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Archive for ‘Webcomics’


The Scattered Evidence of Emily Carroll

In the last few days, I received an email from Tim Kinnaird and several tweets alerting me to a haunting new online comic called His Face All Red.

See if you can carve out a few minutes without distractions to read it. You’ll be glad you did.

The artist, Emily Carroll, is a new name to me, but she’s obviously been at this for a while and her storytelling has the confidence of a veteran. I’ll be eager to see what she does next, but looking for evidence of what she’s done in the past has proved frustrating.

Notice how I didn’t add a link to her name in the above paragraph? That’s because I wasn’t sure which link to pick. She has a Livejournal. She has a Twitter handle. She has a Blogspot account. She even has her own domain, but if you go to the main page it’s just a “Coming Soon” page.

And none of them give the reader more than random, scattered evidence of who she is and what to expect from her in the future.

Carroll is the real thing. She deserves a more consolidated online presence.

She deserves some noise.


Oh, The Internet, We Can’t Take You Anywhere…

Okay, so Tuesday of last week, Kate Beaton put up a comment via her Twitter handle in 4 parts:

dear internet, you are well meaning, but I’d like to make a point.

when you tell a female creator you like her work so much you want to marry her and have her babies, you’re not doing anyone any favors

first of all, as cute as it sounds in your head, it’s a shitty, disrespectful ‘compliment.’ No one makes comics looking for sexual attention

secondly, by doing so you invite others to critique that person’s works based on their looks, which is uncomfortable, sexist and unfair.

There was a blizzard of responses (including a bunch of negative comments by males, apparently) that sparked a wider discussion about sexism in comics, and on Friday, Gabby Schulz put up a very funny comic about the whole thing.

It has 666 comments as of this writing (no joke!) and they make for some bracing/revealing/funny/depressing reading; sometimes devolving into YouTube-level depravity.

It’s important, before you open Pandora’s Box and go to the comic that you understand a few things that seem to confuse people:

1. Gabby is a guy (who sometimes goes by “Ken Dahl,” though that’s actually a pen name).

2. The comic is fiction. Also funny. It’s not meant to be picked apart like a court transcript.

3. Beaton is right.

It may be true that men and women have traditionally adopted different styles of communication and there are some men who might have reacted differently if roles had been reversed, but now that you know it’s offensive to say such things, it’s kind of ridiculous to argue the point.

It offends. Now you know. Act accordingly.

It’s not rocket science.

[Edit to Add: As some of our comments have pointed out, the 'babies' line was just an example, and a mild one at that. There have been far worse, and it's a pattern reported by several other female cartoonists.]


PayPal Launches Micropayments, Uses Words like “Frictionless,” Pleases Cartoonist

THIS is so close, in almost every respect, to what we were asking for over a decade ago, it’s almost eerie. They’re even using the same language to describe it.

I’ve got a graphic novel to draw, so I’ll stay on the sidelines for a while, but you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on this one, and I hope you do too.

And yes, if it flies, I’ll be gloating for a reeeally long time.


Spot. School. Scroller. Stanford.

Some Friday Odds and Ends…

Came across this oilspot by the mailboxes Wednesday. Thanks, humanity, nature, and entropy. Good job there.

Here’s a great cause: Tom Hart (one of my all-time favorite people in the comics universe) is creating a new comics workshop in Gainesville, FL. Here’s your chance to help get it off to a great start!

Here’s a cool sidescroller with some nice art. (link via John Patten)

And finally: Heads up, Stanford University! Looks like I’ll be heading your way on Thursday November 18. More details shortly.

Have a great weekend.


Forever Catching Up: Ulli Lust

Yet another interesting artist I’m just now catching up to…

Parts 1-4 of German cartoonist Ulli Lust’s travelogue comic “Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life” is available in English as a PDF download here and here. It has a warmth and playfulness I like.

Last month, TCJ ran an article by Matthias Wivel on Lust and her recent collection (w/second color) of the comic in German. Let’s hope someone puts out a similar English edition soon.

And, because I’m a format nerd, I just want to point out how well formatted Lust’s screen-fitting PDF’s are. Go full screen for a seamless click through.


Are You Reading The Meek?

You should be. It’s good.

(Not safe for work if you start from the beginning, but nothing too extreme).


Two Webcomics, Two Standards


Got two emails in the last few days with links to two new webcomics using navigation techniques that neatly sum up this interesting technological moment we’re in.

Turbo Defiant Kimecan by Mexican artist Ferran Daniel uses Flash to load one panel or element at a time. We’ve seen a few comics like it, but this one gets points for some pretty artwork. Curious to hear what people think of this sort of loading order, now that we’ve seen it a few times. (Maybe time to revisit this discussion?)

Meanwhile, along comes an HTML 5 comic, Never Mind the Bullets (cooked up by Steaw Web Design to show off Microsoft’s IE9). More proof-of-concept than anything else, but it’s kind of cool and got me thinking about how that layered effect could be used in other ways. (thanks again to Randy Oest for the tip).

Of course, the real shoot-out going on this year is between file formats, and with the recent back-and-forth in the mobile space over Flash and HTML 5, it’s helpful to have some concrete reminders of the very different creative directions each might take us in.

Impressions?

[Edit to Add: Since both are getting a sound beating in the comments section, I should probably make it clear that neither comic represent more than a tiny fraction of what can be (or has been) done with either Flash or HTML 5, and I'm not endorsing either approach as "the future of comics" or anything. But it's always interesting to see how many different reading models there are, and even failed attempts can sometimes contain useful ideas.]


Friday Odds and Ends

Way, way back in the deep recesses of the horrifying guilt-mountain that is my Inbox, I found an old email from one Michelangelo Cicerone forwarding the news of a very cool Historic Tale Construction Kit, which is essentially a Create Your Own Bayeux Tapestry tool. Give it a try if you’re so inclined.

On the night table: Top Shelf’s excellent alternative manga collection AX; Mario and Gilbert Hernandez’s good-old-fashioned twisted comic book adventure Citizen Rex; and Moto Hagio’s lyrical Drunken Dream from Fantagraphics.

To satisfy your weekly Greek webcomic quota, check out the handsomely-drawn Mused by Kostas Kiriakakis.

And finally, here’s an insidious video that’ll burrow its way into your skull forever, courtesy of Warren Ellis. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have a great weekend.


YES, I’ve seen COMIXED.COM

It’s a pretty funny site, and yes, I’ve seen the one with me in it too, though I think the one with Will Smith (above) is my favorite so far.

Mostly, though, I’m posting this because several people a day keep telling me about the site, so I figure I better link to it now or I’ll never hear the end of it!

Kudos to the guy at Microsoft who I’m pretty sure was the first to tell me about this latest collaborative mutation when I was up in Redmond last month.

Oh, you crazy Internet, you…

[Update: Actually today's is my new favorite.]


Friday Odds and Ends

A couple of new angles on navigation this week. On the Web side, a nicely-rendered side-scroller by Cody Coltharp, and on the mobile side, a tilting viewer by Karrie Fransman & Jonathan Plackett.

[Via comments: The javascript for the side-scroller viewer was written by Jean-Nicolas Jolivet, originally as a panoramic photo viewer.]

From Mexico, a well-told silent comic by Edgar Delgado, using some extended page sizes and storytelling tricks practically designed to make me happy (and maybe you too).

Finally, a moving good bye from Satoshi Kon, a creative giant of Japanese animation whose work I was still in the process of exploring when I heard the news of his death from cancer. I look forward to finishing my journey through his stories. I regret there won’t be any more.

Tokyo Godfathers arrived in the mail yesterday.