Zuda Comics Is Dead! ~LONG LIVE~ Zuda Comics!!!

Sure, most of the winners have found great success from the DC bump, but ask any of the other nine competitors in any given Zuda month and they’ll likely tell you the same thing: the system is flawed. Some of the winners would possibly say likewise. No voting system is perfect, of course; the United States alone is proof of that. But when something as important and possibly career-altering as a shot at a short-term comics deal hangs in the balance, the process to gain that prize should be a fair and balanced one (suck it, Fox News).

It’s not surprising, then, that the announcement came today via Zuda head honcho Ron Perazza that the oft-maligned comics contest would be ditching the democratic process for one with far less yeas and nays. Via the Zuda blog, The Collective, Perazza noted that, while Zuda has had an amazing crop of winners come through the ranks, it has let just as many potential superstars slip through the cracks. It doesn’t seem clear just what the new Zuda will entail, but rest assured Digital Strips will be there to cover this shift in the way a major player dips into the webcomics pool of talent.

Here are just a smattering of the tweets posted thus far from industry folks, almost universally praising the coming changes:

brockheasley (Brock Heasley, The Superfogeys: Looking forward to seeing what this means for the future of #Zuda . Could be very exciting!

pvponline (Scott Kurtz, PvP): Zuda is leaving the competition model behind in favor of an editorial one. SMART MOVE!

Iron_Spike (Spike, Templar, AZ): @pvponline Agreed. Ballot box stuffing assured talented unknowns would always lose to well-known, not-necessarily-better competitors.

peprally (David Maguire, Gastrophobia): Oh man, Zuda has decided to treat their artists like employees instead of contestents! http://zuda.blog.dccomics.com/

DavidGallaher (David Gallaher, High Moon): For the record, I couldn’t ask for a greater group of friends, editors, and creators than @zudacomics. It’s been the highlight of my career.

sequentialmatt (Mathew D., Sequential Life): Guess I missed out on any more chances of rejection by Zuda. I didn’t really want to draw goth elves anyway…

AdamAtherton (Adam Atherton, Lily of the Valley): #FF @Zudacomics I loved the Zuda competition and the opportunity it gave me so I’m very thankful, but look forward to the new changes!


FCBD, a List, Google, and Disappearing

Free Comic Book Day has never been a big deal for me. It’s kind of neat and good for the kids but not one of those things I take an extra long lunch for and go visit the local store. The number of participants has increased and it does bring more awareness of the variety out there. I think my biggest issue is that it’s marketed towards kids. As if those are the ones that need to be pulled in, although the biggest audience is probably teens and, more recently, young adults. So does anyone know any stores that are trying to market to say, those in our 30’s?

Found another list out there of someone telling us their favorite webcomics. Normally these kinds of lists bug me a little because they always list pretty much the big players and something like 2 no one has ever heard. As if making a list would give everyone to go to theirs if they list it at the same level as the accepted. The difference here is Jack has listed a few of the less acknowledged players and even so of the more off the wall strips we are only now just discovering.

The joys of getting notice are wide and varied. When advertising and word of mouth are just not moving fast enough some may result to special code to get bots to notice you more. The problem is that if you thought of it and found someone else to do it for you then the people you’re trying to take advantage of have thought a way around it. The lesson learned is that there is nothing better than word of mouth and the only way to do it successfully is time and effort, lots and lots of it. Learn to accept that you will not make it to full time artist within the first 2 years and you’ll be taking your first step towards earning a living off your work.

Found a comic that’s disappeared? Did your favorite comic update so infrequently that you stop paying attention only to come back 6 months later and see it has gone on definite hiatus? Well here are a few more.


Digital Strips 195 – Book Club: Realm of Atland #1

What’s this, a new show type, from Digital Strips? They never do that.

This time we’re trying something a little different. Realm of Atland is a strip that I have read and loved for years. Its creator Nate Peikos is a big part of the community with all his fonts available at Blambot. Years ago, Daku and Zampson (and maybe Phil) did an over glowing review of the strip.

Now, years later, everyone who is cool has read Realm of Atland and fantasized about marrying either Lily or Bruce, depending on their personal preference between buxom priestesses and rugged minotaur barbarians. Jason on the other hand, is not cool, so I had to sit him down and force him to read the first 50 strips and now, like a bunch of high school kids or empty-nesters, we’re going to discuss what we read.

And we want you to join in the fun. Please let us know what you think of this strip and about our show about it. The comments section below is a great place for that. And if you haven’t read Atland, now is a great time to start. And if you’ve tried in the past and decided you hate things that are awesome, at least listen to the first two minutes of the show. Their probably my favorite two minutes since I started this gig.

Oh and in the show we said we’d talk about the elephant size boobs in the room, but bosoms such as these demand their own show, so that’ll probably be in the next episode, unless you want to talk about them now. In the comments.

Show Notes:
Questionable Content
Not Invented Here
PVP, I don’t know why I said Penny Arcade. I’m a dummy
8Bit theater
Order of the Stick
Legend of Bill
My Sister the Freak
Looking for group
Least I could do


Round Table Update – 4/22/10

Dave Kellett is going to at yet another con. This time it’s the Calgary Comic Expo at booth #502! He will be selling books, prints, original art…and FREE sketches for any and all! On Sunday at 1PM, he’ll be joining Kris Straub and Brad Guigar, in Room A, giving a talk on “How to Make Webcomics”. Goes to show you can never give up the convention race.

Zach Weiner shows us that when you miss an update you go the extra mile and give your readers more. One of the biggest problems with young strips is real life getting in the way of your posting schedule. At some point they all made a decision to sacrifice something in return for selling their souls… Wait, that was just me.

Another dedicated team is headed to the Calgary Comic Expo. Ryan and Lar seem to be getting annoyed with just how many Cons there are during convention season but since this one is in their backyard they’re exstatic about not needing to bring their passports. Maybe they’ll make a strip about giving Americans a hard time entering the US? They’ll be at booth #500.

OK, OK! Why am I not heading to Calgary this weekend? It looks like they will also have Ryan North.

It looks like if you don’t have your passport the place to be is the Stumptown Comics Fest. There you can meet Aaron and Spike


Can Electric Sheep Pay Your Bills?

It’s not every day that a webcomic makes a legitimate attempt to go solo. Five years ago we could probably name, off the top of our head, every single webcomic that fully supported their creators. In this day and age that has changed drastically with the number pushing past the 40 mark. For this to happen there are usually three paths to take: advertising, merchandising, and donations. That would be in the order of most common use. Believe it or not most artists start their careers with a donation drive. They get to a point where their committed and number of fans exceeds their spare time and they lay it all on the line with a donation drive.

That’s where Patrick Farley steps in. The creator of Electric Sheep is making his second attempt at webcomics as a full time job. Here’s how he puts it:

This is it, my friends. Like the dog from the Roman poem, I’ve been going around in circles, licking one bone then the other, for long enough. Today, the Equinox of 2010, it’s time for me to exercise my freedom of choice and make the fateful decision once and for all:

Is Electric Sheep going to linger on as my B-game, spare-time, side-project “hobby?” — or am I going to devote myself to it FULL TIME and make it my career, my A-game, my FLOW?

Hint: I would like the answer to be Number 2 🙂

This time around he’s using a tool that’s been popping up more and more. Kickstarter is an online fund-raising platform, focusing on creative projects, which operates on an “all-or-nothing” basis; funds are collected only if the fund-raising goal is met. If and when Farley makes his $6000 goal that will mean there is a sufficient demand for Electric Sheep Comix that Patrick can very likely parlay it into a full-time, self-sustaining career. It will mean Electric Sheep has enough fans to include it among the  Webcomics Professional Elite.


Pajama Forest ~PRESENTS~ Super Awesome Kite Flier Extreme! (To The Max) for iPhone/iPod Touch

These days, to make it in the digital funnies realm, you not only have to update your comic on time, with extra content and clever enough punchlines to inspire T-shirt after topical T-shirt, but you also have to worry about every other digital tie-in that you could possibly make with your work. Facebook, Twitter, forums, email blasts, and now, iPhone games.

These little suckers are easy to make, hard to master, and many webcomics already have their own game/app to carry around with you 24/7, permeating your brain stem and infecting your attention span. Now you can count Pajama Forest, the hilariously drawn strip from Evan Diaz, amongst those digital comic elites. The new PF game, Super Awesome Kite Flier Extreme! (To The Max), is now available in the iTunes store for the low, low, almost-free price of $0.99! Carry PF with you wherever you go with this amazingly named game today!


Digital Strips 194 – Zuda Watch April 2010

I hate when I have to sit down and figure out an introduction to a show. I have to be creative but I already started listening to an old episode of Arrested Development and I can’t stop. So rather than wait till its over and then apply myself to the project at hand, I’m just going to say “Mr. F” and let the cool listeners know how funny that really is.

This may have been the strongest Zuda month on record. Even if it isn’t, then it’s certainly the one with the best average layout. But strong months don’t mean that every comic is strong. As fully trained Internet blow hards, we can always find something to call poopy. Tune in to find out who made us sign praises and who just made us sign.

Be sure to listen to the ending, I’m trying something different and I’d really like some feedback.

Show Notes:
Mr. Trilbok Signs the Blues
Dan + Clue
Queer Romance
Stereophonic Ninja Boy
The Zombie Hand

Lovecraft is Missing
Hourglass Falls is what he meant
Octane Jungle
Crooked Man

And be sure to join us next time when we have a very special episode in which I finally get Jason to read Realm of Atland.


Talented Creator To Help Brock Heasley and David Reddick ~CRAFT~ The Next SuperFogeys Origins Story (And It COULD Be YOU)

It was late last year when I wrote to Brock Heasley, creator of The SuperFogeys, on Twitter that I loved what he was doing with the SuperFogeys: Origins stories, mixing new artists and creators with his already-established characters to delve into their origins, adding a very comic book-y vibe to a well-pedigreed webcomic. His response? How would you like to take a turn?

Now, a half a year later with my own arc in the can, Wes Molebash (Max vs. Max) is next on deck and it looks like David Reddick (The Legend of Bill) is queued up behind him. However, Reddick’s arc will be a bit more unique in how it all comes together. Due to time constraints on his part, Reddick will be providing the character designs for this Spy Gal-focused arc, which will then be utilized by the best man/woman for the job. This prime creative opportunity can be had by submitting work to the Heasley/Reddick tandem (heretofore referred to as RedRock) for a contest set to end in May. Full contest details can be found below/after the break, so get those knuckles cracked and show RedRock what you’ve got!


Have I got some coolness to drop on you. I’ve been in deep talks with the Legend of Bill’s David Reddick for the past couple weeks about working together on a SuperFogeys Origin story. David is monster talent with a large following and, of course, one of my Tall Tale Features brothers. He is the man.

You’ll recall that last year David and I tried to do a story together –the one that Krishna Sadasivam eventually ended up drawing called “Spy Gal vs. Star Maiden”.  Love that story. Anyway, ever since then David and I have been trying to figure out another way that we can collaborate without putting too much of a time pressure on him and we think we’ve got a great idea.

And it involves you. Maybe. Potentially. Let me explain.


I have an outline for one of the most highly anticipated Origin stories ready to go. David is so excited by it that he’s dying to do to the character designs. So, he will. But, we need an artist.

We need you!

David and I are looking for someone to work closely with us on a 5-6 page origin story that will rock. David will be acting as an “art director” and “casting agent” of sorts, hand-picking the artist for the story, handing over the character designs he creates and giving some general, basic art direction. Nothing that would hamper anyone creatively, but if you’re familiar with David’s work then you know how valuable any input from him would be!

Sadly, you will also have to work with me and one of my scripts. But you can put up with that, right?

Oh, wait, what’s the Origin, you ask?


Here’s the details of how you can throw your hat into the ring:

1. Draw a pinup of young Spy Gal–we wanna see your take!

2. Send it and a link to your comic to me at bwhheasley (at) gmail (dot) com.

3. Be willing to complete pencils, inks and colors on the 5-6 pages by August of this year.

I’ll be passing along the entries to David and he will carefully consider each entry and choose the best by the deadline.


A lot of great artists have drawn and are drawing some great SuperFogeys Origins stories. Artists like T.L. Collins, Eldon Cowgur, Krishna Sadasivam, Marc Lapierre, Rossana Bugini, Jason Sigler, and Wes Molebash. We’re looking for someone with the chops to join their ranks. Think you got ’em?


If you are chosen as the artist of the Spy Gal origin…

1. You will get to work closely with both David and I.

2. You’ll also receive a free copy of the whichever printed volume of SuperFogeys Origins your art appears in.

3. You will get copious amounts of plugging and linkage back to your site or comic from both the SuperFogeys and Legend of Bill sites.

4. An original sketch by both David Reddick and Brock Heasley–a jam piece featuring two SuperFogeys of your choice! (However, please be advised that David will only agree to this so long as he gets to draw Spy Gal. Just FYI.)

So, what do you say? Do you want in on the SuperFogeys action? Do you wanna work with David Freakin’ Reddick (his actual middle name–truth!)!?

Get those entries in now! Remember, deadline is May 3rd! Spy Gal awaits… and here are some parting words from David himself:

“Brock and I have been itching to work together on some Superfogey’s goodness, and this will be a fun and unique way of doing just that. I can’t wait to look at some of the pin-ups and pick the artist for the next Superfogey’s Origin… Let’s have some fun with this, And FUN is SuperFUNFogeys middle name!”


Digital Strips 193 – Review By Moon Alone

Lock the door, horde some food and set yourself up to survive the zombie hordes, because the world is about to end. The final sign of the apocalypse has finally happened, Steve and Jason have reviewed a manga.

This week’s offering is the very dividing By Moon Alone by Honoel A. Ibardolaza (alone?). We talk about a lot of stuff involved here, we discuss why Jason hates all things Japanese and why Steve wants to like it. We delve into art, writing and pacing, all the usual comic topics you expect from us. Only this time about a comic you probably never expected us to do.

We also ramble on about 3-D movies, the time paradox that is the state of Idaho, why Apple has changed the way Jason poops and a bunch of other fun stuff. Join us won’t you?

Show Notes:
Wes Molebash
Dawn of Time
Strike the Earth
Dwarf Fortress
Order of the Stick
Realm of Atland
Red vs Blue
Extra Life

If I missed anything, please let me know.


Spike’s Print Woes ~LEAD TO~ MoCCA No Show?

One of my favorite aspects of the webcomics community is the collective sharing of knowledge. With Facebook, Twitter, IM, Skype, and countless other portals of communication, it’s merely a matter of seconds before lessons can be learned en masse, whether they be for gain or hindrance. Spike, the enigmatic creator behind Templar, A.Z., has just experienced such a learning experience and she hopes to pass on her pain and experience to you.

Last night, via Twitter, Spike mentioned that she wouldn’t have copies for her fourth collection of Templar, A.Z. available for purchase at  the MoCCA (Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art) Festival. Her tweet read:

Well, I guess I WON’T have book 4s for MoCCA. Fantastic.

Never one to tweet without explanation, Spike peppered the next few hours with follow-up tweets:

Guys, I’M my publisher. My PRINTER is the one shafting me.

My printer is Lebonfon. I wasn’t going to name them, but this is too f***ing ridiculous, so there you go. Never use them.

I have no idea what I’m going to do, now. MoCCA is this weekend, and I will have no new material. Thanks, Lebonfon.

The urge to not even go is overwhelming. I seriously have no desire to sit behind a table and disappoint people / explain myself for 2 days.

Okay, I’ll be bringing a pile of originals, which I NEVER usually sell, to MoCCA. ~$75.00 apiece. 9″x12″s from Chapter 1. I hate doing this.

I may jack up the price. I wanted to keep these forever.

Oh hey did I mention that Lebonfon tried to overcharge me by $1,300 too? They attempted to bill me for a figure much higher than the quotes.

Still edging towards ditching MoCCA. It’s 50/50.

Decided. No MoCCA. Books 1-3 will be there, but not me. Buy ’em off @reiley & @rymagnusson at table C7, I’ll be at home doing a bonus comic.

The bonus comic will be to zero me out on nonrefundable plane fare and my share of the table. Sorry, I can’t sell originals. Too crazy.

So due to the incompetence of one printer we go from having Spike at a show to no Spike and no original prints. Having never had a personal experience with Lebonfon, this post does not condemn the company itself. It does, however, serve as a great resource for those who may be considering the printer for their works. Buyer/user beware!

All tweets provided by Twitter