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Working, Working

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 9:29 pm

Very close to finishing the temporary archival-only version of Girlamatic. The DNS has propagated, and we’re waiting for ev1servers’ router tables to update. They say that’ll take another 5 hours.

I hate, hate, hate, hate multiple page episodes. I’ve spent the last 8 hours getting them to work. So far, they work great (much, much better than before) — except for the “next” button. Which will work soon.

I’m very sleepy and exhausted (slept four hours last night) but I won’t go to bed tonight until I at least have an archival-only version of Girlamatic online.

After that, the other sites will be much easier — I’ve rewritten every php script FROM SCRATCH since the crash, to get Girlamatic online. The other sites will use the same code that the new Girlamatic site uses.

After I have archival-only versions of all the sites up, then I will work on migrating the control panel code over so that the cartoonists can start to fix things. The important thing right now is to get the archives (what the subscribers pay for) back online ASAP.

Then I will work on getting our “subscribe” functionality back in place — for a brief period of time, we won’t be able to take new subscriptions, while I fix things.

Love you all. Or maybe exhaustion is making me sentimental.

But, seriously: it’s going to be all right.

American Spendor artist Gerry Shamray reviews Sin City

Filed under: — joezabel @ 5:50 pm

– by creating a comic book page! Awesome imitation of Frank Miller’s and the film’s signiture style! Check it OOOUUUTTT!!!

Super double-sized vegetative state comix

Filed under: — Fetus X Eric @ 2:29 pm

While Joey works on getting on serializer back up, I’ve posted a mirror of my latest diary entry over here. Enjoy.

Courtly Manners reschedule

Filed under: — Reinder Dijkhuis @ 3:13 am

Courtly Manners will continue to run on until the updates in the queue run out on Friday. When Modern Tales returns, I will first take the time to clean up after missing data (if any), then I will re-run the comics for March 30-April 1, and then I’ll get going again with new updates.
And I’ll take the time to make the new installments pretty. Yes, yes, I think I will.

Sorry for the delay in Igor

Filed under: — Chris Reilly @ 1:08 am

Igor will be right back
I can pretty much paste this from Joe Zabel’s post:
Due to the server outage, I’m going to change in schedule for The Trouble With Igor. The first two episodes will continue to be displayed free to the non-subscribing public for about 48 hours after the server comes back up. The second (technically third) episode’s update will determine what day I’ll be updating Igor in the future. If we’re back up on Friday then Igor will update every Sunday and so on.
As a victim of several hard disk crashes, I realize that this stuff happens and is unavoidable. If you, like me, own a Sony Vaio it happens every time someone sneezes in Hawaii.


Chris Reilly


Ice Queen schedule re-shuffle

Filed under: — joezabel @ 11:10 pm

The Ice Queen by Joe ZabelFolks– because of the server outage, I’m planning a change in schedule for The Ice Queen. The March 30th episode will continue to be displayed free to the non-subscribing public for about 24 hours after the server comes back up. Then the episodes that would have run Thursday and Friday will be featured, possibly on Saturday and Sunday.

The March 30th episode is a particularly important one in the plot of the series, and in general I want the episodes for a given week to be viewed together.

Dan Hernandez is not dead.

Filed under: — danhernandez @ 12:05 pm

So I’ve been giving my MT series "Something… Whatever." a lot of thought these last few months and I’ve decided to do a relaunch of sorts on the series starting this Monday (april 4). Basically I wanted to do too much with my comic and I reached the decision that I have to simplify ideas to keep my focus. (Read on…)

So if I haven’t been updating my MT series what have I been doing these last few months? well firstly I got a new job, I’m now a "graphic designer," well part-time one at least and thats been keeping on my toes. but besides that I’ll have a four page story appearing in True Porn 2 as well as a one pager in the new Not My small diary. In addition to that I’ve been continuing with my daily journal Dreadful Days while also compiling and raising funds to print a book that collects the first two years of my strip. and um… thats it.
Dan Hernandez

P.S. See you Monday

server outage

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:34 am

The hard drive on the server that houses Modern Tales, girlamatic, serializer, Graphic Smash and several other sites in our network has failed. I have only just become aware of the severity of the situation. I am doing my best to take care of this issue, and will keep everybody posted.

PSP Webcomics?

Filed under: — jasinmartin @ 1:45 am

So, Newsarama picked up a piece from…
That talks about the potential use of the PSP for reading books, and manga. They honed in on manga, citing scanslations and format/style porting well into the PSP’s 480×272 format. However, how easy would it be to have web comics, MT family etc, made suitable for this format? (As that dimension is similar to a screen format image) Not to mention, an entrepreneurial web creator, or ahem - better yet, an outfit/mogul, could take advantage of a new media/device, starved for cool content, to make better use of it’s functionality, and thus enhance it’s perceived value. Comic companies, and webcomics companies have partnered with AOL for example. It just seems to me that besides the potential for webcomics, or digital graphic stories (be they print in origination, or whatever), there’re opportunities afoot…

The original article can be found HERE

My webcomic:


Two New Series on Modern Tales

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:47 pm

In case you missed them, we’ve recently added two new strips to the regular Modern Tales lineup:

The Trouble with Igor by Chris Reilly

Sheldon the Pig by Kevin Moore asks about Webcomics…

Filed under: — jasinmartin @ 12:26 am asks:
PULSE Q of the WEEK: What Webcomics Are You Following?


My webcomic:


I’m extending the first Igor a few extra days

Filed under: — Chris Reilly @ 11:10 am

I’m extending the first Igor a few extra days, since I put it up Tuesday, and the strip updates on Fridays. The reason for this is that I ran two week’s worth of strips in the first outing to give the reader a little more to look at and the Pulse interview will be up Monday, so I wanted to fully utilize the free PR.
Didn’t want folks to think I was getting lazy already.igor small logo



There’s a new kid in town!

Filed under: — joezabel @ 7:11 am

William G. explodes into the ranks of blog webcomics reviewing with a the new edition of The Delineated Blog devoted to a fair and detailed assessment of two of the most popular webcomics, PvP and Penny Arcade.

G. has spent a lifetime demonstrating how not to be a pantywaist. His punchy prose is the funniest thing this side of Eric Millikin. I don’t know how to convey the sense out of context, but f’rinstance:

“Basically, I’m following blog rules. Shit, none of this has to make sense. I can mentally jump all over the place if I feel like it. I did that before in a few other blog entries. Hell, I kind of do it all of the time.”

Johnny Cash by G.G. is an excellent cartoonist himself, the creator of It’s About Girls and a series of fascinating conceptual webcomics dubbed R3. G. honed his skills writing for the Webcomics Examiner after we praised his comics in our first issue. He has some amusing comments about the WCE, suggesting how the strictures of a “serious” magazine cramp his style.

G. knows what he’s talking about artwise and storywise in webcomics, and his remarks are scrupulously fair.

I was informed by my sources (Okay, internet rumours) that Penny Arcade and PvP are both put together from a library of poses and facial features. Now, I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, then I have nothing good to say. Gag comics are not animations… you’re not being asked to draw hundreds of frames by the time work is over. Putting in the effort to draw three panels instead of clicking and dragging is not much to ask. It’s just lazy hack work if it’s true. You could give a chimp a banana and a mouse and have the same results.

But assuming it’s not true, and I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to them, I’ll give both sets of artists credit in obtaining a smooth-looking style that is solid enough for what they do. The characters are distinct from each other in both strips. They don’t look like the same characters with different wigs on. It goes without saying that this is important to have when your comics is essentially two talking heads.

Pretty soon, everybody’ll be talkin’ ’bout the new kid in town.


Welton Colbert on the march!

Filed under: — joezabel @ 10:08 pm

Welton Colbert by Ryan EstradaWelton Colbert, resident comics critic of, is an octogenarian cartoonist who launched such cartoon classics as Fumbletown Funnies. The curmudgeonly Colbert is none too pleased with these young upstarts who think they can do comics.

His experiences at a cartoonist school inspired artist Ryan Estrada to create this affectionate spoof of comics traditionalists. On Ryan’s website, the character can be found ranting about Derek Kirk Kim, Diezel Sweeties, and other timely topics.

Webcomics Examinerreaders will be familiar with Colbert, who guest-starred on the latest issue’s cover. And now, webcomics news junkies have a new reason to celebrate, since Welton has been picked up by Comixpedia as a regular monthly feature!

Estrada provides a preview of Welton’s upcoming adventures: “This month, since Welton has finally outgrown my silly web site, and made it to the big time, working for the two big webcomic sites, he has finally gotten a computer. And he will attempt to use it to conduct an interview.”

Meanwhile, Estrada will be following in Welton’s footsteps, and plans to write reviews himself for The Webcomics Examiner when it relaunches!

Spiegelmaniac alert

Filed under: — joezabel @ 9:49 pm

Contact: Bill Kartalopoulos


Indy Magazine, the online quarterly about the comics
medium, returns with an issue covering the career of Art
Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose
body of work includes “Maus” and “In the Shadow of No
Towers,” and who, with his wife Françoise Mouly, co-
edited “Raw,” the seminal international comics anthology.

Features include an analysis of Spiegelman’s first
book, “Breakdowns:” a 1977 hardcover anthology of his
strongest short-form underground comix (including “Prisoner
on the Hell Planet,” “Ace Hole: Midget Detective,” and the
original three-page version of “Maus”).

A two-part feature provides an exhaustive oral and visual
history of RAW Magazine:

In Part One, Françoise Mouly shares her recollections of
moving to New York from France in 1974, meeting and
marrying Spiegelman, exploring international comics, and
opening up shop as a small-press publisher/printer under
the RAW name.

Part Two surveys RAW Magazine’s 1980 - 1991 lifespan,
featuring commentary from Mouly and Spiegelman, as well as
RAW contributors Charles Burns, Kim Deitch, Paul Karasik,
Kaz, Jerry Moriarty, Gary Panter, R. Sikoryak, and Chris
Ware. Both parts of the RAW history are heavily illustrated
with dozens of rare images from the RAW archives, including
a full visual bibliography, cover sketches, mock-ups,
notes, color separations and photographs.

An essay by Hillary Chute offers a close examination of
eight graphic narrative structures that reveal Spiegelman’s
sophisticated use of the comics page to communicate meaning
in “Maus.”

Martha Kuhlman interviews Dr. Marianne Hirsch, author of
the seminal essay “Family Pictures: Maus, Mourning and Post-
Memory,” on the academic response to “Maus.”

Kartalopoulos considers themes, strategies and recurring
imagery in Spiegelman’s total body of work in light of the
artist’s candid autobiographical statements.

Spiegelman also appears briefly in cartoonist Phoebe
Gloeckner’s eight-page photocomics report of her recent
visit to the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in
Angoulême, France. The piece further includes a glimpse at
Robert Crumb’s current graphic novel-in-progress, a literal
comics adaptation of the book of Genesis.

The issue runs reviews of Gary Panter’s “Jimbo in
Purgatory,” Arn Saba’s “Neil the Horse,” and Posy
Simmonds’ “Literary Life.”

Indy Magazine was named “Best new comics magazine” in the
Village Voice’s annual “Best of New York City” issue, dated
October 6 - 12, 2004.

Indy Magazine is published online by Jeff Mason and is
edited by Bill Kartalopoulos. Indy began as a print journal
edited and published by Mason between 1993 and 1998, and
subsequently ran as an online magazine through 2001. In
late 2002 Mason invited Kartalopoulos to revive and edit
the publication. Redesigned and reinvented as an analytical
quarterly, Indy Magazine relaunched in January 2004.

Previous issues in Indy Magazine’s current volume have
included: textual and graphic contributions from
cartoonists including Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco, Jerry
Moriarty, Megan Kelso, Willem, Tom Hart, and Jason Little;
features on subjects including Gustave Dore, R. O.
Blechman, Ben Katchor, Peter Bagge, Honore Daumier, Milt
Gross, and Caran d’Ache; interviews with Jules Feiffer,
Françoise Mouly, Paul Karasik, and David Mazzucchelli; and
previews and reviews of new and recently published work by
Dan Clowes, Charles Schulz, Alan Moore, A. B. Frost, Craig
Thompson, James Sturm, and Dave Sim & Gerhard, among others.

Previous issues are archived online alongside the current

Bill Kartalopoulos lives in Manhttan and also maintains
the “Egon” comics news and information website:

Jeff Mason is an attorney in Gainesville, Florida and
publishes the “Alternative Comics” line of comic books and
graphic novels:


UK Web and Mini Comics Thing: Ping Teo Reports!

Like a loose pea rattling in an oversized pan, I was recently at the UK Web and Mini Comics thing as a visitor. Here and here are my reports. Andhere and here are some pictures!

My First Review, and Some Thoughts on Closure

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 6:21 am

I’ve been very pleased with the response I’ve received to The Discovery of Spoons, my comics collaboration with John Barber. I’ve had some very nice feedback from folks I respect a lot, like Joe Zabel and Neal Von Flue. And that’s been great. Of course, Joe and Neal are folks I also count among my friends on the internet, so while their opinion is important to me, it’s not quite the same as a completely disinterested response.

So, it was a huge treat for me last week when Neal pointed me toward a post in the blog of Tymothi Godek, titled “The Discovery of Closure.” The post was a fairly substantial review of The Discovery of Spoons, evaluated in the context of a pair of essays that John published on Comixpedia.

Godek’s own work is very good. He’s an experimenter, sometimes working with novel forms of presentation, such as his use of the Infinite Canvas program in presenting Tree City USA, and sometimes experimenting with form itself, such as in his narrative timeline, My Life with Pets. He doesn’t have very much on his site yet—but what’s there has quickly caught my attention. So naturally, I was interested to see what he would have to say about my work as well.

Let me say first off: the review was very complimentary. But while that certainly makes me happy, it’s not what makes the review interesting, or worth all of the words I’ve already put into introducing it. What does that is the particular technique that Godek chose to highlight in his review—our use of closure. And he points to John’s essays on closure (part 1 and part 2) to give the background of the theory involved.

Now, while I’ll admit that John’s essays have had a considerable effect on my thinking about comics, at the time this comic was scripted, they had not yet been published. I assume the ideas were already tumbling around in John’s brain, but my thought process was simply that the story would be more interesting if presented impressionistically rather than realistically. Hence, the absence of human figures, which so impressed Godek. (Though I should admit the script did call for a couple of token shots of hands or feet—John wisely chose to omit them.) Still, in light of how important the concept of closure has become to me, to have someone point out one of my earlier scripts as being a particularly good example of it is very encouraging.

On the other side of the coin, it’s also somewhat troubling that my best use of the technique occurred before I was even aware of the technique. Not to say that it’s been absent from later work—there’s certainly no lack of off-panel happenings to be deduced from on-panel information in my stories. And I’ve made particular efforts to find ways of matching text to images in ways that resonate as a larger impression than what’s literally depicted. But I don’t think I’ve accomplished anything so memorable as the effect achieved in Spoons.

The one exception might be The Unusual Education of Suzy Finnegan, in Picture Story Theatre. This remains my favorite of my recent pieces, precisely because it relies so heavily on closure to discover the main point—specifically, solving the mystery of Suzy’s sister Ginny. The truth is never stated in the story, but all the information needed to reach a complete understanding is there, if the reader can make the connection between the panels. The problem is, hardly anyone actually solves the mystery—the story may rely too heavily on closure in making it’s point. I know of only one reader who succeeded in connecting those panels unaided.

Suzy Finnegan aside, though, I simply haven’t been thinking about it all that consciously of late. That Godek has reminded my of my prior interest in this technique, and prompted me to reread John’s excellent essays may well be the most valuable outcome of seeing Spoons reviewed. He’s got me thinking about my own comics again, and about the ideas I want to explore. I’m feeling very motivated, and doubly eager to take on some new projects as soon as the semester is over. It’s exciting.

So…thank you Mr. Godek.


Indy creators rejoice!

Filed under: — L_Jonte @ 3:41 pm

(reprinted from my LJ)

The world of printing the comics mini is fraught with financial disaster. The cost of getting one’s work printed often means that the Indy small-presser must either settle for extremely low print quality, or resign her/himself to losing money on every book.

I preparation for the Eisner’s and APE this year, I recently began looking into the possibility of having Between the Dark and the Dawn printed as a color mini. To say that printing prices were steep would be an understatement. At Kinko’s (aka the Evil Empire) the cost for four double-sided color pages totaled $7.16.

That’s seven dollars and sixteen cents, my cost for one color mini. That included their quantity discount and doing my own collating and stapling.

Can I hear a group whoop? Can I hear a BULLSHIT!?


After much searching, I found a loverly little mom-n-pop online shop called Spinn Print. The cost for 400 double-sided color pages (100 copies of my mini) works out to be about $1.12 per book. I can easily sell them at shows for $2.00 each.

I will make a profit. D’ya hear me!? I WILL MAKE A GODDAMNED PROFIT!

Full discolsure:
1. I formatted the pages myself and sent them in to the printer that way with instructions as to how they would ultimately be assembled.
2. I am doing all the collating and stapling. (A saddle-stapler is cheap and certainly worth the investment.)
3. Kinko’s prints on coated stock and as a result, the colors are a bit more intense. I chose uncoated stock from SP.

I got my order today and it is fantastic! The quality is good, and better yet, you can upload your files directly to their site! (The big “K” hasn’t yet managed to get that feature to work on their own site.) I hereby endorse Spinn Print as the Indy creator’s new best friend.

Tell them I sent you.


Filed under: — S_Turner @ 2:01 pm

Make Like A Tree Comics artists Jerzy Drozd and Sara Turner will release their first full-color comic, Silver And The Periodic Forces, on March 28th. The first episode will update daily between March 28th and April 15th.

Silver And The Periodic Forces is a story of interplanetary battles between good and evil told in the style of the Saturday Morning Action Adventure cartoon. There will even be “commercial breaks” over the weekends featuring guest artists Mark Rudolph of City Yarns and Rhiannon McCullough of Schwartz Krueuz.

Reading the comic in your pajamas while eating a bowl of sugary cereal is recommended, but not required.

Fred the Clown nominated for Reuben Award

Filed under: — Roger Langridge @ 4:33 am

I am thoroughly amazed at this and still don’t quite believe it, but apparently it’s true: Fred the Clown has been nominated for a Reuben Award for Best Comic Book of 2004 (details here). The other nominees are Darwyn Cooke’s “The New Frontier” and Tom Bancroft’s “Opposite Forces”. I haven’t read the latter, but New Frontier was my favourite comic of the “long underwear” variety last year by a very wide margin, so I’m thrilled to be in the same company.

And as to my reaction: well, I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I won’t be wearing those underpants again in a hurry.

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