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Blogger Book Deals- But for Webcomics?

Remember when Jessica Cutler signed a 250,000 dollar book deal, and when Tucker Max’s smarmy grin was plastered over airport bookstores coast to coast? Well, it seems that 2005’s mania for internet content providers is finally trickling down to those … Read More

By / March 13, 2007

Remember when Jessica Cutler signed a 250,000 dollar book deal, and when Tucker Max’s smarmy grin was plastered over airport bookstores coast to coast? Well, it seems that 2005’s mania for internet content providers is finally trickling down to those artistic martyrs- comics artists. On Monday, the AP Wire ran a story on Act-I-Vate, the free, daily webcomics blog that’s the coolest thing to come out of Livejournal in years. Full disclosure: I’m friends with two of the Act-I-Vate creators. Ryan Roman shoots photos for Dr. Sketchy’s, and me and Dean Haspiel have been trading one-liners for years. Says Tobi Elkin on the AP…

ACT-I-VATE is the brainchild of Dean Haspiel, whose pathos-packed "Immortal" appears in weekly installments on the blog. The story chronicles the misadventures of Billy Dogma and Jane Legit, a pair of star-crossed lovers "who don't know how to love each other right," he says. Haspiel's "Fear, My Dear," the sequel to "Immortal," features Billy discovering the eighth deadly sin. "I do super-psychedelic romance comics with a boozer/dame sensibility." These are not your father's comics. Haspiel's vision for ACT-I-VATE was to create "a space where people can parlay and talk to each other about the comics they're making" in real-time. ACT-I-VATE members include a mix of up-and-coming artists and veterans like Haspiel, Nick Bertozzi, Dan Goldman, Josh Neufeld and Leland Purvis. The members consider themselves auteurs who both write and draw their own comics.

Apparently, Act-i-Vate members have been getting book deals like an FIT dormitory gets herpes- a lot. Dan Goldman, who won my eternal respect for standing up to the security Nazis at Comiccon, is having his graphic novel Shooting War published by Warner Books. Two of Act-i-vate artist Nick Bertozzi’s graphic novels, The Salon and Houdini: Handcuff King are coming out in April. Providing free content for the digital maw is a noble task, but often a thankless one. It always make me grin when it’s rewarded with cash as well as comments.

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