The webcomics blog about webcomics

Valentine’s Day With THE MAN

I think it’s safe to say from today’s Old Skool Diesel Sweeties that the very sexy R Stevens is a fan of Pearls Before Swine; what does today’s print version (temporary archive on comics.com; permanent link from Stevens to come in the next week) make him a fan of? There’s a tentacle reference, and an ambiguously-placed “ow” word balloon — did Stevens just take the comics page, bastion of family-friendly fun for six year olds of all ages, and slap an H on it?

Speaking of messin’ with The Man, Raymo Smookels is hacking the Google logo, and you Firefox users can get it for yourself. Chris Onstad promises more Smookel Doodles for appropriate days.

Now here’s where The Man starts to push back — given the accomplishments of so many webcomickers, a significant number of whom are in the gravitational sphere of Manhattan, how come the New York Comic Con is running panels concerning webcomics that:

  1. Overlap in time
  2. Feature no actual webcomics creators?

I’m applying for press credentials for this show, and this makes me want to ask some really rude questions of panelists who aren’t to blame for the stupidity of designing the panel like this, but are guilty of willfully participating. How about, “Hey, have any of you talked with the webcomics creators that make a living from webcomics and who are RIGHT NOW down on the show floor?” Or, “Hey, do any of you actually MAKE a webcomic?” I FEEL THE NEED TO START A RIOT COMING ON.

Fleen offers congratulations to Brad Guigar on having completed 2557 days as a webtooner. Through thick, thin, four strips, and numerous books, he’s been a mainstay of our little corner of the intertron, and one of the nicer guys you could ever meet. Whew! Urge to burn things fading.

I like how Heewoon Chung, on the first panel, is simply credited as “President.” Of webcomics! I’m betting!

I call Vice President of Webcomics.

Joey, I think Heewoon was the guy that somehow crammed his way onto the Blank Label panel last year. I am pretty sure the only English he spoke was the subset of words used for marketing-speak, he was unable to respond to questions without using the words “paradigm” and “analytics”.

He was able to say millions and millions of comic downloads.

Edit: And millions.

Gary, you dirty MAN! I am merely a fan of SPONGEBOB.

Hm. That means I get to be the web comic anarchist.

I’ve been authorized to send the Webcomic Secret Service to ferret out your Webcommie ass and send it back where it came from.

GeoCities or something. I don’t know.

To be fair, Scott Rosenberg is the creator of COWBOYS & ALIENS. Which kinda makes him a webcomic creator.

The organizer of that panel invited me and Darren to be on it, but neither of us are attending NY Comic-Con this year.

Yeah, I hate to say it, but Scott Rosenberg is the guy I would end up rooting for on that panel. Who the hell are the other guys?

P.S. We have no idea how Chung, President of Webtronics, got on the BLC panel in NYC last year. His name was just on the list when we got there. His presence was eye-opening.

Wow, I am really sorry I missed that panel!

I’ll summarize it for you.

Dave Kellett: What are some obstacles in webcomics?

Jon Rosenberg: Shipping is a concern, definitely.

Paul Southworth: It seems like managing an inventory is a hassle.

Jim Zubkavich: It can be, but depending on —

Heewoon Chung: IN KOREA, NETCOMICS BRAND HAS OVER 4 MILLION PAGEVIEWS PER MONTH. THERE IS A COMIC FOR EVERY TASTE AT NETCOMICS. I AM THE PRESIDENT. NETCOMICS.

Kris, of course, is editing Heewoon’s comments. They ran a good 35 minutes longer, if I recall.

And Lord knows I’ve tried not to recall.

Thanks for putting a halfway coherent response in my mouth there, Kris. Any actual attendees of the panel know it was was 98% Korean Netcomics propaganda, and 1% Paul Southworth Stammeringâ„¢.

There is a 1% margin or error. If this were Korean webcomics, there probably wouldn’t be. I’m sorry.

My first reaction to this was the same as Gary’s, but the more I think about it the more intrigued I get. Frankly, the last couple of years’ worth of conventions have featured what seems like the same panel over and over, with the same sorts of guys answering the same questions with the same answers (and I’ve felt that way no matter which side of the table I was on). I was planning to skip this one, but now I think I’ve probably got to attend.

Also, if Wikipedia has taught us anything, it’s that one clique’s unfamiliarity with someone should not be the definition of that person’s “notability.” Here’s who these guys are:

Milton Griepp – ICv2 is one of the most frequently-cited news sources about comics. Its webcomics coverage has been rather cursory, but he’s still a knowledgeable source.

Josh Blaylock – Pullboxonline is a serious attempt to apply the 99-cent iTunes model to comics, and it’s targeting an audience that isn’t used to getting its comics for free. I think it’s facing long odds, but its business plan isn’t idiotic.

Richard Bruning, Jeremy Ross – I have to be discreet here. I’ll just say that I’ve heard these names frequently before, and that DC and Tokyopop choosing to join the webcomics discussion should be treated as news in itself.

Scott Rosenberg – I don’t really need to tell you about this guy. Love him or… no, I can’t complete that sentence. Be neutral about him or hate him, he’s already affected the game.

Heewoon Chung – He may be a poor English speaker, he may be trying too hard to fit in with “America’s traditional in-your-face marketing,” but Netcomics really is successful in Korea, and money talks. It might be interesting to see how he does against DC, at least.

Regis Maher II – Extreme Holdings, Inc. is the only real “HUH?” on this list for me– all Google tells me is that it seems to own an aircraft in Portland, Oregon (go here and scroll to the bottom). Portland is a major hub of comics culture– and that’s my only clue.

Maybe there should have been one or two of the Usual Suspects on this roster– but then, if there were, maybe they would be about as discordant a presence as Chung was with the Blank Labelers.

I suspect that Maher and at least two others on this list are planning to use this panel to leak new plans for the coming year.

Are these YOUR NEW WEBCOMIC OVERLORDS? Doubtful. Will some of them seriously challenge the established order? Very possibly, especially in the short term.

They could all be heading into Vietnam, as Crossgen did before them. Certainly there’s a lot of institutional thinking to overcome at big businesses, especially at DC. But American big business has demonstrated an ability to learn from small business, and I think it’s naive to assume it will never do so in webcomics, just because it hasn’t done so to date.

I look forward to the panel, and to Gary’s post-con write-up.

And that’s ENTIRELY too much time spent on THAT post.

Love to accomodate you there, T, but there’s a problem. You see, the webcomics panels are not only overlapping in time, but they also both run before noon on Friday.

Something tells me this is going to be the “lightly attended” portion of the show, and I won’t be the only one that’s not in attendance. Anybody able to take off a day’s work to listen to these guys? I’ll run your report here.

*I’ll* be writing it up, for what that’s worth.

[...] Gary Webcomics will be making themselves known at various conventions in the near time frame. For instance, you gots the New York Comic Con (now with added breathing room!) starting this Friday. Things kick off in the morning for members “of the trade” only (which means that webcomics panel we wrote about last week? You can’t go.) and open to the public at 4:00pm. Multiple members of Dumbrella will be in evidence, as will selected members of Blank Label, a wandering-about Chris Hastings, and the nomadic Jennie Breeden. Anybody that travels for work, think you got it bad? Check out Breeden’s convention schedule. [...]

[...] Representatives from Marvel and DC are sitting on a webcomics panel at the upcoming New York Comics Convention, during the “industry-only” first day, along with some other people most of us have never heard of. [...]

Two things… someone had contacted ME about being on the “webcomic panel” there a good while ago. Maybe back in early December I got an e-mail from somebody in regards to this. That happened to me at SPX as well, and that was sort of a mini nightmare of being in a conversation with T Campbell that never ended (;) )

I think it’s pretty friggin simple if you want to be on these panels. You just call the organizer and request or offer to be on one. And no offense to the comic book industry folks, but I really don’t think they have a clue of WHO EXACTLY TO ASK. There are many people on that side of the aisle that either, A. Consider things like Marvel’s DOTCOMICS as webcomics when you say, “webcomics” — OR….. B. They think.. “oh yeah, the guys in artist’s alley who can’t get published by real publishing places or afford real table space.”

Both are kind of insulting to webcomics, but WOW is that voice out there. Seriously guys… find out what conventions are coming up and try to get some experienced webcomic people ON THOSE PANELS!!!

Who really wants to be on these panels? I mean, the panel at San Diego was AWESOME because you had two all four of the top webcomic creators (and Kris Straub) offering advice.

It seems to me, especially if this is happening on a trade day, they might be talking about ideas they have in the works to put out comics online. Blah blah blah. I mean, we all know that’s coming, right?

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