The webcomics blog about webcomics

Godspeed, Mr Estrada

By the time you read this, Ryan Estrada will be five days into his current big adventure. As you may recall, Estrada announced plans to start a comics commune in Mexico about two months back, and when I met him on the last day of San Diego, those plans were coming to fruition.

“I got turned down for a visa”, he told me, “so tomorrow I’m going to walk across the border as a tourist, which gives me 60 days to figure something out. I’ve heard it’s easier to change your status if you’re already in the country.” Monday morning, he and fellow artist John Campbell did just that, and if you’ve been following his LiveJournal, you know they’ve made it from Tijuana to Chihuahua (I can still never type that word without hearing the pronunciation of Les Nessman).

Estrada’s serious about the art — in addition to posting via WiFi, he’s carrying a portable studio that he built into an oversized piece of luggage, all Q Branch-style. He described lovingly the custom foam cutouts in the case for his laptop and other gear, and was somewhat wistful that he couldn’t go all the way and make the case sleek, brushed aluminum. Given the possibility of theft and having his experiment come crashing down, it’s a rather ordinary piece of luggage.

And he’ll need those supplies, since he has plans to conduct business from wherever he ends up. On 30 August, look for the launch of his custom comics business. And not just any custom comics: a fixed price will get you a custom 24 hour comic, straight from the heart of Mexico.

And because this is Ryan Estrada we’re talking about, there’s never just one piece of amazing news at a time. Starting tomorrow, CNN Headline News will be running Ryan Estrada Expeditions episodes as part of their weekend News To Me program. Tune in and let Mr Estrada know that we all hope he doesn’t get shot up by banditos (riding raptors or otherwise).

Nothing to do with Estrada, but it’s timely (thanks to alert reader Brian for the heads-up) … Warren Ellis is doing a webcomic:

Autumn 2007. On the web. Weekly. Free.

Curiously, no comments as of this writing. With good reason, it appears.

“WKRP, with more music and Les Nessman!”

Comments are switched off on

Weekly webcomics suck. imho.

I’d rather a quality weekly webcomic as opposed to a sub par daily.

Well, that’s us all out of a job. :)

I’m looking forward to the Ellis experiment (can I call it that?), straight “story” comics are still a little thin on the ground at the moment it seems, so having a high-visibility weekly story comic going on with a highly trained professional crew behind the wheel… could breathe a bit of life into the format.

Let’s hope it all works out well for Ryan Estrada as well! … exciting times of change are going on eh?

Yeah, no one ever actually looked at my passport as I entered the country, so I’m just gonna kind of…. stay here. Not uncommon for people with my last name, except I’m the only one sneaking across the border the wrong way!

I’d rather a quality weekly webcomic as opposed to a sub par daily

Pity this is the minority view.

It’s a shame no one does a brilliant daily webcomic. Besides me, I mean.

I like webcomics. I like Ellis. (Well, his comics anyway. Never met him.) So, webcomics + Ellis = I like too, I guess. And maybe it won’t be a weekly story webcomic. Maybe it’ll be a weekly 4-panel pr0n. With drrrty jokes.

If we’re lucky, maybe Ellis will tell us a tale of how Rocket Pirates got deep-sixed.

DJ, are you against the idea of a once-per-week update schedule, or do you think the once-per-week webcomics you’ve seen aren’t any good?

“Weekly webcomics suck. imho.” Yeah, that’s not trying to stir up controversy. I don’t know DJ said he liked my comic when I advertised on his web site awhile back — and it’s usually not updated more than once a week. I appreciate infrequently-updated comics for their often higher production quality. But then I love me some daily comics, too. Conclusion: blanket statements are useless.

I just don’t like the update schedule. And as a creator doing a weekly comic, you’ll also have a tough time building up a good regular returning audience. There are plenty of outstanding weekly comics, like ATLAND, that are better than a majority of the comics online, but they’re not as known because the update schedule makes it harder to follow.

I don’t know – there have been a couple top-notch weekly comics in the last year or two (Wonderella, Minus) that have managed to establish a pretty good base. I think there might be some truth in it being harder to do so, but I don’t think all webcomics with a weekly update schedule are inherently doomed to failure.

On a seperate note, I think the webcomic under discussion plans to update five days a week.

DJ, while I think the points you made in response to my question are good, there is no way anyone would have taken anything like that away from your first comment. Your later response explained challenges that exist for being successful as a weekly webcomic, while praising the quality of at least a few of them. Your original comment was a blanket condemnation of weekly webcomics. What’s up with that?

Fine. All weekly webcomics MUST DIE!!!

Daily comics are superior because they provide the valuable service of letting the men and women of America know what some cartoonists watched on TV the day before.

Obviously weekly comics can never compete with that.

Unless they make a really sizable weekly comic about what they watched on TV that week0!

That’s fucking gold!

Someone get on that.

[…] of merch, John Campbell (coinhabitant with Ryan Estrada of the Mexican [web]comics commune) is dipping his toe into those waters; this follows up a recently-wrapped three-week story and a 24 […]

[…] And the current gravitational center of insane webcomics experimenters may be found at a commune in Mexico where Ryan Estrada and John Campbell cackle with glee each time they come up with a new mad scheme: […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.