Tag Archives: Social Media

Webcomic Review: MY ROOMMATE, THE INTERNET

MY ROOMMATE, THE INTERNET

“My Roommate, The Internet” is a very good title. If it were a play, I’d go to the theater to see it. If it were a game, I’d play it. For now, perhaps forever, it is a webomic and it does a fine job of it. A lot of us out there have created, or attempted comic strips. Some of us, like myself, did a comic strip in college. I peg this one as that sort of thing and done well. Back in the day, home-grown college comic strips were a big thing. I suppose they still are. Writer Andy Nordvall and artist Alexander Neish have climbed on the shoulders of many a comic about young people just hanging out. “My Roommate, The Internet” succeeds in having a distinctive irreverence and tapping into the zeitgeist.

Young people, in many respects, have not changed all that much in the last few decades. Attitudes have changed dramatically. Styles have changed dramatically. And so on. But a sad sack slacker from fifty years ago could pretty easily navigate the same couch and bag of potato chips as his brethren of today. Okay, the big difference would be…the internet! Nice segue back to our review. The premise of this webcomic is dealing with a roommate who is “as annoying as the internet.” That already sounds so goofy that I can’t help but want to check it out. It makes me think of a bad suggestion thrown out to an improv comedy troupe. But that’s okay. That’s totally okay.

It’s what Nordvall and Neish do with their oddball premise that matters, right? I’m thinking a nice mix of jokes and character-driven narrative. It’s a weekly comic. It’s just a question of developing both the jokes and characters. In general, that’s a tough slog so I’m not looking for a home run every single time. I’m looking for passion and consistency–and I see that. Do I see more? I think so. The gags have a good offbeat timing. Neish is having fun with facial expression. Both of these guys are having fun and that carries over to the reader. All in all, nice work.

In general, a comic strip, dealing with regular deadlines, is vulnerable to burn out. It happens to the best of them. Jokes repeat themselves. Material can feel like just filler. My recommendation to these guys is to play up the internet theme for all its worth. If, for example, you have a problem with trolls on Reddit, then bang that drum as loud as you can! If you become frustrated by social media etiquette, then let everyone know just how frustrated you are! So, if I have a gripe or criticism to express about this comic strip, it would just be a very general disdain for holding back and being relatively too nice. I think these two guys are on the right track. Just keep exercising those creative muscles and you’ll keep getting more and more awesome.

One last word, I only do some ranting because I care. I am holding you guys to a very high standard and I’m confident in your work. I’m told that Nordvall and Neish welcome followers. I think these guys are on the right track and you should follow them. You can find them, and follow them, at these fine locations: Instagram, Twitter, Patreon, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Humor, Internet, Satire, Webcomics

SIC 2016: To Hurt, to Triumph and to Be Human: Expressing Our Humanity Through Technology

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen gave a lot of thought and heart to her presentation at the Seattle Interactive Conference. It was definitely one of the best at this year’s SIC. She literally has enough material to do numerous talks and she played off that fact by bringing up one subject, talking about it, and then moving along to another saying that she could really focus on that only to move on to another. It was all masterfully done and quite entertaining. At the heart of it all, Andreen was talking about empowerment. You could say her journey began with empowering herself and how that led her to help others do the same.

IndieFlix

IndieFlix

We’re undergoing a sea change right now. Women are making inroads that seemed untenable only a few short years ago. At one point, Andreen teased out the idea that we will be seeing a significant change very soon with a Madam President and then she quickly moved along since, as I say, there is much to cover. First off, IndieFlix is doing very well by all the filmmakers who have work up for sale or rental. The RPM payment system that IndieFlix uses pays creators revenue per minute viewed. That is the best method to use and is in pace with how we consume content. Then there is the IndieFlix Foundation that brings home the company’s goals to help support the community through public screenings of activist and educational films. One such IndieFlix-backed film is “Screenagers,” about Millennials and tech.

Consider the title of Andreen’s talk: “To Hurt, to Triumph and to Be Human: Expressing Our Humanity Through Technology.” Andreen not only meets her goal of providing insightful examples of how technology affects us, she takes it a big step further by sharing a personal story. Gently, she peels back the story of her daughter, Rashel, an independent thinker who chose to embark on a career in the coffee business in Ireland. Then the news comes back to Andreen that Rashel has cancer. Andreen turns to the emergency crowdfunding site, GoFundMe. The response is stunning. In a brief time, the family’s goal is more than doubled. But Rashel ultimately passes away. Again, the online response is overwhelming and speaks to the spiritual potential of digital life.

#ForRashel

#ForRashel

The whole time, Andreen tells her story in a conversational yet very direct way. “The most engaging marketing is honest, not perfect, not slick,” says Andreen. In this way, I’m sure, life can be lived and things can emerge organically. I’ll tell you one thing, letting go and trusting one’s instinct is what has led to Rashel to live on through #ForRashel, an ongoing campaign in support of early detection.

4 Comments

Filed under IndieFlix, Millennials, Seattle, Seattle Interactive Conference, SIC, Technology

Review: SNOTGIRL #1

Your Fashionista, Snotgirl!

Your Fashionista, Snotgirl!

“Oh boy! It’s really been a while, hasn’t it? But it’s like they say: life is what happens between blog posts. Right??” That is “Snotgirl,” the new comic created by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung. Meet Lottie Person, your fashionista, your Holly Golightly with a blog. Not in a long while have I enjoyed such a pleasing mix of sexy and cute as with this new comic.

Holly Golightly with a blog

Holly Golightly with a blog

A comic like this almost writes itself. Thankfully, we have a thoughtful script by O’Malley and engaging artwork by Hung. When has snot ever been a recurring motif in a story about twentysomethings? Maybe it a comic strictly for kids, like Dennis the Menace or Peppermint Patty covered in snot. But not someone so poised and elegant as our Lottie! The poor thing suffers form allergies. So, she is never too far from a tissue. And those allergy pills don’t seem to be reliable.

I blog, therefore I am.

I blog, therefore I am.

If you are reading this blog post, chances are you write a blog of your own! We’re all doing it. Feels good, right? Or does it? You could say it depends on why you’re doing it. This is at the hear of this story. What makes Lottie tick? What if all her social media was suddenly withheld from her? Would she exist? And then there’s a surprise twist at the end of this first issue that lets you know for sure that all is not what it seems. Great first issue!

SNOTGIRL #1 is available as of July 20th. For more details, visit Image Comics right here.

1 Comment

Filed under Bryan Lee O'Malley, Comics, Comics Reviews, Image Comics

GE Retro Comics Come Back to Life as New Stories on Wattpad

Cover from General Electric educational comic book from 1957

Cover from General Electric educational comic book from 1957

In the 1950-60s, General Electric published Adventures in Science, a series of comic books that ignited a love of science and engineering in a new generation. Now, GE is bringing this spirit back to life on, Wattpad, the social network for stories. Wattpad has invited six of the app’s most popular writers to author a science-fiction story inspired by the six old-school comic book covers GE dug up from decades ago. The stories will be released exclusively on Wattpad this October and are based on the real work of GE scientists.

This is such a goofy, cool, and intriguing idea. It will definitely be interesting to see what stories result from this project. Take a look at Wattpad and you’ll see how you can also take part in a wide variety of writing contests and connect to a most compelling community of people just like you, seeking to express their creativity and celebrate imagination: the world of readers and writers.

4 Comments

Filed under Comics, Community, General Electric, Social Media, Wattpad, writers, writing

Graphic Novel Review: Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s IN REAL LIFE

Comics-InRealLife

“In Real Life” is one of this year’s most intriguing graphic novels as it raises questions not asked often enough. A New York Times bestselling graphic novel written by Cory Doctorow and drawn by Jen Wang, it is the story of Anda, a gamer, who discovers a black market system through the friendship she makes with, Raymond, a poor boy in China. The focus is on what exploited people must do in order to survive and what can be done to help them rise up and out of their circumstances. But it’s also about the avatars we use to hide from the world. As is clearly depicted here, Anda has problems with the real world and her place in it.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Comics, Cory Doctorow, First Second, Games, Geek Culture, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Jen Wang, Orbital Comics

SEATTLE INTERACTIVE CONFERENCE 2014: Starbucks and The Coffee Shop Experience

Briar Waterman, Starbucks Creative Director, Global Digital Marketing

Briar Waterman, Starbucks Creative Director, Global Digital Marketing

Briar Waterman is Starbucks Creative Director, Global Digital Marketing, and he had some exciting news on how Starbucks is engaging its brand with consumers at the first day of the annual Seattle Interactive Conference, October 15-16. This is the first year that Starbucks takes its brand on a global campaign. At one point, Waterman displayed a recent collage of Starbucks locations from a promotion on Instagram. What he pointed out was that, even though the display featured some great locations, what it lacked was a key ingredient. It really needed to bring out the fact that people enjoy hanging out at Starbucks.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Seattle, Seattle Interactive Conference, SIC 2014, Starbucks

Comics Grinder Campaign Continues at GoFundMe

Tom-Spurgeon-Comics-Reporter-Henry-Chamberlain

I want to thank Tom Spurgeon for his mention today at The Comics Reporter of my campaign to help sustain and grow what I do here at Comics Grinder.

It’s a pleasure to write about the comics medium and share with you my insights in various ways right here. I love writing, in general, and that’s never going to stop. And I love creating comics and that’s not going to stop. In fact, I have much more to share with you in the years to come, not less. I am hardly going away. I’m blossoming. But I’m still getting the word out there on what I do and I could use some better resources. Just like anyone building something special, it does require time and money. And so, I decided to put together a GoFundMe campaign. I hope you will take a moment to visit and consider making a donation, any bit will help this campaign along. You can find it right HERE.

And, say, later on today or the next day, you think to yourself, “Yeah, I think I will help out Henry Chamberlain continue to grow and expand all the things he does at Comics Grinder,” well, the campaign is easy to find. You can Google it. Or just remember the site’s name, GoFundMe.com, followed by my site’s name with a hyphen in between:

gofundme-comics-grinder

Crowdfunding is an essential tool these days. I could really use your help. Thank you! You can find all the details here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Crowdfunding, GoFundMe, Henry Chamberlain, The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon

WE ARE COMICS

Fantagraphics Books shows support for We Are Comics

Fantagraphics Books shows support for We Are Comics

In the aftermath from a recent incident that rocked the comics industry, something good emerges. Welcome to We Are Comics.

Here are the details from Metafilter.com:

We are comics. When former DC Comics editor Janelle Asselin wrote a scathing critique of the art on the company’s new “Teen Titans” book, the response she got was depressingly predictable: a deluge of insults, some anonymous rape threats and even one (less predictable) attempt to hack her bank accounts. But after much of the online comics community rallied around Asselin, a tumblr-based project to show off the true diversity of comics creators and fans took off.

We Are Comics is the brainchild of writers/fans/editors Rachel Edidin, Arturo R. Garcia, and Elle Collins.

An epilogue: In the wake of Asselin’s abuse, Comic Book Resources – the Eisner-winning news site that hosted her original article – has locked its community forums and started over fresh, with a brand-new civility code.
posted by Holy Zarquon’s Singing Fish

We keep making inroads to a better world. It takes effort. We Are Comics is on the right track. You are welcome to join them.

4 Comments

Filed under Comic Book Resources, comic books, Comics, Comics News, DC Comics, Diversity, Janelle Asselin

COMIN PROJECT (Interactive Comics) Seeks Funds For A Whole New Way to Experience Comics

Kickstarter campaign runs thru May 17, 2014

Kickstarter campaign runs thru May 17, 2014

We love to read comics. How about reading comin? Comin?

Comin means two things: an interactive comic and a brand new open media standard. The talented team at the Comin Project are experts on both comics and comin.

COMIN PROJECT offers a whole new way to experience comics. Now, hold on there, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Well, it means a lot. We’re talking about a revolutionary change in how comics are viewed, and created, by making them interactive in a whole new way. Think more of it as two main things: the COMIN READER and the COMIN WRITER. Both readers and creators have something to gain. Support the campaign at Kickstarter right here. Read this straight from the Comin Project team:

The project consists of two apps: the Comin Reader and Comin Writer. The Comin Reader is for readers to download and digest both traditional and interactive comics on their mobile devices or personal computers. The Comin Writer is for both hobbyists and professionals to write, layout, and publish interactive comics or convert and publish traditional comics in a way that is easily viewable within the Comin Reader.

Comin. That’s the name for new comics.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Comin, Comin Project, Comin Reader, Comin Writer, Interactive Comics, Kickstarter

Review: iHero #1

iHero-OR-Comics

“iHero” is a comic book that mixes satire and whimsical use of superhero tropes to provide some good laughs in its debut issue. I think what I like most about this work is that it’s not afraid to just goof around. There is plenty of silly humor run amok. There is more going on too but it’s the offbeat humor that I’m favoring the most.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under British Comics, Comics, European Comics, Superheroes