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Keenspot

Creating Webcomics Coverage

A couple of good blog posts on why different flavors of comics get different types of coverage.  One last week from The Beat, and one this weekend from The Comics Reporter.

It'd be interesting to talk about coverage of webcomics.  Outside of a few dedicated websites like Comixpedia there are varying levels of coverage.  Some more general comics websites do cover webcomics (noticeably The Comics Reporter and The Pulse) while others seem to ignore them.  Coverage in the more general press seems to remain hit or miss with a very rare "hey there are comics on the web!" article in a national publication and more frequent "hey there's a local dude putting his comics on the web" in local or college publications.

Why isn't there more coverage?  There's almost no "machine" for publicity in webcomics.  One of the things I would imagine that publishers like Wirepop, Keenspot and MT would do for their artists is promotion, but given the extremely lean staffing available I think it's hard for even them to do a lot more than individual artists can do on their own.

Comics as a whole are pretty far down on the celebrity scale so you definitely have to work harder to get coverage.  Obviously good work will get noticed but there's no question that a certain level of press interest will always be driven by notoriety.  I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on how to approach this problem myself but maybe through all of our collective input we can generate some good ideas.

Dungeons & Denizens Moves To Keenspot

DUNGEONS & DENIZENS, the fantasy comic by Graveyard Greg and John Yakimow, is the newest Keenspot webcomic. DENIZENS was previously hosted by WebcomicsNation.com, where it consistently ranked among the site's Top 5 most popular features.

ConBust 2006

So I just came back from ConBust at Smith College. It was pretty fun. Webcomics were well represented with Jeph Jacques, R Stevens, the guy who does Minimalistic Stick Figure Theater (I forgot his name and it wasn't on his web site) as well as Jennie Breeden---I think there were as many webcomics guests as other guests at the con. It was a small con, but it was fun.

Monday News Update

Is anyone else really happy that Sluggy Freelance has finally moved on from its Oceans Unmoving storyline?  That's the first time Pete Abrams has completely lost me with the strip.  I kind of like the new shockjock characters too.

MILESTONES

MARKETING: Martiza Campos notes the recent First and Last post on CRFH!!! on her livejournal.  One other interesting tidbit from that thread is Campos note that she picked up a 1000 extra readers from her most recent Keenspot box.  Even for a relatively big strip like CRFH!!! I think that's a fairly large number and it shows how powerful the Keenspot network is.

CRAFT: H.S. Kim, creator of Kung Fool X and Kill Harry has a page full of art criticism and some video tutorials on drawing -  definitely worth checking out.

NOT WEBCOMICS: Tom Truszkowski of Station V3 is talking about record-collecting and drew some sketches of his characters with 45s. 

First and Last: A Look At The Evolution of CRFH!!!

Maritza Campos has been making College Roomies From Hell!!! since 1999. She's progressed considerably in her approach to both the artwork and the stories driving CRFH!!! Here's one of the very first ones and one from earlier this year.

Tuesday Round-Up of News

The Webcomics Examiner takes a look at Count Your Sheep by Adrian Ramos.  Still going strong 3 years after its debut on Keenspace (since moved to Keenspot).

 I haven't paid a lot of attention to this previously but the next "world-wide SketchCrawl" is scheduled for April 22nd.  If you want to participate it sounds like there's more info on their forums.  (Let Comixpedia know what it's all about if anyone does get involved.)

The latest Digital Strips podcast is an interview with Joey Manley who is behind sites such as Modern Tales, Webcomics Nation, GirlAMatic, Graphic Smash, Talk About Comics and Serializer.net.  (I haven't listened to it yet though)

While I know there are some problems with the current top sites script at the Comixpedia portal (and once I get Comixpedia.com and Comixpedia.org "right" I'll turn back to reinvigorating that portion of Comixpedia-land) I just wanted to point out that Clan of the Cats (Library Entry) has been #1 on it the entire time.  If you haven't before, go check out Jamie's comic.  It's got an epic storyline with love, betrayal and a back-drop of pagan magik.

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On Demand, meet On Supply (RSS)

Update or die?

When I first looked into making a webcomic, back in 2002, the one thing I heard most often was, 'Update regularly or don't bother at all.' The one canon rule I could suss out in webcomics was that you must update often, and you must hit your schedule every chance you could.

These days RSS (Really Simple Syndication) (picked the least ugly page with an explanation) has taken the thunder out of that sole commandment. In the process, it may have opened the field in a way unique to webcomics, allowing us to do more with serialization than we ever could in traditional media. On-demand was the first real revolution in online thinking-- On-supply is the next, and in terms of theoretical discussion, we're missing out on the potential. Blogs have gotten there, so have news services, but many webcomics are still stuck with outdated thinking that's inhibiting their true potential.

Debate Over Ignoring Your Audience Versus Pleasing Your Audience

This Keenspot thread shaped up to be an interesting discussion of the relationship between creators and their audience.  Kicked off by a post worrying about a one-week dip in readership numbers (!), Carson Fire and others take the thread into a discussion of doing what you want versus acknowledging  what the readership wants.

Making Their Marks on Webcomics.

Between the two of them Terrence Marks and Isabel Marks have done a whole lot of webcomicking.Terrence Marks is responsible for writing the early anthropomorphic tale, Unlike Minerva (which is now concluded). UM is cool for among other reasons, for being one of the first webcomics with a single writer and a rotating crew of artists. In fact, Terrence notes on the UM website that he first encountered Isabel when she emailed him in September of 2000, "offering to draw [Unlike Minerva]." It wasn't until almost a year later he adds that they were "properly introduced."

Isabel Marks is the creator of Namir Deiter, and with Terrence, they collaborate on You Say it First and Spare Parts.

Terrence is also the founder of The Nice, an online network for webtoonists and he organized the first April Fools' Comic Swap and Fright Night webcomic events. And as if he wasn't busy enough, for the past five years, Terrence has also done the coloring for Bill Holbrook's Kevin & Kell.

The Fourth Toon Teller Rides Into the Sunset?

One of the first creators to appear on the free hosting service Keenspace and more recently published on the webcomics granddaddy Keenspot, Brandon "Scrubbo" Sonderegger recaps a life in webcomics with contributor George Curtis.