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Making money with webcomics. Seriously!

Save the Internet from privatization

Congress is going to be voting on whether to hand over the Internet to corporations like AT&T: "If the public doesn't speak up now, Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online." Now is the time to act...

Wired: Marvel should venture to digital distribution

This month's Wired Magazine features an article arguing that Marvel and DC should sell digitized versions of old issues online. While venturing into new material online has yet to show how it would be financially advantageous given their manufacturing model, back issues could provide the ideal stepping stone to digital distribution. Of course, that's if they can overcome their corporate-phobia of the Internet.

Tuesday's Webcomic Is Full Of Grace

Paul O'Brien at NinthArt writes about product placement in comics.  Of course he's talking about placing other people's products in the work, not creating products out of the work, like Jeph's Bomb the Blogosphere t-shirt.

There's a new blog about webcomics in print.  Wow - it's getting to where there's so many webcomic blogs that you almost have to focus on a niche now.  This blogger, Mike Hull, Mike Rouse-Deane has some good entries so far - check it out.

Aleph reviews 5ideways by K. Fuhr (Boy Meets Boy, etc).

I think this guy is basically saying, "graphic n0v3ls are teh c001!" but in any event it's a short read.

Notwebcomics, but hey it's R. Crumb - a loooong interview with Terry Zwigoff that focuses a lot on his experience shooting the documentary on R. Crumb some years back.  Apparently a special edition DVD is coming out. 

Warren Ellis posted the script to Fell #1 in case you want to see what a script looks like. 

I don't even know what this webcomic is about but how can you go wrong with a title like "Pre-history of the Wang." 

Sunday News Roundup

Ferrett has a report of the first day of Penguicon.

Indy Propaganda reviews Dr. McNinja, and The Webcomiker reviews Starslip Crisis.

Jamie Hernandez has a new comic starting today in the New York Times' The Funny Pages part of its weekly magazine.  

John Allison responds to Lore Sjoberg's article on webcomics' reliance on t-shirt sales.

And in notwebcomics news now you can have a Comics Speech Balloon phone too!

Google Sitemaps

Google has Sitemaps. This is a new way for tell search engines what is on your site. When I was on a windows server, my host had an automatic way to create a google sitemap. Now that I'm linux, there is no automated method. I found this pretty comprehensive resource from Sci7.com.

Google Sitemaps
Google’s website describes the service:

The Sitemap Protocol allows you to inform search engine crawlers about URLs on your Web sites that are available for crawling. A Sitemap consists of a list of URLs and may also contain additional information about those URLs, such as when they were last modified, how frequently they change, etc.

FlashBag

The FlashBag is a USB flash drive that will inflate as it fills up with data. Similar to how I inflate when filled up with donuts. Now you may be asking why a gadget like this would be useful. Well, it really isn't, but it is definitely cool and an innovative USB flash drive design, which is pretty rare nowadays. The Flashbag is only a concept right now but the designer, Dima Komissarov, has a patent pending on this device.

Wednesday News

Debbie Ridpath Ohi has another great post, this one about useful online tools for freelance writers who work from home many of which will be useful to webcomic creators as well.  She also has another update to her webcomic Will Write For Chocolate.

Joe Zabel has a review of the fantasy webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court.

This blog is solely devoted to examining how "each and every day a comic strip abuses the use of the silent second-to-last panel.  If you like snarky commentary on newspaper strips - this should go on your reading list.

Ryan North reports that he is taking pre-orders for a Dinosaur Comics book.  The book entitled Your Whole Family Is Made Out Of Meat has a clever cover.  The pre-orders are at Quack Media which I've never heard of but is apparently coming soon!

The Webcomics List reports that it has new webcomic wallpaper for your mobile phone available.  Check them out here.

Theater Hopper Book Coming April 17th

Maybe you read my comic Theater Hopper. Maybe you don't. But if you do, I have big news.

That image to the left is a tiny preview of the cover to my first book Theater Hopper: Year One. It goes on sale next Monday, April 17 and I'm really excited about it. The book will sell for $18.95, is 200 pages long in full color and collects the first 156 strips from the first year the site was online.

There are also 11 guest strips from that era and a 6 part crossover comic that I did with Carrington Vanston from Movie Punks.

Probably the best feature about the book is the commentary for each of the 156 strips. I give tell stories about how I got the comic off the ground as well as share tips and tricks I picked up that helped me refine my art and writing. If you've ever wondered what it's like to start your own web comic, this book will fill in a lot of gaps.

Creating Webcomics Coverage

A couple of good blog posts on why different flavors of comics get different types of coverage.  One last week from The Beat, and one this weekend from The Comics Reporter.

It'd be interesting to talk about coverage of webcomics.  Outside of a few dedicated websites like Comixpedia there are varying levels of coverage.  Some more general comics websites do cover webcomics (noticeably The Comics Reporter and The Pulse) while others seem to ignore them.  Coverage in the more general press seems to remain hit or miss with a very rare "hey there are comics on the web!" article in a national publication and more frequent "hey there's a local dude putting his comics on the web" in local or college publications.

Why isn't there more coverage?  There's almost no "machine" for publicity in webcomics.  One of the things I would imagine that publishers like Wirepop, Keenspot and MT would do for their artists is promotion, but given the extremely lean staffing available I think it's hard for even them to do a lot more than individual artists can do on their own.

Comics as a whole are pretty far down on the celebrity scale so you definitely have to work harder to get coverage.  Obviously good work will get noticed but there's no question that a certain level of press interest will always be driven by notoriety.  I wouldn't pretend to be an expert on how to approach this problem myself but maybe through all of our collective input we can generate some good ideas.

Your Mom Reads On the Rocks

Okay, maybe she doesn't... but she might.

Family Education, a network targeted at helping parents aid their children's learning, has a new feature at their main site called Mom's Coffee Break which includes a comics section. On the Rocks will be syndicated there along with For Better Or For Worse and Cathy.