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Girls & Sports launch party planned

On Wednesday, Girls & Sports creators Andrew Feinstein and Justin Borus be holding a launch party to celebrate the release of their first book “Opening Lines, Pinky Probes and L-Bombs: The Girls & Sports Dating and Relationship Playbook.” The party includes a reading, signing and reception at the Borders Bookstore in Westwood CA. They do request a RSVP which can be sent to andy[at]girlsandsports[dot]com or rich[at]inkprgroup[dot]com.

Community Comments

#1 Rob
November/14/2006
@ 9:52 am

This is one of the great mysteries of the Universe. How this strip got syndicated and keeps running is baffeling. Poorly drawn, cheap humor and predictable gags.

#2 Alan Gardner
November/14/2006
@ 10:04 am

Here’s a little inside info. Andrew and Justin went the way of self syndicating (I don’t know for how long before they signed with Creators) and have been represented by ink Public Relations. Presumably most if not all of their clientele is through the use of this PR group.

Everytime there is some publicity regarding this feature – it never comes from Creators – always through the PR group which lends me to think that perhaps they’re syndicated through Creators mostly as a distribution channel and less so for marketing reasons.

If what I’ve speculated is true, then Creators is getting a nice slice o’ change for the distribution and not having to do any of the marketing. Sounds like easy money to me.

#3 Rudy
November/14/2006
@ 10:59 am

I can’t wait to attend the party. I saw Andrew speak at Comic-Con and he was great. They’re strip is an inspiration to many.

See you at Borders!!!!

#4 Seth
November/14/2006
@ 12:24 pm

How can you not love this comic? It’s the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup of strips. Girls & Sports are two great tastes that go great together. Anyone who knocks this comic is just upset they never took the time, nor had the passion/talent, to bring their vision to life.

I already ordered my book, but I think I’ll still show up to Borders on Wednesday. Can’t wait!

#5 Rob
November/15/2006
@ 7:31 am

Easily.
It sucks.

#6 Jeff
November/15/2006
@ 10:18 am

I haven’t seen a lot of this strip, but the little I have does not impress me. I have to agree with Rob, it is unfunny. And yes it is poorly drawn, but unfortunately, with a few exceptions, that is what we can expect from many of the newer strips. This is not sour grapes. I have no aspirations to be a syndicated cartoonist. Just a sad observation.

#7 Lefiite
November/15/2006
@ 1:17 pm

Marketing-wise? Good idea. Execution? Not good.

#8 Mike
November/15/2006
@ 2:16 pm

Actually Jeff, it makes me sad t hear you say that, about the poorly drawn part. Not because I disagree or even agree. (I’ve only seen a few of the strips in question so I won’t go there,) but because I do hope to be (but not with an unrealistic hope….I know i need a day job so to speak) syndicated cartoonist. I’m not da vinci or even E. Segar, but I do work hard and try to make my caroon art as good as can. I’m not crazy about the art in this strip but its the jokes that count really. Having not seen a lot of it I can’t say, but I think the writing counts more than art.

#9 Jeff
November/15/2006
@ 3:39 pm

Mike,
I admire your ambition and dream to be a syndicated cartoonist. But I get the impression you don’t want the bar for art ability to be set so high that you feel you can’t reach it. In a perfect comic strip world cartoonists would all draw well and write well. And with the limited space in newspapers, one would hope that only the best examples of those with both talents be published. But it is rare that a truly great comic artist is also a great comic writer (or the other way around). When that happens it is magic. As you know most music is mediocre, most books are mediocre and most comic strips are mediocre. But I still think we should be critical and try to raise expectations. I hope that I open the newspaper one day and see your comic.

#10 Alan Gardner
November/15/2006
@ 4:45 pm

Jeff – I disagree. In a perfect world cartoons would ALWAYS be written well but the art should match the humor – even if the art is “sub-par.” If the humor is a bit off the wall, then the artist style that would fit it the best is something a bit off the wall as well. Can you imagine Bill Watterson drawing Dilbert? I personally think he would ruin it. Scott Adams doesn’t drawn Dilbert well, but it matches his humor. Pearls Before Swine and The Far Side are other examples where I think the lack of artistic talent actually helps the strip.

#11 Jeff
November/15/2006
@ 5:33 pm

Alan I agree with you. A good cartoon is one that is staged to best convey the idea to the reader. That can be accomplished with crude art if it is smartly done, as is the case with your examples. I think Larson staged his cartoons to perfection. In my book he was a terrific cartoonist because he could visually put over an idea as well as anyone. That said, it would be nice to see more comic strips come along whith exciting gutsy art.

#12 Jonathan
November/15/2006
@ 9:15 pm

I would add that I think a poorly drawn cartoon has to be extremely funny not to become stale looking in the long term. Even the best comics have off periods. Creative artwork can really help carry a strip. My paper has a few not-so great-art features and when you line them up on a page nothing really grabs your attention. The whole section seems to lack any energy or fun.

#13 Mike
November/16/2006
@ 1:14 am

After sleeping on it, i find myself agreeing with Jeff about poor artwork, though I hate to say it like that. Personally, I’m not afraid of the bar being set too high for me, because even though I’ve admitted to not being a drawing god, I can draw and I am good at it. Actually, I think I’m really good at it. (thats not a boast, or at least its not meant to come off as one). I’d hate to see a comics page filled with “bad” art and yeah, there are some strips that I think are drawn horribly. Sometimes the writing is good enough that its easy to overlook the artwork, sometimes not. (OK, I’ll admit it, “Crock”. I don’t think its funny and its drawn terribly. Sorry, it just slipped out).

If you look at a lot of strips in their beginning they don’t look as good as they may now. Doonesbury’s characters were crudely drawn when it first launched, but nowadays Trudeau’s artwork is great, IMHO. I guess its up to the syndicate or PR guys to determine whether they can sell a strip with what we call poor artwork. The strip in this article isn’t what I would consider the worst either.

I don’t want to hijack this thread and I’ve already taken up a lot of space. My apologies. This is just a subject that interests me a lot, but this probably isn’t the correct place for a lengthy talk on comic strip art. (though if someone doesknow the place, please direct me too it. :)

#14 Alan Gardner
November/16/2006
@ 11:10 am

Mike – I don’t think you’re hijacking the thread. It’s a legitimate topic – one of which Girls & Sports is a poster child. Let the dialog continue.

Jonathan – I don’t disagree with you in the slightest, I would just add that I think the size of the panels in which cartoonists have to work in create a serious damper on creativity. I think if you gave cartoonists more space – you’d see some much more interesting stuff – at least that’s what I tell my self over and over to convince myself it could be true.

#15 Rob
November/16/2006
@ 11:28 am

I have to disagree with you Alan that the size of the panels in which cartoonists have to work in create a serious damper on creativity. The size of the canvas shouldn’t matter to the truely creative. They do amazing things on a grain of rice, not to say we should make the panels that small. But to blame the lack of creativity on the size of the panel is just a cop out. Girls & Sports wouldn’t be very creative even if you gave them a billboard sized papel to work on.

#16 Jeff
November/16/2006
@ 11:59 am

Alan I think you have a point regarding strip size, but I think a larger reason we don’t see the best art talent in new comic strips is the fact that it is very difficult for a start-up strip to make real money in today’s newspaper climate. The rates newspapers pay for syndicated material in most markets is close to what it was 40 years ago. It used to be that many comic book artists aspired to do syndicated strips because that was where the money was. Even a modest newspaper client list would afford a decent income. Not so true today. Also to some degree newspapers don’t hold the sex appeal, glamor or mass reach they once enjoyed, and younger cartoonists are looking elsewhere.
Last, but not least, most newspaper suits do not value comics. If they printed them a decent size, paid decent rates and proudly promoted their comic section I think we would see more talented cartoonists working toward syndication. The newspapers would benifit by having a more dynamic comic selection, and ultimately I believe the readers would experience, and ejoy a superior product.

#17 Alan Gardner
November/16/2006
@ 12:45 pm

Jeff, Here is perhaps an point of interest. Earlier this year, I interviewed all the major syndicates execs (minus Creators) for a story I did on how syndicates were adapting to a shrinking newspaper marketplace. I specifically asked them if they were seeing a change in the number or quality of strips being submitted and they all said that it has remained constant with years past. I would guess the majority of those wanting to be syndicated have no real idea of what to expect as far as income and probably believe they’ll make more than what today’s market will provide. So what I’m saying is, I think the appeal of “making it” with a syndicated strip is still there – thus the continued level of submissions.

#18 Seth
November/16/2006
@ 2:47 pm

Hey guys, seth here again. I’ve read through all the comments and have to continue backing Girls & Sports. It seems like every comic strip – drawn well or not – is about puppies, babies, old people and bitter political views. While the G&S guys have never pretended to be good artists, are they any worse than Dilbert or Pearls where they just keep it simple and funny?

And don’t they get even a morsel of credit for turning out a quality strip every day for over 3 years now??

#19 Rob
November/16/2006
@ 2:53 pm

No credit given. They haven’t been turning out a quality strip. That’s been the whole point.

#20 Mike
November/16/2006
@ 5:02 pm

Alan, I got to chime in here with this about what you said about cartoonist pay. I don’t know what they make, really i assume its diffeerent for every cartoonist, except the “Big Names”. I’m in the military at the moment, but I plan on being retired by 2008-9 at least. (maybe soomer if they keep screwing me around:)) With my mutual funds (which ain’t gonna be millions, I know that) and my pension I’d like to think that IF I could make it as a moderately successful syndicated strip artist I’d be ok. I’d love to be rich, but I do live rather modestly.

Back to the comic art thing, it does concern me that a lot of strips don’t seem to have artists that…well, care. Space has a lot to do with it, but even then, some strips, (*Crock* ahem*) just seem to have a bit less than what I would think is the bare minimum to be decent. But on the flipside you have things like “Cathy” which I’ve hated since high school, and “On a Claire Day” (which I suspect is being st up as a replacement for cathy in some venues) . OaCD I kind of like though even though I don’t like the artwork. I’m not even in the target demographic for it. So thats why I think writing has a lot to do with it. (Cathy just never seemed funny to me. “Ack”. )

I think newspapers need to promote their comics more aggressively and well, look beyond the ones that they get by syndicates. That would make the syndicates look more to whats out there other than the status quo I think. Because, yeah, my grandpa love “Nancy” but he wouldn’t be that upset were he alive if it got retired.

#21 Jonathan
November/16/2006
@ 6:38 pm

Alan, I agree with your point about the size of the strip limiting creativity. Fewer characters, shorter dialogue, less detail in the backgrounds…this is especially true for a new strip as it fights to attract readers. However, I still think that in that small space something fun can be created, but that takes effort and imagination.
I think the reason the submission levels remain the same testifies to the affection people still have for the medium. No matter how small they are printed, or how stale most comics pages are, people still connect strongly with them. If money was the only issue then there wouldn’t be thousands and thousands of amateur strips on the web (obviously not all are great but it does show the popularity of the strip format) The powers that be should build on that goodwill not take it for granted.

#22 Alan Gardner
November/16/2006
@ 8:09 pm

Well said Jonathan.

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