Links: New and fun things to read

Ethan Young is putting his previously self-published comic, Tails, on the web. It’s a semi-autobiographical story of a young cartoonist who lives with his parents, and a large number of cats seem to be involved. Enjoy! (Via Comics Worth Reading.)

Andy Belanger’s new Zuda comic, Bottle of Awesome, only has two screens up right now, so you can jump on early. BoA is an instant winner, not part of the regular competition, so you won’t have to wait months for page 9. It’s the tale of a nebbishy boy who… drinks a bottle of awesome and becomes too awesome, as if such a thing were possible. If Belanger’s work looks familiar, it may be because he is also the creator of Raising Hell on the consistently excellent Transmission X site.

Over at Robot 6, I take a look at three webcomics that are written for children but are sophisticated enough for adults. Longtime DS readers/listeners may experience deja vu…

Everybody’s talking about the new Longbox digital comics store, and the Robot 6 folks pick up on some of the news, including the fact that seven publishers have signed on and the software will have an age-restriction feature as well as a manga mode that allows you to read comics from right to left. iFanboy has an in-depth look by Ron Richards, and Van Jenson has some thoughts on the bigger picture.


Links: Of longboxes and airships

Must read: Rantz Hoseley talks to CBR about Longbox Digital Comics, an enterprise that will allow readers to download digital comics for 99 cents each. I know this has been tried before, but Hoseley seems to have spent a lot of time thinking about this and it’s interesting to read what he has to say. He makes the inevitable comparison to iTunes, but there’s more to it than that.

Phil and Kaija Foglio have put their Buck Godot: zap gun for hire comics up for free on the web, reasoning, from their experience with Girl Genius, that this will help them sell the print versions when the time comes. And also, it’s kinda cool. (H/t T Campbell, via Twitter.)

New comic alert: Jason Thompson has started a webcomic adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Strange High House in the Mist. Page 1 is up now, with more to come next week.

There seems to be a webcomics problem in France. The problem is, folks are making ’em but no one is reading ’em. So some creators have come up with an extremely French solution: A manifesto! Named after a date! (If you have ever lived over there, you know what I mean—they’re all Plaza of the 23rd of December and like that.) Click on that manifesto link and you’ll also see a selection of French webcomics, which seem not unlike ours—I noticed a gag strip, several anthropomorphized animal strips, a slice-of-life comic, and of course plenty of sci-fi. How do you say Zuda in French?


Left to our own devices: International edition

I took some iPod comics out for a test drive at Robot 6 this week, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the format and some of the ways people are adapting to it.

Speaking of which, Transformers comics were the top app of the day in Apple’s iTunes store yesterday, and Heidi MacDonald takes a snapshot of the day’s ratings, which show 10 Transformers apps in the top 20. Who do they think they are, Naruto? In the comments section, someone wonders if more people aren’t reading Transformers on iPhones than on paper; statistics are brandished about.

Aurora Publishing is putting their josei (young women’s) manga Walkin’ Butterfly on the iPhone. It looks like fika publishing is doing the adaptation. Aurora has also put many of their manga online at Netcomics. (Via the Icarus blog.)

Here’s a look at manga on the Kindle DX, from a student in Sri Lanka who uploaded scans of his own comics as PDF files. He includes photos of the comics on the screen, and they look pretty decent.

At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson discusses the question “What would it take to get me to buy a Kindle,” and commenters chime in with ideas of their own.

Caleb Goellner talks to Jeff Webber, the new director of ePublishing at IDW, who brings considerable experience as he is coming from uClick.

Three-san, a Japanese webcomic about the PS3, is available in English for the iPod/iPhone.

And this is very cool: Indian comics, based on Indian mythology, for your iPod/iPhone. Meanwhile, China gets Harlequin romance comics for mobile phones, and Naruto and Dragon Ball come to European cell phones.


Links: Farewell, MySpace

We haven’t been fans of MySpace as a webcomics site, but they did bring the comics to where the kids were. Except the kids have moved on, to Facebook and Twitter and probably some other thing we haven’t even heard of yet, so MySpace Comics is closing up shop.

In this week’s Publishers Weekly Comics Week, I talk to Brian Leung, who has set up Kidjutsu, a portal for kids’ webcomics. Go, read, and then check it out—some of the best comics on the web right now are kid stuff.

Curtis Silver talks to Chris Hastings, creator of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, at Geek Dad.

At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson discusses some possible formats for online manga, from a magazine-type anthology to a full-on manga version of Hulu.

Gus Higuera talks Zuda with Thom Zahler and Bill Williams, who have teamed up to create The Urban Adventures of Melvin Blank for this month’s competition.

I guess the great thing about being Scott McCloud is that if you just mention that you would like to see something, the creator goes ahead and puts it up on the web. Cool!

It’s a wrap: Jason Little has completed BEE in: “Motel Art Improvement Service.” It’s good stuff (nominated for an Eisner in 2007) so if you haven’t read it already, now’s your chance to read the whole thing—the link is to the first page.

Johanna Draper Carlson reviews the print edition of Goats at Comics Worth Reading.


Links: Webcomickers to Marketplace: We exist!

A Marketplace story on the struggles of newspaper comic strip artists as newspapers lose ground to the web attracted an interesting string of comments from readers, mostly pushing back against the notion that the web will kill comic strips the way it is killing newspapers. The reporter doesn’t seem to have heard of this whole “webcomics” phenomenon, although to give him his due, he appears in the comment string to say his mea culpa. Although Randy Milholland eventually had to intervene, this discussion is less contentious than most and gets fairly nuanced, with people chiming in on the different challenges faced by web and newspapar artists. Also, someone tossed in this helpful Wikipedia list of webcomics artists who are making a living from their art, which makes interesting reading.

Gary Tyrell has an excellent MoCCA wrapup at Fleen. Dave Roman, of the doomed but wonderful Nick Mag, checks in as well. And here’s a big announcement: Becky Cloonan and Hwan Cho will be launching a new webcomic, K.G.B., in September.

Gary also points to an interesting if rather odd site called Comic Hour, in which the proprietor, John Woakes, posts a different, random webcomic from his collection every hour. There is no archive—what you see is what you get, but Gary provides a bit of context, and there’s more in comments.

Sean Kleefeld reviews the steampunk-inspired Sidewise, one of this month’s Zuda entries.

For those in a hurry, Diana Kingston-Gabai rounds up some capsule webcomic reviews at The Savage Critic(s).


Links: Good things to read

First of all, check out my new webcomics column, Unbound, over at Robot 6. For this inaugural column, I reflected on what I learned from a year of ZudaWatch podcasts right here at DS. It’s very simple, really: Tell the damn story!

And here’s a useful resource, also courtesy of Robot 6: A horror webcomics list. Handy for when you’re home alone on a dark and stormy night and need something new to read.

At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson talks to Tara Tallan, creator of Galaxion.

Scott McCloud points us to the webcomic Manmachine, which has an interesting scrolling mechanism—you pull the comic along with the cursor. (Via Scott’s blog.)

At Blog@Newsarama, Vaneta Rogers asks a bunch of comics folks what they think of the new modes of digital distribution for comics and gets a range of different answers.

Tucker Stone interviews Kate Beaton at comiXology. Kate’s first print collection sold out in a heartbeat, but fortunately there are more copies on the way.

Xaviar Xerxes talks to Caleb Sevcik, who has a new webcomic in the works but not up yet, at ComixTalk.

The latest episode of The Webcomic Beacon is devoted to what not to do when making a webcomic.

At, Brad Guigar has some suggestions for making the most of your About page. Then his readers chip in with some ideas of their own.

Added to my RSS feed: Webcomic Rumble, an e-zine and podcast that promise to look at webcomics with a critical and informed eye, from the point of view of readers rather than creators.

Some reviews and recommendations:
Sean Kleefeld on Runners (Kleefeld on Comics)
Larry Cruz on Surfboards and Rayguns (The Webcomic Overlook)


Links: Old, new, and in between

Jeremy Love pretty much swept this year’s Glyph Awards, which honor black comics creators; Love’s Bayou, which was one of the first Zuda comics, took top honors for Story of the Year, Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Comic Strip, and Best Female Character. Elsewhere, Sean Kleefeld reviews the print edition of Bayou, paying special attention to the way the horizontal-format comic translates to the printed page.

And here’s more good news: Digital Strips favorite Good Ship Chronicles is back, after being on hiatus for… well, a while anyway, because I think it was on break when we reviewed it last June.

New comic that’s worth a click: Odori Park, a cute family gag strip with a bicultural twist: Mom is Japanese, Dad is American. (Found via ComixTalk.)

At Robot 6, Tim O’Shea talks to Nick Bertozzi about Iraq War Stories, an anthology of stories by the students in class at the School of Visual Arts. Nick is also posting the students’ work at Act-I-Vate, so go take a look.

Chris Andersen, creator of The Ego and the Squid, will do an original piece of art for anyone who donates $10 toward Erin and Noah’s Zero Gravity Wedding. (Disclaimer: Erin and Noah are friends of mine, but I actually found this link on Fleen.)

Also noted at Fleen: Tom Mason interviews Miles Grover, creator of Thinkin’ Lincoln.

Last but not least: Christopher Butcher strongly recommends you read this story arc in Achewood, and he cements the deal with a crafty webcomics analogy.


Links: Pimp your webcomic, or find some new ones

Warren Ellis has issued one of his periodic calls to webcomics creators to come forth and show their work at Whitechapel. If you’re a creator, seize the moment; if you’re a reader, check out the thread for some new comics. (Via Robot 6.)

PWCW’s Ada Smith looks at Smith Magazine, which is home to some of the best webcomics on the internet, including AD: After the Deluge and Shooting War.

Ryan Estrada did some spring cleaning at his website and then posted his contribution to the Flight 4 anthology, Mystical Monkey.

Here’s an interesting hybrid: Jim Munroe is publishing the first issue of Sword of My Mouth, his post-rapture story, as a print comic, but issues 2-6 are digital only and available by paid subscription. When it’s all done, he’ll collect the whole set as a print graphic novel. He offers several purchase options, and it will be interesting to see if this model succeeds. (Via Robot 6.)

Joey Manley is rather coy in the intro to this press release about educational computer games, but it involves E-Line Ventures, the parent company of ComicSpace, and it seems like there may be some comics on the way as well.

Johanna Draper Carlson talks to writer Kevin Church and artist Max Riffner about their newly launched webcomic, Lydia, subtitled “A comic strip about corporate culture.”

Shaun Manning interviews two new talents whose work will be debuting on MySpace Dark Horse Presents: Alec Longstreth (R.J. Jr., The Dragon’s Librarian) and Carolyn Main (A Day at the Zoo).

Dark Horse has a Star Wars: The Old Republic webcomic, which helps set the scene for a planned MMORPG set before the opening of the movies.

Recent reviews:

Larry Cruz on Glam (The Webcomic Overlook)
Delos on The Horrible Pirates (ComixTalk)


Left to our own devices: Where’s Archie?

Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson talked to ICv2 about his company’s mobile comics strategy. Dark Horse released four of its existing comics for the iPhone last week, using an app they designed themselves. Richardson noted that the company is still tinkering and mentioned Umbrella Academy as a title he’d like to see go mobile. As for putting up their whole catalog, Richardson said, “Someday all of our library will be available in electronic delivery systems, but it may not be all on one system.”

Johanna Draper Carlson reads the press release about the new Archie iPhone comic, but she can’t find the app.

Scott McCloud’s post about how the Kindle is vertical but our eyes are horizontal is brief, but things heat up in the comments section.

The historical drama Tenchijin is being adapted into a yaoi manga for mobile phones. This raises a chicken-and-egg question, as a large proportion of the manga sold for mobile phones is yaoi (male-male romances)—so did they decide to go mobile, and then to bring the boys-love angle in, or vice versa?

Not strictly comics, but related and interesting to boot: Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly reports in from the Digital Book 2009 conference, and three key points emerge: The e-book audience is largely female, romances are hot, and DRM sucks. Good stuff.


Links: Joe Infurnari, Gina Biggs, Alexander Danner!

Alexander Danner is back! After being away from the internets for a while, he announced at the ComicSpace blog yesterday that he has restored his archives and has two ongoing series, Gingerbread Houses and Simpleton: A Writer’s Sketchbook.

Christopher Irving talks to Joe Infurnari, whose webcomic The Process was nominated for an Eisner last year.

Johanna Draper Carlson talks to Gina Biggs, creator of the long-running manga-style webcomic Red String. Although Dark Horse dropped the print volumes due to low sales, Gina is self-publishing volume 4 and says she makes as much from the comic as she did working retail (and probably enjoys it a lot more).

Congratulations to Kate Beaton, who won the Douglas Wright award for Best Emerging Talent for her History Comics.

Free on the web: The Midpoint Press blog is posting a page a day from the manga The Obama Story.

Here’s a nice local-paper profile of Zuda artist Adam Atherton. has a slew of nuts-and-bolts articles about the more mundane aspects of making money via webcomics: Copyright and trademark issues, joining a collective, shipping your work, preparing a media kit, and optimizing your Project Wonderful ads.

Les McClane’s Johnny Crossbones is shifting to a daily schedule. (Via Robot 6.)

Recent reviews:

Larry Cruz on Part 1Bodyworld and Finder (The Webcomic Overlook)
Marc Alan Fishman on Full Frontal Nerdity! (ComicMix)
Larry Cruz on The Lady’s Murder, Speak No Evil, andVs. (The Webcomic Overlook)
Xaviar Xerxes on
Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales (ComixTalk)
Xaviar Xerxes on Pax Avalon Diana Kingston-Gabai on Skin Horse (The Savage Critics)