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The Joy of Webcomics is free … or is it?

joyofwebcomicsIt’s Friday, it’s time for some webcomics talk, and I’m here to be your personal concierge! Before you get your weekend started, here are a few items that’ll make ya go “hmmmm”:

  • An interview with the guys of Let’s Be Friends Again (reviewed here) at Living Between Wednesdays. Finally, we get the answer to a question that’s been haunting me for days:

    So how about those Harvey Award nominations? Do you think NASCAR Heroes #5 will sweep?

    Chris: Imagine us both answering ‘Yes’ in unison.

    Curt: YES. If it wins, I think we deserve full credit. That whole thing is ridiculous, but if everybody was working within the system I can’t see anybody blaming a publisher for trying their best to get awareness of their comic out.

  • Angry Aussie wonders when your website should ever have a Flash intro. In a follow-up post, Mr. Aussie mentions that a reader pointed out that his decision-making flowchart bore a strong resemblance to a Toothpaste for Dinner comic about pan flutes. Aussie insists the resemblance is purely coincidental. In all likelihood, he’s probably telling the truth; I just wanted an excuse to post that comic panel.
  • To celebrate the rise of vampire literature in general, Ces turns Medium Large into the All-Nosferatu Edition! … What, that’s supposed to be Lord Voldemort? Who’s that guy?
  • I don’t know how I missed this: Brigid Alverson over at Robot 6 reviews Dylan Meconis’ Family Man, that historical, supernatural webcomic about that guy with the huge schnozz. I’ve actually been fairly curious about the comic, and Ms. Alverson lays out her thoughts very matter-of-factly. Also, don’t miss her interview with Gina Biggs of Red String.
  • Speaking of which, Tangents also reviews Red String and its recent senses-shattering development that promises to sever the very bonds of fate! Also, if you wanted to follow up on my Girl Genius review, Rob also has a good write-up regarding the back-up stories.
  • Over at webcomics.com, Brad Guigar recently linked to Chris Anderson’s Free: The Future of a Radical Price. I have been meaning to comment on this for a while, only that I have no idea what to think of it. (My business degree is useless! USELESS!!!!) The article has been languishing in my blog for two weeks now. Anyway, I’ll give you a few handly links regarding the debate and you can make you your own mind:
    • Chris Anderson, Wired.com editor and author of Free, believes that all information has a right to be free. At least one business model, “advertising,” comes very close to the one independent webcomic publishers are following nowadays. His theory is that the cost of technology (namely bandwidth) is approaching zero, so there’s no excuse to give information away… provided you have the right business model.
    • Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker magazine, differs, mainly arguing that there will always be a cost associated with the transmittal of information. Gladwell especially calls Anderson out on his lionization of YouTube (which will actually be a huge profit loss to Google and not just some magical provider of free content).
    • The AV Club review of the book, which concludes that Anderson cannot back up his own suggestions.

    This has very strong implications for the webcomic industry, no doubt. Word of warning: several of the articles include the word “freemium,” and I seriously want to deliver a savage beating to the person who coined that term.

  • Incidentally, I just found out this week that, not only was the Mars Rover Spirit stuck in a volcano, it also has a Twitter. It turns out that it’s the NASA guys updating the status on the Mars Rover, and not actually the Mars Rover twittering from space. DISAPPOINTED! Anyway, major props to the NASA guys for operating a malfunctioning robot that managed to last 20 times past its original mission life!

Want more Aishwarya Rai, former Miss India World? You got it, dude!

Posted in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics