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A couple of outstanding webcomics (Non-Modern Tales)

Filed under: — joezabel @ 10:16 pm

I just ran across two webcomics that I think are pretty outstanding–

Cave Monster I ran across because the creator was indulging in an especially sneaky plug over at ‘Pedia– “Is my link working? Try it out and let me know…”

There aren’t many episodes yet, but it’s a tongue-in-cheek saga about a rat-devouring monster with psychological hangups. What’s best is that it’s rendered in a nifty, unusual full-color style. I really dig cartooning styles that try to eliminate the black-lines-enclosing-everything look, and this is in that vein. Definitely worth watching.

In fact, the style reminded me of another webcomic, and it turns out that the Cave Monster home page links to it– A Lesson Is Learned, But The Damage Is Irreversible. Yeah, yeah, I reviewed that series already in The Webcomics Examiner, but this new episode is really impressive! I think it actually exceeds everything previous in the series, at least art-wise. Overall, ALILBTDII is one of my all-time favorite webcomics! –Joe Zabel

Write for GNR. Get Paid.

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 4:08 pm

The Graphic Novel Review is now reviewing submissions for our March issue. All contributors to The Graphic Novel Review are paid for their writing, in addition to receiving 10,000 complimentary ad impressions on the Modern Tales ad network. To get a sense of the type of material GNR publishes, please read through recent issues. Writer’s Guidelines available at the web site.

UNA Frontiers existing archive nearly complete

Filed under: — Coydog @ 1:55 pm

The archives for UNA Frontiers up to Chapter 8 will be complete on Graphic Smash as of mid-February. After this, it’s all-new material that has never been previously published on other sites. There may be schedule changes in store, so keep watching for further information.

I need a superhero artist!

Filed under: — the_poet @ 1:32 pm

PVComics, the webcomics site affiliated with Blambot and ComiXpress, has taken an interest in my property, the superhero comic STRONGARM. Unfortunately, the original penciller and inker had to drop out, citing a lack of time. Also, the letterer I’m utilizing on other projects has as much on his plate as he can handle.

STRONGARM is a superhero story with a twist - it’s told from his best friend Lyndsey’s point of view. It’s also somewhat violent at times, as it deals with a pair of horrifying mechanical arms with a sinister artificial intelligence.

This is a weekly series, with a page going up every week without fail - pencilled, inked and lettered.

I need the following people to make this project a reality!

* A penciller who can commit to a weekly series and can either pencil digitally or has an 11×17 scanner

* An inker who can commit to a weekly series and can either ink digitally or print out large-size overlays and re-scan the image afterward

* A computer letterer who can commit to a weekly series

The benefits are as follows:

* Creative ownership in the property

* A great discount at ComiXPress, the print-on-demand service

* Profit sharing - once we reach 22 or 23 pages, we print the issue at ComiXPress, and we split the profits. We can either have people order it from the site without us paying anything, or have copies printed up on the cheap.

* Publication in the quarterly anthology VOID.

Interested? E-mail samples to I prefer Web links, but I have a virus scanner if you want to send attachments.

-Steve Horton


Filed under: — cuerden @ 1:26 pm

Daily I grow more obsessed with Narbonic. It’s a comic about scientists that actually manages to be intelligent, it’s crammed full of an urbane wit to rival Dorothy Parker, references to everything from 2001 to Shakespeare to Rocky and Bullwinkle, and has characters that live and breathe and that I’ve come to know better than some of my closest friends. Absolutely unmissable.

While defending comic books, Comics Reporter inadvertently lists advantages of webcomics

Filed under: — Eric Millikin @ 1:25 pm

Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter explains why he prefers comics pamphlets to long form graphic novels. The interesting part comes in when about half of his reasons for prefering comics pamphlets to graphic novels are also good reasons to prefer webcomics to either printed format. Tom explains:

Yet while I enjoyed Chester Brown’s The Little Man — a book never recognized for its importance in the recent wave of bookstore-ready comics — I fell for the series Yummy Fur. It’s not just the appeal of serial literature, either. … My interest in Chester Brown’s serial comics stayed just as strong during one-shot issues as it did during the loopy carnival ride anchored by Ed the Happy Clown. So what is it I’m reacting to? My best guess is that there must be something about meeting an artist working at their most immediate that’s exciting in a way that’s nearly impossible to experience in other art forms. The only thing that comes close may be following a play through workshops and into its final, published form, but not many of us get a chance to do that. … It’s much easier and cheaper to sample a bunch of new works across a single moment in time [with comic books rather than graphic novels], building your own “anthology of right now” at the comics shop. Comic books can in most cases be released with greater frequency.

Hey, if it’s immediacy and low-to-no price that you like , you can’t do much better than webcomics.

BRYCEWORLD on hiatus

Filed under: — the_poet @ 1:24 pm

My all-ages sci-fi Webcomic, BRYCEWORLD, is on hiatus for a week or two, so we can build the archives back up. In the meantime, I’ll be posted cool pinups of the BRYCEWORLD characters, submitted by the fans. If you want to submit some fan art, feel free to e-mail it to, and I’ll post it!

In the meantime, feel free to peruse the full-color archives and follow the story of our hero, BRYCE, at!


Filed under: — timdemeter @ 1:20 pm

I don’t have news, but we gotta have some GS action on here, now don’t we?

Wait, wait… I have a breaking story coming in…

Yes, it’s confirmed, Graphic Smash is the answer to all of your problems. It’s actiony-goodness is the balm of all woe. If you’re using your internet connection for work or school, then stop that right now and help yourself to a heaping portion of digital enjoyment.

At Graphic Smash.

American Born Chinese

Filed under: — Tim Broderick @ 11:55 am

My dirty little secret: For the last year or so I have not followed any webcomic regularly. Nada. Just haven’t had the time.

Except for American Born Chinese - I have been a fan from the first page. Solid artwork, excellent storytelling. If you haven’t been reading - by all means start. Gene Yang has something special going on here. Updates Mondays.

Now It’s Broken In

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 11:51 am

We had our first database crash on the new TAC server today. Whoopee! At least, when it crashes, it doesn’t bring down the rest of the Modern Tales miniempire.

Winners: 2005 Australian Comic Art Awards announced!

Filed under: — Gaz Chaloner @ 7:20 am

Below are results of the 2005 Ledger Awards, acknowledging excellence in Australian comic arts and publishing. These awards were announced on January 26th, 2005.

Gold, Silver, then Bronze recipients listed.

Recognition for an Australian individual’s efforts in 2004.

Mark Selan (editor OzComics Magazine; organiser, OzComics 24 Hour Comics Challenge, as seen on MT Longplay)
Aaron Burgess (; The Ink, editor)
Daniel Zachariou (SupaNova event organsier)

Australian artist, publisher, or event. Business or creative.

Gary Chaloner’s John Law in print (after illness etc.)
Dillon Naylor’s 2004 (Batrisha wear in Target etc.)
Phase Two Comics (online Australian comics store)

In recognition of excellence in 2004. Print or web.

Matt Huynh
Jase Harper
Chelsea Fritzlaff

Mini comics, zines featuring comic content etc.

Eat Comics, Tonia Walden, editor
Sporadic, Jase Harper & Jules Faber, editors
Dirty Little Creep, Mandy Ord

Local publishers distributing mainly in Australia.

The Crumpleton Experiments, Nautilus Illustrations
Killeroo, Ozone Studios
Azerath, Creatorline/Phosphorescent Comics

Titles distributed overseas and within Australia featuring Australian talent.

Will Eisner’s John Law: Dead Man Walking, IDW
Small Gods, Image Comics
District X, Marvel Comics

Produced by and including Australian creators.
In recognition of excellence in 2004.

Eat Comics, Tonia Walden, editor
Sporadic, Jase Harper & Jules Faber, editors
The Ink, Aaron Burgess, editor

Produced by Australian creators.
In recognition of excellence in comics distributed via the web in 2004.

Platinum Grit -
Will Eisner’s John Law -
Raymondo Person -

In recognition of writing excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Trudy Cooper, Platinum Grit
Christian Read, The Watch; The Eldritch Kid
Daniel Reed, The Crumpleton Experiments

Full art, penciller, painter or multimedia.
In recognition of excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Trudy Cooper, Platinum Grit
Jason Badower
Jase Harper

In recognition of inking excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Gary Chaloner
Doug Holgate
Darren Close
Daniel Reed

In recognition of colouring and/or grey toning excellence by an Australian creator in 2004. Print or web.

Annette Kwok
Doug Holgate
Jason Badower

In recognition of lettering excellence in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Gary Chaloner
Jason Paulos
Jason Kovacs

In recognition of excellence in cover artwork in 2004 by an Australian creator. Print or web.

Gary Chaloner, Will Eisner’s John Law: Dead Man Walking
Matt Huynh, Domino Joe; Bloom
Jason Badower, Killeroo Book 2

In recognition of excellence in a particular issue or short story in 2004 by an Australian creator/s.

‘Law, Luck and a Dead Eyed Mystic’ (Will Eisner’s John Law: Dead Man Walking), Gary Chaloner
The Eldritch Kid #1, Christian Read & Christopher Burns
‘Meat Burger Heaven’ (Eat Comics), Dean Rankine
‘Good for the Goose’ (Killeroo Book 2), Jan Napiorkowski & Jason Badower

Produced for magazines, newspapers and their web sites etc. by an Australian creator, published in 2004. Print or web.

Batrisha (K-Zone et al.), Dillon Naylor
Grossgirl and Boogerboy (Mania, MT Longplay), Dean Rankine
Raymondo Person, Patrick Alexander

In recognition of Australian retail excellence and support in 2004.

Kings Comics, Sydney
Phase Two Comics, online
Minotaur Books, Melbourne

In recognition of design excellence in 2004 by Australian creator/s or publishers. Web site design, book design, promotional materials, et al.

The Watch: Casus Belli, design by Karen Howard
Killeroo Book Two, design by Darren Close
Keychain Comics, design by Aaron Burgess

Nominees chosen from Australian creators, publishers or retailers past or present.

Peter Ledger* (automatically inducted)
Gary Chaloner


The late Peter Ledger was the artist/colorist of Warriors of the Shadow Realm for Marvel (with John Buscema and Rudy Nebres), as well as many other projects for a variety of publishers in Australia and the US. These awards are named in his honour.

Share the Love : Crab Allan

Filed under: — Reinder Dijkhuis @ 5:10 am

Share the Love: Reinder Dijkhuis loves and hates L. Frank Weber’s Crab Allan

By rights, in a fair world, Crab Allan would be awful. It’s got a crime-fighting hero with amnesia. It’s got a psychopathic villain who happens to be the Mayor of the city it’s set in. It’s got a pair of hired goons of which one is a skinny, sly fellow and the other is the Muscle. It’s even got a frickin’ monkey in it! As John Allison once said, monkeys fill the gaps that are left when a writer’s inspiration has gone away.

And yet… despite writer and artist L Frank Weber stacking the deck against himself by using all these clichés, Crab Allan is not awful at all. It’s gripping, excitingly paced, sometimes funny, always visually impressive. It’s one of the first things I read every day. Weber really knows how to write and draw a story that slides into the brain, makes itself comfortable there and settles itself in the pleasure centers. I’m actually curious about the things that Weber hasn’t revealed yet. What’s Crab Allan’s mysterious past? What motivates the Mayor and how does the female lead fit in? I’m itching to find out. I love this comic.

Except the monkey. The monkey has to go.


Share The Love– OPEN BOOK

Filed under: — joezabel @ 6:04 pm

Joe Zabel loves Jonathan Morris’s Open Book

I hadn’t gotten hooked on this series when it first came out, but Shaenon Garrity pointed out how excellent the most recent episode, “Death-Gazer,” is, and after being Wowed by that I took the plunge into the archives.

Morris has two big things going for him. One is his artwork, so loosely rendered, so bold, and yet so exact. In “the Book of Pirate Wisdom,” you can sense the giddy joy with which he renders a rogues gallery of the seafaring scoundrels, each of them a hilariously unique composition. His art also has a wonderful breadth of style, from the lean palette of “Nat Coogan Was Always A Queer Egg…” to the the florid chromatic orgasm of “Klanko- Lost At Sea.” He also has a talent for mimicking other cartoonists with sendups of Popeye and Bazooka Joe.Copyright 2005 by Jonathan Morris

But being a great artist wouldn’t mean much if Morris wasn’t also a savvy, skilled satirist, and in this series, he really spreads his wings and shows his audience what he’s capable of. Morris takes the Ed Sullivan approach to his series, dragging in the juggling clowns and the monkey acts as well as the big stars. His satirical subjects range from Solomon to Superheroes, Pirates to Philosophers, Thatcherites to unhatched eggs.

His short scripts are a good match for his drawing style– brash, assertive, and whittled down to the bone. Sometimes they don’t quite make sense, presenting the reader with a kind of open-ended puzzle. But the deceptively-simple clowning around is studded with little gems, as in Chapter Ten of The Book of Pirate Wisdom– “Live Your Dreams. You won’t find many pirates… with ship-in-a-bottle collections.”

Morris is kind of a cartooning pirate, and it’s nice to see him out there sailing the seven seas. –Joe Zabel

Slight delay in Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan

Filed under: — Reinder Dijkhuis @ 4:55 pm

The latest Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan chapter, Grimborg, ended on Friday. A new chapter, wrapping up a storyline that has taken more than two years to write and draw, was supposed to begin on Monday, but the computer on which the episode was being colored died on Sunday afternoon before the work was finished. Until things are sorted, fillers will be run.
Meanwhile, I have been working on an alternate web site for the comic, run entirely on the blog software I use. That can be found on, and while it’s not finished it shows the degree to which you can use blogging software to put things inside other things. That also inspired this post in which I pass on the news of talkaboutcomics’ new incarnation as a blog and predict that in the future, everything will be a blog. Robots are also mentioned. ROBOTS!

Graphic Novel Review Update

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 3:34 pm

You may have noticed that The Graphic Novel Review website has been down and redirecting to the TalkAboutComics website for the past couple of days. I just want to assure readers that we haven’t gone anywhere – GNR is still very much ongoing. This was just an accidental side effect of the server issues that Joey documented in his blog, and should be fixed shortly.

Unrelated to this is the fact that Issue 5 is currently several days past due. This is partly due to my desire to include material paying homage to Will Eisner in the next issue. Since the issue was already nearing completion when the sad news came out, it necessarily meant extending some deadlines to give our writers time to do the work. The issue is done now, and should go live just as soon as Joey finishes up handling some other high-priority technical issues (such as the security problems with TalkAboutComics).

You Ain’t No Dancer #1

Jeff Mason points out the up-coming You Ain’t No Dancer anthology. According to the YAND website:

Featuring a phenomenal painted cover by Dave Cooper, You Ain’t No Dancer #1 collects stories from established and up-and-coming artists from both print and web. All stories will deal with the central theme of the worst of times. The first issue is slated to hit store shelves in August/September 2005, with subsequent issues to be published every six months.

Contributors to the first issue include Dorothy Gambrell (MT) , Jeffrey Brown (SLZR), K. Thor Jensen (SLZR), Hope Larson (formerly GAM?), and Drew Weing (SLZR).

– Eric Millikin

No Stereotypes

Filed under: — glych @ 2:00 pm

No Stereotypes on Modern Tales is heading into it’s 20th chapter entitled Totems. So far, the story has gotten quite a loyal following, and even a full color book deal (yay!) with Sonic Comics as soon as the story’s finished… Well, it’s on it’s final stretch…if you haven’t been reading about immortal teenagers, trixter gods, sexy witches, and naked girls in bathtubs then shame on you! Because you should be. And if that isn’t incentive enough, here’s a teaser image!

click for full-size


Over the webby waters.

Ah, Joey, our admiral of the ocean web.

As soon as I can get the new homepage art done for Moderntales, I’ll be launching up the newest Desert Peach — issue #31, more or less — in color

I can do it in color because it will ultimately end up as POD at Booksurge. And publishing it with the (finally) just-about finished prose novel will allow me to use the economy of page scale in POD.

While I’m at it, there are conversion tables for the new 13-digit EANS (from the old 10-digit) ISBN’s. I’ve worked out my own simpler version. Anybody who wants it, contact me at

Bowker made it pretty easy.

Click for Full Size


Some new stuff at serializer.

Filed under: — Tom Hart @ 8:11 pm

I’ll start by posting some recent news and links about, the site I edit.

We recently started Bean by Phil McAndrew, a lovely weird little strip.
(Click for full-size)

And from our favorite young weirdo, Leslie Stein, come BAGHEAD,
(Click for fulll-size)

Bravo to Joey for all you’ve done for web comics!

Welcome to TalkAboutComics 3.0

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 7:18 pm

The first version of TalkAboutComics was an online talk show I hosted circa 2000-2001. Guests included Scott Kurtz, Scott McCloud, Justine Shaw, and Darren “Gav” Bleuel. Talking to these people eventually inspired me to launch Modern Tales — at which point I became way, way, way too busy to do an online talk show.

The second version of TAC was the one you’re probably most familiar with: a massive forum-hosting portal for webcomics and small press comics creators. This version of TAC is very much with us still — don’t worry, the forums haven’t gone away.

This blog represents the third big step in TAC’s history. I’ll continue to maintain my own personal blog in its usual spot — but I will no longer post Modern Tales-related news and press release info there: that stuff will go here.

Additionally, all 200+ Modern Tales family cartoonists (that is, people with work on Modern Tales, or Modern Tales Longplay,, GirlAMatic and Graphic Smash have been invited to post here, too. I hope they take me up on this invitation.

We’ll see!

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