A whole year of webcomic news wrapped up in a pretty package with cookies and milk commentary provided by Comixpedia contributors: Alexander Danner, Ping Teo, Kristofer Straub, T Campbell and Phil Kahn.
Submitted by Chris Crosby on December 13, 2005 - 19:40
You Damn Kid!, the Keenspot webcomic by Owen Dunne, was briefly mentioned today in entertainment industry trade bible Daily Variety as being in development for TV. The article (currently a top story on variety.com) focuses on the development slate of 20th Century Fox Television production company Phase Two, which optioned Dunne's webcomic in September.
Submitted by m_estrugo on December 11, 2005 - 03:01
Hey there, folks.
I've got to admit this hasn't been a good year to me. Terribly serious issues on real life -that are going to continue for a while- swept me off the webcomics field and forced me to put several projects on the backburner, until I find the time to dedicate myself to my little cute cartoon characters, and webcomics in general, again.
Then again, we're in December, the time when people tend to look back and do a review of this year. And I look at the webcomics field and... well, I'm not sure if it's precisely because my attention has been focused elsewhere, but it seems this hasn't been a good year for webcomics.
It looks like the efervescence of past years is gone. That everything we see is more like a repetition of what we saw in 2004, with the same high-profile participants, the same promises of great future, and the same issues attacking webcomickers. I perceive there have been much less webcomics worthy of attention appearing this year, while some of them have ended their online life.
Besides, five years have passed since Scott mcCloud published his book "Reinventing Comics", where he predicted a micropayment system that would benefit web cartoonists (I had the intention to create a comic where I reviewed these five last years to be featured here on Comixpedia, but then things went really wrong at my side of the world). It seems the generalization of micropayment systems isn't mature enough as of yet to work, and some people wonder if it will ever work -remember that fight between Scott McCloud and the creators of Penny Arcade-, especially on an environment like the Internet.
To me, it looks like 2005 was a transition year for webcomics, a dry year, with few worthy moments, where most webcartoonists just recurred to preseverance in hopes to find better times in the future.
But then again, and considering the little attention I've got to webcomics all this time, I could be totally wrong. What do you think it was worth of mention this year?
A freewheeling discussion about the wide world of webcomics with Eric Burns, Wednesday White, Phil Kahn, Giland Pellaeon, Bob Stevenson, Ping Teo, Daku, Karl Kuras, Doctor Setebos and William G, moderated by Xaviar Xerexes.
You may have noticed that in 2005, the "webcomics blogosphere" took off like never before. There were almost as many people writing about webcomics as making them (okay not really, but there were a whole lot more blog posts about webcomics this year.) We gathered together several popular bloggers for an online roundtable discussion on webcomics here at the tail end of 2005.
We talked about webcomics and creators, art and commerce and of course, webcomics drama. Plus some predictions for the year ahead.
A simple list of people of webcomics based on their contributions to the medium in 2005. And we have no doubt that we left off someone we shouldn't have. We're sorry. We'll try harder next year.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 8, 2005 - 17:11
Roughly 18 months ago, Comixpedia held a community interview with Chris Crosby and Darren Bleuel of Keenspot. I'm not going to systematically revisit that interview today but I thought I'd point out some interesting changes since then.
In the interview, you asked who Keenspot's competitors were and Crosby responded "We're competing with anybody and everybody. OÂn the web our goal is to continue to be the top webcomic publisher, and in print our goal is to become a top graphic novel publisher." Keenspot has continued to roll on and despite the further diversification of webcomics publishing (small collectives, WebcomicsNation, subscription sites, etc.) Keenspot still has as much a claim on being the top publisher of webcomics as anybody does.
But back then Crosby pointed to Keenspot Premium as a lifeline during the online ad market slump. Although Premium is still offered by Keenspot, it's hard to shake the impression that it remains little more than an afterthought for Keenspot. Keenspot has also shut down it's Keenprime fee-based hosting service since the interview. Keenspot really does seem to be defined by "free" (i.e., advertiser-supported) services in contrast to other entities such as Modern Tales that continue to experiment with a mix of free and subscription approaches.
A second point of interest is that even at that point in time, Keenspot had already transitioned away from publishing in the "comic book" format and was moving into more of a "graphic novel" format for print versions of Keenspot webcomics. With the presence of on-demand publishers like Lulu, an open question is how successful does Keenspot's print operation remain for Keenspot and its creators.
And although not mentioned in the interview there has always been Keenspot's continuing efforts to license it's creator members' properties to Hollywood in which there was a success story this year with Owen Dunne's You Damn Kid. Given the niche that comics as a whole occupies in the American pop culture landscape, it will be interesting to see how the press reports on Dunne's creation if it makes it to the living room screen (and of course we are hopeful that it does!). Will webcomics share in some reflected glory or will the press ignore that angle?
September held a number of news items which are worth mentioning. First and foremost, the Webcomic Telethon collected an impressive amount of money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Penny Arcade Expo returned for its second year, this time bigger and with more media coverage. Keenspot is working towards fulfilling its plans announced at Comic-Con. Keen announced that they have signed with Fox Television to develop Owen Dunne's webcomic You Damn Kid! for television. And both Keenspot and Modern Tales are looking for advertising sales representatives.
But the origin of this month's column cannot be traced back to those entries. Instead, it is the creation of the webcomic wiki at Comixpedia.org, or more specifically the Websnark post that sparked its creation and gave rise to this month's stream of consciousness. What is interesting in this entry is not the proposal and its results (both intriguing by themselves), but something much more minuscule. Something that could be found in Burns' discussion about Wikipedia's way of measuring a webcomics significance and his own suggestion of how to do it.
Submitted by Chris Crosby on September 20, 2005 - 00:03
Cartoonist Owen Dunne and Keenspot Entertainment have signed with 20th Century Fox Television and former Fox TV group chairman Sandy Grushow's Phase Two to take their popular web-based comic strip You Damn Kid! from the computer monitor to the television screen.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 5, 2005 - 13:30
Here's a link I missed during last month's focus on webcomics-to-print: Creative Comix is a small syndication company focused on the alternative press market. They have quite a few webcomics on their roster of clients including: BoxJam's Doodle, Soap on a Rope, Gluemeat, Lost in Appleton, Innies and Outties, Tex & Jenny, You Damn Kid, and HOUSD.
UPDATE: In the comments Rob Balder notes that the Creative Comix contract may not have the most creator-friendly terms.
Many MANY of our webcomicking friends have published print versions of their work. I've tried to find, track down, and remember as many as possible. But given the thousands (tens of thousands?) of webcomics out there, this was a daunting task. If I missed your comic, I apologize profusely and profoundly. Please add it via a comment.