August 21st, 2006


Modern Tales Announces New Strip Lounge Lineup

SAN FRANCISCO—Modern Tales (, one of the Internet’s premier webcomics sites, is proud to announce the addition of nine new comics to its Modern Tales Strip Lounge section. The Strip Lounge, launched earlier this year, offers free, non-exclusive webcomics available to all visitors, and is designed to complement the Modern Tales V.I.P. Room, which features subscription-based comics available only to Modern Tales subscribers.

The new Strip Lounge comics are:

Where Am I Now?, by Jon Bakos and Ross Smith, a weekly comic set in a post-apocalyptic future populated by robots who are still getting the hang of running the world without human interference.
Genre City, by Benjamin Birdie, which follows five eclectic characters through a city built on the tropes of genre fiction. Genre City previously ran in the Modern Tales V.I.P. Room and is now returning to the site as a free series.
Kings of Pop, also by Benjamin Birdie, a tongue-in-cheek chronicle of two hardcore soda-pop collectors and their quest for exotic treasures like Dr Pepper Red Fusion.
Brain Fist, by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, an ongoing six-panel strip by the master of experimental, boundary-pushing webcomics.
Wondermark, by David Malki, a twice-weekly gag strip that uses 19th-century illustrations to comment on the 21st century.
Irregular Webcomic, by David Morgan-Mar, a daily photocomic that utilizes mini-figures and other toys to send up all things geeky.
Spork, by Sylvan Migdal, a showcase for one-shot stories and gag strips by the creator of Mnemesis and Ascent on
Popcorn Picnic, by Chris Shadoian, whose previous webcomic, Streets of Northampton, was one of the first comics on Modern Tales. Popcorn Picnic is Shadoian’s wry commentary on moviegoing and the cinema.
Anywhere but Here, by Jason Siebels, a serial comic strip in the tradition of Doonesbury and Bloom County, which centers around the nameless protagonist’s life and loves in a snowy Midwestern college town.

“Most of the new Strip Lounge cartoonists were recruited by my predecessor, Eric Burns,” says Modern Tales editor Shaenon K. Garrity. “Eric’s known throughout the Web for his impeccable taste in comics, and he didn’t disappoint during his brief stint as Modern Tales editor. I’m extremely proud to be introducing these nine comics to the Modern Tales Strip Lounge.”

The new comics will debut on Modern Tales starting on Monday, August 21. Interviews between Garrity and the latest Strip Lounge artists will be featured on the Talk About Comics blog ( over the course of the next two weeks.

Gluyas Williams

Back when I did my awesome posts about Vassar cartoonists Anne Cleveland and Jean Anderson, I mentioned my fondness for 1930s-1950s magazine cartooning in general, and cited cartoonist Gluyas Williams as one of my special favorites. Now I want to show you how extremely great he is. Williams (1888-1982) drew for Life, Collier's, and The New Yorker, the Holy Trinity of magazine cartooning back in the day, but I first encountered his work through his illustrations for humorist Robert Benchley's essays. I was a big Robert Benchley fan in high school (pretty much any single one of my high-school interests could explain, all by itself, why I had no friends), and Williams' illustrations are inextricable from Benchley's work. They're like Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel, Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, peanut butter and chocolate.

Holy crap, did I ever want to be Robert Benchley. He wrote witty little essays, starred in witty little short films, had one of the greatest cartoonists of the age draw witty little pictures of him, toured the Walt Disney Studio in The Reluctant Dragon, dressed nattily, and hung out in the Algonquin Round Table. I might have wanted to be Robert Benchley even more than I wanted to be Dorothy Parker. There'd be a lot less wrist-slitting, for one thing.

Anyway, eventually I checked out some of Williams' other work, and it was really something. These scans are from The Gluyas Williams Gallery, a sampling of his illustrations, with the accompanyting text, published in 1957.

Before you click through the cut, however, I have a warning. If you are a cartoonist, prepare to be schooled. You think you have a clean line? You think you have an organic sense of form? Your line is hell of wobbly and your form is organic like a Twizzler, and also your spot blacks need work. Gluyas Williams is about to show you how a real pimp rolls.

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