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Farewell, sweet Despot

November 30, 06 - 01:18

Justin Pierce announced that he is taking a hiatus of some sort from Killroy and Tina. The hiatus isn't immediate, he is going to finish out the current chapter, taking us through February, but, for the forseeable future, that is, it would seem, all there will be.

I think the reasons he gives make sense, I'm not challenging his rationale for stopping K&T, but I really wish he would change his mind, or that whatever circumstances need to change for him not to give it up would change, because Killroy and Tina is one of my favorite comics, and beyond being sad that there won't be new Killroy and Tina, there is the added frustration because the story Justin is telling is intriguing. I badly want to know what will happen next, and it is a shame that I may never find out.

If you haven't read Killroy and Tina, you should do so now. That way, in the future, when young whippersnappers are talking about the classics, and they mention Killroy and Tina, you can tell them you were there for the end.

Man, this is like those times when I realize how much I like a band the same time I find out they won't be doing any more tours.

Lewis - default - two comments / No trackbacks - §

PVP, CAD, and the Webcomicker

November 28, 06 - 12:42

This post isn't really about PVP's new animated series. It's about Gil's take on things.

First off, since this post is going to be largely disagreeable in tone, I should note that I have a lot of respect for the Webcomicker, and so, this isn't like a general attack on him or anything. But whenever the subject of Control Alt Delete comes up, I find myself shaking my head in disagreement with the bulk of what he has to say.

Gil says, "Scott Kurtz is a hypocritical man and he's ripping Tim Buckley off." Now, I'm going to leave aside the hypocritical part for now, because figuring whether or not that's on target involves going back to see what Kurtz said about the CAD stuff when it was happening, and seeing if what he is doing is at odds with his attitudes back then. Even so, sometimes people change their mind, and so, it might not be full-fledged hypocricy. But, whatever, that's not what I'm worried about.

Kurtz making an animated version of his comic doesn't qualify as ripping off Buckley any more than Jon Rosenberg making a comic with a talking animal counts as ripping off Jim Davis. Simply put, "ripping off" isn't the right way to describe it.

Next Gil goes for a classic ad hominem.

"Now[...]we've got Scott Kurtz announcing that he's coming out with an animated series. Produced by the same production house [as CAD's], no less (Blind Ferret Entertainment). And sporting an eerily similar subscription pricing model. Kurtz makes it abundantly clear that it was Blind Ferret which approached him, and practically hounded him into making the series, but still... Do you think he wasn't suffering at least some animation-envy watching Tim Buckley's characters slickly walking around and interacting while he was playing with finger puppets?" (emphasis mine)

I'm not sure what point Gil is driving at in this particular paragraph, but the attribution of envy seems unwarranted and unrelated. If Gil's main point is that Kurtz is a hypocrit, then he should be showing how what Kurtz has said contradicts with what he has done. If his main point is that this isn't a milestone because CAD already did it, then the envy element is totally unrelated. If his main point is speculating about Kurtz's envy, then I want to know why we should care.

I'm also going to point out his "finger puppet" jab, since I think Gil is overharsh on blamimation, which is very good bang for one's buck.

But here's the thing that really rubs me wrong about Gil's take on all this. He is so damn quick to cry out that CAD is ignored by the webcomic intelligentsia. Well, two point there. First, Gil, you're part of the webcomics intelligentsia. And the elite webcomic criticism crowd is small enough that you make up a substantial portion of it. Second, CAD isn't ignored because of some conspiracy of Buckley-hating. It's ignored because its not that good. Frankly, its quite bad. And not only is it bad, but it has surprisingly little overlap with the rest of webcomicdom. It's not discrimination, its justifiable apathy.

CAD's animation deal wasn't a milestone. The reason it wasn't is that it hasn't had serious consequences for the webcomics community as a whole. We don't look back at it and pinpoint it as the source of some shift in webcomicdom. And I don't really think Kurtz's move to an animation series was motivated all that much by CAD having blazed that trail already. And until someone sells me on why it is that I should be caring about CAD's animation series, I'm not sold on it being a milestone. If Kurtz does this, and then, say, several other comics follow suit utilising or refining the model, clearly inspired by PVP's success, it will be a milestone. I don't know if CAD's animation series has been profitable. I don't know if more people are signing up over time, or if they are losing subscribers. There are two reasons I don't know these things. The first is that I don't care, so I'm not actively looking into it, the second is that, in the webcomics community, no one else cares either, so I'm not stumbling across it.

At any rate, I've ranted a bit for now. I've got some thoughts about this PVP thing proper, but that's a separate post, which I will write later. My main point here is that Gil seems to think we should be feeling sorry for Tim Buckley because he's not getting his due, and I'm not convinced he's being treated unfairly.

Lewis - default - five comments / one trackback - §

People of Webcomics 2k6

November 18, 06 - 11:51
Comixpedia is doing a list of the top 25 people in webcomics this year. You can make nominations at this thread. Here are my nominations:

Ryan North - Because every few days he has a new website which is tons useful to webcomic folks.

Scott Kurtz - Winning the Eisner

Joey Manley - having free accounts for webcomicsnation

Bill Barnes (and the others involved) - For the Webcomics School panels at Comic-Con

Gary Tyrrell - For his stuff on Fleen (detailed rundowns of comic-con stuff, frequent news updates, etc.)

Gene Yang - National Book Award Nomination

Dave Kellett and R. Stevens - Same reasons as alma mater said above.

Adam Greengard - For making like the best webcomic ever.

Obdormio - For saying he likes my webcomic.

Go give your input, or tell me what you think of my nominations in the comments.

Lewis - default - No comments / No trackbacks - §

Test Driving the FREE WCN Account

November 18, 06 - 1:28

Last week Joey Manley announced that Webcomics Nation would be offering free accounts, so I dutifully went over to sign up for my account to research this article.  (Oh yeah- I also wanted to get in on the action!) 

            I've been growing more and more dissatisfied with Comic Genesis.  I'm not a programmer and I've found the Keentags difficult to incorporate into my pages.  Manley has solved this problem for me with his promise to make WCN the Blogger of webcomics.  I find it so much easier to upload and edit each installment using WCN and Manley has lived up to his promise, because it does remind me a lot of Blogger.  You upload your image and you can even over-ride the background color with this little nifty color picker.  (You can also plug in the six number code if you know it, but like I said, I'm not a programmer and I hate figuring that stuff out.)

Maximize Verbosity

Grant - default - No comments / No trackbacks - §

Print Comics I am Enjoying Lately

November 13, 06 - 08:54

The Left Bank Gang by Jason

The Lost Generation (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al) depicted as cartoonists rather than novelists.  Simple, understated drawing style and intriguing story.

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories edited by Ivan Brunetti

OK.  I liked most of the stuff in here.  A few people I expected to see (Spiegelman, Crumb and Shultz) and a few surprises (Sammy Harkham) that I had never heard of, but enjoyed.  But there's also a lot of dumb bathroom humor.  I love fart jokes and Frank Zappa, but most of it wasn't funny.  Plus with everyone whining about how comics aren't a respected medium, maybe we should move on from drawing poo-poo-pee-pee jokes.

Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi

The author of Persepolis follows up with another family story that almost reads like a fable or a parable.  Simple yet beautiful page layouts almost look like very primative woodcuts.

Grant - default - No comments / No trackbacks - §

What Birds Know

November 12, 06 - 11:08

I began perusing the list of Webcomic Idol submissions and stumbled upon What Birds Know.  Its a beautifully illustrated fantasy comic with a very cool intro page.  I encourage you to click around a little bit on the intro image before diving into the strip.  I think this is possibly the best intro page for a webcomic I've ever seen breaking the molf of the typical sidebar (links, cast, about, guest art, etc)

I've only read 40 pages and I'm hooked!  Go check it out yourself!

Grant - default - three comments / No trackbacks - §

Sheldon! & Templar, Arizona

November 07, 06 - 11:44

I am not the first to note that Sheldon is no longer trapped at comics.com. But, I feel like I can add a perspective to the discussions that have been going on.

I met Dave Kellett at Comic-Con 2006, and he convinced me to buy his book. It was a purchase I am glad I made, but, when I finished reading it, I didn't check out the new stuff. Because I knew that only 30 days was available, and that would be more frustrating than anything else. See, i'm a "chunk" reader. What I mean by that is, while I have my comics that I check daily, i have a number of comics that I didn't read until after they were done (for example Wigu, Checkerboard Nightmare, Concerned — just this past weekend, and many more). And there are a whole bunch of comics that I have all queued up to read their archives in three or four straight sittings.

Maximize Verbosity

Lewis - default - No comments / No trackbacks - §

Jonny Crossbones

November 05, 06 - 4:57
The Tintin-esque adventure comic, Jonny Crossbones, announced yesterday that they'll only be leaving the archives up for a month at a time.  Its a great story with fabulous artwork in the style of Herge, so go check it out and read while you can!

Be sure to read the extras, too.  There are some really great tutorials and a "vintage" newspaper gag strip called "Little Jonny Crossbones."

Grant - default - one comment / No trackbacks - §


Webcomics Idol submissions posted
November 11 - 2:09

Bomb Shelter comics posts links to the 68 submissions to it Webcomics Idol contest.

Grant - No comments - §

Comic Tools
November 04 - 11:59

Comic tools is a brand new blog where comic artists share what they use while creating their masterpieces.

Grant - No comments - §