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Lien, Howe return to Graphic Smash with "Gun Street Girl Presents"

Posted: Thursday, November 8, 2007
Posted By: Kevin Powers

Some time ago, it was announced that the digital comic Gun Street Girl was moving from pay/subscription website Graphic Smash to a new location of Now comes word that Gun Street Girl will be returning to Graphic Smash-- but not leaving Panel2panel. Writer Barbara Lien-Cooper and artist Ryan Howe have brought their comic Gun Street Girl back to Graphic Smash. Graphic Smash still allows subscriptions, but times have changed, and creators at Graphic Smash can now choose, if they wish, to make their work entirely accessible to readers without the prerequisite of a subscription. This is the intention of Lien-Cooper and Howe, since Gun Street Girl will still be continuing at Panel2panel as well.

"Basically, our goal in making Gun Street Girl a web comic was to reach as wide an audience as possible," says writer Barb Lien-Cooper. "We had learned that being on a site with a pay subscription wall was counterproductive to that goal. Now, however, the wall is only there as much as the creators at Graphic Smash want it to be, so there was no reason not to return when Graphic Smash's editor Tim Demeter asked us to do so, and every reason to do it-- we appreciate the way the site's rules have changed under Tim, and it provides the opportunity to be back with the other creators and series we respect at Graphic Smash, some of which have arrived or started during our absence, such as Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court, Justin Pierce's The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, or Bill Williams' and Francisco Rodriguez de la Fuente's SideChicks."

Demeter noticed that Wicker Man Studios, the creative studio Lien, Howe, and Lien's husband Dr. Park Cooper founded in 2003, had been using Project Wonderful to experiment with button and banner ads on Graphic Smash, and asked them to skip the middleman and come back to hosting Gun Street Girl at its original home. However, something more was proposed in return: that instead of only Gun Street Girl, the new portal for Gun Street Girl would also present other upcoming comics projects by Wicker Man Studios. Demeter accepted this idea, and so the new portal will be entitled " Gun Street Girl Presents."

"Syndicating Gun Street Girl at Graphic Smash is an exciting step," says artist Ryan Howe. "Being one of the original launch titles, it'll be great to reintroduce our original stories for free both in their entirety and in the manner we'd originally intended."

Specifically, this refers to the fact that originally, certain stories were drawn out of order, and that when Gun Street Girl moved to its second location of Panel2panel, the creators rearranged the order of the stories' presentation for best effect. This was made possible by the fact that every Gun Street Girl story is a self-contained story within itself—the stories do not end on cliffhangers as such, allowing most stories to be read in whatever order the reader desires at first, although this changes slowly as the series continues. The return to Graphic Smash will keep this new order, and while it will lose the interesting experience of seeing the art of Ryan Howe evolve through what were once the earliest issues, it is all done for the benefit of the stories. The GSG archives will slowly come first, starting with the first four stories, and then other GSG chapters will be added. Non-Gun-Street-Girl material will come soon. "I'm just happy to say how excited I am to have this creative team back at Graphic Smash," says Demeter. "This'll be great."

The former managing editor of the Eisner-award-winning print magazine Comic Book Artist, Barbara Lien-Cooper had her first foray into mainstream print graphic novel publishing earlier this year, with the creator-owned Half Dead, co-written with her husband. Half Dead was co-published by Marvel Comics and Dabel Brothers Productions. She and her husband also co-write a column on comics and popular culture at, and adapt manga for various publishers, particularly Tokyopop. Mark Millar (The Authority, Ultimates , Wanted) named Barbara as one of the three most promising new talents in the next wave of comics writing.

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