The webcomics blog about webcomics

Word Of Mouth

Shishio has pointed us towards a forum topic at Comic Genesis (nee Keenspot Keenspace), that quite frankly has me puzzled. Shishio’s post in turn points to another by Matt Johnson at the Cornstalker forums. See what you can make of this:

To be honest, I’d like to see more comic artists willing to be active participants in the webcomic community. Maybe it’s just me, but there seem to be far too many people who have no interest in any other other comics online other than their own. And on the rare occasion they do show interest in others in the community, it’s in the context of asking for a critique, for a guest comic, an artist to draw for them, or an announcement like, “Hey, come look at my comic! I just finished chapter 13!” I know I’m a broken record on this subject, but the best part of doing a web comic is meeting all the cool people around here and learning from them. If you miss out on that, you’re pretty much missing out on everything that makes having a web comic so much fun.

I’m not sure it’s the issue that Johnson thinks it is (although there are differing views on what the ‘webcomics community’ actually is), but just in case Shishio tells us:

I agree that webcomic creators need to work harder to make webcomics as a whole more successful. And so I have launched The Webcomic Word of Mouth Project, the idea of which is to get webcomic creators to pledge to link to other webcomics they like which will hopefully increase everybody’s readers.

Maybe I’m reading the wrong webcomics, but I just did a quick scan of my trawl list, and discovered two things:

  1. Pretty much every creator has between 10 and 20 links to other webcomics; granted, some of those links are going to be to collective-mates, but how do you explain Ryan North linking to 36 different strips? Okay, Penny Arcade doesn’t maintain regular links, but if they did, it could be construed as an act of aggression against your server.
  2. Everybody links Achewood. It must be like a law or something.

I don’t think this is going to make much difference with established creators, but if you’re just starting out, the WOMP page adds:

I also invite you to sign up on the forum, where you can discuss webcomics, get critiques, assistance, look for collabarators, and of course, promote your own webcomic so that other creators might enjoy and link to it.

I think it’ll be a while before this one develops into anything significant, but then again: tiny seeds, mighty oaks, etc. See you on Monday.

I tire of hearing that the webcomics crowd is a closed circle. It’s opening to new people on a regular basis! All you gotta do is make something good that you’re proud of, and stick with it. If not, the most obnoxious forum signature in the world won’t help you, and neither will two dozen LINK MY COMIC emails to creators you don’t know, or link communities like this (sorry).

We’re not ALL jerks! I think. Ryan North is pretty nice?

Tell you what, I’ve on many an occasion contemplated mapping out exactly who links to whom (and other statistical reserch) using my bookmarks as the starting point – but as said sample’s size is quite big (about 500 = around 2% of the grand total I think) (of which I only read about 150 regularily, NB) you’ll have to wait until I’ve taken a few more courses of university level statistics. And maybe graph theory…

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