Submitted by Erik Melander on October 19, 2004 - 15:53
Child's play, the charity that is the brain child of Penny arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, has its site up and is now fully operational. Last year the charity collected more than 250 000 USD in toys and cash for the Seattle Children's hospital. This year five children's hospitals across the United States are the recipients of the charity.
Submitted by Wednesday Burns-White on October 18, 2004 - 21:20
Now more than ever, syndication need not mean loss of ad revenue. Wired checks into the rise of advertising amongst RSS feeds run by commercial interests. More proof of concept than anything.
This comes via an entry in the Six Apart Professional Network weblog. Anil Dash notes, "All the advertisers moving into the new medium would do well to be cautious in addressing the blogosphere. An audience that's willing and able to publish their responses to the whole world demands a thoughtful approach to marketing." (I wouldn't go so far as to assume that audience is just bloggers, mind. I have horrible visions of forum flamewars, rampaging ceaselessly, jumping from phpBB to phpBB like graceless, Kong-sized acrobats. This may be long USENET history rearing its ugly head, though.)
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 18, 2004 - 13:10
And it's an impressive one.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 14, 2004 - 18:39
I admit that I have the dream that I one day will be a reasonalby proficient artist, and it is probably because of that that I enjoy artist's sketchbooks so much. And the only thing I enjoy more that a sketchbook, is a commented sketchbook.
Enter AP Furtado:
My Sketchbook, which was previously a part of the subscriber only, Extras feature on ModernTales, is now available for free at Tweencomix. Come on by and check it out. Itâ€™s 20 pages of behind the scenes junk and short glimpses into the closet where more than enough skeletons reside.
Furtado's sketchbook is a delicious treat and while you're there check out his comics as well.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 13, 2004 - 13:29
A thread on Keenspot's entry into print syndication with the Turlock Journal has started on the Toontalk forum. It hasn't, yet, reached the size of the Pvp syndication thread on the same forum, that saw some pretty heated arguments.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 13, 2004 - 12:42
At least according to this article on Macworld. Apparently a routine monthly code update to their website has resulted in some users being unable to access their accounts. The number of affected users has not been established.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 12, 2004 - 18:39
It would appear that Viper comics is going to publish Otis Framton's Oddly Normal. The format will be a four issue mini-series released in 2005. Oddly normal was previously published on the web and was for a time part of Modern Tales sister site Girlamatic.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 10, 2004 - 08:37
Various items from around the net have caught my attention this last week.
Derek Kirk Kim has a lenghty post on his website about what he has been up to lately. Apparetnly he is doing some bill-paying work for DC and Vertigo, as well as a Spongebob Squarepants comic. But he also assures us he is eager to get back to doing his own work.
Robert Stevenson is one of the artists behind More Fun, which is written by Shaenon Garrity and is serialized on Graphic Smash. But he also has a sketch-blog. There isn't that much there yet, but it has some well crafted strips and thoughts on webcomics and reviews that I found interesting.
As previously mentioned, both on this blog and on the comixpedia news section, Keenspot has partnered with the Turlock journal to provide a comics page for it twice a week. A press release, including sample pages, is now available. Apparently Keen provides the comics for free, but has its own adspace that they can sell at the top of the page. It is an interesting bussiness model and I am curious what kind of comments it will generate. Scott Kurz's plan to let newspapers use his comic for free certainly generated a fair amount of buzz.
Submitted by Erik Melander on October 7, 2004 - 15:14
In fanfiction Mary Sue is a relatively common (and dreaded) occurence where the author inserts himself/herself into the story as a character, but the danger of ones character turning into a Mary Sue is also there in original fiction. So why not take The original fiction Mary Sue Litmus test and determine if your character is a Mary Sue or not.
Spike did. As did Reinder Dijkhuijs, creator of Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan.
Submitted by Erik Melander on September 30, 2004 - 19:47
As the end of September approaches it might be interesting to look back at what webcomic events made the headlines.
September saw two webcomic creators take the leap and try to turn their hobby into professional careers. In truth I suppose it would be more correct to say that Howard Tayler, creator of Schlock Mercenary, took the leap and Jeff Rowland, creator of Wigu, was pushed. While Taylor assures his readers that he and his family is in no critical financial situation as a result of his career change, Rowland notes that he needs the support of his readers.
I will need your support, however, in the coming weeks. As bad as I despise the entire "donations" aspect of Inter-Net art, I am going to ask for your help in a fund-raiser of sorts, if only to secure my habitation.
Will draw for food
Rowland is not the only webcomic creator that found himself forced to make a career change. Jamie Robertson also found himself out of a job and announced that Clan of the Cats would end at christmas without finishing the current Dracula story line. Robertson also has a fund-raiser of sorts as a possibility for continuing COTC, Sebo's kitty klub. I'm not sure how well that has worked, the only figure I heard was that he needed 250 subscribers and at the time of the announcement he had 16.
This was, however, not the last creator to turn to his readers in attempts to build a bussiness model in September. Michael Jantze, creator of The Norm, did the opposite of what many webcomicers aspire to and left syndication after finally becomming fed up with it. His wife apparently conviced him to try the webcomic route and he agreed IF she could get enough subscribers by November 1st.
How many subscribers do they need?
As previously noted Jamie Robertson needed at least 250 each paying 2,50 USD to keep doing his comic. Jantze needs 4000 subscribers to keep going, each paying at least 25 USD. Some swift calculations bring the sum of money to a minimum of 100 000 USD unless I'm mistaken... They currently have 661 subscribers. As an extra incentive they give away one ipod mini to a subscriber as they reach each 1000 subscriber plateau.
This made some ripples in the blog-pond as several people gave their opinion on these events. Most seemed to agree that 25 dollars was somewhat expensive. I'm reminded of the sister of a friend of mine who made a living as an artist. She an exhibit where she showed her latest works that were sheets of photopaper that had been run through an x-ray machine at the airport (or something like that). The pricetags on these artworks were, in my uneducated opinion, rather high and when I asked her about it she explained to me, much in the same way one explains something to a child, that if they were cheap no one would buy them.
Anyways, it is interesting that The Guardian online also had a story about online charity, or cyber-begging, including a couple of paragraphs on Randy Milholland. But perhaps the most interesting entry was by Eric Burns of websnark entitled "On supporting webcomics and the survival of the fittest fandoms".
The question is, how many fandoms is the average webcomic reader a part of, and how many of them can they afford to support
Who snarks the snark
Websnark is no doubt one of Septembers success stories. The quality and quantity of its entries propelled Websnark onto most "Must read"-lists. This quote from Joey Manley's blog pretty much sums it up.
Websnark.com is the talk of webcomicsland right now. Everybody who's anybody (yes, I'm an elitist -- and so are you, actually) is reading it.
Speaking of Joey Manley ofcourse brings us to the topic of Modern tales. That Modern tales and its sister sites have relied on subscription sales as a bussiness model has probably noone missed, but now they also sell adspace.
Subscription support will continue to bear the most weight in our business model, but we have decided to try to mix it up a bit, especially now that banner advertising seems to be coming out of the post-dotcom-crash doldrums.
The Webcomic examiner
The webcomic examiner will be allowed to wrap up this little trip down memory lane. Septembers issue had a great cover by Chris Watkins as well as a focus on the work of Derek Kirk Kim. Some really good stuff and I do believe that they are starting to find "their voice". There was also a "guest editorial" of sorts by Barb Lien-Cooper entitled "Webcomics have rights".
While I'm the last person in the world who wants to cause trouble, something about comic book review sites on the web is starting to bother me. It's the fact that many web sites dedicated to comic book journalism simply refuse -- often without explanation -- to review web comics.
Well that ends Septembers round up of things. Got an opinion on this, I'm itching to hear it. Perhaps I'll try to add some actuall analysis of events for next months roundup (if I do one that is).