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Webcomics In Review: 2006

In no particular order:

  • The Great Outdoor Fight story arc was brilliant from beginning to end, spawned a wiki, and included such gems as It is recommended the bird be in the back of a dude’s car for up to half an hour. Chris Onstad set the bar high for webcomics in early in 2006, and webcomics responded.
  • The tenuous relationship between syndication and webcomics became more involved this year, as Dave Kellett left an arrangement virtually identical to one that Chris Baldwin accepted, and both of them found it an improvement on their previous situations.

    Meanwhile, Rich Stevens will be hitting the newspapers in mere hours, with readers in Seattle and Newark able to enjoy the pixelated goodness a week early, thanks to FoxTrot‘s departure.

    The picture of syndication is murkier than it was at the start of the year, and we’ll maybe have a glimpse of where it could be shaking out this time next year. If about 3000 features editors grow a pair and decide that losing a shrinking demographic of subscribers over bumping Hi & Lois isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we might even see the long-sought-after resurgence of young people and reading the paper. Maybe.

  • Or, if not the local paper, the perhaps The Onion; which has introduced a comics page into the print editions. There you may enjoy the comedic stylings of Cathy en Español, and David Malki !’s Wondermark.
  • The McCloud Family Death March Book Tour is about ¼ done this fine morning, with miles to go ere they rest. In the meantime, check out the Winterviews, and Sky’s webcomicky A McCloud Family Christmas.
  • There are few people as thoroughly woven into the fabric of webcomics as Shaenon Garrity, who in 2006 took Narbonic free (and will wrap the story in two days time), wrote a series of interviews and analyses about everything comicky, and a revamping (perhaps even revivification) of Modern Tales. And none of those things is even her day job! With her most high-profile creation going into that good night, perhaps Ms Garrity will find some time to sleep, but I’d bet she debuts three new creations instead.
  • 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.
  • And there’s lots more cool stuff that happened in 2006: RSSPECT; Project Wonderful; men in kilts and playing cards; iPod skins; action figures and toys; virginity loss; and brilliant comics rising from below the radar to widespread regular reading. Good year.
  • But, on the down side, I still don’t have my cherub tree-topper. Let’s see what we can do about that in 2007, people.

The Year in Review

Gary Tyrrell over at Fleen highlights the webcomics newsmakers from the past year. As the article notes, it was a good year for webcomics notoriety as cartoonists garnered an Eisner win, a National Book Award nomination, and a newspaper syndication deal.

[…] On the business side of things, Tom McLean looks back at the market for print comics and its difficulties last year, while Gary Tyrrell offers a summary of the year in webcomics. Across the Atlantic, Gianfranco Goria (Google translation) points to a report (498kb Adobe PDF file) by the French comic critics’ group, L’Association des Critiques et Journalistes de Bande Dessinée, which summarizes the year in French comics with hard numbers, revealing among other things that the BD business is growing, but so is the competition: manga accounted for 42% of the comics published in France last year. ActuaBD (Google translation) and BDzoom (Google translation) have more on the report. […]

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