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Randall Munroe

Comix Talk for Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SOCIAL MEDIA TIME: This week I created a Facebook page for ComixTALK - if you're on the FB, please "like" us.  I've already loaded to it a lot of my archive (2003-2010) of photos and the monthly cover art we used to run at ComixTALK.  Also - I find myself linking to more short stuff on twitter these days - you might find it mildly interesting to follow me on twitter

CONVENTION 'VENTION WHAT'S YOUR INTENTION: Zach Weiner has a post up on "convention tips" which is actually pretty funny. Hopefully you're not guilty of any of the "bad" behaviors noted but if any of it sounds like you, take Zach's advice next time you're at a con.

ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART: Steve Napierski with some good advice on starting and sticking with a webcomic.

PLUG ONE: Scott M.C. Cloud links to Ryan A's Nothing is Forgotten - a silent comic with "some pretty effective sequences (I especially like the way he uses windows)."  Ryan A also has some info on his process here.

PLUG TWO: Scott Kurtz moved to Seattle, Washington.  The characters in his webcomic, PvP, now look like they will be moving to Seattle.  How often does this happen in comic strips -- I'm not sure I can think of any other examples offhand.  In PvP's case, I've never thought of it as taking place anywhere specifically though so I'm not sure it has to have any impact on the strip. In other comics the location is more apparent and part of the comic -- changing locations could be a really risky thing.

PLUG THREE: xkcd with some excellent advice for Ke$ha.

Comix Talk for Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So I am trying to find time to work on two longer stories -- one on the transition of comics to the Internet.  Something with a larger perspective than a claustrophobic comics industry approach.  Second on the kerfuffle last week about a webcomics iPad app.  Lauren Davis wrote a legal analysis of RSS feeds and other aspects of the webcomics IPad that while not wrong, presented the issues as if they were settled. (Lauren's piece is worth reading - just read it as one possible answer to the issues.)  They're not and it's actually something I know a lot about (and know enough experts to round it out) but it'll take time to do the research (legal analysis requires CITES, folks!).  In the meantime...

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.

The Webcomic Overlook #100: xkcd

Ah, 100 reviews.

This is truly a milestone in the annals of The Webcomic Overlook lore. True, I’ve also written 20+ smaller reviews, which are actually longer an more elaborate than the earlier Webcomic Overlooks. Plus all those reviews I wrote for ComixTalk and Comic Fencing (all lovingly catalogued on this very site).

Still, 100 reviews and 500k page views is a hell of a milestone. So a big thank you to all the readers who have been following The Webcomic Overlook all this time. I seriously would not be writing these columns if it were not for you, your input, and your enthusiasm.

Now, let’s get past the valedictorian speech and on with the review. To commemorate the 100th, I asked you, the readers, on the Twittersphere — and if that term hasn’t been coined yet, I’m totally going to claim it — which webcomic I should review: xkcd or PHD? In an awesome demonstration of my Twitter prowess, I got four whole replies. One vote went to PHD, one vote went to Girls With Slingshots (automatically disqualified because it was not one of the options), one vote went to xkcd, and one vote went to something called kxcd.

Whatevah It's Friday

Scott McCloud has a post (and comment thread) on the ratio of comic to controls (navigatin') to crap (everything else) on the screen.  

An interview with Randall Munroe on the unusual publishing strategy for his first book, xkcd, Volume 0.


Rebecca Dart illustrates an old murder ballad.  Everyone is linking to this today and with good reason - Dart's imagination and the linework for the comic are both fantastic.

Josh Lesnick gives us an advance preview of next week's FWEEN headlines. Strip News 10-16-9

Congratulations to all the Harvey Awards winners and nominees and to Asterix’s 50th year milestone.

Now, with that out of the way…

  • iProng interviewed Krishna Sadasivam of PC Weenies and the New York Post interviewed Gareb Shamus. A Nickel’s Worth talked to Carl Moore and I’m finally seeing a lot of similar responses to question six every time a comic creator is interviewed. You may also want to see Agent-X’s tweeterview of that ArtPatient guy and theDish has a link to Randall Munroe’s interview plus more good news bits I didn’t cover here like Doonesbury’s online business plan. With all due diligence, there are more interviews and comic news to see on Paperless Comics and PW Beat, so stop over there too.
  • Looking for the funniest comics? See what everyone else voted as the funny and maybe suggest some for others to vote on. Is It Funny Today?
  • On the other hand, The Comics Reporter talked seriously about five truths about comics that might not be truths. Number four made me ponder why having printed copies of comics (or books) is so desirable. Is it then something tangible to be consumed? Is it a solid connection to the work?
  • Furthering the tech-talk portion of today’s bulletin, Strip Show 2.1 has been released into the wild with some useful new features. You may also want to give TinEye a try if you think that someone is re-posting your comic somewhere else and want to know where (note: it’s still building a database.) Joey Manley suggests getting other readers outside webcomicdom anyway, so don’t fret about people seeing your work other than your website.

Cloudy With a Chance of Zombies

That’s a pretty good post title right there. Somebody run with it, I assume that at the very least it’s a nice story seed.

But that’s not the point. I saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs before I left for Vegas, and loved the film. I’ve never read the book, so my expectations were set by the trailers. If I were to rank it with my summer movies it would go in the top five, but summer was so long ago! I should start a new list.

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!

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).

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.

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

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.

Wednesday Stuff About Webcomics

Did I mention SPX is this weekend?  Other stories of note:

Brigid Alverson reviews various iPhone apps for comics.
Gizmodo covers leaked information on Microsoft's new tablet computer.

Newsarama has a story on the webcomic Wide Awake and that Jarrod Feliciano and Mirjana Novkovic at Do-Over Productions recently optioned the film rights to it.  Do-Over Productions on its facebook page describes itself as "Do-Over Productions is a New York based independent production company. We love stories. Especially epic stories - not in their presentation, but in their content - epic in what they make you think and feel."

Scott McCloud commands that you read Derek Kirk Kim's new webcomic, Tune.  I do too.

Fallout Boy Pete Wentz now making FallOut Boy comics - an interview with the musician here.
Coverage of Randall Munroe's recent book reading and signing for xkcd: volume 0.  Video too.

Ender's Blog and Other Webcomic News

Just to lead off - PAX pox is on the loose... and in a funny guest Penny Arcade comic from Fox Trot cartoonist Bill Amend.

Farewell Scary Go RoundA longer goodbye message from creator John Allison on his blog here.  After reading the actual ending, I have no idea what's in store in his next comic -- which happily, I believe, kicks off on Monday. 

Randall Munroe has a book coming out!  xkcd: volume 0 will be released in the xkcd store next week. And Munroe will be on a limited book tour to support it. (Also today's xkcd?  I wonder how you'd have to tweak Ender's Game in the blog/tweet/etc world of today?  I mean part of its storyline basically reads "1. Blog; 2. ????; 3. World Domination!"  Anyhow - another brilliant comic from Munroe.)

Webcomic Week reviewed Chris Flick's Capes N Babes recently and Derik Badman reviews Kramer's Ergot 7.

Art Patient rounds up lots of webcomic reviews and interviews here.


Saw this on Sean Kleefeld's site - a video about fan culture with a whole lot of interviews of interesting folks including Scott Kurtz, Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik, Ryan Sohmer, and Lar deSouza.