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Eric: We're up!

The Gossamer Commons submission for the Webcomics Telethon went up at 4:00, and is on the main page until 4:20, when the next strip takes the space.

I've been anxious for it to go, because I'm really, really proud to be a part of this telethon. But also because Greg Holkan, who did the art, absolutely blew me away with the first panel of the strip. It's staggeringly good, and it should help people realize what a top talent Greg is.

Sometimes, people get fooled when they look at [nemesis]. [nemesis] is highly stylized -- featuring characters that I can best describe as the Powerpuff Girls after they've grown up and taken up cigarettes and alcohol. However, the stylization and chibiness of the figures doesn't change the level of sophistication that's going on. As with this strip, it's a subversion -- you take the happy-go-lucky elements of comics and animation, and you make them subtly wrong.

I'm thrilled with our entry. I hope you guys like it too. I'm excited we've raised all this money. And I hope that we can do some real good.

But I'm also just proud of the way this came out -- artistically, as a writer and as a collaborator, I couldn't be happier.

I hope you guys like it.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at September 15, 2005 4:00 PM


Comment from: Bo Lindbergh posted at September 15, 2005 4:15 PM

Are you deliberately not giving the permanent link?

Comment from: Alexander Danner posted at September 15, 2005 4:21 PM

That was very, very nice, Eric. You're absolutely right about that first panel -- beautiful. And the writing, as well, is among the most engaging and insightful I've seen through the course of the telethon.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 15, 2005 4:22 PM

No, I just didn't have it yet. When it gets bumped, I'll put up the permanent.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 15, 2005 4:26 PM

Annnnd... now the permanent link is up. It's at http://www.webcomictelethon.com/d/1193.html for those who want to see.

Comment from: DocN posted at September 15, 2005 4:26 PM


That is what the Telethon should be. No political backbiting, no stick figures, it's just plain good.

Greg and Eric both get a tasty, tasty biscuit.


Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at September 15, 2005 4:28 PM

Call me a pixel addict, but [nemesis] reminds me of the art style Square used in Brave Fencer Musashi.

That, and William_G's post earlier has been making me think of tunes that make me sad since I read it. The most notable is, of course, from a video game (and one I doubt anyone else here has played, so I'll keep it to myself). The interesting part of it, though, is that the song is theoretically happening at a happy point, and even called "Love Dance." But it's mournful, subverting the whole mood.

I suppose the most vivid way to express sadness is to contrast it with what should make you happy.

Comment from: Tangent posted at September 15, 2005 4:30 PM

I love Trudy playing the building into existance. That was a pretty sight. :)

*gives Eric and Greg both kittens with ribbons*

Well done, you two. Very well done.

Rob H., Tangents

Comment from: SeanH posted at September 15, 2005 4:38 PM

Got to love that first panel.

Excellent job, both of you.

Comment from: Plaid Phantom posted at September 15, 2005 4:47 PM

I can only think of one thing to say about this: Dude.

Comment from: vilious posted at September 15, 2005 5:02 PM

Nice, smart stuff. The art refuses to be dominated by the words, and the words are real good.

Comment from: kirabug posted at September 15, 2005 5:47 PM

The cross-shaped "give it up" tee that Trudy's wearing is a nice touch of subtlty too. Well done - to both the artist and the author.

Comment from: larksilver posted at September 15, 2005 5:54 PM

I'm so impressed with the whole thing. The art, the style, everything, of course. And why I haven't heard or seen any other connection with that band name... I don't know. It's priceless.

Comment from: Will "Scifantasy" Frank posted at September 15, 2005 5:59 PM

Wow. Eric, you and Greg have serious game. Well done. Very well done.

Comment from: Doctor Setebos posted at September 15, 2005 6:58 PM

Phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal.

'Walking on Sunshine' indeed... =D

Comment from: JDanRyan posted at September 15, 2005 9:24 PM

Greg definitely outdid himself, I grant you that. It's some of the best stuff of his I've seen.

I gota say, though, that punchline... OUCH! Good one, but man...

Comment from: Rothul posted at September 15, 2005 11:40 PM

Excellent comic sirs...

Of course, at this point of in telethon, I'm starting to wonder what the over-under on "Comics featuring angry main character of strip violently threatening people into donation, before being calmed by supporting character" is. :-P

I kid of course, kudos to all involved.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 12:34 AM

JDanRyan: Not all that much better than the odds on more "Bush Doesn't Like (insert plural noun here)" lame jokes.

(I didn't get that joke until I found a video still on, of all things, a parody M:tG card set...)

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at September 16, 2005 1:14 AM

"Like it", you ask? Do I like it? Mr. Burns, I cannot help but like it. It's that good. Consider:

The first panel could stand all by itself. Trudy playing jazz, conjuring up New Orleans, but it's a New Orleans that isn't there anymore. It's a faded photograph, gone, but not forgotten.

Then, while Trudy is explaining the subversion of happy songs, we see the clarinet, black and disassembled, and Trudy's simple act of putting away her instrument becomes a visual metaphor.

Then there's a nice discussion about what we've really lost, juxtaposed with a cross-shaped panel to remind the viewers what this is all about, and finally, the punchline.

They'd have had to call themselves "Katrina and the Hurricanes" for it to work any better. It is what every other pun aspires to be. It brings the Irony.

This is what I read Gossamer Commons for. I give you and Holkan each a biscuit. A tasty, tasty biscuit.

Comment from: Frisco posted at September 16, 2005 2:00 AM

Well that was just bloody brilliant! I know that tragedy can truly bring out the best in all of us but you sir (and Greg too) have truly transcended your selves.
I╠ve wept for the lost and gave money for needy but I╠ve also held a guilt in heart. I╠ve been lucky enough to have visited Naw╠olens several times and DAMN IT I miss it. I feel like I╠ve lost an old and some what distant friend, and for that I╠ve felt guilty because what did I loose? Not my home, not life, not my friends, just a place I liked to visit and that made me feel better just to know it existed. So I╠ve felt Trudy pain myself for days now and I felt awful for it but I couldn╠t put it words to it until you gave them to me, and I didn╠t feel that it was o.k. to feel this until I knew that someone else (even if she only a character in a story) felt it was o.k. to feel this way and for that I thank you.

P.S. I╠m truly, madly, deeply wanting the T-shirt that Trudy is wearing are you going to offer it? (Hint, Hint)

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 16, 2005 4:51 AM

Tice said it before I could. In fact, everyone did.

This is phenomenal. I've liked your writing on Gossamer Commons before, Eric, but this is a freaking step above. It's painful and heartfelt, philosophical even, and beautiful. The punchline has the stealth pathos going on -- On one level, it's a level of amusing wit, but on the other, that Trudy would choose a song that ironically refers to the destruction only shows how bitterly she's hurting about it. This isn't something she's ready to come to emotionally unshielded with yet.

The t-shirt is a brilliant touch. The first panel is stunningly beautiful. The whole thing is remarkably well done.

Is it my favorite of the telethon? Well, it's my favorite 'serious' comic of the telethon. I've not hated all the political pieces, but yeah, they feel wrong here. This one feels right.

But lemme put it this way: The best strips of the telethon have been done by Jason Sigala, Adis, and Eric Burns & Greg Holkins.

You're keeping some pretty good company there, dude. :)

Comment from: ShelBelle posted at September 16, 2005 6:13 AM

They'd have had to call themselves "Katrina and the Hurricanes" for it to work any better. It is what every other pun aspires to be. It brings the Irony.

Oh, "the Waves" was perfect imho. Katrina's the hurricane. The waves (rain, high waves and breached levees) she brought in her wake was the second blow to New Orleans.

Nicely subtle strip gentlemen. Gorgeous art, multilayered symbology, and a strip that I see something new in every time I read it. (Though I admit I'm dumb. It took me two or three read throughs to catch the katrina reference properly.)

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at September 16, 2005 9:09 AM

I'm surprised that so many commenters hadn't heard Katrina and the Waves mentioned before now. I must've run into the reference half-a-dozen times--before the hurricane actually made landfall on the Gulf coast, that is. (I'd link to the webcomic I remember doing one, but the site doesn't seem to be working properly.)

Making the connection to the group's one big song, and having that song be so plainly "up", was new, though.

(Is now the wrong time to beg for larger and/or clearer lettering in GC? My eyes, my poor eyes...)

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at September 16, 2005 11:25 AM

Is now the wrong time to beg for larger and/or clearer lettering in GC?

I don't recall the regular strips being as difficult to read as the telethon strip. Maybe the telethon strip was reduced in order to meet the width requirement?

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 2:44 PM

Well, some of us never knew who that song was DONE by.

I like music, but as a general rule my interest in the performers is at best secondary to what's being performed...

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at September 16, 2005 8:10 PM

From my cursory trip through a bit of the archives just now, the font size goes down when the word count goes up. It's the wordy strips that get me to squintin'.

Comment from: Alun Clewe posted at September 16, 2005 11:25 PM

Well, there we go. Another strip finally did do a Katrina and the Waves reference.

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