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!

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Digital Strips Episode 227 – Review: Scenes From a Multiverse

Not only does this mark the first podcast of 2011, it also marks my first time editing this bad boy! Long gone are the days when Steve would cut out choice, prime rants of mine! Welcome the dawn of getting what I want out of this! At least, until he returns.

And under my watch we’re kicking the year off with a little bit of everything! In our first segment we’re hitting some video games! Specifically…

We’re talking about SMB because… well, it’s just a great little frustrating game that everyone should try. Ghost Trick comes up because this upcoming DS puzzler recently teamed with your favorite Internet-born-and-bred superhero and mine, Dr. McNinja, to produce a comic befitting them both. Steve also found a quick, infinitely-canvased comic that relates to the world of video games. Creator Nicholas Lieske has worked on many PC games, including the RPG Sacred, and is now branching out to try his hand at webcomics. His first foray?

Our thanks go out to Joystiq and Kotaku for stories about both! If it’s in video games, they talked about it on either Joystiq or Kotaku. Most times, both.

Our final topic has three ingredients: Reddit, our featured comic of this week, and the whipping post of webcomics:

It’s got it all! Controversy, betrayal, humor, and tragedy. At least it does the way Steve tells it. The whole thing wouldn’t mean much without again mentioning El Santo’s comprehensive dissection, lovingly spread out over two parts at The Webcomic Overlook. And yes, I have neglected to link to anything of Carlos Mencia’s for your benefit. You’re welcome.

Our musical interlude comes to us courtesy of Silence is full of birds. It is their (his? her?) song, “Flowers” (19:00), and it’s a jaunty way to bring us into the meat and creme, the creme de la potatoes of our show, the second segment review.

This comic comes from a well-known, well-worn creator and gives us not only a great comic but a new take on the updating schedule that we haven’t seen yet. That’s right, in this day of look-alikes and been-there-done-thats, here’s something new. And of particular note are the Star Wars homage we mentioned as well as the rabbits. Oh, the rabbits. Wee.

Finally, when our outro’s concluded, there could be some talk of Oglaf (link behind an age-check wall but EXTREMELY NSFW), Steve Carell movies, and bikini car washes? Possibly, I heard a guy say something…

Other webcomics mentioned briefly:

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Tweet Thread of the Day ~FOR~ Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Being nearly the last comic publisher to jump on the digital bandwagon (unless you count Zuda, which only gets a half-pass from me considering they still use Flash for their viewing model), DC Comics quietly released their app for the iPhone and iTouch this morning. Twitter followers quickly leached onto this and retweeted the news into oblivion:

comiXology DC Comics now available on our app and site and DC’s app! 17 minutes ago via TweetDeck Retweeted by DavidGallaher and 1 other

Making his first appearance on TTotD, KC Green lets us all know that we can now begin giving him our money so he can make the latest collection of his ridiculously amusing comic, Gun Show:

choadmalma Gunshow vol2 is basically ready to print. Preorder now http://gunshowcomic.com/vol2/ so we can finish the funding on this thing and print! 18 minutes ago via TweetDeck

No stranger to the list at this point, Paul Southworth has yet another project to tell us about, this time in the video game space:

Southworth Risk: Factions is out on XBLA today! I provided character inspiration and designed the logo! Come on, Riskies: BUY IT http://bit.ly/cNiWGb 15 minutes ago via Seesmic Web

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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. http://bit.ly/9aa6Mt about 14 hours ago

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

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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! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJHbdmbeaXQ

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. http://bit.ly/bxrSnt #mortalkombatreborn

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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? http://is.gd/cHz1v

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.

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

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