Monthly Archives: April 2011

Random Quickies: La Mano Del Destino

Before it hits the shelves through the gleefully retro Castle & Key Publication, J. Gonzo’s luchador-inspired La Mano Del Destino will be available on the web for free! You will believe a Mexican wrestler can beat up an amputee with his own prosthetic arm!

(h/t Comics Alliance, plus my own inability to pass up any comic about luchadors)

Intrepid Girlbot vs. The World

Suddenly, someone remembers that Shannon Wheeler was up for the Eisners

Shannon Wheeler’s I Thought You Would Be Funnier (which I mentioned here back when it was called Nihilarity) was totally nominated for the Eisner’s Best Humor Publication Category, but it must’ve fallen behind the desk at Eisner central or something because it wasn’t on the ballot when the Eisner nominees went live. Anyway, the problem has since been rectified, and Mr. Wheeler’s been a pretty good sport about it.

Anyway, the I Thought You Would Be Funnier collection is being published through BOOM! Studios, an excellent publisher that has given the world some critically acclaimed comics like The Muppet Show, Darkwing Duck, and Invincible. To help drum up votes, they’ve provided the entirety of the book online … for free! (Sure, some of it reprints strips stuff on the Act-I-Vate site, though the book contains much more.)

If you wish the New Yorker strips were more funny and less snotty/indecipherable, you owe yourself a browse. I Thought You Would Be Funnier is up against Afrodisiac, by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca; Comic Book Guy: The Comic Book, by Ian Boothby, John Delaney, and Dan Davis; Drinking at the Movies, by Julia Wertz; Literature: Unsuccessfully Competing Against TV Since 1953, by Dave Kellett (a Sheldon collection); and Prime Baby, by Gene Luen Yang.

The Webcomic Overlook #162: Max Overacts

Once upon a time, Zuda Comics, DC Comics’ dalliance with a new digital paradigm, was shaping up to be an awards season powerhouse. It had built up a heck of a momentum in 2009. Bayou took home a few Glyph Awards, and High Moon took home a Harvey Award. Sadly, the imprint came to an end last year, which means that one of the awards that the Speech Bubble Loading Screen Brand will never be able to claim will be the Eisner Award.

Zuda, though, will be in the 2011 Eisner Awards in spirit. Caanan Grall — who, with such a colorful name, should probably consider taking up a career in adventure/archaeology — was once a Zuda writer. In fact, his 180 page comic Celadore was the last Zuda book published; it was the at the printers when the division came to an end.

Mr. Grall scores an Eisner nomination with his most recent effort: the gag-a-day comic strip called Max Overacts. It’s about a young boy named Max who — surprise, surprise! — overacts.

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Hugo Award noms for Best Graphic Story announced

The Hugo Awards have announced their 2011 nominees, which include the one for Best Girl Genius Graphic Story:

  • The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, Mike Carey; art by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
  • Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, Phil & Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio (Airship Entertainment)
  • Grandville Mon Amour, Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, Howard Tayler (Hypernode)
  • Fables: Witches, Bill Willingham; art by Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)

Girl Genius (reviewed here) has won the award twice already, which is also how long this category has existed. It has steamrolled Neil Gaiman, Brian K. Vaughan, Bill Willingham, Joss Whedon, and Paul Cornell. Is there any reason to doubt that the Foglios aren’t going to snag the hat-trick here? Other than that Girl Genius‘ 2010 run was pretty underwhelming?

Another question: are the Hugo Awards still about sci-fi anymore? Browsing through the nominees list, I noticed the nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, are Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Inception, Toy Story 3, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and How To Train Your Dragon. Out of those, Inception is the only one that’s even vaguely sci-fi. I remember when there was a big stink raised by sci-fi fans when J. K. Rowling won the Best Novel Award in 2001 for Goblet of Fire. (Even J. K. Rowling was a little upset about that one.) I bet those same critics are rolling around in their graves seeing this year’s nominees.

(Wait…. those critics are probably still around and fuming. My apologies, still-living critics.)

(h/t ComixTalk)

The Webcomic Overlook #161: The Bean

I’ve always been fascinated about the very concept of a comic book awards ceremony. As a young El Santo, I remember watching Bob, a sitcom where Bob Newhart was a struggling comic book superhero artist. Heck, I even bought Marvel’s very short lived spin-off series, Mad-Dog, based on the comic character that Bob Newhart’s character created. Wish I’d held on to that comic, which had a retro-60’s version of Mad-Dog and his grittier, Wolverine-like reboot. According to some price guides, a near mint version can be worth as much as a whole $3.00! That’s more than double what I paid for it! I’d be living the high life…. ordering something from the McDonald’s dollar menu…. maybe scoring a sweet roll of Scotch tape…. but alas, it was not meant to be.

One of the episodes was about Bob going to a comic book awards show … with special guest stars Jim Lee and Jack FRIGGIN’ KIRBY. (This was long before Stan Lee would plant his mug in literally everything. Actually seeing comic book artists on TV was a super-rare occurence.) They depicted it as a fairly low-key affair, where everything was held in a small hall and family and friends were gathered around little round tables. Still, I remember thinking myself, “Boy, wouldn’t it be swell if that were to ever make it big time?”

Flash forward to 2011 and … well, we’re still taking baby steps getting there. I mean, can anyone, even comic fans, honestly say they remember an Eisner winner from last year? However, I think we’re probably in better shape than in 1992. At least the Eisners are held within the hustle and bustle of the San Diego Comic Con, where comics are at the forefront (theoretically) and the winners are announced to some sort of comic-loving public.

Besides, it’s fun to talk about, which is why I review the candidates for Best Digital Comic every year. Even if an Eisner win is, in the grand scheme of things, somewhat meaningless, at least a handful of webcomics got a little extra exposure than they typically do.

First up on the menu is something legume flavored: Travis Hanson’s fantasy comic, The Bean.

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Webcomic news in a nutshell

Here are some things that happened in webcomics while I was gone:

The Eisner Award nominations came out, and Abominable Charles Christopher, Zahra’s Paradise, The Bean, Lackadaisy, and Max Overacts got the nods for Best Digital Comic.

Portal 2 came out, as did the Portal 2 webcomic.

CAD was … being CAD.

Metapost: I’m back!

I’m back!  And with a new mask.

The awesome thing about taking a vacation where there’s a strong Latino community is that there are vendors hawking super-cheap luchador masks everywhere.  Though I’m a little disappointed that 80% of their stock seems to be Rey Mysterio now, with 15% being Nacho Libre.  Heck, when I came home, my brother-in-law was all, “Why didn’t you get a Nacho Libre mask?”  Oh, but my rage was straining to be contained that day.

So, of course, I came home with a brand new mask for my collection. One that will HOPEFULLY get people to stop going, “Hey, how come you by El Santo and you wear a Blue Demon mask?  SO… although I may not be the only El Santo posting on the internet, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one posting with an El Santo mask.

Now all I gotta do is modify the illustrations in my banners and headers. Sigh… I just redid those, too.

But back to the reviews!  While I did have a couple comics I was going to tackle before the break, they’re going to have to take a backseat to another Webcomic Overlook tradition: reviews of all the Eisner nominees, run them through the patented Sugarshock-o-meter (currently batting at 0.667), and predicting this year’s winner.  Fortunately, I already reviewed two of them: The Abominable Charles Christopher and Lackadaisy. Only three to go!  

Even if I don’t get the winner right, reading through all the comics has been incredibly rewarding. Last year, I uncovered a wonderful gem in Bayou, which I felt was the best comic out of the bunch. Sadly, most readers of the Webcomic Overlook can no longer read this comic for free now that Zuda has up and folded.  Still, without the Eisners, would most of us have even heard of Bayou? Or even Bodyworld?

Anyway, glad to see y’all again, and thanks for sticking around in time to get down to serious business. The serious business of webcomics.

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