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Any niche webcomics out there?

Just curious to see if there are any what I call "niche" webcomics out there. I have a comic called Tales From Band Camp that relies specifically on music and band jokes. Usually someone who wasn't or isn't in the band field doesn't get the comics because they are specific to the field, but I've found that aspect helps me gain an audience.

That said, I've found that I feel a little bit alienated from the mainstream webcomic scene. Anyone else have this experience?

Any niche webcomics out there?

Toon_Dawg's picture

Just curious to see if there are any what I call "niche" webcomics out there. I have a comic called Tales From Band Camp that relies specifically on music and band jokes. Usually someone who wasn't or isn't in the band field doesn't get the comics because they are specific to the field, but I've found that aspect helps me gain an audience.

That said, I've found that I feel a little bit alienated from the mainstream webcomic scene. Anyone else have this experience?

Tales From Band Camp: http:www.talesfrombandcamp.com

RE: Any niche webcomics out there?

Katie Sekelsky's picture

Yep, this definitely applies to mine. While some basic remembrances of high school english classes may allow someone to understand The Epilogue, I end up with a readership of mostly literary buffs and English majors. A lot of the humor relies on background knowledge about classic authors, or at least about their major works.

RE: Any niche webcomics out there?

Possibly. Mine's set in Australia, in a primary school, with main characters that are eleven years old, and with a distinct lack of sarcasm, bad language, quirky humour or other common webcomic cliches.

I've picked up a few readers, it would appear, but I do at times get the feeling that little kids school just isn't a great big readership at the moment.

That and I've received a comment or two along the lines of 'why would we read something that tries to make school seem good'...

No worries though, things work out in the end.

RE: Any niche webcomics out there?

While vampire stories may be considered more of a mainstream niche, it still requires fairly specialized knowledge for the reader to get the most out of stories with that set up... like mine XD.

~Liriel

I guess mine is niche - "furries in space", and rendered in 3D applications as well. But I've come to realise that the fact that the characters are "furry" is pretty much incidental - the story would work just as well if they were human, alien etc. I guess I lose some potential readership because it's perceived as "a niche comic" but I still seem to be pulling around 5gb of web traffic a month. :?

bobweiner's picture

Mine's definitely a niche comic. Tech humor is about as niche as it gets.

-K

Krishna M. Sadasivam Cartoonist, "The PC Weenies" http://www.pcweenies.net

Al Schroeder's picture

I would be hard-pressed to think of any webcomics that are NOT niche comics. Even the most popular, like PENNY ARCADE, are gamer comics.---Al

 Al Schroeder III of MINDMISTRESS---think the superhero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas? Think again.

That seems to be a pretty big niche though.

People get tried of looking at bland commercial stuff in the newspaper & other mainstream medium. Local publications also are boring or don't run cartoons at all. Some of those folks go online, and I think they want to discover niche cartoon sites. That is why I find the online comic medium so interesting -- the niche stuff that is out here. Also, I think sometimes by limiting your appeal, you also can appeal to a wider audience, because you are doing what fires you up as an artist. Readership responds to that fire, I think.

scarfman's picture

Mine may be more a niche comic than I thought. I meant to slant the material for a general audience but at least one commenter has said, "Darn it, you shouldn’t need to know the intricacies of Arthurian legend to get half the jokes!" On the other hand, I have stated - proudly - more'n once that the comic's King Arthur fanfiction, so I oughtn't be surprised.

:mrgreen:

Define niche. Comics online is a niche, really.

A niche in the realm of media in general. But when speaking of webcomics specifically that doesn't apply. I don't really consider most of comics in this topic to be niche comics. Nerd jokes are a part of many of the biggest comics out there. Making a comic with that sort of content, particularly if it's video game/computer related, has you vying for webcomic's main audience. Make RPG jokes and the like and you're stepping into territory that isn't uncommon. So I don't think that sort of thing on it's own is enough to make something a niche webcomic. But if the sort of content was ridiculously specific, it could be. Like a gamer comic centered on FM Towns Marty jokes or an RPG comic based on some obscure unpopular system from 1980 that no one(INCLUDING ME! THAT'S WHY I'M NOT USING AN EXAMPLE!) has ever heard of.

<a xhref="http://www.kiwisbybeat.com" target=blank>Kiwis by beat!</a>

Jamie Robertson's picture

[quote:40efd95c80="Dutch!"]That seems to be a pretty big niche though.

It depends. In the little creek that is known as webcomics one could almost call gamer comics mainstream. In the great big ocean that is the real world gamer comics, while still a fair size niche, is no where near mainstream.

I have to agree with Al. Compared to comics in the newspapers and even comic books, most all webcomics are niche comics.

I classify COTC as an urban fantasy. Sandman, Hellblazer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer are all urban fantasy, so that too is a pretty big niche.

Take care,

Jamie

Crun's picture

I shoot for hockey fans, which is about as niche as niche can become. Not surprisingly i've got a good amount of canadian fans.

Clint Hollingsworth's picture

I do a comic about Trackers living out in the forest.

Does it get nichier than that? :oops:

Clint Hollingsworth

The Wandering Ones Webcomic
http://www.wanderingones.com

Heh. I review story-based comics. I think that is quite the pidgeonhole there. ;)

To be honest, any comic can be "niched" easily enough. Clint, your comic can be considered Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, and more. Likewise, most of the other comics are only as niched as the artist/creator wants them to be.

Let's take Those Destined, which I just reviewed. It's nominally a "furry" comic (in that the characters are all cat-people), a fantasy comic (as it's in a fantasy world), an epic comic (as it is very likely to have an epic storyline), a comedic story (because it's often poking fun at cliches and the like, and amusing to boot), a character-driven comic... all this from a comic about a girl who's the "Destined Hero."

In short... you are niched if you think you are. Otherwise you can grow in any direction you want.

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

[quote:f8d8e87bf3="Crun"]I shoot for hockey fans, which is about as niche as niche can become. Not surprisingly i've got a good amount of canadian fans.

Wow - your comic is violent! Pretty funny stuff - it definitely doesn't require knowledge of hockey to get it.

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

Crun's picture

Yeah, hockey knowledge isn't required at all, but hockey fans seem to dig it because anything hockey related is few and far between vis-a-vis the comic world. Plus its fun to pick on Gary Bettman, that dirty scalawag.

T Campbell's just launched a very nichey new one:
Search

If you don't like movies, you'll probably miss a bunch of jokes, but I try to keep the overall humor accessible enough so that anyone can get the gag. Of course, calling the film industry a "niche" is probably a stretch, as I don't know too many people who don't enjoy movies... :)

[quote:6c016ced29="cm_evans"]People get tried of looking at bland commercial stuff in the newspaper & other mainstream medium. Local publications also are boring or don't run cartoons at all. ...Also, I think sometimes by limiting your appeal, you also can appeal to a wider audience, because you are doing what fires you up as an artist. Readership responds to that fire, I think.

Yeah! The best art is not always the stuff that appeals just a little bit to everyone, but rather it's the stuff that appeals the most deeply to even one or two people.

The mainstream media- movies, radio, TV, newspapers- have always needed a broad appeal to exist. That why movies and shows are so generic and flavorless. The newspapers (and even mainstream comic books) have to cater to a diverse audience, which is why we're still running the same strips we saw fifty years ago.

The internet's changing that a bit, allowing a bit more individuality. It's still not easy. It's hard to keep something that has fewer readers up and running, but it's easier now than it was.

Search Engine Funnies, anyone?

[quote:5bad7f54a8="TCampbell"]Search Engine Funnies, anyone?

Already mentioned it. :D

My webcomic is a henshin (japanese-style transforming hero) superhero webcomic, with a male protaganist. And its a parody. I dont think there is any other webcomic out there which fits the description of a henshin parody, so we're pretty niche I'd say :p

I don't know if my comic really falls into any ONE niche. I'm never really sure how to classify it, because it takes a little from so many genres and blends them together. Quite possibly it falls into the college niche. Well they go to college, but hardly is there any talk of it. Hmmmm, maybe it isn't a college comic after all.

Re: RE: Any niche webcomics out there?

[quote:1e2258c2cf="reva"]Yep, this definitely applies to mine. While some basic remembrances of high school english classes may allow someone to understand The Epilogue, I end up with a readership of mostly literary buffs and English majors. A lot of the humor relies on background knowledge about classic authors, or at least about their major works.Actually, I think your comic is quite accessible (given the content) to nearly anyone. I'm anything but a literary buff (I do enjoy sci-fi and fantasy a lot, but that doesn't exactly help me with the Epilogue), and sure there are plenty of comics I don't get, such as this one and this one (finding that second joke I didn't get was tough though). But there are plenty of jokes that I do get such as this one (which has all the info I need to get the joke. Fitz is having a party, sent an invite to a friend who lives in a remote place, friend didn't get invite and then calls the post-man a hippy) and this one (apparently this writer is a big failure that always tried to strive for greatness, and even in death he keeps trying in ways that are sure to fail). Although some English from high school does help, as I managed to get this one, but that's rare.

So yeah, sure the subject can be a turn-off, but you don't need to be a litt buff to find Shakespear's forays into television humours (I love the "I love that 80's show" "Yes will, that's the 1980s not the 1580s" "oh.........").

As for niche comics (anything with over 100,000 readers in my opinion is NOT niche :roll:), MysteriumHouse is a niche comic for the Mystcommunity fan base (not a comic for the game MYST, but a comic about the fans of Myst). Another one is The Adventures of Baobob which is a comic based on the MUD ArmageddonMUD. Now those are niche comics ;)

Oh, and before I forget, Near the Delta is a comic based on Ancient Egyptian mythology. I don't know how accessible it is to non Ancient Egypt-geeks, but as one I'm finding it damn hilarious.

RE: Re: RE: Any niche webcomics out there?

For a good example of a comic that has leveraged its niche appeal into success, I would check out Unshelved at http://www.overduemedia.com/. While it is a funny strip on its own, it is about librarians and it is mostly for people who have some ties to libraries. Having worked in a library, I love it.