Submitted by michaelwhitney on May 12, 2004 - 13:36
Am I the only one who noticed the strange letter from Derek Kirk Kim in the back of Optic Nerve #9? Surely not.
Kirk Kim apologizes to Optic Nerve creator Adrian Tomine for distributing his high school year book picture on the Internet.
Submitted by michaelwhitney on April 6, 2004 - 12:22
My newest comic habit is Tiny Sepuku, which I may have even found through Comixpedia, but I can't recall now. TS is an advice comic that manages to be borderline enlightening -- well, moreso than "Dear Abby" -- as well as funny. It's a unique concept as far as I can tell. (Plugging "advice comic strip" into Google returns a really depressing list of Web pages about how many strips a submission editor wants paperclipped to the SASE.)
This would be a fantastic format for the Web and is probably being done in corners I don't know about. Please enlighten me if you know of others. The reader interaction is reminiscent of Pathetic Geek Stories, which only set up a Web site in recent months. Both strips are made possible by email submissions. Both are also newspaper strips from alt-weeklies.
Did we say newspaper strips were dead? Maybe we meant the syndicates.
Submitted by michaelwhitney on April 5, 2004 - 19:30
Scary Go Round's server has been dead recently, in case you haven't noticed every 15 minutes like I have. The verdict is in from John Allison. He blames Texas. As a representative of my adopted state, I'd like to say, "Sorry. Our bad."
You can still get your SGR fix here.
Submitted by michaelwhitney on March 31, 2004 - 14:10
Strip Fight: Each week, competitors draw a strip to fit a set of criteria and visitors vote on the best strip of the week.
Presumably, it's based on the always-entertaining Songfight. In Songfight, though, the site chooses the title of the competing songs. Strip Fight seems to be trying a more flexible route by setting "criteria," but they may be fixing something that isn't broken. Scott McCloud's Morning Improvs and Sam Brown's Exploding Dog both feature artists reacting to a reader-submitted title with great results.
But, since they've only just posted their first fight, we'll shelve the criticism and see how it develops. It looks promising so far.
Submitted by michaelwhitney on March 30, 2004 - 21:10
According to a note on his site, Jeff Rowland had been thinking about quitting his comic, WIGU, at the end of the previous storyline. He even went so far as to destroy the Earth, rob his extra-dimensional characters of their memories and draw a surprisingly poignant closing panel... but, in the end, he just couldn't give up the strip. Lucky for us.
I think I read too many webcomics. When he obliterated the world, I never even considered for a second that it would be, you know, permanently damaged.
Submitted by michaelwhitney on March 16, 2004 - 04:31
I'll say this up front: If you're reading this at work, in a public library or on an overhead in front of your literature class, don't click on some of the links I'm about to include. I'll put "NSFW" next to them so you can't blame me when the morality cops drag you away in chains. That's right, I'm linking to porn.
Tradition holds that nigh-porn (usually inept nigh-porn) sells comics. But if you watch the livejournal communities, you've noticed one porn site (NSFW) that's trying it the other way around. (Porn sites are good at that, right. Ba-dum-ksh.)
They're posting PG-rated webcomics that also serve to promote their porn site. The site owner obviously has some enthusiasm for webcomics, so it's probably not purely a marketing move... but, hey, I wouldn't have heard of them otherwise. It could work.
There are, of course, dozens of sites that sell pornographic comics, hentai, or lovingly-rendered, illegal drawings of Disney characters doing unspeakable things. Those don't quite fit into the same category, though, since the comics are the porn, not the hook the sites use to grab eyeballs. Stile Sux (Very, Very NSFW) is the only similar use of a webcomic that I found, though it seems like less of a "friendly" draw and more of an exercise in transgressing boundaries.
I may be biased, but I'd think well-done comics would be an easy way to differentiate a site and ensure repeat visitors in an arena as crowded as Internet porn. The marketplace is glutted with naked people; give 'em comics, too. At the very least, I can guarantee it would be more effective than their constant spam campaigns.
The comics value-add worked for newspapers before the stiffs took over the newspaper comics page, right? I'm surprised that I can't find more porn sites trying this tack already. If you have more examples, leave them in the comments. We won't ask how you know.
Update: Playboy, of course, has been trying this for, oh, 50 years. I think the consensus is that their cartoons have slipped out of relevance in recent decades, though. Am I right? Would it be effective to update their offering?
Submitted by michaelwhitney on March 9, 2004 - 17:24
Fortunately, no one was hurt... but I have a feeling that this would not be a good time to send your proposal for the book about the sarcastic goth who gets harassed for being different.