Comicon Friday – Keenspot Panel

Well, I'm officially two days behind in my blogging now, but dangit, I'm going to write up every webcomic thing I did at the con if it KILLS me. Because there was a huge amount of webcomic stuff at the con this year, and unfortunately due to the nature of Comicon (there's always cool stuff conflicting with other cool stuff), I missed a fair number of things. But I also managed to hit a lot of things, so I think it would be remiss of me to not give you all a taste of everything I did make it to.

So, let's talk about the Keenspot panel. This panel had a much different feel to it than the Blank Label Comics panel.  Blank Label is still very much in the "this is new and exciting, and we've got great ideas for the future" phase of life. Keenspot is in the "we're known, we're established, and let's have a look at what new stuff we're adding this year." The whole panel just felt more settled than the Blank Label panel. That's pretty much the only way I can describe it.

Keenspot panelAs you can see from the picture (click for a larger version), the panel was significantly larger than the other panels at the con. But, of course, that's just because Keenspot itself is much larger than any other webcomics entity. I think I remember who all the panelists were, but if I get any wrong, someone be sure to correct me.  I think the guy at the podium is John Troutman (Basil Flint/Flint Again) and Chris Daily (Striptease) is on the floor of the room taking questions, outside the picture. But it might be the other way around. Next is Darren "Gav" Bleuel (Nukees), Ryan Smith (Funny Farm and Banished), Dan Shive (El Goonish Shive), T Campbell (Penny and Aggie), Aeire (Queen of Wands), Jennie Breeden (The Devil's Panties), Meredith Gran (formerly of Skirting Danger, now an animator), and at the very end, D.J. Coffman (Yirmumah).

Yep, that's right. Yirmumah. D.J. Coffman.  On Keenspot. One of the first announcements of the panel was that Keenspot was adding three comics to it's lineup. The first two were popular Comic Genesis comics, following the typical old Keenspace/Keenspot model: Darken and Sorcery 101. I can't comment on these comics, having not read them, except to say congratulations and good luck for continued growth.

But as for Yirmumah, it's coming into Keenspot from being a wholly independent comic, and a somewhat successful independent comic at that (not hugely successful, but known, at least, and making some money). I'm really interested to see where D.J. Coffman is going with this move. Obviously he's of the opinion it will bring him better exposure, more readers, and greater success. and Coffman has proven to be a fairly savvy businessman with his comic in the past, so I'm sure he knows what he's doing.  He'll be a big bonus for Keenspot, I wager.

Also announced at the panel was the continuing development of You Damn Kid by Fox. Apparently they were interested in more than just staking claim on a potential property. With the renewed success of Family Guy and The Simpsons slowly going the way of the dinosaur, Fox seems to be actively looking for new cartoon shows that would appeal to the adult audience. And they're interested enough in You Damn Kid that they've reached the "pilot pitch episode under development" stage. This is really a remarkable story for webcomics that has been flying under the radar, and has the potential to once again make Keenspot the undisputed king of comics online. Keep your ear to the ground on this one.

We also got a nice screening of Meredith Gran's thesis animation project, Polar-oid. I'm sure most of you reading this have seen it before, but let me reiterate that it is awesome.

All in all, it was very interesting to hear how Keenspot is leveraging the resources it has (which are larger than just about everyone else's in webcomics, except maybe Penny Arcade), and continuing to push webcomics more and more into the mainstream eye.

The only real beef I have with the panel is the attendees. A large majority of the time was devoted to question and answer, and honestly, most of the questions asked weren't very good. There were a lot of what I call "What's your favorite flavor Slurpee?" questions, asking personal information about the creators, and not a whole lot of meaty "What are you doing, and what's coming up, and what do you think of such-and-such trend" type of questions.   I did enjoy the responses to "What's the weirdest thing anyone's ever asked you to sketch for them?", but when it gets down to "If you could light anything on fire, what would it be?" then you've lost me.

Keep up the good work, Keenspot.



Comments are closed.