The webcomics blog about webcomics

Mommy, Roast Beef Is Really Okay, Right?

Interviews o’ plenty out there today, with my crypto-Machiavellian master holding forth on that voodoo that he do over at CBR. Meanwhile, Vera Brosgol (she hasn’t committed webcomickry for a while but gets a lifetime pass for Return to Sender) is talking to the bloggers associated with Little Big Planet — see the awesome background art there? That’s Brosgol’s awesome new 80 sticker fun pak™ for the game. Now we just need those stickers in a tangible vinyl configuration, on account of I need to plaster strong-men and two-headed women on actual things in my life.

  • Bit of a kerfuffle in the aether erupted last night, as a website called Laptop Logic released an article on mistakes by newbie Linux admins and included cartoons by Randall Munroe and Krishna Sadasivam to illustrate points made. Couple problems, though:
    1. Munroe does offer his work under a Creative Commons license, but
    2. Sadasivam’s site doesn’t use Creative Commons licensing, and
    3. The cartoons were not attributed or linked to their points of origin, and most grievously …
    4. The cartoons were watermarked with Laptop Logic’s own identity


    Reached for comment this morning, Sadasivam had no joy trying to get somebody at Laptop Logic to respond to his enquiries, but shortly thereafter the XKCD cartoon was labelled with a link and attribution, and the PC Weenies cartoon was removed from the article (as of this writing, there’s a great big white space where it used to be). So that’s all right, I suppose, but there’s a lesson to be learned.

    Namely, yes — webcartoonists make their way in this crazy, mixed-up world by giving their stuff away, but that’s their prerogative; their choice of how they give stuff away is deserving of respect. Given that Laptop Logic seems to be pretty low-traffic (a casual inspection of their forums shows … seven comments total since Sunday), I doubt that Sadasivam would have objected much to his cartoon showing up there had there been even a cursory attempt to a) acknowledge its point of origin, and b) not brand it with somebody else’s identity (those same two would have satisfied Munroe’s CC terms as well).

    Just acknowledge (and when in doubt, ask), and your average webcomicker will likely be thrilled to let you run stuff if it means driving audience. Assume/take/pass off as your own work? That’s just weak sauce.

  • Let’s finish on an up note: Ryan North will be speaking at a fancy conference for computing types on the topic of comics! For those of you not fully versed in geekery, the Association for Computing Machinery is sort of a big deal and holy crap you guys I just realized that I pass under their offices every day when I ride the train to work. It’s like I’m walking under greatness. Okay, so this is just a local chapter and not the full ACM, but still: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? That’s where they build the killerest of killer computers.

This isn’t exactly the same story, but we found out a humor site was using our comics on their site without asking us when our anaylitics showed we were getting refferal traffic from a site neither me or the webcomics artist knew.

Anyway, long story short the other site was nice enough to give us attribution, and I sent him an email thanking him for the extra publicity and offered to make a custom comic for his site. We ended up doing a weekly comic specifically for their site for a couple months and got quite the little boost in traffic.

Anyway, that’s just a little story I thought of when I read the article above.

[…] Gary Tyrrell catches a Linux-news website pirating images from Randall Munroe’s xkcd — which, given that the strip is released with a Creative Commons license, probably took a bit of work on the site’s part. […]

[…] redesign is? Blogposts are now tied to comic updates, so I can permalink things like the title of Ryan North’s upcoming ACM address to the folks that made HAL: So hey what are you doing October 16th-18th 2009? If you’re like […]

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