Strip News (12/26/08)

Busy time of year and yet there are still many things that caught my eye over the last week.

  • The Webcomic Overlook reviews Grim Tales Down Below. Fantasy Story gets reviewed and you can discover This Week in Webcomicsfavorite comics. Jemma Salume gets interviewed, and so does Joe Jusko. And check out the awesome Skexis toy diectly below it.(You can see the creator’s page here.) After that, feel free to click around and see Orchard’s artwork. And here is one more Pogo fan’s experience.
  • And on to company news bits: Ripleys Believe It Or Not has been around 90 years. And it all started with a cartoon from a noname kid named Sparky. :) And you’re probably wondering what happened to Aquaman and I’m sure you’d like to pick up good copies of the early Superman cartoons.
  • Creative layouts can be difficult to …um… create. Ever thought about applying the golden ratio to your comic layouts? Want to see an example? It might be an interesting experiment to apply the technique to individual panels in newspaper style strips, among other layouts. Whatever your layouts look like, be sure your writing is well paced. Those who want more tips can Stay Tooned or take some online lessons.
  • This bitmap to vector service might be a useful tool to have in your arsenal for emergencies, at least. Another useful technology which may bring comics to a hand held gadget looks promising. And then there’s a handy way to get your Oh No Robot text to pop up on demand but not clutter your page. Speaking of your webpage, you can visit the forum for Inkblot or try out Manga Press. And don’t miss Keyword Optimization Part Two.
  • At some point you may decide to go pro and then you’ll find yourself considering getting an agent. I’m sure you’d like to see Gaiman’s advice… Actually, he defers to the advice of someone he knows will know, but now you know. That’s all about writing agents but I’m sure the advice will still be useful. I’m sure you’d also like to know about graphic novel agents for artists, just to round out your knowledge. (This is part four, so be sure to look over the first three parts too.) I also found a fan who would like to get digital comics from a digital store, not just from Marvel or DC. (That would be cool, wouldn’t it? A website set up like an actual comic shop where you could browse the first few pages of comics from various publishers.) The Beat analyzed this a little further, but the same fan created a breakdown about the dollar enjoyment value one gets out of comics. One last thing about business; even reviewers are feeling the economic crunch.
  • I always enjoy seeing how other comickers create their strips. I like the drawn lines instead of text in the layout sketches. Also, I found this Youtube video pretty useful and fun to watch. That’s a great colorist.


  1. Bengo

    Your vision of a digital comic shop is the best I’ve heard. A conceptual breakthrough in a quagmire of indecision and uncertainty. Now it’s a matter of pinpointing a web site that resembles the vision and figuring out what’s involved in adapting it. A shiny, expensive, site like the iTunes store is nice technologically, but too capital intensive.

  2. woohoo! It’s Friday! once again, thanx for all the fun links for me to play with 😉 Vector Magic is definitely an useful tool. I am seriously considering paying the monthly fee… hmmm…

  3. @Bengo – There is at least one online comic shop, but I declined to mention it as an example because it isn’t what I want. It’s more shoehorned into another format which some might argue works just fine but isn’t really like a comic shop. Are you saying that if such a site gets built, the comics will come? :)

    @Alecho – Maybe you could do a review on it, after using it for awhile.

  4. Good point and thanks for mentioning it. It was not my intent to mislead the expectation of the linked article.

    While the layout is not technically the golden ratio, it is that same sort of spiral-in panel eye flow you’d get from applying the golden ratio. The purpose in mentioning it was to provide a creative jumping off point for layouts, particularly for those stuck in a layout rut. It’s something I am sometimes in desperate need of.

    I’m interested to see how you’ve been inspired. I’ll be checking it out tomorrow when it posts.

  5. LOL. That’s a true spiral, indeed. Not many of us would have dared to try something like that.

    I’ve never seen a comic presented in alternating perpendicular fashion. This comic even kept its clarity very nicely as it turned and shrunk.

    How did you arrive at 61.8% reduction? Was it trial and error or did you calculate it out?

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