Alliance Chat 9

The Alliance Chat: where no topic has gone before!

Welcome to the Alliance Chat! This podcast will be about various topics in not only the comic industry, but nearly anything that effects creators of all types. And sometimes just plain old life issues.

In this podcast, we chat about: Listener issue: I have a long format story that’s just starting to get into the real  meat and potatoes of the storyline. Recently the readers have began to  grow more active with their comments and questions. Whiles its fun to  sit back and watch the fans conjecture about story and characters on  the rare occasion someone will make a post where they have completely  misunderstood/misinterpreted a scene or plot line to a point where they must of read my comic in an alternate dimension. While my own readers will sometimes correct each other there are times when i want to jump in and explain things and/or correct people myself (or perhaps find out what led them to that idea). But I really fight this urge because Im not sure if I should butt in tell people how my story should be interpreted.  So i guess my question is when to talk and when to shut up when talking to readers directly about the comic’s story.


And Robin brings up a great topic about a problem that faces Webcomics is a TON of supply (comics) and limited demand (readers). She wanted to know other industries that have faced this (and we give some examples) but we also want to know what you think on this, so add in your examples in the comments section!  Listen to the podcast, this will make more sense. WHAT?  🙂

Posted in Chat Podcast, Featured News, Podcast.


  1. 10 awesome points to Robin for referencing the “Tipping Point.” As a graphic designer it was actually a text book for me but as a cartoonist, it is INCREDIBLY valuable.

    As far as an over-saturated industry my mind went straight to comic books proper. It’s pretty well known that in the 90’s the boom hit and everyone thought that every comic, especially incentive covers or number 1 issues was going to put their kids through college. With that came a ton of horrible comic titles that only ran like 6-10 issues (sound like any webcomics you know?) only to fade away. And they were only really published so the publishers themselves could announce yet another “#1” issue for that weeks release.

    In this instance, while many of the mainstays survived a lot of the fluff fell to the bargain bins. In our case it should also be noted that alongside the mainstays, titles like “Bone” “Spawn” “Astro City” and “Strangers in Paradise” all had hugely successful runs during that same time period. The key to that success is they were damn good and different.

    So as much as we all get tired of hearing it, and while I openly admit that there are other industries that may give us some clues, the best thing you can do to survive is be undeniably good.

  2. There is at least one comic I’m aware of that does a “chose your own adventure” style storyline. It’s called Drowtales – I won’t link it because a lot of it is NSFW, but they have a subscription model, and if you’re a subscriber, you get to read all of their comics, and if you’re a subscriber at a slightly higher level, you get to vote. It’s an interesting idea though I think they charge way too much, I think it was $18/mo to be a voter, but the art is really quite good and apparently it’s become a sustainable model for them.

    I do think it would be interesting to do a “pay a buck to vote” thing every so often to see if that would generate some interest and revenue. I’m not sure how that would work on the technical side though.

    • MS Paint adventures sort of started out in that fashion, except the next image in the sequence came from a reply in a forum, so that’s why you have so many odd things happening in the storylines. When you don’t give people a choice and allow them to run with it, you relinquish control over the tone of your work and it can change (usually to something odd and hilarious) very quickly.

      A CYOA type of comic would have to be very controlled – with limited options, if you wanted it to go a certain way.

      • I’m pretty sure DrowTales does it with a poll, so the writers can still control the overall story line, but the options are things like who sleeps with who, does the party go to the control room or the engine room, stuff like that. Detail stuff. Though I believe even major story events can be resolved that way, but it’s still something the writers can plan for no matter how it goes. It’s an interesting model. If I had unlimited bandwidth I’d love to do something like that.

  3. We actually did a comic/interactive type thing back in 2008 or 2009. People could submit caption to the word balloons via Twitter. Since Twitter was younger and we didn’t have to means to do a lot with it we stopped. Thom mentioned the other day he would like to bring it back. He probably will. It is still out there somewhere. It was called Whale Crash. Partly because of Twitter and mostly because of a comic he was working on right before that had a flying and crashing whale in it.

  4. Thank you for answering my question!!! I think a lot of points were brought up that were all good suggestions on how to clarify things better for the readers, some of that being my overly subtle story telling techniques and also creating a wiki in the future (though that is a great deal of work ^__^;).

    Also “Dragon Pulp” is a choose your own adventure comic that uses a voting system!

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