Webcomics Wednesday: 1/25/2012

I checked Kickstarter for comics for the first time in quite a while and found a slew of them to check out. Here’s a couple that I checked out today:


Namesake (W: Megan Lavey-Heaton, A: Isabelle Melançon) is about a girl who discovers she can enter literary worlds (a story which I always enjoy) and has black-and-white art with select splashes of color for emphasis. I have only read the Prologue and the first chapter of Book One so far but it has hooked me and I look forward to catching up (about 200 more pages so far). The Kickstarter project is to put Book One in print (144 pages). I pledged $5 for the PDF version. With a month to go, this project is at about $4,000 of a requested $7,000.


Plume (W/A: Kari Smith) is still in its infancy (about 40 pages up so far), but is a well-drawn manga-ish webcomic set in an alternate early 1900s with some magic thrown in. This one has potential and I hope to see it continue. The Kickstarter project will collect the first 24 pages in print and has met its funding goal. I have not pledged for this one; $10 for one comic book is more of a donation than I feel like making. (I submitted a question to the creator to see if a PDF could be made available for $5 instead.)

Speaking of comics I did not Kickstart but that are cool, check out this update for an adaptation of the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Even though I did not Kickstart it, I have since pre-ordered it through Midtown Comics. It looks great, and I really enjoy Lovecraft’s dream stories, so I can’t wait until April when I get my hands on this.

Late to the Webcomics Party!

Okay, so I read Penny Arcade and I am vaguely aware of some other webcomics out there, mostly by seeing them trying to put out print versions through Kickstarter. But I unlocked a whole new corner of the webcomics universe today, thanks to a Google+ post by +Eddy Webb, who shared the latest Battlepug strip.

Where to begin with Battlepug, written and drawn by Mike Norton with color by Allen Passalaqua … It is the story of a warrior whose mother, along with the rest of his people, was murdered by a giant, cute seal (yes, a gigantic killer seal with kawaii eyes). The warrior ends up enslaved to the Northern Elves and their red-suited, un-jolly master, before setting out on his own and running into a giant dog, the aforementioned Battlepug. The comic manages to skirt the fine line between silly and serious as the warrior learns more about the greater world and the magic forces that destroyed his village and set him on his current course.

Oh, and the story is told by a naked woman to two talking dogs, one sweet, the other sarcastic. This is my kind of weird.

Battlepug, in turn, led me to Lady Sabre & the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether, which looks to be a science-fiction/steampunk/western combo replete with airships that float through the aether, western towns, sword fights, gun battles, fortune tellers, gas-mask clad bad-guys, and the violin-playing Lady Sabre herself. The art is clean and colorful and reminds me of the old full-page Sunday comics from before my time, like Flash Gordon or Terry and the Pirates. Lady Sabre is written by Greg Rucka with art by Rick Burchett.

What I only discovered as I writing this and doing a little research, is that these are all creators who also do more traditional comic book work , so it comes as no surprise that these webcomics seem so professional. The surprise, for me, is that there is such well-done, free comic fare out there. And each site links to more webcomics, so it seems I have plenty more to discover.

C.J. Cherryh E-Books

If you are a C.J. Cherryh fan and want to read her books on your Kindle, nook, iPad or other e-reader, the pickings are slim. On Amazon, there is little rhyme or reason as to what is available. On the science-fiction side, books 7,8,9, 11, and 12 of her Foreigner series are up, with book 13 available for pre-order, but 1-6 and 10 are not there, so hold on to your hard copies. (It looks like book 10, Conspirator, should be available, but it is not showing up for me.) The two books of the Hanan Rebellion, Brothers of Earth and Hunter of Worlds, are available in one volume, At the Edge of Space. Hammerfall and Forge of Heaven, the two books of the Gene Wars, are also available.

On the fantasy side, all five books of her Fortress series are available.

It is nice that these books are available on Amazon, but it does leave a gaping hole in Cherryh’s bibliography as far as e-books go.

A few more e-books are available on the Closed Circle, which is the online presence for authors Lynn Abbey, C.J. Cherryh, and Jane Fancher. It appears to be intermittently updated but it is still alive, with the most current post being from 8/15/11, just about two weeks ago.

On Closed Circle, you can find: Heavy Time and Hellburner @ $5.00 each, Faery Moon and Rusalka @$9.95 each, and three volumes of The Writing Life: A Writer’s Journal, which is “an edited-for-legibility version of the online journal [she] kept for several years.” The first volume is free, so give it a try. Volumes two and three are $5.00 each.

You can find the stand-alone fantasy novel The Paladin on webscription.net, along with the shared world fantasy omnibus The Sword of Knowledge, although per Wikipedia, Cherryh did not actually write any of the included books.

If you have a nook or Sony Reader, you can also purchase Alternate Realities, which includes Port Eternity, Wave Without a Shore, and Voyager in Night, at Sony’s ReaderStore, or Barnes and Noble, but Kindle users are out of luck on this one.

Those are all the books I could find that are available (legitimately) as e-books. Hopefully one day we will also get the first six Foreigner books, the Chanur series, the rest of the Alliance-Union books, or even, dare I dream, the Merovingen Nights shared universe series. If you find anything else, please let me know and I will update the list.

Note: There is newer C.J. Cherryh ebook news here.

A repository for science-fiction/fantasy writing links.

I have been searching on and off for a) science-fiction and fantasy e-books other than those that can be found on Amazon, and b) science-fiction and fantasy writing markets. I have collected many links for both searches; there is no dearth of sites out there. What I have not been able to find is one site that collects all the links in one area. Or if I have, it is usually outdated.

I will use this site to add links and then check on them periodically to make sure that they are still live. If you have suggestions for either area, please share them.

Also, don’t get me wrong about looking for e-books other than Amazon. I love Amazon, it is a great resource, but some of the authors I enjoy reading do not have their books for sale there.

A Brief Search of Markets Reveals…

I ordered the 2012 Writer’s Market the other day, even though I have memories of it being a poor resource for Science Fiction and Fantasy markets. Still, I had not bought one of these books in years because, well, I haven’t been writing that much in years, so I thought I would give it another chance.

Alas, the SF&F section is woefully thin, at 11 entries. This includes Asimov’s Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Now, I don’t know about you, but as an unpublished writer, I would probably not bother with these bigger magazines to start with. Long story short, I found four markets I could try to send a short story to.

This is not to say the 2012 Writer’s Market is not worth the asking price; I still have the how-to articles to browse, and I bought the Deluxe edition, so I can check the online database for more markets, but it is a bit disappointing that so few SF&F markets were included in the book.

I searched on Google for “science fiction ezine” and “science fiction writing markets” and received plenty of good leads, so many that it will take me a while to sift through them all. Now that’s more like it.

Some examples, with the links going straight to their submission area: Lightspeedmagazine.com, Electric Spec, and this nice list of markets (which I have yet to delve into in depth).

I will explore and post about these magazines over time. Bottom line: Do not rely on Writer’s Market to find markets for you, as they do not appear to have tried to publish a very full listing.