Clickwheel: Cross my palm with webcomics

If you take a look around the web, you’ll see that many comics sites dutifully passed along the news a few weeks ago that Clickwheel has unveiled a comics app for the iPhone and iTouch. It looks like people mostly just posted the press release, though, without actually trying the thing out.

Well, I have, and so far, I’m pretty underwhelmed.

A couple of weeks ago we got my daughter a new Mac laptop, and the Apple folks were kind enough to throw in a free 8G iTouch to sweeten the deal. I was delighted: Something shiny!

The gleam started wearing off as soon as I got home and realized I had to upgrade to iTunes 2.0 (at a cost of $9.95) in order to do anything interesting. I hate paying for the privilege of spending money. So I grumbled for two weeks and then handed the damn thing over to my husband (a high-energy physicist) and told him “do what you have to.”

Half an hour later he handed me the phone with Clickwheel and the New York Times installed. Continue reading


Digital Strips 142 – Review: Captain Excelsior

I believe that this episode will go down in history as the show with the most uses of the words “pedophile,” “douchebag” and “wiener” and the phrase “ass slapping in church” in the history of Digital Strips. What comic could possible inspire sure bawdy langauge from such upstanding group of citizens as ourselves? Why none other than Captain Excelsior. This strip is yet another look into the personal lives of superheroes. Does this one have the gumption to rise above the crowd and truly excel? Tune in to find out.

Digital Strips 142 – Review: Captain Excelsior


News you may have missed

Publisher’s Weekly Comics Week talks to DC honcho Paul Levitz about digital comics, and he demonstrates that he gets it where a lot of others don’t:

I don’t think if you create a comic flat for print that it’s likely to be the perfect thing for a digital world. I enjoy having The Complete New Yorker on my bookshelf in digital form, but I don’t look at it very often. I think in the end the great success is when you’re creating for the dynamic of the medium you’re in.

Maybe that’s why Zuda is the one webcomic distributed by a publisher that actually fits on my computer screen. However, I have to say that the idea of the limited-animation version of Watchmen fills me with horror. I have yet to see an animated comic that impressed me.

Although Levitz is right about fitting the comic to the medium, there’s nothing wrong with scanning in a vintage comic if the material merits it. I’m thinking of Tops in Pops, a 1964 story from Archie’s Mad House, now playing at I’m Learning to Share. It’s the tale of two deejays, one a swingin’ sixties guy and the other a determined square, locked in an escalating battle of publicity stunts, and the Archie tendency toward bad hipster talk actually kind of works in this one.

Dan Hess has a new comic, Weesh, an all-ages strip about a licorice-eating bunny who grants wishes to the kids he live with. The humor is dry enough for adults to appreciate, especially the recently concluded arc about the little girl who brings her stuffed animals to life. Dan is the creator of Angel Moxie and Realms of Ishikaze, so his webcomic credentials are in good order.

How’s the new Wowio thing going? Continue reading


Digital Strips 141 – Zuda Watch 5

It’s that time of the month again, and it a totally awesome way. This month’s Zuda crop struck us as stronger overall than months past and there was good stuff. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t find things to be mean about.

One of the big themes in this week’s show were summaries. Jason and I didn’t even realize there were summaries for the Zuda competitors (we both fear large blocks or text) but Brigid found herself referring to them often. We talk briefly about how summaries can be used properly and not so properly.

Once again, if the player is still being fussy (read: frustratingly stupid) Digital Strips 141can be found via clicking the blue words. We’ve got top men on it. Top men.


Digital Strips 140 – Review Octopus Pie

Further proof that the world is coming to the end, Jason and Steve do a whole review of a comic featuring topless women without having the whole show be about boobs. Maybe Brigid really is bringing some class this place.

During this years WCCA‘s there were two strips that cleaned housed: Lackadaisy which we reviewed a while back and all loved, and Octopus Pie which we’re reviewing now. Will it also recieve total affection? Tune in now, (or later, when you have time, that’s kind of the beauty of podcasting) to find out.

Podcast editor’s note, sorry this took so long to post, between my internet going down and various services being picky, this is much later than anticipated. And if the above player still isn’t working, try this link


Learning Your Lesson ~WITH~ Your Host, Tom Brazleton

Let this be a lesson to you fanciful artist types out there. Just because you strike a two-hit combo of Ctrl and S, don’t think that somehow, magically, your file has been saved for all eternity. It’s always, always, ALWAYS a great idea to keep at least one backup of your file(s) in case of freak emergencies. As our unfortunate volunteer example, Tom Brazleton of Theater Hopper, will attest to.

An unsalvageable bundle of information

He, too, has experienced that moment when you boot up the ol’ hard drive only to hear or see something not at all common. Smoke, clicking sounds, small imp-like creatures, these are just some of the oddities that seem to affect random hard drives around the globe. The problem is, you never know when one might strike next. It’s an unproven science: I could pour water in my hard drive, let it dry out for a few days, put it back in the PC and see no change in performance.

Continue reading


Tokyopop putting whole volumes online

The folks at Tokoyopop have at treat for Star Trek fans right now: They have put up all three volumes of their Star Trek global manga online for free. Each manga contains four or five chapters by different writers and artists, and all the stories are based on the original Star Trek series.

The ostensible reason for this generosity is so that readers can vote for which story they want reproduced in color for the upcoming Star Trek Ultimate Edition, which will collect all three volumes in a single hardcover volume. However, it’s a good opportunity to check out short stories on a common theme by some talented artists. Many of the creators who worked on these stories have also done global manga for Tokyopop, and their work is pretty good, so the books are worth a look. And check them out now, because although there is no end date on this thing, I doubt the books are up there permanently.

For those with different tastes, Tokyopop is also previewing most of Dark Metro, and they will start posting The Mysterians one chapter at a time on August 15.

Continue reading


Zune Arts: The envelope, please!

The results are in! In order to make sure that the judging of our Lost Ones contest was as fair and impartial as possible, we used a guaranteed random system: We had my three-year-old niece, Nuala, pick the winner out of a bowl. Anyone who has been around a three-year-old knows that they are experts at randomizing the world around them, and Nuala is no exception.

As a result of this rigorous process, Jason Viola and Rachel Keslensky will each receive a deluxe limited edition of The Lost Ones, the collaborative webcomic written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and illustrated by Gary Panter, Dr. Revolt, Kime Buzzelli and Morning Breath.

If you weren’t the winner, don’t despair: You can still read The Lost Ones online (it’s a webcomic after all), although the Flash interface does leave something to be desired. And thanks to the Zune folks, who sponsored the webcomic and donated the print volumes as part of the Zune-Arts program, which supports emerging artists. I know a number of emerging and pre-emergent artists read this site, so keep your eye on these guys.