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What is and isn't webcomics news

There are not one but two "My Comic Hit 50 Strips" stories on the main news page at Comixpedia today.

This is not news, it's an ad. Especially at 50 strips. Nobody cares. Thousands of webcomics have hit that mark, and probably more of them have failed to go on to reach 100 strips than not.

I personally don't even care when a strip hits 500 or 1000 or a five year anniversary, but I will concede those might be worth a note. But 50 strips? Is that something the community needs to know about? Is that going to change the way any of us do webcomics? It's just guerrila promotion.

News is important, or it isn't news. Comixpedia does a pretty good job of covering the highlights of what people are doing in the field. I come here to learn what people are trying out: new styles, new gimmicks, new business models, new products, new channels of promotion, new visual concepts, new technological tricks, and new writing forms. I come to read essays written by experienced creators with something to say, to get their perspective and expand my own. I come for interviews with people I know of and am curious about, or people I should know about. I come to learn about actual accomplishments, especially things nobody in webcomics has ever succeeded at before (e.g. Ryan Estrada's official LJ comic or John Moore's CBS Sports comic). I come to find out about webcomics events. I come to read about dust-ups and community drama so I can know what's going to be a touchy subject the next time I'm on a panel with someone.

All of these things, Comixpedia does and does well. But if the New York Times started printing press releases about school plays and bake sales on page 1, you'd take the paper less seriously. How about exercising some better editorial control?

Kewl. Sounds good. Might

Aleph's picture

Kewl. Sounds good.

Might also split something off so that people who really do want to use Comixpedia as an RSS feed for their comics have somewhere you can tell them to go? Just a thought... it seems like Broken Voice in particular would like that feature >.>

You Can Subscribe to an individual blog

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

You can subscribe via RSS to any one users blog here on Comixpedia -

 

DAJB/Broken Voice's blog for example has an RSS at:

http://comixpedia.com/blog/1682/feed 

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

Oh, no, I meant--

Aleph's picture

Every time I look at the recent blog posts, said blog has two or more entries announcing that its strips have updated, thus, using comixpedia as a means by which to simulate RSS.

But, good to know, there are a couple of people whose ideas I'd like to be able to follow even if they've been spammed offscreen.

I'm fine with it as long as

Aleph's picture

I'm fine with it as long as those irritating 'We updated!' blog posts don't get frontpaged. They're already spamming the interesting things people blog away from that tab almost as soon as they go up.

At some point we'll have a moderation feature

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I need to roll things out slowly b/c it's really just me doing the web work but at some point I'll add a moderation feature which will allow folks to "recommend" a blog entry.

Then we'll have a list of "recommended blogs" and "recent blogs" on the right.  That will help spotlight the most interesting blogs once the volume of blog posts grows significantly (which I expect to happen).

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

Am I not the only one who

Am I not the only one who don't care about which is new worthy and which is not?

I come here for forum and blog discussion and reading magazine articles. The news is just something I look at from time to time.

Making any sort of comic is

Bryant Paul Johnson's picture

Making any sort of comic is a pretty isolating experience; while hitting the 50 strip mark isn't a huge milestone, setting little goals (like doing another year's worth of strips) helps an otherwise daunting task seem more manageable.

As for whether or not it's newsworthy, I figure if Nightwing getting a new costume is newsworthy, hitting 50 strips is newsworthy! Besides, the way Comixpedia's front page is set up, it really isn't too difficult to skim past the stories that aren't of interest.

(Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure how many coffee and bathroom breaks stand between me and the weekend.)

-bryant.

-
teaching baby paranoia

I'd say it's news if they

Sean C's picture

I'd say it's news if they reach those lower milestones without missing an update. THAT's more uncommon, and giving those cartoonists a pat on the back for staying regular will only strengthen the webcomics community.

Don't hesitate to procrastinate.
See my stuff at http://www.cuteninjagirls.com

Don't hesitate to procrastinate. My brand new comic: http://cain.bombsheltercomics.com

Celebrate!

Fabricari's picture

I like reading about milestones. We should celebrate these arbitrary graduations. They don't mean much in the grand scheme, but it's something to measure by and something to aim for.

This community is primarily webcomic creators, so I don't think any amount of self-publishing is an issue. We're all in the same boat.

One possible solution is to pick a slow day of the week, and consolitate all the Milestones of the last week in one post.

Cel-e-bra-tion time c'mawn!


Fabricari - Sexy Robots and Violent Cyberpunk Comics

Steve "Fabricari" Harrison

Well

The William G's picture

My only thought is that the promotion to the main page seems to be a bit random. But "slow news day filler" explains it all.

Otherwise, ehn.
_____

The William G - Romantic Drama, Post-Apocalyptic Monsters, and More Comic Experimentation


i was glad to hear that MULTIPLEX had hit 50

cayetano garza's picture

although 50 strips may not be much, i was happy to hear that MULTIPLEX had hit that mark. it's a really good strip and i was happy to read about it.

the thing is, MULTIPLEX has some pretty elaborate installments, so 50 of those might equal 200 of some other daily gag whatnot.

good news is subjective. who knows, maybe your subjectively not so important/good webcomic might make the front page someday!

year of the rat

Agreed, to a certain extent

pclips's picture

Your point is taken, there. 50 strips is different for different comics and I agree that complex, art-intensive formats are at a disadvantage whenever numbers come into it.

But I still dislike milestone posts, in view of something like Sluggy Freelance, which recently let its 3000-strip anniversary pass without notice. What's the point? Keep doing what you do and count them when you stop. Seriously, it's not much of a success metric when all is said and done.

no offense to pete abrams, but...

cayetano garza's picture

meh. 3,000 crappily (probably not a word) drawn gag strips vs. 50 really well rendered ones. there's really no contest.

year of the rat

No offense to haters, but...

pclips's picture

I'm choosing to respond to this statement privately.

there is no hate, only opinion

cayetano garza's picture

and maybe i just came off as a jackass.

year of the rat

If you don't want to see

Gordon McAlpin's picture

If you don't want to see blog posts on the front page in the News & Views section, petition Xerexes or whoever to not include them there, or to just get rid of the whole "blog" panel entirely.

Multiplex is a twice weekly humor comic about the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas and the movies that play there.

...

pclips's picture

That's exactly what I am doing.

It just looks like you're

Gordon McAlpin's picture

It just looks like you're bitching and mumbling about "better editorial control" where there's none involved at all. Which is NOT the same as making a specific request/suggestion about how this site is set up to work and how webcomickers use it to promote their strips.

Multiplex is a twice weekly humor comic about the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas and the movies that play there.

I think Rob is complaining

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I think Rob is complaining about which blog posts are promoted to the front page (and perhaps stories the Comixpedia editors write themselves for the front page).  It's been awhile but from time to time I get a complaint that seems to me to boil down to "that's not important enough to be on the front page of Comixpedia."

Perhaps.  I don't think it's possible for the front page to satisfy everyone - my hope is that most readers like most stories.  That's no different than most publications I suppose.  I also don't think it's very useful to think of the front page of Comixpedia as reserved for stories of a certain threshold of "importance" - obviously some thinking along those lines goes into it but at the end of the day I look for stories that are interesting (and I've found "interesting to me" isn't that bad a proxy for Comixpedia readers) and will not only satisfy our readership but grow it.

It's also important to remember that the mix is different on different days.  Some days are slower news days then others.  Some days I'm a lot more lenient about what to put on the front page because there just isn't that much going on (or at least I can't find much).

So yes there were two recent "50 comics" stories and I'll agree that's stretching it for newsworthiness in the abstract, but in the context of that day it seemed worth mentioning to me.

In a way this is an odd conversation to be having because a big reason for moving to the new blog system was the large number of 50 comic milestone (or less) type stories that would get submitted to us.  A lot of these are not of general interest, but they might be of interest to some - hence the thought that creators could post lots of things in the blogs without worrying whether Comixpedia thought them to be "newsworthy" and really curious readers would go past the front page to read them.

In any event, here's hoping Rob will not scowl at me too much at the next WW meet-up :) 

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

I scowl in your general

pclips's picture

I scowl in your general direction. What's the emoticon for scowl? D-:<

No, I have bitched about this in person to you, but I figured this would be as good a time as any to bring it up in public and see if there's a silent army of similarly annoyed people or if I am, as often is the case, the Lone Crank.

It's currently looking like Lone Crank.

But I still say...front page for front page news! D-:< -and- :Þ

I'm gonna get some protest signs made and picket you as you order your latte.

I think Xerexes pretty much

I think Xerexes pretty much hit the nail on the head when he said said that this is just a magazine like any other - on a slow news day, stories of lesser importance get promoted to the front page, while on a day when Marvel or DC acquire the exclusive right to post comics on the web, other stories which would normally be considered headline-worthy will get shunted to somewhere beneath the celebrity gossip. It's not easy being an editor, you know ;-)

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Website: www.brokenvoice.co.uk
Contact: edit_bvc@yahoo.co.uk

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

It wasn't all that slow

pclips's picture

It wasn't so slow a news day. I mean why was this not put up on the front page, for instance? I think that's more interesting and important than a round-number milestone that isn't all that round.

http://comixpedia.com/node/7407

Good Question

EricMillikin's picture

Yeah, I'd be interested in hearing some clarification on that, too. Granted I probably have a bias towards my own projects, but I would think a print project with a circulation of nearly a million would be at least on the same level of newsworthiness as a webcomic breaking the 50-strip barrier. Could I get some clarification here?

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

Oh man...

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I get it everywhich way huh?  :)

Actually I meant to promote Eric's story to the front page but I was busy throughout yesterday and overlooked it - today I was in a conference all day and just got to the computer actually.

I'm looking into Eric's story right now.

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

I blame Rob!

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

UPDATE: see my additional comment below for an update on the Uncle Sam story.

The reason I didn't post Eric's post is it's LACKING IN FACTS!  And then I posted it briefly because, well it's Eric and he's been a friend of the site for a long time so I took the post at face value.  But then - and I guess this is that fabled "Self-Correcting Blogosphere" at work - I got bombarded by folks pointing out the genesis of this story in a thread over at Comicon (sorry not going to link to it) and I looked at Eric's post again and there are no FACTs in there. 

And right now I'm leaning towards feeling like I got punk'd by Mr. Fetus-X.  If I get independent sourcing from Eric of course I'll follow up on it and check it out but I'm still waiting for that.

And if I did get punk'd well all I can say is at least we fixed it quickly and I don't think I'll let Eric punk me again.

But if Rob hadn't started this thread I'm sure the terrorists wouldn't have won dammit!

 

 

 

 

 

Okay just kidding about the rob part. 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

Follow Up To Uncle Sam Post

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Because we talked about it here, I'm double-posting a comment I made to the Uncle Sam story here:

 

Okay this story has created some controversy and I've tried to sort through some conflicting versions of events this week.  Just to recap, here's what happened:

1.  Eric posted a story.  I moved to the front page Tuesday evening.

2.  Many folks alerted me to a Comicon thread connected to the latest "Webhead" column, of which I was not previously aware, where Eric discussed this project in the context of a long discussion that included some rather pointed personal comments between individuals.  One way to read the Comicon thread is that Eric's Uncle Sam project is simply an elaborate put-on to continue "jokes" made in that thread.  This raised enough questions for me that I wanted additional confirmation of the story before leaving it on the front page of Comixpedia.

3.  Eric and I finally got in contact via email.  I asked for the name and contact information for the author and publisher. 

4.  Eric responded to assure me that it is a real project (in fact see Eric's LiveJournal for his response to Eric Burns) but that he is not able to release additional details to me at this time. 

 

This leaves me unable to report on this story.  I want to make clear though that I have no reason to doubt Eric after his reassurances to me and I'm willing to personally extend him the benefit of the doubt.

This, however, is not sufficient for Comixpedia to report on the story at this point.   Eric has suggested that he will be able to provide Comixpedia with additional details in the future and at that point I'll gladly revisit this story.

 

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

Hey it looked like news to

pclips's picture

Hey it looked like news to me. Part of that editorial control I bitched about is that the burden of research falls on you, though. :D

Yes

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Yep - that's true. 

I was just kidding about blaming you for anything :) 

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

Can't answer that one.

Can't answer that one. You'll have to ask the editor :-) Maybe because that one hadn't been cut into easy to manage portions so that the one post pushed everything else off the page ... like it did on the Blog section ...?

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Website: www.brokenvoice.co.uk
Contact: edit_bvc@yahoo.co.uk

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

I don't find it scowl worthy

I don't find it scowl worthy but I do agree that a random comic reaching 50 pages doesn't make for very interesting news in the slightest.

But I don't care for most anniversaries. Especially in something like webcomics where I can't think of anyone who has reached 10 years yet.(I'm assuming someone has though =\)

A really long running comic reaching an absurd amount of pages or updating without a missed day for years on end is interesting in a novel way. 50 pages is something everyone even mildly interested in maintaining a webcomic has no problem reaching. It's almost up there with announcing that a comic has just updated.

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

I can think of several who

pclips's picture

I can think of several who have reached 10 years. Doctor Fun, Kevin and Kell, Argon Zark...must be several more. Ask T Campbell, I'd venture to say he has them memorized. The next 2-3 years will be an orgy of 10 year anniversaries...

That's true

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I think 2007 arguably will be the end of the first decade of webcomics. 2007 to 2009 will be the 10 year mark for a lot of the earliest creators.

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

How Did you do that emoticon?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

 

What is that character? 

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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

It's a lower case beta.

pclips's picture

It's a lower case beta. alt+0222

I thought his complaint was

Gordon McAlpin's picture

I thought his complaint had some merit, actually -- and I was one of the two 50-comic posts. Was it "news"-worthy? Maybe not. Is ANY milestone or anniversary? No, probably not. But hey, it's self-promotion. It's what you do.

Would it be possible to allow each user to choose whether or not to include blog posts in the front page (and only on the blog page), or perhaps something else so that people could filter out unwanted content?

Perhaps an editor could flag entries they see in the blog posts that are deemed worthy of the front page and promote them to be included?

Multiplex is a twice weekly humor comic about the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas and the movies that play there.

Doubt it

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I suppose anything's possible but I doubt that function exists already in the Drupal codebase. 

I'll disagree across the board that Comixpedia readers don't find some reports about milestones newsworthy.  There is clearly some percentage of readers here who do like to hear about them.

But it's not like folks can't voice their opinions about our coverage though - I certainly listen to complaints and take them into consideration going forward.

 

____

Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

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