2003 was a pretty scary year. Whether you agree with it or not, war is a pretty terrifying thing. We lost another space shuttle, another crew, and – in a bad case of déjà vu – followed a flurry of finger-pointing in the aftermath.
Damonk's Own Quickie Personal Webcomic Year In Review
2003. The Year of Stuff. One Year after 2002, and 365.23 Days before 2004.
Backwards, it would be 3002...
...which time-wise, would actually be forwards.
After having been exposed no doubt to the bajillions of other media's own versions of Year In Reviewstravaganzas, it's clearly obvious that the one thing you would now crave most would be to hear YET ANOTHER person's own thoughts on the year.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 25, 2003 - 23:27
Penny Arcade has partnered with the Seattle Children's Hospital and Amazon.com for "Child's Play." With the help of the Childrenâ€™s Hospital, Penny Arcade created an Amazon Wish List for the sick kids at the hospital. Every single contribution will help out the Childrenâ€™s Hospital and the 190,000 kids they treat each year.
More details on the Penny Arcade website.
Submitted by dunk on November 19, 2003 - 22:44
Man. I remember finishing McCloud's Reinventing Comics, and thinking that the internet were about to explode, and that webcomics were going to be the next big thing (bigger than Brittney).
Here we are a few years later, and even Scott has sort of faded in and out (at least in terms of web presence). Where is the revolution? We've seen the introduction of Bitpass, and the introduction of webcomics subscriptions services, but things only seem marginally different.
I have definitely noiced a shift in quality - an awareness of audience that was lacking in some early webcomics - but I don't see that many people pushing the envelope. Not really.
I wonder if it has anything to do with technology? Maybe we might all be creating the comic of the future, but the most of the darn tools we use are intended to create these two dimensional page-like things on a computer screen, and so we do what we can with what we have.
The other possibility is that there was no revolution. It was all a myth, and we've just been feeling the vibrations of that first earth-shattering "kaboom". Maybe there is no infinite canvas.
Personally, I think that most people simply haven't wrapped their head around the fact that there is no canvas at all. All the pixels you see before you are really only points of light, and there is no page (web or other). There is no canvas. We still draw pictures, and we still marry them to words, but those are actions, and the actions themselves are not comics. They are acts of creation. What is created in the case of webcomics, however, is something intangible. We can see them, but we can't touch them.
One of the things that fascinates me about artists working in CG, is that there is no artifact that they can point to afterwards to say "this is a comic". They can direct you to a URL on the world wide web, and you can read what they've put there, but essentially you are reading something which does not exist in any tangible way beyond the experience of reading it.
That's the main problem with making money from webcomics. We are attached to the idea of paying for things we can hold in our hand. I think that's probably what scares music people so much... if music becomes something that you listen to, but not something you can physically hold in your hand (in the shape of a compact disc, cassette tape, or LP), what are you paying for?...
We're paying for the experience. And if the experience is what is really valuable, then all those silly pieces of paper and plastic that distributors try to pass off as music are really just separating us from the actual experience.
Don't get me wrong. I love print comics. I am a graphic novel hound, and I love the physicallity of books, but there is a shift in our culture right now away from things you can hold, or fold, or stack, towards experiences. When that bit of evolution trickles down to comics (which I think it's begun to), then maybe we will see people "paying" webcomics artists for the "experience" of sharing in someone else's unique vision.
Until that gets into high gear - and I think we may have a while to wait yet - I just hope that enough people will stay keen, and continue to poke holes in the canvas until we can see clear through to the other side.
Maybe we should get JustinPie and Eric Millikin in here, and have them duke it out. what do you think?
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 18, 2003 - 12:44
Penny Arcade announced its fifth year anniversary yesterday. As Gabe put it on their website:
Wow thatâ€™s right, it has been five years. Not bad for a couple of guys who donâ€™t even know Frank Cho.
Time once again for another edition of Measuring the Webcomic Audience. Last month our list relied on visits, page views, and links data derived from Ranking.com and Alexa.com. This month we drop links data from our methodology, and instead rank webcomics based on Ranking.com data for visits and page views and for Alexa.com rankings.
Once again Penny Arcade topped our chart and also dominated all categories of data we reviewed in our methodology. Overall, however, there was a much greater number of webcomics moving on and off the Most Read List this month.
Submitted by Surlyben on October 30, 2003 - 20:31
Hello. I wandered over here due to the frightnight thing, and I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Ben, and I draw comics. Um. That doesn't really make me special around these parts. Specifically, I do a comic about cooking. And the apocalypse. Mainly cooking. Or it will be about cooking anyway. At some point in the future.
Also I draw and encourage others to draw 1-hour comics. Which are basically comics drawn in an hour. (You can see all the ones I have drawn on my archives page. And you can see other peoples efforts in this thread at zwol.org.)
I live in Seattle, and I am debating whether or not I want to go to A.P.E. this year.
Tycho and Gabe are the creators of Penny Arcade, arguably the most widely read webcomic ever. Besides practically pioneering the genre of "gaming webcomics" Tycho and Gabe have experimented with every kind of business strategy devised for webcomics including advertising, donations, merchandise, and in the good old Dot-com boom days, getting paid by video game review websites to run Penny Arcade webcomics.
Without further hullabaloo, Tycho and Gabe answer your questions:
Submitted by Anonymous on October 3, 2003 - 15:05
Krahulik and Holkins were quick to respond to the barb with a comic jab of their own today, using the Comixpedia's own most recent Webcomic Traffic Rankings article as cannonfodder. As is expected from the PA pair, they also spoke of the matter in their newsboxes.
At this point, the exchange appears to be friendly in nature.
Submitted by Skyle on September 16, 2003 - 01:03
Like a lot of you, I was inspired to start a webcomic after reading McCloud's Reinventing Comics. Turning the clock a little farther back, I fondly remember the black and white Ã¯Â¿Â½boomÃ¯Â¿Â½ in comics back in the 80s, and the smaller but similar boom during the 90s, which was an even bigger inspiration to me. Not only did independent comics offer smart, original stories that differed from the good ol' superheroes, but what made them even more enjoyable was that they had a sense of community. The creators all seemed to know each other, they promoted one another's books, etc.