Coming Up In Episode 247 Of The Digital Strips Podcast: ???

Paul Southworth, cartoonified, angry

Yeah, no idea what we’re doing on this week’s show because it’s Steve’s pick and he hasn’t told me what he’s chosen yet. And he doesn’t even know about that fact because he doesn’t read our blog. You know, the one that supports the podcast that he co-hosts on a weekly basis?

In lieu of that news, Paul Southworth has put himself in his very own comic (pictured, left), playing a graphic designer who hates the characters he himself helped birth. Whoa.


Digital Strips Episode 229 – Horizons Watch – The Adam and Twilight Monk

Two up, two down! Horizons Watch is at its best when Steve and I pick diametrically opposing forces and pit them one-on-one against each other. Seeing eye-to-eye on matters doesn’t make good podcasting. Now tearing someone’s opinions and preferences to shreds? That makes for a good listen! Of course, we don’t pick crap around here, so both of these comics are good enough to warrant a good discussion and discuss we do.

Before we actually talk about any titles, Scott McCloud blogged recently (2:43) that there are too many great comics coming to the web to keep track of. I simultaneously agree and disagree, Scott.

The first comic we mention is …

Unfortunately, the context we put it in this time around is in terms of delayed updates. Jon took a little time off to see to his affairs and though I want that next SFaM update as soon as I can get it, I’m glad he stepped away to do what needed to be done.

There is nothing that earns my creative respect more than watching a creator take a small cast of characters and really open them up to a larger world, one that can be expanded upon and developed further.

Sinfest is the best online comics example of this that I can think of, even though Steve thought of it first. The storylines are funny, sweet, poignant, and adventurous and the characters exist in a world that feels real, playing off one another in ways that are both hilarious and touching. Truly an inspiration for anyone hoping to take their established creation to the next level.

And it wouldn’t be an episode of Digital Strips if Steve didn’t mention his favorite comic:

I’d say the latest storyline is a can’t-miss, but really, the entire archive is can’t-miss, so go read it and Steve promises to stop mentioning it. Cool? Cool.

A brief mention, but deserving nonetheless:

And at precisely 13:26, Steve admits that my show notes and infinitely superior. This is not the hand of skillful editing talking, it’s just the truth.

Thanks to the Art Boys Collection for their song, “A 1 Freedom Voice Of My Soul” (14:11), which takes us into the second segment, where we enter Thunderdome! Our first competitor:

I really hope this comic sticks around and takes our, and any other criticism, to heart, because there is great potential in this work. It’s visually really rough now, but some polish and technique development could make this an amazing comic. Best of luck, Matt!

Steve’s pick realizes it’s potential from the beginning, even if it’s not my particular cup of tea:

It’s got some fantasy, it’s got a hint of manga, and it’s quite nice to look at. The archive is really shallow but what is here thus far makes this comic one to keep an eye on. Our discussion also brings up The Bean (29:09), as the two share some similarities in terms of style.

Our final mentions come courtesy of the guest hosts I have lined up to assist me in the coming weeks while Steve is in flagrante delicto (that means “out of the country”, right?). They are, in no particular order:

And if you’d like to stick around afterwards, we discuss the comparison between Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, the fact that watching Jeopardy automatically qualifies you for senior benefits, and the why I can’t just seem to let a sleeping segue lie. Enjoy!


Not Invented Here Latest Comic To Join TopatoCo Juggernaut

Chances are, if you own a webcomics-inspired T-shirt, it came from the TopatoCo home office. This massive warehouse of all our greatest webcomics fantasies houses merch from pretty much every single comic published on the web, or at least the ones worth mentioning.

Fitting, then, that Bill and Paul have joined the fold with their latest foray, Not Invented Here. Congrats, guys! A comic as fine as this deserves to be in such outstanding, distinguished company.


Tweet Thread of the Day ~FOR~ Monday, June 21, 2010

It was a busy Monday in Twitterville, so let’s get started! Kicking things off, it looks like Kate Beaton has another comic in the New Yorker. It features “tiny fat ponies” and is thus the most important thing you will read today.

beatonna good morning! our second cartoon was published in this week’s (june 28th issue) new yorker: about 1 hour ago via web

beatonna give them a hundred cartoons, they choose one with tiny fat ponies. about 1 hour ago via web

Southworth @beatonna OMG you got that pony into the *** damn New Yorker! about 1 hour ago via Seesmic Web in reply to beatonna

beatonna @Southworth hahahahah about 1 hour ago via web in reply to Southworth

Up next, Kris Straub and Scott Kurtz have decided to start another podcast series, with this go ’round being a simple morning show wherein they discuss… well, pretty much anything and everything. Tune in live and your question/topic could be next!

pvponline Listen to Kris and I do a dry run of our new podcast, “The Morning After.” It’s audio only and it’s happening NOW. 9 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone

Another fine find comes to us courtesy of Paul Southworth, this time in the form of the next great something from Jon Rosenberg, formerly of Goats. You’ll recall that Jon recently stepped away from that comic in favor of something more commercially accessible. This is that comic.

Southworth Get in on the ground floor of @jonrosenberg‘s great new comic, “Scenes from a Multiverse”, starting today! Retweet! 5 minutes ago via Seesmic Web

And last but absolutely not least, Meredith Gran grants us a peek into the beginning of a very long, but infinitely satisfying process that she is currently going through.

granulac BEGIN 3 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone


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

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

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

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

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


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

Man, this new Mortal Kombat movie looks INTENSE!

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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