Thursday, July 31, 2008


That's right folks, it's been a long while since our last contest, the reason being only a lack of interest in the last one, with only a few people entering. That definitely made me think THRICE about doing another one, but I just can't stay away! I do so enjoy putting them together and seeing what you guys come up with when you flex your creative muscles. So, here we are. What's this one about? Here it is: I want YOU to design my next Project Wonderful advertising banner! Easy, right? I know how I enjoy making new ad banners and seeing them plastered all over someone else's website, and I know you do too. If you're familiar with PW then you're also familiar with the dimensions of the different ad boxes. Buttons, skyskrapers, towers, etc. Well, you can submit any of the sizes, and as many as you want. Chimpy does not have to be incorporated into the design, unless of course you want to use him. You can be funny, or you can be serious. You can make a point, or just have an eye catching image. You can use just text, chimpy, anything you want, as long as it promotes the site. Anything goes! What about prizes, you might wonder? Glad you asked...

Prizes. We all want em. But what can you win if you're the lucky one picked? move to the top of the heap to have your comic reviewed! That's cool, right? And of my patented interviews for the site! Great, huh? I'll also throw in your banner for your site permanently displayed on Webcomic Asylum. That's a good one right there. One last thing. I rummaged through my collectibles and found something you might salivate for. An original 1988 copy of SHINOBI for the Sega Master System!! What hardcore gamer wouldn't want to get his mitts on this puppy? After dusting it off I have to say you will be amazed at how many more dates you get when flashing this trophy around. Just to whet your appetites here's the butt-kicking description for this crowd pleaser...
A NEW Sega arcade hit comes to life on the Sega System! You're Jo-Musashi, a mild-mannered martial arts instructor. but yuo have another job as well. When duty calls, you're a Master Ninja! YOUR MISSION: An evil terrorist network, the Ring of Five, has kidnapped the children of the world's leaders! You must get the hostages back...and defeat the Ring of Five!
They're waiting for you with gunmen, thugs, mongos and green ninjas. But you alone have the power of Ninja Magic! It's arcade-like action...only from Sega!
PhotobucketOkay, now that you've picked your jaws up off the floor, just remember the contest starts today, July 31st, and ends August 31st.'re still sitting there? Get your butts up and walk around in circles coming up with ideas! Can't wait to see what you come up with! Go to PW to get ad sizes, and send jpeg format entries with your name and website(if you don't have one just your name) to Have fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Interview time!

Ah, as promised, here is the interview with Fitch and Spoon, creators of the uncompromisingly insane webcomic Thick Pie. Onward!
1. Thick Pie. That name sure sticks out. What exactly is Thick Pie and how does it pertain to the comic?
Fitch: Thick Pie is the totality of out sub-conscious thought and pop culture references. You know, it's thick.
SpooN: Wait... what? I thought we had been talking about going to the diner and that it would be good if they had some. Whatever.

2. Are these characters hopped up versions of yourselves? And have you really ever done any of these things?
SpooN: Weeeell, sorta... I like to think that these are the adventures we would have if we were more interesting.
Fitch: Filthy lies!!! We haven't done much, but we totally went on an adventure to Belize with Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Amanda Bynes that one time.

3. What tools of the trade do you use when creating Thick Pie?
Fitch: Voice recorder, notebook from the Beastie concert, pen from the autism class, the influence of the universe.
SpooN: iBook G4 and Flash. Most of the comic is created in Flash, tho there are some instances where a physical drawing is required. That and huge bags of 'inspiration'.

4. Any formal training or are you self taught at creating comics and art?
Fitch: Read some Scott McCloud books. The first episode of Pie was a conversation I wrote in my first notebook and handed to Spoon who went mad with panels. I soon learned how to trim down some of my wordage, where to try and time jokes, how to communicate to Spoon what I want to show. So, selftaughtish.
SpooN: Let's see... I've been into art for as long as I can remember, especially digital art. I've had a bit of formal schooling but most of it is self taught.... and I'm always learning! I've been comiking since early 2005 slowly self learning all of the tricks of the trade. I've also had a lot of help from people who've been in the biz for awhile. Whoever told you of the room full of monkeys and slave labor we have in the back of the building was a fool!

5. About how much time per day do you spend on the comic and how long does it take to make one strip?
SpooN: That all depends on the script.... and how 'addled' I am.... It can take anywhere between a couple hours (if it's a nice simple single panel) to a couple days... weather conditions and TV fodder play important roles in the time line of the comic as well.... I mean I'm not one to miss my stories...
Fitch: Daily work would be making sure to record any potentially strange ideas. After that it's develop them toward a script on the computer. Break conversation into panels. Bold important words. Write in panel descriptions, facial expressions, poses, F's teeshirt, location, title. Bang out a dozen in a day or two, sit on my ass the next three months.

6. What is one thing that you think has improved about your comic since it's beginning?
SpooN: Most deficiently the writing... I mean I could barely read it before without the aid of a dictionary and some Franklin style bi-focals.
Fitch: Oh weird I was gonna say the artwork, it still looks like a child chose the color pallet and everything mind you, but Christers have you seen the early ones?

7. What do you think about the current situation in Iraq?
SpooN: Yes. Yes I do.
Fitch: -sigh- We need to have decisive action taken but at least it's bringing energy to the forefront? 2012 fast approaches? Learntoswimandstockupontoiletpaperandbullets?

8. If you could do a crossover with any other webcomic, which would it be and why?
SpooN: That's a tough one.... I think personally it would be Wapsi Square. It's a really good read and I've always thought our characters would fit in well in that world.
Fitch: The ones that come to mind are PLUG *Bad Touch* PLUG or PLUG *The Smashing Adventures Of The Bottomleys* PLUG which I have good feelings about.

9. What is your favorite kind of pie, other than thick?
SpooN: Is beer a pie? I'd really like me some beer pie... Yeah, definitely beer pie.
Fitch: Beef pot pie. That's a joke of course, I just wanted to say pot pie. I would love someone to make me an unpoisoned/defiled key lime pie though. hinthint

10. One last question for you guys. Why should everyone try out a slice of Thick Pie?
SpooN: I think we have way too much fun making this. I mean sometimes I catch myself giggling uncontrollably. I mean how can we be legally having this much fun? Why not spread the madness?
Fitch: Someone must justify my humbly hidden hubris other than my moms. It mostly won't make you want to vomit in your mouth. It brings your ancestors back from the dead. Will add like, seven inches girth.

Well, another interview down the drain. Thanks to the guys over at Thick Pie , and thank you for reading!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Floating Lightbulb!

Craving even MORE webcomic reviews, interviews, and news? Well, here's a site you might like: The Floating Lightbulb! If you like well written reviews and brain expanding interviews, trust me, you'll enjoy this site. Webcomics are an ever expanding medium, and we need more of these sites to get the little guys out there. Also on the site you'll find links to the authors very own webcomics and his wifes blog, Dog Toys And Dried Blood. Enjoy, and tell em Jack sent ya!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's new...

Hey all, just dropping by for a little news. A brand new interview with the creators of Thick Pie is coming up soon, so get ready for some pretty creative and funny answers if I know those guys. Also, a new poll is up asking how many comic reviews I should put up on the site per week. How many would YOU like to see? And hey, how many of you have seen this behemoth The Dark Knight? What's this movie about anyway? Okay, back to my dark corner in my mountain cabin.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Updating vs. Not......

Today I decided to go back and check every single comic I've reviewed from the beginning of this site and check which ones were still updating, and which had fallen by the wayside. Well, what did I find out by doing this? I found out that this is not something a good portion of people take seriously. I get that it's basically a hobby, and to really attempt to make a go of it professionally you have to put your all into it. With that said, out of fifty reviews, the tally is as follows: twenty four webcomics still updating; twenty six not. Wow. They all requested reviews of their "babies". It just shows that other things really can put a strain on your ability to continue a daily, weekly, or even monthly comic. It's no wonder that webcomics still aren't considered a serious medium. But, as I said earlier, it is still basically a hobby to most, and that includes me. I just didn't expect the numbers to be so close. And I ESPECIALLY didn't think that they number of comics NOT updating would be greater than the number of them still updating. A bit of a bummer, but I'll keep on reviewing, and hope that the number of comics that continue the fight increases with time. Onward!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Review: Odd Fish....

I used to go fishing a lot when I was a kid. Loved yanking those cat fish outta the water, yessiree. Just something about the impending tug of the line, the excitement of you versus a little critter that can't possibly defend about we get to the review? Nobby Nobody's(Phillip Blackman, for those not into cool net names) OddFish is a gag-style humor strip teaming with aquatic life, but focusing mainly on the misadventures of Lovecraft, an octopus with designs on destroying humanity, and a puffer fish named Howard. Updates? Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The ocean is rife with creatures big and small, far and wide, friendly and not so you would think that it would be tough to handle the artistic chores of this world. Not so for Nobby. The "biro" art(which is explained as being the UK name for ballpoint pens. Neat!) is exceptional. I've never actually known a webcomic to be drawn in all ball point pens, unless it were some scribbly lined paper mess. This ain't no mess. I was wondering how he was able to achieve that soft blue look before I read the "about" page. It's a really neat and simple concept that gives ODD FISH a unique style all it's own.

Even without the biro look, Phillip has an amazing eye for detail that left me more than a bit jealous. The enormous level of cross hatching must take him forever, and every sea creature is lovingly hand drawn, right down to each individual suction cup on the tentacle of an octopus. Great work.

I know what you're thinking. "Yeah yeah, pile on the praise for the art. I bet the writing sucks." Well buddy, I've got news for you. The writing is just as good as the art! What, you say? Here's why. Clever jokes. That's right. From "internet prawnography rocks!" to "giving my mussels a workout!" I got the jokes and got a kick out of them at the same time. While a majority of them come from "ocean" humor, and it borders on overkill with a side of cheesiness, it never quite walks the plank in my opinion. I mean hey, what would be the "porpoise" of an underwater strip if you couldn't rely on the humor that comes from it? Heh, I couldn't help myself with that one...

The writer clearly shows an indepth knowledge of the creatures he incorporates into his comic. The amount of detail shown and facts used would make Jacques Cousteau proud, if he were still alive and kickin'. I wonder if Phillip has a ton of books on sea creatures. Definitely good to see someone with a love for what he does.

From the review, I guess you can pretty much tell I loved this comic. I don't have anything overtly negative to say because OddFish ranks right up there with the best of what webcomics have to offer. Solid, clever writing and beautiful hand drawn artwork. You would not go wrong bookmarking this one and making it a must read on your list. "Immerse" yourself in OddFish!
I give OddFish...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And the slow going continues...

Hey people, Jack here to apologize for the lack of a solid update schedule. I've been doing what I can, but things have been a wee bit tight in the ole personal life as of late. Not to worry though, I'm going to have a new review up in the next couple days, as well as new interviews. Speaking of interviews, if you have a webcomic, and said webcomic has been reviewed on this site, and you would like to BE interviewed, drop me a line at Well, I'm out, but hey, while you wait for new updates, why not check out the new poll I put up, as well as links to some of my fave comics, such as Scary Go Round(love the art), Exploding Dog(love the idea of sending him a sentence and he draws it up as a comic!), Buttersafe(funny!), and that rascally Herman The Manatee(He gets hit by motorboats ALL the time!). Enjoy, and come back soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interview with...Chain Bear creators Lauren Farnsworth and Stuart Taylor!

Yessirreee, time for another all new webcomic creator interview, this time with the creators of that rascally Chain Bear himself, Lauren Farnsworth and Stuart Taylor. So what could be lurking in the deepest and darkest caverns of their collective brains? Well, read the interview why don'tcha!
1. So. Chain Bear. Why a bear, and why in chains?
Lauren: The name 'Chain Bear' does have a story behind it. I can't speak for Stuart but I'm not willing to reveal that story to the world yet. Just be assured that any wonderment or curiosity you feel towards it is not in vain. Despite that, its meaning is not beyond the realms of some clever guesswork, so if you figure it out, answers on a postcard - or an email. Maybe you'll get a prize or something.

Stuart: And I was about to reveal the secret! I think it would have to be a very clever guess to work out where it came from, but I can reveal that name Chain Bear was being used by us before he became reborn as the character he is. The chains provide him with interesting situations, and I feel sad for him often. We used to wonder if he would have been sustainable as a comic by himself - I think that he could, as long as each episode wasn't focused solely on the chains!

2. I gave a very positive review of your comic. Did you do cartwheels soon after, or was it much more mellow?
Lauren: It was certainly great to have our first review be a positive one, and it was also a bonus that, within it, you seemed to grasp what Chain Bear was essentially all about.

Stuart: Exactly - at first we were just relieved! I think Chain Bear appeals to a selective audience so we were glad you were able to appreciate it.

Lauren: Some people don't 'get it', which is always the story when working with humour, and that's fine. So yes, I was very pleased and showed off to all my friends. I haven't been able to cartwheel since I was about ten years old, so let's say I did a few very enthusiastic hops instead.

Stuart: I can cartwheel. Just for the record.

3. So do any of these comics reflect your personal mindstate? What I'm trying to say is, are you two crazy?
Stuart. Well, to start – I'd like to clarify that we're not psychiatrists by day as you suggested in your review!

Lauren: Many of the first strips came from my Fine Art degree, and you have to be moody and resentful of the world when you're an artist. Now, however, I wouldn't say any of it reflected my current state of mind. I'll see something sad, sweet or funny and put it down on paper and that's really as far as it goes. To be honest I sometimes don't even 'get' Stuart's strips at all, I just try to have faith that some other viewer will.

Stuart: I think, personally, my comics are more reflective of my own mindstate in that the ideas shoot into my mind and I commit them to paper quite quickly and spruce them up later. Often, in fact, I'll jump out of bed in the middle of the night and write down an idea for fear I'll forget it later. Lauren's strips I think tend to be more reflective. Though we've made a point not to clarify who made each strip, I think you'd notice mine tend to look inward and Lauren's look outward.

4. How long do you two see yourselves doing Chain Bear? Do either of you have any other projects waiting in the wings?
Stuart: Personally I'd like to do it for as long as it remains enjoyable. Obviously if other life commitments get in the way, it could become a bit of a struggle, but we can adapt. After all, Chain Bear used to update 5 times a week, but we soon realised that we couldn't keep up with that kind of demand. Myself, I also get stuck into photography projects and Lauren is a writer at heart.

Lauren: I personally have no other projects I'm waiting to unleash, not for the internet anyway. I sometimes have the odd idea for a new webcomic or blog, but work and other life activities take up a lot of my time and even Chain Bear is a struggle to keep up with. As for how long the comic will run, I honestly see us doing it until we're old and wrinkly.

5. What are your favorite webcomics and do you ever find yourselves trying to emulate them, whether on purpose or subconsciously?
Stuart: I first got into webcomics through the fantastic Sluggy Freelance, about 6 or 7 years ago. That was one of the very first internet-published comics and I think still is my favourite at heart. I am in awe of Pete Abrams' ridiculously long and twisting storylines that he manages to combines with a daily 'joke'. The first comic I ever loved, though, was Charles Schultz's Peanuts. My mum dug out her old books when I was 6 and I couldn't put them down. I think both of these are somewhere in the heart of how I approach creating a comic, but I would never try to use their style, unless in satire.

Lauren: My favourite webcomics are Married to the Sea and Buttersafe. I also like Dinosaur Comics and White Ninja. I wouldn't say I try to emulate them though. Trying to imitate Married to the Sea would be pretty obvious and wouldn't get past anybody. Though I guess if I do it subconsciously, I wouldn't be aware of it. Maybe you can tell me?

6. Have you ever done any guest work for other comics? If so, which ones?
Stuart: The only guest work we were ever involved in was through an April Fool's comic switch-around in which we were delighted to step into Marko's Roomies (link: There's a good chance we spent more time on that comic swap that anyone else!

Lauren: We pretty much exhausted ourselves with that one. I'd like to do more guest strips, but as I say, I find myself busy enough with Chain Bear alone.

7. If you had to end your comic suddenly tomorrow, what would the final Chain Bear strip be?
Lauren: I hate to say it, but I'd probably have to kill off Chain Bear himself. Like a good captain, I like to think Chain Bear would go down with his strip.

Stuart: I was going to say we'd have to kill Chain Bear, but I think he's already died once hasn't he? He went down with his ship (link, if you want it:! Lauren, you forget yourself. I would probably rid him of his chains; it would be bittersweet as I think he would have real problems with it, like the old man who got released from prison in The Shawshank Redemption and struggled terribly with the freedom.

8. Any plans to compile your best strips into a book?
Stuart: That's the dream! I think Lauren wanted to do it after about two days!

Lauren: Yes, we do. Though currently, I don't personally feel like we have enough 'best strips' to fill a decent-sized book, and I doubt many people would buy it. It's certainly something to aspire to though.

Stuart: We've discussed it quite a lot. I think it would be a tremendous challenge to put Chain Bear into a book form, though I think with some commentary and a layout similar to an art book it might work. I always think of the book 'You Don't Look 40, Charlie Brown', when I think of a Chain Bear book; it was half comics, half the autobiography of Charles Schultz.

9. Last movie you watched and your thoughts on it. Go!
Stuart: We rented the old black-and-white version of Lord of the Flies the other day, which I have never seen or read. Er… I had troubles with it. I think if Lauren hadn't been given me a running, book-knowledge commentary of who everyone was and why, I would have been very confused. I did, however, like the choir chanting. And Piggy. Why, oh why, didn't they listen to Piggy?

Lauren: I'd just finished reading the book for probably the 5th time and wanted to see what the film was like. It was okay. I'm not much of a film critic, but it was watchable. The best part was probably the song "Kyrie Eleison", which is a big part of the score.

10. I want to thank you for taking the time to be interviewed for the site. It was pretty darn fun! Now, one last question. Why should people check out Chain Bear? No, seriously. Why should they?
Stuart: Oh God… You know, Chain Bear is very unusual in that it's such a mixed bag. People who have good things to say have all come back with very different strips as examples; often these strips overlap with examples people have used as awful or baffling strips. On top of that, it takes a little while to actually understand Chain Bear as a continous comic, especially as the jokes are rarely handed out on a plate. So to answer your question I'd say people should read Chain Bear if they want a bit more of a challenge, or the comic equivalent of Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans.

Lauren: Because there's probably something for everyone's tastes in it. Also because you might be bored at work, and because Stuart and I are good people who work very hard. So in summary, Something for everyone + Boredom + Good people = Do it!

Gotta love those two! They really brought some flavor to the interview, didn't they? Do give em a shot and check out Chain Bear! Oh, one last thing, the infamous.....SELF PORTRAIT!!!!