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Steve Harrison

PC Weenies #1000, Baby!

The 1000th edition of PC Weenies has everything you want in a comic: Babes, Geeks, guest-stars, zombies and ghouls, DEATH, and even an XBox 360. Be there, true-believer, or ELSE!

Comic Theory 101: Loopy Framing

In another installment of Neil Cohn's continuing series Comic Theory 101, Cohn puts word balloons, thoughts balloons and panels under the microscope and concludes that they're all essentially the same animal -- one that has the function of encapsulating other information.

Digital Distribution, Story Of The Year?

Is digital distribution of comics going to get its breakthrough this year? Marvel confirming digital distribution and Top Cow's first Bambiesque steps on the digital ice, as well as whatever it is that DC has planned has been making headlines so far.

Death, Superheroes, And Comics On The Web

Spoiler warning

Trolling, Vandalism and Dragonfiend

Wiki Watch

As was noted throughout the week, T Campbell tracked down Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and webcomics-focused Wikipedia editor Dragonfiend for interviews regarding the intersection of webcomic and Wikipedia. Although the interview with Wales is short, the interview with Dragonfiend provides a snapshot of what is probably a pretty typical attitude amongst self-described "wikipedians" towards Wikipedia itself and its role and mission.

One thing that popped out at me, however, was Dragonfiend's reference to a short-lived (now deleted) Comixpedia.org article about which Dragonfiend said:

To give a webcomics-related example, if I'm trying to research webcomics over on a wiki with much more indiscrimnate content policies, like comixpedia.org, I'll find articles like this one on the webcomic [now deleted entry] . Without requiring this topic to be noted by several independent reputable sources, we won't know whether this webcomic is of any importance, or just something that somebody made up one day and posted on the internet.

Here's the thing though - within a minute of looking at that entry I knew it was an example of wiki-vandalism. The supposed external link didn't work. Google.com had no record of the URLs, title, creator or anything about the supposed comic. Within a few more minutes I knew that the user account (unlike Wikipedia, Comixpedia.org does restrict editing to those who sign up for user accounts) had been used solely to create a couple of obnoxious and completely made-up entries. Within a few more minutes after that though (all through the magic of google.com) I knew that this Comixpedia user id was the same as a user id at Wikipedia banned for creating the same kind of entries that the user id created at Comixpedia.org. (Even some of the entries and terms in the entries between Comixpedia.org and Wikipedia were the same!)

What's that prove? Well the first thing it suggests to me is a bit of bad faith on Dragonfiend's part. From picking the most obnoxiously offensive entry s/he could find to picking an entry that was so obviously false it's hard to not to assume Dragonfiend was employing emotional rhetorical tactics simply to make Comixpedia.org (and webcomics generally in her mind) look bad. But since it was so obviously demonstrably false (and one that an active wikipedian like Dragonfiend had additional reason to suspect its status as vandalism) it seems to me that it's an example that backfires on Dragonfiend completely. No one needed "several independent reputable sources," to know this was a made-up entry - it took less then 10 minutes with Google.

I think what her comment proves is that all wikis are susceptible to vandalism - it's one of the weak points in the model. No doubt Wikipedia does not like it when the largest media publications in this country present out of context vandalized entries as examples of Wikipedia "scholarship", and neither does Comixpedia.org.

Who's Making A Living At This?

I'm a little depressed this week, because I had to divert much of my time away from making webcomics to beginning new web design contract jobs, which makes up the majority of my income.

Print On Demand? Do It Yourself!

Putting your webcomic into print can be a good idea for all kinds of reasons. Grant Thomas talks about the reasons why webcomic creators ought to consider making mini-comics, the do-it-yourself way to put webcomic to paper.

News For Thursday, January 4, 2007 (UPDATED)

HEADLINES

INTERVIEWS

  • Wizard interviews Nick Gurewitch, creator of Perry Bible Fellowship. Gurewitch mentions that the first print collection of PBF is due this September or October.

NOT COMICS

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

  • Websnark is back with the almost obligatory comment on the end of Narbonic and an interesting spin on Home On The Strange. My immediate reaction to Eric's post on HOTS was that he was reading way too much into it to fit it into a neat little framework he had cooked up but still an interesting essay. In the comments, both creators of HOTS show up at the very end and add a few reactions to the post.
  • FLEEN looks at the webcomic Russell's Teapot.
  • More star-studded comments on the year that was 2006 at The Beat: part 3 (includes Shaenon Garrity and Svetlana Chmakova), part 2 (includes Dean Haspiel and ) and part 1.

Project Wonderful Update

Some great new changes to Ryan North's Project Wonderful auction ad service including two I thought I'd highlight:

1. You can bid on ad "boxes" - this means if you want an ad on Comixpedia, for example, you can bid once for the cheapest of the three PW slots here.

2. Bids by the penny below ten cents - this is good for smaller sites where you might buy an ad for 4 or 5 cents but not the previous minimum of 10 cents.

Second - I'm putting sometime in focusing on the webcomics encyclopedia at comixpedia.org to try and improve it and make it more valuable to the Comixpedia community. I think I've sorted out how to run Project Wonderful ads on it now - they're fairly unobtrusive and should help bring in a few more dollars to the Comixpedia coffers so I can start paying people to work on things around here again. If you're interested go to Comixpedia.org now.

Project Wonderful & Comic Space Update

An advertising industry site, ClickZ, covers Ryan North's Project Wonderful. As PW grows it certainly has the potential to pull in a wider variety of advertisers which will help bring more money into webcomics (as opposed to concerns that it's just shuffling it around).

Two things from the article: one who is the other person in Ryan North's "two man operation"? and two, excuse a moment of jealousy from me as my mind boggles at Josh Roberts' expectation to clear $1000 this month from ads on Comicspace.com. Wow.

A small favor: If you read/write/support Comixpedia tag your comicspace.com account with "comixpedia" - all of us will show up here.