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Can I Get a Webcomic?

If you're just joining us this Monday we've got new stuff posted this weekend including interviews with the creators of ZAP!, Chronillogical and Misfile.  Plus Dr. Haus reviews the webcomic Mistakes of Youth.  We've had a big October issue so if be sure to check it out to see what else you might have missed!

It's another edition of BSC Webcomic Idol and I'm a judge again.  I'm not sure if they're letting you vote off a comic each week or you have to vote for your favorite (and the least vote-getter leaves) but either way it's an elimination contest.  I keep doing it because the entrants have been strong contenders and the feedback and dialogue over the webcomics has usually been very interesting.  Plus ultimately some good comics get a lot of exposure.

I've gotten a chance to look at some representative work from all of the webcomic entrants but I'll definitely be digging into each of them.  Unlike the other judges who all are extremely talented comic creators I am the "journalist" type so my feedback may be more general but it'll be aimed at whether I think the comic is working for the audience.

FLEEN in writing about American Elf's 10th year anniversary asks "would yesterday’s American Elf tenth anniversary strip be the first webcomic that went for ten years on a daily basis? I think it might."  I think the answer is clearly no.  American Elf is certainly a comic that has been created for 10 years on a daily basis but it was only published on the web on a daily basis back to 2002 (here's the Wayback Archive for the site).  I have a ton of respect for Kochalka's work but his career at this point in time is largely split between a pre and post-web era.  (Moreover, American Elf is not the first journal-style published on the webcomic, Drew Weing's The Journal Comic got to the web first.  I saw Heidi MacDonald's panel with James Kochalka at SPX this year and he actually cited seeing Weing's webcomic as a strong motivation to agreeing to work with Joey Manley to put his diary strips up on the web.  UPDATE: thanks to James Kochalka for commenting below -- and just to clarify -- Drew's contribution to the genre of journal/diary comics was putting it on the web, essentially as he made them; an idea that someone assuredly would have got to but I think it's generally agreed that Drew acted on first.  As to the basic idea of making a daily journal comic, Drew's comic came well after James Kochalka's work.)

UPDATE 2: Very interesting podcast of an interview between Joey Manley and James Kochalka at the recent SPX in Bethesda, MD.

A review of The Phoenix Requiem (h/t Journalista!).  ComixTALK recently interviewed the creator, Sarah Ellerton.

Ryan North writes that he's updated the help/FAQ system at Project Wonderful.

Blog@Newsarama writes about the Transgender Day of Remembrance Webcomics Project.

Re: Can I Get a Webcomic?

You're right, although it is the 10th anniversary of American Elf, American Elf has not been online for the full 10 years. At first it only existed in my sketchbook. And then there were some early book collections. And then it went online. Anyhow, I think it's good that the strip was able to straddle the two worlds of print & web. In fact, we're seeing a lot more straddling out there lately, in both directions.

But your post sort of implies that I got the idea of a daily diary comic strip from Drew Weing. This is not true. Drew has stated quite openly that he got the idea from me. You are correct that he made it online before me though, and was a strong motivating factor for me to get my own strip online.

Re: Can I Get a Webcomic?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I hope I didn't cause the impression - I only meant to address the "on the web" issues, not the actual making the comics part of things.  I don't think anyone doubts that you (James Kochalka) is the first to create and stick with the format of the diary strip. (At least I've never heard anyone put forward another candidate). 

But I do think Drew gets some credit for putting it on the web.

(btw we've done two issues on journal webcomics -- February 2003, and November 2004.)


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