Getting to Keenspot and Other Bits O’ News

Here’s an interesting thread about how to get on Keenspot that veers off into discussion of why some Keenspot webcomics do better then others. THE O’XEREXES FACTOR: Here’s my NO SPIN OPINION for the day – Carson Fire should move Elf Life to Graphic Smash or Modern Tales. Elf Life is more like an independent movie than a blockbuster and needs an environment that will help to nurture it and maybe put a few nickels in his pocket in the meantime.

And now on with the news…

Dude! This comic is the funniest send-up of a cliche I’ve seen from Sluggy in a loooong time. Yay for the return of the Abrams funny.

Scott McCloud vs. A Bear. Why not Scott Kurtz vs. A Panda Bear?

The Sequential Tarts reviewed Copper and No Need for Bushido this month.

Webcomic Finds for this week is Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North. In case you didn’t know, Webcomic Finds has a handy RSS feed.


Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. Who am I to disagree with the wise and knowledgable Xaviar Xerexes?

  2. Oops – I had a typo and the Sequential Tart and Webcomic Finds bits got mashed together. Fixed it!

    Glad to see T doesn’t think I’m crazy since he has an actual say in my overly-opinionated comment today. I’m not even sure Carson Fire reads Comixpedia but if he does – I’d be curious as to whether he’s ever thought about moving Elf Life. Keenspot seems to works very well for some webcomics, but just because any one webcomic has trouble with the Keen model doesn’t mean that webcomic is doing something wrong – it may mean it’s just a bad fit with the Keen model.

  3. Spot-shmot. Keenspace’s server is finally every bit as reliable as Spots there’s no reason to be Spotted anymore.

    1) Join Keenspace.
    2) Draw pictures of a white Jesus having missionary position sex within the context of a heterosexual marrage for the express purpose of procreation.
    3) Suddenly find yourself with the responsibility of generating adrevinue for your webcomic.
    4) Profit.

    It’s just that easy. There’s not even a “??????” stage.

    Joining Spot will just kill your comic off. It’s not a good thing. It’s like what it used to be like when you became a keyboard player for The Greatful Dead. Sure, it sounded like a good thing at the time but you didn’t know then that it meant certain death. Death!

    Trust me on this one. You join Keenspot next thing you know you’ll be thoroughly sick of doing your own comic. It’s happened to bigger ones than you. Mark my words. Death!

  4. Heh. If ‘Finds’ had to get mashed up with something, I’d rather it get mashed up with Sequential Tart than anything else 😉

    And just a personal observation: The Keen model seems to fare better with humourous comics than the epic ones. Not saying epic ones can’t work, of course… but the most popular all seem to have been the humour comics, or at least, the story comics with humourous overtones.

  5. You know, Ghastly… I have this sudden urge to draw you as one of those doomsday prophets holding a sign saying REPENT!

    Only the sign would say… you know… DEATH!

  6. As a close personal friend of Cars’ (he and I live together on a converted keelboat, along with Case Yorke), I can say that the negative aspect of a move for him is the lack of independence a Joey-Manley-owned server gives you.

    Whereas Carson can now link to comics he really digs, and blogs he thinks we need to see, and link to his own blog sharing his most wise political views, joining anything under the Modern Tales umbrella squelches all that. Suddenly, you have to act as if nothing outside the Modern Tales universe exists. No links, no plugs, no blogging. You have been assimilated.

    Your point that maybe there’s a better model for an elven soap opera than the reward-high-volume model of Keenspot still stands. I just don’t think anything under Modern Tales is independent enough for the elf in a ten-gallon hat.

  7. No no, I’m just having a little friendly jab at all those Spotters who quit their comic 3 months after getting Spotted. It’s all in good fun. Uncle Ghastly loves you all.

  8. Ah but Modern Tales isn’t going to be the only version of Extra-Joey-Goodness. Don’t forget Webcomics Nation. Soon to be haikued I hope.

  9. Suddenly, you have to act as if nothing outside the Modern Tales universe exists. No links, no plugs, no blogging. You have been assimilated.

    No offense, I think you are greatly misinformed.

    There is nothing to stop any of the MT family doing any of that. Hell, I know I still keep doing all of the above, I know several others who do, and there’s nothing to stop anyone in the MT family from doing the same except for themselves. In fact, I think it’s being encouraged (Joey even just set up a special blogging server for all of us.)

    Where on earth did you get the idea there was some prime directive that says: “Thou shall remain insulated within the collective?”

  10. To back up Phalanx here — yeah, there are no rules whatsoever to bar MT cartoonists from doing any of the things you just mentioned. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three people who keep blogs right on their comic page on the MT site (T Campbell, Justin Pierce, Reinder Dijkhuis). At least one of those blogs included politics. My own blog is on a seperate site, but I’ve got a permenant graphic link to it right under my comic.

    And MT cartoonists link to offsite comics, projects, and friends all the time.

    MT cartoonists pretty much have complete freedom to do whatever they want in this regard. Joey went to great pains to include back end coding that would *allow* us to add things like this to our comics pages. I’m nut sure where you got the idea that Joey ran things like a gestapo, but that’s not how it is at all.

  11. Also, there’s a distinction between the homepage I maintain at and the FANS page on Graphic Smash. The former gives me all the design freedom I want– if you didn’t check the archives, you wouldn’t even KNOW Fans was a Graphic Smash comic.

    Yeah, I don’t know where you got this idea, Boxjam, or how widespread it is within the Keenmunity. But ’tain’t so.

  12. The what now?

    Just to add my voice to the many–goodness, where did you get this idea? I blog constantly. Some days I shove politics and religion together and let ’em fight it out like cats in a sack. I plug. I link. I can’t promise it’s all that thrilling a blog, but Modern Tales has never, ever, EVER tried to squelch anything I want to write. I wouldn’t stand for it. Hell, I can’t imagine THEY would stand for it. It just…doesn’t happen.

    Hell, Manley’s blog has a link to my blog somewhere on the side…

  13. They clearly would have quit their comics three months later even if they hadn’t been spotted.

  14. I think Errant Story is one of the top KS comics, and it’s close to fitting the epic-fantasy “serious” mold. Wandering Ones is another one, but I’m not sure what its current ranking is in the KS roster.

    But yer right, most of the top KS comics appear to be humourous in nature. This may change when/if KS decides to add more serious stuff to their list. Right now the majority of KS comics are funnies. Just a brief visit at and I found close to 20 “serious” comic series in less than 10 minutes, many of them updating at the Keenspot required frequency (and most of them in pseudo-manga style, another bonus *wink*). So grab ’em before someone else does! 🙂

  15. Just so you know, there’s no policy of squelching. Our cartoonists are every bit as free as Keenspotters to link to comics they like, or to maintain their own websites (the archives go to MT, but have a look, for example, at — they are, in fact, encouraged to do so. Many of the MT’ers also incorporate their blogs into their comics pages (look at Fans over on Graphic Smash, for example).

    I’m a left-wing nut, and so are some of the other MT cartoonists, but I definitely don’t discriminate in re: politics — with the obvious exceptions of, you know, a comic strip that advocated actual, say, Nazi points of view or something like that.

    I’m also a big fan of Elf Life.

    But that’s neither here nor there. There are plenty of ways that Carson can go, and I wish him luck in his efforts. If he ever wants to talk to us, he knows where we are! And if he doesn’t ever want to talk to us, that’s cool, too.



  16. Clan of the Cats is another “serious” fantasy comic. And the division isn’t always that clear-cut: GPF and El Goonish Shive both combine humour and drama.

  17. You know, knowing BoxJam, I think he was using exaggeration for comic effect. (The point about him, Case Yorke and Carson living together on a Keelboat may have tipped you off..)

    And in retrospect my opinion means squat really – but I just feel frustrated for Cars sometimes and also selfishly wish there was a way to compensate him enough so he would clean up the archives… Like I said – I’m selfish 🙂

  18. So then you’re saying my new Hitler Loves Mussolini comic (it’s like Joni Loves Chachi but set in 1930’s Europe) won’t be invited to Modern Tales anytime soon?

  19. Just my two cents that I’ve never had ANYthing squelched whatsoever by joining Graphic Smash, and I’ve been under their umbrella for nearly a year and a half.

    Anyone who told you Modern Tales means a loss of artistic freedom is either misleading you, or just plain misinformed.

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