The webcomics blog about webcomics

Backloggin’ Part One

By the time I get through all the stuff I brought home (purchased, given, and would have been given but Gina Gagliano told me it would be waiting for me when I got home and she was right)¹ from San Diego, webcomics will be over, done, a quaint form of amusement from Ye Olde Dayes. So in the meantime, here’s what’s going on:

  • Box Brown is taking a creative leap and ending the comic that he’s best associated with; Bellen! is in the midst of breaking down the boundaries between the real Box and the thinly-disguised Ben, and when that’s done, it’s over. The good news is that this is so Brown can concentrate on the very interesting and creatively-fulfilling Everything Dies, which will become a webcomic in addition to a print series.

    This, I think, is what web/indy comics allow that print/corporate comics don’t — the ability to wrap up a story or strip, or turn it into something completely different, and let the creator not get subsumed by the creation. Look back at the early days of comic strips, and you’ll find creators that let one strip finish and another take its place all the time. Today, get into the papers with a big enough hit and that’s it — you’re locked in forever (I believe the legal term is in perpetuity) and long after you’re dead, something you thought might last for a decade is still be put together by the former assistants of former assistants or children and grandchildren.

    The ability to change direction, try an experiment on a whim, or get out on top and do something new? I think that flexibility is the unique characteristic that answers Valerie D’Orazio’s concern that webcomics might have come and gone. Les webcomics sont morts, vive les webcomics.

  • Speaking of the web/indy vs print/corporate divide, the first question from the Webcomics Lightning Round Pseudo-Transcript has been getting a lot of attention, and it may be time for a clarification. Chris Eliopolous rightly comments:

    [T]here are a couple of us in print comics, also trying to make a go of web comics as well. Karl Kerschel, me, Skottie Young has given it a go. I’ve always been taught not to take one path-diversify. Web and print aren’t opposite ends, they are different venues.

    And I’ll have to say that this confusion is more on me than on Brad Guigar. I was typing as fast as I could, but answers were condensed and I’m pretty sure that if we asked Guigar for a clarification of his position, it would be that no one creation is both print- and webcomics; certainly a given creator can work in both worlds. Fleen apologizes for the confusion.

  • Speaking of the flexibility to try something new — Meredith Gran’s Octopus Pie collection provides a case in point. Covering more than 200 comics that ran over a period of a year and a half, the shift of tools and techniques is apparent, and it’s a delight to see Gran switch from pencil and pens to purely digital to her current arrangement of pencils on the Cintiq and final production with brush on Bristol. Providing a different example of flexibility, a year ago Gran decided to update Octopus Pie with whole story arcs in a massive update, but now has decided to go back to three times a week:

    In August, Octopus Pie is going back to a 3-a-week update schedule. …[M]ainly comes down to productivity. I know I can do way more pages on a self-imposed deadline.

  • Speaking of August, one of my favorite webcomics, A Girl and Her Fed comes back from a short house-moving hiatus next week. The second part to the story kicks in then, and I’m hoping there are lots of opportunities for creator K Brooke “Otter” Spangler to use the word stabby. It’s a fun word.
  • Following up on our story last week, here are the details on the new publishing ventures for Girl Genius: starting next year, three major new ventures with three publishers will spread the tale of madgirls and madboys further and wider than every before.

    1. Night Shade Books will publish prose novelizations of the series, starting with the first volume in Spring 2011 and subsequent volumes in 2012 and 2013. At the same time, Brilliance Audio will be releasing audio adaptations of each of these novels.
    2. TOR Books will launch their new graphic novel line in Fall 2011 with a color omnibus edition of the first three Girl Genius volumes even as Studio Foglio is publishing volumes 10 and 11, completing the first great arc of the Girl Genius saga.
    3. Finally, Alpha Entertainment (couldn’t find a link) of Copenhagen will begin publication of a Danish version of Girl Genius, in their new magazine, Comic Party in spring 2011.

    Finally, various game licenses are expected to be released in 2011: the Girl Genius ‘The Works’ card game is in for a reissue, and iPhone and Facebook games are in development.

Tomorrow: catching up with all the emails.

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¹ You can find these fine wares from the following cool people.

Anyone complaining that webcomics isn’t taking full and gratuitous advantage of “motion comics” and “digital downloads” and the iPad platform is clearly forgetting what the ‘web’ in ‘webcomics’ means.

Motion comics remains the stupidest idea on the planet, imho. If you want to do an *animated comic*, then do a full 30fps. Or at least 12. Don’t do pan&zoom with overlaid voices.

On the other hand, I’d love to see a motion comic of MSPaintAdventures done in full SeaLab 2020 animation mode.

Kind of confused about how MSPA doesn’t count as a motion comic? Maybe I don’t fully grasp the term. I guess Homestuck is largely static and only intermittently animated.

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