Happy Birthday!

We're hoping that's chocolate icing...

On October 13th, 2010, the Webcomic Alliance opened it’s doors. All those year ago.

One year. That was quick…and it was awfully long.

For certain, October snuck up on us here in the Alliance’s corporate offices. Since no one changed the wall calendar (next to the water cooler) twice this year, we all thought it was still August. Sure that sounds silly, but who can concentrate with all the cowbell, kazoo and crickets making noise around here?

What we’re really trying to say is that we’ve been so busy trying to make stuff for you guys, well, we forgot to get you something extra special.

Although, we kinda did. And we don’t know if you’re going to like him…I mean it. IT. Definitely it.

Okay fine, it is a him and that’s Drezz Rodriguez from El Cuervo the comic. You probably have seen Drezz around here – he’s helped out before and written a few articles and made plenty of comments in…well, the comment section of the articles.

We are proud to announce that Drezz is now a full-time member of the Alliance. Drezz will be sitting in during the podcasts for a little while and offering up some articles. What Drezz brings to the alliance that we’ve been lacking on is long form story expertise! So there you have it..just imagine Drezz standing here with a giant bow on his head!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

So now you’re thinking, “WOW! What a gift, and I didn’t get you anything.”

Well, we’re not too sure you haven’t you see there are over 2000 comments from the last year. Sure most of those are Antoine rambling, but let’s be honest – the interaction is important. And that is WITHOUT the giant mess of a forum.

It would have been extremely easy for us to slap our four dopey faces on the top of this article and while patting ourselves on the back tell each other we did a great job. But the reality is that we didn’t do this alone – you helped. We didn’t keep this going by ourselves. While we enjoy this very much, the comments and sharing of ideas are a driving force to keep us going – and to hopefully keep you coming back.

Remarkably, it’s entirely possible that maybe Drezz isn’t enough. So, this is your opportunity to tell us EXACTLY what you want us to get you. What do you want in the future from the WA? Let us know as we’re considering all options to help celebrate!!

Special thanks to Kurt Sasso, founding member of the Alliance, Todd McElmurry for filling in on the Pick of the Week and Character Challenge spots and everyone else for stopping by reading and commenting. We’d also like to thank the many talented and wonderful people who have filled in on the podcast sharing their issues and knowledge. It’s been a privilege to collaborate with these fine people.

At this point, you can’t see it right now, but we’re swimming in a sea of tears here at corporate. At least we hope those are tears…

So what has been the most valuable thing that the Webcomic Alliance has meant to some of us?

Antoine says:Getting expertise from each and everyone members from the alliance. While I don’t have any specific expertise myself, my 3 counterparts have been able to level up my professionalism and most importantly, to look professional at Conventions. Example: at Toronto Fan Expo back in August (my first ever Con), some people looked at me as someone who’s been doing this for quite a while . I was totally prepared.Dawn says: Definitely the biggest benefit is the connection and bond I have made with this crazy group of idiots, erm– I mean fellow cartoonists. Seriously, it’s great to have brothers whom I can ask a question and get serious, unbiased, uncensored feedback. The balance of inspiration, criticism, and ego-stroking is welcomed and necessary to my process.

Ken says: For me personally, it’s been acceptance and confidence. I’ve been eager to share my professional expertise within the Webcomic community and the Alliance has been a great forum for that and people have genuinely supported what I’ve been lucky to share and that means a lot. Additionally, the support of the other WA members has done wonders for my confidence. It’s truly been amazing and I couldn’t be more appreciative.

Blah, blah, blah – right? Fine – what kind of impact do us prima donnas think we’ve showered the webcomic masses with?

Antoine says:we’ve shown the webcomic community that not only the big guns can bring value in tutorials, podcast, etc.. It is by sharing with everyone that we can grow together.Dawn says: I think many of the active readers and listeners appreciate the free and unabashed advice and information….but more than anything they enjoy our open-door approach and camaraderie we offer. We’re not above anyone, we’re along for the ride like everyone else.

Ken says: aside from the joy brought on by each of us ridiculing each other? In all seriousness, I hope we’ve brought the notion that it’s okay not to have all the answers. It’s okay to have issues and seek out someone who can lead them in the right direction and you’re not as alone as you thought you were.

Finally, what do you geniuses see as the future of the WA?

Antoine says:More COWBELL!Dawn says: I see more of the same. I am hoping very little changes with our general structure, and the “changes” that do occur are reflected more in our comics and our reader’s comics– growing and improving and expanding readerships. And a lot more big fun gatherings at nearby bars after a convention… all due to our little website and podcast and our more-the-merrier attitude.

Ken says: Growth. I think Drezz will help add a voice that’s been missing from the site and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the interaction between not only us and the rest of the community, but with each other and between the individual members of the community.

Speaking of Drezz, we asked him for a couple of sentences on what the WA has meant to him coming from the community side and he came back with the long form version – two paragraphs. Sooo typical of those long-form types!

Drezz says:on behalf of the community, I’d like to thank you all at Webcomics Alliance for building a community to talk and learn about the craft. For the past year, you’ve provided all of us with fantastic free resources that have allowed us to become better authors and creators of content. You’ve created a thriving community that shares and lends a helping hand and has a down-to-earth welcoming atmosphere that is really conducive to getting people who wouldn’t normally interact to contribute and work with other artists.Personally, I’m looking forward to being a part of the Alliance. I’ve been contributing on a smaller scale, but now that I’ve been brought into the fold alongside the main cast, I hope I can provide a different take on the issues presented and help add to the resource pool so everyone can benefit from it. I have a pile of tips and tutorials ready to share, as well as a background in marketing, design, and trade show & event management from my own work experience that I can draw from. I’m excited to help keep this community alive and kicking for many years to come.

Oh, he said something very nice. We’ll have to work on that. 😉

We take it all back. We’re glad he’s here and we’re glad you are too!

What has the WA meant to you and what would you like to see happen in the future?

* Please note that Byron Wilkins was not available for the original version of this article and his thoughts may be added at a later date.

Byron:

All I’ll add to this is that the friendship and the comradery that I’ve developed here at the Alliance is like none else in my professional or personal life.  These guys and gal are the best in my book.  We’ve been through a lot… some tough moments at times, but mostly we’ve had one hell of a fun ride.  It takes a TON of work to do the Alliance and we all do it willingly to help this great webcomic community that has welcomed us with open arms.

There were folks in the beginning that made fun of us, but those people are all quiet now as we’ve shown that we’re in this for the long-term and take this job very seriously.  I have grown soooo much from our discussions and articles, that I know I’m a better artist, businessman and marketer for it.  For that, my friends, you have my undying gratitude and, more importantly, respect.

I will be on a long-term hiatus from the Alliance for a while due to family medical issues and I’m glad Drezz has stepped up to the plate to join this great team.  Welcome.  One word of advice: have fun.

And finally THANK YOU to all our readers and listeners.  You’re the best as well.

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22 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday!! You guys have been an amazing source of inspiration for me this year and I’m incredibly grateful for all the work you do! I can’t wait to hear Drezz’s contributions to the podcast as well! I love El Cuervo and am so happy to see a dramatic long-form contributor on the WA staff!

    Too! Many! Exclamation! Marks!!! YAAAAYYY!!!!

    *flings confetti*

  2. Happy Birthday! I’m a new reader and I gotta say, I’m really impressed with all the articles you guys have packed into this place. The only thing I would like to see in the future would be more info on using traditional/analog techniques in comics (i.e. various methods of inking, using markers or watercolors as opposed to digital coloring).

    Here’s to many more years of awesome!

    • First, thanks for visiting, reading and replying!

      Second, you’re right – we need to incorporate more insight into traditional techniques. I for one definitely need to “brush up” on that stuff!

      Sigh. Sorry, couldn’t resist the brush up… 🙂

      • YES.
        Honestly, I have not worked with ink, markers, pencils or any of those old ancient tools in a loooooong time. Being 100% digital is just so much faster and speed/efficiency is my #1 priority at this point. :0)

        so, yay Drezzy!

  3. I should have put in my contract that I will not be popping out of the cake and singing Happy Birthday Mr. President. Too late.

    I’m glad to be aboard and be a part of the gang. Be prepared for some good old fashioned drawing tutorials, down to earth commentary, and a whole pile of laughs.

    Here’s to the first year! More cowbell!

  4. Happy First Year WA. This has been a fantastic year and as an avid reader of webcomics, it’s been very cool to see behind the curtain and hear about and read about what goes into making the products you guys make week after week. I’ve seen such a growth in the webcomic community as a place to help each other out, and I think WA has been a driving force in that. Y’all have provided a place that people can go and connect and learn and contribute as well.

    It’s been an honor to help contribute my time with the POTW and Character Challenges, and thru this ya’ll have helped me rekindle that love for drawing that I had walked away from decades ago.

    I think it’s awesome that Drezz has joined your site. His long form webcomic has been a favorite of mine for a while, and I’ve watched as he’s grown as an artist and the knowledge he brings to the table will definitely speak to those other long form webcomickers out there.

    I look forward to what the future has in store for you guys and continue wishing you all the best of luck with all of your endeavors. Thank y’all for sharing your time and knowledge.

  5. First off, Congratulations on your first year.
    If it wasn’t for the late nights, long hours and organization of this collection of original members, this site wouldn’t have been able to get off the ground.

    With constant content on a weekly basis, it goes to show you, what time and effort, and dedication can do.

    Best of luck in the coming year.

  6. Congratulations! I started listening to the Webcomic Alliance podcast a few months ago and I really enjoy it. Thanks for dedicating so much time to the craft of publishing comics, you have all taught me a lot.

  7. Pingback: Webcomic Alliance - At the Pub: A year in review

  8. Congrats on one year, Webcomic Alliance! You hard-workin’, fun-lovin’, Webcomic Workshoppin’, comic strip creatin’, con-attendin’ and reportin’, boob-joke talkin’, cowbell ringin’, Pick of the Week pickin’, technique demonstratin’, kazooin’, wine-sippin’, Character Sketch Challengin’, webcomic advisin’, Old Fartin’, positive motivatin’, issue-solvin’, Reader Mailbag answerin’ folks! Go ahead and keep on doing what you guys do so well, I’m certainly a big fan. Thanks for all your super hard work and dedication, it means a lot. Here’s to Birthday 2!

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