Home Columns Kibbles 'n' Bits Land o’ Links, 8/27/09: Here I Am

Land o’ Links, 8/27/09: Here I Am


§ The deadline for voting in the Harvey Awards is midnight Friday! Go here to vote.

§ Brigid Alverson has some basics of webcomic design that are very basic, but still good advice:

DON’T hide your comic. This should be obvious, but a lot of webcomics fail this basic test: When I go to the front page of your domain, I should see your comic. Similarly, if I click on your Project Wonderful ad, it should go right to the comic. Not your blog, because I won’t care about your blog until I read your comic. Not your latest avatars, a picture of your desk, or a pitch for T-shirts. Just the comic. Or, at the very least, a large, very obvious link to it. If I can’t find it, I can’t read it.

§ Screenwriter Alex Tse (WATCHMEN) teases his work on the BATTLING BOY movie a bit. [Via Splash Page]

§ We love those historical comics that reveal interesting facets of history. Ben Towle is working on one now, OYSTER WARS (above).

I’ve been reading a lot about the Chesapeake Bay at the turn of the century, and in particular about the town of Crisfield, Maryland. Around this time Crisfield was the center of a huge boom in oyster production, and with the building of a railroad into the town, it became the seafood capital of America… and with the influx of money inevitably came an influx of lawlessness, prostitution, corruption, crime, and all that other good stuff. For a while, Crisfield was a little like Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s, but instead of gold, it was oysters that were fueling the fervor. The oyster beds were such a valuable asset that an Oyster Navy, established by the state of Maryland in the late 1800s, was involved in skirmishes in which shots were fired as recently as the 1950s.

[Via JK Parkin]

§ An interview with Karen Berger that reads as if its questions were written by a PR agency. However, the Sweet Tooth preview looks…sweet (above.)

§ For ’80s indie comics buffs, a rare public comment from CEREBUS collaborator Gerhard that talks about his financial settlement with Dave Sim.

§ Apropos of stuff people have been talking about this week, Sean Kleefeld talks about comics journalism and social media via the writings of Henry Jenkins:

What motivation might these “new journalists” have? Well, there are any number of things, I’m sure, depending on the individual, but I think Jenkins’ idea about “Here I am” almost definitely comes into play for the vast majority of them. Part of the reason I, and many others, write these kinds of things is simply to keep my name and identity in your conscisousness on an ongoing basis. Years ago, while I was still running my Fantastic Four fan site, I made a point of making regular, weekly updates so that there was always something there for people to check in on. The same holds true for my daily blogging today. Part of it is an exercise in writing regularly as a form of practice, but part of it is to keep my name out there. I make a point of trying to write posts in advance of every day that I know I won’t be at a computer and able to blog, precisely so that the stream of information coming from this location is continual. (I’m not always successful, admittedly, but I do try.) I’m deliberately trying to build cultural capital within the comics community by standing up every day to say, “Here I am.”

  1. i wouldn’t be all that surprised if the sale of the trades HAS completely dried up. all the fans have them (i do) and the novelity of counting down to 300 no longer exists.

    any retailers out there, how many copies of the phone books have you moved in the last month or the last year?

  2. The font for ‘Cerebus” on the http://www.cerebustv.com Web site is certainly suggestive.

    Here’s a description (hopefully accurate) of some work Sim did on a Cerebus animated film, back in 1982:

    In 1982 “Cerebus” creator Dave Sim was approached with a tentative offer by an animation studio with some proposals for an animated “Cerebus” film. Sims thought that “High Society” would make a good feature length animated film, but that was both the story was complicated by Lord Julius, Elrod, the Cootie, Jaka and the Regency Elf. Realizing he would have to have programs printed up just to explain who everybody was, Sims decided to try and come up with a story that took place before issue #1, when Cerebus was a barbarian and the idea was to draw a comic book that looked as much like Barry Windsor-Smith was doing the art as possible, thereby avoiding the complicated introduction of the major characters.
  3. Gerhard wanted to be retired and was tired of doing office work. There were some other personal issues involved, but the “split” was the culmination of several factors all mixed together. It was as amicable a “split” as could be between two guys who had, essentially, worked in one room together for 20+ years. No one but Ger and Dave know 100% what transpired between them, but I know both of them and I can say that Ger has good reasons and Dave has good reasons.

  4. This site continues to be clASSless concerning Sim.

    This is a response to a discussion about a *paraphrase* someone made about what they think Dave wanted to do. I don’t think Gerhard would’ve made it had he known some vulture was going to place it on a site like this.

  5. Rick,
    While it was maybe unnecesary to put “for people with an interest in “80s” indie comics”, as it did run till 2004, and not to mention with Dave back to having a monthly schedule these days…it is maybe a little more relevant than all that…
    Anyway, it is news and the link and all was fact -hers is a daily blog…
    Her and Gail actually had an argument similar about comic journalism…I guess you and Gail aren’t that far apart:)

  6. Oliver,

    No, Gail and I really aren’t that far apart…why I think we’ve had so many clashes is that we are so much alike. :)

    The news is that Ger reacted to a discussion and comments by a third party…he was *not* reacting to what Dave said, but to what someone paraphrased Dave as wanting…and Ger coupled it with his own speculation about what Dave might possibly accuse him of in some fictional future.

    It’s about as much news as me reacting to this tabloid blog.

  7. I couldn’t agree more about the Karen Berger interview, talk about playing it safe.

    I find her overly optimistic tone a little off-putting, like a blind eye is been turned to the lines obvious troubles they are having with monthly sales.
    I think a frank public discussion about those issues would be more productive for the company and industry, rather than taking the more corporate DC PR stance of ‘business as usual’.


  8. “apparently in response to recent comments made by Sim.”

    See? This is total BS. There were no comments made by Sim. It was a YAHOO groups discussion *without* Sim. People really care more for the sensationalistic story rather than they do about actual facts. And that’s also a fact, Oliver.

  9. See? This is total BS. There were no comments made by Sim.

    Gerhard’s first sentence is:

    Okay, I am getting tired of Dave’s drama queen antics on this one.

    The Yahoo group can discuss Sim’s “antics” without his presence.


  10. i find your personal animus towards Karen Berger to be quite distasteful.

    get over it already—how long ago was it?

  11. Well, since Talon (Rick) has his panties in a bunch about my having paraphrased Dave, and since Rick is taking the high and mighty road on this, here is a direct quote about it, from Dave:

    “Glamourpuss hasn’t built at all, it’s declined from 16,000 to 4,000 and shows no signs of going up. It will come out from Diamond until it no longer comes out from Diamond, same as CEREBUS ARCHIVE and will get a sensible amount of my attention based on its ability to pay Gerhard off. That’s all that this is about: pay Gerhard off. I wouldn’t be humiliating myself in public in a self-evidently futile cause if I didn’t need money to pay Gerhard off. My guess is that the trough [he’s referring her to a trough that appeared in the wake of Cerebus after #300] might have been twenty years long but being forced to, basically, beg in public has just deepened the hatred felt for me and extended the whole process.”

    Feel better now, Rick?

    Jeff Seiler

  12. Yes, Gerhard mentioned “Dave’s drama queen antics” which he wrongly assumed were behind Seiler’s post. Which he later found out was Seiler acting on his own….and then admitted he based his outburst on faulty speculation.

    Meanwhile, Dave knew nothing about any of it.

    I mean, if anybody is actually interested in running a story with facts.

  13. yeah, it’s the questions—that’s cause they offended your sense of “journalistic integrity”??

    har har. nice try, BEAT.

    Why don’t you quit denying?

  14. Talon, it’s been so long I forgot how amusing you are. Like how you can’t tell the difference between a trackback and something I actually wrote. Funny!

  15. Yes, Heidi…and likewise I’d forgotton how entertaining you are that in your never-ending need to disparage Sim you’d grab any straw, no matter that this time it was Gerhard’s mistake. It’s not even that it’s too much trouble to actually, whatayacallit, interview the subjects as much as it is the chance that anybody besides Sim made a mistake and ruin your “story”. Nothing new, but always done for a few laughs! :)

  16. Ephraim, you need to read some of the questions for Berger:

    On top of the three books up for Best New Series, you’re also introducing yet another new wave of titles including “Unwritten,” “Greek Street,” “Sweet Tooth” and “I, Zombie,” not to mention an entire crime line. This must be a very exciting – yet busy – time around the Vertigo offices.

    I hate to make you choose your favorite child but is there a difference in the type of excitement you get from a new project coming in from somebody you’ve worked with before and have a real history with, like Peter Milligan’s “Greek Street,” versus someone completely new to Vertigo who comes in with a really cool new concept?

    Another book you have coming is “I, Zombie” from Chris Roberson and Mike Allred. You’ve worked with Allred before but Roberson is new — although he’s pals with Bill Willingham and Matt Sturges from the Clockwork Storybook writer’s collective. What is about those guys from Austin, Texas that makes them a good fit for Vertigo?

    The interview reads as though it was the script for an infomercial about Vertigo’s upcoming titles.


  17. The most clever part of Heidi’s plan to destroy Dave Sim is the long months between posts about him, where Dave is lulled into a false sense of security.

  18. Tom, most of these people aren’t clever enough to “destroy Dave Sim”…but what they do is take every opportunity to broadcast anything negative about him, regardless of the truth…or they frame it in a “false sense” of Humor, as you just did.

  19. i read the interview, thanks.

    it struck me as exceedingly similar to the PR-ish Q&As I see with EICs all the time.

    why this one is singled out for snark is easily understood, once you know what the Beat is all about.

  20. a juicy story popped up, Hiedi (or her people) simply pointed it out. almost any journalist would do the same.
    i have no doubt that she (or her people) will point out the second half of this missunderstanding of which no one here is to blame.

    wait enough time to prove that she won’t to crucify her and this site.

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