Webcomics Popularity Skyrocketing at the Con!

That's right folks, webcomics, long the "cute little brother" of the independent comics scene, are really starting to pick up some steam here at the San Diego Comicon.

Why do I say that?

I say that because today I was not able to get into the Webcomics 101 panel! And not just me, in fact the Webcomics 101 panel actually ended up turning away more people than were able to fit in the room.

For those of you unfamiliar with "Webcomics 101", last year, Bill Barnes (of Unshelved fame) ran a wonderful series of three panels on webcomics:

  • Webcomics 101: Getting Started
  • Webcomics 102: Building an Audience
  • Webcomics 103: Making Money

It was a great primer on what webcomics are, what works and what doesn't work, and what the general state of the webcomic industry is in. The speakers were all webcomic creators, and a good time was had by all.

Well, naturally Barnes decided to run the same panels again this year. And being one of the people who enjoyed the panels last year, I was looking forward to attending this year's panels and sharing the experience with everyone here. The panel started at 6, so at 5:50 I came ambling up to Room 3…

And was greeted by a line which wrapped not all the way around one wall, or all the way around two walls, but almost all the way are THREE walls. I pretty much knew we weren't all going to fit in the room, but hope springs eternal so I added myself to the line. And of course, I didn't get in. Neither did the 30 or so people in front of me. Or the big line which had formed behind me. We could have filled a room twice the size. And people were pretty ticked when they couldn't get in. I was afraid we were going to have a riot on our hands before too long. The panel was so full that the event staff weren't even letting in people with press passes!

I was both greatly impressed an sorely disappointed at the same time. I was impressed because this was the same size room as had been used for the panels last year, and last year the room was actually pretty close to full (probably 85% or so), so the amount of people interested in attending had more than doubled in a single year's time. That's pretty impressive, and positive for the outlook of webcomics.

But I was also sorely disappointed, because I was not one of the dedicated few who made the cut (why oh why did I have to attend the "Top 10 sci-fi films of all time" panel immediately before the webcomic one?). So I didn't see the panel. So I don't have anything to share with you all.

And for that, I am deeply sorry. I will rectify the situation tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be early to all the webcomic panels. And I will get in. And I will give you all a full commentary.

Things are looking good.



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