Random Thursday: Documented Super Webstrippers

Made you look!

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

This  is one of the few Random Thursday that doesn’t contain a whole lot of random elements.

Which kind of makes it random, in a way.

Huh.

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My New Favorite Webcomic Ever™: Supercakes

Artist and storyteller Kat Leyh did a short comic on her tumblr about two women having breakfast.

They’ve been dating for a while, and Mo has just about worked up the nerve to ask May something.

And then May’s pager goes off and they end up having this important conversation while she rushes around getting ready for work and Mo quietly freaks out in the other room.

It’s real, it’s adorkable, and it’s got a twist.

Pancakes by Leyh

May and Mo are superheroes.

know.

“Pancakes” did so well that Ms. Lyh did a few more shorts about this lovely couple, and now May Ai (Tank) and Mo LaMarck (Shift) have their own website.

I like the way the superstuff is woven into the storylines, without being the focus of it.  Don’t get me wrong—the worldbuilding is solid, and the various superabilities aren’t just a gimmick,  but the people, and how they connect with each other, are far more important.

And I really love the wide range of diversity and the overwhelming theme of acceptance in these stories, which including the juxtaposition of May’s upbringing, which was incredibly supportive, and Mo’s,  which really, really wasn’t.

Luckily, May’s family always has room for one more.

This comic doesn’t update very often, because Ms. Leyh is hopping busy—and no wonder—but when it does . . . it’s super.

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Strippin’ Out Loud

What?

Stripped is a documentary about comic strips.
The artists who create them,
the readers who read them,
those who are worried about the future of  an industry originally based on newspapers,
and those who have pixelated the problem all the way to the bank.

Have a trailer:

 And also one of the  really cute ads Sequential Films did to kick-up their Kickstarter campaign.

It worked: they asked for 33,560 and ended up with $77,550.

Feel free to smack anyone who claims that comics are irrelevant in this day and age upside the head with a rolled up newspaper.  Or a laptop.

Your choice.

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Time Suck of Webcomic Awesomeness

Those unrepentant enablers at iO9.com just came out with another list—this one of seventeen highly rated and COMPLETE webcomics.

No waiting.  No frustration.

Just read ‘em through from beginning to end.

Click the graphic and let the feasting begin.

iO9 17 webcomicsA friend of mine sent me this link because she doesn’t want me to accomplish anything for a solid week.

Challenge accepted.

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The X-Files meet SHIELD meets Edward Lorenz*

Imagine a world where gravity starts messing with you as you walk bounce fly swim to school.

Where a wormhole might open up in your kitchen.**

Where the laws of physics have turned out to be less reliable than election year promises.***

A world where the unusual has become so same old, we’ve made it the new normal.

Where a very special Federal agency is trying to protect us from the things that go
non-Newtonian in the night
and figure out what the hell is happening.

And where it all might end.

Federal Bureau of Physics

The first graphic novel of this amazing comic is out now
—and on its way to my house, via the wormhole known as the USPS—
but I like this cover better.

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John Green Flosses with the Funny Pages

It’s true.
 

See?

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So . . . What’s YOUR favorite comic/webcomic/strip/graphic novel?

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*Chaos theory, strange attractor, butterfly effect guy.  Can’t help feeling a connection there, you know?

**I’d love this—our garbage disposal has never worked right.

***Cheap shot.  Sorry.

An Illustrated Writing Process

Please note:  this post was edited, accidentally deleted,  rewritten, and republished, because I proofread everything but the title last night right before I went to bed, and, confident that I’d finally managed to get a post scheduled so I didn’t have to worry about it, didn’t worry about it until I went to post it on Facebook after lunch . . . and saw the huge typo in the title.  So that’s why you have two of ‘em in your inbox or feed reader today.  

Because that’s how I roll.

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Except for the laundry and Rocinante’s oil change* and running around in a panic tossing stuff into my suitcase like a madwoman, I’m almost ready for the MWW.

I rewarded myself by wandering through the archives of David Malki !’s Wondermark webcomic for an hour last night, instead of thinking up a Tuesday post and working on my new project . . .

. . . until I realized that I’d just read a random selection of strips that summed up my usual writing process, such as it is, from idea to at least the end of the first draft.

The process is mine, but the strips belong solely to the brilliant Mr. Malki !,** who probably didn’t imagine this result when he gave his fans permission to share his strips:

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First, of course, there’s thinking up a decent, fairly original premise that I didn’t absorb via osmosis from spending more than half my waking life in a library selecting, reviewing, recommending, and basically breathing other people’s stories:

Original Ideas

But eventually, after enough coffee, desperation, and sleep dep, I’ll be hit upside the head with find a new idea, or at least a new way of looking at an old idea,*** that might also double as a fresh, weird, and frankly icky metaphor for the whole writing process:

Human Pearls

And then I’ll get to work, knowing it would all be so much easier if my life were completely different. Right?

Then Again

And I always think I should be writing faster and cleaner than I do, and being aware of this particular anxiety doesn’t always help, especially when other people seem to be having a much better and easier time of it without any effort at all.^ Not that I’m comparing, you understand.

Success and Luck

Of course, the support of family and friends (you know who you are) is crucial to overcoming the self-constructed obstacles between myself and the sheer genius my mother is convinced will manifest any second now.

Breakthrough

Regardless, if I stick with it and keep chugging along, at the end of the first draft, I’ll have this beautiful, amazing creation . . . that might need a just a little more work to achieve that polished pearl that squicked you out a few strips ago.

Passion Project

And there you have it. Or I do.

Sort of.

But even if this particular four-door literary buggy (see what I did there?) never gets further than the end of my driveway, there will be others.

And someday, success:

Turtle Coasters

(again, all strips are the property of David Malki ! and borrowed with blanket permission from his website, which y’all have to check out right now, because I wasn’t just blowing smoke about his brilliance to keep his lawyer from sending me polite e-mails about taking down this post—go!)

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*Livin’ dangerously, that’s me—though I may try to sneak into my usual place early tomorrow morning, because livin’ paranoid seems like the safer bet, here.

**Who does indeed put the “!” in his name. It’s not silent, in case you were wondering.

*** Or temporarily borrowing it from a more creative person just to make a point.

^Not you—you deserve your successes as quickly as you can get them. I’m talking about Them.

Good News from Bo’s Cafe!

I survived yesterday—I almost didn’t make it home, since the low roads are under water, random sections of the high road have sprouted orange barrels in a somewhat premature Ode to Spring, and the unofficial motto of our area has always been “You can’t get there from here.”*

But I did eventually find my way back, though I was so beat I completely forgot about the leftover birthday cake that I’d planned as a reward for making it through.**

Let me tell you, when I’m so out of it, I forget cake . . .

But some good things came from the pathos.  My friend has accepted my apologies for forgetting her birthday—whew! Many of you offered to take on the pain of next Monday for me—I accept, by the way. And our brilliant Downith added a two word comment to yesterday’s post that should keep me, uh, fundamentally balanced until I absolutely can’t put off a shopping trip to Ye Olde Torture Chamber the lingerie store.

But the real credit for breaking the Curse of Monday goes to Wayne E. Pollard, who sent me some wonderful news:

His webcomic, Bo’s Cafe Life, about which I’ve gushed here before, made Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best websites for writers!

writers-digest-2013-101-best-sites

If you’ve missed any of the previous gushing, Wayne’s brainchild is a deceptively simple comic that offers a sincere, sweet, cynical, painfully realistic and always hilarious look at the writing business and the business of writing.

There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a blogger (and ouch, Wayne, really):

bella-cant-think-of-anything1

A poet:
carlos-left-wallet

A writer of fiction (or just of a certain age):

weekend-bella-historical-fiction

Or . . . all of us:

gavin-anything-else

I’ve accused Wayne of following me around more than once . . . But that’s only fair, since I plan to follow the Cafe gang for as long as he keeps posting.

Go look through the archives—and share a link to your favorite in the comments!
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*A couple of years ago, at the city-logo brainstorming session, someone suggested “A Great Place to get Lost.” It made the top five.

**So I planned to have it for breakfast—don’t judge me, it beats small cellophane baggies of fortune cookie crumbs from my purse—and forgot again.  I may be coming down with something . . .

Promises Promises

Have I mentioned before that my mother owns a couple of Curves Clubs?*

Mom’s a hands-on owner—the woman paints the walls and does her own maintenance on the machines—so I wasn’t surprised when she started taking instructor training workshops.

But I was completely floored when she told me she was teaching Zumba**—I don’t think I’ve ever seen her dance and rhythm has never really been her thing.***  It does seem to be going well, though, or at least Dad’s reported no injuries or lawsuits.

I’m very proud of her and would pay good money for video footage.^

So when my husband showed me a new webcomic he’d discovered, I knew I had to show Mom:^^

Promises Promises, by the talented and flat out funny Jules R. Faulkner, centers around an upscale women-only gym and spa and the trial and victories of the staff—Fiona, Trish, and Shanta—and their varied clientele, including the Baroness (aka Carmen Miranda up there), who is such an unrepentantly difficult client that she’s almost become one of the family.

It kicks ass, y’all.

While I can be militant against body-shaming, think the BMI is the greatest crock of crap since the Ex-Lax Diet, and fully believe that when it comes to fat and health, correlation does not equal causation,^^^ I’m all for true wellness in all its infinite forms and this comic delivers tips, tricks, encouragement, sympathy, and a lot  of humor without ever venturing near Thinner-Than-Thou territory.

I really appreciate that.

And I adore the Baroness’ style:

You know you’re in that line somewhere, my friends.  Let’s all aim for the fourth or fifth, okay?

If you’re a Facebook friend, you’ve seen me share a few as I went through the archives from the beginning.

It’s Monday, so you’re probably pulling a double shift, Mom, but check these out anyway—it’s work-related!
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*For those of you outside the franchise territories, these are women-only circuit gyms.

**Zumba is dance aerobics to music that makes it impossible not to move. Unless, of course, you’re me and have had years of practice not moving.

***Sorry, Mom. But I’ve seen you play Ping Pong. And I remember what you said about the music I liked to listen to when I was doing my homework.

^Seriously—if you’re on her staff or take her classes, I’ll make it worth your while. My contact info is in the corner up there.

^^Except I had to wait for two weeks because she was still on that cruise to Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Yeah, I know.
^^^And someday I’ll share the whole story, but not yet and probably not here.

Bo’s Cartoon Life: or, why Wayne Pollard is now even MORE awesome

My morning routine on work days goes something like this: Get up, get sighted, get showered, get dry, get dressed, and fire up the laptop.

If I’ve done everything correctly the first time—without, say, dropping a contact into the sink* or discovering that all my clean laundry is still in the washing machine because I was writing far too late while listening to Apocalyptica far too loudly, and so didn’t hear the beeps and forgot—I’ll have time to go over the previous days’ work** and set a goal or two before I have to fetch the crowbar and pry the kids out of bed.

But the very first thing I do is check out  Wayne Pollard’s webcomic to see what Bo and his fellow novelists, poets, bloggers, screenwriters, and caffeine addicts are doing.

Drinking coffee (or tea, as long as it’s chai) is a given, and though writing is the goal, talking about writing is the clear preference. I’ve been reading Bo’s Cafe Life since the beginning, and I not only identify with these determined wannabes, I occasionally accuse Wayne of following me around for comic-fodder.***

One of the characters, Dingbang—who may be my favorite, though I’m not sure what he writes, exactly—runs a questionable answer feature,^ and Bo occasionally interviews Real Life™ people from agents to editors to publishers.

It’s funny, y’all, and simple and sarcastic and cutting and often far too insightful for comfort. I never miss it.

But yesterday, in place of the daily comic, I found something a little different:

I like it!

And I’ll bet you a virtual-venti chai latte you’ll like Bo’s Cafe Life.

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*My personal best is dropping both, consecutively, and only finding the first one. The second one fell down the household wormhole and is probably stuck to a lost sock in an N-space oubliette. That’s gratitude for you.

**  You know, after checking e-mail and blog comments and  my feed-reader and . . .

** Such as deleting and rewriting the entire flippin’ section.

***An accusation he has yet to deny, I’ve noticed.

^I know what I said.  Read ‘em and see.