Tuesday, April 20, 2010

C2E2: Part 2 of X, where X = (However Many of These I End Up Doing)

Meeting Chris Hallbeck of The Book of Biff for the first time

Our conversation more or less went like this.

When you are a cartoonist, you talk to people by putting together words and pictures. Most of our talking happens with noises we make from our mouths, so cartooning is kind of an unusual way to talk. Some cartoonists are equally at home talking with noises or with silly pictures, cartoonists like Tom Brazelton or Kris Straub, cool guys who generally seem at ease chatting with anyone, even perfect strangers who visit their booths at conventions or dudes they know wholly through the internet.

But some cartoonists are most comfortable talking through cartoons. Nothing's stopping these cartoonists from coming to conventions, and if you go up to their booth, it's not like awkward silence is a given or anything. But your conversation will probably be weird, and if they do feel completely comfortable talking, it's probably because they're talking with you about what you'd like them to sketch for you. At comic conventions, you can meet cartoonists from all across the social spectrum.

I met a lot of cartoonists at C2E2.

It was undeniably cool to meet Chris Hastings of Dr. McNinja fame. I got to watch him draw awesomeness onto a fan's interactive poster, we talked some about creating the kind of comics you want to read and finding something marketable inside your heart, and we had not one but two deliberately awkward silences. I talked with Evan Dahm, who has plans to develop his fictional world of Overside even beyond Rice Boy and Order of Tales. I talked to people whose work I'm familiar with, and I met some new faces too.

Ed Conley creates the comic Ed Contradictory, a bizarre foray into self-aware cartooning, in which the characters berate the cartoonist, search for new characters for the comic, and travel back in time to keep themselves from time-traveling. The central cast includes a cute-mascot panda bear, a gentleman scientist and the fellow gentleman scientist whose brain he placed inside a robot, a mercenary, and the Magical Booze Fish. It's utterly nuts and unabashedly anti-fourth-wall, and Ed Conley was wearing a necktie when I met him. That's pretty cool.

I also got to meet Dawn Griffin, creator of Zorphbert and Fred. Her comic is about two aliens who don dog disguises in order to observe and study humans, but I'm largely aware of her work because her two lead characters have been sharing their webcomics Picks of the Day via their Twitter accounts. Dawn and I talked about a whole crazy spectrum of things, from balancing your day job and your comic, to her illustration work for the Abby's Adventures children's books, to self-criticism and self-confidence and how it's a good idea to get up and actually do athletic things once in awhile. Dawn is a pretty cool person with a pretty cool comic.

Do I have more things to say about C2E2? Certainly. Can I find time to say them? We shall see.

Don't forget I got a new "I am a Purchasing Rockstar" strip going up at Borderline Boy tomorrow.

Monday, April 19, 2010

C2E2: Part 1 of Man I Don't Even Know How Many

Joe Dunn and Phil Chan discuss their college-story comic Matriculated in contrast to their gag-format works (Joe Loves Crappy Movies and Another Videogame Webcomic):

I spent the majority of C2E2 conversing with webcomic creators about their craft, their stuff, and all things webcomics. This is a bit of an actual conversation with Joe Dunn and Phil Chan, writer-and-artist team behind countless comics for the Digital Pimp collective.

Most everyone who stopped by the Digital Pimp booth showed a preference for either Matriculated or JLCM, in terms of which Digital Pimp features they read regularly. Story-based comics and gag-a-day strips attract different sorts of readers, when the comic in question updates weekly, it adds an entirely different rhythm to the mix. Contrast a weekly humor strip like Rob & Elliot with, say, The Book of Biff, or consider the pacing of Matriculated itself.

Stay tuned for further words and pictures from C2E2!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back from C2E2

Well, after a busy weekend of conventioning in Chicago (and a 5-hour drive home), I'm back from C2E2. It's 11:25 and I've got work tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to say it was a great time and it's given me a lot to think about. I'll hit you with some more posts as this week progresses about the people I met, the conversations I had, and the cool things that went down. But for now I've got some sleeping to do.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fool Me Twice, Shame on April Me

If you're looking for a catalog of even more April Foolery, allow me to share with you this little postscript:
Happy Easter, everyone. In all likelihood, I will see you next week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool Me Once, Shame on April You

It's April Fool's Day, and nobody loves to fool your April like webcomics. April Fool's is a tradition for certain comics, so let's see what brand of frivolity these long-time celebrators of the holiday have foisted upon us this year:
  • Dinosaur Comics teamed up with Nedroid, replacing T-Rex with Reginald and Utahraptor with Beartato in every comic in the Dinosaur Comics archives. The result: a comic with an already bizarre premise becomes all the more surreal. Behold a sample.

  • Questionable Content brings us a page from anime fan Marigold's favorite manga: Magical Love Gentleman. Cartoonist Jeph Jacques is nothing if not tasteful.

  • Past pranks from The Book of Biff have included shortening Biff's signature crazy eyebrows and having him break his vow of silence. This year, failed image compression makes the punchline illegible.

What was your favorite webcomic April Fool's prank? Drop a comment and share it with us.