Comics and Webcomics Unite To Form Indie-Styled Murder Mystery, Bucko

My name's not Bucko

More and more comic book creators are dipping their feet into the webcomics waters, likely to exorcise their creative demons in a space that is both forgiving and instantly accessible (mainstream comic books these days, not so much). Warren Ellis (Planetary, Transmetropolitan) has been doing it for a while now with FreakAngels and Mike Norton (Young Justice) recently jumped in with Battlepug. Now, Jeff Parker (Hulk, Thunderbolts, Agent of Atlas) has teamed up with Erika Moen (DAR) to craft a comic that feels independent in its voice and look.

As the interview over at Newsarama posits, the story of Bucko reads like a “loser who stumbles onto something bigger than himself” story that the Coen brothers have become synonymous with. Bucko roped me in with its first six pages and I’m sure the same will happen to you, especially after reading more about its creation in the interview, linked below.


Crowdfunding: Crowdsourcing With Incentive

In recent years, the idea of using one’s audience to alter or improve a product, i.e. crowdsourcing, has become very popular and is enjoying a rapid adoption rate with creatives across all types of media. Digital comics are no exception, with sites like Kickstarter offering the opportunity to help while also receiving a reward comparable to the contribution.

Todd Allen of Publisher’s Weekly has a great write-up on this now valid form of funding projects and it makes for a great read for webcomics creators as well as those fans who find themselves impassioned enough to boost their favorite creators whenever possible.


Digital Strips Podcast 247 – Review: The Ghosts of Pineville (Pick Your Class)

OK ladies and gents, I’m back in charge of the editing/posting for a month or so, which means that you’re not going to get the luxurious, weak-kneed posts you’ve been getting from that namby-pamby Jason fellow. No, I’m going to hone you into a finely tuned Web comic loving machine with my spartan style of hard love.

We reviewed a Web comic, you can listen to it here.


Ok, that may not be enough, even for me.

Curse you Jason, curse you and your stupid face.

This week we charge straight into the haunted house armed with nothing but a flash light as we review The Ghosts of Pineville by Sara Turner. It’s a timeless little jaunt into the world of small town kids and fighting small town ghosts in the big city. I actually just found it while desperately searching for something to review and my love for spunky kids and standing up to the undead pulled me straight to it.

We start out this episode talking about one of the greatest things to ever happen to mankind, Team Fortress 2 going free to play. I’ve been playing for years and am beyond thrilled that more people could soon be playing (hit me up on Steam if you ever wanna kill some dirty REDs together. I’m “Fish in a Barrel”). I try to recruit Jason to the good, color-coordinated fight and we get into a discussion about what kind of gamers we are and what kind of game related media we enjoy. A challenge was thrown down to see if Jason’s pick, the folk at Giant Bomb have the same depth (not breadth) of knowledge as Steve’s champion, Mr. Day9. You can join in the fun too.

Keeping with the TF2 theme, our first song break is “Cap My Point” by EnigmaEvocative.

We then get into the news, recapping all the news posts that have magically reappeared on the Digital Strips home page. Strips mentioned include:

Not Invented Here (8:15)
Tiny Cartridge (9:15)
Max Over Acts (9:45)
Eldritch (10:45)

We then hit you with a second TF2 song, Mmph the Way You Mmph by mymapagainstyourcash (I love Internet names).

Finally we get into the review. We talk about the art and some of the cool ways the story could go. We don’t hold back on spoilers but there’s not any major stuff to spoiler. If you only want to read things completely fresh, you’ll want to go ahead and read the comic yourself before coming back. Throughout the discussion, we also mentioned the following comics.

Northworld (21:45)
Hereville (22:15)
Templar AZ (22:15)

Thanks for stopping by, just a reminder we love feedback in all its glorious forms so don’t be shy.


Coming Up In Episode 247 of The Digital Strips Podcast: The Ghosts of Pineville

Steve has made up his mind and it looks like our next show will feature The Ghosts of Pineville by Sara L. Turner. Read up quick, Strippers! It’s not too long and reads very quickly, so catching up should be a breeze. (Ignore the “Book Two” in the image below, we’re reviewing both books thus far produced.)

All this and some news items (courtesy of the news items that have shockingly returned to the site this week) and some banter. No guarantee this stuff will be witty, though. As always, Tweet or Facebook your thoughts (we’re easy to find on either) on this or any other topic and we’ll include your two cents on the show!


Nintendo Fan Art Is NEVER A Bad Thing

Following so many folks via social media turns up some great finds from time to time, and this one, via the Tiny Cartridge Tumblr blog (billed as “… Pretty Much The Best Nintendo DS Site Ever”), is a great example of this. A site featuring the work of Zac Gorman has been unearthed by these NDS experts and it is something.

Click after the jump for an example of the Kate Beaton-esque fan art on offer from Gorman and check out the entire site (and bookmark it, as I have already done) for even more amazing, hilarious depictions of your favorite Nintendo-branded characters.

Why won't you stay down?


Coming Up In Episode 247 Of The Digital Strips Podcast: ???

Paul Southworth, cartoonified, angry

Yeah, no idea what we’re doing on this week’s show because it’s Steve’s pick and he hasn’t told me what he’s chosen yet. And he doesn’t even know about that fact because he doesn’t read our blog. You know, the one that supports the podcast that he co-hosts on a weekly basis?

In lieu of that news, Paul Southworth has put himself in his very own comic (pictured, left), playing a graphic designer who hates the characters he himself helped birth. Whoa.


Caanan Grall (Max Overacts, Celadore) Combines Marvel’s Thor With Muppets, Succeeds With Time To Spare

You recall the name Caanan Grall, yes? Creator of Zuda winner (how much longer will that be a thing?) Celadore? Eisner-nominated Max Overacts? Good? Good. Then all you need to know is that Grall participated in the 24-hour Challenge this year and the product was a Thor/Muppets mash-up comic. If you haven’t clicked yet, then you probably won’t because you hate good things.

Muppets/Thor mash-up by Caanan Grall


Digital Strips Podcast 246 – Review: SMASH (Goin’ Down To K-Town)

It’s funny, Steve and I were just saying before recording this very episode that we appreciate it when podcasts are quick and succinct, not getting lost in useless drivel simply for the sake of lengthening their content. The Bugle is one such podcast: hosts John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman are masters of spinning the news into something much more entertaining and bitingly hilarious. While we’re not quite there yet, we do a decent job of lampooning webcomics news with our Digital Strips News Minute.

… except that we don’t. Not this week, at least. After shuffling about some random game talk in the first segment (and being ethereally glided to our second segment with “Heroes”, a Final Fantasy Legend II remix by Ziwtra [6:06]), we take a few moments to discuss the importance of being able to separate the creator from their respective personas, fictionally-nourished or inspired by their actual deeds and opinions.

Our specific examples include Doug TenNapel of RatFist (8:22), Scott Adams of Dilbert, and even Tracy Morgan of 30 Rock and SNL fame. All of these men have found acclaim in their respective mediums, yet they find themselves with dark clouds hanging overhead due to inflammatory statements made here or there. Can the artist exist wholly excised from their persona? We attempt to come to grips with this issue and welcome your input on the subject! Oh, we also mention PvP (10:37) in the process, but then again, when don’t we mention that comic?

Finally, White Mystery take us to our third segment with “Party” (17:45) and sets up the rollicking fun of our featured strip, SMASH (18:59), quite well. This a great, if not somewhat cliched, child fantasy of superheroism, but, as Steve puts it, cliches are wonderful when they are done well. We might not agree completely on the level of success that brothers/creators Chris and Kyle Bolton achieve with this work, but we can certainly attest to the quality contained in the pages thus far.

Enjoy the show and stick around the site for news summations as well as the first notice of what we’ll be doing for Episode 247!


Digital Strips Podcast 245 – Book Club – Order of the Stick – 2nd Edition – No One Remembers The News, Only Huey Lewis

Everyone ready to talk about Back to the Future? How about Halo? Maybe Order of the Stick? Good, because all of these things, and more, are on the menu for this week’s just-under-an-hour edition of the Digital Strips Book Club!

If you hadn’t guessed, the BttF/Halo stuff comes in our first segment, now home to a mix of anything and everything. And leading us from quite a bit of video game chatter is, fittingly, a video game tune, courtesy of Benjamin Briggs titled, “Climb My Mountain, This High” (7:53). His remix of a classic Link’s Awakening tune (out now, on the Nintendo 3DS eShop!) is a wonderful example of how masterful some video game music truly is (if you missed the first ten minutes or so of this year’s Nintendo press event at E3, do yourself a favor and track that down soon).

After this interlude, it’s all business.  Or as business-y as the Digital Strips News Minute can get!

That all pretty much speaks for itself, so why not groove on into our third, slam-bang segment with Stray Dogg’s “Break” (15:54).

It’s hard to say much about this, the 2nd of our 86 part series of Book Clubs on the archivally-engorged Order of the Stick. Possibly because there is still going to be plenty of time to talk about it throughout the remainder of this calendar year. Possibly because things get ugly when the topic of comic strip vs. comic book is broached. Regardless, you should listen and then let us know what your thoughts on this divisive, but incredibly popular series are.

Also mentioned on our ride to insanity:

Finally, after the credits have rolled and the music has sounded, tune in to the after show, where I regale Steve with thoughts about my lunch with a former Digital Stripper (hint: His name rhymes with Brandon J. Carr). Burgers topped with fried egg for everyone!