eHow, Webcomic Factory, SWOR, and Contropussy

Found a new site trying to give the basics on how to start your own webcomic. It’s short and barely adequate, but it does give just enough information for anyone to start looking for more. Actually it’s a better list then you’ll find almost anywhere else, based on our experience with DSA. For instance having a more than one strip is essential. You have to give your readers a reason to flip through and stick around. Using a hosting site can save a lot of problems (never heard of Comic Dish before this article) but I would also recommend pursuing something like Comic Press. Getting a comic email address and following a schedule seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many mess either of those up.

Found a new webcomic collective in the Webcomic Factory. Not sure about the name but it is the brainchild of Christian Beranek and Tony DiGerolamo.  Together, they created this webcomic “hub” from a variety of artists.  The concept of the Webcomic Factory is to create a professional hub of quality comic entertainment.  It’s like a digital version of the funny pages in a newspaper mixed in with traditional comics and Japanese Manga.  Already, Christian and Tony have acquired a huge library of affiliated content and they look forward to creating new content for you every day.

SWOR has a new update finally. This new issue is a lot better than the first, not just because they’re using a hot girl with red skin. There’s still the problems with pacing and not having any idea of what’s going on. The best update seems to be to the flash engine. Perhaps I missed this before but you can click on the right and left sides and a page turning graphic reveals the next or previous page. Can I get that?

Found a new comic and it has the best name I would be afraid to use: Contropussy. This is a webcomic by Emma Caulfield, Camilla Rantsen, Christian Meesey and Thomas Mauer. It chronicles the adventures of Contropussy and her friends. By day, Contropussy is an ordinary house cat, but at night she comes alive and searches for excitement in the world outside. Think of it as a more subversive Sex and the City with animals. The strip is updated every Monday and Friday and they’re hoping to go daily once they get enough donations.


Code Green ~IS~ … Well, Just What It Sounds Like

If you’re sick and tired of the abuse the environment has been receiving lately (especially given the recent nastiness spewing forth to ruin poor Mother Earth) and if you’d like a cartoon or two to help you work out your frustrations, then this might be the project for you. Editorial cartoonist Stephanie McMillan is posting a new editorial cartoon every Monday on her site, Code Green, in an effort to help spread the word about the injustices occurring every day in various crimes against the environment.

The rub here is that she asks for donations for each cartoon used. Take a JPEG, hi-res or low, and use it wherever you see fit… so long as you pay for the work you intend to use. So far it seems like this pay-as-you-like method is working, and so long as the patron sees the value in these cartoons, she shouldn’t have to worry about being short-changed for this service. I’ll admit that personally I don’t have a need for editorial cartoons in any capacity, so this idea is clearly not for me.

But what do you think, Digital Strippers? Is there merit in this scheme, or is this yet another Internet monetary plan destined to go belly up?


Digital Strips 199 – Eisner Nominees

Every year people get paid to decide which comics are the best, and recently they’ve began to come down from their ivory, print-laden, towers to make the same judgement on web comics. Some times they make the right choice (PVP) some times, they really botch it up (Sugarshock). Still though, in my own unbiased opinion, I think the better committee would be one assembled from experts specifically from the web comics field, from people who have a much wider knowledge of what the web is capable of, people who have goatee’s and wear baseball hats, even indoors.

My personal gripes aside, this is the strongest year of nominees that I’ve ever seen. Two Digital Strips favorites, the world’s first Zuda instant winner, the standard “Artsy” comic and a comic with cowboys. There’s a lot of variety and a lot of good stuff to read. They are:

The Abominable Charles Christopher

The Guns of Shadow Valley
Power Out
Sin Titulo

How do this years picks stand up to the litmus test of people featured on an episode of Digital Strips? Will we ever recover from the outrage of Sugarshock winning? What crazy thing will Jason say to offend his wife next? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

After you tune in, let us know what you think in the show notes. We love comments, almost as much as we love commenters.

Show Notes:
Abominable show (turns out it was a nominee two years ago, we should have mentioned that in the show, but I’m not sure why it’s been nominated twice, what’s the deal guys?)
Sin Titalo Show
Rice Boy
David Gallaher
Transmission X
Facebook link


Warren Ellis ~PRESENTS~ Webcomics Week

Warren Ellis, world-famous comic creator and writer of the popular webcomic, FreakAngels, is offering up his forums for yet another week to anyone who wants free advertising for their webcomic. Make no mistake about it; regardless of whether or not your comic is good, this will get some eyeballs on it. You can’t fault the guy for doing what he can to help now, can you?

Stop on by his forums and post a little something about your comic today!


Digital Strips 198 – Review: Woody after Hours

This is going to come as a big surprise to a lot of you I’m sure, but back when I was in Jr. High, I a bit of a nerd. Shocking, I know. After hours of being the odd man out at school, mentally tiring homework and physically taxing sports, the only thing I had to look forward to was a solid hour and a half of Late Night TV. I’d watch the first half of Leno, Letterman and O’Brien religiously, and experience that still effects me and the way I arrange the furniture in my living room.

Apparently I’m not the only person on the Internet to be so influenced by the Kings of Late Night. Woody after Hours is practically a love letter to the late night talk show format. It’s a very interesting new comic about a lovable everyman at his quest to make it big in the world of late night. Besides the normal gag-a-day wackiness, Woody invites guests from other Web comics to sit on the couch and be featured on the show.

It’s a great idea and a fun way to collaborate with other creators, but how does the execution hold up? You’ll have to tune in to find out. That’s what we call a teaser folks.

Show Notes:
Amazing Super Zeros
Nate Peikos
Escape from Planet Nowhere
No Need for Bushido
Edmund Finney’s Quest for the Meaning of Life
Monster plex
Lucy’s Imps
Imagine This
Scot Kurtz
Girls with Slingshots
Questionable Content
Looking for group


Charity, Facebook, New List, and Making a Living

This came up in an alert and I have no idea what to think about it. There’s some vague memory in my head hearing about Kiva on NPR but then I have a vague memory about everything, like walking through life under a permanent sense of deja vu. This project was inspired by the Comic Creators Alliance charity. While Yamiloo was trying to think of an original way for webcomic artists to earn money, she remembered a Sister Claire food contest.  The idea is simple: each artist creates a postcard design, of which they print 10 limited editions. The cost of printing and mailing the cards will be covered by the minimum donation.  A minimum donation will get a “general” card, and the limited edition cards will be priced a bit higher. The limited cards will have personal messages from a character in the comic, and be signed by the original artist. All the proceeds will be donated to Kiva.

Seen the new webcomic Facebook page? Some random side-effect of when Facebook created a page for everything or maybe someone finally thought it up and followed through. Webcomics now have it’s own page that the world can link to promoting their love of the art that is digital.

If it’s not another blog it’s another list. There is another webcomic ranking site out there. This one is called the WebcComic Super 100 List. This goes beyond the existing The Webcomic List, the Belfry Webcomic Index, Webcomicz, and the most popular of them all TopWebComics. Let us hope it doesn’t go the way of Buzzcomics.

Found an AOL Small Business series called the Startup Online Reality Series. Laura found herself interested in a comic called The Oatmeal by Matthew Inman. Surprisingly she also goes deep and does a real in-depth and well researched article. Almost as if she’s taking the medium seriously and not just trying to get some easy search hits. First we are given some quotes from Matthew on how he went from rags to self-sufficient. Then there are mentions of xkcd, Penny Arcade, PvP, and Achewood on their success along with information from Brad Guigar. Perhaps my favorite quote is from Inman where he tells us he had 200,000 visitor but only 50 of them were willing to help support him.


Badaboom Is The ~NEW~ Comic Sans

This is more of a rant, so the bulk of the conversation will be reserved for an upcoming Digital Strips podcast (new show every Monday or your money back!) but stop… right… now. If you create a comic or are part of the lettering team on a comic, take a moment to review your fonts and typefaces. If Badaboom is among your repertoire, then congratulations, you’ve chosen a versatile font that can be used in a variety of ways and is the perfect comic-book-y font.
If only it could used for good

If, however, Badaboom is your only font, head on over to Blambot where you can pick up a multitude of free fonts for use with dialogue, sound effects, and more and stop ruining the webcomic community.


Digital Strips 197 – Horizon’s Rewind Number 2

Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone? Although in this case they didn’t so much pave paradise as just stop updating it.

We’re getting in the wayback machine once again to take a look at where our horizons picks from a time long gone are now. It’s a strange occurrence, as all from the first show have disappeared into the ethernet, while everything from the second show lives on and goes strong. Along with all this nostalgia we hit the news feeds for another addition of Digital Strips Google News Alerts.

Join us, won’t you for a look at a simpler time with some complex and awesome comics.

Show Notes.
No More Zuda
David Gallaher
Night Owls
Octopus pie
Superhero for a day
Tiny Kitten Teeth
Penny Arcade
Lovecraft is Missing
Rice boy
Order of the Stick
Joe Loves Crappy Movies


Review: SWOR Blood of the Empire

It has been weeks now since I heard the news of Star Warsâ„¢: The Old Republicâ„¢, Blood of the Empire was being developed as a collaborative venture between BioWare, LucasArts, and Dark Horse Comics. BioWare long cemented their spot in my heart when they released KoToR, making them the only company I would leave my day job for. This love affair even managed to survive the buyout by EA. Written in conjunction with the BioWare writing team working on Star Wars: The Old Republic and produced by the comic experts at Dark Horse, the comic is supposed to offer readers a dramatic introduction to the Old Republic time period in two weeks intervals.

The first issue recently made it to the site and wasn’t overly impressed. Because it is BioWare I will continue to read the comic but it’s not the best start. we are thrown into the middle of a battle that ends within 4 pages. There’s something that doesn’t come across in a webcomic when using a bond intro. Without the music or at least some kind of forced timing there is no way to get the pacing required to build suspense. So right away I’m losing interest because i can’t figure out if this battle is brought to an end through normal means (extreme carnage) or through the Sith taking down the tower. Leaving a reader in confusion is not the best tactic.

Moving on to the art, I felt like nothing new is being introduced. There is a vague similarity to the game art but when seeing it in comic form it just looks like something from the 90’s. Perhaps I’m being a little over critical but I read webcomics because they introduce me to something I’ve never seen before and/or do it better than anyone else. The art and font are so generic that I completely ignore them and have to say there is nothing remarkable worth mentioning, but I’ll try. Overall everything is fairly realistic and to scale, with no exaggerated features present in other art forms, such as manga. So you could say it follows the current trend in American comics, by softening the lines and killing off most of the detailed that would truly make it pop. Almost as if the things that would make each page salable have been sacrificed in return for mass production.

Despite having so much about it I don’t like I will be coming back. This is solely based on the product and my trust in the writers. My recommendation is to wait 3 months and then start reading it.


Digital Strips 196 – Horizons Watch: Lucy Phurr’s Imps and Zarha’s Paradise

Apparently, I’m such a bad cook, I can make chicken taste like pee. But that’s neither here nor there. Where is both here and there is Horizons Watch, which means we’ve got two more comics for you that we think have the potential to be the next big thing.

We talk first about Lucy Phurr’s Imps. A fun romp with a lot of color and a lot of character. We then move on to Zahra’s Paradise, by far the most serious, political and possibly important comic that we’ve ever featured.

We also talk about web comics voting sites, what it means to be a conceptual comic, how to be more real to your listeners, how much I hate it when people say my name wrong and most importantly, Street Fighter.

Join in on the fun. The comments sections is laid bare before you, please make proper use of it.

Show Notes:
ExtraLife Radio
order of the stick
cru the dwarf

Mid Show Ad: