Archive - Jun 20, 2004
As everyone knows, chief among the benefits of producing an independent webcomic is the freedom from any sort of editorial input or criticism. In the absence of the editor's stifling presence, a comics creator can maintain a pure artistic vision, and is thereby free to reach his or her full potential.
That seems to be the prevailing opinion, anyway. That editors might actually have useful skills and services to offer is a little-considered possibility.
Among special interest webcomics (about gamers, otakus, college roommates, etc.), only geek comickers are required to understand the underlying machinery and environment on which their webcomics reside. The rest of us are proud if we can successfully register our domain name and paste a generic PHP script into our Frontpage HTML code. But true geeks should be knowledgeable enough to code their own HTML, install a back-end database, and write custom scripts that seamlessly tie everything together.
Mean What You Say, but Never Say What You Mean
Continuing down last month's David Mamet trek towards an aesthetic of creating comics....
Brian Michael Bendis is a big Mamet fan. When I read a Bendis script a little while back, I was really impressed; I liked it because it read like a script to a comic, not like he was trying to impress anybody. It wasn't full of witticisms and fancy descriptions, it was bare-bones writing that provided a structure which could be turned into a comic.
What I liked about Bendis' script was that it was made up of panel descriptions like: "Shot of guy's face." And "Same as 2." "Same as 2, closer."
At first, every growing-up-thinking-comics-scripts-should-look-like-Alan-Moore-scripts bone in my body reacted against this. Wait, I thought, shouldn't Bendis be saying what the face looks like?
There's been a lot of talk about webcomics as a business lately. More than ever before, webcomics are sustaining themselves and their authors through their hard work and promotion. Exciting times seem to be right around the corner for the industry as a whole.
But if you're not a webcomic guru with tens of thousands of readers, what then?
Aaron Farber is the creator of the Keenspot-hosted Men In Hats webcomic. Starting his comics career at the tender young age of 15, he also is the demented creative force behind the now-ended Pentasmal, which was also hosted on Keenspot. Farber describes Men In Hats as "the gripping story of 6 guys who stand around in the desert... talking... sometimes they have breakfast." It is a satirical, sometimes nonsensical comic strip that would be right at home on your daily newspaper funny pages... except that it’s consistently fresh and funny.