Bill Duncan is ComixPediaâ€™s Art Director and Staff Doodler as well as the creator of Monster Hollow, Japanimation Fist, and other work. He is a Canadian, and an avid reader of comics on the web and otherwise. He has been a dishwasher, tree-trimmer, projectionist, translator, reporter, editor, and teacher, and thought he might like to be an art director for awhile.
Bill likes to write and draw and spend time with the Interviews Editor who says she will marry him someday (if he'll just stop doodling long enough). Much of what he doodles ends up in the dunktank.
Let's face it: business has not been good in the comics industry during the last decade or so. However, despite this, there has been a swelling of diversification amongst genres, creators, and publishers, and maybe even a little upswing in the public's perception of comics. And, there is plenty of talent around too â€“ arguably more than there has ever been. This summer, Scott McCloud quipped, "I'd be willing to debate that there is more talent now concentrated in people named 'Jason' than there were talented people in the entire industry when I entered it twenty years ago." So, if the industry now has a great deal of talent, diversity, and freedom of expression, why are things still only so-so for its status and prosperity?
Submitted by Erik Melander on January 15, 2004 - 14:37
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 13, 2004 - 16:06
Another solid update from Journalista! Deppey is a one-man newscast for comicsland.
MICROPAYMENTS: Deppey points to a fairly useless article on micropayments from ecommerce times. Recycled quotes from Scott McCloud (optimist) and Clay Shirky (pessimist) included. I don't think this is so hard really - if there's a perceived vaule for the price people will pay if it's not too hard to do so. Same as offline transactions.
Shirky's big mistake is creating a straw man of multiple, piece by piece purchases as if we wanted to buy every little thing separately. As if I went to the grocery store and paid for each thing when I picked it up. Or per page in a bookstore to be even more ridiculous. No one is advocating that. No one (that I'm aware of is even trying to be that boneheaded about it).I think there's a real question of whether people want to buy the equivalent of a comic book (like McCloud's I Can't Stop Thinking) or a magazine subscription (Modern Tales) but really it comes to down to perceived price to value. A buck a song - yeah that works. A quarter for a comic, that'll probably also work. I think we're getting there.
NEW KEENSPOT: Nicer site layout for the Keenspot site along with less garish logo. However, now that they're classifying their comics I'm scratching my head. They've grouped the following comics as "Surreal": BoxJam's Doodle, Checkerboard Nightmare, Chopping Block, Framed, just another Vice,Men in Hats, and Road Waffles. Compared to several other Keenspot comics I'm not quite sure what's so surreal about this lot. BoxJam's Doodle is a rather PG-rated blend of painfully honest-Charlie Brown stories and clever word play. Chopping Block is a pun-filled horrorfest. Checkerboard Nightmare and Framed wear their meta-hearts on their sleeves but I've never heard meta described as surreal. The others don't even come close really. Even beyond the mislabeling here is grouping them together at all. Sure a Chopping Block fan might like Road Waffles (similar violence content) and Framed fans might go for Checkerboard Nightmare but I'm not seeing much guaranteed cross-over beyond that.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 8, 2004 - 12:57
Scott McCloud mentioned the Comixpedia face-lift. Generally I think we got a lot of overall positive feedback on the site from readers but not a lot (meaning almost nil) of notice from the emerging blog-o-sphere:comics. I suppose this blog, in part, is a way to try and interact more with this cool new conversation on the medium taking place on the web. Scott also mentioned girl-a-matic cartoonist Spike just got married. Unlike Ms. Spears let's hope Spike stays happily married for more than 24 hours.Pathetic Geek Stories leaves the onion and sets off on its own little website. These are of that young and cringe-worthy genre of diary comics. Still they can be quite good in a sort of Barry-esque way.Four Color Hell the comics blog with the coolest name, limps back to life. Johnny Barcardi just joined the group effort, so that should be worth watching. I'm a poor judge of many comics blogs though and I'll tell you why. I, like almost every other American male who had at least a certain threshold of geek-factor, went through a comic book phase. Read Marvel, DC. Luckily got ahold of American Flagg, so that was cool. But than got bored of the soap-opera-ness of the Marvel and DC books and stopped.I got into comics again from webcomics. And have enjoyed many of the fine quality comics on the Internet since. It has even led me back to reading comics in books (no, not superhero books and no I don't venture into comic book stores anymore). So I feel sort of up to speed on what I like and at least a passing familarity with what's good right now. I have no familiarity with what's bad or mediocre. And I don't care. I also have (outside of that brief period where I read comic books) zero familiarity with the history of comic books. And you know what, I don't care.It's history folks. Let's just treat comics like any other subset of written fiction for a moment, okay. I'm a reader - I like to read. So I'd be happy to read the greats of the past and I've read a few of those comics (Watchmen, of course, who hasn't. Several collected editions of Peanuts are well-worn). But 90 percent of the past of the comic book industry gives all outward appearance of being crap and I just have little interest in discussing it. Same goes with the present. X-Cousins? Superman Red? Ultimate New Fantastic Four? Make up as many titles as you want DC and Marvel. Unless it's actually compelling as a story - a stand-alone story - I'm not interested. I recognize that many others don't require this - it not only explains many DC and Marvel comic book lines but also the continued success of the Tom Clancy factory-of-monkeys-typing line of books.
Five Horsemen of the New Genesis
In they rode like heralds of the new era. The next fifteen months saw the approach of five sites that would define the webcomics scene for the next three years and remain important parts of it to the present. Call them the Five Horsemen.
The Five Horsemen were each a commercial success... five of the very few such successes online. This made them influential over both the art form of webcomics and its developing commerce. In this chapter, we'll concentrate on their artistic influence; later, we'll pick up the path of webcomics commerce.
Tellingly, each of them began in front of a computer screen.
Submitted by AmyGanter on December 27, 2003 - 15:22
This question prolly comes up often, but I'm just wondering what made some of you decide to put your work online.
My disillusionment with comic publishing drove me online (a bad publishing experience and several rejections). Is this the case others, too? Just wondering what some of your stories were.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 8, 2003 - 22:01
Two things we could use some help with -
1. Suggestions on places to advertise Comixpedia online and offline.
2. Specific ideas for ads - collectively the readership of Comixpedia has to be much wittier than me, myself and I so fire away. Just to throw out an example if Comixpedia bought the Keenspot newsbox for a day how would you use it?
2003 was a pretty scary year. Whether you agree with it or not, war is a pretty terrifying thing. We lost another space shuttle, another crew, and – in a bad case of déjà vu – followed a flurry of finger-pointing in the aftermath.