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.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on December 25, 2005 - 21:51
Here's a list of the ones I have right now in the Library - if you know of others give me the name and the URL so I can add them. I'm calling them affiliates but the idea is groups of creators who've banded together for artistic and/or business reasons. They should have about 5 or more members (approx.).
- * Ape Law
- * Biscuit Press
- * Blank Label Comics
- * Boxcar Comics
- * Dayfree Press
- * Dumbrella
- * Hot Bullet Press
- * Pants Press
- * Teh Gewd Guys
- * The Nice
- * UpDown Studio
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 2, 2005 - 15:41
Back in March 2004, Bill Duncan wrote a feature looking at the then new explosion of smaller collectives of webcomics. The article mixed in larger publisher sites like Modern Tales and Wirepop, but mostly examined on creator-focused groups such as Altbrand, Ape Law, Dayfree Press, Exile Comics, PV Comics, Razor Comics and Rocketbox Comics. Some of these have thrived since, most notably Dayfree Press which has continued to maintain an active roster.
But since then other successful groups such as Dumbrella and the newly formed Blank Label Comics reemphasize how important collectives can be to furthering the success of webcomic creators. In large part these two groups most visible success is in shared business and technical savvy.
It is probably fair to look at any collective and ask what is its identity? Sometimes that's not really apparent. But two examples where there is an impression associated with the group name that come to mind are Boxcar and Pants Press. The newly formed Boxcar Comics has the good fortune to have well-known D.J. Coffman as a member and he seems to have passed along some of his promotional and business experience to his new colleagues. The lower-key Pants Press group's members may not stand out for marketing activity but they have received consistently high critical marks over the last two years. That can speak volumes too.
While we're on the subject of collectives, feel free to tell us about yours - make sure to include its name and URL.
Syndicates, groups, hubs, and collectives.
Despite the fact that few of them ever meet face to face, webcomickers seem to crave community and camaradie. To this end, some webcomickers seek out like-minded creators, and form groups. Some of these groups are meant to do little more than offer comfort and a sense of community, while others are meant to expand reader bases, and occasionally even make money.
This feature takes offers a snapshot of some of the perks and drawbacks of collectives, and then offers a list of these joined creative masses in the event that you've just been itching to be assimilated by someone... anyone.