Digital Strips Episode 228 – Book Club: Templar, AZ – 4th Edition

It’s time again to gather at Daku’s house for another Digital Strips Book Club! I brought lemon squares and my recipe for those Swedish meatballs and I hope you read the assigned pages for this month. We don’t… well, we don’t have too much to say about Chapter 4 because it embodies the antithesis of that classic Elvis tune (a little less action, a little more conversation).

But we kick things off with a team-up effort on the part of Rosscott and Caldy, both so named because they live on the Internet. Their comics? Respectively:

After a mutual friend of theirs was wrongly ripped off, intellectual property style, they decided to collaborate on a comic/flowchart (see als0: here) to determine whether or not you, the average-to-above-average Internet user, are harming the Web with your ability to give credit where credit is due. We debate the effectiveness and necessity to point out these facts to those who don’t seem to care about them in the first place.

Amongst this debate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t correct the first of my many mistakes in giving you the name of the store where you can find the fruits of this labor:

Another online shop destination that offers various shirts for geeks, supposedly (miraculously) devoid of any copyright infringement or IP theft:

Finally, we tardily note the rewarding of the Xeric Grant to Steve LeCoulliard.

His work on Much the Miller’s Son (which we reviewed here) is both old-school and rowdy, never anything less than hilarious and professional. This grant will help him produce Book 3 of his comic and couldn’t be granted to a more deserving cartoonist.

The Toothaches’ “Sisyphus” takes us into our second segment, where we give our thoughts on the fourth chapter of Templar, AZ. I’ll let that conversation speak for itself, but needless to say we hope the comic finds a new drive and purpose in the next chapter.

Regardless of where we end up at the end of this Book Club, I’ll be glad I read this comic for myself, so the opinions I have about it are none but my own. I encourage you to follow along with us and do the same!


GOOD NEWS: Evan Dahm Continues To Do More Things

With Order of Tales wrapped and ready to be immortalized in print form for all eternity, fans of the master of all things epic and eccentric wondered when they might next see his work gracing the pages of their Internets. Thankfully, Dahm is taking no time off and his next tale from Overside, Vattu, has already begun. The archive is only seven pages deep thus far, so get in while its young and for heaven’s sake, if you haven’t read the previous works, get to that right now!

Not only is Dahm not stopping, he’s teaming up with Templar, AZ‘s Spike (the subject of our next Book Club, by the way) to create a Tumblr page dedicated to whatever the heck they might come up with together. I fully expect bizarre, hauntingly beautiful images from this thing daily, people, so bookmark it for your daily fix of the mythic and macabre.


Tweet Thread of the Day ~FOR~ Monday, July 12, 2010

Conversations by big names in the business, especially ones about other, big name comics, are always worth listening in on, and this one featuring Spike, Kate Beaton, and Scott McCloud (yes, that Scott McCloud) is another for the record books. It all starts when Kate mentioned a recent XKCD update (and what class, she even includes the comic link):

beatonna give me a break about 1 hour ago via web

Iron_Spike @beatonna Wow, that kinda sucks a little. about 1 hour ago via web in reply to beatonna

Iron_Spike @beatonna Not a fan of how the very unique cultural quirks of 1 tribe (Piraha of the Amazon) has been generalized to ALL primitive cultures. about 1 hour ago via web in reply to beatonna

@beatonna If our ancestors were a stupid as this cartoon is trying to suggest, we wouldn’t be here. about 1 hour ago via web in reply to beatonna

beatonna @Iron_Spike jeez, I’m sure the internet has already had a field day with it.. What did you study, Spike? You seem keen on a lot of subjects. 45 minutes ago via web in reply to Iron_Spike

Iron_Spike @beatonna I only formally studied fine art. I watch basically nothing but documentaries (and bad reality TV) while I draw by dumb comics. 😀 41 minutes ago via web from Pilsen, Chicago in reply to beatonna

beatonna @Iron_Spike hahaha i see 40 minutes ago via web in reply to Iron_Spike

Iron_Spike @beatonna Also, I live across the street from a library. BOOKS. <3 40 minutes ago via web from Pilsen, Chicago in reply to beatonna

beatonna @Iron_Spike that’s better than my office being next to a nice used book store $$$$ there goes all my money 39 minutes ago via web in reply to Iron_Spike

scottmccloud @Iron_Spike @beatonna I think Monroe was just riffing on the chatter, not endorsing the myth. (Rollover=its-a-joke-people) My guess, anyway. 38 minutes ago via web in reply to Iron_Spike

@Iron_Spike @beatonna In other words, I see where your coming from, but I think there might be an extra level of irony there. 36 minutes ago via web

beatonna @scottmccloud haha Scott, it didn’t escape my notice that it was a joke 34 minutes ago via web in reply to scottmccloud

scottmccloud @beatonna I’m sorry, my phrasing was clumsy. I meant joke regarding the myth as well. 31 minutes ago via web in reply to beatonna

beatonna @scottmccloud aw jeez all my twitter phrasing is clumsy 26 minutes ago via web in reply to scottmccloud


Tweet Thread of the Day ~FOR~ Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Time for a new regular feature for the site, and since The Geek has deemed me Master of Tweets for Digital Strips, I shall post daily that which tickles my fancy, straight from the free realm that is the Twitterverse. I kick this party off with a three-fer, some choice thoughts that seemed to permeate the thin layer between posts to become something larger in the scope of the community.

First up, Scott Kurtz take issue with Marvel’s idea to release a test digital comic book day and date with the print version, but still make the digital customer pay more. I couldn’t agree more with pretty much everything he’s said on the subject, but here’s what kicked it off:

Why Marvel shouldn’t care about what retailers think. about 14 hours ago

You like this comic? Want to save a tree? You’ll need to pay more then, please.


Next up, nearly everyone on the Internet today (everyone I listen to, anyways) passed around this YouTube link for a possible Mortal Kombat reboot. Too many people to choose from, so I’ll grab a tweet from Paul Southworth, whose backgrounds on Not Invented Here I praised earlier in the day:

Man, this new Mortal Kombat movie looks INTENSE!

Upon further review, that would appear to be a joke link from Paul. He does that sometimes. Instead, I will borrow a retweet from him, courtesy of Scott Johnson, host of various excellent podcasts on the Frog Pants Network:

RT @extralife: Good lord. They really are doing this. #mortalkombatreborn


Last but surely not least, Charlie “Spike” Trotman weighs in on the syndicated strip debate (not really a debate any longer, just a continuing thorn) and throws in some tips on how to grow your comic to boot. A lengthy thread, but when this girl gets goin’, it’s best to just sit back and listen:

“Syndicates are There for a Reason.” Oh, Daily Cartoonist. Why can’t I quit you?

Okay okay to be totally fair: Syndicates used to be meaningful, relevant organizations with a purpose. Syndicates got you into papers.

And there was a time when being in papers was a good decision that could eventually lead to a long, professional cartooning career.

BUT the average paper reader is now between 40 and 50. Less than 1/4 of Americans under 35 read a daily paper. The market is shrinking.

Newspapers are in decline. It’s much harder to make a living as a strip cartoonist. Syndicates can’t sell for artists like they used to.

Fiending for syndicate representation these days is like pounding on the door of a building under demolition, begging to be let in.

Cuz it’s been asked: If you want to be a professional cartoonist, 1) Start a webcomic 2) build an audience 3) publish & sell collections.

Don’t make any merch (books, shirts) until your readers ask, assume 1 in 100 will ever buy stuff, work hard, and know it’s not guaranteed.

That is what’s worked for me. Other stuff works, too, but that is what I did.


Thanks for the wit and wisdom, folks, and all in 140 characters or less!


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