Top Ten, Mischief, and Guest Strips

Finding webcomic news during Thanksgiving is probably the hardest time of the year. It’s not hard to figure out why when I see how much effort I put compacted into a couple of days instead of the months used for the end of the year. Mainly it’s exciting that The Geek is back with a new person in the world. Have to publicly give him Congratulations since I have such a public forum.

There are so many of these out there but this one is slightly different because it doesn’t try to be anything more than personal opinion. El Santo went through and picked at least 4 I heavily enjoy, another 3 I’d not heard of before and one I never understood why people love it so much. Have to say I disagree on a couple but then El Santo picked 2 that are no longer updating, but definitely deserve to be on everyone’s must have read list.

Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan bring you a sweet story for children, old Mrs. Johnson lives happily alone in the forest. She loves to knit sweaters and mittens for her grandchildren in the city. One day her solitude comes to an end when her mischievous forest neighbors reveal themselves in a delightfully colorful fashion. Who took her yarn, and what have they done with it? “Mischief in the Forest” will be 40 full-color pages. The story is written by Derrick Jensen and illustrated by Stephanie McMillan. The money raised here would be used for printing the book, and if they raise an amount higher than our goal, they’ll use it either for a higher print run and/or promotional costs.

The 2nd Annual Calamities of Nature guest strip contest has begun. Can you feel the excitement in the air? After last year’s contest, Tony decided to do it again and picking the 3 best strips submitted by December 11th. The 3 winners will have their comics featured as the December 14th, 16th, and 18th updates. These comics will get a place in the archive, along with a link to the winner’s website (for examples, see last year’s three winning comics). In addition, each winner will receive the choice of a signed copy of the volume 1 collection or a shirt. If you don’t win, you’ll still be compensated for your hard work. All other submissions (of reasonable quality) will be featured individually in the blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have their comics saved in the gallery.


Digital Strips 177 – Zuda Watch Nov 09

OK boys and girls. A few of you may remember way back in our last show I said that I would disappear for a while because of my wife having a baby. I said this way back then because it was a week before the due date and people had told us stories about babies coming way before their parents were ready. In truth though, the due date is nothing more than an arbitrary point in time, some where in the middle of a month where you just walk around the house with a catcher’s mitt.

Not wanting to leave you guys completely showless Jason went ahead and planed a Zuda Watch for this month. Right before we were about to record though, I had to get ready to go to the hosipital because babies hate the Internet. Fortunately Mr. David Gallaher was willing to join in and save everyone from having to hear Jason talk to himself for an hour.

So tune in and take a frightening look at a world with out Steve “The Geek” Shinney.

Here’s a spoiler: It’s still a pretty goo world what with all the comics.

Sorry no show notes this time. They dropped a lot of names of creators that I didn’t recognize because I’m not that smart.


Daniel Lafrance Raises Money For Starthrower Foundation ~WITH~ New Charity-Based Webcomic

Given how readily giving webcomics readers have proven to be already, I’d say we need plenty more strips just like this one. Daniel Lafrance has started a new webcomic with the specific purpose of raising money for the Starthrower Foundation, a charity geared towards providing the means for young Haitian adults to finish their educations and move out into the workforce and out of the poverty so many are stricken with.
The strip, titled Starthrower in Haiti,  has already been praised by Brad Guigar, so you know that Daniel is doing at least something right in this endeavor, and a quick glance shows that the art and story are at least competent enough to warrant passing along some money to this great cause. Read a bit more about the comic straight from Daniel himself and make sure to give at least a little in this season of glad tidings:

Starthrower in Haiti, a Fundraising Webcomic

We are thrilled to announce the launch of a webcomic completely dedicated to raising funds to a charitable cause!

Starthrower in Haiti ( ) introduces us to the work of the Starthrower Foundation, a Canadian-registered charity in Haiti.  All funds raised by the webcomic go directly to sponsor young Haitian adults who wish to complete their education and/or apprenticeship enabling them to move into the workforce, and out of poverty.

Starthrower in Haiti is created by Daniel Lafrance ( ), a professional storyboard artist working in animation for over 24 years.

[…] Starthrower in Haiti is updated twice weekly.


We all knew this would happen

I would be a total failure of a web comics blogger if I didn’t whip the sleepy new dad gunk out of my eyes and post about this. Penny Arcade, the masters of all things digital are make the transition to reality TV.

Now I’ll be honest. I hate reality TV. As a guy who gave up his dream of being a screen writer, I hate to see TV made without a some one typing madly on keys while worrying about subtext. Plus 95% of reality TV is whining and crying and blurred out boobies, all things that piss me off. So this show already starts out in the whole for me. But on the other hand I love any and all things Penny Arcade. Their podcast, their charity, their other podcast and they even have a comic out there too.

So the up and down cancel out and I’m going to have to judge the show on it’s own merits. I got about 1/2 through the pilot and was so over come with jealousy towards these two men that I had to stop and go back to word editing this month’s Zuda Watch. You guys all do the same and we’ll chat about it in the comments together.


Scott Kurtz Lets Us In ~ON~ The Secret Life of Cartoonists

Sure, with webcomics we might all think we’re being cartoonists, but did you know there’s actually a secret world going on, behind-the-scenes, that most of us have never even heard of, let alone secretCartoonistsdreamed about? Now, Scott Kurtz is taking up a bar stool to tell us all about those hidden desires and guarded tales with his latest podcast endeavor, The Secret Life of Cartoonists.

Hear the intrigue! Experience the sordid stories! And listen in as we learn the mystery involved with becoming a successful cartoonist!

Seriously though, if Kurtz can keep rotating through his massive Rolodex of webcomic creators (Gun Show creator KC Green stops by for Episode 3) then this random collection of short stories (fictional or not is your call) could end up being quite the time capsule for the webcomic revolution. And here’s the official description from the PvP site:

It’s been getting more and more difficult for the four members of Halfpixel to align our schedules so that we can record episodes of Webcomics Weekly on a regular basis. While we have a couple episodes in the can (which will go up this week), we’re all blessed with enough work right now that I doubt the WEEKLY part of our title will apply again for a while.

Same goes for the podcast Brad and I were toying with.

But the thing is I really want to do a regular podcast, and I find myself with 15-20 minutes here and there where I could fit in a recording, the problem is that it’s just me. So I started to brainstorm about a podcast I could do solo. And that brainstorming lead to The Secret Life of Cartoonists.

Here’s the elevator pitch: You get a drink or two in me and I can’t stop talking. Not only that, but I got a lot of stories. The Secret Life of cartoonists is a candid conversation overheard at a bar and secretly recorded for your entertainment. It is a podcast for adults.


Steve LeCouilliard of Much the Miller’s Son ~IS~ Doing What He Can To Help

If there was ever a diamond in the rough in the world of webcomics, then Much the Miller’s Son would have to be that shiny gem. The recently reviewed comic doesn’t rank with the best in terms of web design, but the comic itself is top-notch and, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

Since we’re now BFFs, Steve has let us know about a promotion he has started which will benefit all involved. Take a listen:

From now on, if you donate $10 or more to Free The Children I’ll send you a free copy of my book! Just fire me an e-mail at stevelec (at) or a Facebook message with your mailing address and I’ll mail you a copy. Also, if you aren’t comfortable with using your credit card to donate, you can twitter or blog about what I’m doing or about the organization or set up your own fundraising page and I’ll consider it a fair trade.

I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do for the kids!

If there’s one thing the webcomics community has proven it can do better than anyone, it’s get behind a cause and see it through to a positive end. Help Steve do the same with this very worthy, Colbert-approved organization!


Tom Dell’Aringa’s Marooned: Book 1 ~NOW~ Up For Pre-Order

Marooned first appeared on my radar in the latest Webcomic Idol contest last year and instantly perked up my artistic sensibilities. The art harkened back to an era where detail was minimized and fun was the order of the day, and I was all for that. However, after reading only a few strips, Marooned departed my attention as quickly as it arrived and I’ve since lost touch with the strip.


But lo! What’s this? The first Marooned book is available for pre-order? I believe that would make it the perfect time to get reacquainted with this comic, then! The art has progressed from simplistic to being more deceptively so, offering just enough details and precision to offer an experience that contains more depth than the first strips did.

But what does this book contain? Why don’t I let Tom do the rest of the talkin:

After a year and a half of producing Marooned online, I’m proud to announce the release of my first book. Out of Orbit is suitable for all ages and is full of fun comics and spectacular artwork. It makes a great gift for anyone!

110 FULL COLOR 9” x 9” Pages, 100 Comics, 2 Short Stories, Artist Gallery and More!

Follow the exploits of Captain John and his not-so-faithful companion Asimov the robot as they discover the deep secrets of Mars! With Ugo the friendly alien, John and Asimov settle down to what appears to be a long stay on Mars. But before they can finish their first Martian nusnor, they are waylaid by Bob the crazy robot and his Time Cube!

(Find out all about the book right here, including a FREE 10-page downloadable sample!)

Laugh along while John meets Ril, the young female Martian orphan and bumbles his way through obstacles and adventures. Become strangely concerned as John gets sick and seeks treatment from the mysterious Dark Ones!

Don’t miss these exciting adventures! Preorder your book today! Quantities will be limited!

Limited quantities? Best get mine while I still can!


As Josh Way’s Chronicle Ends ~SO BEGINS~ Strewth!

Back in the Spring of ’08, Brigid, Steve, and I sat down to review Josh Way’s Chronicle, a newspaper-style strip about a young man named Charles and his riches-to-rags-to-more-than-rags tale about trying to bring a struggling newspaper back from the dead and survive the local riff-raff in the process.

While we certainly didn’t see eye-to-eye on the strip itself, we all agreed that Way showed a lot of Strewth teaser panelpromise in the webcomics arena and would someday be a force to reckon with. The short name of the comic kept it fresh in mind, fresh enough to pick the title out of my Google News Alerts when it scrolled by yesterday.

Turns out our own former Digital Stripper, Brigid Alverson, tracked Way down for an interview about the ending of Chronicle and the subsequent beginning of his new comic, Strewth!, which starts November 30th. Check out the interview for an in-depthness only Brigid can deliver and make sure to check out Strewth! when it launches later this month!


The Legend of Webcomics: A Hyperlink to the Past ~IS~ A Micro Webcomics Weekend

Did you attend the first annual Webcomics Weekend is beautiful, sunny Easthampton, MA? Did you know someone who did? Did you live on the West Coast and lament that you just couldn’t give up the gas mileage to make the trip? Well then NEWW organizer and webcomics superstar Meredith Gran has some GREAT news for you!

By the way, do you live in Portland, OR or a city nearby? My studiomates Aaron, Luke and I are having an open house on Saturday, December 5th, and it’s open to all! Merch will be for sale, schmoozing will be had, and you can see where and how I get my cartooning done. We’ll also be joined by some awesome guests.

RSVP on Facebook if you wanna go! It’s going to be lots of fun, so I hope to see some of you there.

And this here amazing event poster gives you all the juicy deets, as well as some tasty pixel art for each creator. If you live in Oregon, have heard of Oregon, or just want to finally see the United States, make it a priority to be there!



New Wes Molebash Strip ~NOW~ LIIIIIIIVE!!!

Imagine that intro in my best Tom Bergeron impression and it will have more impact. And I feel sad for the one person in our audience that got that reference.

There’s a new strip to check out, and it’s by the enigmatic, ever-present, all ’round nice guy, Wes Molebash. It seems wherever we go, Wes is there to provide a real-life moment with warmth and humor like no one else. There was the webcomic, You’ll Have That, a large body of work that is highly recommended if you’re in need of some uplifting stories, and Wes even dipped his fingers into the Zuda waters with The Litterbox Chronicles.


Now, Wes has returned to writing human characters with Max vs. Max. This comic looks to cover the same territory as YHT, with perhaps a stronger emphasis on faith and its role in today’s hectic, selfish world. Here’s the word straight from Wes himself:

It would seem that Maxwell Stanton’s worst enemy is, well . . . Maxwell Stanton.  Recently divorced and struggling to find direction in his life, Max does his best to stay optimistic while wrestling with his insecurities and feelings of guilt.  Fortunately for Max, he has an awesome group of friends and a loving family to help him out and kick him in the pants.

Max vs. Max is about the underdog in all of us – that determined feeling we get that urges us to conquer the world even when the chips are down and the light at the end of the tunnel is still several miles away.  Max is proof that seemingly insignificant people can do very significant things.

If anyone can write down-to-earth, human tales of perseverance, it’s Wes. When you just need a good smile (and really, who doesn’t?), make sure to check out Max vs. Max.