Strip News

This week I have a number of disjointed thoughts about a variety of things I saw…

  • I mention this first because any artist who is looking to have their own book printed needs to read it. I apologize for those who’ve seen this already Tony Piro has a really great review of POD (Print on Demand Services.) In any case, it’s worth rereading.
  • I also liked this thread on the TWCL forums where they talk about bidding abuse on Project Wonderful. (Some might take issue with my choice of the word abuse. Those might use the phrase  bidding technique instead. I think it’s dishonest because you’re trying to get the effect of the advertising for 1/24th of the cost – which is not that expensive on most sites anyway.)
  • What is going on with Mouse Guard? The Beat has some information.
  • And here we have (via the Daily Cartoonist) a Swedish newspaper that had to decide what comics they would have in their new format. That’s an interesting read, but it’s really a springboard for my thinking. I do not think that comics should be sequestered away on one page in the back of the paper. I think they should be sprinkled around so readers get little doses of news and comics. That would make papers far more readable – at least it would for my local paper. Perhaps it used to be done that way but has, over time, morphed into the hide-the-comics standard approach that newspapers use.
  • Anyone who does a webcomic wants to know why some comics are successful and others aren’t. Comixtalk had an article about the most read webcomics by unique visitors. So why do these comics have all these readers? Many webcomic artists ask Why Isn’t My Brand New Webcomic Getting the Sluggy-size Audience it Deserves? There is also another article on Comixtalk which points to a blog that explains, in part, why some comics have massive numbers of readers while others languish in obscurity. It actually talks about blogs but the principle applies to webcomics too. Never mind the specific numbers, but I’ll generalize the principle by saying that 20% of the comics on the web get 80% of the readers. People want a shared experience, so those few comics on top are good enough to catch the majority of interest and keep it. There is some discussion about how ‘stable’ the situation is which means those at the top stay at the top. However, what I’ve seen is that it’s not a stable situation. If the content on a site drops off, visitors will eventually learn to ignore the site. There’s a forum I can’t link to due to language which discusses this more fully but the result is that you can get to the top 20 if you persist and continue to improve. That will let you catch the notice of the majority at some point(s.) Then the responsibility is yours to keep those readers.

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