Back in March 2004, Bill Duncan wrote a feature looking at the then new explosion of smaller collectives of webcomics. The article mixed in larger publisher sites like Modern Tales and Wirepop, but mostly examined on creator-focused groups such as Altbrand, Ape Law, Dayfree Press, Exile Comics, PV Comics, Razor Comics and Rocketbox Comics. Some of these have thrived since, most notably Dayfree Press which has continued to maintain an active roster.
But since then other successful groups such as Dumbrella and the newly formed Blank Label Comics reemphasize how important collectives can be to furthering the success of webcomic creators. In large part these two groups most visible success is in shared business and technical savvy.
It is probably fair to look at any collective and ask what is its identity? Sometimes that’s not really apparent. But two examples where there is an impression associated with the group name that come to mind are Boxcar and Pants Press. The newly formed Boxcar Comics has the good fortune to have well-known D.J. Coffman as a member and he seems to have passed along some of his promotional and business experience to his new colleagues. The lower-key Pants Press group’s members may not stand out for marketing activity but they have received consistently high critical marks over the last two years. That can speak volumes too.
While we’re on the subject of collectives, feel free to tell us about yours – make sure to include its name and URL.