Why Do Online Comics?
Since I could really only get away with writing an entire column out of quotes from previous columns in a year-end review, I thought I'd go ahead and jump at the opportunity. This is my last column for a while, but I'll keep in touch. I already have an idea for my new webcomic. I won't give away much, but let's just say it involves a fire-breathing monkey who is addicted to Ebay, and a cow bent on changing the world so it is black and white "just like the old days."
But I digress.
Since this month's theme is autobiography, I was hoping I could get personal for a bit with you.
One of the dilemmas I have been faced with this fall is when and where it is appropriate to get into political discussions. This is a pretty heated time to be politically active in the United States, and it seems like everyone wants to talk about their views with others. In general, I absolutely applaud people debating the issues of the day; as Garrison Keillor recently reminded us, "Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral." It certainly seems like as we get closer and closer to election day here in the USA, people are acting more and more as if the decision we make about our next president is of vital importance to our nationâ€™s future.
On a bustling Friday night at the mall recently, I wandered into the Barnes and Noble to see what was new.
My wife and I set a small allowance aside for ourselves, for fun non-necessities we want to purchase now and then. Not surprisingly, most of mine gets spent on comics and graphic novels. I have a fairly set pattern when I go to one of these massive bookstores, and I was following it to a tee that night despite never having been in to that particular store location. First, I perused the magazine racks, checking out all of the latest Hollywood gossip, video game reviews, incredible toys I wished they would have been making when I was a kid, and of course, the new issue of Wired. From there, I scanned the bargain book tables on my way over to where they keep the computer books. I then proceeded to swear a lot about how expensive all the programming books I wanted were. Once I was done there, my next destination was the science fiction racks, where I would of course find the graphic novels and... manga?
How The Awesome Power of The Webcomics can help Print Comics Creators?
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about how the world of print comics and the world of webcomics interact with one another (or, as is more often the case, fail to interact with one another). I suspect that there are a variety of reasons for those who do print comics to have not embraced webcomics (beyond the loopy evil webcomics zealot in me who wants to think, "HA! They feel threatened by the awesome power of The Internet!").
Webcomics, Priorities, and Dr. Phil?
This column is late.
This summer, Derek Kirk Kim is teaching Comic Book Illustration to high school students. I read about this on his forum, and then mentioned that if he ever teaches something in Phoenix (my area) or over the Internet, I'd be willing to pay for the experience. Now, I said this in jest to some degree, because I sincerely doubt circumstances would ever bring him to a school in Phoenix to teach, but that second part, about the Internet course, got me thinking.
What if there was a relatively easy way for Derek to offer something like that â€“ an Internet-based course where he offered structured insight into a particular area of creating comics, putting them online, or some other topic relating to comics?
Perception Is Reality Is The Difference Between Angry And Paying Readers
When I went to Scott McCloud's panel on experimental comics at San Diego Comic Con International 1999, he planted the idea of webcomics in my mind, and set me on a wonderful journey of discovery and experimentation. I listened to all of the ideas and reasons he had for the Internet as a great new place for comics to flourish. In my mind, one of the most obvious advantages was the ability to maintain an open comic archive so that new readers â€“ rather than jumping into the middle and having to somehow hunt down the rest of the story in other comics, collections of strips, etc. â€“ would instead be able to just click the Back button to read the previous strip, or go back to the very start and read it the whole way through.
This seemed like such a great idea at the time, and over the years it has by and large become standard practice in webcomics â€“ a "no-brainer", really. It is a great convenience to be sure, though perhaps a little too convenient for our own good.
Raise your hands if you were at the San Diego Comic Con International last July.
Now, of those who went, put your hand down if it seemed a little crowded to you.
Not too far from where I grew up, just a bit south of Tombstone ("the town too tough to die" â€“ a great tourism slogan) and east of Sierra Vista ("where vacations last a lifetime" â€“ a more questionable tourism slogan, if you take it from the wrong perspective), there is a little town called Bisbee.
Bisbee, Arizona was created initially because of the massive copper mine there, but as that economy diminished, the town began to lure artists therein to create and sell their wares. More and more artists began to flock there, in search of a community that would support their work not only with a pat on the back but with a greenback or two. People that were struggling to make a penny off of their paintings, jewelry, and other creative endeavors were suddenly able to do what they loved and feed themselves and their loved ones at the end of the day.