Monthly Archives: March 2010
An excerpt from THE WEBCOMIC ARMAGEDDON, A FANFICTION:
El Santo finds himself all alone in a dark alley. The flashfight had been brief and tense. He had barely escaped with his life. Finding temporary solitude, he adjusted his mask and lit a cigarette.
All of the sudden, lightning flashed across the skies. El Santo found himself face-to-face with webcomic uber-villain and intercontinental bon vivant known as the Fiendish Dr. R. He was elevated above the ground, propelled upward by the Smug Sense of Self Satisfaction. A flapping cape was draped over his arm, which he ominously lifted over his face.
“At last we meet, you infernal luchador,” he bellowed. Lightning flashed again, and for a short moment El Santo could make the outline of his big elephant ears and his potato-shaped nose. “Webcomics are but the domain of foolish dreamers who are destroying the industry! You will be but the lastest sacrifice in our rise to glory. The Media Syndicate shall rise again!” He laughed maniacally, an ungodly yet melodious cacaphony that was a mix of Dr. Doom, Raul Julia’s M. Bison, and Simon Cowell.
Attempting to make a comeback, El Santo whipped out a smartphone and pulled up the first webcomic bookmark he could find. The Fiendish Dr. R. sneers. “You pitiful imbecile. You have only proven to me that which I have warned you before: webcomic creators are nothing more than t-shirt salesmen.”
El Santo looked at his screen and he noticed that he’d brought up Natalie Dee, created by Natalie Dee. But… is it a webcomic? It looks like … well, frankly, it looks like a cheap-o t-shirt design. Could it be that the Fiendish Dr. R. … is right?
Technology to keep your eye on: we’re living in a rapidly changing world where desktops gave way to laptops, and those seem to be giving way to smartphones and eReaders. There are a few schools of thought on how webcomics should adapt. The first is to do nothing, since the devices will have to catch up to the parameters of online content. The second is to provide a secondary, mobile platform for the smaller devices. The second seems to be winning out, since — and you smartphone users can probably relate — reading stuff of your phone’s tiny screen can be migraine-inducing. This is worse for webcomics, by the way, since the text in the word balloons just doesn’t scale to readable levels without cropping out the art.
Scott Kurtz announced his new PvP app for the iPhone, which is downloadable free through iTunes. While app-enabled comics have been available through other channels for some time, this is the only time I’ve seen it implemented for short-form webcomics (or as Scott calls it, “dailies”). It looks like that the day’s comic strip is free for reading, while comic books (like PvP #1) is available for a $0.99 purchase.
I haven’t given the app a test run yet, but it’s sure to be easier than the regular routine of zooming and squinting.
Scott Sava, creator of The Dreamland Chronicles (which I reviewed not too long ago) got a fairly lengthy interview in The Tennessean. The article points out one of the advantages of online publishing over print:
After putting the first three issues in stores, Sava realized his target audience wasn’t prone to visit a comic shop. The story’s melodramatic tones, budding romance between an elf and a college student, dance teaching rock-giant and collection of fantasy creatures appeal to adolescent girls and pre-pubescent boys.
“The fan base isn’t the kind of people who walk into comic book stores,” Sava said. “That’s your 13- to 35-year-old men or fanboys.”
The Web site allows Sava to interact with his fans.
CL: What kind of determination does it take to self-publish?
JS: It’s a lot of work. You have to find and research printers. Educate yourself so you give accurate info to get a proper quote. Then follow through the process of approval, printing and delivery. You need to find out what different distributions options are available to you and which you want to go with. Then promote it. Interviews, mailers, ads, message boards whatever works. You also have to pay for all your costs and deal with all the issues that pop up along the way. So along with determination you need to be optimistic, stubborn and masochistic.
CL: Did you consider pitching the story to a publisher before going the self-publishing route?
JS: Yeah but only half-heartedly. I’m not opposed to having a publisher but I was drawn to the idea of doing it on my own. There are a number of self-publishers that I admire and I wanted to be a part of that world.
(h/t Robot 6.)
In the comments section of one of my most recent reviews, a commentor asked: why not do a review of Emmy Cicierega for Women’s History Month? Now, I’ve been very lax in doing reviews for specific months — let’s not talk about the time I forgot about Double Value Coupon Month — but I thought I’d take this commentor up on the offer just because I love Emmy’s style. She doesn’t have an “official” webcomic site up yet: drawings can be found on her LiveJournal and her DeviantArt. But how can you not love her retro sensibilities and her keen sense of 1950′s pop art? Don’t miss her 1950′s doyenne of domesticity, Doris, as she tries to get her rib on and responds in the only reasonable way to a Macy’s Sale.
It’s time, once again, to get ready for the Academy Awards! Or as Hollywood press reporters and AdAge.com call it, “The Superbowl for Women.” This year’s crop is incredibly interesting. Since expanding the field from 5 nominees to 10, the Oscars now include movies that people actually saw. Shocking, I know!
Let’s take a look at what webcomic types have to say about the nominees:
- The incomparable Emmy Cicierega takes a look at some Avatar fans who take their obsession a bit too far on her EmmyC LiveJournal.
Theater Hopper (or Brandon Carr, who did the guest strip) is probably one of those nerds.
Multiplex sits down on Santa’s lap and mediates both sides of the raging civil war over Avatar.
- Multiplex also wonders: which movie was really Juno for black people?
- You know a great site for webcomics about movies? Joe Loves Crappy Movies. Sometimes he watches not-so-crappy movies, like Disney’s Up.
- I’m going to also assume Up In the Air was similarly not crappy, though I’ve never seen it so what do I know?
- The HiJInks Ensue crew goes on a flavor adventure in the culinary wonderland that is District 9.
- Finally, Chud.com gives us a tantalizing glimpse of a world where Jack Kirby wrote Inglourious Basterds. (Yeah right I was going to link you to the digital comic from Playboy.)
So who’s going to win the Oscars this year? Why not click on this link to a guy who’s something of an authority on the matter.