SAN FRANCISCO—Modern Tales (www.moderntales.com), one of the Web’s premier webcomics sites, is proud to announce the addition of five new comics to its lineup. The new comics are:
+Alma Mater, by Whitney June Robinson, a comic following five colorful sixth-graders at Blenheim School for Girls, a traditional all-girls’ prep school.
+Bellen, by Box Brown, a daily strip about the quirky relationship between significant others Ben and Ellen.
+Minus World, by Bill Mudron and Anne Maloney, a weekly strip about life in the offices of Minus World Game Studios, “where misanthropic, heartbroken bastards from all over the world have gathered to create overpriced gaming software.”
+Nice Work, by Geoff Grogan, an ongoing graphic novel set in Hollywood in 1960. The story follows Johnny Cat, a professional stand-in for Frank Sinatra, and his adventures with an array of early ‘60s idols.
+Steverino, by Steve Emond, a semi-autobiographical strip about an average nerd, by the creator of the Slave Labor comic book Emo Boy.
In addition, It’s About Girls, by Sahsha Andrade and William G, is moving from Modern Tales Longplay to the Modern Tales Strip Lounge, where it will become a weekly comic. A critical favorite in webcomics circles, It’s About Girls is a romantic comedy about a man called Icon and his circle of friends, which includes a pro wrestler, a girl who runs a porn site, and a college freshman who sometimes fails to wear pants.
The new comics will debut on Modern Tales in the first week of February. Over the course of the next two weeks, Garrity will interview the creators for the Talk About Comics blog (www.talkaboutcomics.com).
Apparently you can now podcast PDF’s to iTunes (and from there to iPods). That’s a very promising development for those interested in distributing comics to portable entertainment devices — the iPod being the mack-daddy of all portable entertainment devices. I guess I gotta study up on autogeneration of PDF’s within PHP, so I can build this into WCN. Too many acronyms, yes? Yes.
Elitist that I am, I was never much into KISS (I even broke up with a guy once because I thought it was creepy that he liked them — yes, I was a music snob in high school! shocking, I know!). When they come out with a Siouxsie and the Banshees comic, or maybe one featuring the classic lineup of The Smiths in slam-bang crimefighting action, then I’ll probably get more excited.
It looks like it’s official: The 2007 Results for the Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards are posted here and every category is like a five-way tie! Either that, or these are nominations mis-labeled as results.
Everyone’s a winner, but it looks like there are no really huge winners this year. Last time it seemed like several artists were nominated in half a dozen categories; this year it looks like the most nominations a single artist recieved were like four. What does this mean? Maybe there were no big break-away hits this year. Maybe a wider variety of artists are involved in the nominations, and so a wider variety of comics are being nominated. Maybe any comic with more than four nominations was automatically disqualified from two of them. Maybe the new bi-annual schedule has everybody totally confused as to what to vote for.
Here are some of the Modern Tales-related artists that totally brought it real strong. Congratulations to all of them as well as the other nominees.
AND YES! I know you are all excited that I have been nominated for Outstanding Romantic Comic after having been disqualified last year by the romantically retarded. I’d like to thank everybody who nominated me knowing full well that they were probably throwing away their vote. Before you start partying too hard, I’ll remind you that I was also totally nominated last year, right before getting disqualified, so there’s no guarantee I won’t be disqualified again by somebody who thinks that character with the long blonde hair in my comics is my mom.
OH AND, what exactly is the connection between this thing and Keenspot? The WCCA site has been running big banner ads for the Keenspot comics that were nominated, and there’s a big Keenspot icon next to the address. Anybody know the story on this?
In case you haven’t yet noticed, Spike’s WCN comic Templar, Arizona is effing brilliant.
She decided to start taking pre-orders for a print compilation a few weeks agothirteen days ago (!), with the understanding that she had to get to the $3000 mark in actual money before she could commit to a print run.
The telethon thermometer thingie on the top of her site right now says she’s up to $2991. That means she lacks $9. The pre-orders only amount to $15 each. So: the very next person who pre-orders a copy of the book guarantees that Templar, Arizona will see print.
Don’t you want to be that person? The person who pushes the project over the line? The one who makes webcomics history?
“Everything Will Be OK,” directed by Don Hertzfeldt and based on his webcomic “Anesthetics,” has won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival, it is reported. As Marc pointed out in comments, “It’s extracool news considering it was up against all the live action movies - animation almost never wins at Sundance! Go animation!!”
Or, as Hertzfeldt puts it “‘rejected’ and ‘meaning of life’ failed to even get honorable mentions out here in their day and i was told it’s a rare thing indeed for an animated film to slay all the dragons and become the sundance grand master champion, so that’s pretty cool.”
Little birdies sent me a link to this page on the always entertaining Web Cartonist Choice Awards site. I don’t know if it’s meant for public consumption yet, because it’s labeled “2007 results” when it’s pretty clearly at best a couple of 2007’s nominees, it’s right next to a timeline that says “January 22 - Top nominees announced, final voting round begins,” the adresss bar shows a big Keenspot favicon, etc. So, it may be a work in progress, it may be completely unofficial, and it may get yanked down ten seconds after I link to it, but here it is and I’m pretty sure it’s not a hoax. Or maybe it is. If someone made a joke WCCA page, how would you tell?
Anyway, if it gets taken down by the time you read this, here is what it says:
“As revealed in a National Geographic documentary to be screened later this month, the creation of the two-headed dog was the first step in an astonishing race by Cold War scientists to achieve the seemingly impossible - the first ever human head transplant. In pursuing this medical goal, Vladimir Demikhov - and his American rival, Robert White - may seem to be the epitome of immoral scientists who ignored all ethical considerations in their pursuit of scientific advance. But in their own minds, they were brilliant pioneers prepared to think the unthinkable for the greater good of mankind.”
Just got this in via email. I don’t usually just post announcements verbatim (so, yeah, don’t take this as a hint to start sending them to me — grar), but Hourly Comics Day sounds like a fun project:
February 1, 2007, is the second annual Hourly Comic Day–an event where cartoonists draw journal comics to document each hour of their day. More than 100 participants from around the world took the challenge last year, making Hourly Comics showing how they spent an average day: working, travelling, napping, even going to the bathroom. Contributors showed us the passage of their lives through one rotation of the Earth.
The project began with Chicago-based cartoonist John Campbell. Each January, Campbell painstakingly chronicles the moments of his life in hourly journal comics. The Hourly Comic is viewable on Campbell’s website, and updates each hour in January with a new comic from his adventures the previous day. In a webcomic market overcrowded with daily journal strips, Campbell’s work explores the organic rhythms of his life in rigid hourly increments. Moments of joy, tragedy and humor stand out in sharp relief when laid against the tedium of hourly existence.
The challenge of the project appealed to other cartoonists and Hourly Comic Day 2006 expanded Campbell’s project to a global level. All over the world, no matter their time zone, no matter their talent level, professional and amateur cartoonists alike were drawing the sweep of an entire day and showing a panorama of modern life. You can read last year’s entries here .
Now, in 2007, we’re hoping to make the project even bigger. The rules are simple:
1. For every hour that you are awake on February 1, 2007, make a comic describing something about the past hour. Maybe you ate some cereal? Maybe you rode the subway? So if you wake up at 7 a.m., make a comic some time before 8 a.m. Then, after 8 a.m., make another one before it becomes 9 a.m.
2. When you’re done, scan the comics in and post them here.
Don’t think you draw very well? It doesn’t matter–if you’re awake on February 1, 2007, you’re already qualified to participate. Show everyone how much you hate your alarm clock, what you eat for breakfast, the bland jokes your co-workers make and the song you sing to yourself in the shower. Nothing’s too silly or too mundane on Hourly Comic Day.
If you’re a Colts fan, or even a godless Bears fan, today is still a bit of bummer if you’re a Graphic Smash fan as we bid farewell to The Replacements, by Sara Tuner and Jerzy Drozd which reaches it’s conclusion today.
The Replacements has been one of the tent poles of Graphic Smash for years, and Sara and Jerzy are bar none one of the best creative teams working in digital comics. I’d say that they’d be missed but you KNOW they’re going to be up to things. Cool things. So if you’re missing them, it’s your own fault. Why not keeps tabs on them here.
In other bum-me-out type news, Jazz Age is taking a break as Ted Slampyak recharges his batteries, but check out the good news:
Jazz Age Chronicles will run in the meantime each and every weekday with commentary from Ted. If you love comics, you owe it to yourself to see what one of the most prolific fellas around has to say about his work. Don’t miss it!
You’d think that cartoonists have a happy life, drawing such funny stuff all day long. And yet, it’s a cutthroat business, and the captains of industry are quick to crush the life out of the creative team if they think another buck can be squeezed out of them.
The case of Dan DeCarlo comes to mind. … He invented Josie and the Pussycats for Archie, and the comic book was a hit. … DeCarlo learned totally by accident of the subsequent “Josie and the Pussycats” movie that was released in 2001; Archie Comics neglected to inform him. When DeCarlo, exhausting other means, hired a lawyer to investigate his legal rights to the character, Archie dropped him cold, after a 40-year working relationship.
Xerexes over at Comixpedia points out this blog post about “how to better capture value from readers who arrive via search.”
This is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. Now that my site is in the top ten yahoo search results for dick frozen to flagpole, how can I make sure I capture the most value from these visitors?
“When the levees broke, nothing was the same for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge” is about surviving Hurricane Katrina — and what happened next in the lives of a cross-section of Crescent City residents. Told in webcomic form, A.D. is presented by SMITH magazine.”
Inside Bay Area reports that “Don Hertzfeldt has transformed his online comic strip, ‘Bill,’ into a 17-minute animation short titled ‘Everything Will Be OK.’ The 30-year-old’s third Sundance entry centers on a character that Hertzfeldt has grown to love.”
Don is of course also the creator of the comic “Dance of the Sugar Plums (or, Last Month on Earth)” that was in Flight Volume 2, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his short “Rejected” that toured with Spike and Mike’s ferstival a few years ago. You know, the “My ass is bleeding” one.
When you are in New York City for a brief period of time, you get the feeling that anything can happen, and that every person you pass on the street is, or may be, absolutely remarkable in some way. You live there for a while, you get over it, just like anyplace (or maybe even moreso). But that doesn’t mean they’re not still remarkable people. The muralist whose work is critiqued in this video is one of those remarkable people, as is the critic who produced the video itself. Have a look and be amazed at the way that the artist is always changing her mural, to reflect changes in her own life, or to cover up defacement from street vandals, or both. The critique itself has to account for the changes over time (using time-lapse photography and fade-ins) as part of the meaning of the work, integral to its structure. See? That’s something that doesn’t happen in Louisville, Kentucky. Or if it does, there’s nobody smart enough (including me) to notice and appreciate and understand/explain it the way this videographer does. I guess that’s the advantage of having literally hundreds of thousands of people pass the same street corner every single day: one of them is bound to make something of it.
I’m happy to begin 2007 with a brand new 24 page short story called TRANSIENT where I take a hard look into the great mystery that is life and death. So you don’t think 2007 is going to be a year of deep thought and inward reflection from my creative muse…there’s also a blue alien, a cosmic hippie, and a bit of cannibalism. It’s called TRANSIENT…check it out.