Webcomic News Round-up: Early 2012

If you’re a business-minded creator, you know it’s best to keep up with the latest news in our ever-growing field. The Webcomics business is still very much in it’s early stages, and while the technology-based media (like, say, PC Mag) will run articles on the latest-and-greatest webcomics out there, most of the country is still in the dark about the concept of a “webcomic”. It’s exciting to be ahead of the curve, but this is also a fast-paced roller coaster medium. Strap yourself in and keep both eyes forward, it’s amazing what you’ll miss if you’re not paying attention.

Lets see what’s going on out there….

One Million on Kickstarter?!!!!

Thinking about using Kickstarter to get financial help to get your comic printer? How much do you think you’d need to do that? How’s ONE MILLION DOLLARS sound? Well, if your name is Rich Burlew and you make a popular comic called “Order of the Stick”, you got it.

“It turns out I had this huge geeky safety net out there that I didn’t know about this whole time, made up of people who have been reading my comic for nine years but never contacted me,” Burlew tells Comic Riffs shortly before the drive’s close.

Holy Jebus, dude.

 

Your Favorite Old Video Games… as Webcomics?

Namco-Bandai says it’s gonna be sa-weet. Under the project name “ShiftyLook “, they will start converting over some of the old favorites, like “Sky Kid”, into a webcomic storyline. Could be cool, could be kinda cheesey. I fear a Tekkon comic packed with reality-show-type-drama amongst the characters, or forcing a bizarre story about ghosts running off with the Misses, into the simplistic Pac Man dynamic.

Pereyda also told ANN that each webcomic series will have a three-month run, and if a series is popular it will continue its run after that three-month period. Pereyda also told ANN that ShiftyLook plans to release the webcomics in print form.

Hmmm.. yeah… not super optimistic about this venture. Let ’em prove me wrong.

 

Speaking of Video Games… PAX East here to stay

As many of your know, the granddaddy of the webcomics video game genre, Penny Arcade, now hosts their own dang comic con for comic-lovers as well as gamers. The main convention is in Seattle, but when PAX East came to Boston in 2010 and 2011, it left a gamer-sized thumbprint there– and now has announced a 10-year deal with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

“We’re thrilled to host PAX East for at least 10 more years,” said James Rooney, executive director of the MCCA, in a news release. “Hosting an event for the next decade that draws gamers from around the globe to Boston is fantastic, but the international attention it brings to the incredible technological advancements coming out of the Commonwealth is a win‐win.”

 

What constitutes as stealing, for a mobile app?

It’s a debate going on currently– if you create an app for iphone/adroid/ipad, and use the comics from RSS feeds with some ads slapped on to earn money, is it stealing? You ARE earning money from other people’s products, so I would think so. Maybe not as offensive as selling books full of webcomics you swiped off the internet, but still. MTV Geek covers the story:

“The app was really just a highly specialized RSS reader. Most, if not all, of the comics have RSS feeds available. So how does this app differ from a regular RSS reader that a user could just select some webcomics on their own”

The app in question has been removed, but the idea isn’t a new one and it surely won’t be the last. What do you think of apps like these? Would they be giving your comic more exposure, or stealing your comic to make profit that you won’t ever see?

 

If You Enjoy Our Pick of the Week, Here’s Another One to Watch….

Comics Alliance (we realize you may be doing a double-take– but yes, we are the WEBcomic Alliance, but there’s another Alliance out there!) posts a weekly spotlight article called “Best Webcomics Ever (This Week)” which highlights some you may not have heard of. This week’s include the Confederate-Nazi-Post-WWII “Odessa”, the magically Potter-esque “Gunnerkrigg Court”, an Oatmeal alternative for pop-culture geekery “Rock, Paper, Cynic” plus more.

 

New Tech Goodies for Digital Artists…..

OOOooooooo… ahhhhhhhhhhh……. SQUEEEEEEEE!

 

The Finalists are in!

If you spend any time on social media with other cartoonists, you may have heard about this one. The Washington Post has continued it’s annual “best of” contest to nominate and then vote for the best webcomics of the past year. March 7th the finalists were announced and the polls open to the internet to decide the winner. This year the leader in the voting has really taken off….. looks like the winner will be……..

Please, like I was gonna blurt it out right here.

 


Dawn Griffin is a self-described “crazy chick”. She likes steak, Cleveland sports, video games and oh yeah, comics. She spent her high school years either playing street ball, pitching, or drawing comics and submitting them to syndicates. Once she –accidentally– discovered the world of webcomics, the sydication route became a pointless hurdle. After all, “Crazy Chicks” do things their *&%$ selves. Dawn is the mastermind behind Zorphbert and Fred, and the illustrator of the Abby’s Adventures kids book series. She can be easily bribed with ice cream.

 

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Posted in Business, Featured News, Tech, Webcomic News and tagged , , , , .

7 Comments

  1. This is a great article topic! I was aware of half of these…and completely ignorant of the other half!

    Interesting note on the Order of the Stick $1-million – I was listening to a Tall Tale Radio episode where Tom interviewed Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary. Howard described that kickstarter as both an incredible success, and a “complete failure” — really interesting reasoning on that train of thought, especially for the business-minded folk. Definitely worth a listen!

    You can find that:
    http://www.talltaleradio.com/episode-138-howard-tayler/

    • kickstarter is quite the phenomenon.. it’s like the professional way to beg for money LOL. Seems like you’d get way more of a turn-out than if you asked to take pre-orders with a paypal button right on your site. Thanks for the suggestion, I love me some Tall Tale w/ Tom Racine :0)

  2. Great round up. I think the question on the APP is whether it actually linked back at all to the creators site. Probably should have been an opt in in that case.

  3. As one of the comic artists who was listed on that app, it’s not the app I took issue with so much as it was that they charged 2$ to use it, and never asked me if I wanted to be included or if it was okay with me! The free version, as you guys have said, was covered in ads…Again, it probably would not have been such a big deal if the creator had bothered to get permission from artists/creators before adding their rss to their for-profit app.

    What also really burned me was that he gave no links back on the app’s website. All the comics in the app were listed, but none of them were given links. That’s pretty lame! It’s essentially forcing the app user to depend on the app, and never giving them the option of going to the comic’s homepage to become involved in the community, read a blog entry, like it on facebook etc etc.

    So really he made two huge faux-paus with that app.

    1- He didn’t ask permission! So many webcomic artists are easy going and would have readily said okay if he’d only ASKED!
    2- He didn’t provide any credit or links back on his site. Not cool, man! You always give credit to the source!

    • Yup, it seems the biggest difference is that RSS is free, and an app like this actually earns money, none of which goes to the artists. The least that could be done is to ask permission, or even offer a small payment for the rights to “sell” their comic! And the lack of linking back to the site is not only a screwing the creators, but a pain for the readers who’d like to play archive catch-up. All in all, a bad decision & execution. Good to hear from someone directly involved, it sure has caused a bit of a commotion. Thanks for the comment Icarus!

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