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Bryant Paul Johnson

Bryant Paul Johnson was born in Boston, grew up on Cape Cod, educated in Montreal and now lives in Northampton. He is the creator of the long running webcomic Teaching Baby Paranoia and The Antecedent, a webcomic of American History.

Happy Birthday Bryant Paul Johnson

An Americanized version of the first cover of 2000 A.D. by Bryant Paul Johnson

Happy Birthday today to Bryant Paul Johnson, creator of the super-smart historical fiction webcomic Teaching Baby Paranoia.  Johnson, nice guy that he is, has some birthday presents for his fans starting with a revamped personal site, a short videogame series submitted for the recent webcomic contest at The Escapist, and a preview of his in-progress graphic novel, The Lower Kingdom.

Comix Talk for Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Freak Angels by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield

It's day 4 of Snowapalooza in Washington DC.  I consider this a trial run for if I ever decided to move to Canada and so far... I don't think I'd make it.  But being snow-bound has been great for catching up on comics.  I also wanted to flag a few features at ComixTalk -- the calendar of comic events is available here, but you can also add it a number of other calendar programs and I'm always interested in co-maintainers.  In fact I'd be very happy to see other blogs and sites join me in maintaining it and embedding it on their sites too. I also set up a hub page for the four webcomic titles that have run at ComixTalk over its 8 year history - click to discover work from Ryan Estrada, Kris Straub and Bryant Paul Johnson.

Awards:  The Webcomics List, a hybrid tracking, popularity and news site for webcomics had a forum-organized awards program this year.  It felt a lot like the old WCCAs. This Week in Webcomics covers the resultsGunnerkrigg Court won the nod for Best Comic and Moon Town won for Best New Comic.  Coyote has a review of Moon Town here.

iWebcomics: So I'm kind of already burnt out on the iPad hype.  I want to wait until the thing is available to think more about it.  Others are though: Erik Larsen has an essay about it and Gizmodo salivated over how comics will look on the tablet device.

Dead Trees: Tyler Page talks numbers, costs and quality for taking the Print-On-Demand route for volume 2 of his Nothing Better webcomic.  And starting this week, for a couple of months, Gordon McAlpin is working full time on Multiplex — and, the Multiplex: Book 1 print collection.  This is all due to the funding he raised for the book through a Kickstarter drive.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

  • The recent rock concert contest storyline at Ornery Boy has been great - both funny and Michael Lalonde has done an awesome job with animating key panels.  If you're going to do a flash comic than use it!  Ornery Boy makes great use of Flash's capabilities.
  • It's a been awhile since I've linked to Freak AngelsThings are happening again in the storyline and although I'm a bit annoyed that after a few years we still don't really understand the full logic of the "package" of the freak angels and their world, it's a hell of a comic.  I'll also just flag again that what Avatar is doing here seems like a pretty good model for a publisher-creator relationship in the webcomic world.  I'm not sure I've seen anyone else quite match it yet.
  • The latest issue of Dark Horse Presents is out with webcomics from Graham Annable and others.

Webcomics

Webcomics @ ComixTALK

 

ARCHIVES

The Antecedent by Bryant Paul Johnson

Checkerboard Nightmare by Kris Straub

Welton Colbert Versus by Ryan Estrada

Modern Humor Authority by Kris Straub

The ComixTalk 2009 Roundtable

It's the end of the year and what better time to talk webcomics with a great group of interesting creators and commentators.  For this year's roundtable we talked about favorite and new webcomics from 2009; iPhones and iTablets; developments in the business of comics; developments in the subject matter of comics; webcomic awards; and predictions for 2010!  I'm joined by Gary Tyrrell, Delos Woodruff, Shaenon Garrity, Fesworks, Derik Badman, Larry Cruz, Brigid Alverson and Johanna Draper Carlson.

SPX Updates from Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing

Secret Science Alliance by Eleanor Davis

I picked up the Secret Science Alliance book from Eleanor Davis at SPX this year.  I got halfway through it before the older X girl took it away.  She's finished and now the younger X girl took it to school with her today.  Both are really excited about the book.  This seems like a great book for boys and girls of a reading age (not sure how old the audience for it would be, although I found it very clever and the artwork, including the composition and layout, is equally as clever as the writing). This project also has a bunch of great people behind it.  Eleanor Davis wrote and drew it; Drew Weing inked it and Bryant Paul Johnson (Teaching Baby Paranoia) lettered it -- that's like a webcomics supergroup right there.  And Joey Weiser and Michele Chidester colored it (and it's really nicely done).

In Drew Weing news, I chatted with him and Eleanor while buying the book -- Drew has finished plotting and thumbnailing his amazing Set To Sea comic (which has wonderful E.C. Segar influences all over it) which means it WILL BE FINISHED!  In fact, in finishing the rough of it Drew said he decided he needed to make small changes here and there throughout which is why he is re-publishing it online.  Everyone should give this a read; I'm already looking forward to the whole thing (both on the web and the book to be).

I also saw Eleanor on the "Debut Cartoonists" panel at SPX where she was joined by Ken Dahl (Monsters), Hans Rickheit (The Squirrel Machine), and Zak Sally (Like A Dog).  She did very well - it's not always easy to talk about your own motivations and creative process but it was interesting to hear that she has a part time job working on organic farms.  Not a quote but basically she explained that she didn't want to do comics all of the time and that she enjoyed life better with a balance between comics and other activities (which was in contrast to Dahl who took the less surprisingly line that making it was quitting your day job).

Teaching Baby Paranoia Hits 500!

Over on Modern Tales, Bryant Paul Johnson's Teaching Baby Paranoia, one of the lifers, hits its 500th strip today. Congratulations, Bryant! Now everybody go check out the TBP archives!

Teaching Baby Paranoia Celebrates its 500th Strip

The webcomic Teaching Baby Paranoia —by cartoonist Bryant Paul Johnson—celebrated the publication of its 500th strip on Friday August 14th, 2009.

The long-running strip, which debuted in January of 2000, is a mélange of historical fiction and pseudo-academic nonsense, drawn in a classically cartoony style, and annotated with footnotes of dubious accuracy.

The 500th strip (link below), titled "The Henderson Gospel" is both an artistic and structural departure from the norm.

McGill Spotlights Comics-Making Graduates

Bryant Paul Johnson of Teaching Baby Paranoia is spotlighted along with other McGill graduates making their mark on comics in this recent article the MCGILL NEW ALUMNI QUARTERLY!  Check it out (and check out Teaching Baby Paranoia if you haven't before).

All The News I Should Have Posted This Morning

Thanks to our cover artist for February - Leroy Brown, creator of Ice Cubes. Also thanks to this week's sponsor, the webcomic title CharliehorseThe sponsor slot is still open for next week - going cheap! :)

Two new interviews up this week - one with the creators of Erfworld and one with Bryant Paul Johnson of Teaching Baby Paranoia.

LETTERING
Nate Piekos has a post up on typographic conventions in comic lettering.  Very informative! (h/t Boing Boing).

INTERVIEWS
Comix 411 has an interview with Norm Feuti creator of Retail, which is syndicated by King Features and a webcomic, Gill, which debuted toward the end of last year.

Como Se Webcomic?
Olaf Moriarty Solstrand has an interesting article considering the costs and benefits for creators in non-english speaking countries to use english in their comics.

Motion Comics
Todd Allen has an article on the history of "motion comics" (yeah they've been around longer than that recent Watchman effort).

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Dark Horse is debuting a webcomic in the Star Wars universe containing a prequel storyline to an upcoming videogame, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

RANDOM CATCHUP COMIC READING
Just finished Jessica Abel's Life Sucks graphic novel (published last year by First Second) - I cannot rave about it enough.  A great, novel twist on vampires (Dracula meets Clerks) with great pacing and really sharp art.  I was a little disappointed with the ending but not that much.

Interviewing Bryant Paul Johnson

Bryant Paul Johnson is the creator of the long-running "semi-historical micro fiction" webcomic title, Teaching Baby Paranoia.  I met Johnson at an SPX several years ago and I've always enjoyed reading his wonderfully smart, intellectually wacky comic.  It's a bit like reading the history of a much more interesting world than our own.  He also created a limited comic series for ComixTalk titled The Antecedent that might be described as semi-historical micro nonfiction and often illuminated many interesting parallels between American history and our recent era under that Texas yankee who used to be President.

I was really happy he was able to do a cover for us last month and than an interview now.  Especially interesting is an update on the graphic novel titled The Lower Kingdom that Johnson is working on along with a preview of its first chapter.