The webcomics blog about webcomics


That would be International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day, naturally. Why is 23 April International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day? Because Internet Jesus said so¹, that’s why, which immediately prompted multiple people to ask him to repurpose his free-to-free, nearly 900 page complete webcomic (Freakangels, which is so damn good I bought it on paper) into PDF for their convenience. When Charlie Brown wails to the heavens wondering if anybody can tell him what IPSTD is all about, paraphrase the Gospel of Luke to be all about entitlement.

By contrast, when somebody gives me something from the world of webcomickry entirely free, I’m going to be grateful, especially when it means easy content. For instance, Darren J Gendron, (or “Dern”, for short) went and did all the hard work in tracking down the latest scraper and dropped it all in my lap, here to share with you. “Quite Comical”² had a site and everything when I looked in yesterday, but now appears to be a parked page with no real content.

Before it disappeared, though, it featured a link whereby creators whose content was scraped could fill out a form to request to Please, sir, could I opt out? and the coder would deign to consider it. I also found a reference over the weekend to Quite Comical being part of a coding competition, the second rule of which was not to infringe on anybody’s rights.

I can’t make this stuff up, folks. But, as I mentioned, the Quite Comical page is well and truly content-free, so we can infer that the creators have abandoned this latest, clumsy attempt at asking forgiveness rather than permission. It’s also an inference that David Willis is unimpressed by the “But I let you opt out, eventually!” argument, enough so that he was still annoyed this morning. Once again, for anybody that’s considering a comic-harvesting app:

  • Linking directly to creator’s images and stealing their bandwidth: not okay
  • Stripping their comics from their RSS feeds and removing accompanying blogposts or ads: not okay
  • Stripping their comics from their sites and removing accompanying blogposts or ads: not okay
  • Assuming they want to be part of your business venture: not okay
  • Deciding unilaterally what copyright privileges creators are entitled to: astonishingly, stupendously not okay

Continuing in the vein of doing things for my benefit: Jennie Breeden has helpfully mapped out a bunch of webcomics people and where to find them at next weekend’s Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, which is helpfully found here. Using that as the landmark for the show floor, there are a bunch of additional webcomics folks that will be found on the wide-open prairie, including (but not limited to) the Blind Ferret crew (booths 925/1025), Angela Melick³ (boothing with Danielle Corsetto at 1125), a healthy contingent from TopatoCo (Kate Beaton, Christopher Hastings, Jeph Jacques, and David Malki !, all at booth 922), Scott C (table K05), Andy Runton (table K09), and Jim Zub (at the very futuristic-sounding table X17).

On Breeden’s map, stand at the Sam & Fuzzy table and look to the top of the screen, you’ll see TopatoCo; likewise, stand at the Girls With Slingshots table and look Due Up, and you’ll be staring at Blind Ferret. For those that want to see how it all arranges itself on the convention center floor, the official map is here [PDF].

¹ IPSTD actually has an origin independent of Mr Ellis, but he’s the one that could kick me in the head so hard I fly across the room and explode, so I’m going to cite him as the reason I’m an adherent and hope he doesn’t kick me. I hate exploding.

² In accordance with long-standing blog policy, people that piss me off will get talked about, but no links. In this case, it doesn’t matter, as the paragraph above should make clear.

³ If you see Jam, throw her a right-hand rule for me.

Thank you for the signal boost there. I ended up having an odd email conversation with the guy running the site where he claimed if he wasn’t making money off of it, it was OK to violate copyrights. This is not true, as a creator only needs to prove that he/she is losing money. And in this case, he was hot-linking the images.

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