The webcomics blog about webcomics

The Urge Towards Collectivism

It seems like almost every week, there is a new webcomics collective that is started or dies or is reborn

All this activity leads an inquiring mind to, well, inquire. Or at least to wonder.

Why do artists form collectives and why do they join?

Most collectives seem to fall into one of the following broad categories

  • Business collectives – collectives put together for the purpose of making money directly, usually using a subcription model. There aren’t as many of these as there used to be.
  • Service collectives – collectives put together to provide information and artistic and technical support to members. There aren’t as many of these as there should be.
  • Marketing collectives – collectives that provide a unifying brand to promote the works of the artists in the collective.
  • Hosting collectives – collectives that provide hosting services for members.
  • Community collectives – collectives in a more traditional sense of the word, to provide a gathering place for webcomic creators and fans.
  • Artists collectives – collectives that provide an artistic umbrella for works of a certain style or quality

There’s a few more types of collectives, with fewer examples, like vanity collectives, but that’s not the topic under discussion.

All of the types of collectives listed above provide different reasons why artists might want to join a collective.

But I think there’s a simpler reason.

I think that the majority of webcomic artists are lonely geeks living in garrets and basements, and need all the friends they can scare up or pay for.

Or is that just me?

The guy in the picture looks more like a hipster in the “ironic” style… or he’s just a huge geek.

The guy in the picture looks more like a hipster in the “ironic” style… or he’s just a huge geek.

I think this means I am officially old.

Oh, and Jeff, it’s just you.

I think The Ryans counts more as a “Parody Collective”

A little harsh but quite possibly true, I’m sad to say.

Mak – I guess I don’t know who you’re replying to.

If you’re replying to my comment at the end about webcomic artists being lonely geeks… It’s not true at all. Every webcomic artist that I’ve met has been substantially better socialized than I am and has more friends than I do. There’s more than one reason I’m a critic.

My comment is meant entirely as a joke – aimed squarely at myself.

As Jon said – it is just me.

Also, the more I look at that graphic I stole from a book cover, the more I want to see an “A” and a “G” on the chests of those two guys.

Well, the lonely and living in a basement may not apply, but most of the webcomic authors I know, myself included, can certainly be considered geek/nerd-types. Normal is boring. ;)

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