Strip News 1-2-9

We’ve seen the bests of 2008 and now some are posting the looking-ahead-to-2009 sorts of posts. Here it’ll be business as usual…

  • You all already read Dwight MacPherson’s interview, right? And Mike from MPD57 is baaaaacckkk.
  • The Farscape comic sells out of Diamond stock. The show was good, and the comic seems to be doing it justice. And here’s a review on a Japanese comic which is in the form of stand up comedy. (This looks promising, despite the obvious cultural and lexical translation obstacles.) Maybe the Librarian’s Guide to Manga and Anime might help. Something else that looks promising is this…make sure you read the very last line, too. That would be more cool than I can conjure words to describe.
  • I agree: Let’s not get too caught up in these huge story arcs, despite them being all the rage these days. I agree with this too: Artists are not helper monkeys. They make sure the story gets told.
  • Newsarama promises to look specifically at webcomics this month, echoed in some detail here. It also points us to the personal art sites of Fables artist James Jean. It’s also good to know that every artist wrestles with their art. And just how much should a famous illustrator be paid? And here’s the scoop on Joe Kubert’s biography.
  • There are other helpful artist resources to be found and supported. Sometimes it can be helpful to just have someone talk about using a pencil.
  • Ever wonder what percent of visitors have other comics bookmarked? Some artists spill details.
  • We’re moving past the question of comics going digital and now it’s important to know your audience. It’s time to consider how comics can be presented in a relevant and entertaining fashion. We can depend upon online readers to drill down on content they enjoy – which may be different depending on who they are with and what they are doing. They also want to share the cool new thing across their friend network – in both cyber and meat space. At the same time, online readers skim read and get easily distracted because they are often multitasking. Why am I paraphrasing this article which analyzes how the news needs to be packaged? Because this means the typical comic site, with it’s cast page, new readers page, archive page, etc. are not really meeting the reading preferences of casual comic readers. Look at it from another angle: In my office, certain comics are clipped from the paper and tacked up because they are relevant to those people in that environment – including those who aren’t comic fans. The point is not that (for instance) Superman comics are an exact analog for our workplace, but rather readers will identify with some facet of our comic. Sometimes you feel like you have only seconds to save the ‘work world’ if you know what I mean. The comics are accessible and enjoyable to these casual readers. When I was a kid, comics were found in spin racks everywhere which accomplished this nicely. At that time, kids connected to superhero comics in the way thay kids today easily connect with video games, movies and tv shows. These things are exciting and do not require a hardcore fan approach to enjoy.  I’m still brewing on this, but if we can make comics more easily accessible they will be seen as more relevant and be more includable, so to speak. This means not only a difference in presentation but also the amount of content displayed at any one time. It’s a real shift in thinking to pursue the casual reader rather than the true webcomic fans that toplist sites cater to. This is going to require more thought on my part, so I’d like to hear your ideas on how websites can make comics more pertinent and entertaining.
  • Finally, play the Webcomic Hangman game! (This gives some ammo to my belief that we can be more creative in our comic promotion.) And doesn’t everyone deserve their own Millenium Falcon?

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