♦ Pigs of the Industry favorably reviewed Brother of Bronze Hammer and panned Witch Phase while Koltreg gave a B- to Byrobot. Webcomics Critique wasn’t too impressed with Tara Normal while mpd57 seemed to think In Maps and Legends will take the gold. He also looked at Model Student, Peabody and D’Gorath and calls Slam McCracken underrated. Webcomic Musings reviewed The System Comic and – since I don’t recall linking to that site before – you may want to read more of Luprand’s reviews such as The Crooked Gremlins, Squid Row, The Institute of Metaphysics and Amu’s World. I love the rating system.
♦ Optical Sloth looked at a number of Slam Bangs, Only Skins, comics by Gareth Brookes and Big ‘Un Visits The City. High Low was pretty enthralled by Monsters and PS comics as Lines and Colors dug into Imaginative Realism. The Daily Crosshatch sung the praises of childhood in a review of Ochre Ellipse and Read About Comics looked at Papercutter. And it goes without saying that Thomas Wogan Is Dead.
♦ The Webcomic Beacon has a trading card contest going that you might want to check out. Calamities of Nature is looking for three good strips in this year’s Guest Strip Contest.
♦ Koltreg interviewed Byron Hussie and Dirk Manning was asked about a variety of his work. A Nickel’s Worth talked with Lucas Turnbloom while Robot 6 talked with various Zuda contestants and Derik B has been busy. You can also check out Katie’s Widevison card and Smash Comics made the case for all-ages comics. And where did all those Flight artists go? Inquiring minds want to … well, you know… know.
♦ Manga Journal had advice about ten webcomic mistakes not to make, Forces of Geek encouraged us to listen to the words and the Intern offered up some advice about avoiding Triumph Bombs. The Project Fanboy forums dissect a script and offers up some constructive thoughts. Kleefeld talked about visual metaphors in manga which reminded me that I wanted to find and bookmark a site that lists some of these manga visual shortcuts. (There’s also an anime list to consider, too.) I also have to ask: What else does the cat add to this cartoon? Is it a little something silly to reinforce the humor? Try blocking it out with your thumb and you’ll see the comic is far weaker in impact. Interesting. Fraggmented also helped us understand why Goldfinger works as a movie and Tracy Brady gives some advice on how to end your comic.
♦ The Wizard of Id turned 45 and Comic Attack interviewed Andi Ewington of 45. Roger Langridge answers the very important question about having real humans be guest stars in the Muppet comic
♦ Journalista‘s news post mentioned (awhile back) an article about digital survival which you’ll want to read. I particularly like this line: “Where online retail was once a rival of bricks-and-mortar business, they are now kindred spirits – both selling physical products in an age when consumers increasingly think of media as intangible bits and bytes…” This has interesting consequences for media such as comics not only surviving but thriving in new ways. For example, superhero comics may always remain but may one day no longer be the only genre the public imagines when they hear the word comic. The AV Club did a best comics of the decade which included some internet comics.
♦ In other (old) news I meant to talk about earlier, Newsarama is part of OmniPresentMedia‘s bid to take over the entire world’s news supply. Actually, that’s more than a bit overstated on my part but I found it interesting to discover that LiveScience, for example, exists in order to provide news to Yahoo and USAToday, among others. So let me make sure I have this straight: Entities have been formed simply to create news for multiple news outlets. I’m sure this is probably an age old practice but I hadn’t thought about it before. I always figured Space.com was something NASA ran as a side project but I see the Newsarama (and other) logos at the top of the page. Please note that the comic world is pretty subjective at its core, so I’m not too worried about Newsarama’s objectivity or whatever. I’m not trying to pick on Newsarama – they did, after all, break the acquisition story themselves. I am more concerned with sites that try to hide their affiliations – I will have to keep a better eye on the little site disclaimers on everyone else’s sites. And I’m not sure I want ads on Twitter, while I’m being all cranky. In any case let’s get back to comics: Newsarama looked at the wealth of Flash costumes to be seen in Flash: Rebirth and the gateway comics that turn regular people into comic readers.
♦ Meanwhile, Rocket Bomber talked about the first four of twenty graphic novels available for free as an e-book for your computer. And these new FTC regs are pretty ridiculous despite my comments above.
♦ I have to ask: What else does the cat add to this cartoon? Is it a little something silly to reinforce the humor? Try blocking it out with your thumb and you’ll see the comic is far weaker in impact. Interesting. Fraggmented also helped us understand why Goldfinger works as a movie and Tracy Brady gives some advice on how to end your comic.
♦ And that has me thinking about how more and more artists are eschewing set update schedules (for some kinds of comics) and ending comics rather than letting them be on permanent hiatus. I’m musing that this will make comics on the web a bit more valuable to readers. If you had thought Calvin & Hobbes was going to end someday, you might’ve paid more attention to it while it was ‘fresh.’ For me, reading-after is not as enjoyable as first-reading just like watching a live game is more exciting than watching a recording. Of course, it appears that to some, Bill Watterson is dead. Not literally. Don’t get excited because you started scan reading three paragraphs ago. =)
♦ Scott McCloud passed on a request for participation in research on comic reader demographics. It sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? It’s just a 58 question poll with some stereotypical and unexpected (to me) multiple choice questions.
♦ Can your skin hear? These folks say that our senses of hearing and touch are connected. I find myself wondering if that can’t be leveraged to improve comic readers sensory perceptions of the story’s events. For an impractical example, I suppose that one could stamp sound effects on pages (like those fancy covered comics in your collections from the 90’s.) I think there’s probably a more subtle application in there somewhere.
♦ This started out as one inspirational thought to end the news post but has turned into a preachy monster. I considered saving them and distributing them throughout further news posts but maybe it’s better to get the pain out of the way in one fell swoop. Here goes…don’t be afraid of setting reasonable goals for your online efforts. Fear is the mindkiller, as you know. Create your work at a pace convenient for you without being too much of a slacker and maybe without reader input. Follow your passion if you really believe in what you’re doing.