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Joey Manley

Here and There and Somewhere In Between

I assume you're all reading up on FLEEN.com, Webcomics.com and Journalista!?  Good.  I'm happy to front page other efforts to link roll up ALL of the interesting FUTURE OF COMICS IS NOW type stories and then some (hint hint) but I won't be doing nearly as much of that kind of blogging myself this year.  

Webcomics Booyah!

Tim Broderick responds to an email from a COMIC BOOK executive posted at Tom Spurgeon's COMICS REPORTER site.  You know where my bias are, but by the end of 2009 "comics" as a business is going to be so deep into the throes of change... well really deep I guess.  No new demographic is going to replace the aging males buying the soft comic "book" monthly thing and even a lot of those this year are going to have to cut back in order to, you know, eat.

Writing

What's this -- another missive from Tim Broderick this morning :)  Yep, Tim has a short piece on strategy for the long-form webcomic over at Webcomics.com.

COMICSPACE

Joey Manley posted an update on Comicspace initiatives.  It doesn't sound like there's a firm date anymore for the launch of the "new" comicspace.com site for creators.  They are also having an open house February 5 and 6 nearby the New York Comic Convention this weekend.  I have been using their new advertising network Webcomics World for a few months now -- too early for me to have any opinion on it though.

Updates on the new ComicSpace from Joey Manley

Joey Manley posts at his Talkaboutcomics blog on updates to the new Comicspace portal and other webcomic services his company is rolling out.

Thinking About Advertizing in the Current Economy

I suspect it's going to be a lousy time for ads in the near term.  Less money spent on them; less readers clicking on them (on the idea everyone is spending less).

I saw a decent thread on various ad systems over at webcomics.com -- I'm really curious about how January shakes out for creators running ads.  I'm currently using Joey Manley's new advertising platform - Webcomics World - but it's too soon to provide any feedback on it yet.  Previously I used a combination of Blog Ads, Project Wonderful and Google Ads.  Google ads have never worked for me, PW has always been a small amount (but consistent) and Blog Ads used to be pretty good but declined severely over 2008.

NOTE: I grabbed this link from the webcomics.com thread - Tony Piro wrote up an overview of many ad networks - a little out of date but still, a pretty useful overview.  One other new network you might also investigate is from Six Apart (they own typepad and moveable type) - I have not used it but did consider it last year.

ADVERT: Thinking about blogads I just lowered slashed the price on the blogad spot here at ComixTALK (it appears at the top of the left hand column).

Indiebound crawling toward the 21st century

New Feature! INDIEBOUND LINKS!

Well, sorta kinda. It's in development, but like the Afghan/Iraq war pullout.

If you look in the Little Store you'll see a bunch of funky links. They're supposed to help you find independent bookstores that carry my books.

Twenty-twenty-twenty Four Hours To Go I Wanna Be Webcomic'd

Wow - lots of news and stuff for the day before Halloween and five (5!) days until the end of the Dubya era in the US of A.  (Btw fellow Americans - get out there and vote on November 4th - early if it's allowed in your state..  I already did myself)

BUSINESS
Advertising platform Project Wonderful warns - autosurfing sites are a really bad idea (and a violation of PW's TOS).

DJ Coffman likes what he sees from T-shirt printer Redbubble.com.

Don't miss Howard and Sandra Tayler's guide to shipping -- there's clearly a lot you can learn from their experience before trying to sell your own t-shirts or books.

INTERVIEWS
The New Yorker has an interview with Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

CBR has an interview with Smile creator Raina Telgemeier.

Daily Cross Hatch has an interview with Slow Wave creator Jesse Reklaw.

HOLLYWOOOOOOD!!
Paramount has acquired the screen rights to Dave Roman's supernatural detective series, Agnes Quill.  I've read Agnes stories before (click here for the webcomic version) and just picked up a collection from Dave at this year's SPX (the collection is from SLG, published in 2006).  You never know how these deal will turn out -- movie gets made or development hell -- but I have to say, this is a great premise for a movie.  I could easily see a version of it as Ghostbusters crossed with Buffy.

BASIC TRAINING
Comicspace Colonel Joey Manley is looking for comics about military life.  He lists several he's found already.

Can I Get a Webcomic?

COMIXTALK
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!

BOMB SHELTER WEBCOMIC IDOL
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.

MILESTONES
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.

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

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

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

A Few Random Keystrokes About SPX

A great day at SPX this Sunday.  Saw a whole bunch of familiar (web)comic artists (and bought some great stuff too) and met some new ones.  I get overwhelmed trying to check out everything at SPX -- I don't think I'd cut it at San Diego.  I guess it's 'cause I do try to check out as much of the work as possible.  (I missed the Ignatz awards Satuday night but click here to find out about the winners.  Apparently there was another dude in a gorilla suit this year just like last year. UPDATE: Yep - there's a moneky in THIS YEAR's presentation.  h/t FLEEN).

Anyhow, I may have some reviews and interviews coming up leading out of today but for now I'm putting my new poster of the "Atheist's Afterlife" strip from Aaron Diaz's Dresden Codak up on the wall next to my A Lesson Is Learned But the Damage is Irreversible poster.  I also picked up some books from Dirk Tiede, Spike, Meredith Gran, Josh Lesnick, Joe Dunn... jeez, really too many to list in one post.  I'll get to them this week!

Also ran into the elusive Joey Manley (well he was up in the wilds of Maine for awhile... now he's apparently in the more hospitable land of Brooklyn) along with T Campbell.  I think the gist of that conversation was that the new Comicspace.com is coming soon AND YET in some ways is already here.  I should try harder to get an interview with him (although I have asked!), shouldn't I?

I also talked briefly with Raina Telgemeier about her new book with Scholastic - which will be a print version of her webcomic Smile. Raina thought a press release had gone out but I can't find it just now.  Raina had done four Babysitters Club books with Scholastic, but she said that was it for the graphic novel series.  I asked Raina about the experience and she was extremely positive on it, noting she had done about 800 pages on the series.  Best wishes for the Smile project and I'll post more details when I get them.

Howard Tayler's SDCC Report: Day One

So busy…

Did a brisk business once the doors finally opened. Met lots of fans, met lots of peers, met lots of friends. There’s a social aspect to this event that is easy to understate.

Screenshot of New Comicspace.com

Joey Manley posts a screenshot of the new Comicspace.com at his blog talkaboutcomics.  It's very... yellow.

Thoughts?  Educated guesses?

Also T Campbell is selling the webcomics.com domain... not cheap! but maybe something someone can do something interesting with?

ComicSpace Media Kit Online: Lots New Details on Josh and Joey

Well -- lots more details on the new Comicspace venture owned in part by Josh Roberts and Joey Manley.  Complete with a cartoon of the dynamic duo, the Comicspace media kit has details on the ventures sites, their audience ("hipster geeks"), their technology partners such as Netomat for mobile phones and some surprising "options" such as custom ads from comicspace creators.  It also lists the overall audience for the network of sites as 4 million unique visitors. 

UPDATE: It does seem like the new Comicspace is getting closer - here's a post from Joey Manley looking for a developer to finish up some Yahoo User Interface (YUI) related work for the site.