Raven the Pirate Princess Needs Help!

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I really love comic books. Since I’m often stuck in bed due to my illness, I read a lot of them to keep from going insane. It happens. Currently, one of my all time favorite comic books is Raven the Pirate Princess, a Princeless comic series written by Jeremy Whitley. It’s not just a great comic, it’s also a very important comic.

When it comes to “Representation Matters” Raven has everything. Bisexuals, lesbians, disabilities, gender-identity questions, women of all shapes and colors and beliefs. And this is a comic book that, at least at my LCS, is found in the kids comic section. It’s family-friendly, honest, and sincere in its storytelling. Girls and grown women alike can find themselves in these pages. I’ve never read anything like it.

Unfortunately, Raven is in trouble. While this feminist series has a very loyal following, it’s a small one. And the numbers aren’t looking great. Jeremy wrote up the specifics on tumblr and it absolutely breaks my heart to see one of my favorite comics sinking because not enough people know about it. Which is why I’m writing this blog post. I want everyone to know how incredibly critical this comic is to little girls who need to know it’s okay to be who they are. To know that women can do and be all sorts of things. It’s an important reminder to those of us who are grown that we can still be strong and formidable in the face of adversity.

If the selection of pages I’ve posted hasn’t won you over, check out all the reviews and love being spouted for Raven on Jeremy’s tumblr and twitter. Those of us who have been fans since the beginning recognize the need for this comic to keep going.

So please, if you haven’t, read Raven the Pirate Princess. You can buy digital copies on Comixology and the physical volumes on Amazon. If you’ve already read Raven, buy copies for your friends. Get them hooked. Tell them to share with their friends. Share on social media. Share through word of mouth. Let’s just get the good word of Princeless out in the world. Everyone will be much better off with this comic book in their home.

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I have lived in Austin, Texas for almost seven years now. Six of those years I have been going to my favorite local convention Staple: The Independent Media Expo. I love is so much that for the third year in a row, I’ll be volunteering at the show. If you haven’t heard of it and you’ll be in town on March 5th and 6th, come join us!

What is STAPLE?

STAPLE! is a quickly growing convention located in Austin, Texas that has been bringing the best of independently produced comics, zines, art, crafts, and games and more to local fans. This year, there will be over 150+ exhibitors of comics, zines, art, crafts, games and more! There are events and workshops and live podcast recordings throughout the day and live screen-printing of the annual STAPLE t-shirt.

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Some of my past highlights: meeting Kevin Eastman, mastermind behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and interviewing Sean Wang, the creator of Runners. I’ve also met some other amazing artists like Kate Leth, E.K. Weaver, Jamie Kinosian, and so many more. Last year there was also a really stellar panel about queer diversity in the gaming industry with folks from my favorite Bioware. There is always great things happening at STAPLE! and this year is no different.

Who are the Guests this year?

There are some fantastic and talented creators coming out for this year’s STAPLE! Four time Eisner Award winner Gene Ha is the artist of books like Fables, Justice League, Cyclops & Phoenix, and Oktane. Emily Carroll is probably best known for her short stories collection Through the Woods and her gorgeous illustrations. C. Spike Trotman runs Iron Circus Comics, Chicago’s largest comics publisher, and puts out some pretty awesome Kickstarters. Danielle Corsetto is the creator of Girls With Slingshots and has written three Adventure Time graphic novels. These are just a few of the guests that will be showcasing at STAPLE! You can read up on who else will be there on STAPLE’s Guests page.

There will also be TONS of exhibitors showing off their work. You can find the whole list on STAPLE’s Exhibitors page.

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STAPLE! Details

STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo
When: March 5-6, 2016
Where: Marchesa Hall and Theater, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX
Tickets: Sold at the Door

Interested in attending? Great! Here’s the scoop. On Friday (the 4th), there will be a pre-party out at Austin Books and Comics starting at 8pm. On Saturday, the expo officially opens at 11am and there will be workshops, tutorials, panels, interviews and more until they close down at 6pm. On Sunday, the show starts at 12pm and goes to 6 as well. And throughout the whole thing there are two rooms full of vendors for your to peruse to your heart’s content. The complete STAPLE! schedule can be found on their site.

Tickets aren’t sold online, so just head out and purchase them at the door. $10 for a day pass, $15 for both days. On Saturday only there is a Student/Military discount: two-day pass for $10 with valid student or military ID.

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Join Us!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Today’s Webcomic Wednesday is one from the FUEL archives – we’re going back in time for an interview with E.K. Weaver of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal fame, a (more than epic & NSFW) comic about two guys who throw caution to the wind, and take off on a cross-country road trip. As the author puts it, “”This is the story of two dudes who drive from Berkeley to Providence, take multiple detours, smoke too much weed, eat terrible Chinese food, sleep in seedy motels, get kicked out of a Goodwill, contemplate fate versus chance, piss into the sunset, start a brawl in a Waffle House, and fall in love.”

On with the Interview!

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What started you down the road of comics?

I wouldn’t really say I’m “on the road of comics”… maybe on a smaller frontage road, or in the bike lane. I’ve always liked drawing quick sequentials, but never really identified as a Comic Book Artist – partly because it’s not how I make a living; partly because I’m still a very green amateur. Honestly, what got me started working on a comic book was realizing the story I had in mind was best told in that medium. That’s it. I’ve come to love it, though – the craft of comics, I mean. Scripting, pacing, timing, layout. It still blows me away that when you make a comic, you manipulate time with art. How cool is that?
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Who was your biggest inspiration in the field of comics or cartoons?

Oh gosh, um. There are so many amazing artists (many my age and younger) who are continually evolving inspirations, but if we’re going with the past tense, I’d have to say Al Hirschfeld and Kyle Baker.

I’ve always admired Hirschfeld’s knack for distilling a person’s likeness down to its essential forms – not just facial resemblance but style of motion and posture as well. He depicts someone’s essence clearly even while rendering it in impossible ways – placing the eyes below the mouth, say, or drawing tight spirals for eyes. Not only that, but watching the documentary The Line King and seeing how instead of just flinging out these effortless curves and perfectly placed lines (as I’d previously thought), that he took each drawing through a painstaking sketching and refining process… it was like a beam of light out of the blue. I saw that pouring effort and time into artwork showed dedication, not inability to “get it right the first time”. That artists aren’t gods but people who work really damn hard.

As for Kyle Baker: His comics showed me the importance of acting. Characters don’t just move through a scene, they live it – they act it. Just read the first 10 or 15 pages of I Die At Midnight and you’ll see what I mean. His work is incredibly cinematic. Also, Baker’s books Why I Hate Saturn and Undercover Genie – and more recently, How to Draw Stupid – have been huge inspirations. There’s a LOT of Saturn influence in TJ and Amal – building characters through conversation and facial expression, setting the story in its place and period rather than trying to make it ‘timeless’, telling the story in ordered vignettes rather than one continuous arc…

What were some early creations – and what do you think of them now?

Comics-wise? I don’t really have much to speak of. Most of my creative projects before TJ and Amal were commercial illustration and design, or fandom stuff I did just for fun. Nothing I could call a truly original creation.
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What is your favorite medium to work with?

Plain old mechanical pencil.

Regarding your process of creating a finished panel, what is your favorite part? Sketching, lineart, or the color?

Probably the first passes in pencil and ink. That’s when things really start to solidify, and when the emotion starts to show clearly. It gets me pretty pumped to see everything finally taking shape.
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How long does it take you to create a final, fully-detailed comic?

We’ll find out. Three years, at least. *haha* A single page takes between 6 and 15 hours, and a 10-page segment usually will take between 3 and 6 weeks. (I have a day job, so comicking happens on weekends and at night. )

Who is your favorite – TJ or Amal?

I can honestly say I do not favor one over the other. Amal’s easier for me to relate to, but TJ’s dialogue is much easier to write.
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If TJ and Amal were stranded in a rainforest, do you think they’d survive? (And who would crack first?)

Probably. TJ’s appetite might have him end up eating some nasty mushroom, though. (Amal would crack first, just because of all the bugs.)

Annnndddd…. What is your favorite webcomic?

Oh man, that’s like setting me loose in a cheesemonger’s and telling me I can only pick one! Erm, so I won’t.
For strips, probably either Nedroid, Hark! A Vagrant, Girls With Slingshots, or Something Positive. I’ve been following those last two for a long time. Long-form webcomics I like include Hanna is not a Boy’s Name, Templar, AZ, The Meek, Octopus Pie… I don’t think I can go on without leaving someone important out, but there are way more than this! There’s so much love, enthusiasm, and talent out there in the webcomics world. It’s really exciting.
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You can find more about E.K. Weaver and her art here:

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!

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: Top 100 Comic Blogs to Follow in 2013

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A special Webcomic Wednesday for today! I was recently contacted by Mr. David Soto, creator of the following list, and asked if I’d like to be included in an infographic showcasing the top 100 comic blogs to follow in 2013. Of course I said, “Yes!” I love that Snailbird is known as a place for comic-fans to come and hang out and enjoy the many webcomics and illustrators that I feature. So instead of just three webcomics for you like normal, I’m posting this so you get 100 great comic blogs and resources for your reader.

Plus – a ton of my favorite sites are showcased in this extra long infographic. CBR, Major Spoilers, Lackadaisy Cats, all make appearances. And quite a few that I’ve never head of but am now a fan of. I’ll stop giving it away now – go look at for yourself!

Click here to continue reading this article.

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!

Webcomic Wednesday No. 24

Comics! They always make my Wednesday better. Enjoy!


Wondermark, David Malki
Updated: Tuesdays & Fridays


Stuff No One Told Me, Alex Noriega
Updated: Mostly a few times a week


A Softer World, Emily Horne & Joey Comeau
Updated: Almost daily
Suggested by: Isadora

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday 23: One Swoop Fell, Savage Chickens, Sinfest
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Webcomic Wednesday #20: Hark, a vagrant, Girly, Fall On Me
Webcomic Wednesday #19: Tiny Kitten Teeth, Charles Christopher, Least I Could Do
Check out the Archives for more comics!

Webcomic Wednesday No. 23

At least I make it appear like it updates on Wednesday, right? RIGHT? Enjoy the comics!


One Swoop Fell, Mike Dutton
Updated: Twice a month (sorta)


Savage Chickens, Doug Savage
Updated: Mondays through Fridays


Sinfest, Tatsuya Ishida
Updated: Every Single Day

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Webcomic Wednesday #20: Hark, a vagrant, Girly, Fall On Me
Webcomic Wednesday #19: Tiny Kitten Teeth, Charles Christopher, Least I Could Do
Webcomic Wednesday #18: Untitled!, Return to Sender, The Class Menagerie
Check out the Archives for more comics!

Webcomic Wednesday No. 22

Life has been crazy so the last few weeks I only tweeted comics on twitter (@DesignCoyote). But I’m back in the saddle to bring you today’s #WebcomicWednesday! Don’t forget to tweet me with the hashtag for next week’s list. Send me your favorites!


Housepets!, Rick Griffin
Updated: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays


Gronk, Katie Cook
Updated: Fridays


Copper, Kazu Kibuishi
Updated: Once a Month

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Webcomic Wednesday #20: Hark, a vagrant, Girly, Fall On Me
Webcomic Wednesday #19: Tiny Kitten Teeth, Charles Christopher, Least I Could Do
Webcomic Wednesday #18: Untitled!, Return to Sender, The Class Menagerie
Webcomic Wednesday #17: Lunch Notes, Apt. C-3, Ekwara
Check out the Archives for more comics!