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.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 20, 2004 - 22:14
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on March 16, 2004 - 22:29
In the Chicago Sun Times, Andy Ihnatko writes an article comparing TIVO to a few shareware programs that grab webcomics from their sites and load the images alone in the shareware viewer. Better lawyers have debated the legality of such programs because of the fact that they essentially use copyrighted materials in ways which the creator has not granted permission but Ihnatko doesn't mention that at all. To the contrary he encourages his readers to use these programs no matter the financial harm that might be caused to the creators:
The only downside to all these apps is the fact that as Internet "scrapers," they divorce the strips from their original Web pages, including the ads that make their distribution possible. But just like dropping LSD in the '60s, you're free to enjoy these apps in the time we have before we understand the true cost to society and the gummint makes them illegal.
One of the programs mentioned by Ihnatko is Comictastic a program for which Spiny Software is charging $15.00 a pop. Right on Spiny's homepage for this program is a picture of its program ripping a Wigu image. Paging Jeffrey Rowland!
When I attended the 2003 San Diego Comic-Con, I barely even saw one third of the things there. The lines were too long, the pretzels were too expensive, and the Stormtroopers were too plentiful. So naturally, walking around the 2004 Alternative Press Expo on February 22nd was a breath of fresh air.
Raw, edgy, up and coming artists were pimping their latest projects harder than used car salesmen. People could walk around the entire floor several times in the course of the day, talk with their favorite artists, and even attend panels with certain creators.
As the Fates would have it, Joey Manley is a Colonel.
He's also the Field Marshal behind the great wall of subscription-service, webcomic-related product known as Modern Tales. Having been creepy-crawling around the webcomics community scene since about mid-2000, he first started up with a webcomics reviews/interviews site called talkaboutcomics.com. Only months later, he decided that the world was ready for a subscription-based webcomics portal, even if some seemed wary of the prospect of paying for something that had "always" been free to date.
But already a few years have passed, and Manley's dream stands tall in the garden of fruition -- not only has Modern Tales endured, but it has grown, branching out to include a host (literally) of sister anthology sites, as well as promote key solo artists, too. Now, with a few new fun gifties to hand out from his bag of webcomics tricks, the Colonel takes a few moments out of his uber-busy day to respond to you, the reader, on all things webcomics, business... and chicken (seriously).
Last column I stressed the importance of starting, of making that push and getting the momentum to start your own comic project. If you don't start, then you'll never know what's possible. But, there's no need to throw caution completely out the window.
For the love of all that's holy, create a buffer of strips/pages BEFORE you start posting them on the web.
Dylan Meconis and Bill Mudron talk about webcomics... and chocolate.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 8, 2004 - 12:57
Scott McCloud mentioned the Comixpedia face-lift. Generally I think we got a lot of overall positive feedback on the site from readers but not a lot (meaning almost nil) of notice from the emerging blog-o-sphere:comics. I suppose this blog, in part, is a way to try and interact more with this cool new conversation on the medium taking place on the web. Scott also mentioned girl-a-matic cartoonist Spike just got married. Unlike Ms. Spears let's hope Spike stays happily married for more than 24 hours.Pathetic Geek Stories leaves the onion and sets off on its own little website. These are of that young and cringe-worthy genre of diary comics. Still they can be quite good in a sort of Barry-esque way.Four Color Hell the comics blog with the coolest name, limps back to life. Johnny Barcardi just joined the group effort, so that should be worth watching. I'm a poor judge of many comics blogs though and I'll tell you why. I, like almost every other American male who had at least a certain threshold of geek-factor, went through a comic book phase. Read Marvel, DC. Luckily got ahold of American Flagg, so that was cool. But than got bored of the soap-opera-ness of the Marvel and DC books and stopped.I got into comics again from webcomics. And have enjoyed many of the fine quality comics on the Internet since. It has even led me back to reading comics in books (no, not superhero books and no I don't venture into comic book stores anymore). So I feel sort of up to speed on what I like and at least a passing familarity with what's good right now. I have no familiarity with what's bad or mediocre. And I don't care. I also have (outside of that brief period where I read comic books) zero familiarity with the history of comic books. And you know what, I don't care.It's history folks. Let's just treat comics like any other subset of written fiction for a moment, okay. I'm a reader - I like to read. So I'd be happy to read the greats of the past and I've read a few of those comics (Watchmen, of course, who hasn't. Several collected editions of Peanuts are well-worn). But 90 percent of the past of the comic book industry gives all outward appearance of being crap and I just have little interest in discussing it. Same goes with the present. X-Cousins? Superman Red? Ultimate New Fantastic Four? Make up as many titles as you want DC and Marvel. Unless it's actually compelling as a story - a stand-alone story - I'm not interested. I recognize that many others don't require this - it not only explains many DC and Marvel comic book lines but also the continued success of the Tom Clancy factory-of-monkeys-typing line of books.
2003 was a pretty scary year. Whether you agree with it or not, war is a pretty terrifying thing. We lost another space shuttle, another crew, and – in a bad case of déjà vu – followed a flurry of finger-pointing in the aftermath.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 27, 2003 - 08:02
"In webcomics, I'm currently working my way through the Modern Tales lineup in alphabetical order. Most of them I read all the way through, though a few of them just don't interest me at all. Just got through No Stereotypes. I also regularly read a few standbys: Sluggy Freelance, PVP, CRFH, GPF, It's Walky, Clan of the Cats, Gaming Guardians. And of course, everything on Graphic Smash.
"In printed comics, I'm sticking with Strangers in Paradise for a little while longer at least, now that Terry's finally getting around to some of the stories I wanted him to write three years ago. Mark Waid just 0wn0rs Fantastic Four. The fanboy in me craves it, along with JLA/Avengers and a lot of Brian Michael Bendis' work.
"Textwise, I just got through Chris Sherman's The Invisible Web and a book of Harlan Ellison short stories, and I'm reading a whole lotta blogs, 'cause all the cool people are writing them these days. Only half kidding: they have a perspective that I miss from my college years.
"What's next? I want to finish off Preacher (yes, I know the series wrapped years ago) and pick up Cory Doctorow's new collection... I've read a couple of his short stories and he's an author to watch. Webcomics-wise, I'll keep working my way down the alphabet with Modern Tales, then start on one of the other collectives... probably Keenspot or Girlamatic.
"Yeah, I'm serious, I really do read all this stuff. Scary, huh?"