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Strip News 1-23-09

I am growing ever more impressed by the sheer magnitude of projects and things going on that we can enjoy and take advantage of…

  • The Webcomic Overlook reviews Thingpart, Kris Straub offers us a peek into changes in Starslip Crisis and the Powerpuff Girls turns ten. MPD57 looks over the December Zuda competition and Ramon has plans that include Kukuburi. Mignola is involved in The Hobbit and in case you haven’t read it yet, the Scott Adams interview is right here.
  • Some would argue that webcomicdom is all tragedy but others split it into drama and comedy. That’s a more useful split, I’d argue.
  • Moving day: Colleen Doran’s blog (with all of its information on agents and such) is changing location. Mark Waid now blogs from new digs and Kevin & Kell moves back in. Also, Google is migrating Feedburner accounts over to Google but at a Feedburner address. Confused? Here’s a post that explains what to do and what other folks have done when they ran into problems. We have until February 28th before accounts get deleted, so I’m going to hope that my Feedburner plugin updates itself before then. Another impactful moving is Diamond’s new policy - there’s more discussion than I can link to but try here, here, here, here, here, here and here for starters. And the Diamond response can be seen here. Nicely, Dreamchilde echoes my (now deleted) thoughts and adds some good ideas to them,too. But… Say Diamond implodes in the next few years, what hurdles are there in comics going direct from publisher to reader? And what other options are there for distributing your comic? Or finding a way to profit from the work that goes into them? Sure, you might think I am crazy for wanting to try something besides the tshirt-print-plush merchandising plan, but maybe you’ll consider this guy’s efforts before you dismiss the idea of looking elsewhere.
  • Howard Taylor wants to redesign the Schlock Mercenary site and is looking for suggestions from his readers. I don’t have too much to add. I agree with most of the suggestions so far; the site is a tad cluttered. That’s easily adjustable but the main things are to clearly separate the title image from the advertising and unify the design (like the site links being in the same font as the title.) Speaking of looking for someone else’s opinion, why not use an editor to make your work better? (Or at least understand what they can provide you.)
  • Do your backgrounds add or take away from your comic’s tone? Seven Camels offers up some thoughts about how flat you should go. As an aside, it seems to me that one might have flavors in between funny and dramatic where a slight variation on your basic style could add punch to the joke or depth to the drama. Also, the Beacon talks about coloring your comic.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if search engines could ‘read’ your comics and break them down for easier browsing? Here’s one way it could be accomplished, even though it’s a little too much labor for me. I can’t even bring myself to do an Oh-No-Robot style text writeup, let alone do coding too. Still, it has promise - what if it were automated into Comic Press? I’m imagining that you’d add the text into these special custom fields below each post; ie: panel one scene description, panel one dialog, panel two description, etc. This information would be hidden by default and display only if desired.
  • Interestingly, Chuck Dixon weighs in on the grittification of superheroes. I doubt that pushing character boundaries is a symptom of weak storytelling, but I can appreciate him wanting writers to respect the characters (and their boundaries) they write. Superman is malleable but not made of legos that you can remove at will. As an aside, I can’t help but think that Aquaman’s character needs something a little more heroically relevant than what he’s usually given. I can appreciate this try, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark.
  • And since there have been many articles on writing press releases, here’s an idea about what to do with them. You can always try to get the word out by sending your information to some of these blogs, as well.
  • Finally, would you like to star in a comic as an extra?