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Six degrees of your comic

Given the downtime experienced by comixtalk, Xaviar was kind enough to let me post stories a little bit more, so, for the four of you who missed me, here it is:

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On Monday, when I started this guest-blogging gig, I took a gander at other webcomic sites, something I hadn’t done in months. I checked out out Fleen, only to notice something: my comic had disappeared from the “daily read” list on the right! The horror! It used to be there, I swear. But it wasn’t all lost, in one of the most recent posts, written by Anne Thalheimer, she mentions having lived her life completely oblivious to the existence of Count Your Sheep, my comic. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes, when sheltered by the community of your three or four readers, you tend to feel like the center of the universe and the reincarnation of Scott McCloud. But it made me think of word of mouth, and people taking the time to say a few nice things about your work, and how readers, communities, fandoms, forums, print editions and t-shirt empires can be born out of it. It made me curious about how much word of mouth CYS has, and how long it would take to find it mentioned if I hopped from webcomic to webcomic. I could have just checkout technorati or my website’s statistics, but since I had no idea what to write for today’s post, here’s what I did: by clicking on a random comic in one of those ProjectWonderful ads, I would see how many degrees of separation there were between that comic and my own. It had to be either mentioned, advertised, or linked to. Just for fun, I decided to include a mini overview/not-quite-a-review of the comic itself. So here it is.

I began with...

Henry & Gil Vs. The Infinity Engine

Written by Grant Watson Drawn by Edward J Grug III

This seems to be a humorous comic. It stars cats acting like people, which alwas scares me at first, but there’s none of that fury shenanigans here. (Nothing wrong with that, really, it just makes me uneasy to see human curves and six packs on animals. The realization that even the hottest girl would feel like my uncle’s hairy back is what ruined my childhood crush with Marvel Comics’ Tygra.)

The story is about an odd couple-ish pair of cats, one a geek, one a non-geek, immersed in a geekish adventure, which makes the geek seem cool, and the non-geek seem a little irritating, and all of us geeks know someone like that. Nice art, and a very interesting sense of pace.

That led me to...

Bellen!

By Box Brown

Randomness starring two kids. It’s cute randomness, which I enjoy. I like it when authors aren’t as scared as me and have the nerve to make a joke by simply having characters make noises or imitate noises or say “chicken banana.” It started out being nothing but black and white, cross-hatched closeups of the two characters, and now it’s a cornucopia of graphic design styles and colors. Very indie-feeling, and entertaining, if that’s your sort of thing.

Plus, round headed characters have a soft spot in my heart.

And this led me to...

Hippojim

By Molly McCausland

Not really a comic, more like the portfolio of Molly, who also keeps a blog, and is an illustrator, and has a cat, and a sense of humor and is totally friendly. In short, the total dream girl of your average webcomic author.

That led me to...

Robotaday

By BT Livermore

Another art blog, not so much a comic, although BT seems heavily involved in his local art scene, his work seems polished and appealing and he seems to have an education in art. That’s three things I don’t have, thus prompting me to leave his site soon.

And this led me to...

Bodega Avenue

By Tara Lopez, Aurin Squire, Tatiana Suarez Pico

Latino talent. Cool. It seems to be about a bunch of nicely drawn characters commenting on popular culture and being quick witted to one another. We’ve all seen it before, but this one has a liberal and totally unobtrusive use of flash effects without it being proper animation which makes it stand out. The pop cultural observations though, have always made me anxious because of their short shelf life, but that’s just me. (I’m probably the only webcomics author who doesn’t want to include a computer in his comic out of fear of how they might change in 50 years, rendering my comic outdated and useless for the people of the future.)

That led to...

(I still haven’t found my comic, incidentally, and I’m starting to get worried. This could take a while.)

The Prodigal

By Jovan Zimzovski

The site welcomes you with a peculiar version of DaVinci’s Vetruvian Man and a warning about this being an experimental experiment of experimental art. And it is. It has lots of experimental nonsense drawn in a serious style, that for some reason always freaks me out. (I probably wouldn’t have liked Bellen so much if the artwork was realistic.) It works best in The Perry Bible Fellowhip, where the craft is flawless.

And this led me to...

Death Piglet

By Johan C. Brandstedt

This is the sort of thing I wanted to do when I started Count Your Sheep: a comic reduced to very bare essentials, following a series of rules for every comic. Not being very disciplined, I changed it all, but Johan seems to have followed through: his comic has no dialogue, everything is told through very simple action with very simple characters, and I’m jealous. Plus, the cute and the mean are always a deadly combination. Jealous and all, but I’m detecting a trend here, some authors seem to be afraid of creating characters, and prefer wild action and shenanigans to dictate where the comic goes. Just a thought.

That led to...

Spiky Haired Dragon

By ak_ryuu

The author’s actual name is Aran, and he’s (she?) 35, from Finland. I’m always a big fan of my fellow non-native english speaker who starts a comic. (Of course, the education system is probably a lot better over there, so I can still feel I made more out of myself.) This comic does attempt to have more well rounded characters, but I don’t know if it suceeds. The comic started in 2003, in a format too straining for my eyes, and in 2007, it still looks exactly the same. Most authors change their style or evolve their workingspace, but ak_ryuu hasn’t, and I found it quite shocking.

And that led me to... look at the time, I’ve been doing this for far too long. Maybe I should advertise more.

So, anyway, that led me to...

Kirabug

By Anne Gibson

Another comic-slash-blog, this one presents us to the musings of one Anne Gibson. She sketches little amusing vignettes every now and then, but her forte is pointing out various nonesnese found in news and corporate websites. I laughed hard at a few of them, and while I found no mention of my comic whatsoever, it still gets props from me.

And after finding her daily comic read list, I found that she has a link to...

Count Your Sheep!

*cue applause*

It only took 9 comic websites to find my own, which isn’t that bad an average, I guess. Less than 10 is pretty good. Why is that? Why not?

 

***

That was the original piece I wrote, that given today's fast moving world, is no longer true; you'll notice that kirabug's daily comic list no longer contains a mention of my comic. It's dated June of 2005, which makes me wonder. In any case, all I'd have to do is click on any other Keenspot (which are all awesome,) before finding my own. And so my experiment comes to an end, something I recommend if you want an eye opener and a humbling experience.

 

-adis!

 

Re: Six degrees of your comic

Thanks for the mention! Actually, I'm quite happy with shenanigans. Pantomime is hard enough without character and plot development. I do those too, mind, on the spin-off site duel.nekrozin.com.

Re: Six degrees of your comic

boxbrown's picture

thanks so much for your kind words! Gotta love project wonderful.

boxbrown.livejournal.com

Re: Six degrees of your comic

Hey, thank you for the nice words! We discussed the fact that people might think it was a furry comic before we started, actually. It isn't and it won't become on.

It also makes me really happy to see that because of my comic a bunch of my friends also got included, the next three people after me are friends of mine!

Re: Six degrees of your comic - Well that freakin' figures.

Because of the way that Wordpress dates my stuff, my Daily Comic List always shows June of '05. I suppose I could manually mark the last date but usually I'm the only one using it in the first place.
I had something like 105 comics and/or blogs on my list on Friday. It was way out of hand. I wasn't able to stay up to date with them, and I was miserable because the further behind I fell the longer it took to catch up. Plus, links had broken, update schedules had changed, and I'd switched to using RSS for all the blogs.
So on Sunday while I was updating Wordpress and doing general cleanup, I decided it was time to trim the list. Because I'm the only one I know using it on a regular basis I didn't even feel guilty for dropping PVP, Count Your Sheep, Falling Oaks, 21st Century Fox, and a whole bunch of other <b >good</b> comics that honestly, aren't keeping my attention in this off-again on-again reading the comics thing I'm doing right now. I couldn't bring myself to catch up on their archives, and trying to pick up a strip here and a strip there wasn't working either... It doesn't matter why I kept what I kept or dropped what I dropped short of the fact that I made gut choices that I'm ok with.
Amazingly, it seems like even though my readership could fit in a small town, that page always gets noticed right before/right after I make major changes. This is the third freakin' time.
At any rate, I hope that my changes aren't reflected as anything other than a change in my own reading patterns. I like CYS - I just like some other comics more - so it lost the toss. If each of us created our own "comics page" for the newspaper we'd eventually have to make the same changes. Mine's just really public :/

Re: Six degrees of your comic - Well that freakin' figures.

That's totally ok, really. But the timing was incredibly peculiar, don't you think? The good thing is (for me, anyway) that I would have made a fool of myself for mentioning a site that mentions my comic, only to see it disappear a while later. As it stands, it's just a cute anecdote. :P