Or just monsters. And girls. Whatevs. Two of my favorite topics in one Webcomic Wednesday. Because this is what Wednesdays were made for, right? Right. Any excuse to stop what you’re doing and read some webcomics. We need more days that start with W.

Monster Pulse

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Monster Pulse, Magnolia Porter
Updated: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
Monster Pulse is an all-ages adventure story about kids whose body parts transform into fighting monsters.

Morning to Moon

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Morning to Moon, Meghan Penton
Updated: Usually Tuesdays
Samaire is an ex-body guard whose existence is turned upside-down by an accident. She finds soon that rebuilding her life is a lot more interesting than she thought it would be — and a lot more dangerous.

Amya Chronicles

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Amya Chronicles, Savannah Houston-McIntyre, Andrew Hewitt, & Rebecca Gunter
Updated: Normally Wednesday (Right now sporadically)
Amya is a high-fantasy graphic novel following the travels of a mute spell-touched and her unlikely companions as they are dragged into an adventure that is a little beyond them. Ultimately Amya is a story about self sacrifice for the greater good. It is also a story of how far one will go to obtain unearthly power; even if it includes throwing the world into a mythical war between fate and chaos.

Enjoy!

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday Numero 25: Everblue, Machine Flower, The Intrepid Girlbot
Webcomic Wednesday Hourly Comic Special: Emily Carroll, Dani Jones, Jess Fink
Webcomic Wednesday 24: Wondermark, Stuff No One Told Me, A Softer World
Webcomic Wednesday 23: One Swoop Fell, Savage Chickens, Sinfest
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Check out the Archives for more comics!

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What time is it? It’s ADVENTURE TIME! Or really – it’s time for Cartoon Network to get a Summer Refresh! Earlier this month, I was contacted about this particular campaign and was super excited to see Cartoon Network’s latest makeover. If you’re an avid Cartoon Network fan, you’ve most likely already seen this, but just in case you haven’t (or you’re just tuning in now), I’ll explain it to you.

The Summer Refresh Project

“Courtesy of its in-house creative agency Creative Group, Cartoon Network received a summer makeover, with a new set of brightly colored images and a video seamlessly blending the work of top animators around the globe. As part of the 2013 ‘Summer Refresh’ the new graphics feature popular Cartoon Network characters, such as the Annoying Orange and Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. Inspired by their cool new look, Creative Group took the daring step of stitching together a 60-second video comprising the work of six different animators and animation companies from around the world.”

The video is pretty kick-ass. Check it out here or watch below:

An Exquisite Corpse of Animators!

As mentioned, six different animation studios were approached to submit 10 second pieces for this video. The only rules they were given were to stick to the color scheme, include characters from certain Cartoon Network shows (Adventure Time, Regular Show, MAD, Ben 10, Gumball, Looney Tunes, and Annoying Orange), and not show any nudity. What you see before you is an amazing and seamless work of moving art.

The animation studios that took part in the Summer Refresh project were Impactist (Portand, OR), Awesome Incorporated (Atlanta, GA), CRCR (France), Alex Grigg (UK), Eamonn O’Neill (UK), and Rubberhouse (Australia), with music created by Impactist.

Leslie Kleine, senior producer of the Creative Group in charge of this makeover, said of the project, “We referred to this as our science experiment, mainly because we weren’t totally convinced that it would work, [Creative Group and Adult Swim Creative Director] Jacob Escobedo had this vision of several animators of varying styles creating unique pieces that could then be stitched together into one interstitial. In the end, we reached out to animation teams from Australia, France, Portland Oregon, Atlanta Georgia, and two from the UK, and they were all enthusiastic, even though they wouldn’t know what the others were doing. … This project was an incredible lesson in risk, but also one of the most rewarding that I’ve ever worked on. What we got exceeded our expectations.”

Leslie Kleine is a Senior Producer for Cartoon Network’s Creative Group with Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA and has been with the company for 13 years. Prior to working at Cartoon Network, she spent a year stage managing at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN. Leslie holds two degrees from the University of Alabama in Telecommunications & Film and Theatre.

I had a chance to interview Leslie a little more on Cartoon Network’s new look and the process of the whole thing. It’s a really cool inside look into how the design and branding process works for projects like these for big networks. So without further introduction, on with the interview!

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Interview with Cartoon Network’s Leslie Kleine

01. Where did the original idea for the Summer Refresh project come from? Tell us a little about it and how the idea to use other animators came about.

The idea came from our VP of Design, Jacob Escobedo. He had been admiring a number of animators and was looking for an opportunity to work with them in a way that would allow them to maintain their own animation styles. He proposed the Equisite Corpse concept & we all agreed that we had to try it.

02. Considering that there were only three simple rules for the animators, were you worried about the outcome? What were the biggest risks of the project and how did you get around them?

Worry never crept in. We had no idea if the pieces would stitch together but we thought we’d at least end up with some really great :10 bumps! Regarding challenges, we knew it was critical that we have clear communication & collaboration but we were working in multiple time zones so we utilized Basecamp to post updates and share progress. It was a wonderful resource for us. The final posts were one big love fest with everyone gushing over each other’s work.

03. What did the process look like? Being that there were so many people involved, what was the timeline like?

The first stage was music. Michael Ouweleen, SVP of the Creative Group, had been listening to Impactist so we reached out to them about making some tracks for us. Right before the call, we discovered that Impactist is a powerhouse duo, Kelly & Daniel, who also direct and animate. They’re probably whipping up a cure for the common cold in their spare time. But seriously, they delivered the first pass of music and we chose our top two tracks – no notes. We immediately invited them to take one of the :10 slots to animate.

We asked the animators to work simultaneously so the timeline was fairly straightforward with everyone hitting the same dates. The first delivery was each animator’s final frame of their allotted :10, which was the starting point for the next team.

04. I’m a big fan of the color scheme y’all chose. Where did the inspiration for that come from?

Our network design DNA is black and white checkerboard with an infusion of CMY. We wanted to update the look this year so our design team collectively made some adjustments which included brightening the CMY.

05. In my eyes, this project was a success! I love the new look and the video was really amazing (and seamless) to watch! Are there any plans to do this again in the future?

Thanks – we’re so proud of the work from every team. I don’t know if we’ll tackle another Exquisite Corpse but I can guarantee that we’ll dive into the unknown again.

06. What was your favorite part of working with all these people?

When we called to pitch the job, we hadn’t worked out the process yet so we were like, “Hey, we like you. Do you want to work with a bunch of animators from around the world? We’ll email you the details later.” The amazing thing was that everyone we spoke to jumped on board – and it wasn’t for the cash! They were all so gracious and collaborative! Now you have a taste of how our Basecamp posts read!

07. And finally… What’s your favorite color?

It’s a three-way tie between cyan, magenta and yellow. I’m subconsciously working them into every facet of my life though my two boys have drawn the line at magenta shoe laces.

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What Time Is It? It’s… The End!

Thank you to Leslie for taking time to answer my questions and for everyone from Creative Group and Cartoon Network for the awesome project. Everyone be sure to check out Cartoon Network and let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts on the video!

Haven’t done one of these in so long but I rediscovered my love for illustrative storytelling and have resumed my hunt for awesome webcomics. So without further ado. Today’s webcomics!

Everblue

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Everblue, Michael Sexton
Updated: Usually Sundays
Everblue is a story about adventure, camaraderie and exploration in a world with a potentially bleak fate. In a world of endless ocean, a young shipwright named Luna meets an odd and cheerful drifter when he crashes his flying boat on her city’s dock. When strange circumstances force Luna to leave her home, her once quiet life quickly takes a turn for the unpredictable. In an instant she is swept up in an adventure that will take her beyond the bounds of the charted world and into the Everblue, following the path of an ancient legend with the potential to change the world forever.

Machine Flower

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Machine Flower, Pana Stamos
Updated: Fridays
The children who reside in the Facility don’t have names, they have numbers. They don’t have parents, they have doctors. They don’t have dreams, they have assignments. And yet, one child among them wonders about the family she was snatched away from, about the name they surely gave her… And she dreams. She dreams about an ordinary life and what’s waiting for her on the other side of the wall that imprisons her. Fresh air, freedom… delicious food. Machine Flower follows 9-01’s struggle to claim the human identity that was denied her by the scientists, who see her as nothing more than a weapon to be used in the righteous battle against the villains who would terrorize their nation. But is the selfish need for personal freedom worth sacrificing the safety of millions?

The Intrepid Girlbot

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The Intrepid Girlbot, Diana Nock
Updated: Tuesdays & Fridays
Girlbot lives in a big house in a world with no people, just forest critters and other robots. But she’s unique, and therefore, alone. She’s on a constant quest to be a ‘good girl’ whatever that really means. Despite living with a few other robotic companions, she’s still isolated and reaches out to others in her own awkward way.

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday Hourly Comic Special: Emily Carroll, Dani Jones, Jess Fink
Webcomic Wednesday 24: Wondermark, Stuff No One Told Me, A Softer World
Webcomic Wednesday 23: One Swoop Fell, Savage Chickens, Sinfest
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Check out the Archives for more comics!

Webcomic Wednesday: The Hourly Comic Day Special!

Webcomic Wednesday is back folks! And today we have a special feature – today I am showing off some of the comic artists that took part in Hourly Comic Day on February 1st. While I was at work and couldn’t participate myself, I still enjoyed watching what other artists came up with, and I’m sure you will to!

Emily Carroll

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Hourly Comic: Em Carroll Blog
Website: www
Twitter: @emilyterrible

Dani Jones

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Hourly Comic: Dani Draws
Website: www
Twitter: @danidraws

Jess Fink

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Hourly Comic: finkenstein
Website: www
Twitter: @jessfink

Enjoy!

I don’t really bake cookies with Neil in this post. I’d like to. But I didn’t – I just liked the title. (Neil, if you’d like to bake cookies with me, or would like me to send you some cookies, just tell me your favorite kind and you’ve got it.)

I spent most of this weekend in my pajamas. Yesterday, I finally got up, got dressed, and ran errands with Ash in town, but as soon as we were home, I was back in my PJs. (Honestly, I think if more people spent weekends in their PJs, we’d be a happier humanity.) Despite the happy PJ time, my spirits were low.

In fact, I’ve been moping for the past few hours about Things That Suck when, out of nowhere, while reading Mr. Neil Gaiman’s Magical Tumblr, I felt this brilliant moment of clarity, as if a breeze had blown the clouds across the sky and a bright star (or possibly Venus) had suddenly winked into existence and brought with it a shining, glorious epiphany. An epiphany that lit up my mind and the night like a million fireflies and then. And then. Well. Then it blinked out. Just as quickly. Unfortunately I wasn’t really able to decipher what the epiphany as a whole was about, but I could see, just around the edges, words. And THAT meant something to me.

You see, ever since I was laid off in April, I have been slowly (and quickly), embracing many of my old hobbies. Things that at one point in my life, made me ME. Painting is one of them. I’ve been painting and drawing and sketching again and it’s ALL I ever want to do anymore. Oh I’ve missed it. I’ve also been baking. Cookies, brownies, yummy little chocolate chip bars oozing with caramel, goodies that will clog your pores and leave you guzzling milk from the carton. And I’ve been gardening. We have fourteen happy little okra plants in the front yard and a brand new garden bed in the back ready for planting. I’ve been playing video games, catching up on cooking shows, hanging out with Ash. So many wonderful things to bring me back to ME, but I have yet to do what I spent five years of college doing in order to get my Creative Writing degree.

Write.

I’m constantly jealous of my friend Meg of Bow Ties are Cool because all she does is write. She writes and writes and writes about writing and she’s wonderful at it and I wish I had her dedication and enthusiasm. But why don’t I? Why is that I sit here and wish it but don’t do it? What’s stopping me?

NOTHING.

And it’s that NOTHING that came to me while reading Neil’s many insightful responses to people asking him writing advice all the time. (Was that the epiphany? Maybe…) Neither him nor Meg ask for permission from anyone to write. They just do it. I’ve been sitting here waiting for someone to tell me that it’s okay to just sit and write. My fear is in the sitting part I think. I hate just sitting because I’m scared that it will look like I’m not doing anything. Like I’m just sitting. Staring at paper. Or a blank computer screen. And don’t ask me why I feel that doing design and development work is different – it just is. It’s for other people, at least that work. Even painting is for others – it’s for my shop. But writing? It’s not for anyone but myself. Even blogging is for the most part. It’s writing for myself, my thoughts, my beliefs, my stories. So it gets pushed away. Even as I write this, it has taken two days to write because I feel guilty writing it and keep stopping to do something else.

So how do writers stop feeling guilty for doing something that’s mostly for themselves? How do you get over your fear that people will think you aren’t a proper, productive member of society if you just write?

In school, I had classes that I was SUPPOSED to write in. And it made me happy. I was supposed to do it. Nobody could stop me, so I let myself just sit and write and the world was good and I was happy because I was MAKING THINGS UP and that was my JOB. Now? Not so much. So despite all the activities I’m doing to be ME, I’m still not entirely ME. Does this make sense? See, now I’m just writing to write. Because I like it. Blah blah blah I’m writing and nobody is in the room to stop me. Blah. WRITING.

Alright. So there’s my question. And there are my thoughts. All written down nicely for you. Now, I’m feeling guilty and unproductive so I’m going to go bake. Cookies. For Neil. Or Meg. Or for my girlfriend because she would probably be the one most likely to eat them considering she’s the only one in Texas. Go me.

THE END.