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Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren "Gav" Bleuel

Chris Crosby and Darren "Gav" Bleuel, two of the four co-owners of Keenspot, have agreed to sit in the "chair" for a community interview. Post your questions (one to a post please) to this thread, moderate up the interesting ones and we'll send the top ten questions on to Crosby and Bleuel to get their answers.

We'll take questions until March 12th.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

kjc's picture

What sort of business lessons have you learned from your various enterprises? (Meaning from free comic hosting, for-pay comic hosting, t-shirts/toys, paper comics, to the comic book store - lessons from each realm or lessons you learned across the board.)

Kelly J.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

How does it feel to have alienated a brilliantly talented, funny, and insanely popular webcomic artist like Hard and pissed away the potential benefit of having him on Keenspot all for the sake of satisfying your own internal political bullshit?

Also, why do you continue to ignore the potential of the many popular comics on Keenspace (comics which attain their popularity through the hard work of the artists and not through the Keenspot promotional machine) and treat their artists like second class citizens all for the sake of stroking the egos of your precious few elitist artists on Keenspot?

Wouldn't it make more sense to run Keenspot as a meritocracy than a country club so as to be able to fully exploit the potential of the many hardworking and talented artists on Keenspace who do not fit into the clique aspect of Keenspot?

Does it not upset you to see so much potential being squandered on Keenspace when by putting aside your petty and prudish politics it could be used instead to strengthen Keen Industries?

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Erik Melander's picture

Follow up question:
Do you have a strategy or policy in regards to how you recruit comics to keepspot?

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Oh yeah, and please submit your answers in the form of a reasoned and intelligent response and not a dismissive, demeaning, and flippant "Crosbyism" as those of us on Keenspace have come to expect anytime a legitimate and important issue concerning our part in Keen Industries comes up.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Just a reminder - one question to a post please. Multiple question posts may not get all of their questions forwarded to the interviewees. Those are (and always have been) the rules for submitting questions for the community interview.

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

Who is the competition?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

What's Keenspot's competition these days? Is it limited to other online sites like Modern Tales or PV Comics or do you see yourself competing with the full spectrum of comics publishers online and off? How big does Keenspot want to be in terms of the larger comics industry?

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

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

What do you have against Hard so much that you keep doing this to him, Ghastly?
Why do you continue to speak on his behalf without his consent?
I know you hate Keenspot and all, but do you always have to drag Hard into your petty politics?

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

1) I have nothing against Hard and respect him greatly as an artist and have always been an admirer of his work. On top of that I think he's a hell of a cool guy to boot.

2) I do not now, nor have I ever spoken on Hard's behalf. Only an idiot would presume that anything I say is spoken on Hard's behalf. It would be an even bigger idiot who holds anything I say against Hard. I am not Hard's minion. I am not Hard's trained monkey. The opinions I express are mine and mine alone and anyone with even a pair of functioning brain cells should be able to figure that out by now. I may be an absolute asshole for expressing my opinion on this subject but anyone who would hold my opinions against Hard is an even bigger asshole yet.

3) I need no consent from anyone to speak my mind. My opinions, no matter how assinine they may be, are mine to express just as yours are yours to express.

4) I'm not dragging Hard anywhere. However I feel the Sexy Losers incident is symptomatic of the larger problems that exist in the division between Keenspot and Keenspace and the internal politics of Keenspot and thus is a valid point of contention. What happened with Sexy Losers is happening with other comics on Space. Sexy Losers is just the most famous incidence of this kind of discrimination. Hard has expressed what his feelings are about this incident, I'm just expressing mine. The entire issue is bigger than Hard's comic, my comic or any comic on Keen, but what happened with Hard's comic is still part of the problem.

5) Despite my disappointment in the way certain things are handled I don't Hate Keen. I'm part of Keen. I enjoy the community of artists on Keen. I don't like certain internal proceedures with Keen that ends up diving Space and Spot into an Us vs. Them situation. The reason why I'm so passionate about this issue is because I'd really like to see Keen become something better than it is. That's not going to happen as long as the issue is ignored and swept under the carpet. That's why I posed these questions. I have to believe that there is hope that Keen will change for the better of its artists and itself and as long as I have that hope I'll still be a part of Keen. A vocal, pain-in-the-ass, thorn-in-the-side part of Keen but a part none the less. If I hated Keen I wouldn't be arguing because I wouldn't give a shit about what happens to it. If I hated Keen I wouldn't care about the difference in the way Space and Spot artists are treated or the way this affects the Keen community. I care about Keen very much which is why I want to do what I can to make sure that what happened to Sexy Losers doesn't happen to anyone else.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Oh of course I deserve some blame which is why I apoligised to Hard and why I sent a rather humbling letter of apology to the executives of Keen. It was clearly a point of acting without thinking on my part and for my part in what happened I'm sorry.

However, what happened with Sexy Losers is still a valid example of the sort of problem that continues to plague Keen. It's not about Sexy Losers being Spotted anymore. To me it's about making sure that what happened to Sexy Losers doesn't continue happening to other artists.

Still, upon sober reflection I shouldn't have brought it up again. I was out celebrating last night so I made the classic mistake of posting with more than a few pints in me. I would have likely been far more tactful had I waited until the morning to post. I would have likely distilled my diatribe down to a single question too. Therefore in the spirit of sobriety I officially withdraw my question(s) from the interview and apologise to anyone irked by my indescretion.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Psssst... read previous reply. I withdrew the questions and apologised.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Uncle Ghastly's picture

Actually you can delete my "questions" altogether. I was drunk when I posted and regret doing so now that I'm sober.

Let this be a lesson to you kids about surfing while drunk.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

You got it wrong. Keenspot didn't decide against SL because of Ghastly. But after what happened, Hard decided he didn't want into Keenspot anymore.

Maritza
CRFH.net

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

There's been currently a contest between KeenSpace artists to redesign the whole site: http://forums.keenspace.com/viewtopic.php?t=56072&start=0

I'm one of the contestants, as a matter of fact.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

I hope you DO realize that, if this is true, it makes the 'why wasn't SL spotted' question even stupider.

That kind of decision whould not be made based on what Ghastly said or didn't say.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Okay, ignore the post above. You obviously realize it, and I just made a fool of myself. I haven't read Maritza's post, and was rushy in my answer.

If the moderators decide to delete it, I wouldn't complain too :)

Print and Non-Webby Projects

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

What's going on with Keenspot comics offline? What's the status of the monthly comicbooks both Keenspot and A-Bomb? Is Keen now printing collections of work for all or some of the Keenspot comics?

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

KeenPrime Hosting Business

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

How is Keenprime going? How many customers? Is it profitable for Keenspot? Also how do you feel it matches up to other competitors such as the forthcoming Webcomic Nation (MT entry) or any other competitive sites?

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

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Right now the best place to get up-to-date help for Keenspace is the Keenspace Forums Help Center.
http://forums.keenspace.com/viewforum.php?f=1

There are also a bunch of sticky threads there which try to cover for the missing starting guides.

However, I think one of the main requests for the new Keenspace website was 'a working Tagtorial', so with luck, maybe a new generation of Keenspacers won't have as hard a time getting their comics up.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Joey Manley's picture

Recently, a lot of comics have been added to the Keenspot lineup. This comes after a long period of relative stability in the core lineup, with very few artists and strips coming on board. Is this a major shift in your business strategy, or is it a coincidence that all these worthy strips became available for the "main site" at the same time? If the former, what effect was desired by this shift, and what has the actual effect been?

Joey
www.moderntales.com

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Close, not close. Irrelevant. There was a discussion in the Keenspot private list. Some voted against, some for. There was a leak and Ghastly posted our private messages in a public forum. Hard decided he wouldn't be a part of Keenspot anymore. So even if Keenspotters would have all voted yes, he'd have declined.

I can't tell you how close was Hard to actually being spotted, because as it's been said a ton of times, the Fab Four asks our opinions but the final decision is up to them.

Maritza
CRFH.net

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

You've recently started making print anthologies of your comics. How have these been selling, online and in stores? What other Keenspot comics will soon be coming out in book form?

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Ghastly... After all this time, you don't seriously think you deserve no blame whatsoever for what happened with Sexy Losers, do you??

-josh

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

No matter what anyone's opinions are here, this question is completely out of place. The point of this thread is to post serious questions regarding the company. Not to write up accusatory opinions in the form of a question.

Please, if you must persist with this, take it elsewhere. Out of respect for everyone.

-kiwi

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Why is Keenspace.com so poorly designed (I say this because, even before the recent problems, there were no help files, no explaination of how to do anything, etc.) when so many people like myself are using the service?

I realize Keenspot is the 'l33t' website, while Keenspace is the place anyone can get into, but isn't there some way to make the page more user friendly? Perhaps there are people using the service that would dedicate their time to working on the upkeep of Keenspace for free.

Basically, if you have any questions you have to go to Google.com or ask other Keenspace members, the site is so vague and basic that it's almost like no one at the Keenspot headquarters cares about any of us at all.

Thanks,
C.W.
http://www.virtualunknowns.com
http://escapeman.keenspace.com

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

This question popped into mind after reading Ghastly's question and the various responses. The whole SexyLoser incident points out something of a flaw in Keenspots invitation system. It looks like the collective decision to accept a comic into Keenspot can be easily manipulated by a person with a loud enough megaphone. This is a bit unsettling. If Hard was the one with the megaphone than it's a different story. But in this case it was someone he had no control of, a fan. Shouldn't professionalism dictate such outside influence NOT influence the decision making process? Are there plans to revamp the invitation process?

Problem, we have a Houston
http://cdc.keenspace.com

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

Based on talk in around the community and people in the Spot mailing list there is some who feel SL was close to being spotted. Then Ghastlys postings seemed to sway their choices towards a "no". That's the talk floating around the chatrooms. Ghastly himself was barraged by complaints in a certain known chatroom regarding the whole swaying of the vote. "Josh", one of the repliers to Ghastlys post above, seems to share this train of thought. I can name a batch of others some fellow Keenspot members who think this way to.

Re: Submit Your Questions for Keenspot's Chris Crosby and Darren

How is the ad model working these days? What kind of profit is it seeing? Are you considering/concerned about the possibility of having to go subscription-based?