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Comix Talk for Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SOCIAL MEDIA TIME: This week I created a Facebook page for ComixTALK - if you're on the FB, please "like" us.  I've already loaded to it a lot of my archive (2003-2010) of photos and the monthly cover art we used to run at ComixTALK.  Also - I find myself linking to more short stuff on twitter these days - you might find it mildly interesting to follow me on twitter

CONVENTION 'VENTION WHAT'S YOUR INTENTION: Zach Weiner has a post up on "convention tips" which is actually pretty funny. Hopefully you're not guilty of any of the "bad" behaviors noted but if any of it sounds like you, take Zach's advice next time you're at a con.

ADVICE FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART: Steve Napierski with some good advice on starting and sticking with a webcomic.

PLUG ONE: Scott M.C. Cloud links to Ryan A's Nothing is Forgotten - a silent comic with "some pretty effective sequences (I especially like the way he uses windows)."  Ryan A also has some info on his process here.

PLUG TWO: Scott Kurtz moved to Seattle, Washington.  The characters in his webcomic, PvP, now look like they will be moving to Seattle.  How often does this happen in comic strips -- I'm not sure I can think of any other examples offhand.  In PvP's case, I've never thought of it as taking place anywhere specifically though so I'm not sure it has to have any impact on the strip. In other comics the location is more apparent and part of the comic -- changing locations could be a really risky thing.

PLUG THREE: xkcd with some excellent advice for Ke$ha.

Comix Talk for Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good news for the Friends of Lulu organization, Valerie D'Orazio's public plea for help has led to the assembling of an unofficial board to assist her in righting its ship.  

MILESTONES: Questionable Content hits 7 years of comics on the intertubes.

Interview: Newsarama interviews Ethan Nicolle of the webcomic and soon to be Dark Horse book, Axe Cop.

REVIEW: El Santo gives Tim Buckley's Ctrl-Alt-Del a massively complete review, worth reading no matter what your opinion of Buckley's work is.

CONVENTIONS: This year's visit by Fake Stan Lee to the SDCC is as funny as last year's and includes (at about 2:42 in) a visit to the PvP booth:

MAILBAG: Peter Fairfax writes about his webcomic Valentines Dei, which is a futuristic detective story with a gritty feel.  Fairfax is a bit raw still with the writing and artwork but it's not so rough that the comic doesn't work.  It starts a bit slow, but Fairfax has packed a lot of ideas into the concept -- it's not a huge archive (it started this past February) so if it sounds interesting, be sure to check it out.

2010 Harvey Award Nominees Announced

The 2010 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced.  Here's the webcomic category:

The full list of nominees after the jump:

Voting Open for 2010 Eagle Awards

Time to stuff the online ballot box at the Eagle Awards.  A pretty good list of nominees for "Favourite Web-Based Comic" including Freak Angels, Order of the Stick, PVP, Sin Titulo and xkcd.

Comix Talk from the Airport

I'm leaving on a jetplane... actually I know when I'll be back again which is why posting might be light until the end of the month.  Although I am led to believe they have a series of tubes in Asia too so I'm counting on that.

BUSINESS  I guess the big news over the weekend was the by-now-well-covered announcement from DC that it won't be holding monthly contests anymore at its Zuda property. I generally am suspicious of contests but on the other hand experimentation is necessary.  So hopefully we´ve all learned a bit from Zuda part 1 and DC will try something else interesting for Zuda part 2.

INTERVIEWS  Liberally borrowing from Brigid´s Paperless Comics because this is a great batch of interviews she linked to from TGT Webcomics with creators at C2E2 includingGordon McAlpin (Multiplex), Ed (Ed Contradictory), Michael A. Kandalaft (That Monkey Tune), Tony and Sarah (The Angry Penguin), Josep (Space Punks!), Joe and Phil (Digital Pimp), Brad Guigar (Evil, Inc.), Kris Straub (Starslip), and Scott Kurtz, (PvP).

FROM THE MAILBAG  Rina Piccolo writes to announce her new webcomic Velia, Dear.  The comic is about a young woman named Velia who leaves the inner city to take care of her aging Italian mother.  There´s already a few strips up in the archives and it´s a great premise and Piccolo is already a pro and shows it in this new project.

PvP 2010

PvP 2010

First and Last: Player Versus Player

Back in 2006, we did a "First and Last" snapshot of PvP by Scott Kurtz.  Even then Kurtz had shown a lot of growth artistically from the origins of the comic.  It's worth revisiting PvP again, as Kurtz has probably shown even more growth since 2006 then in the period up to then.

Comix Talk for Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So today is the Second Coming?  The rumored debut of Apple's oversized iPod has sent the newspaper business into a tizzy but it is potentially VERY interesting to the world of comics.  I doubt the first generation of it (if it exists!) will be affordable enough but eventually this could become a serious platform for comics.  IF IF IF IF....

In non-rapturous news of the day, congrats to Ben Costa for winning a Xeric Grant for Shi Long Pang. I look forward to buying that book! (h/t Paperless Comics)  And in a true spirit of public service, Gary reads Platinum Comics Licensing's press release to decipher the latest business plan: "an in-house version of CafePress."

INTERVIEW: Danielle Corsetto of Girls With Slingshots.

REVIEW: Delos reviews Insert Comic by Zack Holmes.

And how about some links to fill-out your morning read -- here's the list of webcomics the readers of the Washington Post nominated for its Comics Riffs poll on "Best Webcomic of the Decade": "Devil's Panties" ; "Devin Crane" ; "Eric Monster Millikin" ; "Girl Genius" ; "Girls With Slingshots" ; "Hark! A Vagrant" ; "Jesus and Mo" ; "Kevin and Kell" ; "Least I Could Do" ; "Navy Bean" ; "The New Adventures of Queen Victoria" ; "Order of the Stick" ; "Penny Arcade" ; "Perry Bible Fellowship" ; "Pibgorn" ; "PvP" ; "Questionable Content" ; "Red String" ; "Schlock Mercenary" ; "Sinfest" ; "UserFriendly.Org" ; and "xkcd."

Under Construction?!

January is going to be like one of those "this ol' haus" shows on PBS or TLC  all month long as I patch, prod and pull apart things at the site.  I didn't get a lot of feedback to my blegs from you lot on what you like or dislike here at ComixTalk so I'm left to my own devices which is...usually a mixed bag in terms of results.  But let's have fun with this, shall we?  I'll be putting up notes on site status to keep everyone on their toes updated on developments.

THESE RIDES ARE CURRENTLY NOT OPERATIONAL: auto-importing of blogs ; new user sign-ups

A surprisingly big story - Brad Guigar's sudden move of to a pay wall has been chattered about all week.  Brigid Alverson does another good job of rounding up all of the talkingFLEEN interviewed the Guigarster where Brad describes the number of subscriptions purchased so far as “For a non-porn site, encouraging."

One wrinkle to this story is that there were third-party articles published at -- for those authors who want a non-pay wall home for those articles, give me a buzz (tweet xerexes or xerexes AT gmail) - ComixTalk would probably be a good home for them.

Webcomic Marketing looks like a decent site that's been updating for a bit now.  The most recent post provides a Convention checklist from the creators of Steam Crow.

Drawn! points to this video demonstrating the "theoretical" Mag+ e-reader; Gizmodo covers the Skiff e-reader.

Dan Goldman launches a new webcomic, called Red Light Properties at Robot6 describes Red Light Properties is a "tropical-horror series" about a real estate firm in Miami Beach that cleans and sells "previously-haunted homes" to people who've lost their houses to foreclosure.

Brilliant twist on Calvin & Hobbes all this week from Scott Kurtz at PVP.  What a great start to webcomics this year.

Past Predictions for Webcomics

I'm hoping to have a roundtable discussion of webcomics in 2009 up on the site later this month, but in the meantime I went back and looked at past ComixTalk roundtables (2007, 2006, 2005) to see how we all did with our predictions for the years to come.  How'd we do?

  • Tom Spurgeon on 2008: A general downturn in the economy combined with the further development of opportunities for traditional media sources on-line is going to have a drastic impact on on-line advertising sales for anyone not aligned with a major company. Tough times ahead. 
  • Heidi MacDonald on 2008: Some smart publisher is going to realize that webcomics are the next Garfield, and make lots of money for everyone. It is inevitable. I'm shocked that no one has been smart enough to see that yet.
  • Michael Rouse-Deane on 2007: I think even more webcomics will venture into animation. I know some of them are dabbling in it at the moment. Also, even more so, webcomics will expand off the web and into print. So webcomics will become offline and animated. I think the next big milestone for a webcomic will be a TV series!
  • Gillead Pellaeon on 2007: Last year I predicted people would be jealous of Tim Buckley and start making their own animations. And it happened. First with Blamimation, then a test episode of a VG Cats series, and now with PvP going to Blind Ferret. I also predicted more books, and that happened too. I didn't foresee Penny Arcade going into video game development, but now that they have, look for others to follow suit (I'm thinking Ctrl+Alt+Del and VG Cats here).
  • Alexander Danner on 2007:  Something I do think we'll see in the coming year is greater cooperation between the various technical service providers. For instance, it would be very lovely if users of WCN could simply click a check box to activate an account with RyanNorth's OhNoRobot transcription and search service. There are a lot of services out there that are wonderful individually, but would be golden in combination.
  • Doctor Setebos on 2006: Mainstream. As broadband creeps slowly into everyone's homes, and online is everything, people will discover the popular webcomics. PvP and Penny Arcade will be on the forefront of the public onslaught. Journalists from respected newspapers and television news magazines will begin to write intelligent and eye-opening articles on webcomics that actually inform the public of this expansive entertainment industry that is growing daily right there on the internet. More services will be created/shifted to provide subscription webcomic content to the droves of readers that will begin to pour onto the webcomics community by next summer. More webcomics will be signed to those subscription services, and fans will cheer wildly as their favorite cartoonists finally reach the "big time".
  • Bob Stevenson on 2006: I spent some time talking with a Nielson executive this fall (the tv ratings folks). He hadn't considered the kind of traffic and market webcomics pull in or more importantly their narrow demographic. I'm not sure I convinced him it was worth any attention, but I'm thinking that some big companies may finally realize there's an underexploited market in the making that's worth throwing some money at. The cost to try something out on a large scale is just too low for someone not to. Sure, we comic creators have talked about how to reach a wider advertising market, but I think services like google adsense and the 360ep signings may have made some of us too passive on that front. Unless our efforts change drastically (they won't), it'll take some of the advertisers coming at webcomics to start realizing the potential on that front. Will it happen in 2006? How much is Rockstar Games paying Tycho and Gabe in 2005?