Twitter

#LitChat discusses Graphic Novels

The Twitter discussion thread #LitChat is covering graphic novels this week. If you’re on Twitter, jump in today and Friday, and join the conversation. It’s a great way to learn more about comics and graphic novels. The next one is today at 1:00-2:00 PM Pacific / 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern. The final one is this Friday with guest author Sean O’Reilly, publisher of Arcana Studio and co-writer of the graphic novel The Clockwork Girl (co-written by Kevin Hanna of frogchildren studios, and illustrated by Grant Bond).

#LitChat is an hour-long discussion on Twitter focused around the writing and reading of books. There’s a #LitChat every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Pacific / 4-5 PM Eastern, with a guest author on Fridays.

You can find out more about #LitChat at LitChat.net and by following @LitChat on Twitter.

Webcomic A Life In The Clouds uses Twitter to mix story into our modern world

A Life in the Clouds by Mike Vennard and Shawn Decker

A new webcomic debuted last week with a unique twist on incorporating the environment within which webcomics exist: the internet, specifically social media in the form of Twitter.

A Life in the Clouds by writer/letterer Mike Vennard, artist Shawn Decker and colorist Omaik debuted on May 31 and is updating nearly daily. Looking reminiscent of autobiographical comics from the 1970s and ’80s like Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, the strip chronicles one man’s struggles with unemployment.

But perhaps more significantly, it also utilizes a very modern device, both in and outside of the story. Each page’s narrative caption is not just a snippet of the main character’s inner thoughts, they double as what he is posting to Twitter. And post them, he does. You can follow @DavidMawyer, where each of his captions are tweeted to the world, along with links to each page as they go live. This obviously doubles as a smart marketing tool, but the character and comic are truly products of the social media age, using hashtags, memes and tech geek references as part of the character’s language to add a touch of dry humor to what looks to be an otherwise sad and lonely journey to which all too many people can probably relate.

It doesn’t always work flawlessly (the friend request reference on page 3 doesn’t quite work since it’s not like there’s a sexual partner request for people to use as an alternative) but it’s an interesting way to incorporate elements of the modern world and a compelling experiment. This kind of integration and live participation is a definite strength of webcomics that should be explored more. I assume this isn’t the first. Are there other webcomics out there similar to this? Post them in the comments below so we can check them out.

Honoring Comic Book Creators #whiletheylive

Tom Brevoort removes his hat to pay tribute

Following the sudden death of writer Dwayne McDuffie last month, Marvel Comics Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort has begun a touching weekly ritual on Twitter. Every Wednesday afternoon, he selects a member of the comics creative community to honor while they are still alive to enjoy the praise. Using the hashtag #whiletheylive, Brevoort encourages everyone on Twitter to join in the tribute by sharing personal memories of the creator and their work.

“The idea, quite simply, is rather than waiting for a member of our community to keel over before we say nice things, we instead do it while they’re still alive, and can appreciate the outpouring of love,” Brevoort tweeted last month to kick off the first #whiletheylive Wednesday.

That first week focused on artist Gene Colan, who worked on Iron Man, Captain America and other classic Marvel comics of the 1960s. Colan has had health problems but continues to work to this day. Yesterday’s #whiletheylive recipient was writer/editor Jim Shooter, who was editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics from 1978 to 1987, and later editor-in-chief and creative architect of the fondly remembered (and recently resurrected) Valiant Comics. Others are artist Neal Adams (known for visually stunning runs on comics such as DC ComicsBatman in the 1970s), John Byrne (writer/artist known for historic runs on The Uncanny X-Men, The Man of Steel and others), writer/editor Denny O’Neil (known for his trendsetting work on Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and other DC Comics), and artist Russ Heath (known for the Playboy comic strip Little Annie Fanny and countless war comics for DC Comics in the 1950s).

You don’t often see an outpouring of support and community like this in other industries, especially when there isn’t some kind of marketing push or uncontrollable event (like a death) behind it. All too often we take for granted the treasures that are still with us, and it’s about time we let them know how much they mean to us. It’s a wonderful gesture that I hope Brevoort and others continue. I also think it’s a wonderful ongoing tribute to Dwayne McDuffie, who didn’t get nearly enough credit and praise for his contributions to the industry while he was alive.

Hey look! A Twitter feed!

The kind folks at WordPress have made an easy-to-use widget so that I can put a feed of my Twitter updates on my site right here! So there they are now on the right-hand side below the calendar and to the right of the Blogroll links. 

The feed is updated every 15 minutes, so there will be a lag. To get instant gratification, follow me directly on Twitter right here.

Enjoy!

(Unless you don’t enjoy Twitter. Then… I guess suffer?)

(Hopefully next up: WordPress allows embedding of videos from any website instead of just a handful with immense (and glitchy) hoop-jumping for the rest.)