The webcomics blog about webcomics

The Coolest Thing I Saw This Week

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a webcomic exactly. But look at these freakin’ cool socks! I like Exploding Dog, I really like Diesel Sweeties, and before you guys jump all over me with this Dumbrella rah-rah-rah stuff again, let me clarify a few things that I think are particularly nifty here.

To start: socks! What webcomic has ever done socks before? We’ve established that I’m a sucker for good merchandising and funky products. I also do believe that folks should support the artists and creators who make stuff that you like, especially if it’s free content. Especially if we’re talking about holiday gifts. I really like the idea of gift subscriptions or original art as gifts, or some clever twist on a functional item.

Something about that just seems cool to me in a few ways; buying art is always nifty, and supporting an artist while you’re doing it is even cooler, I think. Particularly if that artist is someone who offers free webcomics all year round. For example, I like not having to pay to read Diesel Sweeties; I don’t spend a lot of time reading each strip, but it’s always the first I click when I go to read webcomics. It’s where I start. I’m totally excited that James Kolchalka opened his site, because I never did subscribe even though I really like his work.

It’s even cooler, at least for me, when those items are also functional. I have enough books. I even have enough t-shirts; I went from having one webcomic-related shirt to probably six or seven at this point. While I don’t think I could get away with wearing t-shirts at my day job, I’m fairly certain the Red Robot socks are going to be a hit. It’s clever merchandising (and advertising) with a catchy image from a cool company of which I was already a fan. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any product online when I saw it, thought, Whoa! That’s wicked cool and I gotta have it… and then went right to the ordering.

That, to me, speaks to the product’s uniqueness. I think of it the same way that folks (I include myself here) email links to interesting things online, or particularly good webcomics, or cool, goofy products. I think these socks (there’s more than one version, by the way), speak to that. I also think they’re going to be an insanely hot seller, because they’re doing something different, something outside of the standard webcomics merchandising model, and I think that’s worth noting.

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