June 5, 2013
What’s Going On?
Those of you who have taken the bold step of checking out the first page of In Here might be wondering: How can Miriam be in a small gray room all by herself and at the same time also be in a hotel room with Clayton? Well, the easy answer is, “Because anything can happen in comic strips!” A more cryptic answer would be “Just wait and see... all (or at least some) will be revealed.” But the answer I’m going with is: “Don’t worry about it right now. You can read Out There as if In Here doesn’t exist.” Actually, all three answers are valid. The In Here story begins immediately after the last black and white Out There strip... but Out There’s continuity is not affected by it. Still confused? Give it some time... I think you’ll settle into it eventually.
This Friday, Miriam will all of a sudden pop up in Cliché Flambé as well. I think it will be clear from the get-go that Cliché Flambé is a separate continuity altogether. In Out There and In Here, you (the reader) have been peeking into Miriam’s world, undetected. Cliché Flambé gives her a chance to peek back and address you directly. You’ll see. If you have problems with any of this, you know where to find me.
May 18, 2013
New Sites Are Live!
There’s not much there yet, but my two new comics, IN HERE and CLICHÉ FLAMBÉ now have their own websites, as well as their own RSS feeds and Facebook pages. Both comics debut the first week in June.
May 15, 2013
I Should Have Known Better
You know, it just doesn’t do any good to announce things two months in advance, because you’re just asking for things to up and make your announcement turn to poop.
Forget about the update schedule I announced on April 19. It’s poop.
Forget about the claim I made that I was debuting a new comic in June. It’s not exactly poop, because I still am debuting a new comic in June… but that doesn’t really tell the story, because I am, in fact, debuting TWO NEW COMICS IN JUNE!
I know, it’s crazy... but I came up with another idea for a strip, so what the heck... might as well start it up now while everything else is in flux anyway.
Here’s the new schedule, starting in June:
- Mondays—IN HERE (debuts June 3)
- Wednesdays—OUT THERE (spiffy GIANT SIZE FULL COLOR version debuts June 5)
- Fridays—CLICHÉ FLAMBÉ (debuts June 7)
Wait, R.C.! Aren’t you leaving us hanging? What’s IN HERE all about? What’s all this about a Cliché Flambé?
Well… you’ll see. I can tell you this much… you might recognize one or two of the characters!
But Wait, That’s Not All!
This giant leap into multiple feature craziness in full vibrant color would not be possible without the talents of one SERGE STILES, who is handling the coloring chores on all three comics. Serge is a fine illustrator as well (his DeviantArt account can be viewed here). I am excited to be working with him.
But Wait, Even That’s Not All!
I’ll be making an announcement about the new Out There book soon. There are some details to be ironed out… such as me actually working on it instead of creating new comics. Stay tuned!
April 23, 2013
A Ramble In Which I Endorse Another Man’s Comics, While Still Making It Mostly About Me
Back when I started all this (2006), I kicked around the idea of doing webcomic reviews. I nixed that before I even did the first one because
- It was going to be more work than I wanted to put in, and
- I found I really don’t like very many webcomics, and the world doesn’t need one more self-important windbag telling them what not to read.
The following, then, is not a webcomic review, although it contains commentary about a couple of webcomics.
Perhaps it would be useful to explain why I don’t like very many webcomics. The simple answer is they’re not made for me, they’re made for someone else. They’re made for geeks. I’m not really that much of a geek. Thought I was, until I started reading webcomics. Turns out I’d just been dabbling.
I’m a little geeky. I like playing board games, but I’m kind of picky about them. I wasted hundreds of hours of my life playing Civilization and a few other computer games, but it’s been a few years since then, and I don’t miss them that much. I played Dungeons & Dragons once or twice when I was in high school, which was about seventy years ago. Got bored. That’s the extent of my RPG experience.
I read and collected superhero comic books for a few years in the Eighties. Stopped. Still have them, never look at them. Haven’t missed them. I remember Speed Racer cartoons from my childhood (actually I think they were old even then). That’s pretty much all the Japanese animation I’ve ever watched. When I hear the word “transformer”, I don’t think of trucks that turn into robots: I think of Lou Reed.
I’m on the Internet, of course, and I’m not a complete moron about Internet stuff. I’m nine-tenths a moron, but I’m not your grampa. However, much like your grampa, I was already married before I ever heard of social networking, so “dating” someone that you’ve never seen in person is a difficult concept for me to relate to.
At my first Comic-Con (2007), I had no idea who the majority of the cosplayers were supposed to be (in fact, I don‘t even think I was familiar with the term “cosplayer” prior to that). If they weren’t dressed up as someone from Star Trek or Star Wars, or a superhero that existed before 1980, I was just lost. Been to several conventions since then. Not much has changed.
(Speaking of cosplayers, why do geeks always have to invent new terminology for everything? Why can’t we just call them “people in costumes” or “degenerates”?)
That last dig aside, I’m not putting any of this down, you understand; I’m just supplying some context. Almost all webcomics are created by people who are into this stuff, so by extension they’re also created for people who are into it. I’m not into any of it, or at least not very into any of it. It’s a different world than the one I’m from. I’m sure it’s a wonderful world, but I don’t relate to it. It’s okay. There are other worlds, and the one I’m from works for me.
Anyway… a few years back someone recommended I check out David Willis’ Shortpacked! I gave it what I thought was a pretty fair shot to capture my interest (while conceding that I was at least a little prejudiced against it, being that it’s set in that most geeky of locales, a friggin’ toy store). I read a good chunk of the archives (it had been running two, maybe three years at that time), and finally gave up. Just as I suspected, there were far too many geeky pop culture references. Not saying there’s anything wrong with geeky pop culture references. Just saying I didn’t get any of them. (I got a few of them. The Batman ones). I liked the artwork, but I couldn’t take the umpteenth Transformers allusion (none of which ever seemed to reference Lou Reed), so that pretty much closed the book on David Willis for me; he got shoved into the “don’t care” part of my brain where almost all other webcartoonists go.
Then, a few weeks ago, I decided—and I have no idea why—to give his newest offering, the college-set Dumbing of Age, a shot. Maybe I was attracted by his artwork (it’s gotten better, and as I said, I already liked it in Shortpacked!). Dumbing of Age isn’t new (it started in 2010), so there’s a sizeable archive; enough to give it more than a puncher’s chance of hooking you. It hooked me. There are scores of other college webcomics (perhaps the most common non-geeky setting in webcomicdom), but most of them don’t work for me, because most of them aren’t written by storytellers with Willis’ proficiency. His characters are varied and interesting. He’s funny. His Dumbing of Age world is a bit more fantastic than Out There’s both-feet-always-on-damn-ground backdrop, but I still found it relatable, and only slightly (palatably, in my case) geeky.
Okay, but the problem is, I ran out of Dumbing of Age strips to read before I wanted to. And Willis only provides updates, at most, once a day, the selfish bastard. So where could I go from there? Certainly this didn’t mean I had to give that geek-o-rama Shortpacked! another shot, did it? Did it?
It did. And damn it all, I liked it this time. There are still far too many strips about stuff (e.g., Transformers) I don’t care about, but when Willis is developing engaging characters and riveting plotlines, he’s among the best. Sometimes the story gets a little too comic book-y for my tastes, but that’s me, Mr. Stick-In-The-Mud-I-Can-Only-Hang-If-It’s-Something-That-Could-Really-Happen. It doesn’t matter. I’m hooked anyway, years after writing him off, on two of David Willis’ webcomics.
Not that he needs my endorsement. He’s been at this game forever (he’s been drawing webcomics since the 90’s), and he has many, many more readers than I do. Heck, you’re probably already one of them. But if you’re not, I wholeheartedly recommend Shortpacked! and Dumbing of Age.
Oh, and a nod to T Campbell, who if memory serves was the one who told me to check out Shortpacked! lo those many years ago. You were right, T.
Next post: More stuff about ME™!
April 19, 2013
What I really meant to say was… (Part Two)
Y’know what? Forget that crazy alternating schedule I announced two weeks ago. I’m already discovering that people are confused by it, and since I have THE MOST INTELLIGENT READERS IN THE WORLD™, that’s a bad sign. So here’s the new schedule:
- Mondays and Thursdays: the new comic (URL to be announced soon)
- Tuesdays and Fridays: Out There
So it’ll be FOUR, not three, comics a week beginning in May. IN COLOR!
April 2, 2013
What I really meant to say was…
June. Not May. June. The new Out There will launch in June.
I noticed the mistake yesterday, but because it was STUPID-ASS APRIL FOOL’S DAY, I held off until today to make the errata announcement, lest everyone think the whole thing was just ONE BIG JOKE. It’s not.
Actually, today I have a little more clarity on the timetable, so here it is…
- Out There will continue to update five days a week through Friday, May 31, 2013.
- The new comic will debut Monday, June 3, 2013.
- The new Out There will debut Wednesday, June 5, 2013.
- After that, updates will go: new comic, June 7; Out There, June 10; new comic, June 12; Out There, June 14, etc. Get it?
New comics every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with updates alternating between the two strips.
March 31, 2013
Hey! What’s Going On Here?
Things are happening! The website re-design is merely the most conspicuous development; more changes are on the horizon.
Let’s go through them one by one, shall we?
Facebook Comments system
Assuming everything loaded correctly (always a dangerous assumption; you may need to refresh a few times), you'll notice I've installed a Facebook-driven comments area. All the other kids are doing it, so I figured why not. If you're one of the five people who still like posting to forums, don’t panic: I haven't deleted the Out There forum. There’s no longer a link to it on the home page (due to the fact that only five people use it), but you can still get there by clicking on the “More” button on the navigation bar. It’ll take you to a page of links, one of which takes you to that dusty ol’ Out There forum.
The Next Book
There will indeed be an seventh Out There book. However, the other things I’m working on (I’ll get to those in a minute) may necessitate a delay in the book’s publication. That means it may not be ready in time for the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con. I’m going to try to get it done, but that’s all I can promise. I don’t want to deliver a half-assed book that skimps on original material, so it may have to wait a few months longer than usual.
The New Out There
On or around May 1, Out There will be changing. There are reasons for the change, of course, but rather than editorializing, I’ll just present the facts:
- New updates will alternate between once a week and twice a week (usually six or seven times a month).
- The new Out There will be much larger than the daily strip has been, more like a comic book page.
- It will be in color!
A New Comic!
I wouldn’t just cut three to four days a week’s worth of comics without compensating in some way, would I? Heck, no. Concurrent with Out There’s revamping, I’ll be launching a second, all-new comic on its own shiny new web site (courtesy of Keenspot, of course). This strip will run twice a week on the weeks that Out There runs once, and once a week during the weeks Out There runs twice. So you’ll get three new comics each week—in color! Keep watching this space for more news!