Submitted by akita on February 17, 2005 - 02:00
PV Comics is expanding and adapting for the new year.
Tom Stackpole does the experimental and innovative Invisible Forces for PV Comics and at his own site, bonedancer.com has published such innovative works as Talking Drunk Driver Blues, and the The Diptheria Plague. His newest work at his own site is Jake Dyson's Big Move.
Stackpole took a few minutes out a hectic schedule for an interview with Comixpedia's Al Schroeder.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 10, 2005 - 12:59
Can you believe this is the 24th issue of Comixpedia? I really can't. (My wife can't either!) More importantly I can't believe it took us 24 issues to get to the funny in webcomics.
Along with some of the obvious front page changes we made for 2005, I am sad but relieved to announce that we're suspending the separate staff blog, 24 Hour Pixel People, for the time being. The two primary authors were myself and Erik Melander. Erik is now penning a monthly column for Comixpedia (the first installment of which is now up) and I'm stretched too thin as it is. But we will continue to provide news and views right here on the front page of Comixpedia. So let's get to those news and views.
When we discussed the Year in Review issue it seemed like it would be a natural to write a list of people in webcomics for the year. But what to call it? Most of the time when media magazines talk about people in film, television, music or what-have-you, they can call their articles "The Power List..." or the "The It List..." because, well, those media have power and star power. Webcomics have those things, but alas, still in smaller quantities.
As 2004 packs its bags and prepares to turn over the keys to the new year, we thought we would take this opportunity to look back at certain significant or just really amusing webcomics-related news stories throughout the year.
If we missed your favorite event, feel free to add your own thoughts.
The Collective Convective
Keenspot and Modern Tales were Big Pandaâ€™s most influential descendants, at least as of late 2004. But they were far from the only ones. As the number of webcomics continued to grow, the formation of collectives became as easy as the joining of bubbles in a bathtub. And like bubbles, they defied attempts to keep track of them all.
But categories began to emerge: (1) dropdowns, (2) kaffeeklatches, (3) showcase hosts (closed and open), (4) subscription sites, and (5) one pay-per-view store.
These collectives are worth studying, both in success and in failure, for every success shows where webcomics may be heading and where they may not be heading.
Submitted by DJ_Coffman on November 10, 2004 - 12:28
Yirmumah, the online comic by DJ Coffman and Robert McDeavitt, abandons the old strip format and expands into a bigger size in full color. Every Monday morning at PV Comics readers will be treated to a totally free, all new, giant-sized Yirmumah. The strip will also be archived with bonus strips available at YIRMUMAH.net 24 hours a day.
The Yirmumah team also plans new print books and other projects in store for 2005. "The new format allows us a way to give MORE to the readers, and also gives us time to work on a new print book with all new material." explained Coffman. "Sales on our Yirmumah-Mini #1 have been great and people have been asking for more and more print books, so this is a great way to give them what they want, and then some."
Submitted by Erik Melander on November 9, 2004 - 14:04
It is once again time to use my powers of hindsight to tell you what is already quite obvious, but hopefully I can bring something new to your attention.
If September was all about individual creators that quit, or was fired from, their day-jobs (and called on their fans for support), Octobers news was mostly about the two big corporate players, Modern Tales and Keen. I must admit that I am curious whether some years from now 2004 will be remembered mostly by the two things connected to these two entities that transpired in October.
The first I am thinking about is Keens entry into print syndication together with the Turlock journal. It is difficult to assess how much work Keen has put in to get an entry into print syndication. Perhaps it was simply timing, with the budget cutbacks experienced by many newspapers, and the managing editor of the Journal, Brandon Bowers, being a web-comic fan as I perceive it. The business model Keen uses is that they supply the newspaper with one page of comics FREE, but that they get ad-space on the page for whatever ads they want to run. What will be really interesting to see is how this relationship plays out and if Keen can expand into other newspapers.
In the same category, October saw Scott Kurtz's PvP syndicated in the Kansas City Star, also for free. Is this the beginning of a trend for newspaper strips or just freak occurrences? Time will tell.
Modern Tales head honcho Joey Manley supplied Octobers second big thing, the roll out of the first site in the much anticipated Webcomicsnation package. Originally meant to be a hosting service, Webcomicsnation has since then morphed into a group of tools (including hosting) aimed at small press comic creators. October saw the launch of the first one, Small Press Swapmeet.
Manley described SmallPressSwapmeet.com as a sort of ongoing "convention floor" for independent comics creators, allowing them to find their customers (and vice versa) every single day of the year.
Essentially for a monthly or yearly subscription fee small press swapmeet will provide advertising and a storefront for sellers. All shipping, handling and billing is handled by the seller or third parties such as paypal. I think it is clear that the biggest winners of Small Press Swapmeet are the consumers. Everything is neatly organised in both categories of merchandise and according to seller. There is also a rss feed that published new items available. The biggest hurdle of any site like this, getting enough sellers, has already been passed since any cartoonist active on any of the Modern Tales sites can use Small Press Swapmeet for free (and lets face it, there is quite a few creators on those sites even if not all of them use the service). In other words, the service can probably not fail, but the question is how many users outside of MT it will be able to attract. Until November 25th a subscription costs 2,95 USD/Month or 19,95 USD/Year, anyone that registers after that will be charged 4,95/month or 49,95/Year. This offer seems best suited for the traditional small press creators that have physical merchandise to sell (minicomix etc.). Most webcomicers seem to rely on others to handle physical merchandise, such as Cafepress. There is also the question as to how much merchandise you would need to sell in order to make up the subscription cost.
There is not much known about the other parts of the Webcomics nation suite, it will be rolled out piece by piece in the future. Will people who purchase the hosting package get free or discounts at the other tools? It will be interesting to see how this business model fares and I find myself agreeing with Bob Stevenson that Webcomics nation has the potential to be important to webcomics. Once again only time will tell.
There is one last thing that actually did not get the attention it deserved. At the Small Press Expo Pv comics announced that they were changing their business model by removing online subscription and instead focusing on their print offerings, while using the webcomics to attract audience. PV comics has some of the finest quality comics and I must admit that I am glad to be able to read them for free, but I can't help shake the feeling that this is something of a failure. Not a failure by PV comics, I believe they are making a business decision that I am sure they have considered from several standpoints, but a failure for the internet. Once again the internet as a marketing tool has won out over selling digital content.
That is all for this commentary. Care to add your own thoughts?
Head on over to the forum. No registration required.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on October 21, 2004 - 01:00
The first issue of the new print anthology book, VOID from PV Comics contains three original stories by PV Comic creators.
Bob Corona gives the cast of Welcome to Heck a combat action spin in "The President's Head Job." Matt Johnson introduces another print addendum to the Dewclaw universe with "Hollow Honor." Dan Larson introduces a new character in "Oxford Mahogany", which blends the adventure of the wild west with the excitement of paleontology. The cover features a Dewclaw digital painting by Alfredo Lopez, Jr. & Matt Johnson.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on October 17, 2004 - 15:21
As of this month, all online content at PV Comics, hundreds of pages of comics, is going to be free for all visitors to the website in a push towards taking their highly successful, creator-owned properties to the print world.
Why the change?
"We get e-mails every week from people who ask when they will be able to buy our web properties in book form. A smart business listens to its customers." Says Nate Piekos, creator of ATLAND at PV Comics, and founder of Blambot Comic Fonts. "We tested the waters with our print anthologies and taking this next step into full 'print mode' is the logical progression that will keep us growing, and reach a world of fans we havenâ€™t touched yet. And to celebrate, weâ€™re going to make all of our online comics completely free to visitors."
PV plans to continue and expand their monthly flow of online comics. "Weâ€™re not going to peter-out on the web content, either. Weâ€™re increasing our workloads to include the print portion of the business."