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Strip Business 4-27-09

It’s been an interesting week, non?

  • You have all no doubt seen this and this that started the whole thing and you probably have an opinion on it. Lots and lots of people have an opinion. The fact is that if you post something publicly on the internet, you have exposed it for use by others. The internet is a digital copy machine, after all. If you don’t want something public, don’t make it public. If quoters have good manners, they link to the source and then quote. In Twitter’s case, one can’t easily edit tweets down much more than they already are. It’s also not easy to link to individual tweets, so the link just goes to the source on Cebulski’s Twitter page, as is reasonable. But wait - some will object (specifically Brevoort and Quesada)- isn’t it stealing from the author to compile a bunch of their tweets into an article without recompense? Well, the fact is that if Mr. Cebulski (who is not complaining publicly) wanted to write blog posts about comics, then he would do so right here. As a matter of fact, he compiled some of his own tweets the same day as the Newsarama post and had earlier allowed others to do the same here and here at least. Further, in that second link, permission was not asked prior (See the second comment?) and he was apparently okay enough with it eleven days later to link to it. I can only speculate that Quesada and Brevoort must feel that they want to set a cash-for-pro-advice precedent about their own tweets and public posts. Wait - it looks like that’s confirmed here and here.  All the noise really has nothing to do with fair use of the occassional tweet since you are literally encouraged to spread other tweets such as movie hype information. It’s simply all about who gets paid, even if it’s just pennies. If you think my assessment of the situation is off, you are welcome to draw your own conclusions by looking at Quesada’s tweets starting 7:25 pm April 21st, 2009 and Brevoort’s tweets starting 10:07 am on April 22nd. Related to this, Quesada also complained about his tweets being compiled into blog posts. While I can understand some irritation, a quick search shows a measly four sites which each made a list from a batch of Quesada’s tweets. Being a big guy at Marvel, his tweet listing is something fairly in the realm of being comic-news-worthy and does not seem to be a repeated offense by any one abuser, despite implied claims otherwise. Further yet, should Quesada wish to write his own blog posts -or even publish a book about getting into comics for sale - I would think he is certainly better equipped than most to profit from it. Really, what’s a few tens of tweets here or there?
  • (This next bit was written before that last bit was edited into a longer piece and I’m not reordering things just for appearances. Please overlook the unintended drama by adjacency.) Not too long ago, there was talk about some of the more popular webcartoonists using smear tactics and getting on-line revenge against other people they don’t like. I’m sure some thought there was nothing to it but we all don’t always use our powers for good, do we? I’d say that sort of thing happens more often than we first assume; when someone influential notices you, they can easily help or hinder you at their whim. That’s how things work on the internet.
  • And since I am not opposed to reasonably making money from our online content here are 49 ways you could profit from your online content. Some of them are repeats of what we’ve seen before but most are worded in a way that made me consider other possibilities. Most importantly, do you give your audience reason to get to know you, like you and trust you?
  • Ever been stuck in a rut or can’t think yourself around a problem? Just laugh it off. I’m being serious here.
  • Wondering how to make your t-shirt mockups pop off the screen? Try the steps in this tute.
  • And some are rejoicing over Ted Rall being fired.
  • What I got out of this was that it’s that much harder to be funny when your audience expects the funny. And what I learned from this was to make sure there is always a real choice to be made by the protagonist.
  • And then this post on copyright and trademarks was useful to read.
  • And Ellis talks about Bookazines. I like the concept not only because they include the idea of graphic novels but they also split the middle ground nicely. Book lovers will see them as more valuable than monthlies and probably worth collecting at a good price. More causal readers will not be afraid to read them because they are merely a thick magazine. And this sort of thing could be a solution to community newspapers being relevant. Just like Twitter breaks news quickly, local journalists could submit news stories to an editor. Older stories get pushed down while popular items could stay on the front page. I’m imagining something with about eight pages - headline and popular news on the front, inside page for editorial-political cartoons-advice columns, business features and local items pushed off the front page, a fourth page for obits-weddings-anniversaries-a couple of comics-puzzle, a fifth page for classifieds and a back page for a reasonable but reasonably priced full page ad. That would leave two pages worth of space for overflow of any news category or maybe the tv schedule for the next few days, coupon pages or something else useful. Now, imagine this existed and you could get your comic into it for a small profit from each paper that ran it - a few dollars per, maybe, but you could easily try different comics out each month until you found something that hit well.
  • There are t-shirts and then there are T Shirts. These raise the bar, in my opinion.
  • If you know of someone who has a Geocities page, you may want to warn them that Yahoo is shutting Geo down soon.
  • One thing I would like to see is the ads on this site filled with useful and fun things that this audience will be interested in. I am considering researching into some of the comic merch affiliates to see what I could promote. Let me know if that offends in some way that I am not foreseeing.
  • I hadn’t thought about it this way before but when hesitating to make a decision, do you really need more time to decide?
  • As always, there will be more comic news and fun things to see next Friday on ArtPatient.com.