Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on June 4, 2007 - 10:42
Some interesting articles recently on the biz of comics. First Journalista! points out that the website ICv2 recently estimated the entire Direct Market has retail sales of about $650 million last year (ICv2 is a pretty reliable source for numbers on comic book and graphic novel sales). Joey Manley writes "$650 million? Sorry. Iâ€™m just not that impressed." Compared to the total market for books it is a pretty small number.
Tom Spurgeon has a short post musing on the issues confronting the different facets of the comics-on-print publishing business. And at CBR, Todd Allen has a column which compares different sales channels for comics: Direct Market, Bookstores, Online Stories, Direct-To-Consumer.
Not a lot to add myself today except some speculation. I'd guess that a large percentage of the $650 million number for Direct Market retail sales is of the superhero genre. I'd find it hard to believe that there's much, if any, room for growth in that genre in comics as it's been so completely exploited by DC and Marvel over the years, so let's guess $500 million in sales as a ceiling for what is still often referred to as "mainstream" comic books. That's only one genre though - if publishers of comic books could develop other genres into at least $100 million plus categories, well, then you'd have a roadmap for the overall growth of comics. Start with popular genres in terms of sales of books and movies that have not been exploited by comics. You're not going to sell these new genre comics through the Direct Market (at least not primarily) but smart, innovative publishers could do it through a combination of bookstores and digital sales.
Submitted by Joey Manley on May 23, 2007 - 10:50
The Webcomics Nation API will allow, among other things:
- Posting comics, blogs, etc., to any WCN-engine powered site from any CMS or blogging tool with WCN API support.
- Delivering certain public data (comics or blog posts, traffic numbers for individual comics, favorites lists, etc.) to robots, spiders, and other CMS's who know how to ask for it and have permission to do so.
So there's that!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 4, 2007 - 10:28
- Filed under WTF?!: Boing Boing reports (linking to a Rich Stevens post) on Matt Boyd's termination from work as a result of misunderstood conversations about guns. Boyd's comic, Three Panel Soul featured a storyline about this weird, unfortunate experience (a storyline which I originally thought was fiction - a smart parody of our current attitudes towards guns and incidents like the massacre at Virginia Tech). UPDATE: Fleen has an interview with Boyd today.
- Don't forget this Saturday's (tomorrow) big events: Online Comics Day 2007 and Free Comic Book Day 2007.
- Another big thanks to April cover artist Michael Lalonde. Be sure to go check out Orneryboy if you're not already reading it. You should also delve into the Comixpedia archives to check out Welton Colbert's awesome interview with Lalonde from 2005.
- Webcomics-In-Print has an interview with Ryan Estrada, creator of the comic Welton Colbert and currently working on videos for his Ryan Estrada Expeditions.
- Sequential Tart has an interview with Rich Stevens, the creator of the web and newspaper comic, Diesel Sweeties.
- Panels and Pixels interviews American Elf creator James Kochalka (link from Journalista!)
- The Pulse's Jennifer Contino interviews Fishtown creator Kevin Colden. (link from Journalista!)
- The Pulse's Steve Ahlquist talks to the 2007 Eisner Award judges: Chris Reilly, Whitney Matheson, Jeff VanderMeer and James Sime. (link from Journalista!)
- Talkaboutcomics links to lots of reviews of webcomics across the blog-o-bog.
- Comixpedia reviewed a couple of sci-fi comics for April: S.S.D.D. and Uku.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
- Joey Manley ponders the nomenclature of "webcomics""versus "comics", prompted by someone's description of Dilbert as a webcomic. It's best not to get too hung up on nomenclature. As comics as a medium (not as a genre/format) have gotten (slightly) more visibility in America we can all talk about "comics" at that level. But that doesn't mean the term "webcomic" won't continue to be useful, just as "comic book" and "comic strip" (and more recently "graphic novel") have been used and useful for many years. Given the growth of comics on the web versus every other format though I won't be surprised if most people will begin to use comic and webcomic much more interchangeably. (Manley also links to a Google trends graph of the use of the word "webcomic(s)".)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- The webcomics newspaper Zoinks plans to put out a new issue this June. Advertising spots are still available for it.
- Talkaboutcomics wraps up some rumbling about how Microsoft's forthcoming Silverfish code (meant to be a competitor to Flash) can be used to present webcomics, sort of like Flash can be used to present webcomics...
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on May 2, 2007 - 15:48
Interubes pundit Clay Shirky posted about Scott McCloud's decision to re-release The Right Number for free (formerly it had been available for purchase via the just recently discontinued Bitpass payments system).
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 26, 2007 - 12:18
- Scott McCloud's brilliant The Right Number is now free (previously it was available for purchase through Bitpass). Go read, enjoy and then email Scott to encourage him to finish it.
- I haven't seen more updates on the cease&desist style letters from Todd Goldman's attorneys that FLEEN reported on recently, but it does seem clear that the immediate effect has been to revive the Todd Goldman Copied Dave Kelly's Artwork story and spread news of it well beyond the world of (web)comics. UPDATE: Cartoon Brew has an up-to-the-minute, snark-filled update on Todd Goldman.
- The Pulse interviews Josh Newfeld, creator of the new strip A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. (link via Dirk Deppey)
- Joey Manley offers up a review of Flipside.
- The Ferret reviews Bobby Crosby's +EV. (Comixpedia reviewed +EV last fall.)
- 4 Color Rebellion spotlights Questionable Content, "the Friends of the Internet".
- UTNE Reader offers up a short review of Chris Onstad's The Achewood Cookbook: Recipes for a Lady or a Man.
- The Ferrett has a funny write-up of the recent Penguincon convention. Please feel free to add any and all conventions to our EVENTS CALENDAR.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Tym Godek shows how to be a webcomic creator in 4 easy steps. (part of Godek's awesome daily sketchblog)
- The Kea's Nest catches up with Bill Mudron's never-finished Anne Frank Conquers The Moon Nazis. (Shaenon Garrity reviewed it for Comixpedia way back in March 2003)
- Kris Straub notes one of his Starslip Crisis characters, Vanderbeam, making a cameo in Slither & Friends.
- FLEEN's Anne Thalheimer has a short post on how social networking leads to finding new comics.
- A nice interview with the creator and one of the stars of the teevee show Heroes. (Still haven't watched this though - should I?)
- 4 Color Rebellion reviews the latest episodes of the videogame Sam & Max. The comic version of Sam & Max was recently nominated for an Eisner. (4CR also has an interview with Telltale Games, the publisher of the S&M games.)
Submitted by Joey Manley on April 26, 2007 - 09:11
This is a review of Flipside by Brion Foulke.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 17, 2007 - 15:50
The blog Techdirt notes the little-remarked upon sale of micropayments company Peppercoin. It certainly wasn't a lack of investment that caused the last big burst of micro-payment companies to fail but given the seemingly short-term memory of VCs and other investors, I wonder how long it will be until micro-payments are "hot" again?
UPDATE: Joey Manley also commented on the end of Peppercoin which he notes launched at the same time as another no-longer-with-us micropayments company Bitpass.
Submitted by Erik Melander on April 17, 2007 - 08:09
- Related to last weeks post about the flurry of business related blogposts by Joey Manley, SLG publishing's livejournal has a roundup of links in response to SLG president Dan Vado's interview at Newsarama about their digital comics store Eyemelt.com.
- The Daily Crosshatch has put up the second part of their interview with Raina Telgemeier.
- The Comics Reporter interviews K Thor Jensen about the completion of his autobiographical comic Red Eye, Black Eye, which was originally serialized at Serializer.net.
- Blogpost by R Stevens entitled Thinking! Hard! About the How and Why of Making Webcomics.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on April 13, 2007 - 14:05
Joey Manley, webcomics entrepreneur, posts about "analyzing the market" which he defines as webcomics portals, aggregators and technology providers. (Which as Manley notes is a bit different than the questions an individual creator asks themselves when working on a comic) In the comments there's some talk of Web 2.0 as well which I'll tie into things later on.
Submitted by Erg on April 6, 2007 - 16:57
Joey Manley, over here, is talking about a post he made over here, about this book here. And having read all three of these things, I have come to an important realization about comics and why they are not in the "mainstream" even though people are working so hard to legitimize them.