Erik Melander's blog
Submitted by Erik Melander on January 4, 2005 - 10:09
This month, Sequential Tart reviews Copper and No need for Bushido
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 30, 2004 - 11:13
Matthew Shepherd has announced that The License will leave Graphic Smash at the end of the current story arc. Apparently, Shepherd and artist Roy Boney Jr intends to eventually try to get it published in print.
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 15, 2004 - 12:31
Both Websnark and Kurtz himself has so far commented on the Non sequitur strip that may, or probably is, a comment on Kurtz syndication scheme. I'll have to admit that I did not read it as such at first, but once it was pointed out it's hard not to, like those pictures that show two things.
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 13, 2004 - 11:27
Decembers Webcomics examiner is out and it wasn't hyperbole when editor Joe Zabel said it was a strong issue. This issue also marks a change from a monthly to quarterly realease schedule.
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 7, 2004 - 10:30
You started posting the strips online in 2002, and at the end of this year over two full years of strips will be available in color in your archive at americanelf.com. What impact did taking the strip online have?
I made it much more fun to draw. Now I have nearly instant contact with my readers, and more importantly, the readers have nearly instant contact with my work. I live my life in real time, it's important that readers can read it in as close to real time as possible. The internet is the only way to make this happen.
Also, it's made a significant financial contribution as well. If readers want access to the archives of the strip, they can subscribe to AmericanElf.com for $1.95 a month. Already I'm making more money from the website than I'm getting in royalties for the print version from Top Shelf.
Found through Joey Manley's blog (you'll have to scroll down, the permalink didn't seem to work), where he ads:
Obviously, not every series from the independent comics world is going to adapt to the web as well as James' -- I've been a part of the experiment, and I know the numbers. His online success has been significantly greater than other strips that have tried the same thing. But the fact that the success is there is important. It's another outlet for a cartoonist who has proven himself to be a savvy marketer and tireless experimenter.
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 3, 2004 - 15:25
Bob Stevenson, artist of More Fun, also writes and draws a blog that I've referenced in some previous posts. One of the things he does in this blog is to, when requested by the creator, review webcomics. The reviews are quite short but are composed of both a strip and a blog post. So far he has reviewed Cat, by KC Green, and reviewed Nekko and Joruba.
Submitted by Erik Melander on December 1, 2004 - 21:02
When I first did one of these "looking back" thingies I knew that it was likely that there would be months when nothing much happened, or perhaps at least nothing major happened. I am also willing to admit that I've been pandered with the news available for September and October. Enter November. And mind you, I'm not saying nothing happened in November, just that not a lot of similar or connected things happened. Still when reality lets you down, make things up. So sit back and enjoy a ride on the Apophenia railroad, next stop Speculationville.
A lot, most probably, of the creators of webcomics are happy amateurs, they write and draw comics because they enjoy it and because they have stories they want to tell. Some, however, have loftier dreams, they dream of print. I imagine that those are also the creators who dream of making comics their dayjob, but I may be wrong. Two news items from the beginning of the month made me contemplate the goal of webcomicers. The first was that Amber "Glych" Greenlee's No stereotypes got a publishing deal with Sonic publishing, the second was that Dave Johnson's Dog complex got picked up for online syndication on Universal press' Ucomics, not quite newspaper syndication, but a step on the way. I'm probably stating the obvious by saying that print, be it as a collection or as newspaper syndication is the holy grail for most webcomic artists that want to make comics their career.
This was once again brought forth when T Campbell and Gisele Lagace's Penny and Aggie left Modern tales for Comics sherpa as a first step towards traditional newspaper syndication. Now, no-one can accuse T Campbell of being a webcomic luddite, he has two other strips on Modern Tales sister site Graphic smash, but it is clear from a post on the Penny and Aggie board that he is not a believer in the syndication schemes put forth by Keenspot and Scott Kurtz. It seems that no "look back" is complete without linking to Websnark (I actually can't remember if I linked to him in the October look back, if not I'll buy Burns a beer if we ever meet, since I live in Sweden I'll categorise that as doubtful). I imagine that most people reading this has already read Burns' essay on the syndicated cartoonist's view of Kurtz and Keen. If you haven't read it I implore you to do so. Don't bother finishing reading this thing, you can come back to it later.
The point I'm trying to make (or think I'm trying to make) is that if online and print is going to clash it won't be in comic book stores or the graphic novel section of Barnes and Noble, it will be in the funny pages. Perhaps I'm wrong about syndication as a goal, I once again refer you to Burns and his comment on Penny and Aggie:
These days... there's a real feeling on the web that syndication isn't needed, that it isn't even desirable -- that if you syndicate, you lose control over your creation and your licensing and you undergo restrictive editorial oversight. It's almost odd to see a couple of webcartoonists saying "hey, I want to be in the newspapers. I want to get paid for this -- paid by someone else, someone who isn't me doing all the grunt work -- and get the exposure of hundreds of newspapers printing my work."
This opinion is certainly present in the replies to Campbell's post. But I also note that before launching his free syndication scheme Kurtz did negotiate with Universal (I believe it was) about syndicating PvP the traditional way and Tatsuya Ishida is now up to 11 rejections by syndicates. Perhaps the old syndication model is dying, but it's not going to go peacefully.
And to end with something complete (or almost completely) different I note that Michael Jantze's The Norm now has 2431 members, but has extended the deadline to reach the 4000 needed for Jantze to keep it alive to December 31st. Jamie Robertson (Clan of the Cats) has 191 of the 200 needed to keep his comic alive.
Oh and the next time we take a look back it looks like it will be in the form of a real Comixpedia column, I suppose that will mean that I will have to try to actually make some sense instead of these stream of consciousness posts.
Submitted by Erik Melander on November 30, 2004 - 17:05
As noted yesterday by Xerexes Warren Ellis has started plugging webcomics on his Die puny human blog (as of writing this he has just plugged Diesel sweeties and Jeff Rowlands Overcompensating).
Last friday he ask people to send him urls for their comics in a post (which can be read in our forum) to the Bad signal email list.
Today he has made more posts to Bad Signal regarding the webcomics medium (a small part of the first one is preproduced here):
I really like the idea of a new
movement of comics creators who
know absolutely nothing of print
comics and who could care less. I
want comics that go off in their
own unique direction, uncontaminated
by tradition. In print comics, the
generation behind mine is entirely
too polite, and entirely too male.
The entire posts (there's been three so far today) can be found in the Bad Signal archives (subscription necessary, but is free and easy to unsubscribe).
Submitted by Erik Melander on November 30, 2004 - 09:51
Submitted by Erik Melander on November 27, 2004 - 12:40
Without much fanfare, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention, the Eagle awards have been handed out earlier this month. The award was established in 1976 which would make it the longest running comic award. The original round of nominations got attention from both us, but also more in depth by Websnark.
That Scott Kurtz (PvP), would take home the "Favourite web-based comic" was not much of a suprise considering that the award is determined by a popular vote.
SBC has the entire list of winners.