Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 22, 2009 - 14:50
Last year I posted a couple times (Previous posts on this "research" project were here and here) about a possible article on "ComixTALK's 100 Greatest Webcomics" which would be something like the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movies of the last 100 years.
A recurring comment to the previous two posts was what is the criteria for this. I'm always a little hesitant to give too much guidance when part of the point of asking this kind of thing out loud is to listen to the resulting discussion of what everyone else thinks the criteria should be. For the AFI list judges picked films based on criteria such as Critical Recognition, Major Award Winner, Popularity Over Time, Historical Significance, and Cultural Impact.
That sounds about right to me. We've got a round decade plus a year or two of webcomics to look at it. Critical reception (both from peers and critics), and popularity are both relevant to thinking about the impact of a webcomic. WCCA awards are somewhat indicative of what peers were impressed with in a given year and more recently awards like the Eisners and Ignatzs have recoginized webcomics. Historical significance and cultural impact are a little harder to pin down but various "firsts" in webcomics are important and comics like Penny Arcade have had a much wider impact on popular culture than most comics do these days (put aside the legacy superheros of comics -- what other "new" comic, let alone webcomic, in the last decade has had a wide cultural impact?)
Another thing AFI did that might be useful here to help sort through the vast numbers of webcomics one could talk about is to also think about categories or genres of work. Just as a simple matter of numbers if a webcomic isn't one of the best of a larger type of story -- or frankly, so startlingly unique it's hard to categorize -- then it's hard to imagine it's one of the 100 Greatest...
So to move things along I'm listing another "draft" of titles submitted by the crowds but this time I've tried to break them up into drama and comedy so as to help avoid complete apples to oranges comparisons. In doing that I've realized (1) it's hard in many cases to decide; and (2) there are probably more comedic than drama on the list so far. I think it would make sense to whittle down the two lists to 75 each so as the final list is no more than 3/4 of one type or the other. Of course we could further do genre type lists but for now this was enough work on my part.
So -- your assignment (if you choose to play):
- Name the comic you're talking about (you're also welcome to nominate ones not on the list -- I KNOW there are many I haven't even thought about yet -- it takes time to review all of the corners of the web)
- Tell me where on one the two lists (comedy and drama) it should be (you could give a range of slots if you're not sure). (If you think I've got a drama on the comedy list or vice-versa let me know! I'm not "done" - this is fairly dashed off still at this point)
- Tell me why! Referencing awards, critics, historical achievements, strengths and weaknesses of the works are all really helpful!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 13, 2008 - 21:02
This is an update to a previous post here, thanks for the cumulative suggestions on that thread. JUST so we're clear - this is open-sourced to everyone research for a possible article to appear next month at ComixTalk. I don't endorse the list or the order at all; at this point I've tried to include all of the suggestions I've gotten and I also went through all of the comics ComixTalk has ever reviewed and pulled quite a few titles.
We're at the point where it'll be most helpful if you tell me comics you think should go on the list, where (what number approximately) and which comic should get bumped. If you just want to change the order you can do that to but there'll be another post before the month's through asking for help with that.
With the Eighth Annual edition of the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards (WCCAs) coming up I wanted to get an interview on the state of the awards with current WCCA Chairman Frank "Damonk" Cormier. Frank worked with me on ComixTalk in the first two years of its existence and I know from experience that he is quite passionate about comics and isn't one to shy from stating his opinion. So I put a range of questions to him regarding this year's awards, changes from last year and how to improve things in years to come.
And now... the fourth annual People Of Webcomics list! I'll be the first to admit that this list gets harder and harder to compile as the lines between "webcomics" and just plain "comics" blurs harder than a greasy windshield in the middle of a West Texas downpour. Plus as publishing comics on the web and other digital formats becomes more commonplace it gets harder and harder to find those "firsts" that take comics in new directions whether artistic, technical or businesss-oriented.
Our third annual virtual round table on the year in webcomics features comments from Gary Tyrrell, Dirk Deppey, Tom Spurgeon, Heidi MacDonald, Brigid Alverson, Derik A Badman, Reinder Dijkhuis, and JT Shea and Scott Gallatin.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 13, 2007 - 11:31
- Dirk Deppey links to Marvel Comics new webcomic effort -- Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited as well as a USA Today story on the new site. The bottom line -- the site will feature 2,500 comics (nothing more recent than 6 months old though) for $9.99 a month, or $4.99 a month if youâ€™re willing to commit for a year. Aren't these guys about 4 years late to the subscription model? Still it'll be interesting to see how it does and who becomes its audience (existing fans or newcomers to Marvel stories).
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- Reinder Dijkhuis brings back from hiatus his comic Invasion which will resume on November 21, on his Chronicles of the Witch Queen site.
AROUND TEH WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Randall Munroe entertains the masses at Carnegie Mellon.
- New dope track from KRiS-ONE at Halfpixel.com.
- Congratulations to Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo on becoming a dad.
- Neil Cohn writes about how using repurposed art for comics doesn't work well.
- The Moderate Voice blog names xkcd as it's top webcomic for 2007.Â Click here for their top 10 list. (h/t Tom Spurgeon)
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on October 10, 2007 - 08:53
The Trial of Colonel Sweeto, the first print collection of The Perry Bible Fellowship is selling well. Publisher Dark Horse has had previous successes with webcomics in print, including Fred Gallagher's Megatokyo (now on CMX) and Penny Arcade by Tycho and Gabe.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 24, 2007 - 14:31
I built a "library" of webcomics and creators back in the fall of 2005 which I put into beta before realizing it was too much editorial work to deal with and the same information could be better provided through the community edited webcomic wiki - COMIXPEDIA.
Nevertheless looking back on the assortment of names collected (some from me, some sent in from you) I wonder if anyone has any significant updates on these creators 18 months later. Maybe we should interview some of them?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 10, 2007 - 23:19
- David Willis is getting damn good at mocking the funny pages. This one titled "My Mother is F---ng Insane".
- Corey Marie marks one year on her webcomic Scene Language. Congrats!
- Missed this - but Todd Allen had an interview with T Campbell - largely about his comics journalism at Broken Frontiers this year. I've enjoyed many of the pieces T wrote for the site but I have to admit I don't like the obsessive focus on superhero comic books there - it often feels like 60-75% of the site is focused on that genre/format...
- T Campbell catches that Fred Gallagher's Megatokyo is now out in an official Japanese-language edition. He's also celebrating the arrival of his first child. Congrats!
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- I really like this webcomic and you will too: Activities for Rainy Days.
- T Campbell spotlights some webcomics on hiatus that well... we all kind of wish weren't but sometimes its just the way it goes. (Although Hate Song is back now)
- Now that's an opinionated comic: Keyboard Kommandos!
- Comics2Film reports that Shannon Eric Denton, part of the webcomics site, Komikwerks is moving into television production with CBS putting World Of Quest - an animated show based on the webcomic of the same name - on its Fall schedule. Denton has also done a deal for a pilot based on a second Komikwerks webcomic title, Wyoming.
- Been thinking a bit more about this DC Zuda webcomics site and the more I think about it the more I go zzzzzz....Ã¯Â¿Â½ Sure it could be great, I am reserving judgment until there's an actual launch later this year but the basic concept as announced?Ã¯Â¿Â½ It plays to none of DC's supposed strengths.Ã¯Â¿Â½ This is a superhero publishing house right?Ã¯Â¿Â½ With tremendous character assets... with extremely long story archives that right now are hard to obtain a complete copy of on paper or digitally... legally, anyhow.Ã¯Â¿Â½ DC is probably losing a lot of money from pirated scans and is losing a lot more money from not coming up with and executing on a viable plan to digitally distribute the great character assets that it has.Ã¯Â¿Â½ The web is the best system for reading comics with long archives and intricate storylines because every new reader can dive into as much of the comic as they want.Ã¯Â¿Â½ There are some assertions that longer-form comics don't work on the web but I think a lot of that has to do with schedule, serialization and consistency (longer works take a larger commitment from the creators) and while superhero stories aren't everyone's cup of joe,, they aren't boring and a 22 page story isn't too long for a single read at the computer.Ã¯Â¿Â½ I don't know if DC should be doing a per-issue system or a Rhapsody subscription system but they should be doing something.Ã¯Â¿Â½ They are probably literally throwing money away right now because there is no way to get their comics through the web and then you throw in the seeming continued growth of pirated digital scans of their work.Ã¯Â¿Â½ Their paying-for-it-in-print audience is shrinking and they're letting their potential digital audience get used to getting it for free. Zuda comics is completely irrelevant to the actual hard digitial distribution questions DC needs to deal with.