Terrorist attack in Madrid

My knowledge of the background to today’s terrorist attack in Madrid (presumably by ETA despite denials from their official spokesbastards) can best be summed up as “bugger all” but I’m finding that close reading of recent postings and comments at A Fistful of Euros is helping me cure this ignorance. Go there.

Comic: Desperately Seeking

Almost immediately after finishing Pin Drop, I started work on a second volume of wordless comics. I drew several stories but because I started on a very busy job that year, the project fell by the wayside. Later, there was the launch of rocr.net in 2000 and all the other, newer comics work I was doing.

I wrote and drew this story, Desperately Seeking in 1998 but never published or indeed finished the last panel until now.

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Comics in the exhibit (5)

Bruno is one of those comics that you know you should read, but whose archives are a bit intimidating. I’ve finally done it, and feel humbled. Christopher Baldwin does realism extremely well, to the point where I start to wonder what I’m doing writing a fantasy comic. Then in the ghost story and the dream sequence he also proves that he can do fantasy better than almost anyone.
There is no other comic remotely like Bruno, to the best of my knowledge. A shoo-in for the exhibit.

Studio-mate Jeroen was impressed by the art when he saw me rooting through the Vast and Intimidating Archive and later asked me for the URL.

BRRRIINNGG

My studio-mate Marjolein has the coolest ringtone on her cellphone. It goes “Brrriiinngg”. Like an old bakelite rotary-dial phone. This is what cellphones would sound like if they were made in the German Democratic Republic, and it’s what they should sound like.

Comics in the exhibit (4)

Two creators who went above and beyond the call of duty: Maritza Campos of College Roomies from Hell!!!, and Adrian Ramos of Count Your Sheep.
Maritza made available color versions of her comics, which are not currently in her online archive. They may be back there some day, but until then, the museum has a nice rarity on its hard drives.
Adrian went one further and (at my request) had 20 comics translated into Dutch so that Dutch-speaking children could read them. There are very few comics online that are appealing to young readers and Count Your Sheep, while not being strictly a kids’ comic, is among the very best of them.

Comics in the exhibit (2)

Another comic that follows the “best practice” of having a Best Of archive and therefore deserves an early mention is Hans Bjordahl’s pioneering Where the Buffalo Roam. On the internet before there was a web, WTBR doesn’t quite have the polish of many modern-day webcomisc and takes little or no advantage of the formal possibilities offered by online publication. It’s simply a humorous strip, probably made with newspaper syndication in mind. And Columbus was just a schlub who got lost…

Comics in the exhibit (1)

One advantage of setting up a webcomics exhibit is that it’s a good reason to finally read the archives of famous webcomics that you know you should be reading anyway. One disadvantage is that you get to slog through huge webcomics archives in a short period of time.

This week, I’ll be listing some of the comics in the exhibit. I want to start off with two that distinguished themselves by having a “best of” page in which I could easily find their most-loved work:
Boxjam’s Doodle and Sluggy Freelance. Both are well-known (or should be) but deserve extra mention anyway for this good practice.

Plans for the future

Despite being as swamped with work as I’ve ever been, I want to, indeed have to, look at the future a bit – and at the past.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of my first webcomic. Back in November of 1994, I first put a Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan story online, in Dutch and with terrible scan quality. Since October I’ve been working intermittently to translate the comic into English and make those old, crudely-drawn episodes presentable for the web. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing; now, I have at least a vague idea. “The Stone of Contention” will run either exclusively on Modern Tales while a contemporary ROCR story is running as well, or it will run on ROCR.net and Modern Tales while the regular ROCR takes a hiatus. I haven’t decided yet. See a preview.

One series that will probably not run on ROCR.net is a collaborative series I’m planning with Geir Strøm and Daniel Østvold. This is a collection of stories that the three of us have been involved in since 1995, several of which I have published as minicomics. It’s called “Chronicles of the Witch Queen” and will also not run on Modern Tales but instead on a new Webcomicsnation.com site. It will probably be subscription-based unless we change our minds. We will start by reissuing the early stories (which will allow us to build a buffer of no less than six months!) , followed by new material including a sequel to Courtly Manners. Of this sequel, seven pages are drawn.

Here’s a preview, and Modern Tales subscribers can look at some sketches in the Book of all Things.