Damonkey Business by Damonk

Damonk’s Own Quickie Personal Webcomic Year In Review

2003. The Year of Stuff. One Year after 2002, and 365.23 Days before 2004.

Backwards, it would be 3002…

…which time-wise, would actually be forwards.

After having been exposed no doubt to the bajillions of other media’s own versions of Year In Reviewstravaganzas, it’s clearly obvious that the one thing you would now crave most would be to hear YET ANOTHER person’s own thoughts on the year.

Or maybe you’d rather hear me confess my dirty little sex secrets instead?

Perhaps I’ll just give you a smattering of both.

2003 was the year where webcomics and the entire community that spawns or devours them seem to have changed dramatically while staying exactly the same, as if everyone spontaneously decided to hop in Calvin’s Transmogrifying Box to see what would happen.

Things that HAVE changed:

2003 was the year where a larger number than usual of webcomic artists opted for the print approach, where one guy published a book on the medium, where lots of new comics spawned and thousands of newbies cried out with one collective gasp, "How can I be more popular?" (oh wait, that last one’s been status quo since about 2000)

It was also the year where some of the "webcomic oldies" started sounding their "age", complaining about how "they don’t make webcomics like they used to" or how "there are too many webcomics out there now" and yelling at them to get off their link exchange lawns. Some readers and critics even started complaining about how "all webcomics look the same".

[DIRTY SEX CONFESSION #1: Chocolate pudding and vanilla icing were meant for body parts, not pudding cups or cakes. Yummm.]

2003 saw some sweet recognition for some, and a whole lot of goodbyes and "I Quit"s from others. Some finally gave up the dream of becoming the next Sluggy or Penny Arcade and went back to their day jobs or universities or families with a whole whack of newfound free time back on their hands. Others tried to leave, but couldn’t help coming back.

2003 was the year where a LOT of webcomic artists started melding together to form larger collectives (some with more success than others), a la Voltron or Gatchaman. Alliances and lines continued to appear en masse with a host of little dropdowns, and camps were definitely being erected all over the cyber spectrum.

2003 also saw the potential birth/spawning of micropayments through the help of its biggest pimp supporter. The jury is still out in terms of public reception, though no angry mobs are yet crying "flop!!" or storming the posh McCloud mansion, demanding microblood.

[DIRTY SEX CONFESSION #2: A sleeping wife is an irresistible magnet for a good tongue bath]

Things that HAVEN’T changed:

People still decry the popular comics as snobs or sell-outs while whining about themselves not being popular yet.

People still think those dumb "Top 100" voting lists are a good idea, and that they are an accurate guage of popularity or quality. As it turns out, when a truly popular comic decides to join one of these voting things, the rest of the people who are listed invariably cry "Unfair!" and try to kick the popular comic off. Should we start renaming these flawed voting booths "Middle 100" or "No Popular Comics Allowed Club" lists?

People still think that their webcomic is the most original comic out there, despite it being a strip about college buddies who like video games and break the fourth wall by insulting the cartoonist or complaining there is no punchline, while being drawn in a completely cookie-cutter, generic animanga style. (No specific links here, because that would be mean. Instead, look at this humorous little thread – hosted on Keenspace, to boot – on how NOT to start a webcomic!)

People continue to use SEX as a cheap tool to get readers to read their comics, or umm… columns.

However, with all this said, 2003 was also the year for some others to continue webcomicking for fun and pleasure, oblivious to all the screams and hype and hubbub, as well as the recent trend toward trying to make a business out of a webcomic.

So yeah, what’s that old saying? The more things change, the more that people will write bad Year In Review columns about them?

Something like that, at least.

[FINAL DIRTY SEX CONFESSION: Contrary to popular belief, having your lover seductively crooning "Give it to us wet and wiiigggilliing!" in a cutesy Smeagol voice after having watched WAYYY too much of The Two Towers is *not* quite the turn-on it may sound like]


  1. OK, first I need to go scrub my cerebrum after that last confession. That one’s going to linger for a while. *brr*

    While that’s soaking, I’ll go ahead and address one small section:
    As it turns out, when a truly popular comic decides to join one of these voting things, the rest of the people who are listed invariably cry “Unfair!” and try to kick the popular comic off.

    That’s a bit too general; I was present for one of the more unfortunate versions of this and it should be phrased “… to join one of these voting things, some of the overly vocal people cry “unfair” while the rest who understand the benefits of a more popular comic joining wallop the others stating ‘Are you insane? Don’t you see what the tradeoff for dropping a few spaces is?'” Sadly, by that time, the damage had already been done. 🙁

  2. Pudding’s *messy*. If it soaks through the towels AND the sheets, you’re dead. Big, brown stain on the mattress for all eternity, and do you really want to explain a big, brown mattress stain to people who come over while you’re washing the bedding?

    “Oh, no, it’s not what you think — it’s sex pudding, not santorum.”

    Yeah, cause that sounds MUCH better.

  3. Perhaps that would call for a switch to a white chocolate pudding — less chance of incriminating stains.


    Second, I thought it was SOP to put down plastic for messy… uh… stuff. Or to go on a joint shopping trip for those plasticky lined sheets for less… er… stickage.

    But then, it is QUITE possible, that my community (and shared knowledge base) is a little weirder in this way than most.

    Kelly J.

  5. In this case, I think Damonk’s overall assesment that the lists are just dumb is the main point, which makes whatever the actual events of any of the versions moot.

  6. This one was slightly better than the other “Year in Review.” At least it attempted some research.

    But you’re totally and completely wrong about Top Lists. They are a fantastic resource for beginning and intermediate-stage comics. That may or may not be jeopardized when one of the top 20 comics in the world joins up (it probably isn’t), but just because a few whiny s#!ts don’t see that the list is about exposure and community, rather than pecking order, doesn’t mean you should condemn the concept of a list site.

    Why don’t you try starting a comic from scratch today, anonymously? See if you can build any kind of readership without being on one or more of those lists.

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