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Cosmic Dash In Print

Max of Cosmic Dash

Win original Hero By Night art! Today only!

I was just told of a cool opportunity to win some original Hero By Night artwork! But it's only for today so anyone interested have to act quick! All you have to do is refer five friends to Hero By Night Diaries, have them comment, then presto!

Finding Your Webcomics Niche

Disclaimer: I don't have the answers.

But I'll offer some of my experiences and hopefully that will help other web cartoonists find their own paths. I've been at the webcomics 'thing' for about 5 years, and I'm not sure if I can categorize it as a success or a continued experiment with no actual intended result in mind...other than getting my work out there into a larger audience, and forcing myself into a regular production schedule. In those terms, it's probably a success.

I think that the webcomics 'model' has serious flaws. A big chunk of web cartoonists are still trying to appease the comic shop crowds, the so-called 'pamphlet' collectors (I hate the term 'pamphlet comics' as it seems to demean the format into insignificance).

Talkin' Balls with Wiz

Chad Diez did some great cover art work for the latest Gigcast. We've got Webcomic News, Talking Balls with Wiz Rollins of There’s Always Porn and Yirmumah, and the Music of The Beatnik Turtles.

Black Webcomic Creators--Holla Back!!!

Where my dogs at?!

News for Wednesday, January 10, 2007

HEADLINES

  • FLEEN is still looking for creators to participate in their statistical analysis project - the deadline is January 31st. This could provide an interesting snapshot of webcomics overall circa end-of-2006 if they can get a statistically significant set of data to work with.
  • Sarah Ellerton, creator of Inverloch,took a new system admin job that leaves her less time for to work on the webcomic. She's also comments on her commitment to finishing Inverloch:
    I'm going to be up front and honest and say that drawing Inverloch no longer holds the joy for me that it used to. Don't worry, I intend to finish it - I'm so close to the end, after all (which I think is probably part of the problem). I just don't want to hear people bugging me about updates and such. It doesn't help the motivation levels. Anyway, I hope that explains the lack of update regularity lately, as well as my absence from the forums and the dozens of unanswered emails.

IF IT QUACKS LIKE A DUCK?

  • Dirk Deppey posts the results of his look at the recent "marketing" campaign by Platinum Studios on behalf of its debut title Cowboys & Aliens. So far my reaction would be characterized as "zzzz....".

    No disrespect meant there to Journalista! - which should be commended for doing actual solid journalism on this story - but I can't seem to get too worked up about this. In a nutshell, it's fairly clear that Platinum spent money to get C&A into stores and that different stores used that money in different ways (some stores may have used it to give away or deeply discount the books but either allegation doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone). This isn't an unheard of practice in other content distribution models, such as books, movies (DVDs), music (CDs), (and even sports (tickets)) where "marketing coops" between publishers and retail outlets are standard practice.

    At the end of the day it seems to me that books leaving stores and getting into customers' hands is a sale. (Maybe that's my webcomic perspective speaking though - we start with the idea that getting a reader counts - even if you give the webcomic away for free!) Admittedly it might not be a profitable sale, but still a book getting in front of a reader. And given Platinum's multimedia business strategy that might actually be the primary focus of what Platinum's trying to do. If this offends some idea of "purity" on the sales charts well I'd like to understand what this "purity" meant before Platinum showed up and for starters, I'd like to see some investigation of Marvel and DC to ensure that they're also "pure".

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS

The Eufos Moves To It's Own Neighborhood

The Eufos has left Drunk Duck and moved to it's own server! For most of you, the transition should be seemless but if you can't find it at the old address you should be using the new one - http://www.theeufos.com .

(For those of you who regularly visit The Eufos via the regular domain (www.theeufos.com) you will not have problems. This only applies to those of you using the DD url.)

News For Tuesday December 19, 2006 (UPDATED)

MAGAZINE

  • A smaller December issue then years past but still full of great webcomic recommendations and plenty of opinions to discuss. There's a slight chance we'll have a few more pieces, but I may hold those until January.
  • I just wanted to say thanks and congrats to Kris Straub who has contributed to Comixpedia for a couple years - first with Modern Humor Authority and this year with Checkerboard Nightmare. Kris' plate has gotten considerably more full lately so he won't have time to contribute next year.

    We'll see you in Xanadu, Mr. Straub... They call it Xanadu.

  • If you have a minute please vote for the Roundtable and People of Webcomics articles over at ComicNe.ws - it's a different crowd at CBR and having Comixpedia articles on the front page over there has helped bring some of their readers over here to check out Comixpedia. At this point it only takes about 6 votes to get something on the front page over there so click that little "c" below your posts if you think it might be of interest.

BUSINESS

A warning to those using google ads and placing images near the ads themselves - that appears to be against Google Adsense's new policy:

Can I place small images next to my Google ads?

We ask that publishers not line up images and ads in a way that suggests arelationship between the images and the ads. If your visitors believe that the images and the ads are directly associated, or that the advertiser is offering the exact item found in the neighboring image, they may click the ad expecting to find something that isn't actually being offered. That's nota good experience for users or advertisers.

Let's All Go To The Movies

Journalista has a significant section today on Scott Rosenberg and Platinum Studios called "Meet the new Scott Rosenberg, the same as the old Scott Rosenberg." (A side note: Rosenberg was included in our People Of Webcomics list this year.) Obviously anyone who has followed Rosenberg in the news this year knows at this point he's been around comics in various ventures for quite some time. A chief, recurring, criticism seems to be that Rosenberg is interesting in comics properties solely for their potential to be licensed to filmmakers and that he does not actual perform the basic publishing function of a comics publisher.

I can't comment too much because I haven't done my homework on this subject, but it does strike me as odd that when numerous creators are abandoning the monthly comic book format for webcomics (albeit with a goal to collection in a graphic novel) that there is an expectation that Platinum would want to vigorously compete in the direct market. It also seems odd to criticize Platinum for using a creator-for-hire approach on its first comic book, Cowboy & Aliens -- isn't that the standard model for the majority of the industry (you know, DC and Marvel)? Deppey reports that a deal from 2004 may require Platinum to put out comic books in order to comply with the deal - to the extent that Platinum is treating such publication as an expense rather than a profit center, I'd think the most obvious question is what does that say about the health of the direct market?

If this is of interest, there's lot more on the topic at Journalista! today.

NEWS ABOUT COMICS NEWS SITES

I didn't realize that it was a common practice for comics publishers to own comics journalists, but today's Journalista! also alerted me to the fact that Platinum Studios bought the comics news site Broken Frontiers earlier this month. (Similarly, Journalista! and TCJ are owned by publisher Fantagraphics.) I'm sincere in asking how do such journalists deal with the obvious conflict of interest this presents? Is there a corporate separation that protects the ability of the journalists to cover the news without interference or does the journalist just not cover their owners?

JUSTIFY MY HYPE

If you haven't been reading ICE by Faith Erin Hicks get over there and check it out (the archives aren't that long). I'm not sure I like the black & white as much as the earlier coloring but that's only as a comparative matter - both periods of the comic are amazing. If you have been reading, the current scene is getting particularly tense as major plots points are revealed.

NOT COMICS

Joe Barbera passed away. I thought this guy's name meant animation when I was a kid.

Around The World in 80 BLOGS

Comixpedia's People Of Webcomics List For 2006

It's the third annual Comixpedia People Of Webcomics List. This was the hardest one yet to compile. There's a lot of webcomics and a lot of people doing interesting things in and around webcomics. This list, as in past years, is an odd effort to compare apples and oranges: artistic achievement, audience popularity, technical achievement, business savvy, news-making impact all go into the mix.

The Comixpedia End of 2006 Roundtable

Our second annual virtual round table on the year in webcomics features comments from Eric Millikin, Daku, Gilead Pellaeon, Mike Russell, Lewis Powell, Alexander Danner, Eric Burns, Michael Rouse-Deane, Johanna Draper Carlson and Gary Tyrrell.