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Split Lip

SPX and Intervention 2010 Report

SPX 2010Intervention 2010Wow! SPX and Intervention in one long weekend of comics; it took me awhile to recover and get back to writing up lessons learned.  I felt a little stretched trying to cover ground at both conventions --  but it looks like no one will have to do that again as Intervention will almost certainly be on a different weekend in the Fall next year. Ideally, Intervention would be in the summer or spring to really separate it from SPX, but co-creator Oni Hartstein explained that a Spring date for the show would be cost prohibitive.

SPX was more of the same as it has been since the move to the Bethesda Convention Center -- one big room filled with rows and rows of comic creators talking about their comics with books and swag to sell.  The presence of webcomics at the show grows every year -- this year Kate Beaton was the rock star of the show, with lines longer than anyone else had.  Jeph Jacques' table and a whole group of webcomics at one corner of the room were all pretty constantly crowded from what I could tell.  It's kind of a no-brainer when you say it out loud, but if you have a webcomic with a decent to more than decent sized audience, SPX is potentially a really good show.  People are there for the comics and outside of New York, this is one of the best places on the East Coast to see a whole lot of the entire spectrum of comics.

5 Questions: Who Is Your Core Audience?

For a webcomic to be successful, it has to connect to a core audience. The core audience is the comic's natural readership, a defined group, the people who buy merchandise and recommend the comic to their friends. Core audiences are broad descriptions, of course (any single person in the group won't exactly fit the description), but they're useful in understanding a comic and its readers. For instance, Penny Arcade appeals to folks who enjoy video games (among other things). Hark! A Vagrant readers are educated, and have an interest in history and irreverent sense of humor. Understanding this helps determine what kind of content and merchandise may be well received by those comics' audiences.

5 Questions: Introductions

Hi, I'm Sam Costello. I'm the creator and writer of Split Lip, a horror webcomic in the vein of the Twilight Zone, which features work by artists from all over the world.

In thinking about what to write for the guest blog posts that Xaviar asked me to write, I realized that I'd been asking myself a lot of questions about webcomics recently (especially questions about Split Lip, many of which were prompted by my recent series of columns about making it at iFanboy). I had thoughts about the questions, but not enough answers. I don't know if anyone does, but I'm guessing the discussion we'll have about these questions will be useful to many of us - creators and readers alike. I'm looking forward to talking with you all this week.

Comix Talk for Monday, July 26, 2010

Magpie Luck by Katie Sekelsky


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.



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  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.

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.