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Agnes Quill: Zombie Love Trap!

Filed under: — goraina @ 7:43 pm

Today begins the serialization of “Zombie Love Trap,” the third in a series of Agnes Quill
mysteries to appear on

Written by Dave Roman (Astronaut Elementary) and illustrated by Jeff Zornow (Weird Sister), Agnes Quill is the story of a teenage detective, the haunted city she lives in, the strange cases she solves, and the ghosts who help, hinder, or just plain annoy her.

In “Zombie Love Trap,” Agnes find herself hired by a questionable client, whose past affairs won’t stay buried. And like the previous Agnes Quill story (available in the archives), as one case is resolved it will segue into another larger adventure, “Buried Homes and Gardens,” in which Agnes must help the residents of an underground city.

Agnes Quill
updates Monday through Friday, and is available through a LJ Syndication Feed.

Webhead # 3: Oh no! Robot!

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 6:51 pm

In this week’s Webhead column, I interview T Campbell and Ryan North, creators of the new search engine for webcomics, OhNoRobot. I also plug the new Supernatural Law webcomic.

Frank Miller to make PSP comic?

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 12:35 pm

Apparantly, Frank Miller is making a Playstation Portable comic in collaboration with Hideo Kojima, creator of the “Metal Gear” videogame franchise. It also looks like Sony is gearing up for more built-in support for digital comics reading on the PSP.

via The Great Curve


Winged Things

Filed under: — Dbarr @ 3:23 pm

Two of the illustrations from what will be a themed art book. Will be using — unless I decide to flog it at a mainstream publisher.
Donna Barr


“Love Rat”

Wings and Rats

Filed under: — Dbarr @ 2:52 pm

Just another piece from an upcoming project that will ultimately be printed in full color at

Love Rat

I don’t know what happened to the lady’s right wing, but my sister had a dear little rat named Rosie.

Everything’s Autobiographical…


Read the First 25 Pages of Templar, Arizona!

Filed under: — Spike @ 1:54 pm

This one’s for those of you that like going after their comics in big chunks, instead of week to week. Templar, Arizona’s 25 pages in, and the first scene’s just ended. Now’s a great time to start reading, if you haven’t been followng it already. Click here to get started from page one, or just paw Reagan, up there. She’ll be okay with it. She’s the friendly type.


New Webhead Column at Comicon Pulse

Filed under: — Dbarr @ 11:57 am

Improved RSS Feeds @ WCN

Filed under: — Dbarr @ 12:24 am

I’ve rewritten the RSS functionality for WCN from scratch. New features include full content feeds, enclosures, and permalinks. Because the first two of those items can be controversial, they can be activated or de-activated by the cartoonists themselves. My guess is that 90% of the cartoonists will use these features, but the 10% who don’t want them would be truly (and rightly) incensed if I made them mandatory — or even made them the default. WCN cartoonists have gotta go twiddle with their control panels a bit to get the full use of the new RSS functionality.

Details here.


Cat Garza interview on Digital Strips podcast this week

Filed under: — catgarza @ 12:38 pm

listen to me ramble incessantly about webcomics and listen to a new SQUAREPEGZ song

well, what do you know… i’ve got more than 5 readers after all!. be sure to add yourself to the magic inkwell readers frappr map!


Stinz Again

Filed under: — Dbarr @ 10:49 pm

There are rumors that Donna Barr is leaving Moderntales.

As soon as her Pithed (Desert Peach #31) has run, she’ll be posting the next Stinz.

She may very well have brought both her long-running series to an end. And she did it on Moderntales. Pithed is available in print at Lulu

However, she’s not done with the web. Inspiration is the first of a series of watercolors she will later release through Lulu.

She’ll post them at Moderntales first. Like she’d be crazy enough to leave.

There are limits.


New Webcomics Column at Comicon Pulse

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 11:39 pm

I’ve agreed to write a column about webcomics for’s Pulse. The first installment is up now, but I’m feeling pretty blah about it. It’ll get better.

It’s taking me a while to get my column-writing vibe for a lot of reasons. Per my agreement with Jen Contino, editor of the Pulse, I’m not allowed to shamelessly plug Modern Tales properties — I have to spread the love around. Just so you know. Also, I haven’t done this kind of thing in about three years (though it used to be my bread and butter). Blogging has taken the edge off my formal writing. Maybe that’s a good thing. I dunno.


Palladium Prologue Free for All

Filed under: — L_Jonte @ 2:00 pm


I have decided that since the prologue is finished now, and since it was origianlly meant to be read as one whole piece, that I will leave the entire prologue up for FREE until Chapter One begins on November 25th.  Read it here.


Rock Solid Writeup on Mystery Comics!

Filed under: — joezabel @ 7:44 pm

Alexander Danner has produced one of the best documents every scribed on the subject of writing for mystery comics. Check it out!

Danner sounds like he’s been penning whodunnits for the past five years, that’s how on clued and on-target the feature is. Part of that’s because he conducted what must’ve been a harrowing back-room interrogation of Tim Broderick, who’s been spinning murder plots for Odd Jobs for about that long (by the way, check out Broderick’s short prose mystery Company Man available free at MT, for one shocker of a surprise ending!)

Danner also did his homework, boning up on the classics, like Jason Little’s Shutterbug Follies.

And yeah, he talked to me as well, so maybe I’m biased. But I also feel damned honored to be a part of this superb feature.

Alex tells me he’s going to be doing more articles about writing comics for the webcomics news and reviews site Comixpedia. Yet another reason to stop by ‘Pedia on a regular basis!

Klurkor 11.

Filed under: — T Campbell @ 10:41 am

I’ve been trying to work this up into an essay, but I think it may work better as a meme right now. So let’s go for brevity.

What follows is “Klurkor 11,” a set of rules designed for better comics storytelling. These rules are especially important for action scenes in action and related genres– fantasy, science fiction, superhero– hence the name. (If you know where the name comes from, fifty geek points.) But they bear repeating even outside that playing field. They are a recipe for making worlds real.

1. In an “action panel,” the time taken by dialogue does not exceed the time taken by an action. If two characters are embracing, paragraphs of dialogue are permissible, but if one is throwing a punch, only a few harsh words will fit. (This rule is likely to be the most controversial. Brian Michael Bendis is trampling it with his rendition of Spider Man in THE NEW AVENGERS. There is a place for this kind of “StanChat,” as there is a place for breaking the fourth wall and parody. But that place is not front and center. If you would make your world real, StanChat has to go.)

2. Expository dialogue must be motivated. Dialogue must always emerge from character and situation. Characters in a crowd may call each other by name to clarify to each other whom they are addressing. If two characters are alone, though, they cannot call each other by name simply to clarify it to us. There are many other reasons to use a person’s name– and to mention other things about them or about oneself– but there must always be a reason.

3. Obfuscatory dialogue must be motivated. If you’re on the ground and your starship captain asks to know what the problem is, you cannot simply tell him “trouble! Big trouble!” for the sake of pith.

4. Smart people don’t telegraph their moves. Master martial artists, in particular, do not waste breath by shouting the name of their attack before they make it. If a near-unstoppable monster ignores you for a second, don’t grab his attention with words unless you’re all out of bullets and you’re trying to give someone else time to run. Also, see rule 2– your opponents do not deserve an explanation of how you are beating them.

5. There is no “invisible mattress.” Characters cannot survive the unsurvivable simply because the writer wants them to remain alive.

6. Power levels do not change arbitrarily. A hero who has been consistently outmatched by the forces of evil will not start winning just because there aren’t many pages left and it’s time to wrap things up. Also, getting mad can provide a brief adrenaline rush, but when the combat is based upon weapons or skill more than strength, emotions often cloud performance.

7. Smart people strategize. If you’re writing experienced fighters at the top of their game, then you’re going to have to give some thought to tactics and overall strategy. They certainly would. Read books. For real experts, consider writing a football-style playbook.

8. There is no “white room effect.” Scenes take place in places. If Spider-Man is inside a living room he cannot leap around as if he were outdoors. If Superman is downtown in a populated area, he can’t simply throw cars around and trust the writers that no innocent bystanders will get hurt.

9. The rare happens rarely. If you establish that an event is an unusual occurrence, the course of events must bear this out.

10. Nobody’s perfect. Not even Batman. Even the master planners will occasionally miss the detail that no one could reasonably expect to be important. Emphasize “reasonably,” though, and remember rule 7.

11. Reality is self-consistent. This is the rule from which the other rules flow. Like any medium, comics’ greatest power is not to reflect reality, but to create reality. Yet an artificial reality soon collapses if the writer ignores or forgets aspects of it for the sake of narrative convenience. The reader will only believe in your world if it is real. And it will only be real if you believe in it. Believe.

Special thanks to Dave Belmore for rules 9 and 10, and for giving this initial draft greater focus. Cross-posted from my own blog.

Your comments?


Alan Moore on Prescience

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:04 pm

This Publisher’s Weekly interview with Alan Moore is mostly about his request to have his name retroactively removed from all the work-for-hire graphic novels he did for DC (which would include V for Vendetta, coming soon to a cinemaplex near you).

For those who don’t know, a work-for-hire arrangement is one where a creator agrees, contractually, to make the corporation hiring him or her the legal author of the work in question.

Says Moore: “If I don’t actually have the moral right to declare myself the author of the work, does that mean that I should have the moral right to declare myself not the author of the work?” Since DC has kept almost everything Moore ever wrote for them in print for decades now, and since most of those works are considered major landmarks of the form, and since the Alan Moore byline is a major selling point, it will be pretty interesting, and pretty funny, if he gets his way. But I doubt it’ll happen.

My favorite Mooreism in the piece isn’t about that subject at all. It’s this: “I wouldn’t like to claim I was being prescient, but that said, it is pretty clear I have a direct line to God and I know every moment of the future before it happens.” From the context, I think he’s joking. On the other hand, I do believe him. So there you go.

via Ivan Brandon on

Smithson on WCN

Filed under: — Shaenon @ 8:52 pm

My comic “More Fun,” previously on GraphicSmash, has relaunched with a new title, “Smithson,” a new artist, Brian Moore, and a new home on WebComicsNation:

It’s also now totally free, making it my only non-subsciption webcomic. So check it out! It’s already got a pretty hefty archive, featuring art by Brian, Robert Stevenson, and recurring special guest artist Roger Langridge. And it’s about college and stuff. Yeah.

Knights of the Shroud creator interview on Newsarama

Filed under: — MattB @ 3:02 am

Chris Arrant of Newsarama interviewed Matt Bayne, creator of Knights of the Shroud, which runs on GirlAMatic.

Excerpt from the article:

In this latest edition of “Up & Coming”, we turn our attention to the realm of online comics. For a growing number of cartoonists, the ability to post comics online has proved valuable in bringing their work to the public without the financial outlay involved in printing and distributing comics. One such soul is Matt Bayne, creator of Knights of the Shroud.

Hosted at GirlAMatic, Knights of the Shroud are a group of well-meaning individuals in a medieval time. They have banded together to thwart the rampant slave trade in a world that regards it as the norm. Matt Bayne’s expressive linework compliments his expressive characters in this sword & sorcery scenario. caught up with Bayne to find out more about the series, the format, and the artist.

Full article here.

11/7/2005 Issues

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:44 am

As many of you know, my plan when launching WCN was to quickly launch a companion service,, which would work exactly the same way (cartoonists pay for hosting, build their own businesses around their comics, and etc.)

I’ve run into problems.

They aren’t technical problems.

It seems that payment providers are very weird when it comes to adult hosting services. If I were running a Modern Tales-like service, where I (or some editor) picked all the content, and then sold it to readers, everything would be fine. Because there would be a choke-point, a person who could take responsibility for everything on the service. And apparantly the payment providers require this kind of responsibility to be taken. They all have these weird kinds of loyalty pledges you have to sign, that say you won’t have “bad things” on your site. (Apparantly, for example, shit-eating is verboten at every turn, even on the most scabrous of porn sites). Which, of course, requires somebody to check and clear all content. Which doesn’t work with the WCN model. The few payment providers I’ve talked to who are willing to allow me to sell hosting, and not control the content, charge exorbitant fees.

So I’m stuck at a turning point. I still want to launch in some form — I think the adult market in webcomics is one that has been terribly underdeveloped, from a business perspective — but the WCN model isn’t going to work, I’ve decided.

Here are some possibilities:

1. The Modern Tales model. Launch another MT spin-off, similar to Graphic Smash, for example, except with a focus on adult material. Problem with this: I’ve got enough subscription sites and am looking to experiment with other models at this particular time. Also, I’d need to find an editor. The one guy I’ve spoken to (Ghastly), enthusiastic as he is about the idea, seems a little leery about being in a position of turning people down. I know why. I still get hate mail from people I turned down for Modern Tales three years ago.

2. The Keenspot model. Make it just like the above (edited portal, etc), except free, and advertising-supported. Problems: still need an editor, and I’ve been told that most porn ad banner networks are less than reputable. Of course, I could solve this problem by running house ads and/or selling ads directly to the people who come to the site.

3. The Keenspace model. Open it up for everybody, for free, and sell ads on the cartoonist’s pages. The WCN codebase would be used, but without the business-building features (the ability to sell your own ads, the ability to sell subscriptions, etc). This also has the advantage of not adding to my current accounting workload, since no royalties would have to be calculated for artists.

I’m leaning toward (3) right now, because I feel that this market, undeveloped as it is, needs a vast, fertile space to grow its superstars. Modern Tales was the product of a maturing marketplace: Keenspace, among other things, made it possible.


If you have any thoughts, they’d be appreciated.

See What I Mean?

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:16 am

From Comic Book Resources:

It started as a Web comic, but now the real world of comics are treated to an appearance by the humor filled series “Butternutsquash” from Speakeasy Comics.

Emphasis mine.

Congrats to Ramon and Rob. Too bad CBR (or Speakeasy, if this was just a repurposed press release) has its head so far up its ass. Who wants to bet that Butternut Squash’s audience online outstrips its Direct Market audience by 1000 to 1? I do. That’s what I want to bet. That’s the real world of comics. But only, you know, if having actual readers counts for anything. If having readers isn’t the point, then, yeah, maybe the Direct Market is real.



Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 4:07 pm

Webcomic creators = moths

Direct Market = flame


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