Strip News 6-16-9

VELCRO2BHATBeing ill this last weekend gave me a bit of free time to poke around and find some interesting novelties…

  • Let’s start with Webcomic Overlook’s review of Raven’s Dojo which, if you read the comments, also nets us some Dragonball Z news from Sly Eagle. Morgan Wick reviews 8 Bit Theater and Pigs of the Industry takes a look at the three categories of the June Zuda entries.
  • Down The Tubes reviews Paragon 4. Read About Comics declares Chicken With Plums to be a strange comic and discusses Parker: The Hunter. The 4th Letter reviews Lone Wolf and Cub: The Bell Warden and Comicsgirl reviewed A Mess Of Everything while Fiction looked at A Girly Comic Book. Then, Comics Worth Reading peeked into the pages of Goats: Infinite Typewriters.
  • This Week in Webcomics brings us news of Penny Arcade’s let – the – reader – decide -our – next – storyline, among other things. And Original Wonders interviews Gigi of Kogoshi.
  • So first there were movies on betamax and then vhs tapes. Next came laserdiscs and dvds and then we could rent all these things from a local rental place. Then came big box rental places and Netflix who said they could mail you dvds. Now cable companies, tv networks and services like Netflix are providing streaming video on the internet while local video rental places have altogether abandoned the vhs tapes (and some are even closing in my area.) The thing that drives these audience preference changes is better quality until the quality is par across the board and then the deciding factor becomes ease of use. So why I am I bordering on boring entertainment tech history? Because Mashable offered up the 9 things that movie companies need to do that’s next in the progression. Movies are likely going the way of free comics on the web – the article cautions to have unobtrusive ads, a place to get extra perks and a site that’s easy to use. We can implement all these things right now on our comic sites and be ahead of or even help define the curve.
  • And how did I ever miss out on this? One of the (currently three) articles discusses how Calvin & Hobbes is a logic trap. It’s very Alice In Wonderland, isn’t it?
  • Kleefeld helpfully points us toward MacPherson’s description of how he scripts a comic and some other things, too.
  • I don’t suppose you’d like to read a new book on making comics? Yeah, me too. I can’t get enough of them. If you happen to be a resident of the UK, perhaps you’d like to be nurtured by some comic professionals. Speaking of mainstream comic creators, I happen to be of the opinion that no one should read your comic and have the discussion pictured here. That drives readers like me away from superhero comics. Once in a while you can change up Green Lanterns or even Robins but I tire of soap opera type plot contrivances that each writer feels they need to bring to an established hero’s mythos. Let Supes be Supes and Bats be Bats already. It’s what we like about them. Uh- that got a little ranty. Time to move on.
  • Down The Tubes interviews Amy Pearson of Mathema. We can also see the development artwork on Major Tom.
  • Want to hear about a positive comic sales experience from an artist? Happy to oblige (and I learned a few things too.)
  • Queeky lets you speedpaint using the Queeky flash program, discuss art and even send your art as ecards. The name struck me as odd at first but the site owner is foreign (German if I read it right) so that’s just a language thing. At the very least you might be inspired by some of the good art, so check it out. Oh – you may also want to see this inking your comic using flash tutorial, too.
  • Speaking of inspiring, Ben suggested this site featuring interviews with various animators like Joe Harris the guy behind Trix Is For Kids and Underdog, among other things.
  • Ever wonder how Warren Ellis writes his scripts? I have and he nicely posted an example. I like his insistance on getting the thing down in writing so you can play with it and the script writing shorthand he uses.
  • The Floating Lightbulb has some good reminders about how we treat our readers and its effect on sales.
  • The Daily Cartoonist gives us the top 20 subscribed comics on GoComics. The comments state that these numbers are based on GoComic account holders and do not represent RSS subscribers – I wonder how many of these comics are distributed via RSS? The comments also tell us that We The Robots is going on hiatus. It’s a nice send-off comic that it ended on, too. That lets me also mention this post from Copyblogger where he talks about when to put a bullet in your blog but I think it applies to online comics too. If no one comments on your site, no one tweets about the comic or links to it and you are really struggling to keep it up – it might be high time to end it.
  • Something else that caught my eye was a suggestion or two about caricaturizing someone. Specifically, do you exaggerate things like their receding hairline or bulging eyes? Even if you don’t do caricatures, you may have cameos by famous faces in your comic where it may be helpful.
  • With all due respect, I don’t know know if I agree with this conclusion that ties censorship with the decline of newspaper cartoons. Newspaper comics are usually gag-a-day ad those kinds of comics are always hit and miss for me. However, I do agree that making them more mediocre for mass consumption doesn’t always help them be fun and interesting. Interesting discussion still rolling on from the ‘Fate of Comics After Newspapers’ article linked in the top thread post.
  • Finally, ever wonder what users find obvious to click on when they visit your site? I do and I stumbled across this wordpress plugin which I’ll try as long as it doesn’t conflict with Google Analytics. The comments say that GA’s site overlay already shows this but it doesn’t seem to show anything at all for this site. Obviously, I can tell that some users jumped from the latest post to earlier posts but the overlay screen shows nothing. I’m probably doing it wrong, ain’t I? If it’s happening to me, it’s bound to be happening to other folks too.


  1. The problem with GA’s overlay is that it considers the source URL as part of the click path, so clicks from the front page only stay recorded if they’re elements which are persistent to the front page. I have the same problem using GA’s overlay on my comic, since the ‘back’ link goes to a different target every time the comic updates.

    A lot of stuff about GA is optimized for sites with static rather than dynamic content, and Google themselves have this odd notion that people should structure their sites such that there are never pages with revolving content – so, for example, rather than having an index page with the most recent comic, they’d prefer that your index page simply redirect people to the most recent comic’s page. It does make their data model easier to deal with but it’s also a bit nasty from the perspective of users, especially since then it becomes MUCH more difficult for users to bookmark a site or whatever.

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