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Tom Tomorrow

Comix Talk for Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Culture Pop by Seth Kushnar

Seth Kushnar's CulturePop debuted this week.  The first one is about Alyssa Loveless talking about performing and her music.  I really dig Kushnar's website Graphic NYC, and this comic project looks very promising.  Different vibe but its somewhat similar to a great journalistic comic called CulturePulp by Mike Russell.

BUSINESS: Tom Tomorrow's current comic is a funny take on the Internet but a little bitter about the changes waste the Internet is laying to existing business models.  Tomorrow and Reuben Bolling are two extremely talented cartoonists that should be able to make it in the Internet world.  Maybe they need their own Robert Khoo business guru but if nothing else they ought to talk to Jeff Rowland at Topataco and see what they can do with taking control of their merchandizing opportunities.

LEGAL: Linda Joy Kattwinkel, Esq., Intellectual Property and Arts Attorney at Owen, Wickersham & Erickson writes a post on what to do when your artwork is being ripped off.  Good advice.

AWARDS: James Hudnall writes about his experience being a judge for the Eisner nominations this year.

MILESTONES: Shaenon Garrity reports that Daniel Merlin Goodbrey has concluded his webcomic All Knowledge Is Strange and started a new webcomic 100 Planets.

REVIEWS: LeftyFilms.com reviews this month's Zuda contestants. (h/t Artpatient.com)

HYPE: BleedingCool.com has a bit more and pix on the upcoming book Kill Shakespeare.  Plus a take from a Shakespeare scholar.

NOT WEBCOMICS: BleeedingCool.com has a round-up of the recent uncovering of work Jack King Kirby did for an animation house in the 80s.  Neat to see even more ideas from the comics legend.

Tom Tommorrow's Eulogy For the Alt Weekly Comic

It's an interesting post from the creator of This Modern World covering the history of comics in those weekly alternative newspapers.  It's in the context of those papers killing off cartoons left and right and the creators, like Tom Tomorrow, who made their living from that particular business model lamenting the loss.

It's a good read -- on one level simply a fond and emotional tribute to some great cartoonists but on another level it really highlights how hard it is too shift gears in mid-life and after figuring out "success" in one particular way.  Could Tom Tomorrow make a go of it with This Modern World on the Internet and probably with books and other swag?  With Rick Marshall-like link-fu getting his comics embedded in every opinion and comic site on the Internet?  You know - probably. But not necessarily in a day and possibly not to the same level of success as today (really - who knows ahead of time?).

The Alternative Comic Apocalypse

Tom Tommorrow has a post with commentary from Max Cannon about the increasing number of alternative weekly papers simply dropping all of their comics.  I emphasize with Cannon as to not at all getting why papers are dropping one of the most popular parts of their paper but still grimace when I see that Cannon isn't making anything from or via his web presence. 

I have no idea what Tom Tomorrow and Max Cannon have tried to do (well I do know Tom Tomorrow has used his site as a decent political blog for awhile and has sometimes pushed a book of his through it but I think that's it...) but I'm sort of shocked that a popular cartoonist isn't trying harder to push up the percentage of their revenue from new sources like a web strategy.  Even the sharply declining newspapers themselves now have a decent chunk of their revenue from online publication efforts (not enough to repleace what they're losing but not 0% either).

You Hockey Puck!

TOOLS
Publishers Weekly has a story on an upgrade to the Sony e-book reader.  Still expensive ($399) but better touch screen, a readling light and more storage capacty (also will play music!?).  

CIVIC LESSONS
An interview with Tom Tomorrow who has a book collection out, called The Future's So Bright, I Can't Bear to Look.

An interview with Ted Rall who will be at SPX in Bethesda MD this weekend.

Kerry Edwards brings the pain.

NOT WEBCOMICS
Penny Arcade's Episode Two of its videogame Adventures on the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is almost set for release.

An opera based on Dinosaur Comics -- not the first such cross-medium adaptation (Too Much Coffee Man probably claims that footnote in history) but still pretty unusual.  It's tonight if you're interested in attending!

New MC Frontalot album: Final Boss.

A Tip O' The Hat For the Last Game At Webcomic Stadium

Welcome to ComixTalk... may I take your order?  I've got an interview with the elusive Pokey the Penguin up and Brigid Alverson talks with Jeremy Ross of TokyoPop about its Manga Pilots program.   You may also want to check out my weekend post chock-filled with links to interesting stories and a new comic worth checking out.  (What exactly is a "chock" and how would you fill it?)

INTERVIEWS
Missed this, but Creative Commons has an interview with Mr. Diesel Sweeties, Rich Stevens.  Back in 2005, ComixTalk held a roundtable on creative commons licenses and comics with T Campbell, Lawrence Lessig, Neeru Paharia, Mia Garlick, JD Frazer, and Cory Doctorow.

ComixMix has an interview with D.J. Coffman, currently working on Flobots. (Folks should also check out D.J.'s very recent post on hosting your webcomic yourself - a short guide to getting started online independently.)

Digital Strips has a short interview with Zach Weiner - of SMBC and Captain Excelsior infamey.

Rick Marshall had a great interview with Jennie Breeden of Devil's Panties.

Gaming Angel has an interview with Randall Munroe of xkcd and Benjamin Birdie and Kevin Church of The Rack (h/t Journalista!)

LA TIMES interviews Josh Neufeld on his webcomic A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.

Tom Spurgeon had a great interview with Scott McCloud on the new collection of his ZOT! comic.

CBR had a two-part interview with Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak - click for part one and part two.

REVIEWS

Artpatient.com has a review of Chasing the Sunset.

BUSINESS
David Rothman looks at the decline in traffic to Wowio.com but as Dirk Deppey notes, Wowio was essentially off the air for a good chunk of the summer.

AWARDS
I neglected to mention Andrew Wahl won first and third place in the International Cartoon contest at the Homer Davenport Days festival in Oregon earlier this month.  Wahl is a talented cartoonist - check out more of his work here.  Also, I just think it's cool that a town has an entire festival to celebrate Homer Davenport - an internationally respected and pioneering political cartoonist from the turn of the century.

CONVENTIONS
Two East Coast events coming up fast.  First this coming weekend is the Baltimore Comicon (with, as FLEEN notes, the only East Coast appearance of all four How To Make Webcomics authors) The Baltimore Comicon is where the Harvey Awards are presented - Shaenon Garrity has the scoop on a contest to win tickets to the Harvey Awards

Next from October 4-5th is my hometown (close enough anyhow) convention, the Small Press Expo (SPX) over in Bethesda, Maryland.  The Ignatz Awards are presented at SPX.  Guests include Bryan Lee O’Malley, James Kochalka, Richard Thompson, Tom Tomorrow, etc!

JUSTIFY MY HYPE
Dirk Deppey links to this pretty cool idea -- The Superest wherein Kevin Cornell and Matthew Sutter take turns creating superheroes and villains that defeat each other’s creations.  And Tom Spurgeon links to news of a book deal for the site.

Satire Explained by Tom Tomorrow

Tom Tomorrow on New Yorker Cover Controversy

I wasn't going to post again about the New Yorker cover that got the media so worked up this week but this cartoon/column by Tom Tomorrow is too funny not to link.

Tom Tomorrow's Desk

Just an interesting shot of the state of Tom Tomorrow's desk while he's working on his weekly comic, This Modern World. Not surprisingly for an opinionated cartoonist with a relatively static art style, Tomorrow spends a lot of time on the idea and the words for each comic before mixing in the art.

Also, Tomorrow is the godfather of the group of alt-editorial cartoonists, Cartoonists With Attitude, where you can find lots more opinionated creators.

Rolling Post-Halloween News Round-Up

Thanks to everyone for making Fright Night 8 a success. Check out the comics if you haven't already. There were a lot of other cool Halloween-related posts in the blogs so check 'em all out!

MILESTONES

  • Concerned has wrapped up. This really is a hilarious parody of the video game Half-Life 2. Much like Tom Stoppard's famous play Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead zeroes in on minor characters from Hamlet, Concerned follows the adventures of a new, seemingly minor character, Gordon Frohman, who weaves through the plot of Half Life 2 without disturbing the official narrative of the game. Creator Christopher Livingston put in a year and a half into this project and within what he set out to do, I'd say he succeeded fantastically.

LEGAL

INTERVIEW

CONVENTIONS

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

More Platinum Duck, Interviews, Etc.

I'm going to try breaking these longer posts up into categories - tell me if it's helpful or not...

News

Drunk DuckI started a thread to discuss the Platinum-Drunk Duck deal here - I added links to other discussions in the comments if you're interested in reading more about it.

Aaron MacGruder AWOL from Boondocks return. Or so the Washington Post reports. The Comics Reporter notes that the Dallas Morning News also has a good story on this subject.

The Comic Reporter also points to a deal between McClatchy-Tribune and PopMatters.com to carry PopMatters.com stories on McClatchy's MCT Campus wire service for college and highschool newspapers. PopMatters.com was founded in 1999 by Sarah Zupko and also carries several webcomics on its site.

Interviews

Jon RosenbergWizard interviewed Jon Rosenberg (creator of Goats) yesterday. I just want to highlight this part because I think Jon's answer makes a lot of sense:

What professional title do you prefer: webcomicker, webcomics artist, creator or what's the standard these days? Or is there one?

ROSENBERG: When people ask me what I do, I tell them I draw comics. Titles are a pretty silly thing, I don't know if there is a standard but I'm sure it is a topic of heated debate on some message board somewhere.

The people who concern themselves with those sorts of things, I find, would do better to focus on their comics.

Random Interviews has one with Fred Grisolm, creator of Hate Song.

Plugs and Reviews

I missed it but Mitch Clem is updating NN2S again. Huh-zah!

Over at CBR, Meaghan Quinn plugs the new webcomic from Petie Shumate, Girl/Robot. G/R is kind of a one-note affair (girl says/does something, robot takes it literally, hijinks/disaster ensues) but so far Shumate is consistently cracking me up with it. I'd give it a try if you haven't already.

Everything ElseI'm Just Drinking

Gilead's got a post on Phil Kahn's I'm Just Drinking vidcast - webcomics and alcohol... who'd thunk it? I watched part of it last night - not bad and Phil does a decent job of actually demonstrating how to make the drinks which is good since that's probably the key part of the show. :)

Fleen links to Scott Marshall's post about the Halifax edition of the Word on the Street festival where he met Hope Larson, Joey Comeau, and Ryan North.