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Old News | 2004

News from the old site blog. Many links may be out of date.

Note that from late 2006 through 2008, my LiveJournal blog and the mccloudtour blog became our primary news outlet.

1999-2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006

12/31: *sniff* Farewell, Wigu.

Andrew Young is probably right that this article which reports on a newly-discovered 5,000 year old "animation" in Iran is probably discussing a 5,000 year old comic!

Ryan's 72 Hour Comics Day has begun. Wish him luck!

As for the New Year approaching, I think Lea Hernandez summed it up the best on her blog: "2004, YOU ARE SO FIRED."

12/30: The Onion's Tasha Robinson interviews Art Spiegelman (thanks to Bob for the link suggestion).

And hey, want to make sure your local comic shop orders Flight #2? Click the image below to download a pdf of the flyer which you can then print and bring in:

12/29: Happy Birthday, Ivy! My wife, best friend and the love of my life was born on December 29, 1960. I was born that same year in June. This means we can both just look at the last digit of the year to see how old we are. Except that means I think I'm a year older than I am for half of the year, and Ivy thinks she's a year older than she is for all but 3 days of the year. We are in love, though, so it's okay that we're kind of dense that way.

On a not so happy note, that death toll is continuing to rise. Donations to the Red Cross might be a good idea. Clio is on the case too, if you'd like to donate through her commision auction.

Just in: Another sad note. Farewell, Jerry Orbach. So much more than just "that guy in Law and Order" to many of us.

12/28: Yeah, there's nothing like a death toll of 44,000 on the radio as you drive away to put that flat tire into perspective...

Today's Diesel Sweeties made me happy. But, I'm dissapointed we don't get to see all 50 states making lame comments. Sort of like Linnell's State Songs, it just seems wrong not to make a complete set.

12/27: Passing the Wagon Wheel Drive exit on the 101 South in Oxnard California, I notice the sign for "Wagon Wheel Bowling" and another one for "Crown Dodge." Both sound like bizarre new games. On the radio I'm informed that "...The World will continue in a moment." I have entered the unintentional double-meaning zone.

12/26: From Neil and Heidi comes news that Will Eisner is recovering from a successful quadruple bypass surgery which took place on Friday. Eisner has been the most powerful guiding force in the forward march of comics for more than half a century. He has been a great friend and mentor to several generations of creators. Without his contributions, nearly everything you love about comics would cease to exist. Here's his address:

Will Eisner Studios
8333 West McNab Road
Suite 131
Tamarac FL 33321

You know what to do.

Meanwhile, thanks to all of you out there who helped me track down a Cintiq tablet/monitor! Got mine on Thursday. ^^

12/24: Yup, "brainless" not "branless". Sorry.

Time to order your copy of Flight #2!

Taking Christmas off to do Christmassy things with the clan. Back in a couple of days. Happy, Merry, etc. Have a scary Santa or two.

12/23: I like the brainless strawberry.

Also new comics from Erika, which is a good thing.

And yes, yes. To all who asked, of course Firefly will be next. The fabulous Lori Matsumoto already dropped off that Box set. And yeah, I knew Joss Whedon was writing X-Men comics, but no, I didn't know he was working on a Wonder Woman movie.

12/22: So, I wonder how many people will be labelling their New Year's Eve parties as "Good Riddance" parties.

That Cintiq thing (see below). God. SO frustrating! Any leads, please let me know. (I know they're on Froogle, etc., but call the individual dealers and they'll tell you they're all out of stock).

You know, finally catching all of Buffy on DVD, it occurs to me that Joss Whedon would do an excellent job on a Zot movie -- and probably no one else would. Which is kind of sad, because Whedon, like me, obviously prefers writing his own characters.

12/21:Paging WACOM! So now that I'm finally able to afford a Cintiq monitor, naturally I can't find one for sale anywhere for the next couple of months -- at least! Grrr... Any Wacom employees reading this? Please tell me there's hope.

Bobo Puppyhead Comics make me happy.

12/20 (pm): Kazu has a beautiful drawing up for auction in support of Gabe and Tycho's Child's Play Charity Drive. Put in your bid before Wednesday!

12/20: New Tom Hart interview over at Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter. Put on some old Tom-Tom Club records and read away.

And from the makers of Chocolypse Now comes The Dada Detective.


12/19: Special thanks to Bryon Carson of Otterslide Studios in LA for kindly allowing us to invade his home last week on our way to the Northridge Mall to try out his Wacom Cintiq tablet monitor.

I was reminded of a bus ride to Syracuse in the late '70s with fellow S.U. student Kurt Busiek when out of the blue, I told Kurt about a drawing board that would also be a screen and it would have all these great tools that would be pure software, and someday they would invent it and I would just wait patiently until they invented it and then I'd use it to draw my comics from then on.

Nobody cares that you were right after the fact, you know? Imagine you're at a party and there's a very old man in an ill-fitting suit with messy white hair. There's a television in the corner. He says: "You see that television? I predicted those way back in 1912! I knew how they'd work. I predicted everything. No one believed me, but I was right!" And you smile and nod and tell the old man that he must have been quite a clever guy in his day. There's an awkward silence and then you pretend to recognize someone you know at the other end of the room and you excuse yourself.

Someday, I will be that man.

12/18: Why can't there be comics sites as beautiful as Orisinal?

12/17: "Maybe doing terrible things to helpless people is wrong..." Jeffrey Rowland, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Y'know, M. E. Russell's CulturePop Comic Strips are quite well done.

Meanwhile, back on the micropayments front: The BitPass-powered music site Mperia just added 300,000 songs via a distribution deal with CD Baby. Which is a rather large number.

12/16: Well, I'm getting goosebumps... And while we're on the subject of Flight, here's a message for all you aspiring artists out there: Do your comics have even half of the sense of place that can be found in Kazu Kibuishi's Copper? If not, why not?

72 hours. Dude. That's, like... Whoah.

Here's a first-rate essay by Eric at Websnark, regarding Wiley vs. Kurtz.

Corey McDaniel sends word of this little gem, "The Order of Things" by Daniel B. Willingham.

And here's one for the holidays: Mr. Monster by Jennifer Jermantowicz.

12/15: Here's a unique Christmas gift. Broken Saints, the classic Web Multimedia series is now available on DVD. Looks sharp.

12/14: Told ya. (see 12/13 below).

And if you're done reading that you can dive right into Comixpedia's year-end list of 25 people in webcomics who, um... something... Anyway, I'm one of them, which I assume I should be happy about.

And then, if you're still looking for more to read, here's a cool new 4-pager by Jen Wang.

And yes, Mike has a point: They are indeed doing a movie based on a stage musical based on the movie about a stage musical.

12/13: A fantastic new issue of The Webcomics Examiner. It's so big and filled with great stuff that this will be my link for tomorrow too, cause it will take you two days just to read it all.

12/12: Say what you will about John Byrne, his webcomic You Go, Ghoul! is nicely presented. The Nowhere Girl-style screen-fitting format is a great idea for artists using a page-by-page format. The pages are a bit tall for smaller monitors, but most viewers should find reading it pretty seamless.

12/11: Okay, you probably haven't seen this --'cause it was on the Jimmy Kimmel show, so what are the odds really -- but American Dinosaur has to be the best piece of political satire I've seen this year. I mean... "...a carbon date with destiny...?" Whoah. Brought to you by Hard 'n Phirm, the geniuses who brought us Rodeohead (and brought to our attention by the greatness that is Sally).

Here's a novel approach to webcomics reviews, courtesy of Bob Stevenson.

It had to happen: The 24-Minute Comic! (scroll down a bit, middle column).

12/10: Nathan Alderman dropped me a line to say that his article for the San Antonio Current is online. It's a good one too. And don't miss Lea's contribution while you're there.

12/09: Nice country, Canada.

Still reading Olbermann.

12/08: Yup. It's the Finnish Men's Shouting Choir. (tip by Kip)

12/07: Laying-out Music:

Because you demanded it!

"You", meaning nobody. I just felt like writing that.

12/06: Here's a great little comic by Ryan Estrada using the Infinite Canvas application.

And yes, this site was down yesterday. Problem's fixed now.

12/05: Correction!: The link for The Asian American Sequential Artists Resource Guide is here. Somehow it got replaced with the link for June Kim whom I'd planned to mention individually. Yesterday will be the day I will always remember as "The Day of A Thousand Typos" including my reference to a canary in a "cold" mine, the below-referenced statue availability snafu and others I caught before most could read them.

12/04: Just in time for Christmas (D'oh! actually it doesn't ship 'til April it turns out, but hey, it's still cool-looking):

Meanwhile, The Asian American Sequential Artists Resource Guide ...is a very long name— but you may find it of use. Let 'em know if you have any suggestions for other names of artists to add.

Olbermann: The last responsible journalist on Earth or a canary in the coal mine? Guess we'll know within the month.

12/03: Sequential Tart has a lively and informative interview with Erika Moen this month. The latest in a long series of reminders that my generation was, by comparison, just not even remotely as much fun as this one.

Ooh! February, come soon!

12/02: Greg Stephens has generously been archiving all of the images from the Scott Understands... thread. Some great stuff in there. Thanks, Greg! It pleases and frightens me.

Just in time for Christmas: Audible is selling a recording of David Sedaris' Carnegie Hall appearance. The free sample includes Sedaris' bit about Santa Claus in the Netherlands. Those of you without breathing difficulties or heart problems should check out the sample asap. It is painfully funny.

And to everybody who's been writing to me about it: Yes, I've seen the Zoom Quilt. I linked to it 10/28 in fact!

12/01: I'm sure you'll all join me in congratulating Jeapordy legend and comics fan Ken Jennings for his record-setting run[link fixed] the last night of which was broadcast on yesterday's show.

11/30: Regarding the PvP lightbulb joke posted Nov 29, "written by..." is stretching it a bit. I heard it on a Prairie Home Companion, told it to Kurt Busiek and Kurt told it to Scott Kurtz. Did want anyone to think I was trying to take credit for it... Good joke though, isn't it?

Just a reminder that the Center for Cartoon Studies is accepting applications for students. This ambitious comics school in White River Junction, Vermont will open its doors in Fall of 2005. Some first rate people are involved and many of us in the industry have high hopes for the program in the coming years.

11/29: Coolest thing I've seen in a while. Dan writes: "A couple of days ago, my friend Steve and I photocopied a page from Chris Ware's comic 'Jimmy Corrigan', cut it up, filled in the speech bubbles with our own text and laid it out in a sequential fashion. The results were frankly hilarious.The link I've sent you is to the online version of that experiment. You can re-arrange the panels into any order you like, and can put any text that'll fit into the speech bubbles that you like." Sure enough, it really works. Nice job, Dan.

And speaking of Chris Ware, reader Avri Rosen-Zvi checks in with this link to the latest collaboration between Chris and This American Life producer Ira Glass. Be sure to view the tantalizing quicktime preview found here.

Hey, why aren't there more comics covers that look like this one by Jessica Abel? (full wrap-around version here). That's a kind of beautiful not often seen in comics.

11/28: Maybe it's because I get most of my news from the radio rather than the newspaper, but I think it's funny that the Ukrainian presidential candidates who are both claiming victory in the now-invalidated election are both named "Viktor".

11/27: Quite an archive of strange, beautifully rendered comics has been growing at DeadMouse.net. Thanks to Joey for keeping an eye on it.

11/26: Matt Madden reports that he's posted another 5 variations on his Exercises in Style site. Read the latest, or, if you've never been before, read them all.

11/25: Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading in the U.S. I'm squeeking in a few hours at work, then it's all food, games and a bad movie (a tradition).

Oh, and have I mentioned that the "What Else does Scott Understand?" thread is up to 6 pages? Yow.

11/24: Sordid City Blues continues to grow.

Some troubling news from award-winning cartoonist and editor Megan Kelso, regarding the excellent anthology Scheherazade (item corrected from yesterday; I had thought that this was a second volume, but there's only been the one so far).

And Ted Faber sends a link to some useful textbook disclaimers.

11/23: Well, this is neat. Novelist Jonathan Franzen, in the latest New Yorker, has an appreciation of Charlie Brown that includes an elegant summary of the identification theory from Chapter 2 of Understanding Comics. (Thanks to Schulz expert and proud parent Nat Gertler for that link).

11/22: Sure enough, it's Latvia's first webcomic.

Shot-in-the-Dark dept: Does anyone reading this live near Thousand Oaks, CA (we're about an hour north of LA) and own a Cintiq tablet? I've been thinking of purchasing one, but would like to try it out first hand and the nearest "showroom" is 300 miles away.
You can reach me @ scott at you-know-where.

And still reading...

11/21: It's only a page, but it's Drew.

Actually Don Knotts is a bit more articulate. (link via Jeff Ferreri).

11/20: Leonard Rifas has a new EduComic online about suburban sprawl. Y'know, Will Eisner been saying for decades that comics have a great potential for non-fiction. I agree. There should be more stuff like this out there.

Oh and speaking of non-fiction/educational comics, here's an artists wanted message...

11/19: This really is the perfect shirt to give this holiday season, don't you think?

Awww... They accept our "apologies" (thanks for the link, Alice).

Oh, and by "first" (see below, 11/18) I just meant that Jeff found it before me. He says he got it from Vera and who knows where she got it. It, by the way just gets better every time I read it. It's by a young genius named Nicholas Gurewitch, (in case you were confused by the archive site's main page, belonging to Cheston Gasik).

11/18: Jeff linked to the Perry Bible Fellowship first. Not me. I'm just passing it along. Really. It's not my fault!

Olbermann's on vacation, but he's still watching. And so should we all.

11/17: Well, I can't comment on the writing (it's in Portugese) but Brazillian cartoonist Joacy Jamys' site has some nice art.

11/16: Graphic Novel Review's November issue is up, sporting an hypnotically beautiful cover image by Jenn Manley Lee.

11/15: Ivy and I attended a memorial for pioneering comics retailer Bill Leibowitz last night at Golden Apple. Felt like half of Los Angeles was there, including several old friends of ours and various luminaries from comics and the entertainment industry. Sharon mentioned that it was their 25th anniversary, which means that when Golden Apple opened its doors back in the late '70s when there were only a handful of stores in the country. That's a lot of water under the bridge. I would say that it's the end of an era, but thanks to the work of Bill and others like him, this era won't end anytime soon.

11/14: Some nifty comics from Ryan Claytor are available online.

From Kean comes word of fascinating online mini from Dylan Meconis and Hope Larson called Guts.

11/13: Yeah, Hutch Owen isn't any happier about this than I am.

11/12: Let's hear a hearty welcome to the world for Allison Elizabeth Gertler, newborn daughter of 24-Hour Comics Day maestro/ About Comics publisher Nat Gertler and proud/tired mom, the lovely Lara! Born November 10 at 10:21pm Pacific time. (FanTrivia: Allison shares her birthday with the esteemed Mr. G!)

Ak. My bad. Steve and Bryce do indeed have last names.

For those still following such stuff (and really, we all should) Kip tipped me off to this sober non-partisan analysis of the exit poll discrepancies. My own tinfoil hat still in the drawer, but we'll see.

Oh wait, wait. More here and here (the latter by Bruce Schneier of Applied Cryptography fame).

11/11: It's official: Alex Segura Jr.'s The Great Curve blog is indeed named after my favorite Talking Heads song.

Here's a new strip by, um... Steve and Bryce (Not into last names apparently): Minions.

Still not putting on my tinfoil hat just yet, but... Meanwhile here's Lessig's predictably reasonable take on it all.

Should have mentioned yesterday, I don't necessarily buy the IQ chart graphic on that big page o' charts I linked to. High probability that it's not the real thing.

Still following Olbermann's coverage, though Arafat's death took the lion's share of media attention Wednesday.

11/10 (early upload cause I gotzta share): Sean Barret sends a link to yet more electoral maps. Oh yeah, and y'gotta love this map which Ivy linked me to.

Oh wait, wait! Colin White has a link to even more here. The international one (below) MUST be a T-Shirt. I'd actually thought that one up before the election but never had the time to make it a reality.

It's part conjecture of course. In reality we have the support of, um... Poland I think. Yeah, I seem to remember they still like us in Poland... Also India is split for some reason. But hey, its a valid rhetorical point, all things considered.

Oh and check out this topographical by population map (also linked to on the messageboard thread). Alaska earns a WTF?, so it might not be 100% accurate. Also, does the old 100% by county thing, which is never true, but... Nice art, anyway.

I realize this is all just therapy for the losers, but it is fun. And of course, that other story still quietly continues to rise from the tinfoil hat crowd towards something potentially a bit more real. Might all evaporate tomorrow, but it sure seems worth a raised eyebrow as I write this.

11/09: Hmmm. Rising up the media food chain, I see. Interesting...

Meanwhile, we have more enlightening electoral maps here (thanks to D C Simpson by way of Tim Tylor on the message board).

Okay, I'm getting goosebumps. Why don't more webcomics have teaser-trailers? That was cool!

11/08: Check out Kean's elegant cover for the new Comixpedia.

And here's a somewhat calming view of the American Electorate. Yeah, we really are just shades of purple -- even in Texas.

11/07: Comic Relief is one of the -- if not THE -- best comics stores in the country. They've been evicted. *sigh* Stop by and find out how you can help with the re-location.

Man, oh Man, was The Incredibles a fun movie.

11/06:Okay, now Kip's a smart guy in my experience. That said, I offer the following link with the following cautions:

1. If it's all hysterical nonsense, emotions are nevertheless high enough right now that some would surely believe it anyway.

And conversely:

2. If it were true, most would still call it hysterical nonsense.

Got that? I'm not coming down on one side or another. I'm extremely wary of conspiracy theories. But there are, in fact, conspiracies in the world. And this one is not entirely without evidence, motive or means.

Got it? Okay. Decide for yourself.

11/05: Gotta love this site. Yes, World, we are deeply, deeply sorry.

A new hypercomic by Merlin! Welcome The Formalist. Also check out the new daily comic by Neal Von Flue, Underhunt.

London's Daily Mirror sums up European opinion. And mine.

11/04: Back from my seminar in The Netherlands.

Nice country, The Netherlands.

10/30: I'm off to Amsterdam today. I'll be back Wednesday November 3. Yes, I have already voted here in California via absentee ballot. By the time I get home, we'll finally know who our next president is and we can all finally get on with our lives.


Anyway, please vote and help this country reclaim its once-noble place in the world. No excuses this time (except, y'know, if you're reading this in Australia or something...).

Meanwhile, Comic Book Resources talks to me about Superman: Strength.

And Kris from our message board has his own take on the election. Two words, Kris: Run-offs. (Or is that one word?)

Oh, and in case there was any doubt:
Comics? Not a conservative stronghold...

10/29: Legendary comics retailer Bill Liebowitz died unexpectedly of a heart attack Tuesday. Golden Apple is a one-of-a-kind store and Bill was a one-of-a-kind guy. He will be missed. Heidi is one of many discussing the loss this week.

David Choe has a great looking new site. Check it out.

10/28: I was born in
by the way. Don't know if I ever mentioned that. The fact that the scruffy long-haired Sox annihilated the Cardinals in Bus(c)h Stadium under a lunar frickin' eclipse would sure look like a sign to me, if I believed in signs. There are a few million Americans who do believe in that sort of thing. Let's hope they take the hint.

Ooh! New Fanboy Radio interview with Derek Kirk Kim.

Bless you, National Geographic.

Digging the Zoom Quilt. (link suggested by Kazu)

10/27: Tom Spurgeon has a news site! This is a very very good thing.

"This weapon of mass destruction we call our president..."--Eminem. (Thanks, Jenn, hadn't seen that yet).

And hey, I got my copy of the 3-disk Hellboy special edition DVD and sure enough, my spot is just me for 10+ straight minutes talking about comics! I thought I was just one of several talking heads like on the Unbreakable DVD, but no, it's just a festival of me. Weird. I'm even listed on the box. I sound okay, though just for the record, I didn't pick the "examples" of ancient comics they show which have nothing to do with what I'm saying. Still and all, not too embarrassing. And hey, I liked the movie, so I'm happy to be a part of it. Great package all around.

10/26: Some nice spooky Bush audio-collage pieces for sale at onezeromusic.com. 59 cents a track via you-know-who.

10/25: Perhaps you've heard the motto for National Abstinence Day, November 2?

10/23: Holey Moley! Have you seen Alex Ross's Village Voice Cover? (image courtesy of The Beat)

10/22: Awww... It so should've been Houston.

Haven't seen it yet, but I'm apparently on the Hellboy DVD featurette.

10/21:The Long Tail. Interesting article by Chris Anderson about digital distribution.

10/20: Update your daily destinations. Jeffrey Rowland (of Wigu fame) is Overcompensating.

10/19: Interview at the PULSE today. Check it out.

Heidi's pointing to a spooky Hexstatic video "starring" Astroboy today. It's on the Ninja Tunes label which also put out some great Amon Tobin records. Yay them.

And hey, I was only joking about the brain tumor. But still... (link suggested by Jim Adcock).

10/17: Lori clued me in to Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. Whoa. Dude. I love this country.

10/16: Joey Manley wrote me a while ago with this note:

"When we went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 the other day, there were protesters lined up along the entrance to the multiplex parking lot. On one side were your "Moore is a Liar" bunch, and on another side were your "Bush Sucks" bunch. And off over to himself, was one lone hippie-looking guy carrying a sign that said, "I like cheese!" When we passed him, he yelled at us. "I like cheese!" he said."

"What is this? It is true."

Speaking of the election, I know that I've had my differences with George W. Bush in the past, but after watching the debates, I'm sure we can all join together in wishing George and his family well as he seeks treatment for his BRAIN TUMOR.

10/15: When even Time Magazine knows Kevin Huizenga is a genius, the end times must be upon us.

10/14: Well, you've all heard about it. Some of you own it already. Now thanks to Heidi I can send you here where you can listen to it for free.

10/13: Y'know, Tina Fallon has always been really sweet about giving me credit for my idea. Wish other 24-hour play producers would be as good about giving Tina credit for hers.

10/12: Nice use of the Infinite Canvas application by Tim Godek here. I'm in partial hybernation as I work on my new book this year and next, but I hope a number of you out there will try out this cool new tool on a comic of your own. Between IC and Merlin's Tarquin engine, we may be on the brink of a full-blown webcomics revolution.

Read. Repeat. (I think this is an old one by Drew but I somehow missed it the first time around.)

10/11: New Webcomics Examiner this week. Great stuff from the cover on down, despite the momentary shadow of death that passed over me upon reading that Dylan Meconis' parents had already heard of me.

Speaking of which, I passed a major threshold recently when I finally could say that I was just barely greater than half Will Eisner's age. I saw Will in Miami on Friday (thanks, Herve and Martine for the ride) and was struck once again at how young and energetic that extraordinary man is to this day. His new book The Plot is a real stunner and he's already barrelling away at the next one.

10/10: Vote and get stuff!

10/09: Back from Las Vegas and Florida. Here are a couple of cool shots of architectural strangeness I got along the way.

10/01-08: ON THE ROAD: I'm off to Las Vegas and Florida (see "On the Road" below right).
Note to MIAMI residents -- I don't have much info on the talk with the fantastic Will Eisner at this time other than the date, October 8 (see below) and that it's taking place at the Florida Center for the Literary Arts. You may want to try the link for contact info to find out more. Considering the fact that they've just endured 4 hurricanes in a row, I think we can forgive them for being a bit disorganized this week.
Be back October 10.

UPDATE: I WAS WRONG! The onstage talk with Will Eisner is THURSDAY (Tonight) at 7 PM in Miami Dade College's WOLFSON CENTER GALLERY, ROOM 1365. My sincerest apologies to any of you who receive this message too late. :-(

09/30: 4th page. Yow.

Garrison Keillor really really despises this administration. So do I. On the way out, Mr K. reminds us that "Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral." Good Point.

09/29: Got 8 minutes and a good connection? Liz Dubelman's Scrabble short story "Craziest" would be well worth your time (link via our friend Alice Harrigan -- Hi, Alice!).

09/28: LJ user Budgie (via Lea) alerts us to Stuart Immonen's 50 Reasons to stop sketching at conventions. Yes, he drew them all.

09/27: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Away from the keyboard most of yesterday as we welcomed Sky home from Washington D.C. where she'd spent a whole week, without her parents, visiting our nation's capital along with about 300 other precocious 11-13 year olds from around the country. Nervousness level: falling now.

09/25: Spiegelman sighting—Well, hearing anyway... Indigo sent word of Art's recent appearance on Air America. You can download the audio here.

09/24: Planning for 24 Hour Comics Day 2005 has begun! If you have a store or organization that would like to participate, this is the place for info.

09/23: Fanboy Radio's "Scott-tac-ular" episode 183 is now available to download for just 75 cents. Host Scott Hinze is joined by Scott Kurtz, Scott Sava and Yours Truly for an hour-long chat. (Also co-host Oliver, but I suggested we just call him "Scott" to avoid confusion). To download, just go here and select episode #183.

09/22: Graphic Novel Review is live! Check out the great features in this potentially important new site.

I love it when Dylan gets political.

09/21: Mmm. Nice.

Do you live in the Bay Area? 'Cause San Francisco's wonderful Cartoon Art Museum is holding a killer benefit October 2 featuring a behind the scenes tour of Pixar. It's a great cause, and a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the creative process behind one of our great modern cultural powerhouses.

09/20: Charles Snow, Ladies and Gentlemen. A bit rough around the edges, but Mr. S really knows how to write humans—and humans can be interesting. Keep your eye on this one.

Carl, the board game!

Marianne Petit's latest is cute.

09/19: Dylan Meconis' Bite Me is done at last. It's funny, it's brilliant, it's a gazillion pages long. Subscribe to Girlamatic and read it now.

Oh yeah. And, um...



09/18: Sobering statistics. Leave to Heidi to put it in perspective though. Y'gotta love The Beat.

09/17: If you missed the micropayments piece on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday that led of with a few words from Yours Truly, it's archived here. Shirky gets the last word, as usual, but it's a pretty good piece overall. Oddly enough, Art Spiegelman was on Fresh Air only an hour later.

More great reviews and features in this month's Webcomics Examiner -- and a great cover by Chris Watkins.

09/16: My God, it's growing.

New BitPass comic from Indigo. His mini-comic magnum opus Chutney Point is now available here.

09/15: A Video Game About Video Games? It's actually come up before. We'll see... (link via Brad Fitzpatrick).

09/14: Unlike some comics creators I know, I never would have described my fans as "scary"... until now.

Want to help Michael Jantze snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

09/13: Do you teach comics? You're not alone. (link via the great Tom Hart)

Grand Text Auto takes on Interactive Comics.

09/12: Well, I couldn't give Jennifer Jermantowicz an "A" when she took my Minneapolis seminar because she wasn't taking it for credit, but now I can give her a link, because her new site is up. Pay a visit to this promising new artist.

09/11: In case you hadn't heard, Art Spiegelman's new book In the Shadow of No Towers is finally out in America. And yes, he was there, just a block away, that morning. If you'd like to reflect on today's anniversary via something more contemplative than flag-waving and empty rhetoric, give it a read.

Some nice one-pagers by Stephanie Freese here. Also one of the stranger hybrid parodies you're likely to see this week, "Chocolypse Now" (in collaboration with Dave Milloway and Matt Wood).

09/10: On the BitPass front - Well, the money got serious this week as $11.75 million was invested into my favorite micropayments company by several firms including Steamboat Ventures (Disney's investment wing). Meanwhile, just added to the comics roster is Michael Maihack's Seed, a charming little comic in the style of the esteemed Mr. Smith.

The Bestselling Mini-Comic of all time is under discussion at TCJ; a bit of comics history I got to play witness to. Visit pages 2 and 3 of the thread for comments by me and the great Matt Feazell.

09/09: Whoa! Hutch Owen is a daily strip now! Where have I been? (Actually, I was in Minneapolis with limited web access, so there you go.)

My favorite Comixpedia cover yet.

09/07: Aaand, speaking of demented, newcomer Joseph Bergin III just put up his first site and online comic, a twisted, but well-done little number called FistMan Sleeps. Good presentation design too, though a slow load, due -- I assume -- to the file size. Drop him a line and let him know what you think.

Oh, hey, this is just demented week, I guess. Check out the little comic Kazu drew featuring Emotion Eric.

09/06: The BBC takes on comics (link found in this demented thread).

09/05: Whoah. Frank moves. (link via Ronnie Del Carmen).

Your advice on repetitive strain injuries may be addressed to John Cameron, starting Monday morning, September 13. Meanwhile, wish him luck on his 24-Hour Novel.

09/03: If you have a soul-crushing dead-end job, Nedroid will be your salvation (thanks to Jose Barragan for the tip).

And, hey. Deadmouse is one intense artist (link via Greg).

09/02: Vertical just starting selling direct via their website. If you can't find their beautiful translations of some classic Japanese Comics at your local store, now you can just go to the source. I especially love their gorgeous hardcover collection of Osamu Tezuka wild, gigantic, amazing Buddha.

09/01: Comics people make the coolest protestors. (Be sure to scroll down for the photos).

08/31: Newsarama has an interview and discussion with me regarding Making Comics, which will arriving on shelves in 2006.

Dead-on Herge homage called Johnny Crossbones from Les McClaine in the works. Man, that guy can draw.

08/30: Neil Cohn has created a forum for Comics Theory. Stop by and throw in your two cents.

08/29: Hmm. Some nice storytelling by newcomer Rocky Foxtop. (Thanks to Joey Manley for the tip)

08/28: A referendum on the influence of Understanding Comics is underway on the Comics Journal boards. Surprisingly civil, so far. Starts with an intriguing quote from a recent interview with Craig Thompson and Bert Hernandez conducted by Groth.

08/27: A few more corrections on the 24 Hour Comics Day participants list (see below). Also fixed the link for Ted Dewan. I'm a correctin' fool...

08/26: Now, that's merchandise.

Pay heed to Dewanatron! Had a great talk with Brian Dewan's brother Ted(link fixed, sorry) yesterday. The Legendary Dewan Brothers are my oldest friends on the planet and two of my all-time favorite artists. Whenever we Lexingtonians (MA not KS) get together, our friends and spouses inevitably mutter about there having been "something in the water." Someday, I'll have to write a book about the strange neighborhood of kid geniuses that was my childhood.

Meanwhile, David Hellman and Dale Beran are putting their comics online under the long but likable title of A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible. A cool approach to storytelling that's worth a look.

08/25: Uh-oh! Better clarify that yesterday's list of 24 Hour Comics Day attendees was just the list Nat collected from official submissions through store locations. There are definitely more out there, including Scott Kurtz(!), Kyle Thiessen and Ryan Germick. Log on and chime in if you were also one of the brave and not-so-few who climbed the Mount Everest of comics challenges on April 24, 2004.

08/24: Nat Gertler has sent the list of those reporting in from the official sites after this year's 24 Hour Comics Day. It sorta looks like this (w/some missing names added thanks to this thread):

Vanessa Abbott
Paul Adam
Nasser Algirsh
Lonnie Allen
Emily Altreuter
Benjamin Alvarez
Demone Amerson
Bethany Andres-Beck
Dani Atkinson
Kevin AuYoung
Ken Avidor
Nica Ayala
Mark Batalla
Charlie Beck
Jason B Bell
Dan Bellum
Jeff Benham
Patrick Bennett
Rebekah Bennington
Carrie Bergman
Stephen Bergstrom
Louis Bernal
Paul Bethers
Darren Bird
Kent Bonifield
Jeff Bonivert
Nathan Bonner
Kristy Bowden
Jewell Boynton
David Brantley
Jeff Bristow
Jennifer Brook
Charlie Brown
Ryan Browne
Mike Burke
J. Scott Campbell
Kevin Cannon
MArques Cannon
Juan Miguel Carrillo
Amy Cassell
Isaac Cates
Ismael Cavazos
Liane Cecile
Daniel Cheng
Jesse Clark
Winston Clark
Daniel Clarke
Ryan Claytor
Mark Clegg
Evan Clement
Pat Clements
Lucas Clevenger
Brian Cline
Blue Coble
John Cody
Korey Coleman
Michael Connor
Peter S. Conrad
Danielle Corsetto
Matthew Craig
Tyrell Cummings
Josh Curliss
Matt Dakan
Rick Dakan
Giampiero Damanias
Heather Daugherty
Matthew F. Daumen
Jono Davis
Daniel Dawson
William R. Debray
Audra Diaha
Bryan Douglas
Bridget Downing
Sean Ehrenkranz
Aaron Elder
Matthew Elser
Emmanuel Esparza
Ryan Estrada
Marco Evans
Mark Finn
Andy Fish
Derrick Fish
Alexis Ford
Louis Fowler
Derek Fridolfs
Kevin Frost
Tim Frye
Costanza Fusco
Tom Galambos
Alejandro Ray Gamboa
Juan Garcia
Craig Gassen
Sterling Gates
Benji Geary
Aron Geldberg
Michael Geneseo
Ryan Germick,
Justin Giampaoli
Annie Giannini
Phil Gibson
Clifford Gilbert
Chaim Gingold
Jay Gobble
Martenas Godfrey
Marc Gomez
Arthur Goodman
David Goodman
Ben Goodridge
Justin C. Gordon
Boone Graham
Colin Gray
Virgil Green
Frank Guerrero
Aria H.
Jessica Hague
Gordie Hall
Chris Halsey
Ty Hammontree
Chris Hanchey
Kevin Hanna
Eric Wolfe Hanson
Clara Harbour
Paul Harris
Todd Harris
James Harrison
Tim Harrison
Colby Hausmann
Brad Hawkins
Geno Heleen
Neil Hendrick
Kurtis Lee Hermes
Tim Hoffman
Billy Hogan
Will Hogan
Jamie Hood
David Hopkins
Josh Howard
Brandon Huigens
Ram Hull
Timothy Hulsizer
Eric Hurley
Bryan Jackson
Billy Jebens
John Jett
Anson Jew
Benton Jew
Aaron Johnson
Bart Johnson
Bryant Paul Johnson
Eric A. Johnson
Jim Jones
Patrick Joseph
Abby Kazal-Thressher
Shawn "Snow Hart" Kelleher
Tim Kelly
Heather Kenealy
Mike Kent
Lance Kirianoff
David Kish
Donnovan Knight
Caillin Kowalczyk
John Koy
Karl Kressbach
Karin L. Kross
Jon Kulczar
Scott Kurtz
Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf
Keith Landes
David Lanphear
Daniel Langsdale
Rob Larsen
Ken Lashley
Hannah Lee
Erhardt V. Legler
Kelly Lenhart
Amanda Levinson
David Libens
Jimmy Lin
Eric Lindberg
Jerry S. Loomis
Jason Lowe
Duncan Lowell
James MacAulay
Michael Maiello
Stefan Manz
Laura Marsh
Enrique Martinez
Mandy Marxen
Rachel Masilamani
Stephen Mathis
Jason May
Shawn McBee
Cody McCabe
Denise McCabe
Margeaux McClelland
David McCracken
Michael McGiffin
Pharaoh McMillian
Neville Menday
Alix Merritt
Dan Merritt
Trevor Metz
Tone Milazzo
Michael Miller
Anne Mondlock
Amber H. Montoya
Jared Moraitis
Marie Moran
Keith Morange
Karl S. Mosley
J Mosteller
T. Motley
Martin J. Murtonen
Christopher Neumann
Michael Nicolayeff
Robert Noberini
Michael O'Keefe
Craig Olsson
Harris O'Malley
Jennifer Omans
Devin Orrell
Nikki Overlin
Simon Paquette
Robert J. Parizek
Dan Parker
Tony Parker
Richard Parmen
Quentin Parrish
John Patterson
Anthony M. Pawli
Brian Payne
Skywalker Payne
David Peabody
Ethan Peacock
Meaghan Peer
Michael Ryan Penkas
Michael Perusse
Jeff Peters
John Peters
Steve Peters
Jason Phillips
Paul Plunkett
David Polston
Danica Porter
Koley Porter
Bartholemew Powers
Jefferson Powers
Dave Praetorius
Joel Priddy
George Edward Purdy
Jason Ramos
Thomas P. "Goatboy" Reidy III
Jason Reince
Valerie Reupert
Shanna Rhieault
Nathan Rice
Serena Ricke
Joe Riley
Cecilia Rinn
Chad A. Rinn
Taisia Rivera
Adrian Rivero
Joe Rivers
Brian "Doctor Popular" Roberts
Meghann Rosales
Adam Rosenblatt
Mike Rosenzweig
Ben Rossi
Bill Roundy
Mike Roush
John Rubio
Ben Safley
Alida Saxon
Meredith Schaff
Jordan R. Scharf
Ronald Schell
Leslie E. Schuder
Jill Karla Schwarz
Geoff Sebesta
Jennifer Semtner
Aaron Shattuck
Geoff Shaw
Augi Shmitz
R. Blake Sims
Robin Sloan
Stephen Sloan
John Smallwood-Garcia
Phillip Smith
Timothy Smith
Jonathan Sperry
Scott St John
Philip Stanhope
David Steinlicht
Greg Stephens
Jeffery Stevenson
Robert H. Stevenson
Johnnie B. Story
Jason Strong
Steven Stwalley
Ryan Sullivan
Jonathan Tanner
Reeve Taylor
Zach Taylor
Reuben Telushkin
Sean Tenhoff
Amber Tepe
Kyle Thiessen
Sean Thomas
Robin Thompson
Hugh Tims
Quinn Tincher
Joseph To
Amelia Tobin
Anna Todd
DeWayne Todd
Jacob Todd
Mike Todd
Mikey Tolentino
Robert Tomlinson
Jesse M. Toves
Ben Towle
Alicia Traveria
Rocco Louis Tripaldi
C. Spike Trotman
Michael Turcas
Bob Ulrich
Denny Upkins
Dan Vann
Eddie Vertigo
Armand Villavert Jr.
Corey Walker
Ezra Walker
Damon Wallace
Jed Walls
Jamie Ward
Jeremy Ward
Kevan Ward
Chris Watkins
Shannon Watson
Les Weiler
Ethan Wenberg
Talon Wenberg
Mike Wenthe
Antonia "Toni" Weri
Melissa J. White
Talaya White
Matt Wieman
Paul Winkler
Adam Wirtzfeld
Brett Wood
Mario Wytch
Stan Yan
Hui Chul Yi
Kendall Young
Robert Zailo
Brendan Zuern

That was... quite a day. Start planning now for 2005. Nat's doing it again.

08/23: What do Katherine Hepburn, Warren Ellis, Tom Lehrer, Björk, Brian Eno, Francis Crick and Seth Green all have in common? (link courtesy of Spike).


Hey, Cat Garza's first solo CD is out! I've ordered mine, now you can too. Check out the samples; this baby sounds great.

And as long as we're covering Texas cartoonists in the news, Scott Kurtz's recent announcement offering his archives for free to newspapers generated 26 pages of heated discussions on one messageboard before it was locked and continued here. Y'gotta hand it to Scott, he knows how to get people talking!

08/21: Patrick called it The Mother of all Con Reports. It's definitely a great one. Check out the video of the opening of the first box of Flight. And hey, the picture of Matt Groening at the Flight booth? Guess who dragged Matt over there? Yeah, that would be me. Heh-heh. I love doing stuff like that.

I'm delighted to be on the board of advisors for The Center for Cartoon Studies, a new school for comics opening in White River Junction, Vermont in Fall of next year. Check out their website and be sure to click on history to see a really cute comic by Seth about the CCS's "history."

08/20: Here's a well-done strip from Canada; Weltschmerz by Lind.

08/19: I need your help! Again. In preparation for an upcoming seminar, I've been hunting down examples of comics-style sequences used in mainstream websites. Things like the famous/infamous ready.gov which use sequential images to convey a message. Also cases in which comics were used directly for a cause or business. If you have any suggestions, you can write me at scott (at) youknowwhere dot com (ie, this domain -- I'm already getting enough spam, so I'm trying to minimize the occurances of my email address on the site).

Pictures of the MCAD Seminars are now up. Thanks again to all my students and the staff at MCAD for two great weeks!

08/18: Something I have in common with David Byrne apparently -- we both have some crazy ideas about the much-maligned software Powerpoint.

08/17: I'm back! And it's a good thing I didn't make any promises about updating the blog while in Minneapolis -- yikes. For reasons too complicated to go into here, I barely had a spare minute while giving my two one week seminars. Suffice it to say that my students were wonderful, my family and I got to meet a zillion new friends, and Neil got a chance to be Neil in an especially memorable and funny way which I wish I could tell you about, but I can't. Because I'm frustrating like that. Pictures soon. Yeah, I know, that's what I said last time... but no, really.

Meanwhile, in other news, if you've encountered any Amazon.com reviews claiming to be by me recently, they're fake.

Oh yeah, and Derek has some San Diego photos (plus diary) including one of Sky and me.

July 31 through August 16: I'm off to the Minneapolis Seminars (Aug 2-6 and 9-13). I may try to post to this blog while there, but it may be a bit spotty. There's also a public talk Thursday August 5 at 7 pm in MCAD's Auditorium 150. Stop by and say hi!

07/30: San Diego Photos: Okay, Apart from this classic, I failed to get our own photos together before leaving for Minneapolis, but in the meantime, you can see glimpses of the family, friends and our booth Tranquility Base in journals by Lori, Patrick, Erika, Vera, Bill (1, 2, 3) and Scott Kurtz. Patrick also suggested that this picture taken from our booth and this one of Winter told a kind of story all their own.

07/28: Y'know. Come to think of it, "fan art" just doesn't do them justice.

Kinda digging Will Jayroe's art today. Nice spacey, innocent-looking stuff. Check it out.

07/27: Back from the San Diego! Pictures, stories and two beautiful pieces of fan art to share with you as soon as I catch my breath.

Off to San Diego
Details & a map.
See you back here on Tuesday.

07/20: Y'know, in a political season likely to be the most bitterly divided in several decades, it's going to be hard to create any kind of jocular "Hey-hey-let's-make-fun-of-everybody" humor, but I've gotta say, this one comes close. It probably helps that I have no special loyalty to Kerry. Like a lot of people, I'll just be looking for the "Not Bush" option in November and it looks like he's it.

07/19: QUICK! Anyone know of any Southern California stores selling inflatable furniture? Please let me know. Thanks.

On the BitPass front: Ethan Persoff has restored a particular graphic anti-drug comic from the '60s[link fixed—sorry!] and is offering it for sale. It's a long way from Spidey, though the art-style is definitely familiar. I'd be curious if anyone can identify it.

Cartoonists for Kerry? Yeah, it's starting. This is going to be an interesting season. Some good names on there if you'd like to commission yourself a drawing.

07/18: Want to buy a Gamecube from Bill? Yeah, slow news day.

07/17: For those in Kochalka withdrawl, Mitchell Landsman might do the trick.

Fan Art!

Oh yeah, and I'll be on a panel, too:

Friday: 12:00-1:00 24 Hour Comics. Why would a cartoonist try to create a 24-page story in 24 straight hours? Concept creator Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics ), 24 Hour Comics Day founder Nat Gertler, comics shop owner Atom! Freeman, and cartoonists Christian Gossett of The Red Star, Josh Howard of Dead@17, and Ryan Browne of 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2004 talk about their 24 hour comics experiences. Room 1B

07/15: Alternative Comics needs our help!

From Emily (Hi Emily, of course I remember you!) comes news of the 24 HOUR RPG! Yikes. Where will it all end?

07/14: Tyler Sticka. A smart young artist to keep our eyes on as he... starts college this Fall. Is it my imagination or are they getting younger by the minute?

07/13: Another fascinating foray into comics theory by Neil Cohn in Compedia this week, check it out -- along with an interesting debate between Joe Zabel, Neil and others in the comments section.

[Angry rant about Verizon removed, because we finally got someone who answered our questions and knew what she was talking about! Thank you, Stephanie; you have restored our faith in humanity.]

07/12: Yikes! Diesel Sweeties hit 1,000 strips today.

Also online today is the second issue of The Webcomics Examiner, a terrific new publication that received some incredibly unfair criticism last month (W.E. dares to take webcomics seriously it seems) and which I hope we can give our full and enthusiastic support to in response.

Example of why Webcomics Examiner matters?: It got me to read Empty Words.

07/11: Thanks to all of you who pointed me to the extensive article in the New York Times (registration required) about graphic novels which manages to misspell my name and misquote me all in one sentence but is otherwise a pretty decent write-up of some of the best artists working today.

Whatever we thought of Todd during the Gaiman/McFarlane lawsuit, I think we can all echo Comixpedia's sentiments this morning regarding the insane travesty of justice against Todd in the Tony Twist case. "Fair use" has rarely been so thoroughly under attack. Let's wish them luck on appeal.

07/10: David Chelsea draws comics on his palm pilot and other diversions at Comics Lifestyle. Of particular interest was a link to Dylan Horrocks' health comic about Hep C


Find me at San Diego: More details, and a map.

Comic-Con International San Diego. 460,000 square feet. 70,000 fans. And for the very first time, I'll be getting a booth. Watch for Tranquility Base (booth #1230) where I've teamed up with four of my all-time favorite webcomics artists (Patrick Farley, Jenn Manley Lee, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Tracy White) to showcase our work and, well... have a place to sit. You can find us right across from the Image Comics pavillion (including the Flight Anthology booth) and right next to Dumbrella and Keenspot. Y'think San Diego's getting a handle on this web thing? Sure looks like it.

48 pages in 48 hours: Who would be gutsy enough to try it? Ryan Estrada, that's who! Wish him luck, Guys.

07/08: Wow! Remember how I told you that Jeopardy super-champ, Ken was a comics fan from way back? Well he still is. I got a delightful email from Ken just today, regarding Tuesday's blog entry(!). Let's all wish him luck continuing his amazing winning streak. He is so one of us. (I know it's pre-recorded, but you know what I mean).

07/07: Here's a potentially important bit of news: "Infinite Canvas" is more than just a McCloudian buzzword now, it's the name of an elegant new application by developer Markus Müller, specifically designed for creating expanded canvas comics. If you're running Mac OS 10.2 or higher I hope you'll give it a try and tell Markus what you think, or discuss it on the message board.

07/06: I LOVE this crazy wonderful diagram by Christoph Frei (look for #2, the poster and click on "launch").

Hey, y'know that Jeopardy champ, Ken, who's racked up over $750,000 in the last few weeks? Tom Galloway writes to let us know that Ken is apparently a comics fan from way back. Tom even found me an old Usenet post where he's looking for a run of Zot! from issues 8-29.

Tokyo - In an effort to increase readership of its annual defence white paper, Japan's defence ministry plans to issue a version of it as a "manga" comic book. (thanks to Randolph Fritz).

07/05: The Beat is back! It's also blank using IE 5.2 on a Mac for some reason(?) but it looks fine using Safari.

07/04: So, I'm listening to Weekend Edition this morning and they start a segment with:

"This weekend, as Mom and Dad in the front seat pray that bumper to bumper traffic will dissolve, they at least can keep the kids occupied in the back seat with movies on the minivan's DVD player; or they can try to amuse the little ones the old-fashioned way..."

The "old fashioned way" I think, in that instant between words, would be what? Singing "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall"? Playing the license plate game? 20 Questions? Talking about their vacation plans?

"...and slip an audio book into the car's tape deck..." the announcer continues.

And just for the slightest, fleeting moment, I feel like a Luddite. Then the moment passes and I return to my live audio stream.

07/03: New Links Section! (Find my typos, let me know)

Rock, Paper, Saddam. It's... kind of comics. (link via Jeff Clear).

Not comics at all: Rodeohead. Yet we love it just the same (thanks to Sally Z).

07/02: Congrats to Neil Cohn, whose book with Thom Hartmann caught the eye of Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder of Air America Radio, leading them to ask Neil to create a weekly comic strip for their show’s weblog.

07/01: Reader Justin Spath made his own Story Machine using Excel. Here's a screen-shot (and if you're wondering what a "story machine" is, here's a page about the original.

Congratulations to the CBLDF for playing a role in stopping yet another dangerously stupid law. If you'd like to play a role in the next battle you know what to do.

The legendary David Chelsea (author of the best book on perspective ever) points us to some great shots of a local 24-hour comics jam which took place a few weeks ago.

06/30: On the BitPass front: One of my top ten favorite comics of the 80s was David Boswell's astonishing 41-page graphic novella Heartbreak Comics; a surrealistic journey of exquisitely rendered absurdity. If you've never read it (and I'm pretty sure that means most of you) now you can download the whole thing in a whopping 1000 pixel wide format for 99 cents; or buy the paper version for $5.95. It's funny, it's moody, it's relentlessly weird and it features a guest appearance by none other than Reid Fleming World's Toughest Milkman!

06/29: No, wait, wait—it seems that the Snape animation actually originates from the currently 404 potterpuppetpals.com. "Philoticjane" herself posted to Mike's blog with the correction. Sorry for the confusion!

Karen K. needs your help!

This just in: "24 Hours Later is a documentary about one store's participation in the 2004 24 Hour Comic Challenge. The filmmakers would like to interview anyone who have participated in the Challenge - at any time! Please contact them at crunch@spicyricecracker.com."

Hm. Rich Burlew is pretty funny!

06/28: Credit where it's due dept: Mike lets me know that the Sexy-Snape icon I linked to yesterday actually originates from a brilliant and funny flash animation by "philoticjane" at homepage.mac. I'll refrain from a direct link so as to avoid hammering her bandwidth, but if you want to search a bit, you can dig it up.

I love scientists.

06/27: Mike points to the best Harry Potter LiveJournal Icon ever, courtesy of madlorivoldmort.

06/26: Want a paper copy of Erika Moen's "I Like Girls?" (and over 18, yes?) This is the place.

Winter was invited to a birthday party at a local park today. We arrived at the parking lot at the crest of a small hill and headed down a short flight of concrete stairs toward the grass. Two women were standing near the entrance to the small recreational building above the grass where the kids take gymnastics and karate from time to time; one of the women was holding the leashes of two salukis, one cream, one black and tan. The park, a great hollowed out bowl of well-trimmed grass surrounded by trees, was completely empty except for the alien presence of a giant undulating day-glo bouncy-house, inside of which two tiny children were leaping. Ivy went back to the car to get the presents. Winter ran ahead to join her friends. I walked behind Winter across the grass as her already tiny frame got even smaller in the distance. And I thought: "This is what peace looks like."

Peace is weird.

06/25: A friend of mine once described Michael Moore as a Rush Limbaugh of the left, which might be true. But say what you will, the man does cut a great preview.

06/24: Five left.

06/23: The WCCA Awards are always a bit of a mixed bag (hey, thanks for the nominations, btw), but they did accomplish one thing this year; getting me to finally check out J. Jacques' charming Questionable Content.


06/22: FLIGHT is now available for pre-order through Amazon and Barnes and Noble! I wrote the intro for this great new anthology and can strongly recommend the book to anyone who loves beautiful art and storytelling. And right on cue, Diverging Comics has short interviews with Flight Contributors Chiang and Brosgol.

Man, I wish I could go to MoCCA this year.

Hey, wouldn't it be nice if they released a special DVD of 50 First Dates that was about 15 minutes shorter? (And if you've seen it, you know the 15 minutes I'm talking about).

06/21: John Byrne, Webcartoonist? Veteran superhero artist John Byrne is presenting new work on his messageboard. Look for the topic with the amusing title "You Go, Ghoul!" Very interesting. (thanks to r stevens for the heads-up).

James Burns' "Detached" (linked to below as a pdf) is now available in a screen-fitting web version a la Nowhere Girl.

So the big move is done. Mostly. I'm sitting in a studio surrounded by boxes, filing cabinets and bookcases, all in the wrong places—which makes the place seem more welcoming and familiar somehow.

06/18: (Look for more news Monday. This weekend is the big move.)

Several items today:

If you've been fence-sitting on the whole micropayments idea and haven't experienced The Right Number yet, BitPass is running a promo campaign through June 30th where new users can get $35 worth of free content(!) including, with my blessing, Part One of The Right Number. The sign-up is here. Just a short page of questions (demographic stuff, nothing personal) and you're in. No credit card/PayPal needed. And if you're wondering how they managed to assemble $35 worth of sub-dollar content, you haven't seen their vendor's list lately.

Designer James Burns has written and drawn his first comic book -- at the age of 45! It's available as a 6 MB pdf here, but lets go easy on his bandwidth and read the web version here. "Detached" is an absorbing story of Burns' surgery for a detached retina and his fear of blindness. His faintly Kirbyesque art may seem a bit plain at first glance, but his storytelling is quite solid and the work as a whole reminded me how simply having something to say is 80% of the challenge in creating compelling and memorable comics.

"And teach the dark side of her scooby snack." More great dada junk mail this morning. I was especially mesmerized by "He called her Ilene (or was it Ilene?)"

06/17: Heh. It was just a matter of time really.

Turns out that the announcement of the debut of Webcomics Examiner at Comixpedia sparked a depressing flamewar of comments (scroll down from the announcement for the comments list). You know where I stand (see below) but as one of the featured review subjects I need to keep my mouth shut. Still... *sigh*

06/16: Joe Zabel has my number. Wow. Excellent, in-depth review of TRN; one of several great features in the newly-launched Webcomics Examiner. Mr. Z scores a particulary direct hit in the "Obsession with Navigation" section, correctly identifying the more "confessional" aspects of the story. All in all, a strong debut for this promising and noble venture. Congratulations to all involved.
(link fixed, sorry!)

06/14: Still blogging! I'll be away from my desk a bit this week (Tuesday, for example, I'll be at the Business 4Site conference in LA for a session on micros) but I just wanted to assure you that my daily blogging will continue mostly uninterrupted despite my announced break from the Improv below.

06/13: Vera Brosgol has been adding new pages to her great online comic Return to Sender lately. If you haven't read it yet, now might be a good time to start.

06/12: Mimi is complete.

Special announcement: I'm taking a few weeks off from the improv while I finish off The Right Number Part Three (hopefully before San Diego) and attend to other things like our upcoming change of address. If all goes well, I may have another announcement shortly, but I don't want to jinx it. This is shaping up to be quite a summer!

The Oz Comics 24-Hour Challenge is back -- with twice the participants this year!

06/11: Hey, new Traced comic up: How far would you go? (mature readers).

And congratulations to Jon Rosenberg for reaching 1,500 strips of Goats!

06/10: As Mike so aptly put it: Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

06/09: Whoops. 'Nother typo. Sorry.

06/08: Chris Baldwin's Little Dee has begun its adorable run. Let's put some wind in his sails and wish him luck for getting it syndicated.

Neil is remembering Kate Worley for us by reposting his lovely intro for a 1993 Omaha collection, in the wake of yesterday's sad news. Though Cancer was the real villain in this final story, Kate also had her scrapes with officially sanctioned prudery over the years, so in her memory, perhaps we could all download and play Eric Idle's FCC song at full volume for all the world to hear (warning: contains language).

06/07: Matthew Bogart is trying to raise funds for a cross-country trip selling t-shirts, cds, original art and minis. Mr. B. has a lot of talent and he's got cool stuff for sale. Looking for an Elbow Boy t-shirt? This is the place.

06/05-6: Moving my studio this weekend so look for more Mimion Monday. Meanwhile, while you're waiting, here's something very old and very strangeto stare at.

06/04: So, does anyone else have a mailbox set aside for "GREAT Junk Mail"? Like many of you, I have a fondness for the recent trend in Dada subject headings. How else would we ever know about all those "bimetallism monstrous cottages", how to "profess inelegant buttery elsewhere", or where to go to see "sonny play blowfish gordon." These are gifts, I tell you. Gifts!


Scott "Pow Destructor Libertarian Assignee" McCloud.

06/03: Random Thursday notes (via Comixpedia and beyond): Another engrossing column by John Barber; a BitPass comic from Chris Furniss; an interview with Derek Kirk Kim; just re-read all of Dicebox so far (niiice); and hey, Sky's best friend Kendra made it all the way to Round Five of The National Spelling Bee in Washington DC, the only fourth grader to make it that far!

06/02: Kris Dresen has brought back Max and Lily which is good news, but the one I'm really dying to see is Kris's next comic Grace. I was lucky enough to glimpse some pages at APE in February, and boy oh boy, is that thing going to be beautiful. (link via Jenn).

06/01: Oh, he has a progress bar now. I love it.

Neil Babra is back! (thanks to Kazu for the heads-up).

Speaking of Neils: Mr. G links to a very useful map this morning (via Mark Evanier), as well as telling a lovely story about having "The Conversation" with his daughter Holly.

You all know that I had nothing to do with Caution Man, right? I was just linking to it.

05/31: Hey, Greg Stephens' cool 24-Hour Comic is now online with massive annotations. Spiral staircases; photos of Bowie; what's not to love?

Kurtz's best rant ever. I love this kind of ingenious use of a community. Only catch is the software of course, he'll need more than just a CPU to do it right. Personally, I've used both Macs and PCs now and I'd recommend a Mac running OS X to any graphic artist. (But no, I'm not one of those guys writing to Kurtz every day).

Can I say "Happy Memorial Day" or does that sound morbid?

05/30: Erika Moen has a great new 40 page comic online and you can read it now. Need I say more? (Actually yes, I do need to say more, 'cause I should also mention that it's for mature readers and has some nudity).

05/29: Note to comics professionals: I'll be there. Can you spare an hour too for a good (and non-partisan) cause?

05/28: AAAAGH! Another typo in today's panel. I really oughtta have my head examined. Speaking of which:

Caution Man. It's... kinda funny. Hard to look away at any rate.

05/27: Yeah, that was a typo in yesterday's panel (before|after). I was out most of the day, so I didn't catch it until last night. Greg's right though (in his May 26 post), it was an intriguing one!

05/26: The CBLDF has the skinny on yet another dangerously stupid law being hatched by dangerously stupid men. Sounds like yet another good reason to donate to the fund and help them fight back idiocy like this, don't you think? (link via boingboing)

05/25: The Great Leo Laporte bid a fond farewell to his long-running Call For Help TV show Friday. I had the great pleasure to be on TechTV's The Screen Savers with Leo back in 2001 (and again with his co-host Patrick Norton in 2002). Leo is every bit as enthusiastic, curious and genuine off-camera as he is on. He instantly grocked what I was getting at with my talk of digital comics and showed real insight with his questions. For millions of new users, Leo was the perfect ambassador for the world of personal computers. Let's all hope that he can continue the good work in some form for many years to come.

05/24: The Webcomics Examiner is a new zine devoted to the art of webcomics. Looks promising. Be sure to contact them if you'd like to contribute. They plan to launch in mid-June.

*Shudder*. (link/DH).

05/23: Readers who enjoy the classic series Omaha the Cat Dancer will be happy to hear that artist Reed Waller now has his own blog—and concerned to hear that co-writer Kate Worley is battling cancer, among other things, alongside her husband Jim "Kings in Disguise" Vance. As Neil reported yesterday: "I spoke to Kate, who confirmed just how bad things are right now, and said, yes, they need help, badly. Donations can be paypalled to Jim at jim1vance@aol.com. Donations, get well-cards, or nice things of any kind can be sent to Jim and Kate at 323 S Yorktown, Tulsa OK, 74104. Kate's e-mail is scriptist@aol.com. And if some well-intentioned person with more time and ability than I have decided to do a benefit comic or something to help them, I think that would be an excellent idea."

05/22: Scott Kurtz at an hour a strip? Still sharp! Congratulations to Scott on the posting of Strip 24 from last month's 24 Hour Comics Day marathon.

05/21: wiLbur is strangely pleasing.

Going Fast, Mayhem Fans...
Say, as long as I'm flogging Bill's insanely under-priced originals, I might as well mention my own originals, once in a while.

The gigantic originals from Destroy!! (the comic Alan Moore once wryly described as "the first '90s comic") are starting to run low.

They're $250 each, but really, really, really, really, really BIG. And loud. And bad for you (but in an expensive, collectable sort of way).

Paypal accepted.

05/20: And as long as we're sending artists places, let's send Kean to San Diego!

The Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards is gearing up again for 2004. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's all we have. If you're an online cartoonist, be sure to participate (and make sure Merlin gets his due in those technical awards this time).

05/19: Send Bill to the West Coast (and get some cheap art in the bargain).

05/18: Almost missed it, but apparently Warren Ellis ran a short Patrick Farley story as his "Fast Fiction Friday" on May 14. A man of good taste, that Warren Ellis. Must check his blog more religiously.

05/17:AAAGGH! Finished the update at the usual time this morning, but then I FORGOT TO UPLOAD IT! Have I been a little distracted lately? Yes. Yes I have.

Wow. Comixpedia just offered a cover-free version of their May issue. Now that's controversy!

Yes, I'm from Massachusetts. And while I can't help wishing they were doing it the day after the election (for obvious reasons) I'm very proud of my old home state this morning.

Fun fact: There have only been three presidents from Massachusetts. All named John, oddly enough.

05/16: Hmm. I thought I was making a little joke.

05/14: It's official: My 5-Day Seminar in making comics at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design has sold out—but scroll down past that first listing and you'll see that we've added an Advanced Class the following week, August 9-13. This is a brand new seminar for those wanting to explore advanced strategies in comics storytelling. Taking the first class is not required for attendence in the advanced class, though returning students from my past seminars will be most welcome of course, and will get first dibs on the donuts.

05/13: Whoa. Have archaeologists really found the site of the Library of Alexandria? Get ready for the "overdue fines" jokes. (link via Bill)

An NPR piece today referred to the loose confederation of beliefs followers call "Wicca" as "the antithesis of organized religion." Odd. Last I checked, the antithesis of organized religion was called atheism.

Bookslut and Neil are pointing to a lovingly cranky interview with Madeleine L'Engle.

Looks like the seminar is now sold out. MCAD and I are discussing prospects of offering an advanced class the following week. I'll keep you posted.

05/12: Bleargh... Gotta skip Wednesday's update, sorry. Dealing with some kind of mystery virus today. Look for more improv Thursday before noon Pacific Time.


brother-in-law's music is really great --

-- Really!

Ivy's little brother Marcus, a.k.a. Moss, has released his first album under the moniker H.R. Funk n' Puff, and it's a real gem. Moss always had a lot of cool musical ideas (and great taste; over the years, he's introduced me to Ween, the Chemical Brothers and the White Stripes) but in the last year, he's also learned how to produce his own music beautifully on his home equipment.

When asked to classify the music on Songs from the Electric Greenwood, Moss describes it as "Pyschedelic Techno-Bluegrass" but every song is different. Compare Holy Roller to Diggin' All the Chicks and the other songs on the full-length free downloads page. And remember, if you like what you hear you can buy the whole album from cafepress, (and get a very funny bonus cut at the end).

Meanwhile, as long as we're plugging my fabulously talented relatives, be sure to visit Moss's soulmate Jennifer's own website, EnchantedGypsy.com and check out her one-of-a-kind Faery and Fantasy Art Dolls!

05/10: So, not only have I gotten plenty of emails saying that yes, Shaolin Soccer is that good (plus a messageboard thread, natch) but the topic offered Kazu an opportunity to enthusiastically plug Bottle Rocket, which I stupidly haven't seen yet, despite loving both Rushmore and the Royal Tenenbaums.

05/09: No update Sunday, sorry. Doing some behind the scenes tweaks. Watch for more of "Mimi's Last Coffee" Monday before noon Pacific Time.

05/08: Please tell me Shaolin Soccer is as much fun as it looks. I first heard about this film ages ago, but it's taking its own sweet time getting to a theater near us (we have a couple of decent art houses, but they're pretty low on the distribution pecking order). Anyway, I just, I mean... Geez.

05/07: Quote of the day (courtesy of Patrick Farley):

"Nobody does more harm than he who feels bad about doing it. God save us all from a 'difficult decision' in the Pentagon."

-- William S. Burroughs

05/06: Externiality is Done. This was the first improvisational use of Merlin's Tarquin Engine; the ingenious new mutation of the Flash plug-in which I'm also using for our current improv Mimi's Last Coffee. A round of applause are in order I think. And next time there's an online award given for "Technical Achievement", "Use of Flash" or "Infinite Canvas" in webcomics, I think it's only fair to warn you that if Merlin doesn't win, I'm going to have to strangle somebody.

05/05: Yikes! Today is Online Comics Day apparently. Where have I been?!

FINALLY! My 24-Hour Comics Day report is up. [link fixed—sorry about that!]

05/04: Girlamatic just added All Undone by Ariel Childers which I'd never heard of but looks very nice indeed. I'm familiar with at least two of the other artists set to debut at Girlamatic this month that I know they'll do a great job. Good time to subscribe if you haven't already. Ms. Hernandez has some great stuff up her sleeve.

As a recently-politicized chess player my friend Kennan knew I'd find this amusing, maybe you will too.

05/03: Meet the Flight Comics contributors! This is your monthly reminder to make sure your local stores order the Flight Anthology, easily one of the best collections of new talent we've seen in years.

Interview with Amy Kim Ganter at Sequential Tart this month. The mention of Ranma 1/2 reminded me yet again of one of the most intriguing aspects of today's comics scene. There's such an explosion of talent right now which can be traced to a small army of kids reading manga about 5-8 years ago. Has anyone considered the sheer size of the talent pool that'll emerge just a few years from now when today's young manga readers—a group roughly TEN TIMES the size of their predecessors—begin to put their dreams on paper?

05/02: Whoops. Not only did I list William Beckerson as "Bickerson" in my plug below, he changed his name entirely this year, so now neither is correct! Anyway, let's try that again: Ladies and Gents... William George.

05/01: Mudron. Pan. Now.

April was a tumultuous month for us, so let's hope May is a bit better!

WebComicFan.com just launched with a smattering of reviews. It's a bit random so far, but let's give it some time to evolve, shall we?

And speaking of evolution, Mr. Beckerson's site[name changed to William George—see above] continues to grow in interesting directions. I like the conversation between Kurt Cobain and Johnny Cash on the main page right now.

04/30: My Avatar is mutating again, this time in Checkerboard Nightmare (spotted first by Greg).

04/29: Your tax dollars at work.

04/27: Been a little slow to get our own photos of 24 Hour Comics Day up, but in the meantime, check out these great shots from the event at School of Visual Arts in NYC.

04/26: The Jesus Christ Action Figure Playset is getting hammered by traffic, so get it before they have to take it down—or get struck by lightning.

So what did I do for 24 Hour Comics Day? We kept it a secret at the time, but on Saturday morning, the family and I piled into our old Toyota van with a list of participating locations in California and set out to visit as many as we could before Sunday at noon. It was an exciting, exhausting wonderful experience seeing so many artists scaling the Mount Everest of comics deadlines together. I'll post a full report (with pictures!) soon. Meanwhile, don't forget to check out the many final reports available at the official message Board.

News and Information | 24HCD Message Board
04/24/04: 24 HOUR COMICS DAY IS HERE! A few began Friday, several will end Sunday, but if you're reading this on Saturday, then right now, in 59 locations in the U.S., Canada and South Korea—and at Solo creator studios around the world—there are literally hundreds of artists racing to reach the Mount Everest of comics deadlines! Some locations have just one or two intrepid souls. Some have a dozen or more. One in Austin looks like it'll have several dozen! Check out the official message Board for great reports like this one from Minneapolis. Meanwhile, if you're going it alone and planning to blog about it, let Nat know so he can post a link.

04/23: The 24 Hour Comics Day Message Board is now open for business courtesy of the anthology's publisher About Comics. Each location has its own registered thread, so you can track their progress throughout the day—a day that's already starting in South Korea!There's even a thread for posting links to individual blogs about the experience. Note: Nat writes "The South Korean team pushed back their start by 12 hours due to scheduling problems. This moves them to 6 PM [Pacific] time, which means that the kids at Wichita State will start first... unless the folks at The Comic Book Shoppe in Ottawa get that Friday morning TV coverage, in which case they'll start first (I'm not sure of the time there, though.) The holidays seem to get shorter every year."

And yes, it is also 24 Hour Beer Day, but that's just a coincidence. As a poster to the TCJ thread put it, you might not want to celebrate both at once.

Meanwhile, speaking of Merlin (and shouldn't we all be speaking of him as often as possible?) here's a new comic by Mr. Goodbrey, done as part of The British Webcomic Piss-Up 2! Thanks also to Joey for his blog nod to Mimi and Merlin's Tarquin Engine the other day.

[scroll down for more of the daily blog]

Now in Stores:

04/22: That was interesting. The side door to our van just... fell off last night. Not the kind of repair one can put off, to say the least.

04/21: I am so there.

Here's a Non-Flash version of the panels from Mimi's Last Coffee for those of you who can't (or would rather not) install the plug-in. A bit half-baked, but I hope it helps.

Y'know, the magazine may have been a bust, but the anthology is still beautiful. Don't get it just for my entry (only a one-pager), but do get it for all the other gorgeous comics it includes.

04/20: Our new Improv, Mimi's Last Coffee is being presented using Flash 6 and bit of code called "The Tarquin Engine" devised by the brilliant D. Merlin Goodbrey. (You can see Merlin using it here and here). I realize that not everybody can view the comic, so I'll see about offering at least the ability to view the latest panels individually, but setting that up may take a couple of days. Meanwhile, I hope those of you who can install Flash will. This is an exciting new way to navigate comics that I think could be important in the coming years and I want to do my part to spread the word. Thanks to Merlin for his support and continued innovations. Join us each day for a panel or two more in the big big picture.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to check out the new titles at left. Let me know which one should be our next Improv!

[scroll down for more of the daily blog]

Now on Sale:
The Morning Improv Limited Edition Print.
Only 100 will be printed! Order yours today!

04/19: Going to need one more day. I decided to do something more technically ambitious for Mimi's Last Coffee, but it requires a bit more preparation to do properly. So, check in TUESDAY morning before Noon Pacific time for the debut (and make sure you have Flash 6 installed).

And hey, if you do have Flash 6 installed, take a look at Stefan Gruber's latest menagerie of squirgly coolness.

04/18: Kip finds the weirdest stuff.

04/17: I've read, I love it, I wrote the intro: You will LOVE this book.

04/16: Is it just me, or is today's Diesel Sweeties really freaky? Maybe it's just because the punchline is "below the fold," I dunno, but I definitely like it.

04/15: Matt Madden's Exercises In Style has its own website now; pure formalist fun from one of American comics' most inventive minds.

04/14: Ten Days to Go!

04/13: Carol Lay is a terrific cartoonist and she could use a little help.

Israeli comix group Dimona has some compelling work on their site. It's going to be interesting to see how much cultural cross-polination happens in webcomics in the next few years. (It's a shame there aren't a lot of computers in Palestinian homes, though; it would have been cool to see some jam comics for peace across the fence). I particularly like My War by Michal Baruch

04/12: Sara Rosenbaum makes comics and you can read some right now. Sara was in my first comics seminar at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2002, and she already had a strong style developing when she arrived. See what she's been up at her new site.

And the publicity begins: Click here and here for pdfs of a Santa Barbara article about 24-Hour Comics Day (coming up April 24!)

04/11: Speaking of Easter, the current Cuentos (link will change in a week) by Cat sure captures the season for me.

04/10:We'll be taking Easter Sunday off.
Please join us Monday for more of "Whose Mind is it Anyway?"

Neil Babra is back! Forgot to mention this earlier, but one of the cooler developments last week was the return of Neil Babra to webcomics with his Serializer comic "Cloud Factory". Neil's journal comic came to an abrupt end in 2003 due to personal reasons so it was a pleasant surprise to see him return to the field. Also on the Radar is Neil's excellent piece for the upcoming Flight Anthology, edited by Kazu Kibuishi which I'll be pestering you to buy with increasing frequency as the release date approaches, so just get used to it!

04/09: Whoops. that story I linked to this morning by Kristof Spaey and David Safier was for review purposes only. Sorry about that!

04/08:[And on the BitPass front...] After suffering a nasty crash last month, Fanboy Radio is back! And they've got their entire archive of nearly 150 audio interviews with comics creatorsavailable for 75 cents each.

Go here and use the pop-up menu to browse the available episodes. I've already downloaded:

I remember talking to Jonah Weiland about doing this kind of thing 5 years ago, before there even was a BitPass. Same with Joey Manley, Lea Hernandez and others. Well, here it is, Guys. Scott Hinze got there first! We need more shows like this.

Meanwhile, got some spare time this morning? Looking around Stewart Moore's loverly Opipop.com might be a good way to spend it.

04/07: Justin Madson has a cool style. I wish he'd put his name more prominently on the site though. I had to hunt for a minute and a half. I never understood cartoonists who hide their names. Modesty and Art have nothing to do with each other! [oh, okay, it's on the browser's title bar but who ever looks at that?]

04/06: Last chance, um... again! Accidentally left the lower price on The LE Print (see image below) past its April 1st deadline, so now you have through tomorrow to get the Early Bird discount before they start heading out the door. Can you live without it? Well, yes. Yes, you can. But don't let that stop you.

Meanwhile, in reference to the improv of the same name, reader Larry Roth sends word that apparently robots do indeed love to dance! Follow this link to an article on a symphony conducting robot(!) and look for the link to "footage" of four robots dancing. (6.7 MB Windows Media file) Pretty mind-bending stuff. Just the sort of thing they predicted in 1950 that we'd have by 1960, but still...

04/05: We've come a long way since the days when the movie musical Annie failed to include even a credit for Little Orphan Annie's creator Harold Gray. NPR's Morning Edition ran a great segment on Hellboy this morning by Neda Ulaby, focusing on the comics' creator Mike Mignola and director Guillermo del Toro, a long-time comics fan in his own right. Respectful, intelligent and never condescending. When even Hellboy gets this treatment, you can bet that the next Maus will receive a fair hearing.

04/04: Neil Gaiman forwarded an alarming letter from popular children's writer Lemony Snicket regarding goings on at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco:

"The biggest art school in the country," wrote Snicket "recently expelled a student for writing a violent short story, and then fired his instructor for teaching a story by David Foster Wallace the administration also found offensive."

Here's a detailed account in The San Francisco Chronicle and yes, that's apparently what happened.

Said Snicket: "This was brought home to me when an instructor at the college invited me to speak to his class (along with the fired teacher and a representative of the First Amendment Project) and I was physically barred from entering the building."

To which I can only add:

What the [expletive withheld 'cause Mom's reading my blog—Hi, Mom!] is happening to our country??

04/03: A very strong debut for Top Shelf Comix Online this weekend. Terrific comics presented in an attractive, thoughtfully-designed interface. Let's hope this is a trend.

My, how you've grown! Josh Roberts is building quite a site at OnlineComics.net. Be sure to stop by and browse, if you haven't already.

04/02: Here's someone who's serious about his art. R. Kikuo Johnson, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Also, another eye-catching new comic by Hope Larson, Compound Eye.

04/01: Uh-oh. Joey Manley's got a blogand he ain't afraid to use it. And as long as we're on the subject of Modern Tales, let's all wish James Kochalka good luck on his upcoming adventures as the first cartoonist in space!

Comixpedia has a report up on my latest project.

03/31: Hey, let's celebrate Girlamatic's 1 year anniversary by sending them a slew of new subscribers; whaddya say? (Wednesday's strips alone would be reason enough, if you ask me—I laughed out loud at "Sergio and Li'l Mel" this morning).

03/30: Want to earn a referral fee for webcomics recommendations? Joey Manley is soliciting feedback for creating just such a program. Give him your two cents.

Yow. Here's a movie montage you'll never see on the Oscars. [link via Jacob Sager Weinstein]

Okay, maybe it's a slim chance, but if Patrick ever does do a story about Penguins on Mars, here's your chance to help him.

03/29: Ween update: Pure Guava and The Pod are now in hand. Chocolate and Cheese, which had the most recommendations (yet has been a little more elusive) is next but I gotz to take a rest.

03/28: Whoa. Fascinating style developing on "Sparkneedle" there, Spike.

Rumsfeld Fighting Technique! [First linked to by Lea and sure to be a meme by Wednesday.]

03/27: Mmm... I like Sammy Harkham's latest strip at Jordan Crane's redingk.com. Check out the morgue of weeklies past for some great cartooning. [Note: Not Kurt Wolfgang as previously noted—sorry. Kurt's got some great stuff up in the archive too.]

03/26: Hey, my 8 year-old daughter just got an orange belt in Karate. 10 year-old made honor roll again. Children all over America are reading (Japanese) comics. There were oceans on Mars. Radiohead is popular. The taller candidate usually wins. Life is good.

03/25: Calling all artists: Want to create a strip for Girlamatic? Now's the time to submit.

03/24: Best Penny Arcade strip ever.

One Month until 24-Hour Comics Day!

Every once in a while, I'm actually grateful for junk mail. Here I am facing my Inbox of 1,441 as-yet unanswered messages about site corrections, academic inquiries and fast-approaching deadlines (plus another 1,000 in a separate box) and right there at the bottom is this Monty Pythonesque dingbat named "Softwares" jumping up and down barking "Comprove!". I transferred it to the mailbox labeled "GREAT Junk Mail" just for the heading alone.

03/23: Yes, there was a saltwater ocean on Mars. "Suitable for life", though we still don't know if there was life there—yet. They're announcing it right now (11:22 am PST).

Well, that was unexpected. Apparently, Wizard Edge named scottmccloud.com one their top ten online comics sites (or something). The list wasn't on their site, but I'm told that the ten were Angry Naked Pat, ArtBomb's Online Comics, Real Life Comics, Me, American Elf, Jordan Crane's Archive, MNFTIU, Derek Kirk Kim, Penny Arcade and PVComics.

03/22: From Egon comes news of Dylan Horrock's latest essay, "The Perfect Planet: Comics, Games and World-Building" which includes another look at Understanding Comics. Dylan is one of comics' most thoughtful voices and always a good read.

03/21: Irony abounds in Comictastic creator Jan Van Tol's Open Letter to Web Cartoonists, and yeah, on balance, I think it's a toxic development, but it is worth our while to try to understand the guy's point of view before condemning him. Programs like Tol's have little relevance to weirdly formatted experiments like mine (not to mention gated content like The Right Number), but it's easy to see how this trend could affect us all in the long run. Here's a Comixpedia Thread on the guy if you want to help 'em untangle it all. Me, I'm still mulling it over. Update: This blog post is already being attacked by one of the participants on that thread. I've responded... *sigh* Here we go again.

03/20: Yes, it's just a name. And no, we don't know at this stage if anyone at Disney has been visiting a particular Morning Improv for inspiration. But I confess to being quite curious about the upcoming 'Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!' series mentioned by Wil Wheaton last week. Anyone have any details on the show? If so, please post it on the thread.

03/19: Kip offers Three Simple Rules for Talking about Comics on his blog this week.

03/18: Cat linked to this warm and fuzzy DJ Format Video. More stuff by the director is here. More stuff by the band is here.

03/17: Steve Barker has found evidence of yet more man-eating shoes!

Hmm. Pete Bagge is building up a nice little library of strips over at Reason Magazine. Known about it for a while, but never linked to it. [Thanks to Susannah for the reminder.]

03/15: The Hyperliterature Exchange offers a discussion of several online comics by John Barber, Merlin, Neal von Flue and me.

03/13: (Also not about comics, sorry)
40 years ago today... Like a lot of people my age, the story of Kitty Genovese always struck me as one of the most important news items of the 20th Century. I thought I knew the whole story but apparently not. Anyone looking for a brief slice of humanity this morning may want to click on this brief sound portrait.

03/12: I LOVE MY READERS! Thank you for the outpouring of Ween advice via email (and even a messageboard thread now). I am now finally aware of Ween Radio and I have guidance for the next album purchase. At present, Chocolate and Cheese has a narrow lead over Pure Guava, with one or two passionate defenses of The Pod. I hang my head in shame that it took me until just last year to realize how great this band was, but now I feel lucky that I get to hear all this stuff for the first time!

03/11: Help, Ween fans!: Okay, I now own God Ween Satan, The Mollusk, Quebec and 12 Golden Country Greats. Which album should I buy next? Am I becoming obsessed with this band? Yes. Yes, I am.


Twenty years ago this month, my very first comic book Zot! #1 was released. Wow! It seems like only...

Well, actually it seems like twenty years ago, but still—what a long strange trip it's been.

"Haiti is awash in guns" according to NPR this morning. Is it possible to be "awash" in "guns"? I could see Haiti being littered with guns; I could see it being awash in blood. Am I the only one this bothers?

03/09:Whoops! The 24-Hour Comics Day page I linked to the other day was the old one. Sorry about the mix-up. The event now has its own domain with up-to-date info for retailers and participants alike. Here's The REAL 24-Hour Comics Day site. 46 days to go!

In case you needed a primer, Monica Gallagher offers this elegant family tree of the Greek Gods. MG is assembling a solid collection of comics at her site. Still a bit rough around the edges, but I get the feeling this artist is in it for the long haul.

03/08: Derek Kirk Kim has moved!—Domains, that is. His work can now be found at http://www.lowbright.com. Be sure to update your bookmarks and links lists.

Comics theorist Neil Cohn sends word of a temporal map style educational site from Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry explaining coal mining. Another interesting example of sequential art in a new context.

Modern Tales just released its first book. It's, um... a bit pricey but you should check it out anyway. And hey, if you're reluctant to spend that much for 130 pages, don't forget that you can subscribe to the site and get immediate access to thousands of pages of cool stuff for much less.

24 Hour Comics Day[link updated, see above] continues to grow! Over 40 stores in America and Canada have signed on to host events on April 24, 2004. Know a retailer that might want to participate? Tell 'em to drop a line to Nat at info@aboutcomics.com for more info.

03/06: Colin White just posted an ingenious little Flash Comic called "48 Vignettes About Everything". Want to know how Hong Kong got it's name? So does Colin!

03/05: Crank it up.

Hey, remember that radio interview with me you couldn't listen to because you don't live near Ellensburg, WA? Well, now you can. The Weekly Geek has the two part mp3 of our interview available for download now.

Meanwhile, I've got to say... I don't know which is scarier: This or this.

03/04: SF Weekly ran an article recapping APE this week which was critical of the form-over-content nature of a lot of the offerings at the show. A thread on the TCJ boards is debating the validity of the reporter's conclusion. Personally I think it's useful to know that someone so clearly prepared to like what she saw, found the offerings less than readable.

I'm a strong supporter of experimental comics, so much so that I've often been blamed for a lot of the more artsy incomprehensible fringe works that have come out in the last decade. But as a culture, we clearly need more straight ahead storytelling. Yet another reason Blankets will prove a pivotal work for the generation just emerging—and why I'm really looking forward to Flight.

03/03: What's the difference between Life and Art? In Life, compromise can be a virtue.

The NACAE is assembling a list of universities offering comics curricula. Are you aware of any others? Let them know. The need to spread the word about comics studies and (*gasp*) comics degrees was highlighted in a recent Pulse thread.

03/02: Happy second birthday, Modern Tales!

They're called "spongmonkeys". Still talking about rathergood.com and the Quiznos ad on the board...

03/01: Two new dime comics from Kean Soo today. Kean is also looking for some feedback. Let him know what you think!

R. Stevens' classic Diesel Sweeties just hit its 900th strip.

Merlin has uploaded a new 24 hour comic. Along with the link, he sent a brief note:
"I'd like this officially considered as the Nile Variant - Intend to make a 24 hour comic, fail utterly and then cheat blatantly."

02/28: Patrick Farley casts a spell for Tracy White! One of many great shots from APE snapped by Erika last week.

02/27: Kip Manley has a great composite photo of last Saturday night's dinner at Bucca De Beppos during APE. Thanks to Patrick's months-early reservation, we actually got to eat at the infamous Pope table!

P. D. Magnus offers a unique spin on the "infinite canvas" this week.

02/26: Susannah Breslin is back with a strong new comic at ArtBomb called My My American Bukkake, Too; and if you know what "Bukkake" is, you know it's not for Kids.

02/25: Hope Larson is back with a cool new 15 cent web mini-comic called "Sex Rainbow" (definitely for adults only). Hope is one of webcomics' most original stylists, so any new work from her is news, but this one is also a fascinating challenge to our ideas about comics; a single image, revealed in portions using Flash. It doesn't take long to read (hey, it's cheap!) but there's a lot to mull over.

Apple profiles Dave McKean this week (link via Jim Bricker).

02/24: Back from our exciting, productive and way too short trip to The Alternative Press Expo, San Francisco Academy of Art College and Electronic Arts. Thanks to everyone who made it worth the trip this weekend. See you on the road!

02/20-23: The Alternative Press Expo is this weekend in San Francisco. I'll be there, but just as a visitor, so it might be hard to find me. I'll also be speaking at Electronic Arts SF on Monday, but that's not open to the public. Fortunately, if you do want to find me, there is one other option:

Saturday, from 3-5 pm in the Academy of Art College's Morgan Auditorium at 491 Post Street on Union Square, San Francisco, I'll be participating in Story Conference 2004. The panelists include Nebula Award winning novelist Greg Bear, Chuck Fight Club Palahniuk, Jarhead author Anthony Swofford, Thriller writer Barry Eisler, Star Wars effects directors Richard Edlund and John Fasano, Computer Graphics wizards Bill Kovacs and Ellen Wolf, and Bob Peterson, lead writer for Pixar's Finding Nemo. Free and open to the public.

If you can't join the fun in San Francisco, here's some free entertainment to console you: The gorgeous—if slightly pointlessCatfish Hotel! (link via William Ansley)

02/18: From the micros front: Fascinating discussion on the David Lawrence Show with Josh Ellis who's just launched a BitPass-powered site for musicians called Mperia. Ellis and Lawrence both use BitPass (in fact, the hour-long segment I'm linking to costs 25 cents), but their views on file-sharing are vastly different; Lawrence takes the "file sharing is wrong, period, and stop demonizing the RIAA" position while Ellis—like me—is more forgiving of file sharing and much less forgiving of the record companies' past treatment of musicians. Their debate gets to some of the most basic issues without ever devolving into hysterics.

Where all three of us would agree, of course, is that a market of willing sellers and willing buyers can and should exist for this stuff. Where independent music is concerned, maybe Mperia will be that market. Time will tell.

Awww. DKK has the skinny on Shaenon and Andrew's Valentine's Day wedding. Did they dance to Rainbow Connection? Yes, they did.

Desert Rocks by JJ Naas showed up on the message board yesterday. Some pretty solid storytelling from JJ, who hails from Finland.

Near Ellensburg, WA? I'll be on The Weekly Geek on 88.1 FM this morning sometime before 10 am. Tune in and say hi. (I won't hear you say hi because radios don't work that way, but let's just pretend).

02/17: New Jen Wang Comic this morning!

Also the first chapter of a neat-looking new 25 cent comic by Iain Hamp called Bee Haven. [yet another broken link, now fixed -- grr...]

Plus, dig this: Pen Ward was saddened to see that his favorite title "Nipples on Parade" wasn't doing so well, so he used it himself! Is that a cool page or what?

02/16:Aargh! Linked to Cat's band United Altered States yesterday, but I screwed up the link. All fixed now.

Les McClaine. Good artist. Looking for work. I've never met him (I think) but he hails from my old hometown and has randomly come up 3 times in the last 3 days, so I figure that it's fate I should plug the guy.

02/15: 4/24/2004. 24 hours. And now: 24 Stores participating! With over 8 weeks to go, 24 Hour Comics Day is looking to be pretty amazing. Be sure to let your local retailer know.

Meanwhile, congrats to Cat who is releasing an album of cool new music as part of the trio United Altered States (and did a kick-ass cover) Electrified and trippy—I like it.

Happy Valentine's Day! To commemorate, here's a free hi-res version of my Valentine-themed Comixpedia cover, in case any of you would like your own home-made poster, card, lunch box, dart-board, etc.

02/13: Dirk Deppey has announced the cessation—hopefully temporary—of his great ¡Journalista! weblog. That's a bad thing.

He also points to Mike Sterling's cool weblog Progressive Ruin. That's a good thing.

I actually know Mike, and yet I stupidly neglected to link to him until now. That's a bad thing.

Good things: 1
Bad things: 2

Don't stay away too long, Dirk!

Home from Ohio. And here's a side-scrolling journal comic about it by Kris!

02/12: Thanks to everyone who came out to my Columbus talk last night! We had a great turnout and I had the pleasure of meeting Sean Duncan (who suggested the titles for Brad's Somber Mood and I am The Most Beautiful Dog in the World way back in the day) as well as message board regulars Ben Sutter and Kris Lachowski. Very cool.

02/11: I'm in the process of arranging several speaking engagements for spring, summer and fall this week, so the planning season is definitely underway. If you'd like to get me out to your event or organization this year, you may want to send me an email soon. Details here.

02/10: Okay, it's not Tom Stoppard or anything, but it is kind of funny. Tailsteak's whole site is neat once you adjust to the navigational oddness. I especially like the coin toss 20 questions (thanks to Wei-Hwa Huang for the link).

02/09: Y'know what's inspiring? Seeing your eight year old daughter sick as a dog at 8 am, then knocking 'em dead in her school play at 90 minutes later, in spite of it all.

Quite a morning...

02/08: Now that's capitalism. (link via Kuri).

Sky and I had the great pleasure of seeing a screening of the legendary Raiders Remake last night—at the equally legendary MJT—with filmmaker Chris Strompolos in attendance. Earnest dedication is funny—And inspiring. Lori played Clash on the Boombox. I ate mixed nuts. It was good.

02/07: I must see this movie. Get that video on the shelves, People. C'mon!

"The United States versus Martha Stewart" is an evocative name for a court case, but I think it would be even more interesting if it was a military campaign. I don't have time, myself, but someone really ought to make a comic out of it.

The Global Comics Jam has been shaping up nicely.

02/05: Hmm. It's got Roger Langridge and there's the word "Web" in the name. Perhaps you'll want to stop by (if you're in the UK next month, that is).

02/04: I did not find this. No sir, not me. I am NOT RESPONSIBLE. Spike found it first. Blame her.

Whew! Had to do some reformatting on Mind, but still managed to come in under the wire.

02/03 revisited: On second thought, here's a strange, somewhat opaque, but fairly mesmerizing photo comic by Ezra Clayton Daniels (sniffed out by Alec Longstreth).

02/03: Hmm. No news here today. Fortunately, you still have ¡Journalista!.

02/02: Tom Stackpole is playing with some interesting design models over at PVComics this month. Interesting art too! Let's keep an eye on this guy. More at his own site Bonedancer.

First of all, check out the cover on Comixpedia this morning. Yes, that would be mine. And if you're wondering who they all are, here you go.

Secondly, I've got a doctor's appointment this morning and a big complicated panel to do, so I'm afraid that today's update is a panel in progress. At least I haven't resorted to that in a while...

Meanwhile, Ignorant Cretin linked to this on the message board (hey, whaddya want, that's the name he picked). I don't really know how to feel about it. The idea that this somehow compromises "We Like The Moon!"'s artistic integrity seems a little surreal, but... I dunno. I'm just amazed, either way.

02/01:Grrr. 3 minutes late this morning. Sorry.

01/26: Site Update: Watch this space later today/early tomorrow for the opening of the Morning Improv Gift Shop; a collection of super low-cost digital goodies. First up, a collection of 43 Full-Screen MI Desktop Pictures!

01/25: Neil Gaiman tells me that one Mike Ford informed him of a discussion the other day of what books, post-Tolkien, could never be made into movies. Understanding Comics was suggested as one such unfilmable book. All agreed, though after a moment, one them added:"But UNDERSTANDING COMICS: THE MUSICAL has possibilities."

01/23: The President of The Mars Society (now there's a title) was on Morning Edition today talking about how NASA managed to obtain an important test result on just a "shoestring budget"; only a million dollars.

NASA needs to shop around for cheaper shoestrings...

01/22: Kean alerted me this morning to the existence of Hey Ya, Charlie Brown! Regular readers to this blog should have no trouble guessing what it is from the title alone. (What's cooler than being cool? Good grief...)

01/21: Neil can tell you all about those Sinister Ducks, but perhaps you'd best simply download it yourself and be thusly warned.

01/20: Lark Pien is back with a new website. Looks yummy!

Is it just me, or is there something really annoying about John Kerry calling himself "Comeback Kerry". When are people going to learn: You can't give yourself a nickname.

01/19: Kean Soo has posted another experiment in combining music and comics, this time, a melancholy personal story featuring (appropriately enough) a song by the late Elliot Smith. Kean's not sure if it really works, but I think it's pretty cool, regardless. Turn up your computer's speakers and start reading!

01/18: It's quite accurate, you know.

Ah, the Joys of the Hunt. Definitely one of the things missing as comics move online (as is the royal pain-n-the-ass of the hunt, but I guess that sometimes the two are one and the same).

01/17: Fourteen minutes late this morning. Sorry about that.

From various Laurens, comes my favorite new riddle: What's the difference between a duck?

01/16: Hmmm... Really digging Bishakh Som's colors on his latest strip at Serializer.

Peter David reports that Dave Cockrum has been hospitalized. Cockrum's X-Men played a major role in helping me to fall in love with comics over 25 years ago. Let's all wish Dave a speedy recovery.

01/15:The Right Number Part Two is finally finished!

...and now, I think I better get some sleep.

Let me know what you think. With luck, now that my tendonitis is finally better, maybe the arrival of Part Three won't have to take so long!

01/14: And so it begins. Would'ya believe, I actually have an idea for this one! Meanwhile, our new titles are up (see left). Go to it.

01/13: Kittens be done. Congratulations to our new winning title "Whose Mind is it Anyway?"

And that's not all! The one and only SPIKE sent along her own fantastic rendition of the kitten condition! Am I having a fun morning? Yes I am.

01/12: The day approaches:

Doing anything April 24, 2004? Possibly the largest one day 24-Hour Comics event ever is coming together to celebrate the arrival of the 24 Hour Comics Anthology that I'm editing for the About Comics imprint. Tell your local retailer to check out the details of the events -- and check out the book while they're at it!01/11: My ten year old is so cool. She just told me that she's not that big an Orlando Bloom fan (despite loving him in both LoTR and Pirates), but Billy Boyd -- now that's an actor. (I agree).

Favorite junk mail subject heading of the day: "Profess inelegant buttery elsewhere." That goes in the GREAT junk mail folder, yessir.

Okay, I'm going to have to start updating the Pennyvote totals more often. This is getting intense.

Meanwhile, Kittens is nearing the end, and some of you may be relieved to hear that neither of our current contenders for top title at left are inspiring any politically-themed ideas in my demented brain... so far, anyway. We'll see.

01/10: Cat's back! After a long hiatus, Cat Garza has begun posting both new Whimville material and new Magic Inkwells at Modern Tales. Happy am I.

So, I heard on the radio that "it's literally do or die for Dick Gephardt in the Iowa caucuses." Usually I would think that was just a figure of speech, but the man on the radio said it was "literally do or die". While I'm shocked and saddened to find that a veteran politician may actually lose his life in his quest for the presidency, it's sure going to make the primary process more interesting. Looking forward to the New Hampshire Death Race.

01/09: The Right Number 2 - Update: I'll be finishing the final art export and corrections by tomorrow morning. Then, I'm hoping the Flash stuff and new page designs etc will go fast. If all goes well (hope, hope...) I think TRN 2 will be out sometime next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

01/08: 20 years of the Mac. How time flies when your having fun. :)

Hmm. Looks like "Whose Mind is it Anyway?" and "Hotel Infinity" are getting serious (see left). Please remember though: No more than 99 cents per person in a given round, okay? I don't mind the pennies, but I'll feel guilty if any of you guys start risking much more on anything so intangible! (Anyway, if you're feeling competitive, you can always recruit a friend or three, which would make me really happy).

01/07: Hey, remember that online make-your-own Bayeux Tapestry toy? Sky did one.

Congratulations to Spike and Matt! As Spike so eloquently put it on her blog: "Some dude totally married me Saturday." Now go suggest DVDs for them to rent cause they just got Netflix.

Not surprisingly, the message board is getting increasingly political this week. Working on keeping flames to a minimum, but there have been some interesting discussions.

Merlin hasn't been able to update it as often as he'd like, but I'd just like to note for those not watching that, yes, it is indeed still growing.

We're still patiently waiting for The Triplets of Belleville to come to our neck of the woods (soon, soon...), but meanwhile Sara Rosenbaum, who has seen the film, writes from New England to report that the much-anticipated french animated feature apparently includes a sequence with Man-Eating Shoes.

01/06: PV•Comics is a new subscription site featuring twelve artists. It's accomplished stuff for the most part and they seem pretty serious and committed; definitely worth your consideration.

Note to Zot! fans: Tom Galloway alerted me to the fact that NASA seems to be building a device not at all unlike Floyd! What's next? Laser New Year's Greetings on the Moon??

01/05: Hey, I'm history! Uh, I mean I'm in history. I mean—oh, never mind...

American Splendor got the nod as "best picture of 2003" from the National Society of Film Critics! Not too shabby. (link courtesy of you know who.)

01/04: Comixpedia is getting a face-lift this month. Looks good so far.

01/03: Flight is going to be one swanky anthology when it comes out. Keep your eyes peeled this spring.

01/02: The Seattle Public Library has posted three comics-style animated shorts by the great Jim Woodring, all on the theme of how reading can transport us. Since reading the astonishing Mr. Woodring's comics have never failed to transport me, I'd say they picked the right man for the job. The shorts are enchanting and beautiful.

01/01/2004!: Happy New Year!

As fate would have it, at the very moment that 2004 swept across Greenwich Mean Time, I had sold exactly 2,004 copies of Part One of The Right Number to date. By the time it got to those of us on the West Coast it was 2,005 though so I guess I'm ahead of my time (it's at 2,009 already this morning).

Also on the small change front, I've been digging Mark Bernal's comics this week. Cool drawings and an amusingly screwed-up sense of humor. Check out the free "Kingdom of Fools" and—if you like KoF and want to support future endeavors—pick up a couple of his 15 cent stories as well, especially the twisted "Pop Goes the Weasel."