Lunch Break 2.14.2011

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Lunch Break is a short round-up of favorite webcomics appearing here each weekday at noon. Here’s something for you to enjoy over your lunch break or whenever. The premise is simple: it’s another day on the internet. Here’s a new or forgotten comic that seems interesting. Have something to recommend? Email us:

  1. Chester 5000 XYV by Jess Fink // July 16, 2009 [NSFW]
  2. “A Few Weeks Later” from Bringing it All Back Home by Box Brown // August 30, 2010
  3. “Dinner Date” from Nedroid Picture Diary by Anthony Clark // January 21, 2011
  4. Various Valentine’s Day Comics by Nikole Beckwith // February 10, 2011
  5. Mari Naomi reading from the “Kiss & Tell” issue #5 of Estrus Comics // March 1, 2008

You’re all gorgeous. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sarah Morean

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Somewhere in the back of my hipster brain an alarm went off.  Seemed like (someone’s answer to back in its heyday) had been silent too long.  It was due for a comeback.  Or something.

Checked the site today and look what I found:

comicspace as it appears today

What could this mean? And do you care?

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Kick It New School: a quick look at kickstarter for cartoonists

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NewBoxBrown-194x300Once my darling ex-cartoonist friend Anders made a Kickstarter page to fund his first album I had to take a second look at this Kickstarter thing.  As I write this, his request has been up for one day and already he’s half-way to his goal.  That’s $400 just out of the blue, which completely blows my mind.  Could it be that Anders is very popular and has many rich friends?  Well, not exactly.

Kickstarter is an internet infant, having only been around since April 2009.  If its existence is news to you, I suggest that you read this excellent Publisher’s Weekly article from Terri Heard that illuminates some of the service’s history.  Most interesting to me was that its origins lay in the effort to keep Arrested Development on the air.  Oh, how I wish it had succeeded!

This month’s Wired Magazine also featured Kickstarter in its award-winning Start section.  It reminded me of specific Kickstarter success stories like the Calvin & Hobbes documentary Dear Mr. Watterson which is still openly accepting donations and generating mad cash.  In fact, it’s almost doubled its goal amount through Kickstarter donations.

I’ve lived a number of impulse purchase success stories, including the time I bought an orange coat I totally didn’t need but always receive compliments for wearing.  Basically, I’ve been a big fan of this model even before it existed.  The fact that it’s here now is so remarkable and unbelievable, I hardly appreciated it was real until someone I know well got involved.

Then I remembered an old friend from far away, Box Brown, had already made the Kickstarter system work for him.  Boxy makes the webcomic Bellen! and self-published minis until he won the Xeric to print his graphic novel Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing.  He recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that earned him $3,279 to print issues one and two of a new comic series Everything Dies.  We talked over email regarding his experience as a Kickstarter success story.

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Interview: Box Brown Pt. 3 [of 3]

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In this final part of our interview with the Love is a Peculiar Kind of Thing artist, we discuss craft-honing, dream projects, and the ups and down of Internet feedback.

[Part One] [Part Two]

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Interview: Box Brown Pt. 2 [of 3]

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In this second part of our interview, we ask the Xeric Award-winning Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing artist about diving headfirst into the world of Webcomics and how he set about penning his longest piece ever for the Top Shelf 2.0 site.

[Part One]

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Interview: Box Brown Pt. 1 [of 3]

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Box Brown broke into the world of Webcomics with a certain sense of wreckless abandon. Launched in 2006 as a Livejournal blog, his strip Bellen was his first foray into sequential art. Inspired by Kochalka’s America Elf, the comic was a rough entrance the world of autobiographical comics—a trial by fire for the artist who had opted to hone his craft in front of an unforgiving audience.

Brown has come a long way over these past few years, both in terms of storytelling and drawing ability. The forthcoming Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing is a culmination of those lessons learned. The book was born when Top Shelf asked the artist to contribute a story to for its newly launched Website. The result was the new book’s titular strip, which, at pages, was the longest work the artist had ever created.

In honor of the upcoming book—and the fact that the both of us were stuck on the East Coast during Stumptown, we sat down with Brown for a couple of quick questions.

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While You Were Out: Dispatches from Beyond SDCC 2008

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Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, but the Second Annual Astoria Comic Con isn’t going quite so well as I had hoped. Sure there will be naysayers who insist that it has something to do with the fact that once again I stubbornly insisted on holding it the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con. And then there’s the fact that I didn’t advertise or really mention it to anybody. And, of course, nitpickers will likely point out that I held the thing in my tiny backyard in Astoria, Queens.

Honestly, though, I think the whole thing is just a matter of building proper buzz, and that sort of thing takes at least three years of unsuccessful backyard conventions to build. Maybe next year J. Scott Campbell will return my phone calls…

We’ve still got another day-and-a-half to turn this whole thing around. And believe me, once word gets out about those discount-priced hugs, attendees will be fleeing the San Diego convention center like rats from a sinking Watchmen sneak previewing ship. At least it didn’t rain this year–yet…

In the meantime, we put out the word to some of our cartoonist pals and asked them why the hell they weren’t at SDCC either, this weekend. Check out responses from Jeff Smith, Evan Dorkin, Renee French, Tony Millionaire, Tom Hart, and many, many more, after the jump.

Bonus: almost certainly the most adorable picture in the history of The Hatch.

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