Saturday, September 1, 2012

Brett Ratner directing Justice League?

This is a rumor. I really hope it is ONLY a rumor, because I have nothing more to say about this than:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Hi there. Remember me? No? I've been gone a long time? Yeah, you're right. I gave up updating the site a good while ago, because I was having a difficult time keeping up with, at the time, what was like three webcomics that updated every week AND this site. I had to put the Asylum on the ole back burner, and focus on the comics. But since then, a few, well, all of them except Captain Ahole have basically ended. So, with that said, I am going to start updating this site again with the occasional new webcomic review, maybe some interviews when I can get them, and news when there is any. Oh, and something new. NEW? That's always good, right? I hope so. So what is it?

Well, I recently, well, with the beginning of the DC comics New 52 initiative, started buying and reading comics again. Not to collect, but to just plain old read for the fun on it. I haven't read comic books in years, at least ten. But this new 52 was going to have a fresh start! I figured, wow, that means I can get in on the ground floor, and not have to know all of this back story, and all of these things that have happened to these characters in all of those years past. This was a godsend for me. I was always a DC guy(my brother is a Marvel dude, grrrr), and here was my ticket in! So yeah, I bought a bunch of the new number ones, and from there, got back into comics, even trying out some Image and Dark Horse stuff on the side. I'm back with full force, and loving it! Okay, that was enough explaining. The new thing will be some comic reviews! Not just webcomics, but comic books published by the big guys. Even some smaller independent stuff when I try em out. I dunno, just some part of me has always liked giving my opinion on this stuff(it's why I have this site, right?), so why not expand it a bit to include non digital only. Comics are comics!

Okay, there you have it. I'll be writing some short comic reviews, probably every week, letting you know what I think about the comics that I buy. I hope they can coexist peacefully on the site, and I hope that you enjoy my ramblings as much as I enjoy writing typing them out. Come back often!-Jack

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview: Ben Chamberlain of Supermassive Black Hole A*!

Hello, and welcome to another interview, this time with Supermassive Black Hole A* and The Princess and the Giant creator Ben Chamberlain! We'll be keeping any webcomic questions on Supermassive for this interview, but who knows about the future? Read on to probe this guys brain like he were an abductee, and I were the little grey alien dude jabbing him with sharp, shiny things...

1. So, tell us the gist of your comic, and why this idea appealed to you, as a writer.

The basic idea is telling stories of people living at the center of our galaxy, which is in theory an area of relatively close-together star systems and intense energies. I thought this would be a fun setting for adventure stories because a) you can have people travel to other stars without having to resort to completely made-up stuff like hyperdrive, and b) it's a harsh yet potentially highly profitable environment, and that's just the thing for gritty adventures!

2. Why go the black and white route, as opposed to full on color?

It's faster! ;) It also suits the sort of noir space theme I'd like to hit. I suppose though the real reason is that when I started the comic, it was an animated thing that was basically composed in animated .gif format, which only supports 256 colors, so you need to be black and white--or at least monotone--to be able to do that smoothly.

3. Your comic has a pretty unique approach to storytelling. What made you decide to use this

Before A*, I was the live game designer for an MMO called "The Matrix Online." Over the course of that project, the budget we had for our periodic, story-driving cinematics ran out, and to fill that void I started making the cinematics myself, as (really big) animated .GIFs. After that project, I thought I'd try something similar on my own, so A* started out as an animated webcomic; but I found it hard to reach an audience in that format, so eventually started putting out my daily animation work as still screenshots, essentially, in static webcomic format, and in the end that worked so well that doing the animated side just wasn't worth it at all by comparison. But I've stuck with the essentials of the cinematic format, ie the wide cinematic aspect ratio, and single subtitled panel, because...well because I like it, I suppose; it lets me really focus on the artwork image-by-image, and I think it has a sort of naturally dramatic quality that
lends itself to the "serious" nature of the stories.

4. If you could read only one webcomic, other than your own, for the rest of your life, what would
it be?

I was going to say that if it implied it would update regularly forever, then "Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life" ( ), but I see that one has just ended. ;_; So I suppose I'll say "Bad Machinery," ( ), since it has consistently good, intelligent writing and art, and definitely seems like it *could* go on for ages more and not bore me.

5. Tell us the artistic tools that you use to make your comic.

Until recently I was using the Lasso Tool in Photoshop, along with GIMP for some effects such as star fields. I just made a switch to traditional media though, so now it's a da Vinci "Maestro" size 3 brush, Japanese India ink, an ancient 0.5mm mechanical pencil with "H" hard leads, and Strathmore "vellum" Bristol board. I scan the ink wash paintings into the computer using an 11x17" Mustek 1200dpi scanner. Oh well I suppose I still use Photoshop for processing the scanned images and adding subtitles! And it's the super-old Photoshop 4, because I'm used to it, it does what I need, and is much less bloated than modern Photoshops.

6. Promotion-wise, what do you do to gain new readers?

I do a bunch of stuff I suppose but mostly it's advertising on Project Wonderful that seems to reach new people. Other than that, I cross-post comics to places like deviantART, ComicFury, Drunk Duck, and Smack Jeeves, post on The Webcomic List message boards, and unsuccessfully try to go viral by posting updates and news on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

7. About how much time per week do you think that you work on your comic, and does it ever interfere with the rest of your life?

I work on it full time, and what is this "rest of your life" thing? =o

8. Any other projects you're currently working on?

It's pretty much all comic and comic-related stuff for me at the moment. I do a Sunday comic, "The Princess and the Giant" (, I do art commissions for my readers, and I've got some displays of my artwork at little galleries in the local Seattle area.

9. Any advice for fellow webcomic creators?

I don't know if I'm in any kind of reliable position for giving advice, but ehm if I was, I suppose I'd say work hard at it, trust your instincts and don't be afraid to change what you're doing, and once you think you've got something reasonably presentable, advertise!

10.Last question: why should readers give Supermassive Black Hole A* a chance?

It's easy to read! And anyway where else are ya gonna get a cinematic daily noir hard sci-fi webcomic adventure these days? (But if you find another one please let me know, I want to read it!)

Many thanks to Ben for taking the time to answer a few questions for us, and hey, why not give his comic a chance? He gave us one? Thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Buffers: The good, the bad, and the....good.

Ah, buffers. If you don't know what they are, then you probably don't have a webcomic. Buffers are the pages or strips we have already completed and ready to go. I think it's safe to say that most of us, if not all, would love to have a large comic buffer at all times. But hey, it's not that easy, is it? Nope. There are those of us that are incredibly prolific when it comes to our page output, whipping them out at nearly freefall speed(Liz of Adrastus, I'm lookin' at you!). And then there are those who work at a snails pace, barely finishing a page a few minutes before it's update time is reached. Right now I'm proud to say that I'm one of the former, churning them out at around a page every day or two, with an entire month's worth of pages ready to be unleashed at a three day a week pace. Let's take a minute to ponder the positives and negatives(ha, rrrrright) to having a comic buffer.

The positives here are many. To say that they outnumber the negatives is stating the obvious. First, you can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that you don't have to rush out a half-hearted attempt at an update just to appease the fans. Stress can be a killer, but with a buffer, you can worry about other things. Second, as I said, you can focus some of your attention on other things, such as promoting your comic, or prettying up your website. Updates aren't the only part of having a webcomic. Investing some of this extra time getting your "product" more in the public eye is just as important, if a goal of yours is to make this comic successful. Other positives....ah, a good one here. We all, at some point, get burnt out to some degree. Having a buffer gives you a chance to take a short break and assess where you're at, and where you're going, if you ever get to that point. I've been there, with no buffer, and it nearly broke me, because I had nothing to put up, so I would just sketch out a bad drawing of my characters holding a sign saying, "sorry, no update". LAME. Fans don't want to see that, and newcomers will most likely not come back. Like I said, buffers are awesome. Negatives? Lemme see...

I suppose there are negatives to everything. Even a delicious plate of bourbon chicken(I love that stuff), if eaten every day for a month, will become a negative.
Where webcomics are concerned, I've been extremely happy with a page here and there, but then I would think, "Oh crap. I can't share this with the readers for another three weeks? AAAGH!!" Yep, people have to wait to see the newest work you've produced for quite a while, depending on the size of your buffer. You might be well into the next story or chapter, but everyone else is still way behind you! Sometimes that can be frustrating(I've been feeling it lately), but it's one of those slight negatives. One other sorta-negative is that if you don't maintain a drawing schedule, that buffer will slip away faster than Jessica Simpson's bikini body. To be honest, those are about the only two negatives that I can think of.

In closing, buffers are, in a word, great. It shows that you are dedicated to maintaining that schedule that you set for yourself, and your fans, and that you enjoy what you do so much, that you just can't NOT create your comic. And hey, if you can think of any positives OR negatives that I missed, cuz I'm sure there are some, comment below. Now, forgive me, but I'm going to go work on some pages now.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Captain Ahole officially has it's very own domain!

Yep, that's right, Captain Ahole can now be found at! I'm very happy about this, as, and no offense to the fine folks over at Comicdish, who I'm still sticking by to the bitter end, but I've wanted to move to that next level for awhile now, and it's finally here. Well, that's all I wanted to say about that. Wheee!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interview: Devin "Ghost" Minter!

Well, here we are, with a brand new interview with Devin "Ghost" Minter, the creator of the brand new webcomic, Monster Soup, which debuted yesterday! Sink your teeth into her brain with these ten mind-numbing questions I just HAD to ask....

1. So why monsters? What is it about them that just gets your creative juices splashing all over the page?

My love for monsters began with Dracula. I remember when I was a child, sitting with my mother on the couch and watching the 1979 Dracula film. It then snowballed from there. My interest with other monsters and the supernatural soon followed. Whether it is comics or novels, I can’t imagine writing about anything else. I think it’s the idea of the unusual. There’s also the element of fear of the unknown. When I was a child, anything was possible, and vampires and other monsters existed in my world. One would think that growing up would kill that imagination, but I believe it had the opposite effect. Through writing and art, the worlds and characters I create are limited only by my imagination. So that’s me--a big kid who loves to be frightened and hates being told to grow up.

2. If you had to choose, which famous movie monster is your favorite, and why?

It would have to be Dracula, of course, since he started it all for me. He has been re-imagined, reinvented, and refuses to leave the entertainment world no matter how many times he’s been killed. Stoker had no idea what he was releasing onto the world, and throughout everything that has followed, Dracula has truly become immortal.

3. Is art something that you have a chance to use at work?

Sadly, no. For the longest time I considered art only as a hobby. But like most who love art, it would be a dream to make it a career. At the moment I don’t have a typical 9 to 5 job, so I can focus most of my time on art.

4. You're told that you have thirty minutes to live, and the only way to survive is to draw your
"perfect life". What would you draw, and why?

A circle. Circles are endless.

5. Do you plan on promoting Monster Soup, and if so, what types of advertising do you plan on

At the moment, I don’t have any plans for advertising in the works. I’ve mainly been focusing on the comic itself. Word of mouth seems like the only advertisement I’ll have for the time being. I’m hoping that once I find a solid footing, and build up a nice archive, I can start focusing on the advertising element.

6. What do you like better in your webcomics, black and white or color?

I have no personal preference for either. Whether color or B&W, I think it’s another part of a comic’s overall style or personality. I guess I can say that I’m a fan of both.

7. Walk us through a day in your comic-creating life.

I wake up at 6:30 in the morning, grab my coffee, a simple breakfast, make my internet rounds, then turn on my iTunes and begin working on that day’s pages. Aside from the many 10-15 minute breaks, I tend to work all day. Nothing too thrilling or spectacular.

8. What are your artistic tools of the trade?

I work all digital when it comes to my comic, aided with an old Wacom Intuos 2. I do have sketchbooks I’ve made; three inch binders filled with simple copy paper. I prefer to use red and black Bic ballpoints, and sometimes a light blue Prisma or Copic marker when sketching. The digital programs of my choice are Easy Paint Tool SAI (roughs, inks, flats, shading, backgrounds) and Adobe Photoshop (text/dialog, panels, touchups, and the final Save). I did attempt to work with Manga Studio, but I kept finding myself fumbling around. I would love to be comfortable with it as I am with Photoshop and SAI, but decided not to rock the boat right now. Perhaps one day I’ll take a longer stroll through Manga Studio.

9. Any favorite webcomics that you have bookmarked?

I just recently entered the world of webcomics, so my list is a small one. The ones that I currently keep coming back for more are “Captain Ahole” (of course *wink*), “Adrastus” (, “Titanzer” (, “Oglaf” (*NSFW*, “Well This Is Awkward” (*NSFW*, “Next Town Over” (, Incubus Tales (*NSFW* and... I can’t think of anymore off the top of my head. I need to get a proper reading list together, but like I said, I’m a new to the scene.

10.And, finally, why should people give Monster Soup a shot?

It has humor, bloodshed, classic monsters, and a passionate writer/artist who will try her darnedest to finish the story. I also tend to describe the comic as an animated series that would air on the heels of HBO’s True Blood. I really need to find a good pitch. That will be on my list of things to do. *jots it down*

Many thanks to Devin for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions for us, and be sure to give her comic a chance, because it looks like it's going to a be a good one! Thanks for reading!