Monthly Archives: October 2011

Random Quickie: Dracula: The Company of Monsters

Xaviar Xerexes at Comixtalk pointed me in the direction of Dracula: The Company of Monsters, a comic about a little known fella called Vlad the Impaler who has this thing for impaling people. Quelle surprise! If you’ve always wanted to see Dracula’s head encased in a block of honey, this is the webcomic for you. There’s also a parallel story set in the modern day but — c’mon man — you know we’re here for Vlad! Dracula: The Company of Monsters was created by comic veteran Kurt Busiek (Avengers, Aquaman, and Astro City), written by Daryl Gregory, illustrated by Scott Godlewski and Damian “With a name like that how can I not be writing a Dracula book?” Couciero, and serialized online by Boom Studios. That’s a team you can take to the bank.

The blood bank.

John Allison to eBooks: Drop dead

John Allison (Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery) has some very cross words to say about ebooks:

Much ink has been wasted on whether music as a predominantly digital format has cost us something precious, and wonderful, and irreplaceable, and why can’t I stop crying &c. There have probably been losses and gains. No song ever need vanish from the catalogue, no treasure need be buried unheard, deleted. Physical formats become fun and worthwhile when produced, rather than drably essential. There need never be another CD released with a single page in the jewel case, another exercise in “why did we bother”.

Sure, there’s too much music to ever listen to it all, but that’s like having too much dinner and remembering with a warm glow the cold hard certainty of rationing. I miss the excitement of the record shop, but not the excitement of discovering something new.

But I don’t feel the same way about ebooks. I hate them. I genuinely hate them. With music, your relationship is predominantly with what is going in your ear. Yes, you may stare at the cover for Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes for half an hour while going on a prog journey, but that really is making your own fun at its most innocent, deny that if you like.

The relationship with a book is very different. It’s a tactile object relatively unchanged since the Gutenberg press. You’ve got to hold that thing in front of your face. It’s your buddy until you’re done with it. A well-thumbed, much read book is like a vile, beloved, drooled on childhood bunny, but you wouldn’t buy one of those second-hand unless you had a lot of problems in your life.

He goes on to mention that he doesn’t hate digital works, but the current ways eBooks are set up, they’re far too beholden to the technology manufacturers.

(h/t Robot 6)

Looks like someone’s picking up the reviewing gauntlet

Well, while I’m still off taking a hiatus (technically), it looks like someone’s picking up the slack. Namely, the cast of Gustavo Duarte Yza’s Pilli Adventure, who are reviewing comics like the mad crazy demons that they are. I especially like how accurately my washboard abs are depicted.

Llllllllaaaaadddiiiies.

Cory Doctorow approves of Red Light Properties

Over at Boing Boing, whatever that means, notable writer Cory Doctorow — writer of such works as Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (which, despite being very slim, I still have not finished) and Creative Commons activist — has given a thumbs up to Dan Goldman’s Red Light Properties, a comic about a very barebones supernatural operation/dysfunctional family in the blindingly sunny streets Miami. I have to agree: I have been working on a review since about, oh, March this year, and the only thing holding me back is that I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a ghost story with a very gritty Elmore Leonard feel. I was leaning toward a very solid 4 stars myself.

Know Thy History: The Addams Family

It seems like movie and TV studios are running out of ideas nowadays, doesn’t it? They’re desperately trying to find a new vein of creativity. The surprising thing is that some question inspirations end up paying off.

The most famous recent example would be the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I mean, back when it first made light, everyone — and I mean everyone — was clucking their tongues, laughing at how creatively bankrupt Hollywood had become. “A movie based on a Disney ride?” the pop culture wags would say. “How droll! What next: a movie based on Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots? Oh, to see the day when that happens.”

But, as well all know, Pirates was a humongous success, kickstarting a three sequels, the current obsession with pirates, and a whole industry of Jack Sparrow Halloween costumes. It also sorta got it into some Hollywood producer’s minds that, “Hey, if a Disney ride could be a movie, ANYTHING is fair game! Does anyone have the rights to that Milton Bradley Battleship game? Get Liam Neeson on the phone!”

I mean, what next? What if you got really obscure. Like you tried to adapt a loosely connected series of cartoons that were featured in famously high-brow magazine The New Yorker. They’re just vignettes: the characters don’t have names, and the series doesn’t even have a title. How crazy and kooky would that be?

Well, as you guessed from the title of this “Know Thy History,” that’s exactly what happened when Charles Addams gave the world The Addams Family.

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The Webcomic Overlook #186: The Night Owls

“But wait, El Santo,” you say. “Aren’t you taking a break?”

I know. I’ve got to admit something to you: I’m terrible at this whole taking a break thing. And the worst part of it is… I’m breaking hiatus for something that is not, technically, a webcomic.

Twins Peter and Bobby Timony’s The Night Owls is, in fact, closer to being on the digital comic side of the scale than on the webcomic side. It could have been considered a webcomic when Zuda was around. But then Zuda died, a good number of my Zuda-only webcomic blogger compatriots disappeared, and the remaining Zuda issues have been banished to the nether realms of Comixology.

If you want to read The Night Owls anymore, you must download it for $0.99 an issue … though the first issue is free. The Night Owls has since ended, capping off at 9 issues, so a full run of The Night Owls is going to cost you $8 (and a bit more more if you’re going to spring for the print version on Amazon).

I suppose a site called “The Webcomic Overlook” should probably let this one go… but then who would review it? From my experience, most sites reviewing digital comics are focusing on much the same things as their print comic sites … namely DC’s New 52 initiative.


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One Punch Reviews #44: So… You’re A Cartoonist? (Second Opinion)

(I’m still on hiatus! However, David Herbert was kind enough to do a review while I’m away. In this review, he tackles previously reviewed webcomic So… You’re A Cartoonist? with a different take than mine. It’s time to get hit up with … a second opinion.)

When I first got into webcomics, I tended to gravitate towards comics that were somewhat based in the author’s real life. So when I found this comic by Tom Preston, or Andrew Dobson, it seemed like something that would interest me, not just because I like diary comics, but also because this is about being someone who makes comics and their own tales of doing what they love.

Basically it’s my comic, Living with Insanity, except the writer can draw and it doesn’t devolve into insane nonsense.

However, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the title doesn’t really work until nearly 18 pages in, where being a cartoonist becomes the main focus. Up until then, it’s about being bullied as a kid, watching shows with his girlfriend and stuff his roommate did in college.


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Heads up all…

Heads up… I’m taking a break from reviews in October (and maybe November… I’m playing around with doing NaNoWriMo, the 50K word time-waster, this year again). I’ve got a lot to do in real life right now, and webcomic reviews are going to have to take a back seat. I may come back shortly Halloween time to take a look at some spoooooky webcomics (including, perhaps, finally posting that Red Light Properties review I’ve been working on since, oh, the beginning of the year). But beyond that, I don’t know. I’ll be traveling a little, loving a little, dressing up to scare impressionable kids a little… all that stuff.

Thanks to everyone for reading the Webcomic Overlook. And fear not! The Webcomic Overlook will be back.

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