The webcomics blog about webcomics

Two Things Today

First off, there has been much talk in Webcomics (capital W, proper noun as Tycho reminds us) since small times of special interest strips versus general interest strips. Some decry special interest strips (and the decrying seems to be especially loud if the interest is video games); others wonder if it’s even possible to launch a general interest strip at all. Enter Unshelved, with items of note from both SxSW and the PLA conference; the latter is the more interesting one. From the Unshelved blog, a story about what happens when you create a strip about librarians and surround yourself with them:

We were mobbed. I thought I understand being mobbed before, but several times I looked up today and saw crowds of twenty or thirty fans deep, all wanting shirts, jackets, bags, hats, books, and of course limited-edition badge ribbons. Our exhibit hall neighbors were impressed and maybe a little scared.

Long story short, in two and a half hours we made as much money as the entire five days of Comic Con 2005.

Al Franken wrote something like this in Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot when he described the stand-up gig known as the “industrial” — you get paid by a trade group to appear before an audience that’s composed entirely of their members, and all it takes is an occasional nod to whatever it is they do and they go crazy. It’s like you exist to entertain only them, even if 90% of your material is generic. Now if you entirely tailor a strip to an under-served (in entertainment terms) audience, they’ll love you with American Cash Money. Some call that selling out; you might want to think of it as buying in.

Second item, it’s I-CON 25 in Stony Brook this weekend, and webcomickry will be amply represented by the likes of Greg Dean, R Stevens, Ghastly, and a pair of reprobates who are probably up to no good. Given that Randy has just decompressed from a schedule beyond crowded, and that Jon is, well, Jon, I’d advise all attendees that the very best way to make friends with either of them would be to recite the magic words:

Would you like this six-pack of IPA and/or bottle of Scotch?

And if you should happen across a dead-drunk webcomicker, the hospital is here; it’s a university, they’ve seen intoxihol cases before. If you need help carrying them, ask Hercules, the Beastmaster, or Mister Sulu. I’m sure they’d be pleased to help out.

Everything on the internet is a special interest something. That’s how the internet works.

I’d like to take a moment to share with the rest of you all exactly how much less the experience of reading Gary’s words is compared to the experience of hearing them.

To put it mildly, in my opinion it is entirely impossible to understand Gary’s meaning when he says “Jon is, well, Jon” without knowing exactly how that phrase would drawl off his moustachioed lips.

So I highly recommend dragging yourself to some convention in which he is standing up for the CBLDF, and demanding – nay, BEGGING – him to say those particular words.

If enough people do it, it will be a movement.

I think he queried Frank Miller in SF at WonderCon, where Frank droped the f-bomb that he is pro-bush pro-war. You should have heard that audience gasp. Continuing an interview after that was *magic*.

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