Webcomic tips

I NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Blog it on your blog… mention CK in a forum, anything!?

Scotty Arsenault posted this message to his readers on the website of his great webcomic Commander Kitty last week. And I can only repeat it: The easiest way to support webcartoonists is to post about their comic on your website or in forums you visit. Because all the work we put into our comics is only justified in the end when the audience is large enough.

So I want to set a good example and offer some new webcomic tips (a news topic which has proven to be very popular in the past):

  • Life Ain’t no Pony FarmLife Ain’t no Pony Farm is a journal-style comedy comic by the German artist Sarah Burrini, featuring herself and a bunch of talking animals as her roommates. While she was still searching for the right type of humor at the beginning, the comic strip has taken a very promising route lately.
  • Some of you have probably already heard of Daisy Owl and I’m not entirely convinced that the huge hype about it is justified. But it is certainly among the best new comedy webcomics. It features the girl Daisy, her little brother Cooper, their adoptive father Benjamin Owl (an owl) and Mr. Owl’s friend Steve Brown (a bear). Some strips are very weird/dadaistic, making them a case of hit-or-miss. But there are some real gems hidden in the archive, so you should check it out.
  • DuxterI have already talked about Duxter before, but that was a long time ago and I believe another mention is justified since it’s certainly among the most hilarious comic strips ever written by a teenager. Sadly, it has been on hiatus for over a year now, but at least the archive consisting of around 200 strips is back online. The titular character Duxter is a duck with a slightly severely skewed moral compass who lives together with two equally strange roommates.
  • Another archive resurrected from the dead is that of Alice!, a newspaper-style comic strip originally published from 1999 to 2006. While it’s heavily inspired by Calvin and Hobbes, it never really manages to reach its quality. Alice! follows the wacky adventures of the teenage girl Alice, who shares Calvin’s vivid imagination, and her friend Dot, who plays the role of the “straight girl” in the comic. Its massive archive is a decent read for long winter nights.
  • But my favorite recently discovered “webcomic” are the very clever cartoons drawn by Bob-Rz for his DeviantArt gallery. A lot of the strips deal with the bitter aspects of love, seen from a male perspective. But there’s also a good load of cartoons that are just plain silly, often with rather suggestive gags. Unfortunately, updates have been few and far between for the last two years.

Bob-Rz: True Love?


Second Sandra and Woo chat

Although there were not that many chatters, I (and apparently the other chatters as well) enjoyed our first Sandra and Woo chat in October 2008. So why not do another one every three months or so? This time I picked a chat time so that it’s afternoon in the U.S. Because of this Powree will not be able to attend since it’s 5 o’clock in the morning in Indonesia.

Chat time on Saturday, 23 January 2010:

  • US Pacific Standard Time: 14:00 (2:00 p.m.)
  • US Eastern Standard Time: 17:00 (5:00 p.m.)
  • Great Britain: 22:00 (10:00 p.m.)
  • Central European Time: 23:00 (11:00 p.m.)
  • Indonesia: 5:00 (5:00 a.m.) – Sunday!

Our Flash based chat can be found at: http://www.sandraandwoo.com/misc/chat.html

Apart from making some general remarks about future story arcs I also plan to talk about how the characters got their names.


No book, no merch

I have removed the links to our Zazzle shop and the first book “The Woo” published by Lulu from our website. We have sold a few pieces of merchandising and a handful of books, but overall sales were very disappointing regarding the amount of time that we have spent. Since there has been no interest in those items during the last weeks, I think those prominent links on our website gave the false impression that we’re actually making money that way.

Maybe we will re-relase an extended version of “The Woo”, including all new strips that will be published this year, at the end of the year.


The Elsewhere Chronicles

So you like stories of tweens exploring abandoned buildings?

Then you might also like the comic book series The Elsewhere Chronicles by Nykko (story), Bannister (art) and Jaffré (colors). The first three volumes are available at Amazon.com:

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Shadow Door (Book 1)

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Shadow Door (Book 1)

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Shadow Spies (Book 2)

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Shadow Spies (Book 2)

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Master of Shadows (Book 3)

The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Master of Shadows (Book 3)

The story starts with Max, Noah, Theo and their new friend Rebecca exploring the eerie house of Rebecca’s dead grandpa Gabe. The old movie projector in the library unexpectedly opens a gate to another world full of terrifying monsters and deadly shadow creatures, but also some well-meaning warriors who support the heroes on their quest to find their way back home.

The first three volumes tell a self-contained story so you should really get the second and third book if you liked the first one. The fourth volume of the series, The Elsewhere Chronicles: The Calling (Book 4), will be released in April 2010 and will play some time after the happenings in the first three books.

Although it is advertised as a comic book series for kids, I really can’t recommend The Elsewhere Chronicles for little children. It contains scenes that can only be accurately described as nightmare fuel. The Elsewhere Chronicles tells a solid adventure story with exciting fight scenes and all readers of Sandra and Woo should dig its cartoony art style. However, the behavior of the characters can get a bit annoying at times considering they are facing death and not the dentist.

So here’s my rating:

  • Art: 4/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Characters: 3/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Questions?

Since nobody seems to use our forums, are there any questions about Sandra and Woo you always wanted to ask but never bothered to register for?

Well, maybe you want to have at least a look at (and even contribute to) the thread about really funny or cool strips from other (web)comics.

I also wanted to let you know that I have already written all the strips until the second week of March. Since many readers voted in our poll that they prefer longer stories to single strips, most of you should be pleased that the next two story arcs will start almost immediately after the end of the current one.

And let’s not forget:

Happy new year!

Here are my – not too ambitious ;-) – resolutions for the new year regarding Sandra and Woo:

  • Don’t get killed in a car crash so that I can continue writing Sandra and Woo.
  • Don’t do something so stupid that Powree will <smeagol-voice>leave and never come back</smeagol-voice>.

Yes, that’s it pretty much since I believe that Sandra and Woo is already on a very good track and not much should be changed. Of course three updates a week would be neat, but that’s unrealistic considering the complexity of many strips that have been and will be published.