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January 23, 2013

The kind of consumer information our readers need
Posted by Avram Grumer at 03:47 AM * 9 comments

Kyle Baker has made his comics available free on his website! (The ones he has the rights to, I mean. I’m not expecting to see those issues of The Shadow Baker drew for DC in 1988–89, or the infamous “Letitia Lerner” story.) You can read classics like Why I Hate Saturn, The Cowboy Wally Show, and You Are Here. There’s a Flash interface, so it won’t work on your iPad, but I also saw links at the bottom of the Cowboy Wally page for an app, and some kind of executable for Windows. Anyway, Baker’s got a real way with snappy gag-filled dialog and strong page design skills; if you haven’t seen these classic works before, you’ve been missing out.

He’s even got some non-comics material up there. There’s an animated series I hadn’t heard of with the title TNH, which apparently stands for “Tortoise and Hare”. (Haven’t watched it yet, but the initials caught my eye.)

In other comics news, I’ve been following some great new webcomics. Strong Female Protagonist (by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag) is about young woman with super-strength who’s trying to quit the super-heroing biz. Nimona (by Noelle Stevenson) is a hilarious fantasy strip about a shape-changing girl determined to be a villain’s sidekick.

Edited to add: Oh, hey, since this is a comics, post, I might as well piggy-back this bit on. I was looking through the Dysfunctional Families thread and saw some stuff about the cost of cleaning supplies, and costs of living in general, and thought — have I mentioned Poorcraft here? Written by C Spike Trotman (creator of Templar, Arizona), drawn by Diana Nock, Poorcraft is a guide to frugal living, in the form of a comic. It was the first project I ever backed on Kickstarter. It’s got advice on buying and cooking cheap food, making your own cleaning supplies, and picking a place to live in an inexpensive neighborhood. There’s a sequel in the works, too.

Comments on The kind of consumer information our readers need:
#1 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 04:01 AM:

Rory Root at Comic Relief used to sell Why I Hate Saturn to people with a money-back guarantee. I have never heard that anybody every took him up on it. (I certainly didn't.)

Anyone who doesn't hate the comics medium should certainly check out both it and The Cowboy Wally Show -- and if You Are Here, which I haven't read, is half as good as either of them, then it's really good too.

#2 ::: Jonathan Walker ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 07:09 AM:

Another recommendation for Why I hate Saturn (speaking of strong female protagonists!), which I had to buy second-hand several years ago. Thanks Kyle Baker!

#3 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 09:13 AM:

I remember, back in the early '90s, attempting to track down copies of Wally, which was between printings and going for way more than a college student could afford. Marlowe's reprint was a godsend, and it was the rare book I'd anticipated that much that lived up to my expectations. Although it's still no Saturn.

The only webcomics I've picked up recently are David Willis's college humor/romance strip Dumbing of Age and M.C.A. Hogarth's business-of-webcomics metacomic The Three Jaguars. I've tried a few more, but I find I don't have the patience for many in my RSS feeds.

#4 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 03:49 PM:

Excerpts from "Superman's Babysitter" are available here, in the trufan nexus of comics fandom.. (Don't tell Dan DiDio.)

I really enjoyed his Guy Gardner story, where Gardner calls up the DC Editorial offices and demands a replacement for the artist drawing Justice League. When that doesn't work, Guy storms into the office to issue his ultimatum personally to Andy Helfer, Keith Giffen, and Jim DeMatteis.

#5 ::: Lenny Bailes gnomed at 4 ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 03:52 PM:

Inserted links, sent to gnomeland.

#6 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 04:32 PM:

Just finished reading "Strong Female Protagonist".
Thanks for telling us about this.

#7 ::: Darth Paradox ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 06:51 PM:

I read about 80 webcomics on a regular basis (and occasionally catch up with another 20-40 in large chunks). I'd go nuts if I had to track all that in an RSS reader. I found a nifty little site called Piperka that manages my webcomic reading list for me - it tracks how far through the archives of each comic I am. (So if I go away for a couple weeks, when I come back I'll see that I've got 6 pages of comic X to read, and 10 pages of comic Y, and so forth, with links to where I left off in the archives of each.)

It's not always a perfect solution - it scrapes the webpages for its data, so sometimes a redesign of the site will cause it to lose track for a little while until it can reestablish its understanding of how the site works - but it's been working fairly reliably for me for the last seven or eight years.

#8 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: January 23, 2013, 07:55 PM:

Ooh, wow - Cowboy Wally for everyone!

And if you haven't read it, I *strongly* recommend it.

#9 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2013, 12:29 PM:

I adored the "Superman's babysitter" story

It, along with "woman of Kleenex," do wonders for my sense of absurdity

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