Lunch Break :: May 10, 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.

  1. Maddie and Toby in 10 Years by Toby Jones // May 6, 2011
  2. The Hare’s Bride by Emily Carroll // 2010
  3. no. 066 – @iamnotdiddy by Twaggies // May 16, 2010
  4. The Wayward Wallet by Julia Wertz // April 4, 2008
  5. “_______” by Brenna Zedan and Chase Allgood // December 12, 2005

We’d love to have you guest edit Lunch Break! Check out the Contribute page for more information.

Sarah Morean

Lunch Break : April 8, 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. Great Showdowns by Scott C. // July 2010
  2. Great Boring Moments in Relationship History by Toby Jones // October 10, 2008
  3. A Dream Within a Dream by Dan Hipp // April 7, 2011
  4. Chapter 16:08 from “Famib” by Britt c. H. // March 28, 2011
  5. It’s the Ambien Walrus Again from “Toothpaste for Dinner” by Drew // December 6, 2007

Sarah Morean

Lunch Break 12.22.10

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For many years I’ve had a sensitivity about the lack of webcomics coverage on this site.  The reasons for this are boring and familiar — lack of manpower, lack of time, etc.  Still, I’ve loved, followed and found a number of great webcomics over the years and until today haven’t done enough to promote them.

We cover alternative comics on The Daily Cross Hatch.  Read the mission statement.  But many of the paper comics we write about — especially the minis I receive — first appeared or still exist online.  So while it’s a little silly that we don’t pay comics much notice here until they see print, I hope it’s at least understandable.  Something about the finished object — a book — begs for summary and criticism while ongoing, ephemeral web content does not.  At least, that’s how it strikes me.  I’m afflicted with an inability to assess a comics project until it’s fully presented to me as a book.  Probably this is genetic.  On my mother’s side.  Pray they find a cure.

When I find something great online, my first instinct is to share the link.  Certainly there are great resources like Fleen and The Webcomics Beacon and ComixTALK that go above and beyond to discuss and examine the webcomics scene, but link sharing is what I like to do and all can bring to the table.

Starting today, and continuing regularly (knock on wood) after the holiday break, expect to see a short round-up of favorite webcomics 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. Welcome to Falling Rock National Park by Kid Shay // 12.21.2010
  2. Tom the Dancing Bug edited by Ruben Bolling // 12.22.2010
  3. Yet More Letters for the Guardian Saturday Review by Tom Gauld // date unknown
  4. Cruis’n USA: A Graphic Memoir by Toby Jones // 09.25.2010
  5. Afghan Life (Chapter 1) by Matt Bors // 12.15.2010

NOTE: Future installments of Lunch Break will appear on a separate page of this site. LINK

Sarah Morean

Comics: Read Them Out Loud

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Jon Thompson tells the crowd about his favorite myths.

Some of the best mini-comics I own came from a friend of mine who no longer makes them.  It’s a sad truth for comics that when you’re good at art and good at writing and good at storytelling, you’re often good at many other things.  Anders Carlson was just a guy who moved on.

Still, before he exited the comics scene (that never even looked to recognize him — which is why you’ve never heard of him), he let me in on a little secret. “Read your comics aloud,” he said.  “Read them to your friends, like a bedtime story.  Then take their advice.”

It’s a program that really worked for him.  Somehow, it shaped his cartoonist’s voice in such a way that his comics always sounded smart and whole. The pacing perfectly broken up with expressive pencil-drawn imagery that told really excellent, interesting stories.

He was also the first person to tell me it was worth the extra money to get the edges of your books trimmed, so the pages don’t stick out beneath the cover.  More good advice.

At the 2009 Zinefest (I swear this will be the last time I bring it up), authors and artists were encouraged to get up in front of a crowd and read their books to each other.  It’s not quite like what Carlson imagined – there was no critical feedback – but it’ll do. And if you’re ever in the habit of writing comics, I recommend you do the same.

Below the cut, some examples of comics read – live! – without the use of imagery.

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Zinefest: the only good party I ever threw

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Toby Jones and Madeline Queripel

Toby Jones and Madeline Queripel

Two years ago, I began coordinating the Twin Cities Zinefest.  It’s a small, two-day DIY craft, culture and self-publishing festival in Minneapolis that offers affordable table space to exhibitors and often includes an art show, concert, workshops, documentaries and an open mic zine reading.

Throughout its history, the Twin Cities Zinefest has often been run by well-intentioned, creative coordinators with busy lives.  It’s a model that is about as independent as its cause, since the coordinator has about as much free reign as any exhibitor making a zine.  There’s no board, or committee, and hardly any volunteers.  So it’s pretty common that after a couple years running the fest, whoever’s in charge just burns out or moves on to persue their own personal projects.

When I took over Zinefest in 2008, I didn’t have much guidance from the previous event coordinators.  I mostly consulted with friends, visited other conventions, and tried to pick apart the attitude and events that make a good convention.

For better or worse, you can blame dumb luck for what happens at most cons, but there’s still a lot to be said for a maintaining and executing a well-oiled plan with core values when you’re organizing any public event.  A con can change enormously depending on the strengths of its location and place on the calendar, but I’ve developed some general, useful ideas about conventions that other DIY, book and comic festival coordinators might want to hear.

As far as I know, there is no convention for convention planners, so we’re all pretty much going on old steam or starting from scratch, which is why I think “how to create a better convention” is a conversation that’s long over-due and well worth having, so I’m starting it now.

I’m sharing with you some of my ideas about what makes a good show, in hopes that other small press events consider my arguments, re-think old standards, and usher in a more exciting age of print-loving festivals.

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