iPad, 10 years, and Zampzon!

Back to the normal Inbox size. It really was getting old finding 30+ unread Google alerts. With Brigid finding herself overloaded with other work I looked wide and far to find an additional writer to help bring the wealth of news on manga I know everyone needs. News sites are about complete coverage anyways and the more writers I can get covering absolutely everything webcomic, the better. So if you’re an inspiring writer or an established one looking for a platform to spread your wealth, give me a call and we’ll see if we can work you onto the team.

If you’re reading about webcomic news chances are better than normal you’re using a Mac, and chances are outstanding you know how to use a Mac. Does that mean there’s going to be a revolution in webcomics with the release of the iPad? The general consensus is a big flat no. Comics Alliance did a decent round-up of creators and perhaps my favorite comment came from Ryan North: “All I can say now is that any device that makes webcomics easier to read in bed and on the toilet is one that gets a thumbs up from me.” For me it’s a chance to get a full screen portable machine. The iPhone has been providing that but frankly that tiny screen drives me nuts. Perhaps with the (max)iPad someone will get serious and develop a Photoshop app.

Valentine’s Day Brad Guigar raised a toast to daily comics. His first comic strip, Greystone Inn, debuted Valentine’s Day, 2000, and updated every Monday-Saturday for 5.5 years. The day after it ended in June 2005, Evil Inc began. Both ran in daily newspapers, including the Philadelphia Daily News. Evil Inc appears in front of an estimated 1.5 million newspaper readers a week. Guigar also produces Courting Disaster, and for a year-and-a-half, produced a weekly full-page comic, Phables, that shared stories about life in Philadelphia. Phables earned Guigar a nomination for the Eisner Award in 2007 — the highest honor in comics. His obsession continued with one cartooning book, “The Everything Cartooning Book,” and co-wrote  “How to Make Webcomics”. Editor-in-chief of Webcomics.com where you can find the popular podcast, Webcomics Weekly, that he co-hosts. With over 13 print collections and his appearances at conventions across the country it’s surprisingly his wife of 12 years hasn’t divorced him.

Life is so busy for me that it is rare that news of our co-founder Zampzon jumps up and slaps me. Apparently he’s some kind of activist in his home in the lone state and has been featured on the Dallas Art News. In early December they were running a special feature called Webcomics Imitating Art where  webcomic artists use their characters and style to recreate a famous work of art. Instead of the six works they expected they managed to receive nineteen valid entries. This has led to a new guest webcomic artist program where each artist will have 4-5 strips displayed on a per week basis. There are rules of course, but only eight of them. The best one being “Webcomic artists will retain all rights to their work.” Amazing…


Email interview with Model Behaviour’s author, Jin Sun Oh

Having just introduced Model Behaviour recently to you, I thought I will also interview the webmanga author, Jin Sun Oh, as well.

You can read more about her at her webcomic site here.

And one female friend of mine liked this webmanga after reading it, so do support Model Behaviour if this webmanga suits to your liking.

Take note that the following interview is unedited, and enjoy yourselves here:


1. Please tell us briefly about yourself: your name, which country you are staying in, some facts and figures, and how you became a webmanga artist.

My name is Jin Sun Oh. l live in the U.K. with my husband and our son. I am from Seoul, South Korea where I worked as an animator and a manga (manwha) artist. I decided to become a webmanga artist because I wanted to continue my original passion which is creating a manga for especially female manga fans.

2. What is your webmanga, Model Behaviour, about?

It’s about a man named Jack who works as a fashion magazine editor. He works with lots of beautiful women and is enjoying his life by simply being a womanizer but he kind of senses that he is somehow lost in life. It is basically his love story.

3. How did Model Behaviour come about, and/or what inspired you to begin Model Behaviour?

The story line was originally created more than 10 years ago when I was doodling around with ideas for my own project. I wanted to create something glamorous.

4. What do you hope to achieve through your webmanga. Model Behaviour?

I hope that I will be able to finish the story and would love to publish it. It would be great to see it on actual paper.

5. Any hints about how you are going to develop the story further?

There will be more characters appearing, especially Jack’s family and the readers will learn more about Jack’s inner side.

6. Your webmanga seems to be a little suggestive and mature in nature. Is this intended?

Yes, it was intended. Normally I don’t draw a male as a main character in my stories but in this case I thought it has to be… I felt it was necessary to show mature scenes to add more grown up elements to the whole story. Model Behaviour was created for young adult readers (not for younger teenagers).

7. Please tell us briefly how you prepare your webmanga for weekly updates.

I do all of my drawings by hand except for screentones which is done with photoshop.

8. What is the greatest challenge of being a webmanga artist for you?

It will be not missing the updates… I’ve got my hands full already as a full time mom. Sometimes I feel like I’m not even allowed to be sick. Hopefully when my little boy goes to school things will get easier.

9. What is the greatest sense of achievement of being a webmanga artist for you?

Being able to connect with readers, and being able to continue to do so. It’s a very long journey and hopefully that my manga is worthy enough for my readers to go through together till the end.

10. Any final words for our readers and aspiring webcomic artists?

There are always pros and cons in doing a webcomic. One of the good things is that you have total freedom of creating whatever you like to create and you can easily connect with readers directly. But it is a big commitment. Updating a comic regularly for a long time isn’t easy and readers can be easily bored if you miss an update. However if you are enjoying what you are doing and have creative ideas, why not? Go for it!



News: A manga webcomic artist’s earning and some stuff on the manga industry

Wondering about how much a manga webcomic artist can earn?

AnimeNewsNetwork recently shares that Shuho Sato Earns Y500,000 in Web Manga in 2010 So Far.

If you are interested in other related news (pretty old in fact), when Shuho Sato started his web manga online, he earned 100,000 yen on the first day of his launch! That’s about USD$1,090!

That’s something to look out for, if you want to be a professional webcomic artist along your journey of life.

Anyway, Shuho Sato’s webmanga is a “seinen”; which means it is catered for the mature crowd; so be sure not to look at it if you are not of legal age!

Also, AnimeNewsNetwork also reveals that manga publishers in Japan lose several billion yen last year.

This means that traditional manga magazines are losing its appeal. Maybe its time for webcomic to rise to popularity?

This is further acknowledged by Ken Akatmatsu, author of the famed Love Hina series, that says that tankobon sales fell 4.9% last year.

‘Tankobon’ generally refers to traditional paperback comics, where comics are published on paper.

Also, the manga industry in Japan is really on the decline.

I did a little study before about Shuho Satou, in his income and earnings and how he managed his expenses by managing assistants for drawing.

With the reason launch of Apple’s iPad, I really wonder if the webcomics will pick up its pace and become a profitable medium for comics or not, after seeing how the traditional mediums are faltering.

What do you think?

Some points to note:
1. ‘Seinen’ means “young adult” in Japanese literally, and it means that the comic is generally catered for the ages between 18 to 30 years old.

2. ‘Tankobon’ means “independent book” in Japanese literally; the irony is that manga is usually in series. However, it still generally referred as paperback books.


Digital Strips 186 – Zuda Watch Feb 2010

It’s time again to gather around the campfire, sharpen some sticks and toast a few Zuda entries to make s’mores. It’s another attempt at the shorter format, though not as short as last time. There’s just too much to talk about with Zuda.

This month has it’s usually crop, some good and some bad. We get down into one of my biggest pet peeves about the average Zuda entrant and talk about a couple of Jason complaints about comics in general that I never seem to notice

We also chat a bit about Bioshock 2, the proper voice for an eagle, those aliens from Sesame Street and a bunch of other cool stuff. Plus I make about the biggest hosting error of my career so you don’t want to miss that.

    Zuda Entries in Order

Scifi drive By
Techno Insecto
Aliens vs Ninja vs Samuari
Divided by Seven
Island, Alone
New Morning

Other things we mentioned
Ryan Estrada
vote for Ryan Estrada
The Kind you don’t bring home to mother
The Meek
Onry Boy
Pet Professional
Tales from the Middle Kingdom
Extra life


Guest Review: Commander Kitty

Writing up a good and fair review is always hard, considering how much time it takes to go through archives. Still yet we can’t always find ones that we feel compelled enough to sit down and study, giving the comic it’s fair review. So we’re introducing a new practice, and that’s the guest review. From now on we will be accepting reviews from you about your favorite webcomic, with the only stipulation being that you can’t be one of the artists behind it. Submit your comic to us and it will get reviewed for content and pleasantness and posted to the main site.

This is your chance! Now send those reviews in.

Back when I first discovered webcomics, one stood out as my favorite: A goofy, Saturday morning style adventure about a rag-tag team of animal spacers trying to be heroes. It combined good clean artwork with energetic scifi hilarity, and best of all didn’t try to be the next Spaceballs. Then one day the comic, website, and creator vanished from the face of the internet entirely. Until now.

Commander Kitty is back, and is off to a great start. Rather than continuing the old story, creator Scotty Arsenault decided to start fresh, and so far it’s been a great ride. Kitty is a slightly pathetic and overbearing spaz with delusions of grandeur. (Imagine the rich kid Hon Solo used to give wedgies in school) After somehow acquiring a spaceship, and hiring a crew of the only three creatures in the galaxy willing to work for him, he’s ready to make a name for himself as a great space captain, mostly without any success. First Officer Fluffy is an airbrained little pink kitten. Lieutenent Mittens is a paranoid and highly distractible grey tabby, and the usual brunt of Kitty’s wrath. Mr. Socks is a brilliant, yet inarticulate ferret. The ship is run by a swarm of misanthropic robots referred to collectively as MOUSE. They’ve just been joined by the shady Red Panda Nin Wah, who just might be their ticket out of numfdom.

You can really tell that Scotty’s done this before. The art is crisp and polished, drawn in smooth, expressive lines, with bright toylike colours. The characters are reminiscent of old Hannah Barberra cartoons, and all very distinct and consistent, in both appearance and personality. The comic is very action-based; the animals never stop moving, and the “punchline” is usually something funny that somebody did, rather than what they said. The whole page, however is filled with sight gags, one-liners, and pop-culture references; Rather than giving you just enough to keep you from starving, Scotty loads up your plate with enough humor to last you all week.

Commander Kitty is more than just a great webcomic, it’s also great comedic scifi. Rather than just annother Trek/Wars parody, Scotty has created a unique universe with its own social structures, that borrows from the tropes and technology of mainstream science fiction; Similar to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. The story started out a bit slow, (it began with a three-page dream sequence) but it’s still been fun to read, and things look like they will be moving faster now that Kitty has met Nin Wah.

The website is well designed and fits the comic perfectly. There is a flash window in one corner that shows mug shots of the different characters, a Jukebox that has some pretty sweet music to listen to, and a news box with Scotty’s Twitter feed. It all looks very clean, and futuristic, like a web page from outer space.

This review was courtesy of Robin Gibson.


Plugging Up The Linkage

Despite plowing through 20 alerts in my last post there are 17 more jumping out at me slapping me in the face. That doesn’t include the 10 personal emails from those of you counting on getting a mention by emailing directly. Don’t worry because I’ll get to them eventually, if only as inspiration for coming up with new scripts.

From Comics Worth Reading we find out that Phil Foglio began online serialization of his graphic adaptation of Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth. According to the site, the comic version is “the first professional comics work by both Phil Foglio and inker Tim Sale.”

Vote for your favorite webcomic at The Washington Post. Comic Riffs is asking you what the best webcomic in the past decade after having asked about the best comic. At the moment the voting is being dominated by Penny Arcade and PBF.

Mischief in the Forest is in the final push. They are only $928 away from the goal of $6000 for printing costs.

Haven’t read it yet but apparently we have a comic written by a 5 year old. Don’t know about you but that sounds like comic genius. Take a look at Axe Cop.

How do you get a writer or artist for your comic? You hold a contest of course.

The WebComicList had an awards show this year with nine categories: Best Black and White Art,
Best Colour Art, Best Non-traditional Art, Best Gag-a-day comic, Best New Comic, Best Longform comic, Best Character, Best Writing and of course Best Comic.


Digital Strips 185 – Topicless Dancing Number 1

Because of a certain show that is making a major return on the night of our recording, we weren’t able to do a regular show with preparation and the like. Instead Jason and I step back from the role of the reviewer and just talk. We never just talk anymore. But don’t worry, we mostly just talk about Web comics.

We start with PATV and how while we like it, it’s killed something we liked even more. Not only do I dislike it for all the reasons I mention in the show, but I really miss hearing about the ideas that didn’t go into the final comic and why. DLC was one of the best “How to write comedy” resources out there. You could learn from their process, they’d explain what makes a strip pop and what didn’t. Now it’s just entertainment. Still lots of fun, but no learning.

Next we talk about the iPad. I don’t have any better reasons for what I said. I’m just anti-Apple, which really isn’t fair, but it is fun. And I have Jason to balance me out.

Then we talk about Bill Watterson and his mythic first interview in years.

Finally we do a mini-review of axe-cop and learn that I truly am old and hateful.

Going back through this episode in post-production, I totally come across as the negative douchebag of the week.  But what is the Internet if not a home for negative douchebags? But please, put me in my place. Or just let us know what you think of this format for future shows on occasion. That’s what the comments section is for.

Show Notes:

That guy with the glasses
last unicorn review
D&D podcast
Scott Kurtz
Wil Wheaton
Downloadable Content
Chris Straub
Web Comics Overlook (turns out he didn’t interview them, I was reading to fast, he was quoting this article)

Kate Beaton
Jeff Rowland
Randall Monroe
Ryan North
Chris Ogstan
Bill Watterson Interview
Imagine This
The Interview
Comics Alliance


Linkage Galore!

Honestly you guys have been creating so much news lately my inbox has exploded. There pieces of it lying everywhere and picking it back up is such a daunting task I’ve been putting it off for week. I guess that’s what I get for trying to enjoy my holidays and going on vacation. So despite how much I hate doing this I’m going to have present the news quickly without vetting it.

Ethan Young of Tails was interviewed by fandomania. Kelly goes through the usual questions of getting an introduction and finding out what he likes best about his comic. There’s also the usual question about switching from self-publishing to being a webcomic.

Amazing new find in Doctor Popular. He’s started a fantastic new project around creating 3D comics without using glasses. It’s a slow and cumbersome project but the results show a lot of promise. I wonder if he could make the movement much smaller and speed it up faster than 24 fps?

The Washington Post is holding a vote on the The Best Comic of the Decade. Apparently Girl Genius told their readers and they now hold nearly half the total votes.

Catch an interview with the fantastic creator of Skin Deep, Kory Bingaman. It has the usual questions about who are you and what is the process behind creating the strip.

The comic DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary comes to an end. After six years and the real world intruding Erika Moen decided to end the diary and move on to other projects. Don’t despair as she closes out with style.

Girl Genius wins the BF award for best comic of 2009.

Officially the most random place to find information about webcomics. Amy Cook has decided to post a list of the best online comics in different categories and it’s kind of all over the place.

Harvest of Time wins best gaming related comic at Joystiq.

The more and more common occurrence of a webcomic landing on the black & white has blessed Squid Row. On Jan 4th it began it’s first run.

Webcomic Overlook gives us a review of SuperFogeys. Still one of the more entertaining superhero strips I’ve ever read.


Webcomics ~ARE~ Taking Over… Webcomics? (Zuda, That Is)

The new contestants for Zuda went up this morning, and Webcomics are representin’ in this battle of the webcomic heavyweights!

Both Brock Heasley (The Superfogeys) and Ryan Estrada (every other webcomic on the ‘Net, including a previous Zuda entry) are competitors in this month’s Zuda contest, so I’ll be keeping an extra critical eye on the way things play out. Best of luck to both these talented fellows and stay tuned for our ZudaWatch podcast on these and all the contestants in the 02.10 competition, coming soon!