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An Experimental Webcomics Journal

The idea of doing something like this has been rattling around in my head for quite some time, but it was really Dalton Wemble's recent column that bought it about.

Dalton Wemble wrote:
A recommendation by an established comics creator towards a new strip is where I get 75% of the new comics I read.
This was an interesting observation. Taking that as my working hypothesis, I came up with the final idea of Webcomic Finds, a webcomic journal-cum-review blog. Webcomic Finds will operate on these principles:
  • start off from my own website, The Jaded, and pick another webcomic which has been linked from either the main or links page.
  • I will then go to that comic, read it, then review it.
  • The review is then posted on this journal.
  • I then pick another comic link from the links or main page of that comic, proceed to that one, and repeat the cycle.
  • Every cycle of this completed process will be called a leg of the journey.
  • If any of the comics I chose does not have a links page which contains comics I haven't reviewed yet, I will backtrack to the previous comic and pick a link from there.
  • I might revisit a comic I reviewed earlier if it comes across my path again and if I'm requested to, but generally there should be a long interval between reviews. Long as in, a year or two.
  • I will try my best to always pick comics that other review sites haven't reviewed before.
  • I will not have a numerical score system for rating the comic. I will simply go by boolean values: whether I like it or not.
I make no pretense about my ability to review. I always try my best to be fair but I do believe in being honest without being rude or discouraging. However, being a just lowly human being, there's no way of being the Great Impartial Judge of All Webcomics, so every entry is really just my opinion of the comic at hand, and should really be treated as a journal entry more than an all-out comic review. I set everything up yesterday, and it should be interesting to see if I can make new webcomic finds and how well this system of trying out new comics really works. At any rate, I think it's going to be fun.

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Cool idea!

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

Definitely a good idea. Since the focus seems to be on the reccomendations of a cartoonist people already read, I wouldn't worry if I were you about your reviewing skills and would stick mostly to opinion instead of the classical review style. Sort of the same style I (and many others) use in musicblogging, where we're almost exclusively hyping and promoting the artists we feature, even while examining and discussing them. But excelent idea for implementing it, by going through links.

-Meaghan

well.. it's a month late for me to be replying to one of your reviews. Scary-Go-Round is done in Illustrator. That's all :D I emailed John a few weeks back thinking I had stumbled across a fellow Flash comic artist.. ends up I just made an ass of myself..... so yea... Illustrator.. just thought I'd pass that on

-24

Ping, I loved your idea, and it's not only because I was the first one to be reviewed :D

I'm having problems with leaving comments there, tho. The link doesn't seem to work (I'm using Firefox here).

(Uh-oh... The next one is Saturnalia... )

Quote:
As for Saturnalia... The darn 20p coin fell heads up, what can I say? ;) Seriously, other that it's going to take me a lot more time this time round to get through the archives, anyone know if Space Coyote has anything against reviews or is she okay with them?

Umm... Oh, yeah, you weren't around when this huge debate took place. But I don't think you should hold yourself because of that. I mean, your review may be just the kick I'm needing to start reading Saturnalia (I've been meaning to the past few months).

As Alexander Danner said on that same discussion, "[asking for permission beforehand] would make for remarkably poor journalism. The reviewer would automatically be beholden to the creator, making for a situation where no reviewer could write honestly about the work. The creator would have the power to only allow writers who like the work to write about the work. Bad, bad journalism."

Damn coin!, I need to say. But either way, you're absolutely right in not asking for permissions.

Well... She indeed tryed The Noob and had a good surprise with it.

I'm really curious to see the development of this idea. :D

I'm happy to report we're currently on to our 9th leg of the journey and the comic coming next after Flatwood is Spells and Whistles.

I'm really quite satisfied with the resutls so far. I've found a lot of great and underhyped comics I wouldn't have found otherwise.

That was me. Didn't notice it had me logged out.

*salutes xmung*

And the 5th Leg is finally up. (By does that sound funny). The next destination will move us out of Keenspace country.

*grin* At least that did something. A pity I couldn't keep it up there any longer, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

The next comic 'No Rest For the Wicked' looks fantastic, if you count the art. Looks like tabletworked backgrounds; someone after my own heart, then.

And trying to pre-empt me now? The next thing you know they'll be placing bets on which destination will be my next!

What the? I could've sworn I was logged in!

yeah that was me up there.

Thanks Damonk! I just put a new Find up. Quite a challenging one too.

I think I need a breather after this.

tynic's picture

I will be watching most avidly! I think it sounds great.

Quote:
As for Saturnalia... The darn 20p coin fell heads up, what can I say? ;) Seriously, other that it's going to take me a lot more time this time round to get through the archives, anyone know if Space Coyote has anything against reviews or is she okay with them?

RPin wrote:
Umm... Oh, yeah, you weren't around when this huge debate took place. But I don't think you should hold yourself because of that. I mean, your review may be just the kick I'm needing to start reading Saturnalia (I've been meaning to the past few months).

I think that might have occured when my comp was in the shop.

:o You're not kidding about calling it a 'huge dabate' Pin! Yipes.

I'll have to think about this. This blog has been the reason for me to finally start reading Saturnalia (which I have been wanting to for ages) as well, but I'd be happier if people derived more joy than misery from reading Webcomic Finds.

I'm not going to ask every webcomic for permission before reviewing, that's impractical, especially since most comic creators would no doubt just refuse permission if they didn't get good reviews, but Space Coyote has made some strong public statements about how she feels about webcomic reviews beforehand, and I'd be a fool (and just plain rude) to ignore that.

Like I said, this does bear thinking about...

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to pick my comics as though I were travelling in real life (well... figuratively, I am in a way)

When travelling, you're more likely to head for a place that interests you. You know, like if you're backpacking and you want to head for some pretty coral islands for some snorkelling, you definitely would be going towards the ocean and not the mountains ranges. Of course, sometimes if I'm feeling adventurous, I will deliberately go off the beaten path without any planning at all, and sometimes I find a 'gem' (as you call it) or as I call it, a 'webcomic find', which was the case with the N00b.

Speaking of the N00b... you're most welcome, Gianna ;) . Actually I should be thanking you, that was a really enjoyable comic, and maybe my having the wrong impression at the beginning made it even better because I was so pleasantly surprised.

I'm less likely to visit a comic if I don't think I will like it though. Half of it probably stems from the fact that I don't quite like giving negative reviews but I insist on being 'honest', and deliberately picking a comic I know I'd hate to review seems to be really asking for it. At the same time, it might make for some interesting stories, so we'll see what happens.

I'm also thinking of doing a visual map later on. Not sure how I'd do it yet, but we'll see...

"The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the road has gone,
And I must follow it if I can.

Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many ways and errands meet,
Wither then? I cannot say."

A salute to whoever who identifies those verses first.

Still working on Saturnalia. I'm taking this one slower, since there's a lot to cover. If webcomics were places, then Saturnalia would be a city, I think.

Gianna's picture

Hey, thanks for reviewing my comic and being nice to me :)
I was very scared before reading it! I like the idea of choosing from the list of preferences and very curious to see where it's going to lead.

--------
Gianna Masetti
thenoobcomic.com

xmung's picture

nice concept ping! hope you get this linked from comixpedia blog spot thingy! the 'travel' metaphore gives me a mental image of those old fashioned maps (the ones with the dashes in between the destinations).

i wonder though if you shouldn't try to be more random in selecting your 'new destination' from the available links (excluding those you've already reviewed of course). sure you might end up with a shocker or something you would rather not read, but that's what can make for a great 'travel story' (you know, the holiday where everything went wrong!). or you could end up with a gem! either way, that's what travelling's all about. :D

Magellan - superhero cadets... their own worst enemy is themselves!

xmung's picture

(... the walking song from LOtR by any chance?)

Magellan - superhero cadets... their own worst enemy is themselves!

xmung's picture

heading out of keenspace huh? that will take you some interesting places! ;) actually i've had a look at the links page of your next destination - think i'll try and guess where you'll be heading next :D

i've started reading thru saturlina now you realise!!

Magellan - superhero cadets... their own worst enemy is themselves!

Thanks Pin! I'm not sure what's wrong with the comments, but it seems to be working fine with my browser. Soap was also able to leave a message.

As for Saturnalia... The darn 20p coin fell heads up, what can I say? ;) Seriously, other that it's going to take me a lot more time this time round to get through the archives, anyone know if Space Coyote has anything against reviews or is she okay with them?

Right now I'm aimiing for roughly three updates a week for Finds. Hopefully I can do it more often, but time in a rather scarce commodity for me now.

The more and more I do this, the more and more things I find out that I never knew about webcomics before.

The most interesting discoveries I have had so far are the independent comics. They're... interesting. Some of them a bizarre. But they've definitely been overlooked.

Though I hadn't said it yet, I really like this idea, and hope that you keep it up for a good long while, Phalanx. :D

You've stumbled upon some interesting stuff already!