The webcomics blog about webcomics

Keef Gets It Right

Keith Knight cuts to the chase, re: syndicated cartoonists and indy/web cartoonists.

MoCCA updates:

  • L Nichols of Jumbly Junkery will be at table 328 and Chris Andersen of The Ego and the Squid will be at table 221; see yesterday’s post below the cut for a more extensive list of exhibitors/tables
  • NERD Comics have a portion of their table available; direct message @breegeek on Twitter if you’re interested in showing, couldn’t get a table, and can help cover the table fees
  • Floor map of the Armory here; the RED ZONE is for loading and unloading only, please do not loiter in the RED ZONE.


  • John Woakes wrote:

    I have a little pet project where I put up a webcomic every hour on my site. I have been collecting my favourite web comics for some time. My collection is all over the map. Check it out.

    Checked. Seems to mostly be single-panel gag strips culled from the syndicate websites (each comic I’ve noticed so far today has been from GoComics, a division of Andrews McMeel. Woakes provides full credit and links to the originals, and appears to host the images himself instead of bandwith-leaching.

    Of course, the comics are presented without the context of their home sites, but the random factor does seem to up the chances of serendipitously coming across something that otherwise would have been unknown. Comments on the legality/ethics of this welcome below.

  • Kent Vaughn wrote:

    I started creating my webcomic Mixed Brood about 6 months ago and have compiled a small archive of around 60 or so comics. I feel like I’m now starting to get the hang of it and improving with each one (which is the goal I guess right?).

    Okay, this shouldn’t be taken as an invitation for every new webcomicker to ask me for full feedback — I get a zillion such requests. But Kent used the magic words with me (and, having used them up, they won’t work in the future — sorry, find your own angle): I feel like I’m now starting to get the hang of it and improving. I don’t think that any comic has launched hitting on all cylinders from day one unless the creator was already crazy experienced — that first six-months-to-a-year is where the most radical improvements are likely to come in.

    And I can see those improvements in Vaughn’s work. Reading from the beginning, I was thinking something about Mixed Brood remarkably similar to what Brigid Alverson wrote yesterday at CBR (she was writing about Zudaentries, but it applies here, and in many, many webcomics):

    Each Zuda page includes a space for a text-only synopsis, and that is where I would often find finely crafted, intricately thought out backstories and alternate universes.

    Unfortunately, that’s not where they belong. They belong in the comic.

    Too often, I see elaborate descriptions of characters that don’t seem to relate to what’s actually in a comic. In Mixed Brood, the three characters (a dog, a goose, another dog) have bios, but didn’t seem to have much in the way of distinguishing characters at first — but that’s changing, especially in the case of Flash, who’s developing what can only be described as a lazily cruel streak. He’s distinguishing himself from the other dog, Barney (who has a bit of Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel in his visual design but as there’s a lot of Groening in all the character designs, I can’t always tell Flash and Barney apart in a quick scan), and is starting to come into his own.

    The joke constructions are starting to tighten up nicely, and Vaughn has even pulled off a rare successful post-punchline extra laugh line, which almost always fails no matter who attempts it. That’s easily a 7.8 on the difficulty scale, and he nailed it. And pleasingly, Vaughn isn’t afraid to set his strip someplace definite, instead of the usual and nebulous a house, somewhere. These critters are Canadian, and prominently so.

    Is it a new masterpiece, a nascent classic that everybody will be studying in the future? Not yet. Maybe someday. But it’s improving, and Vaughn is conscious about trying to make every strip better than the one before, and that’s good enough for now.

Technically I think his site is probably a walking copyright violation, which I consider a failing of the law rather than any malice on his part. It is very conscientiously done and I wouldn’t have any issues with him publishing my material on it. (Of course, the Creative Commons license I use makes that a non-issue anyway).

I think that this is a good example of how the web can do good things for content creators in ways that the laws (and people who are trying to expand those laws) have conditioned them to be wary of. The way it’s set up, it’s not really possible to use this guys site as a replacement for someone’s comic, but it makes a pretty darn good feeder. If someone stumbles across the comic on that site and likes it, it’s pretty easy to go to the original site and browse through archives.

[…] very unexpected but HUGELY appreciated write-up from the webcomic editors at Fleen…a pleasant surprise indeed!     […]

[…] but I’m not ruling it out, either. * the great Keith Knight fixes the NCS Annual Convention. (via Gary Tyrrell) * the former artist/writer turned mostly writer Mark Schultz talks about Al Williamson. * in […]

Thanks Gary for the write up. Obviously I thought about the copyright issue when I put the site together. I try and explain this in the about section. I try to not just use syndicate comics too much as they get enough attention already. I do have a good selection of indie comics (and finding more all the time) although I don’t know the ratio. One day I will work that out. Course the syndicate comics tend to publish more frequently (getting paid would tend to motivate you I guess).

Anyway thanks again for the mention.

He’s also interviewed on the radio show “The Story”, this episode is entitled: “A Hard Time for the Funny Pages”

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