Saturday, March 28, 2009

Boom Studios Kids -- Muppets & Pixar Comics

Boom Studios is coming out with Muppet and Pixar comics! This fills me with glee. You all probably know about this, but just in case, I figured I'd talk about it, let you know what I know. First issues are allready on the stands, methinks, I haven't been to a comic shop in a few weeks. (My local one went out of business, the nearest one is now 2 hours away, *sob*)

Boom has set up a special website, www.boom-kids.com for their kids line of comics (I think so parents can feel safer, and that their kids won't wander over towards Boom's less kid friendly titles -- makes sense to me! Kids always seem to want to gravitate towards things they probably shouldn't -- I had a booth at a show once, the guy next to me had comics that Looked kid friendly, with simply drawn ducks and alligators, but then when you opened them up they were quite... pornographic? I discovered this noisefully when a 9 year old girl was reading them, her mom came up behind and asked 'whatcha reading sweety?' followed by lots of shrieking and running away. So, yeah, we don't want to give anyone a reason not to let their kids read comic books, we as the creators have to steer the kids in the right direction. That's the whole point of Kids Love Comics! Because kids do love comics, and any that cross their path will be read. Let's give 'em some good ones!

Might I recommend Boom's Muppet Comic book? They have a preview of nearly half the book on Comic Book Resources:



See if your willpower can prevent you from being spoiled and reading it now, mine certainly couldn't. Now I've read part of it, and MUST FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT via spending money on the real printed book.

Roger Langridge is writing and drawing the bulk of the first couple issues, I've been a fan of his Fred the Clown and all his other stuff for years now, in fact I've got a drawing of Popeye by him framed and on my wall, we as fans are in for a real treat. Even if you don't like the muppets (how is that even possible? You must have watched the wrong muppets) pick up this book.

Other artists and writers are supposed to start being a part of this series too, I've seen variant covers and spinoff titles allready (Muppet Robin Hood is first) and gosh would I LOVE to become a part of the muppets crew. I hope Boom has some sort of portfolio reviews at San Diego this year, writing and drawing Muppets in an official capacity has become my new lifelong quest.

Here's the sample I came up with for Boom's Submission Website, basically a spoof of the TV show's title sequence, with me installed. I wanted a chance to try and draw all the main characters, although I appear to have neglected Miss Piggy AND Fozzie, how terribly remiss of me.



MUPPETS © DISNEY/JIM HENSON, no infrigitude meant, I'm not selling anything, please no lawyers yell at me. I think this counts as 'fan art' moreso than anything else : )

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EDIT -- Kidjutsu.com

I got Brian Leung's website wrong last time, It's www.KidJutsu.com

To basically paraphrase their entire 'about' section:


About Us

What is Kidjutsu?
Kidjutsu [kid-joot-soo] is a kids comics website where kids can read, discover, and share comics. We built Kidjutsu to provide a fun activity for kids that encourages them to read for enjoyment and exercise their budding imaginations. We started off collecting the best all-ages kid-friendly comics into one place, but it's grown to be a website for kids, tweens, teens, and even the big kid in all of us.

What can I do on Kidjutsu?
At Kidjutsu, you can browse a large selection of kids comics brought to you by the best comics, webcomics, and manga creators. Every comic on our site has been screened and marked with an appropriate age rating. You can experience each comic using our high-resolution, fast-loading, super-responsive digital comic reader. You can read comics in fullscreen, zoom in on your favorite panels, and also bookmark your favorite comics. Most importantly, you can read all these comics online for free.

What is our vision?
We have two goals for Kidjutsu:
1) Introduce kids to comics, and
2) Build a sustainable revenue model for creators with a life-long passion for telling great stories.



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Here are some handy little embedded readers you can easily create if you want to share the comics on your site:





These ones I both KNEW were by KLC creators, There are tons more, but I haven't had a chance to read any yet to see how strongly I recommend them. Will do when I have a moment, and post again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cupcakes of Doom and other nonsense

Hivribody!

It hasn't been very lively around this blog lately, and as 1 of 5 contributors, that's 20% my fault!!!

So lets see, what should I talk about?

Well, first up, to be all self promotiony, I have a new book out! Cupcakes of Doom:




It's TOTALLY the best piratey graphic novel I've written this whole year!

and here are some nice words from the American Library Association:
The cookie-loving pirates from previousYARG! efforts return as the featured players in this unrelentingly pun- and gag-filled adventure. Escaping from a desert island, the pirates tackle everything from the justice system and going into business to relationships and dealing with mothers (all in an age-appropriate fashion, of course) as they trade blows and jokes with a bunch of rather hoity-toity Vikings. The point here is not serious social commentary but rather to offer as many jokes per page (and panel, and word balloon) as possible. While some will fly over the heads of the intended readership, it hardly matters given their extraordinary density. It’s notable that if manga is the reigning graphic format art style for young adults these days, the style for younger readers is quickly settling upon what is on display here—a lighthearted, animation-inspired use of cartoon figures, digital colors, and rough backgrounds—so that the transition from reading to television and back is becoming disturbingly seamless.
— Jesse Karp

Besides that 'disturbing' in there -- pretty darn lovely! I'll post more reviews as they exist. Scott Tingley of Comics in the Classroom did a 'sort of' review -- his daughter won't give him the book back yet, so he hasn't read it, but loves all the sea serpenty fun.

Here's a picture of my filing cabinet celebrating it's release:




Did you KLC guys who also write this blog get a chance to see Cupcakes at the New York ComicCon? You were very nice and let me mail some for you to stick on the table, I hope you all snuck a copy for yourself. I included instructions that you could do so.

Gosh I'm a doofus, I haven't had a chance to even call any of you folks yet and see how the show all went for you guys. Can we expect som photographs on this here blog anytime soon? Mail them to me, I'll upload them for ya's. I'd like to help out the KLC anyway I can, and since flying to any of the eastcoast shows doesn't seem very likely at the moment, I'd love to handle a bit more web duties. We should have a meeting about that. When I get some time : )

I saw John Gallagher at the Miami Bookshow in November -- I should post some photos of that, and now here I am doing so:

Gosh, I only took one photo, and it's of me., Have I mentioned that I'm a doofus?




Has anyone here heard of KidJutsu.com -- ? They're trying to become THE place for http://www.kidjutsu.com/> free kid friendly comics on the web -- cool little reader programs, and they hope to become advertising supported to be able to pay you for the amount of times people read your comics." I'd suggest all the KLCers upload some cartoons you don't mind people reading for free to the site (I saw BananaTail on there allready!) I've uploaded something, and hope to do more. They look very nifty, and like they have their act together.

I think it would be nice if we did a big link roundup of some of our favorite kid friendly webcomics. I read alot of webcomics, but I don't know how many are strictly kid friendly...

Alot of webcomics seem to be more adult oriented,which is fine if you're into that sort of thing, but we need to get more kids on the internet, methinks. Someone should do some bold new initiative about that. Not me though, I'm busy. I do a webcomic too actually! Daily! It's my tbyrd character, which always seems to be slightly too sophisticated for kids, slightly too childlike for adults. I'm in one of those gray zones you hear so much about. Check out the ""Has anyone here heard of KidJutsu.com -- ? They're trying to become THE place for free kid friendly comics on the web -- cool little reader programs, and they hope to become advertising supported to be able to pay you for the amount of times people read your comics."
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How's everybody doing finances wise? This stupid economy thing is getting everybody down, I'm sure, but nobody's in any dire trouble right? We all love comics to death, and I'm sure would be doing them even if it was impossible to make any money on them (just less often because of boring day jobs) but I really hope we can get everybody's demand and audience up into the stratosphere, so we can all concentrate on making tons more comics round the clock. That's the dream. Everybody loves entertainment, and Kids Love Comics, so I think if we can keep on keepin' on we'll be allright.


Did I also mention I'm now a kazoo virtuoso? And I've been wearing a zorro mask all day to see if anybody noticed -- hundreds of people looking at me strangely, but only one person actually asked. I decided to take it off before going in to the bank, I'm not totally stupid. Just about 20% stupid.
EDIT! >> Brian at www.Kidjutsu.com emailed me -- I got his link spelled wrong (how embarassing!) and he told me a little about referencing tags for the google bots to increase your page ranking. I've known that these exist and that I should be using them, but I haven't had the time to figure out how to do them properly. Brian gave me a few to changify here, so they should be working more groovfully. Expect me to know what I'm talking about more properly next time. I got contacted by a company that new all about these reference tags, and wanted to optimize me for alot of money, and while i was intrigued, I simply couldn't afford it. Expect me to get a book or two on the subject and acquire just enough knowledge to mess things up (my usual modus operendi)


Merry Fishmas!

Ray