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Comixpedia's List of 25 People Of Webcomics for 2004

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.

It's also harder to judge the apples and the oranges of creators, publishers, innovators and thinkers in the emerging world of webcomics. There are simply too many business models, too many artistic and creative directions to pursue. We also had to consider that we wanted to recognize people primarily for their impact in 2004, but many people have had such a tremendous impact before 2004 that they continue to have a big impact even if they didn't raise the bar for themselves significantly this year.

All of which is to say that there is no easy way to name this list, or more importantly, why we included some on it and left off others. It is even harder to attach much importance to the order of the list as all of the people on it have contributed mightily to webcomics this past year. All of the people on the list, in their own ways, were just plain cool to watch this year.

Although we were not able to track everyone down for an interview for this piece, we did talk to most about the highlights of 2004 and their plans for 2005. So without further fanfare, check out the List for 2004.

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.

It's also harder to judge the apples and the oranges of creators, publishers, innovators and thinkers in the emerging world of webcomics. There are simply too many business models, too many artistic and creative directions to pursue. We also had to consider that we wanted to recognize people primarily for their impact in 2004, but many people have had such a tremendous impact before 2004 that they continue to have a big impact even if they didn't raise the bar for themselves significantly this year.

All of which is to say that there is no easy way to name this list, or more importantly, why we included some on it and left off others. It is even harder to attach much importance to the order of the list as all of the people on it have contributed mightily to webcomics this past year. All of the people on the list, in their own ways, were just plain cool to watch this year.

Although we were not able to track everyone down for an interview for this piece, we did talk to most about the highlights of 2004 and their plans for 2005. So without further fanfare, check out the List for 2004.


25. David Rees

David Rees' Get Your War On has been a blast of biting social commentary that transcended webcomics and took off in the larger mainstream media. It continues to appear online at Rees’ website and monthly in Rolling Stone magazine.

Q. How would you assess the progress of Get Your War On this year?

GYWO didn't progress much this year. There's not much aesthetic progress possible, I guess. I tried to keep making jokes about the War on Terrorism. Some of them worked; others didn't. I think I was kind of spinning my wheels in 2004. The big event for me was the publication of Get Your War On II by Riverhead Books.

 

24. Drew Weing

Drew Weing wrapped up his popular and critically acclaimed webcomic The Journal Comic and released a print version of the same comic. He also continued to work on Pup published at Serializer.net and has begun work on a new webcomic called Little Trees.

Weing also drew the cover for issue 259 of The Comics Journal focusing on young artists in comics.

 

23. Svetlana Chmakova

Svetlana Chmakova was nominated for an Ignatz for “Promising New Talent” this year. Although she didn’t win, in this case it really was an honor just to be nominated. Her webcomic Chasing Rainbows appears at Girlamatic and Night Silver is at Wirepop.

Q. What were the highlights of 2004 for you?

I found out that I actually have fans, for one! It's always such a morale boost to know that people enjoy my stories.

The biggest highlight of the year, of course, was when I signed a 3-book deal with Tokyopop, one of the largest manga-publishing houses in North America. Watch the bookstore shelves next fall for the first volume of Dramacon, a tender (sorta, kinda) story about a love affair between two con-goers.

Q. How did it feel to be nominated for an Ignatz for "Promising New Talent"?

I was very surprised to have been nominated. Self-esteem issues? Me? Don't know what you're talking about. Kidding aside, I was very flattered.

Q. Any thoughts on what you think were the milestones for webcomics generally this year?

Webcomics are quickly becoming the way to get noticed these days, IMHO. Several of my fellow webcomic artists have landed book deals with major publishers because of our online endeavours, including myself. Forget standing in line at a convention portfolio review or trying to get permission to send in a submission so that it's not chucked away as unsolicited! Our work is online--come by and see. If you like, we're easy to find.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish in 2005?

Professionally, I'd like to finish my first two published books, finish 2 chapters for "Night Silver" and a chapter for "Chasing Rainbows" and collect them in trade paperbacks. On the personal front, I'd like to finally get a life and be able to hit more cons and spend time with the cool people that go there.

 

22. Adrian Ramos

Adrian Ramos’ Count Your Sheep has had a big year. First, it was picked up by Keenspot (after being on Keenspace for only 10 months) and next it shared the WCCA "Outstanding Comic of the Year" award with Penny Arcade. (Count Your Sheep won six total awards including "Outstanding Newcomer.") Ramos also creates The Wisdom of Moo at Girlamatic and No Room For Magic at Drunk Duck.

Q. What were your primary accomplishments this year? What were the highlights for you?

The most important thing that I accomplished this year was establishing myself as an artist. I stopped being just one of the "new guys" to become one of the "new guys with an ounce of fame due to marginal talent."

Thanks to KeenSyndicate, CYS is now published in four newspapers. There's also the matter of all those CCA Awards that my comic won. They're important because they helped more people notice my work, and because my ego needs stroking, and I'm proud I won. I got a guest strip on PvP and for a fan like me, that was a big deal. On top of that, I managed to make a buck or two. Oh, and my comixpedia interview. Seriously, to me, that was a banner moment.

Q. What do you think were the milestones for webcomics this year?

I think webcomics in general are getting more respect and more widespread appeal across the board. From Derek Kirk Kim winning an Eisner, to Ucomics noticing webcomics, to the success of comics like Something Positive and Questionable Content to what PvP and Keenspot are doing with syndicating their comics, I think we're going places, and there ain't no stopping us.

 

21. David Allen

David Allen is the owner of Plan 9 Publishing, still one of the largest publishers of webcomics in print. They publish collections of, among others, Sluggy Freelance, Kevin & Kell and Greystone Inn.

Q. What were the highlights of 2004 for Plan 9 Publishing?

The highlight this year would be publishing the first Kudzu collection by Doug Marlette in eight years and signing Peter Zale's Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet.

Q. What were the most exciting new titles based on webcomics you published this year?

The webcomic genre continues to expand and the quality of new titles has remained pretty high. As to exciting new titles, gee I was excited about all of them, like David Farley's Dr. Fun, the second oldest web comic in the world, Maritza Campos' College Roomies from Hell, John Klossner's Mason Darrow, Margaret and Robert Carspecken's Faux Pas, Whitley and Eckelaert's Sea Urchins and of course, Willieam Levy's Night Mart.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish in 2005?

More new editions of our regular lines mostly with some new titles sprinkled in like A Doeman of Our Own, Deela the Hooda, Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet, and a few others I haven't locked down yet, so I can't say.

 

Re: Comixpedia's List of 25 People in Webcomics for 2004

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Lea

I hope everything's alright! I am going to clip from your reply to put into the article - thanks for your answers.

X

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

Re: Comixpedia's List of 25 People in Webcomics for 2004

L_Jonte's picture

"Another highlight was GAM-O-Ween, facilitated by GAMmer Lisa Jonte', where most of the GAMmers switched off and did guest strips for Halloween week."

I'm blushing! BLUSHING!

That almost never happens.

-Lisa Jonté
___________________________
Artist, Writer, Flibbertigibbet, Editor
http://www.Girlamatic.com

Re: Comixpedia's List of 25 People in Webcomics for 2004

I'm so glad to be included, and sorry I didn't get my answers in on time. (I have a good reason--I had to take my husband to the hospital. Yes, he'll be O.K.)

So, late, but not never, are my answers:

1. How would you assess the progress of Girlamatic this year? What
were the highlights? Are you satisfied with your progress as to where
you expected to be?

I'd say GAM grew by leaps and bounds. The open submission call was a huge success, as it brought in enough good creators to double the GAM features.

2. How about your own work in comics and webcomics? What were the
highlights this year for you and what were the frustrations? (Also -
Congratulations for winning the 2004 Lulu award!)

Thanks! The Lulu was truly, TRULY unexpected, and just absolutely wonderful. Being named Lulu of the Year was the highlightiest of the highlights. Seeing GAM grow the way I wanted it to was also great. Taking the shiny Lulu of the Year awardy thingie on a victory lap around the San Diego Comic Con floor and making all the GAMmers I could find tough it because it is THEIR award, too was fun.
Another highlight was GAM-O-Ween, facilitated by GAMmer Lisa Jonte', where most of the GAMmers switched off and did guest strips for Halloween week. The results were just perfection. It's worth a subscription just for that week. (Clue-by-Four deployed!)

A happy-sad highlight was Bite Me! by Dylan Meconis, come to an end. (Bite Me! was the second GAM strip to conclude, Kris Dresen's being the first.) Dylan was one of the very first contributors on board, and she is such a doll, and Bite Me! was a huge draw (never NEVER underestimate the power of vampires to draw readers), and interwoven with the story for me is Dylan's college career, and I'm misting up.

The biggest frustration would be in getting very little of my own work on the web. My work on the Hardy Boys, since I spent a lot of time researching and drawing it, took over my whole life. I am really glad I did it, though.

3. Any thoughts on what you think were the milestones for webcomics
generally this year?

I think seeing that it seems like everyone has one! It's so wonderfully cheap and double-instant gratifying to make and share a webcomic. And also seeing how many webcomickers are getting tapped and snapped for print work. It's validation to see that a creator's work that was inexpensive or even free is seen as being worth committing to or preserving in print. It's gratifying to see creators from GAM get print work, since it was only a few short years ago that webcomics were comics' red-headed stepchild.

4. Any thoughts on what you're hoping to accomplish in 2005?

Besides continuing to make GAM the tightest subscription comics site on the web, you mean?
Back to work on my own stuff! Ironclad Petal will debut on GAM (you heard it here first!*), Rumble Girls: Runaway Lightning Ohmry will start at RumbleGirls.com as a BitPass comic, the DivaLea Show (seen as one of Modern Tales' few stumbles) will finally return, and I still have a huge pile of snarky stories to turn into Near-Life Experience strips.

*You might me wondering how I decide to put my own comic on GAM if I'm the editor. I don't. I asked Joey Manley, who is my boss, and he said yes.