Machine of Death Limerick Contest

Boing Boing has one of the very handsome leatherbound Machine of Death volumes to award to a lucky reader, and they’re setting up with a limerick contest! So scribble down some rhymes and go turn in your entry in the comments section of the original post! Personally, I’d like to see more entries that would double as suitable entries for the anthology itself, so that’s just what I did myself:

A young woman who loved the ballet
quit the Machine with a cheery brisé.
“Pirouette,” was the prose
that had lightened her toes;
She had feared it would be the plié.

Also, I guess I know more ballet terminology than I thought? (I’ll cop to using a ballet glossary to come up with brisé, though I recognized the move when I saw it, which is also unexpected.)

Anyway, go make your own entries! Writing limericks is fun!

Show and Tell: A Collection of Comics About Teaching and Learning

I am on the editorial board for this anthology, and I contributed a true story from my own teaching experience as well! The book will be on sale this Saturday at the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom conference–and for those of you you won’t be at the conference, you can purchase copies here. Full contributor list and sample pages at the link!

Gingerbread Houses Concludes

I’m delighted to announce the conclusion of Gingerbread Houses, the graphic novel that Grug and I have been working on for the past two years. Full release below, and of course, you can go read the whole thing on right now!

How do you live happily ever after with parents who abandoned you in the woods to die?

Gingerbread Houses, by Alexander Danner and Edward J. Grug III reached the end of its two-year serialization on Thursday, with the publication of the series’ final installment.

A 97-page self-contained graphic novel, Gingerbread Houses retells the classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, looking beyond the story’s original end to examine how the children’s ordeal changed them, as well as their relationship to their parents. The story can be read in its entirety online. In addition, three issues of Gingerbread Houses are now available as print minis, and can be purchased via The fourth and final mini will be released in the coming weeks.

Gingerbread Houses is written by Alexander Danner (“The Discovery of Spoons,” “Five Ways to Love a Cockroach,” “Panel One”) and illustrated by Edward J. Grug III (“Love Puppets,” “Glorious Bounty,” “The Bizarre Life of Charlie Red Eye”).

Gingerbread Houses can be found at:

Contact Info

Alexander Danner

Edward J. Grug III


Time for my annual birthday stocktaking, admittedly a week or so late.  It seems I neglected to review my goals and progress last year, so I’m look back two years for my most recent review.  Here’s a look at the goals I posted then, and how I’ve measured up in the intervening time:

  • I still need more income.
    Update: Didn’t really happen.  In fact, I’m probably making less income now, as I’ve cut back my teaching to spend more time home with the baby.  Not a bad trade-off there, since I very much like being home with the baby.  It does look like I have some paid writing work on the horizon, though (see below).
  • I’m going to have a lot of promotional work to do once Trouble Is hits print.
    Update: Trouble Is is still a long way off from hitting print.  It’s fully scripted, and I’m very proud of the final product.  But it’s still awaiting illustration and Shelli has understandably needed to prioritize more immediately lucrative opportunities.  I’m still confident that the book will happen, but the timing is out of my hands.
  • I want to get Gingerbread Houses into print.
    Update: Well, three out of four minis are in print now, and the fourth will follow closely on the completion of the online version—just a couple of weeks off now!  And really, just getting the series completed is the big achievement here—my largest single completed work to date.  I do plan to assemble a collected edition at some point in the future as well, but I need to have a conversation with Grug about how we want to approach that.
  • I want a wider variety of things to sell at cons, particularly books with spines.
    Update: I’ve done some of this.  Most cons still aren’t profitable for me, but I’m also still shorter on books with spines than I think I need to be.  However, I’m finding that the smaller the con, the more profitable it tends to be for me.
  • I want to script not one, but *two* new graphic novels in the coming year.
    Update: Trouble Is was one of these, and that one is finished.  I never got around to starting the second, though.  Nothing in the works at the moment, sadly.  That needs to change.
  • I need to get my website cleaned up, redesigned, and profitable.
    Update: The website is done.  Twice, in fact.  Still not exactly profitable, but I bring a few bucks in from Project Wonderful.  I’d bring in more if I had anything actually updating here.

So, some good things accomplished, some other plans gone awry.  Considering my son was born in the intervening time, I can’t feel too badly about it.

Now, looking forward:

  • I’m in talks at the moment for a new textbook.  Nothing is signed yet, so I can’t go into details, but negotiations are proceeding well, and I’m confident that my co-author and I will be hard at work soon.
  • I’m working on helping to edit Show and Tell, the comics anthology of the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom conference.  Not a paid gig, but a worthwhile one, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out.
  • I just completed the first draft of an adaptation of one of my plays into a graphic novel. No artist committed to illustrating it yet, and honestly I think it will be a long while before I reach that point, so this one’s on hold.
  • I need to find a new creative project to work on.  I’m not settled on anything, but I have a few ideas I’m considering.  Of course, the new textbook will require the majority of my attention, but I’m reluctant to let my creative work languish entirely.

The Best Webcomics You’re Not Reading

For anyone who was interested in the panel on The Best Webcomics You’re Not Reading, but who couldn’t make it to Arisia, Kelly Cooper has an amazing summary of all the recommendations.  The panel included Shaenon Garrity, Dirk Tiede, Everett Soares, and Steve Popkes.  Oh, and me, of course.

And for those of you who would like just a “cream of the crop” synopsis, Shaenon posted her ten favorite suggestions from the panel in her most recent Comixology column: Ten Webcomics You’re Not Reading.

“The Widow Reminisces” Reviewed on

The Widow Reminisces Over a Plate of Vegetables, illustrated by Stephanie Smith, nee Brown, is the oldest of my comics, but one that I’m still immensely proud of, in part because it’s so different from most of my other work.

On Monday, Rich Kreiner of The Comics Journal posted a short but lovely review of “The Widow Reminisces.”  I particularly liked his eloquent articulation of the story’s central themes: “It’s a graceful arc of triggered thought and pained reflection, of loss and the reconfiguration of prior resentments.”

There’s some criticism as well, as is only appropriate.  Kreiner has previously reviewed my first collaboration with Grug, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.

Arisia this Weekend

To those of you in the Boston area–I will be appearing on several panels at the sci-fi convention Arisia this weekend.  The convention runs Jan 14-17, 2011, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel.  My own panels will be on Sunday and Monday (schedule below), and for two of them I’ll be alongside my webcomicy friends Shaenon Garrity and Dirk Tiede–fun!  Many Boston Comics Roundtable folks will also be in attendance.

Unfortunately, I neglected to rent table space, but I will have some mini comics on my person to hand sell–if you see me and you’re interested, don’t hesitate to ask!  Also, I may put a few out on Shelli Paroline’s table, so have a look there as well.

Here are the panels I’ll be appearing on, with all relevant info:

862    The Best Webcomics You’re Not Reading Burroughs

Sun 3:30 PM             Duration: 01:15

They range from wretched to wonderful, from the most mundane to the freakiest of the fantastic. We’re going to discuss what we consider to be the best of the best from various genres–and we’re sure to cover some you haven’t heard of yet.

Alexander C Danner mod
Steve E Popkes
Everett Soares
Dirk Tiede
Shaenon Garrity

868      The Best Young-Adult and Children’s Comics Paine

Sun 5:00 PM             Duration: 01:15

Are you looking for material suitable for your kids? Or are you seeking to convert that favored niece or nephew into your life-long hobby? Come share recommendations suitable for the younger crowd.

Steve Kanaras mod
Alexander C Danner
David Marshall

872      How to Write a Comic Douglas

Sun 8:00 PM             Duration: 01:15

How do you turn a blank page into a vibrant grid chock-full of adventure? How do you write a script for an artist to interpret? How do you get from introduction to climax in 22 pages (or 3 panels)?

Steve Kanaras mod
Alexander C Danner
Everett Soares
Dirk Tiede
Shaenon Garrity

869      Non-Fiction Comics: Telling Truth With Pictures Carlton

Mon 12:30 PM             Duration: 01:15

From memoir to biography, from true science to history, there are dozens of great comics out there that have little in common with the spandex-clad set. What do these stories strive to share? Are comics a good medium for non-fiction? What *can’t* you do with pictures and words?

David Marshall mod
E. J. Barnes
Alexander C Danner
Daniel Miller
Steve Kanaras

Dicebox, Book 1: Now in Print

If anyone on the street were to ask me, “If I really wanted to see the best that webcomics has to offer, what one series should I read?” I know what my answer would be: Dicebox, by Jenn Manley Lee.  Now, it’s not the funniest webcomic.  Nor is it the most exciting, or the most romantic, or the cutest.  Which is usually what folks are looking for in webcomics.  BUT: if you like complexity, in both world and character; if you like subtly and nuance in both writing and art; if you think world-building is about exploring richly imagine cultures, not just superficially alien ones; if you are fascinated by the politics of interpersonal relationships; and if you believe that lovers and family aren’t the only relationships that truly matter in our lives–then Dicebox is the one comic that you need to be reading.

Now, maybe you like sprawling, nuanced epic storytelling, but find such reads to be a slog on you computer screen.  Perhaps for more substantial fare, you prefer a solid tome in your hands.


Lee has just announced the opening of pre-orders for the first print volume of Dicebox.  So, head on over there and buy one–because the sooner she raises the funds, the sooner she can go to print.  And the sooner she goes to print, the sooner I get MY copy.  And I want my copy, dammit!

Show and Tell: A Comic Anthology about Learning and Teaching

Michael Gianfrancesco just launched a Kickstarter project to fund a new comic anthology called “Show and Tell, a Comic Anthology about Learning and Teaching.”  This anthology is part of a larger project that we are very excited about–the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom conference (, which will be held March 26th in Providence RI.  Guests at the con will include Raina Telgemeier and Tracy White.

I’m very excited about this project and hope you will consider donating!

Here is the link to the Kickstarter project, for more info:

The editorial board for the anthology includes
Michael Gianfrancesco
Dr. Jennifer Cook
Heather Bryant
Dan Mazur
Caitlin Plovnick
Alexander Danner