Reminder: The Lost Ones contest

I’m reposting in case you all were getting ready for SDCC and missed this: We’re giving away two limited-edition copies of The Lost Ones, the online graphic novel written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and illustrated by Dr. Revolt, Gary Panter, Kime Buzzelli and Morning Breath. The webcomic is sponsored by Zune Arts, which, yes, has something to do with Microsoft’s MP3 player of the same name. They’re sponsoring emerging artists, and the program has been getting some good buzz.

To enter, just comment to this post, or the previous one, with a suggestion for a webcomic for us to review. Yes, you can even propose your own. Give us some fresh content for our podcasts, and you may have a chance to win these lovely limited-edition graphic novels, complete with poster. But act now! The contest ends on August 5.


Random SDCC notes

Viewed from a distance, the San Diego Comic-Con is something of a dinosaur; people seemed to spend a lot of time getting excited about print comics about guys in tights. But webcomics were there, and they popped up in some surprising places. Like Marvel announcing that they are teaming up with Steven King to do an animated webcomic. Go figure.

Rich Marshall, whose interviews with webcomics creators are on my must-read list, has a webcomics-leaning overview of the con as a whole at ComicMix. He tracked down quite a few artists and writers, so it’s well worth a click.

Over at Fleen, Gary Tyrell did some good coverage-at-a-distance, picking up on video of the Dumbrella panel, Wired‘s interview with R. Stevens, and Wil Wheaton’s video interview.

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Eisners 2008 Take The ~DIGITAL~ Out Of Best Digital Comic Award

Yes, the official definition of webcomics is obviously vague enough that comic books online can be seen as digital comics.  And yes, I’m probably one of the only people to even care about such frivolities.

But Brigid, Steve, and I did a podcast on this very subject and so my mind has already been made up.  And the verdict?  Any comic deserves to win that wasn’t created by Joss Whedon and hosted on  So… let the winner stand up!  Not so fast, Billy DogmaWould he be ok with this?

No, it looks like no one listened to our Eisners 2008 podcast from a few week’s back where we all agreed, unequivocably, that we would be fine with The Abominable Charles Christopher, PandaeXpress!, Billy Dogma, or The Process winning Best Digital Comic, so long as the comic book-in-disguise, Sugarshock, didn’t even dream of approaching the podium.

Now, get ready for some feedback, because this just plain sucks.

I’ll be the first to defend anything Joss Whedon works on, and the comic itself is certainly a quality one.  But the manner in which it’s been translated to the web (re: poorly) and the company it has chosen to keep (MySpace carries diseases, you know) make it about five evolutionary steps backwards for webcomics.

And A.D. wasn’t even nominated!

Steve?  Brigid?  Care to elaborate?


Kansans ~GET~ Webcomics!

You need proof?  I, The Midnight Cartooner, known to the non-webcomics world as Jason Sigler, am a Kansan.  And I have never been prouder of my Great Plains heritage than I was when I discovered this.

The above link will take you to the website of one Sean Tevis, an information architect in Kansas who is now running for State Representative.  To appeal to the Web-masses, Tevis has chosen to convey his message theTevis\' XKCD homage only way everyone on the Internet could understand it; in the form of an XKCD homage.

The tribute was obviously made in MS Paint and not with hand-drawn stickies, as XKCD is, but the style of nerdly dry humor is certainly present and the overall effect is one of hipness flavored with just the right amount of street cred.

For too long, the children of the land of Oz have lain dormant in this nation.  it is time to show that we are better than you ever gave us credit for.  And we shall start with a State Representative.

His name is Sean Tevis.  And he is our leader to greater fortunes.


Ladies First? Webcomics Shatters The Glass Ceiling ~FOR~ Women In Comics

Ladies, you know as well as I, comics has historically been a male-dominated profession, yes?  And you’re changing that with webcomics, completely destroying that barrier that says, “This is sharp writing, but you’re a lady, and ladies can’t write comic books”?

Yeah, we’re not cool with that.

Kidding, all a joke, of course.  There are countless creators out there of the XX persuasion, and many of them are the more successful creators of our day: Danielle Corsetto (work pictured, right), Charlie Trotman, Jennie Breeden, Lea Hernandez, Corey Marie Parkhill, Meredith Gran, and many, many others are kicking butt, taking names, and chewing gum.  That’s right, they even have bubble gum.

Sean Kleefeld of Kleefeld on Comics made a quick post about this very subject, specifically how the “go anywhere, do anything” style of the Web has opened the doors to creators from all walks of life who might not have gotten the chance to break out and really show their stuff with a syndicate or major publisher.  It’s an interesting take on why the freedom the Internet offers might be the best thing to ever happen to the artform, as well as yet another place to pick up some more links for strips you might not know about yet.


DJ Coffman ~WEIGHS IN~ On The Wowio/Platinum Union

And the hits just keep on comin’!

Wowio is now part of Platinum Studios and wouldn’t you know it? Former Platinum advocate and all-round chatty fella, DJ Coffman, has decided to pick apart the new agreement for Wowio distributors for everyone to enjoy.

Until you’re up and making webcomics yourself (which, judging by the crop we currently have to choose Wowio logofrom, would be about 98% of our viewing audience) this probably won’t shake up your day too much, but it is interesting nonetheless. Coffman takes a look at such important aspects as royalties:

In light of Platinum Studios telling me that Hero By Night only generated 800 bucks in ad revenue for a webcomic that has been online since October 2006 and consistantly had the HIGHEST pageviews on all of Drunk Duck… I don’t have faith that they can either A. figure out real well paying advertisers, or B. tell the truth about how much they actually made off of web advertising revenue.

As well as the unnecessary “you can charge people for it if you want to” clause in the contract.  It’s perfectly acceptable to ask for compensation for your work, heck, it’s even encouraged once you reach a certain level of performance, but to allow PlatiNowio to take 50% of the profits is ridiculous when there are plenty of other, do-it-yourself methods out there that allow the creator to retain 100% of everything.  To help you out, there are even books that have been published to assist you in this venture.

Given the recent history between Coffman and Platinum, his take on this new joint project is a welcome one indeed.  I know I would be wary about entering into any contract with Platinum about anything, but the again, I’d leap at the chance to sign a contract for anything right now.


Seven Seas teams with Metromix L.A.

Webcomics have been part of the Seven Seas mix since the beginning. The L.A.-based publisher launched in 2005 with a line of nicely produced global manga that seemed specifically designed to appeal to pre-teens: Amazing Agent Luna, Last Hope, Blade for Barter, and from the beginning, they put the first 75-100 pages of each online for free. Currently their front page features four manga series that update several times a week, including Aoi House, which
runs on the Megatokyo model only with regular updates: The entire archive, now up to four volumes, is online for free or available on dead-tree media in your local bookstore.

Now they are doing something a little different: Their new series The Ninja Diaries will be serialized in the weekly Los Angeles lifestyle paper Metromix, both in the print edition and on the website. This obviously brings their work in front of a larger audience than the readership of the Seven Seas website, but will it be a happy marriage?

The manga itself looks pretty good so far. In the first four pages, DeFilippis and Weir introduce their characters and even give them a bit of personality, work in a timely joke, and set up the main story arc. If you’re one of those people who hates global manga on principle, this might be the comic that makes you abandon those principles, because Elmer Damaso’s art is clear and deft; the manga influence is there, but it isn’t obnoxious. My one quarrel with it is that the female character has manga eyes and smoothed-out features, while the guys just look like normal guys; it’s as if the girl was pasted in from some other strip. Japanese manga artists do this a lot—I had the same complaint about Battle Royale—but as this will be many people’s first manga, I wish it were more consistent.

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Contest: Zune swoon

The Zune is Microsoft’s MP3 player, which apparently doesn’t just play music, it plunges you into an entire world of digital media.

Zune Arts is Microsoft’s bid to cool-wash the Zune by supporting emerging artists and tying them to the brand. And what’s cooler than webcomics? So the Zune folks turned to Steve Niles, the author of 30 Days of Night, who in turn teamed up with artists Dr. Revolt, Gary Panter, Kime Buzzelli and Morning Breath to produce an online graphic novel, The Lost Ones. Go, read, although you may have to be patient with the Flash animation on the site. We’ll be reviewing it shortly.

Or, you could skip the Flash and win a limited-edition print copy of The Lost Ones, complete with a poster. You could also contribute to a more interesting Digital Strips in future. Here’s how: Comment to this post with a suggestion for a webcomic we should be reading and reviewing. We can’t promise we’ll review every one, but we will at least check it out. We do promise that we will select two winners at random from among the commenters. Send in your suggestions before August 5 to qualify. In the meantime, click “Read more” for the 411 on The Lost Ones.

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Digital Strips 139 – Review: Planet Saturday

Ah… another week, another Web comic held up to unrequested scrutiny. This week we take on Planet Saturday, a strip that at first we thought was a kid’s strip but turned out to be great for adults. Brigid and Jason thought Monty Kane’s creation was the best thing since sliced bread while I thought it was good, but should not be compared to bread of any kind. But then again I really like bread.

After that we make fun of Jason for having feelings. Stupid, stupid feelings


DC’s Paul Levitz Trying To Prove They ~GET~ Webcomics and The Digital Form

Over on Blog@Newsarama, Paul Levitz, the President of DC Comics, has presented the community with the company’s current thoughts on the digital medium and where they might take it. Judging by the reader feedback thus far, it seems they still have a long way to go before they “get it”.DC Comics Loves Apple

This most recent attempt is an animated(ish) version of the popular series-turned-graphic novel-soon-to-be-turned-into a movie, Watchmen. Though I am certainly an avid fan of both Marvel and DC and have been for years now, I can cop to having never read this beloved classic. Just for kicks, I also love movies and have yet to see Gone With The Wind or any of The Godfather trilogy.

So until I see the Watchmen Motion Comic (I guess they want to make it obvious what it is…?) for myself, I can only rely on the words of those who, at least purportedly, have seen it and can make judgments on the quality and promise of such a service. You can read my favorite comments after the break…

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