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Terrence Marks

April Fool's Day 2010

Athena Voltaire by Steve Bryant

Terrence and Isabel Marks have some special comics for April Fool's Day up at Namir Deiter and You Say it First, along with some thoughts on the first webcomic swap.  Any other worthy April Fool's pranks to pass along?  (Digital Strips has a list of a few here)

In hopefully not-fooling news, I'm very interested in the new Bento Comics site which offers "mix-n-match" anthologies through Lulu with a pretty impressive roster of creators on-board.  Brigid Alverson has a short write-up of the project at Robot6.

KICKSTART MY ART: Another very worthwhile Kickstarter project, this one from Steve Bryant, the creator of Athena VoltaireRobot6 reports that Bryant is seeking to raise money to focus again on the comic. And I'm not going to mention Kickstarter without plugging Patrick Farley's drive to revive Electric Sheep.

MILESTONES: Christopher Wright's Help Desk turned 14 years old this weekJon Rosenberg's Goats turned 13 years old.  Congrats to both!

DEAD TREE DELIVERY: The creators of Monster Commute write about the advantages and disadvantages of self-distribution.

AROUND THE BLOGS:  From ComixTalk reader blogs, Mariana Paletta writes about her recently completed first webcomic, Alphie and Sophie Venustar and Super Comix King writes that the second issue of Action Teenz is up.

Looking Back Through 2007

In years past (2004, 2005) we undertook the monumental chore of picking out the biggest headlines of the year. This year, I took another swing at it. So without further adu, here's the biggest webcomic headlines of 2007.

If I missed a story you think was key to this year, please post it in the comments to this article.

Return of the Wiki

It looks like Comixpedia.org is really picking up steam -- adding articles at a much healthier rate. (You, yes you well-informed ComixTalk reader, should add something to an entry there)

I've had some recent discussions about Wikipedia again and I am trying to recall some of the more outrageous deletions of notable webcomics entries from Wikipedia. I definitely recall the back and forth circus over Girly, the ridiculous effort to delete Ted Rall's anthology of webcomic creators: Attitude 3, Kris Straub's "experiment" in Wikipedia deletion follies, FLEEN's explanation of "notability logic" in action, and Terrence Marks wrote a post listing a large number of deleted entries. Hey let's even throw in there the fact that the entry for Comixtalk itself got deleted.

If there are any other good examples of notable webcomics being actually deleted or subjected to a tortuous deletion review please post a link or a summary here. I'm not trying to resurrect the angst of earlier times but there are folks inside the Emerald City of Wiki-land who are trying to bring some sanity to the deletion process and are looking for help in compiling evidence.

In Search of a Correlation: Webcomics, Posting Schedules and Readership

What is it about Monday, Wednesday and Friday that make them the seemingly optimum publishing dates for webcomics?

Updating the Feed Lists

When we switched to Drupal one of the nice things I was able to set up was pulling in the RSS feeds of other sites to Comixpedia. That way we do less "link" blogging here but you can still get a sense of what's going on in webcomicland from the syndicated headlines.

Bring the Newz!

MAGAZINE

HEADLINES

  • Reinder Dijkhuis has an interesting essay on Project Wonderful. My take on Project Wonderful is that it's a wonderful platform for a web-based advertising system but what remains to be seen is whether it turns into an advertising service. A service needs some entity interacting with traditional media buyers (usually advertising agencies) to sell them ad space on the platform. Whether that's PW creator Ryan North who takes that on or some other arrangement, it's a piece of the puzzle necessary to the long-term success of PW. Don't get me wrong though - I'm a big fan of PW right now and I'm optimistic about it.

INTERVIEWS

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

The March of the Collectives

A collective, loosely defined, is any sustained grouping of webcomic creators. What they do together varies greatly from group to group. Some are largely a peer group offering each other critical feedback and encouraging support. Others throw in cross-promotion for each others' work. Some build a collective brand with logos, advertising and a central website. Some share business experience and expertise in areas as varied as merchandise, books, conventions, hosting and website creation.

And what did I find from my research? There's a tremendous number of collectives out there (and that I never want to attempt another "survey" article again). And, oh yeah, checking out collectives can be a great way to find excellent new comics.

Wikipedia-Free News & Views For Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Before I get to today's news & views -- don't forget we had three new articles published in the magazine this week:

  • Terrence Marks interviews married creators, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier. This is actually the first in a series of five such interviews we'll be publishing this month.
  • New columnist Brigid Alverson covers five short story web manga this month in Small Packages.
  • Bryant Paul Johnson returns with another installment of his historically accurate series at Comixpedia: The Antecedent.
  • And of course a big thanks to Meghan Murphy of Kawaii Not for doing this month's cover art.

HEADLINES

INTERVIEWS

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

Give Them a Sporting Chance

"Who is this clown?" you may ask. Pete's the name. Long time reader, first time blogger. Let's get this show on the road.

This is a topic that's been brewing in my head for a long time now and I need to get it out. In short, I'm tired of the constant spewing of vitriol concerning the number of bad webcomics out there.

Trolling, Vandalism and Dragonfiend

Wiki Watch

As was noted throughout the week, T Campbell tracked down Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and webcomics-focused Wikipedia editor Dragonfiend for interviews regarding the intersection of webcomic and Wikipedia. Although the interview with Wales is short, the interview with Dragonfiend provides a snapshot of what is probably a pretty typical attitude amongst self-described "wikipedians" towards Wikipedia itself and its role and mission.

One thing that popped out at me, however, was Dragonfiend's reference to a short-lived (now deleted) Comixpedia.org article about which Dragonfiend said:

To give a webcomics-related example, if I'm trying to research webcomics over on a wiki with much more indiscrimnate content policies, like comixpedia.org, I'll find articles like this one on the webcomic [now deleted entry] . Without requiring this topic to be noted by several independent reputable sources, we won't know whether this webcomic is of any importance, or just something that somebody made up one day and posted on the internet.

Here's the thing though - within a minute of looking at that entry I knew it was an example of wiki-vandalism. The supposed external link didn't work. Google.com had no record of the URLs, title, creator or anything about the supposed comic. Within a few more minutes I knew that the user account (unlike Wikipedia, Comixpedia.org does restrict editing to those who sign up for user accounts) had been used solely to create a couple of obnoxious and completely made-up entries. Within a few more minutes after that though (all through the magic of google.com) I knew that this Comixpedia user id was the same as a user id at Wikipedia banned for creating the same kind of entries that the user id created at Comixpedia.org. (Even some of the entries and terms in the entries between Comixpedia.org and Wikipedia were the same!)

What's that prove? Well the first thing it suggests to me is a bit of bad faith on Dragonfiend's part. From picking the most obnoxiously offensive entry s/he could find to picking an entry that was so obviously false it's hard to not to assume Dragonfiend was employing emotional rhetorical tactics simply to make Comixpedia.org (and webcomics generally in her mind) look bad. But since it was so obviously demonstrably false (and one that an active wikipedian like Dragonfiend had additional reason to suspect its status as vandalism) it seems to me that it's an example that backfires on Dragonfiend completely. No one needed "several independent reputable sources," to know this was a made-up entry - it took less then 10 minutes with Google.

I think what her comment proves is that all wikis are susceptible to vandalism - it's one of the weak points in the model. No doubt Wikipedia does not like it when the largest media publications in this country present out of context vandalized entries as examples of Wikipedia "scholarship", and neither does Comixpedia.org.