So frontloaded, in fact, that we have to get a milestone comic (SMBC #2500, woo!) and the launch of an established creator’s third daily webcomic out of the way in the intro just to get to everything that’s happening today. Don’t blame me if the rest of the week is quiet.
- TCAF, which just might be the consensus choice for Everybody’s Favorite Con (and it’s free!) announced its slate of guests and exhibitors today, and hoo boy will every other show of 2012 have a hard time matching this lineup. I was going to try to just list out the most notable attendee for each letter for the alphabet, but by the time I hit “B”, I was already confronted with Bá, Beaton, Becan, Bechdel, Brosgol, Brown, and more Brown. Also, there’s nobody listed under “I”, “Q”, “X”, or “Y”.
- Know who else has a name starting with “B”? Rich Burlew. Know what he did today? Upended his storyline, getting rid of a supplementary villain that’s been around for a few hundred updates/coupla years, and recasting The Villain’s Sidekick as The Guy Who’s Been Pulling All The Strings All Along. Burlew’s always been a master of the long game, and he proved it today. If you don’t read The Order of the Stick, you’d have to go back to update #457, or maybe #446 to get the full impact of what he’s been doing; the fact that today’s update is #830 should not deter you in the least.
- You know what else starts with “B”? Cow Boy, at least the second part of it; it’s coming in print this spring from Archaia, but for the moment writer Nate Cosby¹ and artist Chris Eliopolous² have put the first five pages up, and it’s a beaut. It’s got the potential to go really dark, but for now the visual incongruity of a ten-year-old bounty hunter in the Old West is great.
- “B” is also for “backdated”, which is what you’ll find if you take a look at what Jim Zub is doing with Skullkickers. Long story short, there’s now two short stories, a cover gallery, and the start of serialized Swords ‘n’ Sorcery mayhem, rerunning from the beginning of the Image series, five days a week.
There are precedents to be found in series like Girl Genius, A Distant Soil, and Finder, all established creator-owned works which have engaged in variations of running old stories online to reach a new audience/run new stories online until there’s enough to fill a trade collection. It’s premature to say if Zub is looking towards such a future for Skullkickers, and he’s got twelve full issues in print already (with another 6-issue story due to launch in two months or so) to get through before that decision point gets reached. But others have found it economically preferable to get away from printing floppies, and we may see the same for Baldy and Shorty.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t note where the Skullkickers reruns are rerunning — not on the main Skullkickers page, but at Keenspot. I may have missed something in the two years or so since the Great Keenspot Realignment, and I don’t recall any new properties being added to the Keen banner in that time that weren’t from creators associated with the Crosby-centric Blatant Comics. A’course, Skullkickers isn’t just any property, it’s got a huge mindshare and a lot of goodwill among those that comment on comics (although how much that translates into actual rent-and-groceries in indy comics is anybody’s guess), so the Keeners would have had to have some pretty good reasons to not want to partner up with Zub.
- One last “B”, although I can’t tell you everything on this one while we wait for Kickstarter to release the details of the project: Benign Kingdom. There will be four 32-page saddle-stitched art books from four creators/creator teams, and a limited-edition hardcover collecting all four. The creators involved are ____ & ______, _____ & _____, ____ ____, and __ _____³ with an assist from the newest challenger for the title of Nexus of all Webcomics and Heck Regular Comics Too Realities, which just means that neither Ryan North nor Shaenon Garrity are involved (as far as I know) since they’re the ones defending the title. Let the guessing begin.
¹ Not the one with the Jell-O Pudding Pops.
² The one you were thinking of, unless you were thinking of the other Chris Eliopolouos.
³ Full names to be revealed once Kickstarter makes things public.