One of causes of head-scratching among newer webcomics creators is the question of quality as it relates to popularity. Why are there popular comics that suck? Why are there great comics without much readership? (There are plenty, if you look.) If your comic's readership isn't growing much after a year (or two, or three), does it mean it isn't good enough to "make it?"
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 1, 2005 - 23:50
Penny Arcade's Tycho posts about a blogger who took the bold step of adopting the "beg for change so I can do this fulltime" business plan. In this case, Tycho nails the self-importance of the blogosphere pretty well as webcomic creators are for the most part further along in business experimentation then other micro-publishing fields (this may have a lot to do with the lack of opportunity in "macro-publishing" in the comics field, but I digress...).
Also in regards to T Campbell's last "History of Webcomics" installment, I believe Tycho (and Gabe had mentioned it to me earlier) is right in that although Something Positive gets a lot of credit for doing one of the first successful pledge drives, Penny Arcade did it first.
Money Matters and the Modern Webcomic
Much as some webcartoonists would like to pretend otherwise, webcomics are not really an industry apart. They are part of the larger online content industry, and any analysis of their business has to take the business of all online content into account.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 2, 2005 - 12:52
T Campbell reports that he's getting evicted in a couple months and it led him to muse on where to live.
This puts me in a strange situation-- I have no day job, and the business classes I'm taking can be taken online. I've discovered-- unfortunately-- that I am no longer content taking jobs that are just "writing-related" or "editing-related" instead of being "comics-related," so the Washington, D.C. area doesn't hold quite as much attraction for me as it used to.... What this means is, I could pretty much live anywhere.
I'd like it to be somewhere comics-fertile, not too expensive, yet with enough things to do and see that you just have to get out in it, you know?
Also recently, Tycho commented about how the affordability of Spokane played a key role in the success of Penny Arcade.
So what's the best place for a webtoonist to live and why?
Submitted by Erik Melander on January 24, 2005 - 15:27
A few more blogs about comics beyond beloved Websnark worth mentioning to Comixpedia readers:
Digital Strips describes itself as "a blog of the web comics scene. Here you'll find reviews, links, and comments of our favorite digital comic strips. Space for comics in newspapers is limited and dwindling, but the internet is a wide open canvas." Recent good posts include this one about podcasting webcomics and this one about webcomics versus Garfield (Or at least there's a picture of Tycho kicking Garfield's butt).
You might also check out the just restarted Evil Network which used to be a directory but is now a blog.
Last, you may already be reading I Read the Comics So You Don't Have To, but if you're not and you've ever smirked over inane newspaper comics or just wanted Apartment 3-G to speed things up for cryin' out loud then this is a blog for you.
Submitted by Stuart on January 11, 2005 - 00:54
Stuart Robertson weighs in with an interesting list of comic websites ranked by their PageRank status with Google.
PageRank is Google's way of deciding a page's importance. It's the numeric value assigned to represent how important each page is on the web. When one page links to another, it is effectively casting a vote for that page. Links from pages with a higher PageRank are given more weight in calculating the overall PageRank.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 16, 2004 - 17:05
The NY Times has a feature on Tycho & Gabe today. I love their attempts to describe Penny Arcade in family-friendly language:
The site displays a fresh three- or four-panel comic strip three times a week. The strips usually feature the authors' alter egos, Gabriel and Tycho, who exist in a slightly surreal world where obsolete electronic components are drunk, vulgarity and cartoon violence run rampant, vegan damned souls roam and debates about whether the newest video game is awesome or overblown become a matter of life or death. In other words, it's the world of a typical video game fan.
And there is actually quite a good discussion of how Penny Arcade's silent partner, business manager Robert Khoo, has made the enterprise profitable enough to support them all.
When we discussed the Year in Review issue it seemed like it would be a natural to write a list of people in webcomics for the year. But what to call it? Most of the time when media magazines talk about people in film, television, music or what-have-you, they can call their articles "The Power List..." or the "The It List..." because, well, those media have power and star power. Webcomics have those things, but alas, still in smaller quantities.
The Beginnings of a "Modern" Age?
Conventional wisdom held, as late as 2001, that the only sustainable economic models for online comics were ad-based. Either the comic carried advertising in some fashion, or it was itself an advertisement for its own merchandise. Pay-to-read models were mostly based upon speculation and mostly spectacularly unsuccessful. Even Scott McCloud found his position as comics pundit threatened over his endorsement of micropayments.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 30, 2004 - 15:25
Gabe and Tycho get the Slashdot interview although it looks like all of the answers were from Tycho.
Someone asked them what webcomics they read:
Tycho: Sure. Gabe reads Kazu's Copper, Machall, and PvP regularly. I cast a fairly wide net, but the strips I read whenever they are updated include Boy On A Stick And Slither (which I crave beyond reason), PvP, Shaw Island, 8-bit Theatre, Machall, Wigu, Deisel Sweeties, Creatures In My Head, Scary Go Round, Exploding Dog, Goats, Ctrl-Alt-Del, and VGCats.