§ Bling! Ka-ching! Webcomics aren’t just for paupers any more! I guess this profile of mostly Easthampton webcomickers in the Boston Globe is the model of the Media Story About Webcomics. Some of them make six figures!
Webcomics were once seen as a new path to syndication. Comic artists would post their work online, hoping to attract a large enough fan base that syndicates would take notice, offer them contracts, sell their comics to newspapers, and give them a cut of the profits. But for Jacques and many other webcomic artists, syndication is out of the picture.
“There’s no real money in that,’’ he says.
§ Paul Gravett on Grant Morrison’s SUPERGODS, probably the only review you need to read.
In his analysis of their roots, however, Morrison’s basic premise that superheroes are akin to gods is hardly revelatory. Their predominantly Jewish creators clearly tapped into myths and religions to devise their origins, powers and villains. Nor is it any surprise to learn that their neverending sagas have reflected their times, though some may balk at Morrison’s belief, adopted from Iain Spence’s theory, that the zeitgeist lurches in 22-year cycles back and forth between conformism and rebellion in tune with sunspot activity. Where Morrison goes still further, spurred on by drug-induced visions and magic rituals, is in his faith that these “supergods” can serve as attainable blueprints for humans to become superhuman ourselves, and that through technology we already are.
§ Seth is celebrating the 20th anniversary of PALOOKAVILLE! Issue 21 will come out this year.
§ A brief KPLR segment on WWII cartoonist Bill Mauldin, who has two Willie & Joe books coming out today.
§ Catching up with Daily Cross Hatch interviews; Joseph Remnant Pt. 1:
No, because I never want to take a shortcut for the sake of taking a shortcut. I feel like some cartoonists do that. There’s that school of thought now that’s ‘the less detail, the better.’ That kind of pisses me off, because it’s such a simplistic approach to it. I don’t think it’s true—there can be as much or as little detail as you want. To me, it’s more that the comic strip has to have a sort of rhythmic quality to it, where it flows from one panel to the other. Some cartoonists can do that with very few lines, and some people do it with a lot of lines and it’s still worth it. It’s an instinctual thing, I think.
Love and Rockets is just about my favorite comic in the world, and I couldn’t be more proud to be involved in publishing that every year, but I wouldn’t want to get to the point where we’re only publishing two Peanuts books a year and a Love and Rockets. It would become too routine and too familiar. You want to keep yourself on your toes a little more, and that’s where Mome was really great. But I do also get that in other aspects of working at Fantagraphics.
Putting comics online is definitely of interest to myself and all of us at Fantagraphics, for sure. We know that that’s only going to continue to grow. It has certain advantages and disadvantages. But I don’t know if I necessarily want to edit an online anthology, per se. I don’t know why… I know if it’s just that I enjoy the tactile pleasures of print, or what, but—and this is my own personal preference—it doesn’t seem to quite exist when it’s on the Internet, which is quite paradoxical. The Internet has the potential to reach a lot more people that print, in this day and age, and yet, you don’t have that physical object to hold as proof that you did what you did.
§ Speaking of Daily Cross Hatch, Brian Heater delved into his own geek heritage at Engadget
But my own sequential art interests can be traced back even further — and thankfully there exists no photographic evidence, but I think it’s safe to say that Popeye was my first obsession. At three years old I developed an unhealthy attachment to a VHS of the Robert Altman movie. I can’t really explain it — perhaps an early manifestation of my soon to be realized interest in avant garde film? Or, more likely, I was just a weird kid who liked weird things. And certainly my mother didn’t help to curb such bizarre behavior by drawing anchor tattoos on my skinny forearms with a pencil out of her makeup bag.
§ And Tom Spurgeon interviewed Stan Sakai, who, incredibly is approaching the 200th issue of USAGI YAJIMBO after 27 years!
SAKAI: Yeah. Before then, I was thinking, “Usagi’s going to be canceled any month.” [laughter] “I can’t spend too much time devoting myself to a long storyline.” But once I did that and got over that hurdle, that’s when I realized that hey, this could go on for a long time. Now I’m in a position to lay groundwork for stories that won’t see print for another three, four even five years from now.
§ J. Caleb Mozzocco adds just the touch the the new ACTION COMICS needs.
§ Many aspiring comics writers wonder what a comics proposal looks like. DC’s Source blog is posting some background material on the New 52, and here’s part of Jeff Lemire’s pitch for ANIMAL MAN, a well-written example of same.
For our purposes we’ll skim over all of his involvement in 52 and Countdown. That stuff happened, but let’s move on and get back to Buddy as a suburban family man, rather than cosmic globetrotter.
Basically we start with Buddy’s best days as a superhero behind him. But, Buddy has found a bit of a second life. His past exploits, his politics and his involvement in various animal rights groups have made him something of a hipster icon. The young, left wing college crowd has latched onto the image of Animal Man as if he were something of an indie/alt icon of the 90’s. Unfortunately, that really isn’t helping to pay the bills.
§ Not comics. Why, oh why, didn’t I go into movie blogging? A bunch of writers were flown down to New Zealand to get a TINTIN presentation:
Building on their Comic-Con momentum, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson previewed more exclusive Tintin footage for select online journos last week at Jackson’s Weta studio in New Zealand. And after viewing the thrilling and slapstick seaplane chase (culminating with the drunken Captain Haddock crawling out the plane in a storm and burping fumes into the empty engine), there’s certainly less concern about the quality of the performance-captured animation and the movie’s domestic commercial appeal.
Much more in the link about how the mocap is being done, how Spielberg is using the process (hint: it’s flexible) and so on. TINTIN didn’t get much buzz coming out of Comic-Con, but given the track record of movies that did, maybe that’s a good thing.
§ Topless Robot comments on a new trailer for Diablo 3, which includes the feature of being able to buy in-game stuff in-game with real money, a move that will signal the apocalypse, probably.
Also, please note, someday when Diablo 3 comes out, this blog will not come out for a week or so.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.