The webcomics blog about webcomics


Today, I was browsing through the archive of PvP, trying to gather data with which to answer a question posed to me by Mr Kurtz. Anyway, I got side tracked and started to think about the different ways that different comics archive their strips and how important it is. PvP uses a fairly simple calender based archive, which is fine if you’re reading the whole thing through from start to finish, but is somewhat unweildy when it comes to finding specific strips or storylines. As I mentioned in my review, Irregular Web Comic has a versatile archiving system that makes it quick and easy to find your favorite strips. Penny Arcade also has a searchable archive. Beaver and Steve goes one better by having a searchable archive and a Wiki entry for nearly all of its strips.

I think a versatile archive is important to a web comic. If your fans like your comic then they will want to spread the word by showing their favorite strips to their friends. I hate having to search through the Mac Hall archives for like a half hour to show someone the car ninja strip. In fact, I wanted to link to the road trip/butt sex strip but I got pissed off looking for it so I linked the car ninja instead.

Yeah, a nice archive system is one of those things that is never required for a comic to succeed, but will definitely help fans to adore you.

Being able to find the strip that had the dude with the thing in the place is a hundred times worse if all you have to browse through is a thousand dates in the calendar.

I got a new website about to launch in a month or so and the PvP archives are going to be searchable.

ComicPress for WordPress comes with a fully sortable/searchable archive.

Can see it in action here.

How about the Oh No Robot engine? With the right amount of fanbase it can turn into a helpful little trinket.

Strange, I always start out trying to show people a car ninja and it always ends in sodomy.

[…] So, something PJ wrote got me to thinking about what makes for a good webcomic — archives that you can easily (and freely) navigate are the key advantage of webcomics over their print brethren, despite certain business models to the contrary. Jeff once remarked on the importance of infrastructure, including navigation, forum, and blurb space. And I’ve written about the importance of legibility in artwork. But what else is necessary for a really good webcomic? […]

My webcomic site has only a calendar archive because it’s the only kind I’ve ever found useful. There are archives I’ve started and abandoned because I couldn’t find the place where I left off.

I’d love to get in on OhNoRobot, if for no other reason than Ryan was very helpful when I corresponded with him about it, but the upshot of the correspondence was that I need to learn PHP before OhNoRobot is an option for me.

(Meanwhile, if you’re ever looking for a particular AKOTAS, there are email and message board links on the website for you to reach me, and I keep a spreadsheet.)

For the record, I finally found the buttsex comic and this thread at the same time:

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