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TAC Podcast # 4: Joey Manley and Joe Zabel

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:14 pm

In this week’s (month’s?) podcast, I speak with Webcomics Examiner editor and Modern Tales creator Joe Zabel, on topics elitist, introverted, extroverted, serialized, and micropaid.

Download this installment or subscribe to the feed.

Today’s Dubious Achievement

Filed under: — Alexander Danner @ 1:42 pm

Panel One, Episode 100Today is the One hundredth episode of Panel One! To celebrate, this strip announces the impending arrival of a fourth character: Teh Demon of the Internet. What’s he like? Probably not the most pleasant of fellows, given all the poor grammar, mean spiritedness, and cursing he has already inspired in this week’s strips.

I continue to be impressed by the number of people reading Panel One. The strip started out as really just a sort of sketchbook where I could play around with all of my worst ideas, without fear of ruining my more serious projects. But apparently folks like seeing me explore my sophomoric side, as Panel One continues to be my most popular comic to date, averaging around 800 readers per episode.

Of course, readership has been slowly declining over the past several weeks. This is not unexpected—the novelty of this kind of strip can only last for so long. Which is why it’s definitely time to bring in a new character, and see what changes.


On the Webcomics Community

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 9:55 am

Rob Baldur has an interesting rant up on Comixpedia today. I don’t want to summarize it, but I do have some thoughts. Go read it, then come back.

Got it? Okay, so here goes. I suspect a couple of things.

I’m probably one of the people Rob thinks is an “asshat,” because I felt that Jon Rosenberg’s “experiment” with micropayments was disingenuously destined to fail, for reasons that have nothing to do with the potential viability of micro’s themselves. I’ve shared this opinion with Rob in person, by the way, and we discussed it like actual human beings, without a lot of heat — this isn’t one of those messageboard moments of valor or whatever. Still and all, I suspect Rob categorizes me as an enemy. Which is fine. Whatever. I like him just fine anyway.

I also suspect that, if I were to look at the dataset Rob is talking about, I’d have a very different interpretation of its meaning. Numbers are (or, anyway, can be, if collated properly) objective — but they are also open to any number of subjective interpretations. That’s the real meaning behind the old chestnut about “lies, damned lies, and statistics,” often attributed to Mark Twain.

But neither of those suspicions is important. I’m calling attention to Rob’s post because I agree with him on its most fundamental point — sharing your business research, your experiences in the field, and your theories about what works and what doesn’t, in the webcomics arena, is just asking for trouble. I am probably one of the people more famous for making this mistake than any other. I won’t be making it again. Let me be clear: there are many beautiful, friendly people in the “webcomics community.” But when it comes to discussion about business, those beautiful, friendly people are drowned out by a couple of dozen vile shitheels (whether or not Rob and I would agree on who the friendly people are, and who the shitheels are — I suspect our views on that subject are probably mirror images of one another — is irrelevant). I, too, have decided that the best use of my theories, my data, my research, and my ideas is, simply, to implement them myself, and that attempting to share them, and have an honest discussion in the “webcomics community” is not only a waste of time, but a counterproductive drama sink. Why spend your time defending something, when the better proof is simply to succeed?

I wish that this was not the case. But there you go.

Graphic Novel Review Update: GØDLAND

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 9:15 am

In this week’s Graphic Novel Review update, I looked at Joe Casey and Tom Scioli’s GØDLAND, from Image Comics:

Here’s the thing: if the intent was to produce a fun throwback to Kirby’s late career — the New Gods/Kamandi/Eternals/Detroyer Duck era — while putting a little bit of a contemporary spin on the “Kirby genre,” then the book is an unqualified success, in large part because of Casey’s cleverness as a writer and Scioli’s sincerity as an imitator/reinventor of the Kirby style. It is for this reason that I plan to read all the GØDLAND trades as they come out, personally. But I’m certain that that is not the intent — that Casey and Scioli mean to do more.

… more


Unknown Webcomic Cavalcade

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:38 am

It’s been called to my attention that I usually only promote webcomics on my own server. Well, you know, duh. That’s my job. Besides that, for the most part, webcomics on my own server are the only ones I read — for no other reason than that I’m busy, busy, busy, and spending time working on my server necessarily causes me to read the comics there. I don’t have a lot of time for any other activities, period. My PSP is languishing! My books go unread! Argh!

But every now and then somebody recommends a comic to me from outside my little world that I can’t resist. I Am a Rocket Builder is one of those. It’s odd and funny (I mean truly funny, but not in an obvious punchline-driven way) and experiments just enough with the form of webcomics to intrigue, without self-indulgence or pretension (though I suppose some would disagree).

For example: Click the Octopus’s body. Go ahead.

The artist has said that this kind of silly interactivity is “cheap,” and has resolved not to do it anymore. I guess I agree. But go! Click! Anyway!


2006 Women Writers Conference - Graphic Novel Quorum

Filed under: — S_Turner @ 2:25 pm

The 2006 Women Writers Conference has organized a Graphic Novel Quorum taking place this Saturday, April 22nd. The Lexington, KY event will begin at 3pm at ArtsPlace, located at 161 N. Mill St. and is free and open to the public. Speakers, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lauren Weinstein, Amy Kim Ganter, and Lexington’s own Sara Turner, will talk about the craft of comics and their latest published work. Moderated by OSU Cartoon Research Library curator Jenny Robb. Book signing to follow.

Graphic Novel Review Update

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:08 am

This week, I reviewed Demo by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan:

Like the best alt-rockers, Wood and Cloonan twist the devices of mainstream pop to unusually thoughtful ends. In the case of a rock band, those pop devices might be catchy hooks, or crunchy guitars. Think of the way that REM used schmaltzy sentimentality to hateful and ironic effect in their first top 40 hit (”This one goes out to the one I love …”). It’s pop, but it isn’t — but, yes, really, it is — but, no, it really isn’t. And so on. That’s how it’s done in music. In the case of a comic book, “pop” means superheroes. Even allegedly non-superheroic pop comics, like Sin City or Planetary, present the reader with superheroes (or supervillains) to root for and/or despise, albeit tights-less, cowl-less, capeless ones. That Yellow Bastard, for example, would be right at home in any Batman story. Demo, on the other hand, remains comparatively non-action-oriented: it revolves around characters with super powers, but in a very different way than your typical Marvel or DC comic does.

Read more …


Webcomics Examiner down for Wordpress upgrade

Filed under: — joezabel @ 8:44 pm

The Webcomics Examiner is currently down because of a necessary Wordpress upgrade. I thought the upgrade would go smoothly and would be virtually transparent, but I’ve hit a technical snag and now I’m awaiting advice on how to get the site back up again.

The gory details are below:

I attempted to perform the upgrade. I followed the instructions to the letter. And of course I have backups of everything.

The site is not displaying, and I got snagged on the step asking me to run the upgrade script.

Per the instructions, I should go to:

But when I do that, I see this displayed:

Warning: Unable to access /home/virtual/site6/fst/var/www/html/examiner/wordpress/wp-includes/cache.php in /home/virtual/site6/fst/var/www/html/examiner/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 109

Fatal error: Failed opening required ‘/home/virtual/site6/fst/var/www/html/examiner/wordpress/wp-includes/cache.php’ (include_path=’.:/php/includes:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear’) in /home/virtual/site6/fst/var/www/html/examiner/wordpress/wp-settings.php on line 109

Any help would be appreciated. Just post your suggestions in the comments here.

Corwalch’s Song

Filed under: — B. Zedan @ 1:13 am


Over at Space Goth, the guest story begins, as does my month-long vacation of sorts! Everyone is so wee, I can’t get over it. It’s updating Mondays through Fridays, because Brigid is totally a more prolific writer than I am.
For more Brigid, check out her main site, and her webcomic, For Some Have Heard the Corwalch Sing, which hasn’t started yet, so keep it bookmarked.

There is also some ace fan art by Spike, whose own work was pretty much what influenced me to start doing Space Goth in the first place. New, equally ace, fanart will be updating Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays


Pewfell: Kicking it Up a Notch

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 11:51 am

Pewfell is one of those comics that people take for granted. It’s been going for years. Lots of people know about it, and know that it’s good. A lot of times, I find that when I mention it, people tell me that they’ve been meaning to catch up on it someday.

That time should be now.

Chuck and Adam have kicked it up a notch or two with their latest few storylines. I’ve been blown away by what they’ve done. These comics are on par with the best of the old-school Heavy Metal magazines I used to hide in my locker when I was in high school (and that’s a very high compliment coming from me). If you only remember Pewfell from its days as a black-and-white daily, then you don’t know Pewfell at all, anymore. Now that it’s being posted on WCN for free, there’s no excuse not to check it out.

Here are some sample pages from the most recent storyline (not in order):


Holy Moley, Space Goth Turns One!

Filed under: — B. Zedan @ 12:38 am

So, today, officially (on yesterday’s 52nd weekly update, it was unofficial), Space Goth is one year old.
To this I say:

no, seriously

Somehow, there wasn’t as much angst as you’d expect, and we got caught up in a mystery.

Remember–starting next Monday, April 17th, a wonderful guest story by Brigid Sullivan will begin while I take some time off. Updates will be Monday through Friday. Brigid is an amazing writer and soon her own webcomic, For Some Have Heard the Corwalch Sing will begin. You’ll find a common thread in both our stories, I leave it up to you to find it out. Also, for the next month, check back on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for some hella killer guest art.


FEMME NOIR returns with all-new adventure!

Filed under: — AP Furtado @ 3:16 am

FEMME NOIR creators Christopher Mills and Joe Staton - along with inker Horacio
Ottolini - are proud to announce the beginning of a new 28-week FEMME NOIR story
arc, “BLONDE JUSTICE” at Supernatural Crime.
The first weekly episode of the new story will premiere on Tuesday, April 11th.

FEMME NOIR is a web-exclusive mystery comic strip starring a mysterious female
private eye operating in the dark city of Port Nocturne - a politically corrupt,
crime-ridden metropolis where the smell of gunpowder hangs in the air like cheap
perfume, every black alley comes to a dead end, and justice is| blonde.

The SUPERNATURAL CRIME website and FEMME NOIR comic strip are the brainchildren of
writer Christopher Mills, whose other comics credits include scripting a year’s
worth of LEONARD NIMOY’S PRIMORTALS for TeknoComix; writing, editing and
co-publishing the black & white horror series SHADOW HOUSE. He also spent most of
the 90’s as an editor for two now-defunct independent comics publishers. His
highly-acclaimed crime one-shot, GRAVEDIGGER: THE SCAVENGERS with artist Rick
Burchett, was published by Rorschach Entertainment in 2004, and the graphic novel
THE NIGHT DRIVER, which he adapted from a screenplay by John Cork, will be published
by Moonstone Books later this year.

FEMME NOIR is illustrated by comics industry veteran Joe Staton, whose numerous
credits include such major Marvel & DC characters as the HULK, GREEN LANTERN, GUY
illustrated the Paradox Press graphic novel FAMILY MAN (written by Jerome Charyn)
and is the co-creator (with Nicola Cuti) of the Charlton Comics superhero E-MAN and
private eye MICHAEL MAUSER. In 1998, he received an Eisner award for his work on

Inker Horacio Ottolini lives in Argentina. He first inked Staton’s pencils on the
Elseworlds BATMAN tale, “Citizen Wayne,” and frequently works with Staton on SCOOBY
DOO for DC Comics.

The FEMME NOIR comic updates every Tuesday at Supernatural Crime.


Supernatural Law up for some major mainstream book awards

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 9:21 am

From The Beat via Comixpedia:

Batton Lash’s Tales of Supernatural Law, published by Exhibit A Press, is a finalist in the graphic novel category for two major book awards: Publishers Marketing Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year Awards (BOYA). In addition, the book has been nominated to be included in a major American Library Association recommended reading list.

Batton Lash is one of my favorites. I’m very proud to have his webcomic on my servers. In print or online, Lash has always been a standard-bearer for quality, professionalism, and an outreach to the real, everyday, Soccer-Mom world (as opposed to the geeky minority who already know they like comics, like you and me). He calls his audience the “New Mainstream,” playing off of the way that superhero comics are considered “mainstream” in the comic book world, even though they appeal to a specific, sub-cultural audience of die-hard fans. That audience is perfectly terrific — but it’s not, really, a mainstream audience. There are so many more people to be reached! His ideas about the new mainstream have been inspirational to me in all my efforts to go beyond the typical comics audience. Let’s hope this attention helps him to achieve that goal!

Get the book: Tales of Supernatural Law

Read the webcomic:

Note: the webcomic is original material created specifically for the web, not repurposed print material. Both the webcomic and the print book are well worth checking out!

Dylan Meconis is back! Wish Mudron was, too!

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 8:12 am

Dylan Meconis is one of the most interesting webcartoonists working today. Her first longform serial, Bite Me, has won praise from such worthies as Neil Gaiman and Scott McCloud. Back in the day, everybody was following Dylan. As often happens with graphic-novel-style webcomics, though, once she finished the work, and took a break, people moved on. It’s more difficult to carry a vast audience if you’re not doing daily gag-a-days. (I’m not griping, whining, or complaining — I’m just saying). It’s the way of the world. Nothing you can do about it. But anyway. That’s why fans of Dylan’s, like me, owe it to themselves to spread the word when she starts something new:

Check it out!

Now if we can just convince Dylan’s buddy Bill Mudron to do some more work on Pan. That was startlingly brilliant work … even if Bill is a bit of a crankyface about me and mine from time to time in his LiveJournal. You gotta give him his props. If he finishes that thing, it’ll be a major achievement in Comics. Not just in webcomics.

And, yes, the capital “C” was intentional. I am pretentious and I’m proud.


Must Read: Felina

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 5:06 pm

Reinder tells me that IngaLill Roesberg is fairly well-known in Europe. I’d never heard of her when she signed up for a WCN account. But now I’m a fan. She’s posted several strips on her WCN site — my particular favorite is Felina. Here’s a sample strip:

If you like humorous fantasy comics, you really owe it to yourself to check this out. I’m loving it.


TWEEN: The Collected Bad Mojo now on sale.

Filed under: — AP Furtado @ 5:15 pm

On sale NOW from Underground Pop Productions is the two volume
TWEEN: The Collected Bad Mojo. These two volumes, at 48 pages each, reprint
the entire Bad Mojo Saga as well as featuring pin ups and some never before
seen Tween comics; all in full color.

Also, on sale, is the Underground Pop Anthology. This 32 page
full color comic features the stories, MUTIE, SEPIE’S GARDEN, LAKE AFFECT,
MUDPIE, and the never before seen SHUTDOWN. Depending on how much material
I have, I’m hoping to do one or two issues of this anthology per year. I’m
very pleased with the final product here, thanks to the fine folks at Ka-Blam. Order your copies now at Indy

AP. Furtado

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