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Chris Crosby

Three Years of Comixpedia

A little love letter to the magazine that could.It's the third anniversary of Comixpedia this issue.

2006 is the fourth year we've been writing about webcomics. We've put out 38 monthly issues of the magazine and published more than 600 reviews, interviews and other articles about webcomics. We've posted more than 2500 news posts (that's not counting the magazine).

Carson Fire's Winger Life

Carson Fire has a new webcomic called Winger about "Shelf Life Books" a smallish mega-bookstore chain and features: Dab Winger (described as an unconventional conservative), Minion Marlowe (described as [about as] likely to be picketing outside the store as pushing Chomsky on unsuspecting customers.) and Ollie Oxenfree (described as a [former] card-carrying communist who more recently has shown some disturbing right-wing tendencies himself).

With two episodes out so far, it's clear Fire has no intention of being subtle with this effort. David Willis posted a note comparing it to Chris Crosby's Sore Thumbs. In terms of broad-brush caricature of political stereotypes, that's not a bad reference point.

New Webcomics Examiner Plus NEWS NEWS NEWS!!!

Out on your virtual newsstand - a new edition of the Webcomics Examiner featuring "The Best Webcomics of 2005" and Part 2 of "The Artistic History of Webcomics", a rountable with T Campbell, Shaenon Garrity, William G., Phil Kahn, Bob Stevenson, Eric Burns, Wednesday White, A. G. Hopkins, Rob Balder, Tim Godek, Zabel, Alexander and Brandy Danner.

Quick Hits!

Lee Adam Herold's Chopping Block is back with a new story (and a different art style).

Power restored to whichever one of those Dakotas houses Keenspot World HQ and Chris Crosby returns to updating Superosity and Sore Thumbs.

The Queen's Land, late of the late Gutterfly Comix site, has moved to the free webcomic host, Smack Jeeves and resumed updates.

Eric Burns weighs in on the recent Questionable Content storyline with an extra-biscuity biscuit. I've been impressed with QC all year really. It's a fantastic strip and Jeph Jacques just gets better every month. EVERY MONTH!

Christmas at Blocksberg, a seasonal fantasy tale, begins today at Chronicles of the Witch Queen, with art by Daniel Østvold and writing by Geir Strøm.

Webcomic pioneers John Barber and Brendan Cahill are in cahoots at Marvel in bringing forth a new Cahill-penned comicbook called Sable & Fortune. CBR has an interview with Cahill.

Super-reporter Jen Contino has an interview with David Alvarez, creator of Yenny.

Comixpedia's List of 25 People Of Webcomics for 2005

A simple list of people of webcomics based on their contributions to the medium in 2005. And we have no doubt that we left off someone we shouldn't have. We're sorry. We'll try harder next year.

The Comixpedia End of 2005 Roundtable

A freewheeling discussion about the wide world of webcomics with Eric Burns, Wednesday White, Phil Kahn, Giland Pellaeon, Bob Stevenson, Ping Teo, Daku, Karl Kuras, Doctor Setebos and William G, moderated by Xaviar Xerexes.

You may have noticed that in 2005, the "webcomics blogosphere" took off like never before. There were almost as many people writing about webcomics as making them (okay not really, but there were a whole lot more blog posts about webcomics this year.) We gathered together several popular bloggers for an online roundtable discussion on webcomics here at the tail end of 2005.

We talked about webcomics and creators, art and commerce and of course, webcomics drama. Plus some predictions for the year ahead.

Where Is Chris Crosby?

Chris Crosby out of the Daily Grind? Superosity and Sore Thumbs un-updated on time? Definitely a sign we're in teh end times.

On this Websnark thread there were reports of heavy weather in Keenspot HQ, South Dakota so more likely then not it's simply a matter of the power being out.

A Status Check on the Keenspot Empire

Roughly 18 months ago, Comixpedia held a community interview with Chris Crosby and Darren Bleuel of Keenspot. I'm not going to systematically revisit that interview today but I thought I'd point out some interesting changes since then.

In the interview, you asked who Keenspot's competitors were and Crosby responded "We're competing with anybody and everybody. O­n the web our goal is to continue to be the top webcomic publisher, and in print our goal is to become a top graphic novel publisher." Keenspot has continued to roll on and despite the further diversification of webcomics publishing (small collectives, WebcomicsNation, subscription sites, etc.) Keenspot still has as much a claim on being the top publisher of webcomics as anybody does.

But back then Crosby pointed to Keenspot Premium as a lifeline during the online ad market slump. Although Premium is still offered by Keenspot, it's hard to shake the impression that it remains little more than an afterthought for Keenspot. Keenspot has also shut down it's Keenprime fee-based hosting service since the interview. Keenspot really does seem to be defined by "free" (i.e., advertiser-supported) services in contrast to other entities such as Modern Tales that continue to experiment with a mix of free and subscription approaches.

A second point of interest is that even at that point in time, Keenspot had already transitioned away from publishing in the "comic book" format and was moving into more of a "graphic novel" format for print versions of Keenspot webcomics. With the presence of on-demand publishers like Lulu, an open question is how successful does Keenspot's print operation remain for Keenspot and its creators.

And although not mentioned in the interview there has always been Keenspot's continuing efforts to license it's creator members' properties to Hollywood in which there was a success story this year with Owen Dunne's You Damn Kid. Given the niche that comics as a whole occupies in the American pop culture landscape, it will be interesting to see how the press reports on Dunne's creation if it makes it to the living room screen (and of course we are hopeful that it does!). Will webcomics share in some reflected glory or will the press ignore that angle?

Keenspot Sells Fox TV on "You Damn Kid!"

Cartoonist Owen Dunne and Keenspot Entertainment have signed with 20th Century Fox Television and former Fox TV group chairman Sandy Grushow's Phase Two to take their popular web-based comic strip You Damn Kid! from the computer monitor to the television screen.

Status of the Webcomic Hosting Market

I know "hosting" isn't really the right word for Comic Genesis or WebcomicsNation because they do a heck of a lot more than give you space on a server and bandwidth to the Internet. No really we're talking about "webcomic services" that turn self-publishing a regular (or multiple) webcomic with all of the bells and whistles you can dream up into a relatively simple task.

Lately folks have been writing about their WCN experiences: Bob Stevenson, Ping Teo, Phil Kahn and Brian Hogg just to list a few.

Having looked at a lot of options over the years you essentially have 3 types of approaches: (1) pay services; (2) free services; (3) do-it-yourself scripts. WCN falls into (1) obviously and while there have been many comparisons to Keenspot's Comic Genesis, CG falls into (2). Keenspot's (1) offering is KeenPrime does not have a pay service because despite the existing website for KeenPrime, Chris Crosby confirmed for me that they are no longer offering that service.

Around the Webcomic World in 80 Seconds

Save Ferris!ConnectiCon! Rob Balder tipped us off yesterday to the financial woes resulting from this year's installment of the convention and the efforts to raise funds to pay off the organizer's debts. Now Phil Kahn, who writes at the blog I'm Just Saying (which is a damn good Pepsi next to Eric Burns' Coke) is auctioning off a commissioned essay on any topic or form to raise some money for this effort. If you want to bid on Kahn check out the details here.

Robert Howard also has a post on saving ConnectiCon this morning. And if you're interested in donating money directly to ConnectiCon's organizers, go here to do so.

In other necks of the webcomics woods, Sam Logan has lured infamous alternative cartoonist Rikk Estoban into doing a week of guest webcomics for Logan's webcomic Sam and Fuzzy. Just checking out the wide range of this series of stylistically diverse comics you can see how the notorious and perpetually misunderstood creator of Skull Panda has really influenced today's webcomics scene.

It's clear people are still recovering from SDCC (I'm in WIGU-withdrawal!) - however, Scott McCloud points out a Flickr photo stream with lots of webcomic-familiar faces.

In Clickwheel news, William Simons has a blog where he's writing about developments with Clickwheel. Clickwheel seems to be doing well - it's a featured download at the Apple site, and is #2 on the Top Downloads list.

And Chris Crosby late yesterday posted at Keenspot (and sent to us - thanks!) a lengthy list of exciting new developments at Keenspot. The full list is after the read more jump, but beyond previously reported news of Two Lumps joing Keenspot and the namechange of Keenspace to COmic Genesis, webcomic creators will probably be interested in the further reduced price for advertising by webcomics on the Keenspot network.