Archive - Apr 4, 2004
As the daily newspaper page becomes an increasingly boring place, original and experimental comic strips have moved to two frontiers: the World Wide Web and the free weeklies. Some occupy both spaces at once. So it is with Elliott G. Garbauskas' Buttercup Festival, a sweetly sardonic strip that appears in a handful of weekly newspapers and on its own website, where it has attracted a cult following.
One of the interesting things about webcomics is that people come into the medium from different places, both physically and psychologically.
Presumably, all of the first people to make comics for the web had an interest (of some kind) in printed comics (of some kind). Nowadays, that isn't necessarily the case – a creator's interest in comics could be purely digital.
Death of the Funny What?
Now if I were going to be all knee-jerk about this, I'd be all about "out with the old, in with the new, the traditional comics page was stale and it's time to bring in some fresh blood, viva the internet, viva webcomics, viva endless chatter about the newest video card from Alpha Omega Corp and people getting off on their bloody brilliance by yammering endless about whether or not Green or Blue dragons spit acid in AD&D first edition."
But Jeebus Godot, let's take a look at what's replacing what, here.
You asked the questions, and Chris Crosby and Darren "Gav" Bleuel of Keenspot answered. Crosby is the writer/artist of Superosity and the writer of Sore Thumbs, and Bleuel is the writer/artist behind Nukees. Both webtoonists joined together with Nate Stone and Terri Crosby to form Keenspot Entertainment, one of the leading publishers of webcomics.
Crosby and Bleuel talk about Keenspot's plans for online and print comics for 2004, the resurgence of the online advertising market, and drop frustrating hints about future projects.
The Business of Free
The early months of Keenspot were a revelation for all involved. Finally, webcomic hosting by webcomickers! The mood was giddy with optimism.
"It was great," remembers David Willis, as if the memory stuns him all over again. "When I would email the group, I would get a response. I wasn't used to getting a response. Following the response would be an appropriate action if needed to help solve or eradicate the problem reported. They done fixed [my domain name problems], and started sending checks."
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 4, 2004 - 17:00
Michael Jantze is the creator of The Norm, a daily comic strip syndicated by King Features Syndicate. Jantze's strip is one of those relatively new, good comic strips that if you are lucky enough to have in your hometown paper you may wonder, 'how did that get syndicated?'
Jantze also has a wonderful website that not only features the strip, but also offers many features that won't be unfamilar to fans and creators of webcomics. Like a lot of webcomic creators, he has also moved to put his comic strip into comic book form, publishing The Norm magazine.
Jantze has agreed to answer your questions. Post your questions here, and we'll send the top ten moderated questions to be answered. We'll take questions (one question per post to this thread) up until April 16th.