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Web Versus Newsprint Drama... Again!

The Daily Cartoonist is a good blog, but clearly a good chunk of its audience is fairly clueless about webcomics and the web as a distribution/publication system. A short but sweet post about R. Stevens impending launch of Diesel Sweeties in newspapers is met with the kind of whiny, defensive reaction I haven't seen since Wiley versus Scott Kurtz until Rich Stevens himself shows up and leads the counterattack:

I won’t argue the rest of your points, but there’s a million or more people doing looking at my comics every month without any kind of major media backing. When you can say that about your own stuff, you can make blanket dismissals of six and a half years worth of comics.

After that a much more interesting discussion continues. The Daily Cartoonist also promises an interview with Ted Rall on Diesel Sweeties and webcomics-to-syndication coming soon.

I always found

Erik Melander's picture

I always found Dieselsweeties to be a strip that was well suited for online publication with the arguments that online he can do his thing and those who like it can read it and those who don't can simply move on. While I'll admit that I haven't been following this very closely (and am fairly clueless about the american newspaper market) I'm curious to see what kind of strips Stevens will send to the papers. With six years of comics there should me lots of material that could work with a more general audience.

Speaking of my cluelessness of syndicated comics, can somone explain how newspapers decide if they should keep a comic? Is it based on the respons of the readers or the lack of respons or something else entirely? Do they do surveys what their readers think about their comicsection?

Vir Bonus

Reader Surveys and Complaints Generally

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

My impression is that newspapers tend to keep their lineups on auto-pilot but that when they do make changes they tend to do reader surveys ahead of time (not sure how much they actually rely on them though).

Changes are few b/c (my guess anyhow) every existing comic DOES have fans and it seems like even a small number of complaints over cancellation is enough to rattle the newspaper editors.

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Xaviar Xerexes

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Gnaw.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Rall

mooncity's picture

Like I say, i'm not a fan of pixel art or DS, but some of the comments in that thread are pretty polarizing, on both sides. The outright "hate" ones are just kinda weak ranting. But my favorite was one pro-DS fellow saying that DS "looks like a hover-car sitting next to a horse and buggy" compared to traditional strips. So many comebacks... but promised myself I wouldn't touch that one with a ten foot pole (Santa's watching, after all!).

I must say, it really was cool for Ted Rall to be willing to field questions about this. I submitted one. I'm looking forward to what he has to say.

Mooncity

Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since 1976!

Mooncity

Autumn Lake

Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since 1976!

Blame Modern Tales

EricMillikin's picture
Hopefully two years from now (if he isn't already) Richard will be looking back on those guys and laughing at their ideas about how "You must have bought a Wacom tablet to make all that really detailed pixel art," "Nobody cares at all about robots or girls," and "Comics are for old people, not for you crazy kids with your digimon and internets."
Sort of like how now we all apparently laugh at whiney clueless Wiley Miller for being completely on the wrong side of the great "free gamer comics for newspapers" crusade of 2004.

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Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

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Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

I've posted my own view over

mooncity's picture

I've posted my own view over at TDC already, so I won't bore anyone here with the long-winded version of it.

Basically, I think DS faces an uphill battle to charm readers of traditional comic strips. Pixel art probably isn't going to be instantly embraced by older readers of the paper. And no matter how popular a webcomic is, that doesn't equal increased readership or sales of the paper. Webcomics and traditional strips in the paper face different respective dynamics, and tend to have differnet audiences from each other.

But, while I'm not a fan, I do wish Stevens luck. I'd like to think DS being in the paper could help make more people aware of webcomickry. I think everyone can agree that would be a good thing.

Mooncity

Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since 1976!

Mooncity

Autumn Lake

Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since 1976!

disagree

The William G's picture

the kind of whiny, defensive reaction I haven't seen since Wiley versus Scott Kurtz

I think you're over-blowing the situation there. I only saw maybe two syndicated artists complain about the artistic quality of the comic. The rest of the negative comments, which I have no idea if they were creators or readers, were saying much the same. But there seemed to be an equal numbver of supportive comments to go with them.

Also, the situation is completely different: Kurtz was trying to put people out of a job, so the syndicated creators had the right (hell, even the duty) to come down on his plan like they did. This is a few people (with only a couple of them getting nasty about it) stating they dislike Diesel Sweeties and the idea of cut & paste.

I know that the more popular the webcomic is, the less one is allowed to speak poorly of it, but we're now getting back to the real world here and they don't give a crap about our online pecking order.


The thing I found sad and

Erik Melander's picture

The thing I found sad and completely agree with about it was what one of the posters a bit down in the discussion wrote in regards to the fact that the news of someone being picked up for syndication is met not with congratulations, but instead posts about how much "better" and "deserving" creators were passed over.

Vir Bonus