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Schlock Mercenary

Seven Habits sounds like a story about Nuns at first...

The blog TechDirt covers the dust-up between the webcomic Schlock Mercenary and the Franklin Covey company which has a trademark on the title of the popular book by Stephen Covey, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."  Schlock's creator Howard Tayler has a funny and concise post up on the cease and desist letter he received regarding his parody "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates" which he is now retroactively changing to "The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries."

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 Monday, January 25, 2010

For what it's worth, I've got a fresh install of DRUPAL on the dev server at home, working up a streamlined version of ComixTALK.  Laid out the basic theme (moving to a 2 column layout) and now tackling cleaning up the horror that the tag and category system at ComixTALK has mutated into....  Right now I'm debating whether to port ComixTALK as is to the new server or wait until I get the redo... done.

One story that caught my eye this morning was this rant by blogger-czar Jason Calacanis about comScore.  Worth reading to think about.  Another interesting story from Tom Spurgeon, who has an essay up at the Comics Reporter which I think one could summarize as "wow, there are a lot more good comics than when I was younger..."  I guess I would add, "wow, there are a lot more good webcomics than 10 years ago..."  And if you need a recap of recent webcomic news, Delos has a whole bunch of interesting links covering last week at Art Patient.

NEW BOOK: John Allison posted the cover art from the forthcoming 8th book collection of Scary Go Round: "Recklessly Yours." 

Cory Likes Corndogs: Goats scores a favorable review from Boing Boing Blogger Cory Doctorow for the second book in the new series: The Corndog Imperative.

ZUDA IDOL SCANDAL? Digital Strips reports on the departure of one of the ten finalists from this month's Zuda popularity contest. Apparently The  Thunderchickens had a good shot of winning it too, so the undisclosed reasons for its departure must be something non-trivial.

POLLS: Over at the Washington Post's comics blog, Schlock Mercenary is leading their Best Webcomic of the Decade poll, followed by Girl Genius.

INTERVIEW: Inkstuds has an (audio) interview with Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Non-ZUDA CONTESTS: El Santo reports that John Lustig of Last Kiss is having a contest -- write the best dialogue for a comic captioned by Orson Scott Card.

ALL AGES: Comics For Kids has a list of recommended comics for the classroom.

Howard Tayler's Presentation on Making Money By Giving Webcomics Away

I can't recall if I posted to this at the time or not but it's still a good refresher for anyone wanting to make a go at it in webcomics this year.  Last August, Howard Tayler gave a great talk about his webcomic Schlock Mercenary and how he's made it into a full time business.  It's a good talk - not just about Howard himself, but going through how the Internet has disrupted the existing newspaper comic strip model.

Slightly related update: Jeff Jarvis accumulates the depressing statistics of 2008 for the newspaper bidniz here - which only serves to reinforce Howard's point that chasing newspaper syndication is like catching a ride on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

What's On My Monitor for Thursday, September 20, 2007

Yes, yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day... Aargh and me hearties and polly wanna cracker...



  • Eh it's from last month, but I forgot to link to it. A pretty entertaining if short interview with Warren Ellis, around the release of his Black Summer comic from Avatar. For all of the scattershot musing and ideas Ellis blasts across cyberspace every FREAKIN' day I wish he could channel a little bit of it into a serialized webcomic. (Is Freak Angels ever going to...well get its freak on?)


  • Jack Carter reviews Boxcar Astronaut by Marc Lapierre and Jeff Carter and Kidnapped By Gnomes by Kathy Peterson. I've read and heartily recommend Boxcar Astronaut - which is almost Calvin & Hobbes-esque in its ability to capture innocent wonder at the world.


  • Someone pointed out Idiot Comics on a thread yesterday. It is largely good although as much funny-wha?! as funny-ha-ha... Definitely worth checking out.

Webcomic Coloring Book

[This sounds like an idea for Lunchbox Funnies...]

Howard Tayler has a coloring book based on his webcomic, Schlock Mercenary and he's giving it to anyone who makes a Paypal donation of any size. The book is 22 pages long and includes a maze, a matching game, and a word-search suitable for grown-ups with twisted minds.

Noticas Para Martes, 12 Junio 2007

Big thanks to our current sponsors: the Learn To Draw the Human Figure anatomy course, Frank Schnaa's, the webcomic Pinky TA, and the FDA-not-approved product Promicin, and all of our Project Wonderful advertisers.


Schlock Mercenary turns 7 years old today. Congratulations to Howard Tayler; world domination is just around the corner. (Howard's post at his blog here)


Warren Ellis is running a vote on three webcomics (must have RSS feed to be eligibile) to add to the Engine site.

Mr Myth on D.J. Coffman's Hero By Night:

With the Hero by Night Journals, DJ managed to capture that same sense of background and history, all neatly defined and delineated. Neither the journals nor the comic were able to grab me independantly - one was the shadow of an already finished tale, the story of a hero whose time had already ended, while the other was no different than countless other comics, with a kid finding a magic widget and blundering into superpowers. But together they formed something more than the sum of their parts - a story with a firm sense of past and present, which manages to keep the read all the more interested in the comic’s future.


Wikipedia-Free News & Views For Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Before I get to today's news & views -- don't forget we had three new articles published in the magazine this week:

  • Terrence Marks interviews married creators, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier. This is actually the first in a series of five such interviews we'll be publishing this month.
  • New columnist Brigid Alverson covers five short story web manga this month in Small Packages.
  • Bryant Paul Johnson returns with another installment of his historically accurate series at Comixpedia: The Antecedent.
  • And of course a big thanks to Meghan Murphy of Kawaii Not for doing this month's cover art.