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Why Do Online Comics by Iain Hamp

Since I could really only get away with writing an entire column out of quotes from previous columns in a year-end review, I thought I'd go ahead and jump at the opportunity. This is my last column for a while, but I'll keep in touch. I already have an idea for my new webcomic. I won't give away much, but let's just say it involves a fire-breathing monkey who is addicted to Ebay, and a cow bent on changing the world so it is black and white "just like the old days."

But I digress.

"When I began 'Why Do Online Comics?' it was my intention, above everything else, to have it act as a spur."

"Middlemen need jobs too, don't get me wrong. The people at Ralph Lauren who make $70 tee shirts need jobs too. I'm just not going to be the one supporting those jobs when I can get a tee shirt I am just as happy with for $5-10. I mean, for $70 I want to be able to connect my shirt to the Internet and display my website wherever I go."

"Have fun. That's why we started doing online comics right? Whether you're in it for the hope of making money, for learning new skills or honing old ones, or to tell people your story, the number one thing is to enjoy what you are doing. It not only enhances your work when you enjoy creating it, it will undoubtedly enhance your life. When you are doing the work because your fans expect it and every moment of the process is just torture, it is time to step back and reevaluate. Take a break if you have to, people who really enjoy your work will understand and will come back when you're ready to go again."

"If we offer online comics successfully to the mass audiences and they don't take what we offer them, that's one thing. But until every potential reader has been given the opportunity to know our work exists and then say yes or no, we have work to do. We've been insular too long, and all this inbreeding can lead to no good."

"You can't be creative in a box." - Faith Erin Hicks

"Something I saw surfacing at the San Diego Comic-Con this year was an attitude that because you are doing x amount of hours worth of work on your comics, you automatically deserve to be paid for this. I do not understand this way of thinking at all. Look, Pepsi came out with Pepsi Blue recently, a berry flavored blue cola. They have been giving it away with the purchase of other Pepsi products, so because it was free I tried it. It is absolutely awful... I have yet to meet anyone who thinks otherwise, and although I am sure there are some out there this appeals to, based on my experience it won't be enough to sustain the product sales long term. Now, does Pepsi just deserve to make money off of their product even though it resembles carbonated bear crap? I say no."

"It was then that I realized what had been trying to surface into my consciousness for some time. I had spent a total of eight hours of my life in panels trying to find out how to break in to the comics industry. What I should have been doing with that time was drawing."

"I use a crappy Canon scanner, Photoshop, Illustrator and Fireworks. I use HomeSite to write HTML. I use FTP Voyager as my FTP program. I use a small glass to keep my scotch's surface area to a minimum." - Jon Rosenberg

"Like almost all other evolving forms of entertainment, it takes a while for innovation to float to the surface of mainstream consciousness. I believe the more people seek out entertainment online, the closer we'll get to giving them something that they may even be willing to pay for. This is because we've already been here a while working out what will click and what won't. The process of finding out is what excites me most! Seeing the years of experimentation come to fruition is also very, very exciting and will continue to be as long as people keep trying to bring their creativity, storytelling, music, and information onto the World Wide Web." - Cat Garza

"But you, friend, are a webcomic creator. Webcomics are fighting for respect from people who generally participate in the print comics industry, whether it be readers or creators, and that print comics industry is thought of as 'for kids' by the general populace. No other medium of mass entertainment I can think of has such a massive lack of understanding regarding its potential, and you're involved in trying to become the red-headed stepchild of that medium.

Are we nuts?!"

"Why do I do webcomics? From a logical, rational point of view? Because I enjoy it." - TragicLad

"Perception is reality, and if you leave enough ends just a little loose in your story telling, you can affect all sorts of different emotional and philosophical responses."

"Once we have the micropayments system working, the only thing left is a sort of "killer app," if you will, that makes the masses aware that online comics exist and might be something they are interested in." - August 2001

"...BitPass is a good candidate for the present and probably at least the near future of micropayments..." - August 2003

"As I look at all the people who are browsing and reading manga in the bookstore I can hope that they have finally found something in comics that appeals to them in a way that comics might not have before. Something that will lead them to not only become passionate consumers of comics but passionate creators as well. And while I wander the Internet seeing wonderful, brilliant work created in webcomics, I can't help but be convinced that all fans of comics, webcomic and otherwise, are in for an exciting ride in the years to come."

"We've just begun."

Iain Hamp has been writing the column "Why Do Online Comics" since before there was a Comixpedia. While "Why Do Online Comics" is on sabatical in 2005, you can keep up with Iain at his website.


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