The webcomics blog about webcomics

SDCC@Home Thursday Panels Report

Excellent job with the product placement.

Web Comics: Saving the Entertainment Industy [sic], Four Panels at a TIme[sic]
So when I did the programming guide t’other day I typed in the session titles manually; I didn’t notice until just now when I got lazy and copy/pasted that the title of this session features two separate typos. Let’s just hope that this isn’t a metaphor for the panel itself.

[fires up the session]

Welp, that was … a thing. It’s a mere 26 minutes and 38 seconds long, starting out with the moderator reading the panel description verbatim before mentioning four-panel webcomics, not acknowledging anything else about the medium, presenting a thesis of OMG did you know there are comic strips on teh intarnetz??!! I made it to the 3:16 mark when the moderator told one webcomickers People weren’t coming within six feet of you even before [COVID] hit.

Sorry, but Ha ha, laugh chuckles, you’re a reclusive loser and people hate you is pure douchebaggery and not something I’m spending any brain on. I’d say that it’s a shame this panel wasn’t in person because the message of closing my notebook, putting away my pen, and standing up in the front row (where I typically do my panel reporting from) and leaving less than three and a half minutes into a session would have sent a message, but honestly? I only checked this one out because I didn’t have to walk across the convention center. The description was not promising and it was sadly accurate.

Shaenon Garrity In Conversation With Andrew Farago
Now that’s more like it. Andrew Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum, went above and beyond in preparing for conducting a Special Guest Spotlight interview with Shaenon Garrity — he’s spent every day of quarantine living with his subject, which makes sense given that they’ve been a couple forever. It provided an advantage that most every other session won’t have, in that it’s not a thing for Garrity and Farago to sit next to each other on the couch and have a face-to-face conversation¹.

And despite the fact that there’s literally nothing Farago wouldn’t know about Garrity’s work and career², he’s a skilled enough interviewer to ask the questions that prompt answers that will both satisfy Garrity’s longtime fans and also people not really familiar with her work. The conversation ranged from the challenges of monetization — what happens when your bandwidth costs exceed what you make from ad revenues? — to the shift from webcomics portals and collectives to scrapping for eyeballs on social media giants of today.

Garrity’s known and worked with so many people over her career, people that have gone on to be key contributors everywhere from King Features to :01 Books that Farago remarked that comics only exists today because of her and Joey Manley; while Garrity put most of the credit towards Manley, I would note that this page has for years noted that Garrity is a Nexus Of All Webcomics Realities³ (and Tiki Queen of the Greater Bay Area). She sits at the center of so many people, who connect other people, who connect other people. If you have anything to do with comics, you’ve probably got as many different connecting paths to Garrity as Kevin Bacon has to … let’s say Kermit The Frog4, 5.

All in all, Garrity and Farago offer the superior choice if you’re looking for a webcomics-focused discussion, as I don’t see any others on the schedule until you get to the Keenspot panel on Sunday, and even that appears to be more about how one of Bobby Crosby’s stories got picked up and adapted to a movie that may or may not ever happen what with everything going on.

Back with more tomorrow.

Spam of the day:

Are you tired of struggling to get Instagram followers and engagement?

As I do not, have never, and never will have a Facebook/Instagram account, I’ma say the answer to that one is no.

¹ Or, more properly, both half-facing each other but mostly facing the camera.

² Literally within two minutes of talking about her post-college cartooning start, Garrity talked about how webcomics circa 2000 were unique in that they might be inspired by comic strips, but would feature long plotlines and story arcs that would never fly in newspapers, which put her several million up on the guy in the earlier, allegedly webcomics-centric session.

³ The others being Ryan North and George.

4 Although the Bacon Oracle should list Mr The Frog’s Bacon number as 2 — there are a whole bunch of people in The Muppet Movie with Bacon numbers of 1, such as Charles Durning, Steve Martin, Elliott Gould, Austin Pendleton, and Bruce Kirby.

5 Which puts me in mind of the Erdős-Bacon number, whereby a small number of scientists and actors have connections to both Kevin Bacon and prolific mathematician Paul Erdős. I’m guessing there’s some number of cartoonists that can site their connections to both Bacon and Garrity, but if there’s a chain from Garrity to Harvey Pekar you won’t need two separate connections, as Pekar had a Bacon number of 2.

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