Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, 3: I Got All Types of Crazy Crap

Okay, so it's December 22nd. Holiday shipping deadlines are passing left and right. Topatoco can't even guarantee delivery by December 25th if you shell out the hundred bucks for next-day air! It's too late to order any of the sweet comic anthologies or tongue-in-cheek t-shirts that your favorite webcomics blogger recommended, and that little turd still hasn't written his promised third installment of his Webcomics Gift-Giving Guide! What are you to do?

Well, have no fear. There is hope for you yet.

I have said before that MS Paint Adventures has the best soundtrack of any webcomic out there, and the cool thing is that you can purchase much of that soundtrack on the nine albums available at Tracks range from electronica to ambient experimental electronica to instrumental/orchestral with a dose of electronica, but in my opinion the standout album is Midnight Crew: Drawing Dead.

Drawing Dead is a concept album inspired by MSPA's gang of playing-card-suit-inspired mobsters the Midnight Crew--and ostensibly performed by them too. It features contemporary noir jazz that evokes both early-90s adventure games and 1940s detective flicks, and it will make you feel like a gangsta. (We're talking pinstripe-suit gangsta, of course. Not the other kind.)

The jams are slick, compositions are tight, and at its best it'll remind you of a Dave Brubeck tune. Best of all, you get 18 tracks for $5.25, and you can sample the full album before you buy. Give it a spin, buy it and burn it for your white elephant gift at your office Christmas party, or buy a couple different Homestuck albums for the MSPA fan on your Christmas list. Bam! And you're ready for the holidays.

I also wanted to mention one of the most creative webcomic products that I've seen all year: Dr. McNinja Battle Magnets. These feature the heroes and villains of Dr. McNinja in various action poses, ready to square off against each other on any metal surface. They look great and are every bit as crazy as the comic, and if you were to get me a set I would not object in the slightest.

If war is an art, these are the combat equivalent of magnetic poetry for your 'fridge. Get one of the two sets (seven magnets each) for $12, or buy both sets for $22 and get a secret bonus character too.

And that concludes your 2010 Webcomics Gift-Giving Holiday Guide Thing. I'm Jackson Ferrell, shameless webcomics promoter, wishing you a merry Christmas and happy holidays. Stay cool, and I'll see you in the new year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, 2: Give a Shirt

Welcome to the second installment of TWIW's Holiday Gift-Giving Special Feature. Today I am here to share holiday gift ideas that you can wear.

To purchase any of these fine garments, simply click on the corresponding picture, and be magically transported to its online store via the power of hyperlinks.

The first shirt on our list comes courtesy of Alexandra Douglass, contributing artist for MS Paint Adventures' Homestuck. It features Homestuck's four protagonists in their signature colors, expressing themselves through the magic of dance and being-on-a-shirt. It's great how the kids' personalities come out in their poses, and even if you don't know anything about Homestuck, it is a wicked cool design.

The shirt costs $20 and is available in white or blapck. This item is currently for pre-order only; orders will close at 11:59 EST on December 12th and will ship no later than December 20th. If you want one by Christmas, now is the time to act.

This shirt, from John "Pictures for Sad Children" Campbell, perfectly captures my sentiments about America. I can't tell you how long I have wanted one of these for. I can't tell you because I don't keep track of these things, but I'm pretty sure it's been at least a year and a half.

You should get it for me. And for anyone else who thinks America is sort of okay. But also me.

The shirt is $19.00, and can be guaranteed to arrive before December 24th as long as you order by December 15 for first class mail (Dec. 17 for UPS ground). See the TopatoCo website for more information.

I know these shipping deadlines are fast approaching, so I'll have the third and final part of this guide thing up for you as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, 1: Book 'em, Danno

Ah, my oft-neglected blog. I remember you! You're about webcomics.

Obviously, TWIW hasn't seen a lot of recent activity. Apart from my work on my new webcomic Sketch Comedy (GO VISIT MY WEBCOMIC), there's the usual business of the holidays that keeps us all crazy. I don't expect I have to sell you on the concept, but in my opinion, there's no better time of year to buy merch from your favorite webcomic creators. By shopping online, you can dodge the psychotic traffic, the hunt for a parking place and crowds at the malls, and you can introduce your friends and loved ones to the great strips you enjoy online.

So, with that in mind, I present to you part one of a three-part special feature: All I Want for Christmas is Webcomics, the This Week in Webcomics holiday shopping guide.

As always, we at TWIW are nothing if not biased. Everything on this list has passed the rigorous quality screening of being either something I have bought or want to buy. And I have been anticipating the release of the first item on the list for quite some time...

That's right, it's the F Chords print collection.

Long-time readers of TWIW know I'm an outspoken F Chords fan. Ash and Wade are two studio musicians, recording radio-ad music by day and struggling to get their rock band off the ground by night (that is, when they're not playing World of Warcraft or watching Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles). As dudes trying to keep a dream alive and banging their heads against the wall just to keep it from dying, the lead duo are eminently relatable, not to mention hilarious. While rereading the strips in this 60-page collection, it felt like I was catching up with Ash and Wade at the bar, sharing a laugh about all the crap they'd been through. The Hook Arc is particularly hilarious.

You're At A Nine, We Need You at a Zero makes a great gift for the struggling musician in your life, or heck, just about any artist trying to pay the bills doing what he loves. But don't bother buying one for me. I've got my own copy, suckas! You're At A Nine... is available at Kris Straub's online store for $12.99, plus shipping (see above link).

I'm a huge fan of F Chords. But, as you know, I'm also a huge fan of Blank It, which also launched its first print collection this year. Shirt...Goes...Down captures the first two years of existentialism, absurdity, and hand juice. Given that I've reviewed the comic, interviewed the creators (in comic form!), and basically ran my trap about it at every opportunity, you hardly need a reminder why Blank It is awesome. Get Shirt...Goes...Down for anyone on your list who wishes Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was a little more like the anime Fooly Cooly. Geez, that's a really narrow audience. Get it for anyone who enjoys extremely clever nonsense, witty repartee, and free-wheeling adventure. It's available in the Blank It store for $25 plus shipping.

Last on the book list is Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show. As a supporter of Multiplex's print collection project through Kickstarter, I received my copy around two months ago, and I'm really impressed with the final product. McAlpin has put together a quality book (no surprise, given that he's a career graphic designer), and he hasn't skimped on the bonus material either: over 30 additional comics, behind-the-scenes extras, and an exclusive 12-page prequel storyline. The whole package looks great. It's worth warning that the average Multiplex strip hovers somewhere between a PG-13 and an R rating, so this isn't a gift for your 10-year-old nephew by any means. However, it's unmistakably a quality present for anyone who's out of high school and really, really, really loves movies.

You can get your hands on Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show for $19.95, or $24.95 for the Artist's Edition, at (where else?) the Multiplex Store.

And that wraps up part one of this extremely special holiday feature. Stay tuned for part two, shirts and apparel, sometime next week (or maybe earlier if I get the chance!), and if you know of any webcomic print collections that you think would make a sweet gift, drop a link in the comments.