The webcomics blog about webcomics

Not Really Mainstream Media

So, the New York Times has discovered webcomics (sorta), as described here, here, and elsewhere; one wonders if between DJ Coffman and Drunk Duck, Platinum Studios will actually publish a comic book one day.

Ironically, the Times coverage of webcomics appears about the same time as some other media outlets. First up, over at the web version of Wizard, an interview with evil genius Jon Rosenberg. I don’t read Wizard, but I gather that a number of people are finding their web content much better than their print content. Rosenberg, who seems to be conquering the media these days, will also be the subject of a print article in Business 2.0 (estimated for December’s issue); the thrust of the article is likely to be about merchandising and how small merchants (like webcomics) can use the ‘net to accomplish their goals.

What this media blitz is really saying to me is, once again, collectives matter. Wizard ran their interview with Rich Stevens not long ago; in numerous interviews since his syndication deal, Stevens has been talking up his Dumbrella-mates. Following the B2.0 piece on Rosenberg, who knows what kinds of interest might be drummed up in Messers Rowland, Allison, Cloud, Brown, and Bell (some of whom appear as background elements in the photos taken to accompany the story). Heck, in the Wizard piece, Rosenberg also pushed Dayfree and Blank Label — even if yours is a strip in either of those collectives that Rosenberg didn’t mean to pimp, it got pimped anyway by association. That’s a powerful incentive for an ambitious webcomicker to a) join/form a collective; b) not suck; and c) make sure your fellow creators don’t suck, either.

Speaking of Blank Label, Paul Taylor has announced October 2nd as the target return date for Wapsi Square. Speaking purely for myself, Taylor should take as long as he needs to take care of his family; I’ll be waiting when he’s ready to get back to us. In the meantime, check out the photo of his son; that is one powerfully adorable picture right there. If you haven’t done so yet, consider dropping a few bucks into his donation link.

Update: The boys at PA have their way with the Platinum Studios announcement. Would-be exploiters of webcomics, ignore them at your peril.

I agree with the emphasis on collectives. It seems really hard to predict who will get mainstream attention (Diesel Sweeties being in papers before PvP or other newspaper suitable strips like Joe and Monkey), so it makes sense to be part of a group in order to help market yourself.

This has converted me from thinking collectives were kind of an OK idea to seeing how much they are awesome.

I wish that some wonderful webcomic related blog would write an article about some of the nice and friendly low to mid-level webcomic collectives that are lurking out there in the wilds of the internet.Especially ones that are currently seeking new comics to absorb…(as this kind of information is surprisingly hard to stumble upon.)

There’s a list of collectives on [url=]Comixpedia[/url].

Fleen has written about collectives before.

But really, the best way to get into a nice and friendly low-to-mid-level webcomic collective that’s currently seeking new comics to absorb…

is to START one.

It only takes TWO comics to be a collective…

Hear, Hear.

However, it is harder than you think to start a collective. I am a founding member of the Chameleon Collective, a “nice and friendly low to mid-level webcomic collective” that you mentioned in a recent blog. Unless you are looking for minimal involvement and growth in the collective as a whole, then it becomes very demanding. When it starts growing, it gets even more demanding, especially if you want to stand out and do something different. Starting and maintaining a collective is hard work, and often times it is more than the members can bear.

Of course, you could argue that if you aren’t up to putting in the work to maintain a collective then you might not want success badly enough, or deserve it. But most people out there with webcomics either have school or work as well as a personal life. For them, doing a webcomic is taxing enough and putting a collective on top of that is too much.

So if you’re going to start a collective, you should know that it will take a lot of work to make it even simply worth your while.

[…] His analysis of “movers” and “shakers” in the early days, his dissection of business models, his insight into the nature of collectives (Blank Label Comics: [Y]ou do exactly what every other collective did, except you issue a press release saying you were the first.), and his recognition of significant milestones in webcomics (up to September 2006, and the acquisition of Drunk Duck by Platinum Studios) are all neatly formatted and contain a minimum of spelling errors. […]

[…] The wider world became a bit more aware of us this year, between established publishers like Platinum and Viper deciding to get in on the game, and Gene Yang getting a National Book Award nomination, and Scott Kurtz becoming an Eisner laureate/being named a Guest of Honor at San Diego. And this year’s Child’s Play has raised in excess of $963,000 as of today, with final accounting still to be done. […]

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