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Phil Foglio

Girl Genius Day - Buy The Book!

Borrowing from the marketing jujitsu of Machine of Death, the Foglios have urged fans to buy TODAY the new (text) novelization of Girl Genius titled Agatha H and the Airship City -- if they sell a lot of books today it should draw the attention of buyers at independent book stores, and also push it up the rankings at

January 12 is Kaja's birthday, and it's also our self-declared Girl Genius Day! We're hoping you'll do something suitably mad and/or steampunkalicious for the occasion.

I also saw that Scott Kurtz wrote a nice post in support of the plan:

Today is Girl Genius day. And everyone reading this should celebrate.  For those that don’t know, Girl Genius is the amazing steampunk webcomic by Seattle based cartoonist Phil and Kaja Foglio. The couple recently published a prose novelization of their work called Agatha H and the Airship City. And tomorrow is the day they hope you buy it.The idea is that, if a lot of people buy the same book on the same day, it will help get them noticed by the buyers at your local independent book stores, and also push us up high in the rankings at sites like High sales rankings definitely help raise awareness of the series.  Tomorrow is also Kaja’s birthday. And buying the book would be an amazing gift to her.

Scott also mentions that Phil and Kaja are doing a book signing in Seattle at Ravenna Third Place Books (6504 20th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 9815).

Comix Talk for Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I suspect posting will be relatively light this month unless I get my act together this week and recruit some more interesting guest bloggers (I'm still open to unsolicited offers to guest blog!).  I started a little work on a story I thought might be interesting if I uncovered anything -- basically I tried to contact the first 100 members of ComixTalk thinking I might discover a mix of stories from people who've stayed pretty visible in comics to those whose stories maybe have never been well-covered.  I've gotten a few responses but it's too much work in tracking down folks to take that approach for any larger number of member accounts. (If you have an old account at ComixTalk you're having trouble accessing please let me know -- I'd be happy to try to help you out)  So my new pitch is -- if you joined ComixTalk (Comixpedia in those days) in 2003 and you're interested in giving me a snapshot of now and then for you in comics (I have some questions I've been emailing to folks; but that's what I'm after) please email, comment here or tweet me. 




CONVENTIONS: SPX announces that Dean Haspiel and Kate Beaton will be guests this year.  Between SPX and Intervention that is going to be an epic comics weekend in the DC area. 

MAILBAG: I got an email from creator Lee Leslie about the webcomic RiGBY, an Epic Webcomic about the Tales of an Amateur Barbarian.  RiGBY follows the adventures of the titular hero as she navigates a world of reanimated skeletons, warriors on dinosaurs and savage snake-men.  Leslie describes the webcomic as combining "the fun world-building of high fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings or Conan the Barbarian with a fun and relatable protagonist.  Basically, she’s the love child of Indiana Jones and Red Sonja.”

Comix Talk for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So two things ComixTalk-ish I want to mention:

  1. I need guest bloggers again due to vacation and other conflicts scattered throughout the fall.  I'll be asking (you know: begging) several folks personally, but if this strikes you as an interesting opportunity send me an email (xerexes AT gmail DOT com) or a tweet (xerexes).
  2. Lately, I've been really interested in experimenting with some ideas for a radio show (podcast I guess) and would love any and all tips or pointers to good FAQs on all of the technical side of producing audio and/or video shows for the web.

Neil Jam by Neil Fitzpatrick

INTERVIEW: Cross Topic interviewed Neil Fitzpatrick of the comic Neil Jam.


NOT WEBCOMICS: David Rees, creator of the webcomic Get Your War On, reincarnation of Andy Kaufman or frustrated Bob Villa?  You decide!

CONVENTIONS: Scott McCloud offers a word of advice derived from his recap of the recent SDCC: patience.

FRIENDS OF LULU: Valerie D'Orazio blogs about the state of Friends of Lulu and although it's a very forthcoming post, it's probably not the entire story (there's always other sides to the story).  Nevertheless I feel for D'Orazio who seems to have made efforts to improve things but had a hard time rallying support from members or outside supporters.  In fact, to D'Orazio's view things have gotten to the breaking point as she writes:

If by September 2010 nobody steps forward and shows interest in helping run this organization, I will start taking steps to officially dissolve it as a non-profit. Then I will donate the leftover money (if any) between the other major comics charities, return the donated artwork, and ship the historical records and sketchbooks to a University or MoCCA.  Before I would take steps to dissolve FoL (if it comes to that), I will personally contact a number of concerned parties via a mass email asking for volunteers to keep the organization going.
I have been the president of a volunteer organization a couple of times now and I can tell you it's never easy!  And not everyone has every skill set needed to run a group well -- success is often dependent on having allies who complement your weaknesses with their strengths.  I don't know what's going to happen to FoL but hopefully D'Orazio's post will start a more transparent and public discussion on the future of this organization.

Webcomics Auction for the Gulf Coast

Webcomics Auction for the Gulf Coast

I want to point folks to the Webcomics Auction for the Gulf Coast organized by Carly Monardo.  The actual auction will launch in early July but webcomic artists can look into donating work for the auction now.

Snakehead Games Webcomic Contest: $1000 Prizes

Colin Ferguson, Community Director for Snakehead Games, wrote to tell us about a webcomic award they're running within their community.  Snakehead runs two free browser games: Star Pirates and Spy Battle: 2165 and Ferguson said that they've been able to build their gaming community in large part due to partnerships with webcomics from familar folks like Howard Taylor, Kris Straub and Phil Foglio.  As a thank you, Snakehead is running a poll amongst its members to decide which of 10 remaining webcomics will win two $1000 awards: one a $1000 in Project Wonderful advertising and the other $1000 in cash.  The $1000 in advertising goes to the top vote getter and the $1000 in cash will be sort of a lottery (every vote cast in the “Round of 20″ will be put in a virtual hat. One of the votes will be selected, and that’s the winner).

Starslip Ad for Star Pirates

I remember seeing the custom ads for the game Star Pirates that various sci-fi themed webcomics designed and ran and that's a great way to partner with a webcomic.  Snakehead Games obviously hopes to get more members and traffic out of this but so what, it's a pretty cool idea and win-win for them and the webcomics involved.  The 10 webcomics remaining in their contest are Girl Genius, XKCD, Legostar Galactica, Erfworld, Looking for Group, Order of the Stick, Darths and Droids, Schlock Mercenary, Kevin and Kell, and Questionable Content.  Final results of this contest are expected to be announced in mid-June.

Comix Talk for Thursday, April 8, 2010

Split Lip Volume 2 by Sam CostelloFleen reported yesterday that Phil Foglio caught that Merriam Webster had "webcomic" up as a new word for April 2010.  I've always liked webcomic because (1) it's self-explanatory and (2) no one calls comedians doing something online "webcomics".

CONVENTIONS: MoCCA is this weekend.  Sam Costello the creator of the horror webcomic Split Lip will be debuting a special limited edition of its Volume 2 trade paperback with a new, previously unpublished story and a new cover by Shane Oakley.  The 10 stories in the collection offer 160 pages of disturbing, intellectual horror stories with art by Sami Makkonen (Hatter M vol. 2), Anthony Perruzo (Zuda), John Bivens (Comic book Tattoo), and Jason Ho (Agnes Quill). 

And Brigid Alverson has a round-up of lots more great books that will be available at MoCCA.

INTERVIEWS: The Beat has an interview with Hope Larson and Raina Telgemeier.  Together they're hosting the "Drink & Draw Like A Lady" event.

AWARDS: You can make nominations for the Eagle awards now.  Go Intertubes go...


So The Boy with Nails for Eyes by Shaun Gardiner is pretty interesting.  It's a webcomic with music, and a kind of delayed, cinematic presentation of the panels on a "page" that pushes -- but in my mind mostly doesn't break -- the boundary of comicness.  Really in terms of experimenting with the notion of a comic embedded in the web, this is fantastic stuff.  And the interface used to navigate within the "page" and to go from page to page is pretty easy.  So far there is only one chapter up of what is supposed to be a much longer story.  The art is fantastic, the brief text so far interesting, hard to guess if the work as a whole will be satisfying but certainly Gardiner's setting a high bar for himself.  I heartily recommend checking this out.

Nate Wunderman wrote to mention his webcomics E.I. and Time Corps.  Talk about extremes - I went from being immersed in the webbiness of The Boy with Nails for Eyes to Wunderman's comics which are all presented in pdf format.  I can't repeat this enough -- use an image format that's native to browsers.  You want to offer a .pdf as an alternate version, great, but start with something from the holy trinity of image formats; gif, jpg and png.

Comix Talk for Monday, April 5, 2010

Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated

AWARDS: The Hugos now include a regular Best Graphic Novel category -- which is really pretty fantastic.  This year's nominees include two webcomic entries: Girl Genius, Vol. 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm -- Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment); and Schlock Mercenary: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse -- Written and illustrated by Howard Tayler. (h/t Robot6)

REVIEWS: Hecklr has a nice review of John Allison's three webcomic series: Bobbins, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery

CONVENTIONS: Pete Abrams, creator of Sluggy Freelance, is going to be at Intervention. Jamie Noguchi, creator of Yellow Peril, former artist on Erfworld is going to be at SPX.

INTERVIEWS: I missed this in my mailbag last month, but Public Radio Kitchen interviewed Franklin Einspruch about his painted comics which he posts online at The Moon Fell On Me.  Einspruch is creating a kind of comic tone poem with his work; I found myself liking it more than I would have expected.  It's largely a very peaceful experience reading through his comics.

FROM THE MAILBAG:  I got a nice email about a comic called Indestructible Will which is about a character who doesn't feel pain (apparently a real medical condition).  Unfortunately the comic is only available in pdf format, so you have to download each chapter before you can read it.  There's just no reason to do that.  Most readers aren't going to go to the extra step of downloading your unknown work when they could just as easily read a jpg, png or gif in their browser.

I got an email about FR33, self-described as "a webcomic about a drug abusing self-proclaimed artist, seeking his place in a near-future world of free culture" which is another photo comic.  Since I'm giving out practical website advice today, I'd redo the "about" page to tell readers a bit more about the comic, maybe even try to pitch the longer-term arc of it to try and sell the comic.

Comix Talk for Friday, February 26, 2010

Art by Vera Brosgol

What a week it was... or was it?!  El Santo posts up a question about "what age of comics" are we in?  I think both in terms of the evolution of digital platforms and explosion of variety of subject matter this decade represented the beginning of a new era.  What to call it though?  Digital is only half the story.

SWIPER NO SWIPING! Two incidents of bad behavior this week - one already rectified.  FLEEN has a writeup of Hot Topic's selling of ripped-off artwork from Vera Brosgol.  I saw bits of the twitter stream on this yesterday and while Hot Topic seriously needs to revamp it's IP review in its process of acquiring product, the "producer" of this shirt was some band. (The Beat has a picture comparing t-shirt to artwork)  Artists ripping off other artists? Not cool guys.  The other big to-do this week was Nick Simmon copying artwork repeatedly from the manga seriesTite Kubo Bleach.  Simmon's publisher Radical has pulled his book for now.

MONEY MONEY MONEY:  Rare comic books sell for one million dollars.  Okay, whatever?  I don't care one way or the other about rare comic book sales -- I like to read comics, not collect physical artifacts.

INTERVIEW: CBR interviews Phil Foglio about his current webcomic Girl GeniusThe Foglios are having a donation drive for their colorist Cheyenne Wright who was quite ill (but good news! is recovering).

CONTEST: Raina Telgemeier is having a contest where you can win a copy of her new graphic novel Smile.  Deadline is this Sunday!

Rolling Update For Friday

Wow- the first full week of 2010 at ComixTalk and I'm still surprised how much folks are talking about'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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Plastic Man Returns!

Catching up on my comics-reading since returning from Comic Con and Connecticon, I see that I almost missed the return of my all-time favorite character, Plastic Man, to active duty in the JLA.