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Christopher Baldwin

Comix TALK for February 9, 2011

Hey! Christopher Baldwin's Spacetrawler book is now available! It looks great.  I hope you're already reading this entertaining science fiction story on the web.  I wasn't sure how it would work when Baldwin started, but he's managed to incorporate a lot of his past themese with relationships, motivations, and morality into what is a really fun, rollicking adventure story.

iWEBCOMICS: The Beat covers Diamond's announcement of its new digital comics program and its partnership with iVerse.

REVIEW: Tangents reviews Faith Erin Hicks' Adventures of Superhero Girl.

INTERVIEWS

MAILBAG: Jonathan Murdock writes, "Hello just promoting my webcomic Dungeon Hordes." Okay - consider it promoted! :)

Comix Talk for Thursday, January 20, 2011

INTERVIEWS

BE OUR GUEST: Christopher Baldwin is filling in on art chores for the all ages webcomic Snowflakes.

EUROPE

Zampano is new webcomics site that features established European comic creators. The site has been up and running successfully for two years in German. Recently it has added English and French versions of its comics. Updated five times a week, Zampano showcases free serialization of  autobiographical, political, experimental and fantastic graphic novels by creators like  David Boller (Kaos Moon, Witchblade, Spider-Man, Elfquest), Rene Lehner (Oscureo) et Rudolph Perez (Zebra).

Zampano founder David Boller, a veteran of the American mainstream industry, is excited about the multi-lingual and multi-platform publication possibilities thanks to modern technology and the internet: “Technology is giving the power back to the creators. We’re taking the same approach with our projects similar to what the music industry did years ago. We’ll create the content, keep all the rights and hire distributors, digital as well as brick and mortar, and gang print the books at a central location in Europe. A novel and profitable concept for a future, in which the pie has become to small to share? We think so.”

MAILBAG

Richard Pulfer writes that his webcomic Blue Yonder is running a contest that asks fans submit to submit a superhero character that Pulfer and co-writer Luke Perks will proceed to pen a demise for in a one-page story.  Art will be by Diego Diaz, the artist on Blue Yonder.  The deadline for submissions is February 1st, with the winners announced and posted on the website soon after. 

Pulfer adds that while the contest might sound a bit morbid, it’s not without precedent. In 1988, DC Comics held a telephone poll determining the fate of the second Robin Jason Todd, resulting in the acclaimed Batman story “A Death in the Family.” DC also held a contest for fan-submitted superheroes in 1998. The winner Retro was killed by the supervillain Prometheus, who used his identity to enter the Justice League’s Watchtower HQ.

Comix Talk for Monday, July 26, 2010

Magpie Luck by Katie Sekelsky

MILESTONES

AWARDS: Congrats to Cameron Stewart for his webcomic Sin Titulo winning the Eisner for Best Digital Comic this year.

HYPE: The prequel comic to the movie Inception is pretty good actually.

INTERVIEWS

FROM THE MAILBAG

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison writes "After taking a couple years on hiatus upon completion of my webcomic Fabricari: Ad Hoc, I've decided to cull together all of my Fabricari related comics and art in preparation for some sort of omnibus thinger. I've re-lettered and posted issues one and two online.  As a bonus, I found a fifteen year-old uninked short story, the very first Fabricari comic; I inked it and also posted it on my site. It's a weird collaboration between my 19 and 34 year old self. It's a bit weird, but I couldn't be happier with the results.  And coming soon: The re-scanned, re-lettered pages from issue three!

Sam Costello writes:  I've got a new Split Lip site - now on its own domain at www.splitlipcomic.com.  The main benefits of the new site are that the art is much bigger (about a third bigger), which makes for a much nicer reading experience. It also has a blog from me. It's got all 31 Split Lip stories - nearly 500 pages of free horror comics.

Christopher Baldwin writes about his wonderful (not just my opinion - check out the io9 review) new science fiction webcomic, Spacetrawler which has been running since January of this year.

I am planning it to be a 3 year project, with one book per year (it runs twice-weekly, so approx 104 pages per book). It is full color. The books will be divided similar to the Star Wars movies, where each stands alone but there is also an over-arching plot.  Although a gag strip, there is a lot of depth in character and plot. And the cast is large enough that it took me about 5 months just to fully introduce everyone. Now that I have, things have begun happening en force, and judging by the comments on my page, people are loving that.

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.

JUSTIFY VARIOUS PEOPLE'S HYPE:

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):

Rolling Update For Friday

Wow- the first full week of 2010 at ComixTalk and I'm still surprised how much folks are talking about webcomics.com's and keenspot's recent announcements.  I think with the struggling ad market we may see another year of tremendous experimentation as folks try out old and new business ideas alike.  I wonder about the "swag" market -- a recent tweet about the amount of postage bought by Topatoco last year reminded me how little we know about trends in that area.  Sure we hear from individual cartoonists when they do well or not but I don't think anyone has an idea of whether collective sales of comics-related t-shirts, stickets, etc is going up or down over time.

Also, I guess the 3-D hype from movies and teevee has come to comics -- Comics Alliances writes up a recent effort at a 3-D webcomic.

Last another site note: I'm definitely going to a new site design, probably timed to moving to a new host; ideally within this month.  In the meantime partially inspired by the video of Lark Pien's Small Destructions installation I saw, I'm using the "cover" art slot here and changing it often (call it not-quite-daily).  I hope folks like some of them or at least don't mind.  We had 83 cover artists (give or take - some were collaborations) over 7 years and I finally thought I'd like to take my own turn at it.

INTERVIEWS
Scott McCloud mentioned Dan Goldman's new webcomic Red Light Properties which has a panel at a time interface (Scott seems to approve) and pointed to an interview Goldman at the Graphic NYC blog.

An interview with Dinosaur Comics creator Ryan North focusing on his many webcomic tools like the ad system Project Wonderful and the RSS site, RSSpect.  Worth noting North recently added plans to add on January 30th geotargeting to the Project Wonderful platform.

TUTORIALS
ArtPatient has links to lots of free webcomic tutorial sites as well as Delos's usual amazingly complete round-up of interviews, reviews and other announcements.

AWARDS
The comic book website Broken Frontiers names Girl Genius the Best Webcomic of 2009.

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Be sure to check out Christopher Baldwin's new webcomic Spacetrawler.

Boing Boing reports that the first two volumes of Wizzywig, Ed Piskor's graphic memoir of the early days of the BBS/hacking/phreaking scene, have been posted online.

CHASING THE TITANIC
Daily Cartoonist reports Bridgett Spicer’s webcomic Squid Row has landed a spot in The Monterey County Herald.

And It's Friday Folks! That's a wrap...

Hey - Google Wave invites are out and mine apparently got misplaced in the email.  So if you've got one to spare set me up (xerexes at gmail DOT com).  Thanks!

BUSINESS
PBS does one of those "look people are making a living making webcomics" stories.  They did interview interesting people for it -- from Randall Munroe (xkcd) to Howard Tayler (Shlock) to R Stevens (Diesel).

INTERVIEW
Nice interview with Gordon McAlpin of Multiplex touching on movies and Chicago.

Newsarama has an interview with Emma Caulfield, actress and now webcomic auteur.  How very interesting that Newsarama has the scoop on the new webcomic Contropussy which has a creative team consisting of Emma Caulfield, Camilla Outzen Rantsen, Christian Meesey, Thomas Mauer, and Blog@Newsarama columnist Christian Beranek.

REVIEW
Johanna Draper Carlson reviews High Moon, the second book from Zuda. 

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Chris Yates connects the dots on Colleen's tattoo but really Jon's disco solo sold it for me.

FLEEN flagged that Christopher Baldwin has a work-in-progress site up for Spacetrawler, a webcomic he seems to be working towards launching next year.

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!

Little Dee Amongst the Classics

Christopher Baldwin's Little Dee got a nice writeup alongside the classics of newspaper comics in a review of recent book collections by Douglas Wolk in the Washington Post Book World section. (unfortunately you need to log-in to see Washington Post articles, check bug-me-not.com for possible existing log-in info)

Little Dee is on the web at http://www.littledee.net/ 

Stumptown Comics Fest 2007

The Stumptown Comics Fest will be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 - 30, from 10 AM - 6 PM, at the Lloyd Center Doubletree in Portland, Oregon. Admission is $5 at the door.

Special guests include Matt Wagner, Carol Lay, Peter Bagge, Shaenon Garrity, Mike & Laura Allred, Sarah Oleksyk, and Ted Rall. More details at the website: stumptowncomics.com.

 

 

Updates On Entries in the Ill-Fated Webcomic Directory Project?

I built a "library" of webcomics and creators back in the fall of 2005 which I put into beta before realizing it was too much editorial work to deal with and the same information could be better provided through the community edited webcomic wiki - COMIXPEDIA.

Nevertheless looking back on the assortment of names collected (some from me, some sent in from you) I wonder if anyone has any significant updates on these creators 18 months later. Maybe we should interview some of them?