Strip News

It is always amazing to me how much comic stuff there is to talk about. I may have to adjust my approach a bit because this is an awful lot to read at once.

  • Here’s an interview with Mathema creator Amy Pearson, one of the contestants on Zuda. And speaking of Zuda, I ran across this related tidbit of information on the Webcomic Overlook.
  • Comic Related has a new look. And now you’ll have to go to Twitter to get the Daily Cartoonist’s webcomic news.
  • Okay, I had a bunch of comic creating links that I couldn’t get to last week. First you have to get in the habit of writing and then create your comic in five easy steps. This one on balloon placement has already helped me and here’s a drawing tutorial on focal points to help it look more professional. Once you get the images all set to post, you’ll want to follow the advice in this one on image SEO. Now that you have your comic online and printed, imagine that you are going to a con and want some inexpensive and useful ideas about how to make swag to hand out while you’re there. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to know how to write a press release.
  • I don’t normally get the chance to listen to the various comic podcasts that get published every week. I can’t help but think I’m missing out so I’ve been listening to all the Webcomics Beacon podcasts that interest me. Next I’ll be on to the Gigcast and then to Webcomics Weekly. I’m about half done with Beacon – I also just finished listening to the newest one on graphics programs which had some good stuff in it. I’ve also listened to number 44 of Weekly.
  • I like the general direction that this is going in but the original article is totally centered on India. Don’t misunderstand. That’s not a negative comment, but what works in Indian culture might work out totally different elsewhere. (I heard an interview with an Indian author on NPR about sci-fi. Apparently, science fiction and comic books are seen on equal footing with other kinds of literature in India. Things are different there.)
  • I doubt that comics in general will avoid being digital for too much longer. I do know many, many readers who like reading comics on their computer screens (in direct defiance to comments in this post.) In the not too distant future there will be a content delivery gadget that will be able to compete with print in the area of books and full page comics. The convenience of carrying your entire library and personal computer in one hand will let initial customers put up with the glowing screen at first. (Then they’ll come up with something to solve that, I’m sure.) The same article basically says that comics appeal only to readers, which has some truth to it. What most people think of as “comics” currently do seem formatted for readers but they don’t have to be. There are many approaches which can exploit the properties of comics – lose the word balloons and obvious gutters while adding some voice actor performances and sound effects. You would still have a sequential visual story but readers wouldn’t feel like they are reading. Let’s not sell comics too short. Another part is catching potential audience at the right time (and with the right comic) for them to give comics a chance. And lest you think I’m not appreciative of Phillip’s comic articles, here’s one that is more than a little inspiring.
  • I saw a cartoon long, long ago and I always wondered why the one kid had special powers and why he tries to get everybody in the end. So years later, I come across a discussion about how they are trying to make it live-action and the writeup explains everything for me. Finally.
  • This is pretty theory deep and I’ve attempted to get something practical out of it, but the author mainly looks at time in comics in regard to maps. Scroll down to section XVII and follow the link to Exercises in Style where you’ll see an artist take the same single page script and create a bunch of different takes on it. Scroll down that page and click some of the links on the bottom right to see the examples. I’d like to try that someday.
  • Here’s an interview with some New Hampshire comic folks. I enjoy reading these. Here’s another with Peter Laird. Turtle Power! Just kidding. I’m a fan of the original black and whites (and some color versions by Joe Mad and Cheeks.)
  • Not everyone thinks this is very keen and they make a lot of comparisons to the million pixel webpage. However, they’d be wrong. This, with a few more features, has real potential. There are already some good resources there, hidden in plain view. Even now, as it is, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be full of 40×40 icons. Oh, and if you’ve already signed up you should read this. (You may have gotten the email, too.)
  • Likewise, I’m waiting to see how this turns out. There would be no better list of comics to look at for one to improve their own work. Now, I’m not concerned about what ends up on the list. The point is that these comics have a number of fans, so there’s something about each of them that was noteworthy enough to grab attention.
  • Then you may want to consider the limits of webcomic success. I found the assertion that those making new webcomics will stabilize to be especially interesting to think about. I do not think the size of the comic swarm will discourage new comic entries but maybe the increasing quality of the entire field will even things out. You may think I’m daft, but it seems inevitable to me that the public will realize that comics have entertainment value along with untapped practical uses. The more popular attention paid to comics, the better they will become overall. The hobbyists will be more clearly separated from the pros.
  • Of course, there is some stereotyping to overcome before we get to that point. Once the general public realizes we aren’t really like this (via Hudson) and that there are more to comics than Marvel and DC – then we’ll have some room to play.
  • I’d enjoy seeing the rest of the comments about comic rights that I found here. As I write this, I can’t find the correct site or the post that has the comments.
  • Comic Fencing should have the Amazing Superteam reviews up and Webcomic Finds has a review of Dresden Codak.
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6 comments ↓

#1 Bengo on 11.21.08 at 8:40 pm

Yeah, there is a lot of comics news, huh? I just did a big run-dfown to clear out my inbox and it’s already accumulating again.

Thank you for mentioning my piece on limits to webcomics success. The thing is, I do aspire to professional status in webcomics, but I don’t want to be separated from hobbyists or amateurs or whatever they are best called. Well, a few of them can go, as they are merely disruptive, but I would like to see all comics creators aspire to a level of conduct that gains them admission to shared assets that don’t currently exist. There are dedicated amateur comics that I highly enjoy, and I would rather fail as a pro than have a velvet rope between us.

I suspect you feel the same way and maybe your wording is a bit different than your intent. But if you mean to say, there are things that dedicated professionals need that others don’t, then I do agree and I don’t think there is anything snobby about saying so. In fact, some pros may need de-snobbing lessons. (Available free from Ryan North: all you do is watch him and treat people more like he does. Alan Gardner, same thing. Chris Harding also. The host of this blog is good too.)

I’ll enjoy following more of these links later tonight when I have my work done. Thanks for providing them.

#2 delos on 11.21.08 at 11:06 pm

I hope what I wanted to say about that didn’t get too garbled. Let’s see if I can expand on it a bit and give those folks who want to disagree some ammo. :)

It’s basically an audience focused progression from where things are now. The more attention paid to comics, the more self editing we’ll have to do to meet an accepted, defacto standard of quality. That may also require (for instance) having a new readers page, topic tagging or oh-no-robot style transcription along with professional courtesy toward fans and fellow artists.

Those that meet it or rise above will be considered pros. Perhaps that status may be offer benefits peculiarly useful to professional artists, who would indeed have specialized needs.

Those that don’t want to meet the standard will not have to, of course, but they’ll be accorded amateur status. There will be room and some respect for hobbyists and dabblers to the degree they meet the standard.

As I see it, there won’t be a velvet rope so much as an audience process for rewarding the entertainment value. Further, I doubt it will be left up to the artists themselves to decide what these requirements might be. If it works out anything like I picture, the audience will do the standard setting. We’ll be scrambling to find ways to work with each other.

Thanks for considering this and helping me clarify.

#3 Aoede on 11.26.08 at 4:01 pm

Why is it bad if comics are “for readers”?

#4 delos on 11.26.08 at 4:52 pm

Aoede,
That’s a good and interesting point and I’m glad you brought it up. It’s not bad that readers like to read comics. On the contrary, it is a very good thing. It hadn’t occurred to me to drill down on that point.

The article that served as the basis for my comment was pretty down on comics, saying they would never appeal to ‘viewers’ as opposed to ‘readers.’ One could say that some comics are designed to appeal more to viewers – like newspaper style gag strips or even comic books. Graphic novels and manga books might appeal more to readers, perhaps.

I also don’t think people fall neatly into one or the other category. Under different circumstances I do both and I’m sure that’s the same for everyone else.

I can easily imagine someone liking Superman comics but being bored with Copper – and the opposite being true as well. While some comics (many of my favorites) do require a reader’s sensibility to really get the material, I don’t see most comics demanding that and the article I linked makes a blanket statement that comics are (and always will be) just for readers.

Does that help explain my statement a little better?

#5 Strip News 1-9-9 — ArtPatient.com on 01.09.09 at 5:43 pm

[...] editing from MPD57. (I have some comments below the article which rehash my viewpoint I stated here, fourth point from the bottom, but the other commenters have interesting things to say.) Helpfully, [...]

#6 Strip News 1-9-9 | What-Did-I-Learn? | ArtPatient | ArtPatient on 05.13.10 at 7:11 am

[...] editing from MPD57. (I have some comments below the article which rehash my viewpoint I stated here, fourth point from the bottom, but the other commenters have interesting things to say.) Helpfully, [...]