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Eyepopping 3D Art demo

Filed under: — joezabel @ 6:54 pm

Miki is a new 3D model that comes with release 6 of Poser. In practice it’s quite difficult to get this kind of realism and personality out of the models; but this is a startling example of what is possible now with “low end” 3D apps. Miki Movie!

Five Ways to Love a Cockroach, by Alexander Danner and Neal Von Flue

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 1:09 am

Five Ways to Love a Cockroach, by Alexander Danner and Neal Von FlueFive Ways to Love a Cockroach, a new short comic written by Alexander Danner (The Discovery of Spoons, Picture Story Theatre) and illustrated by Neal Von Flue (The Jerk, 10:30 to 12) is now online at This experiment in cynicism and infinite canvas takes a dispassionate look at love gone wrong, through the eyes of the world’s most unlovable critter.

Five Ways to Love a Cockroach makes use of the latest version of Markus Müller’s Infinite Canvas application, which provides a simple “click to advance” interface for exploring infinite canvas comics.

8/28/2005 OPEN CALL for Submissions!

Filed under: — Lea @ 10:18 pm

GAM Submission Guidelines

So, here they are. Follow them. If’n you won’t follow, I won’t respond.

1. Look at what’s already on GAM. All of the series’ most recent updates are viewable for free. Also take a look at the Sunday Comics page at . GAM is kindly disposed towards good manga and Oni-like comics. We are looking for comics with appeal to young adult to adult women.

2. BEFORE YOU SEND ME YOUR PITCH, BUY or BORROW and READ “How To Write a Book Proposal” by Michael Larsen.
While it is geared towards non-fiction proposals, it does teach everything you need to know about crafting a readable proposal. I can’t say for sure I’d know for sure if someone HASN’T read this when they pitch, but I bet I can tell who HAS. What I do not want to see is your entire story written out in a single-spaced block in email. Have mercy. Write your proposal and put it up as a web page, or send it as an attached .rtf or Word file.

3. Email me at, subject line “GAM: (title)”, otherwise my spam filters will eat it. To this address, send me the URL of your comic or sample pages.
Don’t tell me it isn’t your best work. If it’s not, why should I look at it? If you usually do things like use “u” for “you”, “4″ for “four” and “LOL” for punctuation, DO NOT when you write me. I expect to see a command of conventional English. Also, sell yourself without resorting to emoticons. They are for casual correspondence, which a professional proposal is not.

4. Show me that you already know how to put a comic/images online. I want to see clean presentation (which means learning how to use an image editing program to take out grays from scans), good lettering (many decent free fonts available at, so there’s no excuse for lettering in Times New Roman).

5. You MUST be at least 18 years old to work for GirlAMatic, because that’s how old you have to be to enter into a contract.

6. It might take a while to look at your comic and write a response. Please be patient.

7. It’s okay to be disappointed if I feel your comic isn’t right for GAM, because DAMMIT no one enjoys rejection, but being a bittermint about it in public will not dispose me kindly to future submissions.

8. I worship you for submitting, no matter what my answer is.

9. Only a bribe big enough to send me to Disneyland with Lisa Jonte’ will be considered, and you can set yourself up for that.


Call for Artist: More Fun

Filed under: — Shaenon @ 6:17 pm

Hey there. This is Shaenon Garrity, creator of Narbonic, Li’l Mell, and More Fun, and all-around helluva gal. I’d like to announce a couple of changes to my webcomic More Fun. First, next month I will move the series off and onto its own, free site on WebComicsNation. Until the new site goes live, the More Fun archives will be available for free at Graphic Smash. That’s right, you can visit Graphic Smash right now and read the entire epic to date.

Second, Robert Stevenson, the main artist, will be leaving More Fun to focus on his day job and his own comics and stuff like that. (Roger Langride, whom I am honored to have as a recurring special-guest artist, will, I hope, continue to grace the comic with his presence.) I’ve really enjoyed working with Bob, I love his art on More Fun, and I seriously considered ending the series with his departure. Thinking it over, however, I’ve decided that I love it too much to give it up. Therefore, I am in the market for a new More Fun artist. The series updates at the rate of a page a week; pages are in color and in an “expanded canvas” format, which usually means a horizontal or vertical scroll. I am looking for a bright, clean, colorful style, preferably a style that meshes easily with the previous artwork. I absolutely insist that you be able to stick to a weekly schedule. You will be responsible for updating the comic on the website each week.

I will not be paying you directly for your artwork. However, you are entitled to all profits from the website (if we decide to host advertising and/or donations) and all profits from merchandise sold from the website (if we decide to sell merchandise). In the unlikely event of print publication or licensing in other media, we would split the profits. We can discuss this in more detail when the time comes. I should add that More Fun was not a big moneymaker on Graphic Smash, and, although I think it will do better on WebComicsNation, I do not expect it to be wildly profitable.

If you’re interested in drawing More Fun, please email me at narbonic at with some sample artwork. It would be great if you could include sketches of the More Fun characters. Also include a link to your website, if you have one. Before submitting your work, please read the comic (it’s free on Graphic Smash!) and seriously consider whether the series interests and excites you. Above all, I want the artist who draws More Fun to have, well, fun with it.

Thanks very much for reading, and good luck!


A Little Birdie Told Me …

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 9:23 am

Well, actually, it wasn’t a little birdie at all. It was a Girl-A-Matic editor. But not the Girl-A-Matic editor you probably think it was. But I’m not supposed to talk about that. Oops. Anyway. This Girl-A-Matic editor tells me that a certain someone is obsessed over her number five slot in the WCN all-time top 10, and is determined to move up in the list. But, well, she seems stuck. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go read Templar by Spike. It’s a great read — and you’ll help bring her the kind of world domination that she rightfully demands!


PSP Graphic Novel and Story Stones

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 11:06 am

… still recovering from a busy weekend, but I noticed these two interesting things today:

  • NYC2123 is a graphic novel created specifically for Playstation Portable display. Via JK at The Great Curve, who mentions “I guess no one can complain about not being able to read web comics in the bathroom anymore.” I’ve always thought it was weird that most papercomics readers refuse to read comics anywhere except the crapper. But whatever … now we can reach them, too, I guess.
  • Dani Atkinson’s unique WCN comic Story Stones caught my eye this morning. Okay, technically, it’s afternoon — so who’s counting? Anyway, I am always a sucker for some truly old-fashioned (and I do mean old fashioned) storytelling — especially when combined with cute little metafictional tricks (”You are not ready to know what this stone means.”). The fact that it’s a 24-hour comic makes it even more impressive.


Of Course, They Have 6000 Cartoonists, and We Have Less Than 200 …

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 2:18 pm

From Alexa:

[[edit: In the comments, reader Fernando points out that a comparison with (which is the old name for is not so favorable. I was under the impression that “the switch” was in full force for all the keenspace sites at once. My bad. Leaving this here to avoid cries of “depublishing!” — Even so, though, we’re still doing pretty well vs., considering our smaller base of cartoonists and our newness to the scene.]]


A Thought About Reinventing Comics

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 3:19 pm

This thought struck me while paging through the many reactions to the recent New York Times article on webcomics.

The author of that article, Sarah Boxer, comes from the “artcomics” world, so her first point of reference is an old argument between Scott McCloud and Gary Groth (publisher of The Comics Journal) about Scott’s webcomics manifesto, Reinventing Comics. Which is only understandable. You turn to the sources you know.

So when Boxer is trying to establish the relative success or failure of any individual webcomic, she uses criteria she gleaned from Reinventing, or, at least, from McCloud’s and Groth’s characterization of Reinventing in the course of that argument: e.g.: “McCloud says one of the great things about webcomics is that they can have infinite canvases. This comic doesn’t have an infinite canvas. So it’s not good in the McCloudian sense.”

Of course, that’s a result of a gross misreading of McCloud (and especially of more recent McCloud). McCloud says, “These are some things that make webcomics great.” He doesn’t say, “These things are required to make a webcomic great.” In fact, he has even specifically praised many of the comics (like Copper) that Boxer found wanting because of their allegedly un-McCloudian use of the screen.

But that’s neither here nor there.

The thing to keep in mind about Reinventing Comics is that, when Scott was writing it, the public was just barely beginning to get online. There were already webcomics in ‘97 and ‘98, sure (Scott wrote about many of them), but, by and large, the audience he was writing for was not reading comics online. They were reading their comics in print. This wasn’t a book meant to be read by webcomics fans who are already participating in a vast and vibrant webcomics community. It was meant to be a gentle introduction to a New Thing, for people who had a great deal of passion for the Old Thing.

With that in mind, it’s inevitable that much of the emphasis of the book would be placed on things that couldn’t be done in print. If your audience is already “sold” on print, one way to make them interested in the New Thing is to show them that print can’t quite do everything that’s possible within the comics form, and, hey, look at all of these other possibilities.

The contemporary webcomics reader, by and large, discovered a love of comics through webcomics. He or she doesn’t need to be told about all the things that comics can do online that they can’t do in print: that’s not even one of the criteria for his/her appreciation of the form. Webcomics, like blogs, like podcasts, like message boards, and so on, are just something fun to do online. They don’t have to prove that they have a right to exist, by doggedly and only doing things that print comics can’t do. They just are, and people like them.

The specifics of Reinventing Comics can (and will) be debated until the Great Final Crash, but the reality of a vibrant webcomics community — verging on “webcomics industry” — is a testament to just how right Scott was generally, if you take the general message of Reinventing Comics to be: comics on the web are going to be an important force to be reckoned with, and will probably eclipse and surpass comics in print.

But it is those specifics that people get caught up on; micropayments, infinite canvases, etc. They annoy the children of the very revolution Scott predicted, and they make writers like Boxer — who depend for their understanding of webcomics on ideas and concepts that Scott was spinning out of his head somewhere between six and eight years ago (the book came out in print in 2000, but books have a huge lead time), when the field didn’t exist yet, and the Web itself was young, young, young — look quaintly uninformed.

In some ways, it’s a shame Scott was as far-seeing as he was. Reinventing won’t hold up as well as Understanding because he wrote it so early in the history of the medium he was describing. But I said, “in some ways.” In other ways, the book was/is absolutely vital. I’ve told Scott that I doubt that webcomics would be as healthy as it is now — even if his specific formulas and prescriptions aren’t necessarily being followed — if the book had never existed. Scott has told me, in that weirdly humble way he has, that he thinks that that’s not the case, that webcomics would’ve been the mouse that roared anyway. There’s no way to know, I guess.


SUPER REAL strikes back!

Filed under: — jasinmartin @ 9:46 am

SUPER REAL returns to it’s weekly Wednesday installments on Graphic Smash beginning today!

Look for issue two to continue running til it’s completion, with perhaps some extras along the way!


Today in Picture Story Theatre: Poetry!

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 12:50 am

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be presenting a series of short illustrated poems. Bill illustrated today’s piece in his usual style, but decided to try something a bit different with the remaining pieces, as you’ll see on Wednesday. Most of these pieces will be complete in a single update, though there might be some slightly longer pieces later on—depends how Bill decides to adapt the poems.

Our most recent story, Lucky Kiss, finished up on Friday. As always, you can read the entirety of the story at once in the archives.


Sing a Song of DJ Coffman

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 7:25 pm

My feud with DJ Coffman is very much a thing of the past — we’re friends now — but, well, um, I still feel overwhelmingly compelled to share with you this little ditty, that I found on the web today:


It’s apparantly fallout from some political infighting on the Daily Grind forums. Pretty cool, if you ask me, and a feather in DJ’s cap: how many webcartoonists have inspired bluegrass-tinged insult anthems? Not very many.

via Bottomless Pop

WCN Now Supporting Domain Name Redirects

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:23 pm

Info in this TAC thread

The Ice Queen ends today

Filed under: — joezabel @ 12:09 am

last panel of The Ice Queen After 30 weeks and 150 episodes, The Ice Queen concludes its story today.

Joe Zabel would be delighted to read your comments, which can be posted at The Detective and Mystery Comics Forum.

Says Zabel, “I have to blather on here for spacing purposes, because if I don’t, the image at left will poke down into the advertisement below. So let me talk a little bit about how this series was made. This was the first comic I did with a digital camera, which was used almost exclusively for background images. Though the story takes place in Athens, Ohio, the photos are all of Cleveland, including the Walker Building where I work. I took over 1900 shots for this project, which either means I’m dedicated or that I’m a lousy photographer.

“This was also the first project I did with a Daz3D model called David, which was used for Raymond Fish. The same model was used for the nameless janitor who discovers a body in Chapter 7.”

Zabel concludes, “My next project will be the September edition of The Webcomics Examiner. As for 3D artwork, I’m planning to invest in some new programs, and spend a while learning them before doing more comics work.”


Dallas Powers short on WCN!

Filed under: — navarro @ 6:04 pm

Dallas Powers short on WCN!

Words by Jen Contino, Images by Juan Navarro One-shot, No updates
Cheating in a card game seems a valid excuse to blow someone away - especially in the Old West, but what made Dallas Powers kill the barmaid? Has Dallas gone on a killing spree? Can the shaky Sheriff get answers or will he wind up six feet under as well?
Last updated: Wednesday, August 10th, 2005


Swapmeet Logo Contest

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:40 pm

The logo for the Small Press Swapmeet sucks.

If you’d like to submit a new logo, and if I choose it, you will get permanent graphical linklove on every page within the Swapmeet — whether you’re a WCN member or not — in the form of 200×76 banner (below the main content, but above the big legal disclaimer thing).

Submit your logo by uploading it to your website, then including it (or a link to it) within a post to this thread. Also include the URL you’d like for me to link to when/if I choose your logo, and the name you’d like to be used (your studio name, your personal name, etc) in the “credits” for the page.

After we have a few, I’ll probably just open it up for voting.


The Ice Queen enters final week!

Filed under: — joezabel @ 12:33 pm

Finn's reading comprehension problemsMonday begins the final week of The Ice Queen, Joe Zabel’s mystery/suspense graphic novel.

The story began at sunset, and it’s been a long, harrowing and deadly night. We’ve watched a mysterious pursuit in a dark parking garage, followed by a brutal and senseless assault. We’ve watched Raymond Fish and security guard Warren play amateur sleuths, trying to solve the crime. And we’ve been a bug on the wall as Delphinia Morgan puzzles over the mysterious attitude of Kay Leslie, the woman she’s agreed to watch over. And in the midst of it all, there have been murders– one in a restroom next to Kay’s office, and two on the floor beneath her apartment.

Even on the cusp of the story’s climax, there are still unanswered questions–

Do we know what we think we know? Possibly not.

Will we learn what we expect to learn? Hopefully yes.

Will the police arrive in time? Definitely not.

Five more episodes to go!


Comics Are Stupid!

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 6:05 am


Manley & WCN on “Meanwhile…” Podcast

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 7:06 pm

I was interviewed for the “Meanwhile …” podcast a few days ago, on the subject of WCN, why it’s different from/better than other solutions, etc. — and now the interview has been posted. If you don’t have an iPod, you can still download the MP3 and listen to it on your computer.

Go Listen

The Double, new webcomic

Filed under: — Reinder Dijkhuis @ 1:50 pm

The Double by Daniel Østvold and Geir Strøm has started. It’s the first story in the Chronicles of the Witch Queen series. The Double will update on weekdays until it ends in mid-October. And it will be bloody good!

My involvement with Geir and Daniel actually dates back about 10 years. Geir’s brother knew me through music fandom, and one day dropped a mention of his older brother being the writer of a comic with a Norwegian painter. He told me it was a bit like the comic I had online at the time, The Stone of Contention. I was a fanzine editor at the time, and thought it might be interesting for the fanzine, so I contacted him, asked him to send me some stuff, and soon enough a big package from Daniel arrived in the mail. Several packages arrived in the mail, with solo comics work from Daniel, brochures showcasing his paintings, sculptures and installations, and, eventually, a CD of his music. But the most striking piece of work was the fantasy comic Geir had written for Daniel, looking totally unlike any other fantasy comics, with intricate, low-contrast page layouts, complex backgrounds and architecture, and characters that looked stiff at first but came to life as the comic progressed. Dobbeltgjengeren was an album-length story that fit right into the mood of the early Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan books but had its internally consistent universe that owed nothing to the traditional sources of fantasy art. Later, I would learn that nearly every character in the book was based, visually, on someone Daniel knew, which was probably why the character art worked so well (Geir, by the way, was the visual inspiration for the Baron von Fieffelfalsfaffel although his personality is totally unlike that of the good Baron).
I decided to translate the book into Dutch and publish it. Six months or so after the complete version of the story arrived in my mailbox, De Dubbelganger was done. I would have liked to say it was a small-press success, but alas. I still have half the print run on a shelf in the hall of my apartment.
De Dubbelganger was a flop, but that didn’t stop Daniel, Geir and me from coming up with sequels. In the magazine I edited, Impuls, a Christmas story set in the same universe became a Christmas supplement. Geir sent me a script he thought I might want to do, featuring a character from the first story, and that became The Eye of the Underworld. Characters from the series showed up in my Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan, and vice versa. Finally, that crossover was followed by two Courtly Manners stories featuring characters from both series.

Also, Daniel recorded a musical version of Dobbeltgjengeren, in English, in my home town, with a cast of singers and musicians that I helped put together.

Over the years, I tried to revive the book. When Joey Manley first came up with the idea for Webcomics nation, back when it was still a very different idea from what it turned out as, I immediately thought of making a group website with all the material from the series brought together in the correct chronological order, instead of scattered across different websites as it is now. During the Long Wait, I mostly forgot about the idea, but when the launch approached, I started thinking about it again. Daniel and Geir approved of the concept, so starting today, The Double gets a new lease on life, in English, updating with five large pages a week. We’ll be able to keep that tempo up for the better part of a year, with just the material we’ve already got. New stories are also in production, and they’re going to be even better.

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