Submitted by The William G on May 9, 2006 - 05:28
So, fanservice, eh?
It seems to be such an ingrained thing in webcomics, doesn't it? I'm not just talking T&A and the like, I mean the whole alteration of artistic plans in order to keep the fans happy. Now, I realize there are some who don't have any artistic plans, and the intent from the start is to pander. But let's ignore those people for a second.
I can see reasons for changing things mid-stream and focusing on something that really chimes with the audience. Look at Popeye. Started out as a background character, and eventually became the cultural icon he is today because the creator (forget who, right now) saw that the audience loved him. Fanservice done right, I guess.
But I can see reasons for avoiding it like the plague. Look at the entire output of superhero comics in the 1990s. Early Image = Eeech!
So, anyone who has given thought to it, what do you think of the practice? A-ok? Evil? Is there a line? Does "I'll keep the mascot because the fans like it even though it no longer fits the comic." become "I'm a horrible hack who'll do anything for the hits!" at some point? Or does it depend upon the material?