Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on February 8, 2007 - 11:17
- Scott Adams discovers he can collect some scratch from selling original art from his Dilbert comic. My impression is that sales of art in the "comic book" world is pretty common now and it's also something many web-based creators have pursued. I don't know if this is common or not with newspaper artists. (Click here to check out Adam's site for selling his original art) Also interesting here is that Adams only has a limited set of art to sell - his early work used an ink that has already faded and more recently, he does all of it on the computer.
- Fleen has a brief preview (embedded in a post about wikipedia antics) about webcomics appearing at this summer's San Diego Comicon. This year's unofficial webcomic pavilion looks to be at the section of floor bounded by booths 1129, 1137, 1329, and 1337 where Dayfree, Penny Arcade, Blank Label, Keenspot, Dumbrella and Phil Foglio will be located.
- Webcomics In Print covers the second print collection of Stuff Sucks by Liz Greenfield.
- No book for 24 Hour Comics Day. (There was a book for 2006's 24 Hour Comics Day.)
- Missed this, but Joey Manley noted that you can now podcast PDFâ€™s to iTunes (
and from there to iPodsTim Demeter says you can get PDFs on iTunes but not on your iPod.).
If youâ€™re part of the [people who care about these awards], then in doing so, whether you like it or not, youâ€™re subscribing to the reality of these awards; that the majority rules them, and if you want to win, you better get off your ass and do some promotional work. Just because your comic is better than one of the nominees doesnâ€™t mean the world is going to flock to your self-perceived greatness and if youâ€™re the only one who thinks youâ€™re great, then youâ€™re not great, youâ€™re a bit of a narcissist, and I suggest you go for the other option of not caring about awards.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 8, 2007 - 16:53
- Bomb Shelter's Webcomic Idol shuts down due to voting fraud.
- A good round-up of links about the bankruptcy of Advanced Marketing Services (AMS), the distribution and wholesale company responsible for circulating books between giant chain stores and smaller publishers, just declared bankruptcy.
- For Better Or For Worse is going to do some kind of quasi-classic Peanuts-style rerun after it ends, thereby keeping its more than 2000 newspaper slots tied up into the indefinite future.
- Someone started an unofficial message board and blog about the Project Wonderful advertising service.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Webcomics In Print has its weekly round-up of webcomic books.
- Joey Manley thinks the webcomic Behind the Blue Door is something.
- TalkAboutComics links to Scott McCloud's Ten American Comics to read.
- Journalista! mucks around in the selling of the print version of the comic Cowboys & Aliens.
- It was Vera Brosgol who did the webcomic Enchanted Office for the new version of Microsoft Office
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 26, 2006 - 16:16
Wow - I'm exhausted. Grey skies and a little rain for the day after Christmas. Hope you all have had a happy winter solstice season so far.
NEWS & VIEWS
- On the heels of Comicne.ws comes Plugg.us which is another digg-clone for comics. There's nothing wrong with comics-focused versions of more popular social networking tools, in fact it's great that this stuff is emerging. But the trick to success with these comic clones is whether or not they garner a critical mass of users (which is the same key to success for the original versions of any social networking site). Comicne.ws came pre-sold to CBR's significant audience, ComicSpace came pre-populated with OnlineComics large directory of webcomics. I'll wait and see with Plugg.us as it doesn't seem to have any similar affiliations to jumpstart it.
- Joey Manley has been using Alexa to show trends of various webcomics hosting services (here and more recently here). It's a bit tangential to interest in tracking individual webcomics' audience numbers but nevertheless interesting to see how other hosting services match up to the somewhat entrenched coke and pepsi of the market.
- Writer Caleb Monroe has set up a page intended to be a guide for beginning comic creators.
- Wizard interviews John Allison, creator of Scary Go Round.
- The WordBalloon podcast has an interview with Steven Bryant, creator of Athena Voltaire.
- The Digital Strips podcast has a review of Butterfly by Dean Trippe.
- Minimalist Stick Figure Theater reaches number 600.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- I can't tell whether Chris Crosby's Sore Thumbs spin-off project, Cecania's Private Party is a webcomic or a porn site. Time will tell I guess...
- Aeire and Chris Daily are teaming up for a new webcomic project debuting sometime next year. Check out a few preliminary sketches here.
- Art Room is an online drawing tool and gallery from the Saatchi Gallery. Holy high-low culture collision Batman!
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 23, 2006 - 15:09
I asked this question earlier this week:
I didn't realize that it was a common practice for comics publishers to own comics journalists, but today's Journalista! also alerted me to the fact that Platinum Studios bought the comics news site Broken Frontier earlier this month. (Similarly, Journalista! and TCJ are owned by publisher Fantagraphics.) I'm sincere in asking: how do such journalists deal with the obvious conflict of interest this presents? Is there a corporate separation that protects the ability of the journalists to cover the news without interference or does the journalist just not cover their owners?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 19, 2006 - 12:54
- A smaller December issue then years past but still full of great webcomic recommendations and plenty of opinions to discuss. There's a slight chance we'll have a few more pieces, but I may hold those until January.
- I just wanted to say thanks and congrats to Kris Straub who has contributed to Comixpedia for a couple years - first with Modern Humor Authority and this year with Checkerboard Nightmare. Kris' plate has gotten considerably more full lately so he won't have time to contribute next year.
- If you have a minute please vote for the Roundtable and People of Webcomics articles over at ComicNe.ws - it's a different crowd at CBR and having Comixpedia articles on the front page over there has helped bring some of their readers over here to check out Comixpedia. At this point it only takes about 6 votes to get something on the front page over there so click that little "c" below your posts if you think it might be of interest.
A warning to those using google ads and placing images near the ads themselves - that appears to be against Google Adsense's new policy:
Can I place small images next to my Google ads?
We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests arelationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn't actually being offered. That's nota good experience for users or advertisers.
Let's All Go To The Movies
Journalista has a significant section today on Scott Rosenberg and Platinum Studios called "Meet the new Scott Rosenberg, the same as the old Scott Rosenberg." (A side note: Rosenberg was included in our People Of Webcomics list this year.) Obviously anyone who has followed Rosenberg in the news this year knows at this point he's been around comics in various ventures for quite some time. A chief, recurring, criticism seems to be that Rosenberg is interesting in comics properties solely for their potential to be licensed to filmmakers and that he does not actual perform the basic publishing function of a comics publisher.
I can't comment too much because I haven't done my homework on this subject, but it does strike me as odd that when numerous creators are abandoning the monthly comic book format for webcomics (albeit with a goal to collection in a graphic novel) that there is an expectation that Platinum would want to vigorously compete in the direct market. It also seems odd to criticize Platinum for using a creator-for-hire approach on its first comic book, Cowboy & Aliens -- isn't that the standard model for the majority of the industry (you know, DC and Marvel)? Deppey reports that a deal from 2004 may require Platinum to put out comic books in order to comply with the deal - to the extent that Platinum is treating such publication as an expense rather than a profit center, I'd think the most obvious question is what does that say about the health of the direct market?
If this is of interest, there's lot more on the topic at Journalista! today.
NEWS ABOUT COMICS NEWS SITES
I didn't realize that it was a common practice for comics publishers to own comics journalists, but today's Journalista! also alerted me to the fact that Platinum Studios bought the comics news site Broken Frontiers earlier this month. (Similarly, Journalista! and TCJ are owned by publisher Fantagraphics.) I'm sincere in asking how do such journalists deal with the obvious conflict of interest this presents? Is there a corporate separation that protects the ability of the journalists to cover the news without interference or does the journalist just not cover their owners?
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
If you haven't been reading ICE by Faith Erin Hicks get over there and check it out (the archives aren't that long). I'm not sure I like the black & white as much as the earlier coloring but that's only as a comparative matter - both periods of the comic are amazing. If you have been reading, the current scene is getting particularly tense as major plots points are revealed.
Joe Barbera passed away. I thought this guy's name meant animation when I was a kid.
Around The World in 80 BLOGS
- Speaking of Kris Straub, I assume this PvP guest comic is his comment on Rich Stevens' newspaper gig for Diesel Sweeties.
- Journalista! catches that Alison Bechdel's autobiography, Fun Home, is Time Magazineâ€™s book of the year.
- All of the movie comics creators did a live podcast together yesterday - you can catch the recording still.
- Clay Yount ended his Saturdays-only strip Bikini Frisbee Days at Sluggy Freelance with a plug for his forthcoming webcomic, Cosmobear. I wonder if that means Pete Abrams has an opening for that Saturday gig?
- Ali Graham is doing a radio show (internet-only) based on his Housd webcomic.
- Shaenon Garrity tees off on Anthony, the character you love to hate from For Better Or For Worse.
- A whole lot of art tutorials - link from the Drawn! blog.
It's the third annual Comixpedia People Of Webcomics List. This was the hardest one yet to compile. There's a lot of webcomics and a lot of people doing interesting things in and around webcomics. This list, as in past years, is an odd effort to compare apples and oranges: artistic achievement, audience popularity, technical achievement, business savvy, news-making impact all go into the mix.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 18, 2006 - 10:41
- Check out the End of 2006 Roundtable with 10 comics-savvy writers covering the year in webcomics. A few more articles should be up soon (I'm editing as fast as I can!) - possibly even today.
- The Comics Reporter interviews the creator of Narbonic and other webcomics, Shaenon Garrity. Really, really good interview. Interesting question at the end where Garrity muses on where she'll be five years from now. I think she's overlooking the webcomic/newspaper hybrid that Rich Stevens' Diesel Sweeties may be cracking open and that would seem well-suited to Garrity's combination of writing and artistic skills.
- Digital Strips reviews some of the free webcomics published on Netcomics.com (Netcomics is the english-language affiliate of Korean manwha publisher, E-comix).
- Webcomics In Print posts one last book roundup for the year. (Don't forget to check out the Year In Print round-up in our December issue)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Eric Burns posts the "pilot script" for ComicSense.com, a television show about webcomics - look for it around, oh I'll put my money on 2016. Actually it's a self-described parody of West Wing/Studio 60 creator Aaron Sorkin's style and since everyone reading this post knows webcomics, I can safely say - it's marvelously funny.
- From Fleen: Jennie Breeden is selling a deck of The Devil's Panties cards.
- Wow - 2 years and a 100 podcasts from Digital Strips. Congratulation to Daku (and the now-departed Zampson).
- Drawn! points to a tutorial by Les McClaine (creator of Johnny Crossbones).
- Joey Manley has started a discussion group on creating an API for Webcomics Nation. An API would allow third-party developers to write code that could work with the WCN code to do interesting things.
- Keenspot working with sponsor Wicked Lasers debuts a new webcomic called Wicked Powered created by Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni (the team behind Sore Thumbs). This may be the first sponsor co-owned/created webcomic. I'm all in favor of exploring new ways to make money from making comics so while it's too early to tell what this means, kudos to Crosby and Keenspot for pursuing the opportunity.
Submitted by Joey Manley on December 17, 2006 - 11:47
So I'm thinking I'd like to develop a WCN API, allowing external developers to play in the WCN sandbox. Goals:
1. Inbound publishing hooks, so that developers of third-party content management or content creation systems can allow their users, on the "inbound" side, to publish content directly to WCN (in the same way that many third-party word processing tools can now publish directly to WordPress). I've been studying up on the WordPress API, so I think I can, all by myself, make this happen from within any content authoring tool that can publish to WordPress.
Our second annual virtual round table on the year in webcomics features comments from Eric Millikin, Daku, Gilead Pellaeon, Mike Russell, Lewis Powell, Alexander Danner, Eric Burns, Michael Rouse-Deane, Johanna Draper Carlson and Gary Tyrrell.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 14, 2006 - 10:28
- E& P lists some of the initial newspapers Rich Stevens' Diesel Sweeties will launch in next year.
- The Daily Cartoonist links to speculation on what the newspaper business will look by the end of the decade.
- The Comics Reporter links to an interview with Gene Yang, creator of American Born Chinese.
- Newsarama catches up with Frank Cho. He seems to be doing a lot of superhero work these days.
- Ted Rall defends the recently arrested creator of Mallard Fillmore, Bruce Tinsley.
- Dirk Deppey wonders aloud (look under "digital comics" section) if the recent nearly nude shot of a character in Chris Muirâ€™s webcomic Day by Day would offend readers of conservative blogs where the strip is syndicated.
- I missed that Line Item Veto went on hiatus.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Joey Manley charts the long tail of WCN webcomics.
- Omigawd! Kris Straub snaps and kicks the crap out of Scott Kurtz! And uh, more behind the scenes on the forthcoming PvP animated series.
- Stephen "xmung" Crowley has some thoughts on webcomic audience sizes.
- Every comics creator should have a comic bio. Check out Jon Morris' bio here.
- Where is
WaldoRyan? Help decide where world explorer/cartoonist Ryan Estrada heads to next.
- Not sure how old this is, but the cast of the NBC television show, Scrubs, dubbed the dialogue to the classic Peanuts Christmas special. Pretty funny, actually.