizmodo covers the Skiff e-reader.

Dan Goldman launches a new webcomic, called Red Light Properties at Robot6 describes Red Light Properties is a "tropical-horror series" about a real estate firm in Miami Beach that cleans and sells "previously-haunted homes" to people who've lost their houses to foreclosure.

Brilliant twist on Calvin & Hobbes all this week from Scott Kurtz at PVP.  What a great start to webcomics this year. Adopts A Subscription Wall For Archives

Brad Guigar's adopts a $30 per year fee for access to (all?) new content and all of the archives.  Brigid Alverson has a good write-up of it here. has been an incredible resource and growing community over the last 12+ months.  It'll be interesting to see if this changes works.  I certainly wish Guigar luck -- if this allows him to put more into the site and keep it growing than of course it's a success.

For what it's worth I'll have more to say about this and ComixTalk and all things webcomics in the days to come.

This Day in ComixTalk: June 19th

This Day in ComixTALK:

Chuck Whelon posted the cover art for his new edition of the first collection of Pewfell Perfingles comics.  He also posted a great page from that bookNeil Cohn noted the 30th anniversary of Jim Davis' Garfield and covered some of the webcomic experimentalism incorporating that comicBrad Guigar reported back from exhibiting at Wizard World Philadelphia.  Kate Beaton?  Before she became famous for historical comicking, she posted this take on the Anthony-Liz storyline from For Better or For Worse.

And the nominees for that year's Online Comics category at the Harveys included Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, EZ Street, Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley, Penny Arcade, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch and Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo, Dwight L. Macpherson, Thomas Boatwright and Thomas Mauer.

I was in the midst of spinning off and rebranding this site as ComixTALK.  While it all hasn't worked out to "bigger and better" it has worked well enough for me.  (Never did activate the so-called umbrella site "Comixmedia")

Todd Allen was covering the DC webcomics plans; another Platinum story was in the news and FLEEN speculated on the webcomic future for Elfquest creators Wendy and Richard Pini.

Back when we did "Summer of Guest Bloggers" -- we had Barry Gregory (01 Comics) and Clay Gardner (Wirepop) on tap for this week.  Clay wrote a post on "the hidden style of manga".  And Zach Lewis hyped Jack of All Blades -- the "most popular adventure comic featuring a doppleganger, a penguin, and a horrid swordfighter".

June 2005 was our "webcomics in print" issue.  Ben Towles wrote about his experiences self-publishing a print collection of his webcomic TowniesEric Burns wrote about some of the webcomics that had jumped to print and mused about what would be the future role of print in webcomics.  Meanwhile in Kelly Cooper's MoCCA report we have early photographic evidence of Gary "Magnum P.I." Tyrrell.

Cartoonist Hard (aka Clay) who used to blog pretty often, wrote about various comics publications and objecting to the Webcomics Examiner approach to webcomics.  It just reminds me of how overblown some of the discussions online became back then.  And the fact that for a long time Comixpedia/Talk was largely alone in trying to provide coverage of webcomics which often meant we got swept up in whatever the drama of the moment was.

I linked to this article in the NYTimes about building an audience for your blog.  It's a bit like driving a mustang while looking back on the Model Ts.  How about this quote:

But Susan Mernit, a blogger in San Francisco, is actively trying to increase her readership from its current average of about 50 visitors a day. "I value hits highly," said Ms. Mernit, a consultant for nonprofit organizations and a former vice president for programming at America Online. "I'd like to see my traffic increase by 10 readers a month."

DRAFT List of 100 Greatest Webcomics: Comedy and Drama

Last year I posted a couple times (Previous posts on this "research" project were here and here) about a possible article on "ComixTALK's 100 Greatest Webcomics" which would be something like the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movies of the last 100 years.

A recurring comment to the previous two posts was what is the criteria for this.  I'm always a little hesitant to give too much guidance when part of the point of asking this kind of thing out loud is to listen to the resulting discussion of what everyone else thinks the criteria should be.  For the AFI list judges picked films based on criteria such as Critical Recognition, Major Award Winner, Popularity Over Time, Historical Significance, and Cultural Impact.

That sounds about right to me.  We've got a round decade plus a year or two of webcomics to look at it.  Critical reception (both from peers and critics), and popularity are both relevant to thinking about the impact of a webcomic.  WCCA awards are somewhat indicative of what peers were impressed with in a given year and more recently awards like the Eisners and Ignatzs have recoginized webcomics.  Historical significance and cultural impact are a little harder to pin down but various "firsts" in webcomics are important and comics like Penny Arcade have had a much wider impact on popular culture than most comics do these days (put aside the legacy superheros of comics -- what other "new" comic, let alone webcomic, in the last decade has had a wide cultural impact?)

Another thing AFI did that might be useful here to help sort through the vast numbers of webcomics one could talk about is to also think about categories or genres of work.  Just as a simple matter of numbers if a webcomic isn't one of the best of a larger type of story -- or frankly, so startlingly unique it's hard to categorize -- then it's hard to imagine it's one of the 100 Greatest...

So to move things along I'm listing another "draft" of titles submitted by the crowds but this time I've tried to break them up into drama and comedy so as to help avoid complete apples to oranges comparisons.  In doing that I've realized (1) it's hard in many cases to decide; and (2) there are probably more comedic than drama on the list so far.  I think it would make sense to whittle down the two lists to 75 each so as the final list is no more than 3/4 of one type or the other.  Of course we could further do genre type lists but for now this was enough work on my part.

So -- your assignment (if you choose to play):

  1. Name the comic you're talking about (you're also welcome to nominate ones not on the list -- I KNOW there are many I haven't even thought about yet -- it takes time to review all of the corners of the web)
  2. Tell me where on one the two lists (comedy and drama) it should be (you could give a range of slots if you're not sure). (If you think I've got a drama on the comedy list or vice-versa let me know!  I'm not "done" - this is fairly dashed off still at this point)
  3. Tell me why!  Referencing awards, critics, historical achievements, strengths and weaknesses of the works are all really helpful!

Metapost: It’s *champing* at the bit.

I was reading an article on lately, and I came across this phrase:

Fans in Calgary can’t really be chomping at the bit to see the New York Islanders, can they?

To which my mind immediately said, “No, no, no, it’s champing at the bit, you ignoramus hockey reporter!” And immediately I was ashamed.


Can I share a little story about my friend, Dave Kellett? Dave very kindly sent me a thank-you gift recently. Being the joker he is, he addressed it to "BRAD 'SWEETCHEEKS' GUIGAR." When it was delivered, I was upstairs, working in my studio, and I didn't hear the mail carrier knocking on my door. I got one of those slips instead -- the kind that say that you have to pick up your parcel at the Post Office. The next morning, as my wife was driving my boys and me to the train station so I could take the kids to...

Homestretch for Bomb Shelter's Webcomic Idol

Life is pretty busy for me these days so I haven't been the best judge this year at the Bomb Shelter Webcomic Idol shindig but luckily DJ Coffman and Brad Guigar have been handing out constructive advice on the forums.  After a couple weeks voting has narrowed the competition down to five and the Bomb Shelter guys have twisted the rules a bit to call on the judges to pick one of the bottom three to exit the competition.  I don't know when they'll announce which comic that is. UPDATE: They did.

The remaining five four webcomics are: Lawn Darts, Marooned , Shi Long Pang, and Simulated Comic Product.

Bevery Hills Webcomic II: Botox In Da Haus

A Distant Soil blog has a list of literary agents accepting graphic novel representation. (h/t Journalista!)

Talking about Webcomics Idol 2008, Gary says Brad Guigar is Simon.  I'm guessing D.J. Coffman, who usually doesn't worry about telling people what he thinks, has an equal claim to that seat  Maybe with a few more "dawgs" Brad can take the Randy role.  I guess that makes me Paula?  Bomb Shelter encouraged us to throw up some initial critiques -- I was sweating a cold+ all weekend so I'm hoping to throw some more constructive feedback up there as the contest goes on.  Brad and D.J. are successful practicing cartoonists.  I'm not, of course.  So I won't be trying to break down craft, but trying to offer impressions as a reader and perhaps observations based on webcomcs as a whole.  We'll see what I come up with!

Eric Millikin is part of a big scary art show in Detroit on October 30th called Damned.

Jennifer Contino has an interview with Sam Costello of the webcomic Split Lip.

Tomorrow a new webcomic Werewif debuts.

Graham Annable has a Halloween cartoon for your enjoyment.

Not comics, but Entertainment Weekly has a list of the 20 Scariest Movies of all time.