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2/19/2007

David Malki! on Webcomics Not Being Comics

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 10:17 am

I’ve heard that the best writers tell us what we didn’t realize we already knew.

In a guest essay over at Fleen today, MT cartoonist David Malki ! does just such a thing.

Here’s some of the meat of it (but please, do go and read the whole thing):

So instead of approaching the whole “webcomics problem” from the direction of comics — trying to win converts at syndicates, comics publishers, and mass media by saying “They’re just like regular comics! Honestly! Only online!” — we should be trying to win converts among fans of funny, interesting things on the Internet in general. The argument then goes, “They’re just as funny as YouTube videos! Just as interesting as blogs! Just as snarky as Something Awful or Fark or whatever! Honestly! Only in comics form!”

I’ve approached this line of thinking before, sidewise and clumsily, but have never been able to express it quite so clearly (and have always accomplished nothing but generate flamewars whenever I’ve tried). My experience has been that the dedicated cultists who currently “own” comics protect that ownership jealously and defensively (what Malki ! calls “the culture of comics” and the less-generous of us call “the fanboys being fanboys”) — and interpret these kinds of statements as meaning: “We hate you and think you’re stupid, blah” when really they just mean, “You’re not the center of our world, and we’re not going to go out of our way to cater to you, because doing so hurts us in terms of the big picture — but hey — really — you’re welcome to come along for the ride, if you want.”

I could be wrong.

Let’s see if Dick Joke draws himself hitting Malki ! in the face with a brick. Then we’ll know.


Can you out-Wally Wood?

Filed under: — The William G @ 1:23 am

Peter Venables recently came up with a nifty little artistic exercise and creative challenge involving Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work.

I’ve taken up his challenge, and it’s a fairly simple one: You just need to draw the twenty two panels in your own way.

For example:

Big head

Easy as pie, and just as fun. So grab those art-tools folks, and give it a spin.


2/17/2007

Rob Liefield on Platinum Studios

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 8:09 pm

“For years Platinum’s owner and I have existed in an uneasy truce. He has consistently presented characters from my catalogue without attributing me as their rightful creator. It is an insult to creator’s everywhere when their input and contributions are diminished. It is not a tradition I would encourage or pursue.”

From this week’s Lying in the Gutters.

There is also talk of legal maneuvering.

This might turn out to be interesting, especially to those webcomics creators who are contemplating signing over the rights to their creations to Platinum (owner of webcomics portal Drunk Duck) — or, for that matter, signing over their rights to anybody else. I have no specific opinion on the matter right now, but plan to watch this play out with great interest.


Change in Banner Ads on WCN Free

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 3:37 pm

WCN Free comics used to have banner ads at the top (in the WCN branding area) based on which genre they were in — so that people could buy ads just on Action-Adventure comics, for example, or Horror comics. That is no longer the case. WCN Free comics still don’t have quite enough traffic for this kind of granular sales pitch (the vast majority of all traffic on WCN goes to Premium comics, like Templar, Arizona, which has roughly twice as much traffic as all 2000 or so WCN Free comics combined, and Breakfast of the Gods, whose comparative numbers are similar). So anyway. I changed it. Now you just place one bid, and your ad can appear at the top of every single WCN Free comic. As with all Project Wonderful-powered ad banners, bidding starts at zero, so place your bids now — you can’t possibly lose out by getting in early. Quite the opposite.


2/15/2007

Outspoken with Leia Weathington

Filed under: — Lynn Lau @ 6:07 am

Hot off the presses! Girlamatic introduces a new section called Outspoken! Interviews with Girlamatic Creators. Here, readers get exclusive insight into their favorite GAM creators through Creator Spotlight interviews, as well as special announcements and news releases as they come. Interviews are conducted by Lynn Lau.

In this debut edition of Outspoken, we turn the spotlight on Leia Weathington, creator of the popular Bold Riley series. Leia’s luscious lines and brushwork show off curves in their best fighting form, namely the Princess Rilavashna SanParite herself, Bold Riley. This isn’t your average once-upon-a-time.

(more…)


2/14/2007

MT Interview: Steve Emond

Filed under: — Shaenon @ 2:41 pm

Steve Emond’s webcomic Steverino follows the relationship woes of the title character, a nerd with a romantic soul–maybe a little too romantic. Emond also draws the Slave Labor comic Emo Boy, a sendup of emo culture. He was kind enough to talk to me about the origins of Steverino, the Steverino movie, and BFFs.

(more…)


Happy Valentines’ Day!

Filed under: — Eric Millikin @ 12:49 pm

More here.

Cheers,
Eric

P.S. You should leave more Valentines in comments.


Rhymer?

Filed under: — T Campbell @ 10:55 am

I’m just gonna put this out, here. It’s vaguely related to comics, as I’d like to apply it to the construction of comics.

Does anyone know where I can find a program that’ll sort large blocks of text by rhyme?

I’m looking for the ability to do something like this, but using actual rhymes, not words that just end with the same couple of letters (”stopped” does not rhyme with “glared”).

I’d be willing to pay for this, or pay to get it developed. Anyone know anything?


2/13/2007

Reckless Life Back From Hiatus, Joins Bomb Shelter Comics

Filed under: — timdemeter @ 10:37 am

Today Reckless Life, the comic from the editor of Graphic Smash and Clickwheel detailing the zany criminal adventures of a thief named Locke, returns from a six week hiatus.  With the return, Reckless Life has also joined Bomb Shelter Comics, the masterminds behind Webcomic Idol.

If you’ve never read Reckless Life before, now is a great time to hop on board, as this latest chapter details the very earliest years of the lead character, and requires no archival reading to follow.  Just click here and see how Locke was born.  You won’t be disappointed whether you’ve been following the character for years, or are just meeting him now. Reckless Life updates every Tuesday and Thursday and, like most Graphic Smash comics, is completely free!


2/12/2007

How Webcomics are Like Programming Languages

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 5:26 pm

There seems to be a long period of initial obscurity for any new webcomic. Then after that comes a long period of semi-obscurity, followed by total obscurity.

(Paraphrased from somebody named Paul Bissex talking about new computer languages, who was quoted on a programmer’s blog I happened to stumble onto today.)


MT Interview: Geoff Grogan

Filed under: — Shaenon @ 2:28 pm

Geoff Grogan’s ongoing graphic novel, Nice Work, follows Johnny Cat, a professional Frank Sinatra stand-in, through swinging early-60s Hollywood. Geoff was kind enough to talk to me about his comics, his fine art projects, and the days when the future looked a whole lot snazzier than it does now.

(more…)


Dirk Deppey Reviews Curses

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 12:43 pm

Kevin Huizenga’s short story collection Curses was one of my favorite comics of 2006. I read it back when I still had some illusions that I would get back to updating Graphic Novel Review at some point (I still have those illusions from time to time, but then hackers attack the WCN server and I get wedded to my least-favorite kind of work, server admin, for another month or two). So, yeah, I started to take notes about the book the second time I read through it — and they made no sense at all. Dirk Deppey’s review , just posted today, does a much better job than I would have, in explaining why Curses is a must-read. But don’t let the complexity of the review — or any summary — fool you. It’s not a Hard Book at all. It’s just a Hard Book to Explain. As Dirk puts it:

Curses is simultaneously true to Kevin Huizenga’s central vision and all over the map, and it’s difficult to describe the book’s formal complexities without losing sight of what a smooth reading experience it provides.

… read the full review


Cartoon Awards

Filed under: — Eric Millikin @ 12:21 pm

My source within the WCCA awards reports that voting instructions are being sent out and that voting is being kept open through Tuesday.

My choices are posted in My Damn Livejournal.

This will be the year of the greatest come back in romance comics history, I can feel it!

- Eric M.


2/11/2007

Supergirl by Paul Pope? [UPDATED]

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 6:21 pm

If I wasn’t sure that this was a mistake on Amazon’s (or somebody’s) part, I’d have bought this already. Maybe some of you who follow superhero comics more closely can let me know the scoop? I’m pretty sure this is actually by that other guy, the one whose artwork I hate. The one whose women all look like starving, swaybacked refugees who happen to have been given boob jobs and expensive hairdos somehow. I forget the name. Oh, wait — that’s a lot of “mainstream” comic artists, isn’t it? Most of them?

Anyway. If Paul Pope is actually doing a Supergirl comic, let me know. I remain unconvinced. Especially looking at the cover. Ah well.

[EDIT]:
Dirk Deppey confirms that it’s not Paul Pope. That’s a shame. I would have totally bought that. I loved Paul Pope’s Batman: Year 100 project.

For that matter, I have been digging on Matt Wagner’s Batman, too — the stories are stupid, but the artwork is neat, in a “look at how I can incorporate the amateurish mannerisms of Bob Kane and his early assistants into my masterful illustration style — and create beautiful drawings!” kind of way. Um. Which has nothing to do with Paul Pope, or Supergirl. So never mind!


DeeMan Loves Tooncasting

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 1:08 pm

The DeeMan has posted a testimonial about WCN’s tooncasting feature, and how helpful it has been for him in drawing in non-comics readers to his work. Like Dee, I find it mind-boggling that other portals don’t support this functionality. I mean — I even released the source code a while back, just because. Ah well. Thanks for the kind words, Dee!


2/10/2007

New WCN Feature: Inline Comments — Updated

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 5:57 pm

We’ve got inline comments at WCN now. This means that your readers will be able to post comments under your comics, if you choose to allow them to do so. They’ll need WCN accounts, but since those are now free, I don’t think that that’ll be an issue.

Comments have been turned on by default for all series. If you are a WCN cartoonist, you can turn comments off for each of your individual series by going to Manage Comics and then choosing “Advanced Series Settings” under the title of the series whose comment capabilities you wish to modify.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for spam. I’ve done some stuff in the background to hopefully keep it to a minimum — but with spam, you never can do enough. If you start to notice spam under your comics, I’d recommend that you choose the “Moderated” option in the Advanced Series Settings.

[EDIT] In response to the most Frequently Asked Question about this feature — and, really, I should have mentioned this all along — here’s how to moderate comments, if you’ve chosen Moderated posting:

1. Go to “Manage Comics”

2. Scroll down to the series title of the comic with moderated posting turned on.

3. If you have any comments awaiting moderation, there will be a link to go to the moderation console.


Marvel + Jeep = webcomics

Filed under: — Eric Millikin @ 3:54 pm

Saw this in my Detroit News:

Jeep has called on Marvel Comics’ super powers and the creative thinking of the masses to help promote its new 2007 Jeep Patriot compact SUV. In a Web-based marketing campaign, consumers can submit dialogue and plot for how they think four young protagonists should handle villains and solve a mystery in an online comic called “The Patriot Factor.” The Chrysler Group, which includes Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler vehicles, and Marvel Comics paired up to create the comic, which can be viewed at www.patriotadventure.com …

Full Disclosure: The Detroit News writes me occasional checks for artwork and/or blogging about Chewbacca arrests, mummified Russians.

- Eric


More awards comedy

Filed under: — Eric Millikin @ 3:22 pm

Go this message:

Have you gotten your official ballot/registration for the WCCA’s? … I can’t figure out whether these guys just aren’t very good at organizing awards or if they’re trying to affect the vote by disenfranchising certain groups of webcartoonists. Any thoughts on this?

No, I still haven’t received my WCCA ballot. I am unsure whether this is part of that big comedy of errors that is the WCCAs or whether this is just a new, more efficient system where instead of just throwing out your votes they just don’t bother to let you vote at all.

Looking into it …

BTW: Here’s the MT artists that have been nominated this year; you might want to check them before placing your ballot in the trash:

Spike (Outstanding Comic, Character Rendering, Character Writing)
Shaenon Garrity (Outstanding Comic, Writer)
Ursula Vernon (Outstanding Black & White Art, Anthropomorphic Comic)
Eric Millikin Hey That’s Me (Outstanding Romantic Comic, Single Panel Comic)
David Malki! (Outstanding Comedic Comic)
Ryan North (Outstanding Writer)
Stephen Crowley (Outstanding Superhero/Action Comic)

UPDATE: While looking for an e-mail address over on the WCCA site I see that “Febuary 11 - End of final voting round.” Tick-tock.

UPDATE 2: Just sent this off. Tick-tock.

Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 12:30:02 -0800
From: Eric Millikin
To: trbinth@aol-dot-com
Subject: WCCA Voting Registration

WCCA Bouncer:

My name is Eric Millikin, my webcomic’s URL is http://www.fetusx.com/ and I’d
like instructions on how to vote in the 2007 WCCA awards.

Cheers,
Eric M.

UPDATE 3: Added Stephen Crowley to the list above.

- Eric


2/7/2007

Modern Tales and serializer outage today

Filed under: — Joey Manley @ 12:31 pm

Modern Tales and serializer went down a few minutes ago, each reporting a different server-side error. Tech support at mosso is on the case, and they assure me they’ll have those two sites back up shortly. I hope this means “by the time I get back from lunch.” I’m going to lunch now.

Eric says: Serializer looks to be up, Modern Tales still down. It’s almost 2 p.m., so I’m going to have breakfast.

Joey says: Both sites are up now.


Chapter 2 of The Vanguard is done

Filed under: — Victor Daniel @ 5:27 am

This is a couple of weeks late, especially since I’ll be putting up the cover page for chapter 3 in a day or so, but I’m letting everyone know that Chapter 2 of the Vanguard was completed… about two weeks ago. I took a week off and am now beginning Chapter 3. The last page of Chapter 2 is here and you can read the chapter all over from the beginning starting here.

This is something of a milestone for me, as when I first started this comic in April ‘06 I wasn’t sure I could get it past chapter 1, never mind this far. I’ve had the idea for this superteam comic kicking around in my head for years, but had doubts about my artistic abilities, my writing skills, I wasn’t even sure I could finish it even if I started. But it turns out that I underestimated myself-I’ve got more than 50 pages up so far and more storyline ideas keep coming. The hard part is going to be writing and drawing them out in a sequential form!

In any case, I hope you enjoy reading this comic as much as I enjoy writing and drawing it. Feel free to tell me what you think, either below this post or in my comic’s brand-spanking new forum.





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