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Archive for ‘Community’


I Detect a Disturbance in the Force

I’m going to continue to be in Hibernation much of this year while working on the book, but as long as the entire Internet rolled over and growled this morning, you can add my growl to the chorus.

Have a great 2012!


Notes from Hibernation

Things are pretty quiet here, while I concentrate on my graphic novel in the coming months.

Did want to take a moment though to acknowledge the unspeakably sad news that cartoonists Tom Hart and Leela Corman have lost their little girl, Rosalie Lightning. There’s a fund to contribute to, if you’d like to help with the practical aspects of the coming weeks, and of course, the condolences have been pouring in. This note by their old friend and mine Jon Lewis feels about right to me. These are deeply loved members of our community, and with good reason. Their beautiful family deserved a better road.


And Here’s a Cause that DOESN’T Need Your Help…

…because they got more help than anyone expected!

(Though you’re welcome to buy the book when it comes out, of course.)

In the Independent Pavillion at San Diego, one of my former workshop students, the talented Jean Kang, told me about Womanthology and how their Kickstarter had rocketed past its goal.

Phenomena like Kickstarter are among the many reasons I understand and support Peter Laird’s decision to wind down the Xeric Foundation grants. This massive network of talent that we interact with on a daily basis has plenty of homegrown solutions for hungry artists up its sleeve. The days are gone when lone cartoonists had to turn to a lone source for help in entering a single door.

I’m glad Xeric was there all these years, but I’m happier still that there’s still so much more potential on the horizon.

Update: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WINTER! Our little girl is 16 years-old today, and visiting NYC with her Mom (Sky got Shanghai with Dad, so Winter asked for Broadway and there’s no way Ivy would pass up that trip!). They’ve already seen Catch Me if You Can and Billy Elliot. Wicked and The Fantastics, still to come.


Social Studies

Another thing that happened while the blog was asleep: I joined Google Plus.

I don’t spend much time on social networks. My life is broken down roughly into a hierarchy of Work, Family, Food, Sleep, Friends, and Recreation and that last one usually involves family if possible. Also the first one takes up a huge part of each day.

Still, I’ve found my Twitter account useful for short bursts sent out to many people (about 230,000 followers as of this morning, though that seems to include more than my share of bots), and Facebook, well… you kinda have to have Facebook. So I do. But I’ve never been a fan.

Yesterday, I asked on all three a hypothetical question: If you had to get rid of either Google+ or Facebook forever, which would it be.

Despite being only a few weeks old, G+ users (in 142 responses, as of this morning) were nearly unanimous that they’d nuke FB without batting an eyelash. My Facebook fan page followers (my personal page is pretty small and hard to link to) offered 34 responses, with less enthusiasm, but mostly stood by the service. Twitter… well, take a look.

Google paid me to do the Chrome comic a few years ago, so I can’t ever claim to be 100% impartial, but the truth is I kinda love Google Plus so far, and will probably shift my attention there much more than Facebook as the service grows.

What little attention I can spare for these things anyway. Still have a book to draw!


Mythomania!

Okay, we’ve moved apartments and gone to Comic-Con and back. Let’s get back to babbling about random comics news.

By far the coolest thing to happen in comics while I was on break these last few weeks was the debut of Derek Kirk Kim’s new video series Mythomania.

I have a cameo in the first episode but I’d be highly recommending these wonderful videos even if I wasn’t in it (oh Hell, especially if I wasn’t in it).

It’s a wonderful and funny portrait of aspiring young cartoonists so dead-on, it feels to me like I’ve known them for years.

Watch the first three episodes right now, and see if you don’t fall in love.

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at Con, and to all our friends for filling our days with happy reunions and crazy conversations. It’s my family’s Thanksgiving (complete with the eating too much) and the year wouldn’t feel complete without it.


Monuments and Metadata

This has nothing to do with comics, but these haunting photos of abandoned Yugoslavian monuments have to be seen to be believed. Link via Paul Kedrosky and Tim O’Reilly.

Meanwhile, word comes from Dennis Vogel of his initiative to create a standardized set of Comics Metadata Specifications. Take a look at what Dennis has so far and see what you think.

[Update (via Carol Tilly): Apparently this effort has a predecessor.]


Atwomic: A Twitter Comic?

Stewart K. Moore sends word of a new experiment, via Twitter, to create 100 parallel interpretations of the same story.

He has plenty of info in his blog entry today. The action starts at the comic’s brand new Twitter feed.

In related news: Are hash-bangs really necessary, The Internet? I’ve stripped one out of the above Twitter url, and it still… kinda works, but I just don’t understand why any new innovation (cool javascript tricks) should be allowed to reduce the functionality of a really useful old one (easily shared urls).

[Mom: You can ignore that last paragraph.]


Friday Odds and Ends

Above: My snapshot, taken yesterday, of Jaume Plensa's haunting sculpture "Echo," now on view in nearby Madison Square Park.

Usually I take the week off from blogging while traveling but I kinda already did that while working on the lettering posts and videos, so…

As I’ve said on numerous occasions, Shaenon Garrity is Always Right. And you are hereby ordered to read her new column at TCJ (and not just because I’m name-checked in it, I promise).

Jorge Cham tries his hand at some RSAnimate-style lecture visualizations. Nice stuff. I’d love to see this become a new genre in education.

Meanwhile, it looks like a Minnesota political hack is pissing on Neil Gaiman this week. Neil is a friend, so I’m not remotely impartial on this, but I hope our community in that state will insure that this moron looks back on this particular bit of gutless pandering as a political mistake in the not-too-distant future. Full details on the event in question are provided by the more rational posters at the link (which I got via Roger Ebert, of all people).

Political bottom-feeders aside, I had a great time today at SVA’s Open IxD Festival. Thanks to the organizers, teachers, and presenters for putting on a great series of presentations.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, I say Parker Posey was born to play Lois Lane, and it’s really sad that no one ever made it happen. Who’s with me?

Have a great weekend!


Best. Email. Ever.

Okay, I officially love these guys now.

Got this letter this morning.

Dear Scott,

Mind if I call you Scott?

Oh, Scott, you have done so much for us comic geeks.
Reading comics is no longer childish. It’s «de la culture» !
One book and everything changes. *sigh*
Thank you for that.

I have to tell you first how much my friends and I like you. We admire you.
But I have something else to say, and it won’t please you. Ooooh no.

Do you like french people, Scott?
You don’t have to answer. We know how Americans see us… They think they know us, they think froggies are full of self-esteem, arrogant… even rude sometimes.
Do YOU think we are? Do you, Scott?
You are so far from the truth.
We are worse.

This «24 hour comics day» you created, you know… it was a really good idea. Congrats for that.
But, eventually, we realised it was way too easy.

We decided to do the same, but in 23 hours.
Yep, 23 hours.
Because we choose the shortest night of the year, when daylight savings time begins.

And we did it. We’ve been drawing faster than you and your pals for 3 years now.

We just wanted you to know. We are just the best.

And on march 26th, we’ll do it again.
In your face!
But with respect.
And a lot of compassion.

Yours faithfully,

Zia, for the amazing Turalo, Piak, Paka, Kéké and hundreds of french comics artists.

(So who else is surprised they even *have* daylight savings time?)

Good luck from all us slowpokes!


Life’s Reminders

Drawing of Dwayne McDuffie by Denys Cowan

News of the untimely death, from surgical complications, of comics and animation writer Dwayne McDuffie burned through the news wires yesterday. A real shock (he was only in his late forties) and the loss of a strong and unique voice in the comics community.

This has been a week filled with reminders of how fragile life is, and the many ways the “real world” can intrude on our cozy, screen-filled worlds. Emails arrived from Iran and Egypt that helped put a face on conditions/recent events there (one on new business, one on old). I remembered talking to Dylan Horrocks just last week about his conversations with people in the thick of it, thinking how disconnected I was.

And, as many of you heard, there was another serious quake in Christchurch, New Zealand right after we left the country. If you’d like to contribute to efforts there, here are some details. Jason Webley was there for a concert and Amanda Palmer was on her way to Christchurch, so it was a little harder to keep it all at arms-length, having just seen them both.

Us nerds like to escape from the world through stories. But, inevitably, the rest of the world is going to come knocking. And, as McDuffie made clear for decades, any story can be richer when we throw the doors open and let the whole world in.