New and changed entries on the webcomic list

If you look at the webcomic list in the left hand column you shall see that there have been a few changes. Specifically-

Scarygoround is now Bad Machinery, as John Allison has ended one long running strip and started another. John’s a regular at the Manchester Comix Collective drink and draw meetings I’ve started attending, but I never know what to say to him because I’m worried I might come across as a dribbling fanboy (and a crap one at that, I’ve yet to buy any of his books or t-shirts).

Gunnerkrig Court is a rather lovely strip, which seems to have a long term plan to it. Antimony Carver has started attending Gunnerkrig Court, the sprawling techno-fantastic school where her parents studied and met. There’s an equally sprawling wood across an impassable ravine with a single bridge over it and a long history of antagonism and interaction between the magical creatures who live there and the more scientifically oriented school. The obvious comparison will be with Harry Potter, but I’ve only seen the films so can’t really comment. If, as I did, you dive in and start following the story from the beginning you’re going to lose most of a day. But it’s worth it.

Curvy is a different, naughtier tale. Anais encounters a girl from another dimension- Candy World- and falls in love with her. But Despoina is on the run from an arranged marriage to the ruler of Stupid World and there’s an NSA agent who thinks she’s a terrorist. There are some sex scenes in Curvy, but the lush cartoony linework can make you forget just how dirty the actions getting.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

From Girls with Slingshots

Replace Hazel with Ian and that’s your challenge.

I remember reading that you’re most likely to meet partners through work or your friends. As I work at home or in my studio that rules out one of those options. So it’s up to you, my little minions chums. If you know any single women, send them my way. They’ll thank you for it.

Time lapse comic page

Here’s the page he was working on.

I should reinstall the time lapse script onto my camera and do this for one of my pages (a clean one, of course). The process shown in this video is very similar to the one I go through, but, apart from the finishing on the computer, the techniques are different. My layouts are generated on the computer using Poser (I’ll get away from that with my next project, honest.) Then I do a basic pencil page, adding clothes, working out where the speech bubbles go, putting in some extra details. I do this by laying tracing paper over the layout, rather than using a lightbox. I then do a second, more detailed pencil page on tracing paper over the first, then I ink, with a dip pen, on architects drafting film. The inked page is scanned in, tidied up and has tones added.

As a bonus, here’s a comic book cover in a minute-

Can British bloggers make money?

A question posed on the BBC’s dot.life blog, which has an interesting, and only slightly flamey, set of comments. From them I have discovered netklix.com, which looks like it pays out in pennies and pounds so might be a good alternative to Google ads, and The Flowfield Unity, comics which might have an xkcd flavour. I shall investigate them both when I’m not using someone else’s computer.

Questionable Content

I’ve spent over twelve of the last twenty four hours trawling through the archives of webcomic Questionable Content, working my way from the very first episode right up to date. Such total immersion is probably akin to brainwashing, so I love the strip.

QC is about indie kid Marten, his anthropomorphic PC Pintsize and flatmate Faye and their complicated and ever evolving relationships with each other and a growing cast. (I don’t want to tell you the current status of those relationships, because I don’t want to spoil it for you if you start from the beginning. Though even if you go into it knowing some of the details, as I did, finding out how everyone got there is still fun.) It blends romantic drama and comedy with geeky humour and philosophical silliness and has had some excellent slow burning storylines. For example, some key revelations that were seeded very early on weren’t fully explained until the strips were into the 500s and are still affecting things now it’s in the 1200s. Whilst the writing has always been sharp, the art started out quite simple but has improved steadily until it’s now gorgeous and reminds me a lot of Philip Bond‘s Wired World from Deadline.

I found Questionable Content through an article on Wired 10 Great Webcomics You Should Not Share With Your Kids. Of their list I already read xkcd and Sinfest regularly and I’ve never really taken to Penny Arcade, so I opened the others and gave them their 5 most recent strips to impress me. 20 or so back through the QC archives I figured I was doing it all wrong and skipped all the way back to number 1 to start working forwards. I may not have got much else done since then, but I’m happy about it.

A more English apocalypse

Two webcomics set after catastrophes, but set in London for a change-

Ice– heat and power are at a premium, the Queen has her own police force and a small yippy doghas just entered the life of Hunter. More than that, she is about to come into possession of an important artifact which will put her in great danger and force her to face up to traumas in her past.

Freak Angels= new from Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield. “25 years ago twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment. 6 years ago the world ended. This is the story of what happened next.”

The Erotic Adventures of Buffy and Evil Vampire Willow

Joss Whedon and others are doing a neat job bringing us season eight of Buffy as a comic from Dark Horse. There’s one collection out already- Long Way Home, collecting the first 5 issues and No Future For You, a Faith heavy tale, is due in June.

However, before this revamp Anne-Lise and Fox created their own reimagining. The Erotic Adventures of Buffy and Evil Vampire Willow makes smutty fun of storylines from the series as Buffy and alternate universe vampire Willow get it on, keep Angel and Faith chained up in the cupboard and turn Mr Pointy into a vibrator. Alyson Hannigan is an official crush of Spinneyhead, especially as Vampire Willow, so how could I resist this naughty version of her character. The most recent strip seems to be a few years old, but you can hope for new stuff.

Omaha the Cat Dancer official website

Omaha the Cat Dancer, started in 1978, may soon be coming to an end. Then I will have to buy all the new collected albums. I’ve only been following the tale since the early nineties, after all.

There is now an official Omaha the Cat Dancer website with publication history and creator biographies.

Not dirty comics, but I’ll add them here. I’ve recently subscribed to the webcomicsnation RSS feeds for Too Hip Gotta Go Graphics, Dementian Comics and From the Fevered Pen of Brendan Douglas Jones.

Definitely dirty comics- Adultwebcomics.com

Is this what Mongrels are made of?

Protein-Nanoparticle Material Mimics Human Brain Tissue

A material that mimics brain tissue is a step towards artificial replacements for brain cells. Haven’t read this in full, I’ll probably do that this evening, but it might tie into ideas I’ve had for the Mongrels comic strips (Adrift is about a man with artificial brain cells living on, in a sense, after his body has died) and the script I’m writing for Tim’s “Spinneyhead presents” challenge.

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