Help Fund The Bean Vol. 1: Riddles and Shrooms

Another day, another Kickstarter. This time around, it’s Travis Hanson, who’s asking for help getting his first collection of The Bean off the ground. He’s also posting updates to the project as they come along, so there’s more reason to visit the KS page and pledge your money to help him out. To his credit, it looks like the funding process is already going along swimmingly.

The Bean Vol. 1: Riddles and Shrooms

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Digital Strips Episode 240 – Eisner Awards Nominees Specialtravaganza 2011!

It’s that time of year again! The trees are blooming, allergies are irritating, and it’s time once again for me to take over putting this show together!

Oh, and it’s also time for the Eisners. Kind of a big deal too, I suppose.

This year’s nominees represent one of the strongest bunch since the category for Best Digital Comic was formed in 2005 (thanks, WikiPedia!). But before we break down that list, there’s another list to talk about: The Digital Strips News Minute!

Before we roll into the matter that brought us all here today, why not have a little fun with Higgins and their track, “There He Is”. As always, make sure to check out the entire track and possibly even a whole album, if you feel so inclined.

Without laying out our favorites, I’ll say now that there is very little criticism to be had in the second segment. These five comics represent some of the best talent that the world of digitally-presented comics has to offer.

In our discussion, we wouldn’t want to leave out two other comics who are nominated in other categories:

  • (29:37) Hereville (Best Publication for Teens, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword)
  • (29:50) Sheldon (Best Humor Publication, Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953)

Of course, we always mention numerous other comics in our journey to making a point, so here are those we utilized to that end.

Finally, it’s easy to forget that Digital Strips was the first webcomics podcast because we don’t tell you nearly enough. As a result, we have an extensive library of podcasts to draw from in our research (I finally stopped laughing enough that I could write that). So here are some of the shows that link with this one in one way or the other. Listen in and enjoy the rich history that webcomics have enjoyed so far!

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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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