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John Byrne considers webcomics
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 2:51 am    Post subject: John Byrne considers webcomics Reply with quote

Most of the discussion is about commerce, so might as well post in this fourm. There's a longish thread over at the John Byrne forum where Byrne makes some speculations, asks some questions and generally says he's considering doing a web-only comic if he can make it worth his while. Many posters throw in their two cents. It's a good discussion, though a lot of it is old news to those who have been following and participating in "business of webcomics" conversations for the last few years.
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's too bad. I was hoping all of those print guys would go down with the ship.

Not that I dislike Byrne or any of the others working in print, it's just that once they all make the jump, the comic store sheep will follow them to read their thinly veiled take on Superman.

Simply put, I fear they will come in and take over our turf.
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kaos_de_moria
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
That's too bad. I was hoping all of those print guys would go down with the ship.

Not that I dislike Byrne or any of the others working in print, it's just that once they all make the jump, the comic store sheep will follow them to read their thinly veiled take on Superman.

Simply put, I fear they will come in and take over our turf.


1st) i don't think an expansion of the webcomic market can be seen as negative. it helps everyone, who is active in webcomics and i think you should consider, that the global comic market does work different than the us market. outside the us superman studd is not as big as in ths us.

2nd) print will never die, or at least not because of webcomics as we know them today. we have to wait for the time of digital books and then maybe. but until then a comic like bilal's work or cages is an art print which is not applicable to web standards today.

kaos
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kaos_de_moria wrote:
1st) i don't think an expansion of the webcomic market can be seen as negative.

An expansion, that would great.

Taking over, that would happen.

I can see a time where, should the print companies move onto the web with all of the finances available to them, we'll be boned. They have the big names, and they have the money to advertise. The sheep will flock there in droves.

*looking into my crystal ball*

If Microsoft is successful with their future Paladium plans, and everyone is forced to use only certain, Microsoft approved, file formats, we will have to start paying to use them

Thing is, only the big companies/ websites will be able to do that. And I have little doubt that, should the print companies decide to move in on our turf, they can easily work out some sort of licensing deal with Microsoft that will enable them to make sure that only their comics are available on the web.

Don't think they'd take advantage of something to crush their competition? How are you Mr. Gaines?

Things are changing. The "End Of Free" is coming. And should guys like Byrne show Marvel, DC, Image, etc how to use the web effectively, they will jump in and bury us all.

Quote:
it helps everyone, who is active in webcomics and i think you should consider, that the global comic market does work different than the us market. outside the us superman studd is not as big as in ths us

I would like to point out, that since the lion's share of web traffic is based in the USA, it is American tastes that lead the internet. That would include the type of comics the world will read online. And if only Superman is available...well, I think you can see where this will go.

Anyway, we all had a good run. We did our best. We'll always be remembered as the founding fathers of a new artform. Like the Bauhaus.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see things as being quite that dire. It would be more worrying if, like store shelves, the web could only hold so many comics, but that's not the case. The web holds whatever is wired into it (and that's amazingly easy to do). I don't think they'll be able to take over in any sense. Sure, they could potentially put out their message louder than many independants, but they won't be able to shut out other voices.

I also don't think that they can come up with a propietary information/payment format that will trump all the other options we've already put into place and will be putting into place prior to their arrival (as well as after- The small furry mammals will always be able to outlive the dinosaur). The thing about the web is that it is (to switch metaphors) a genie already out of the bottle and can't be stuffed back into a proprietary software system.

Now as to the matter of superhero comics to non-superhero comics: It's true that in America, superhero comic books dominate other comics available in the periodical magazine format (excepting the furry mammal known as manga). This would be worrying only if most Americans read comic books and most of those read Superhero comics. However, many, many more give comic books a miss and read Dilbert, Foxtrot, Doonesbury and reruns of Peanuts daily.

I don't think we, the webcomicking community, have anything to fear from Marvel and DC jumping on the web (whenever they get around to doing it full-scale).
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William G
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2004 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg Stephens wrote:
However, many, many more give comic books a miss and read Dilbert, Foxtrot, Doonesbury and reruns of Peanuts daily.

This is a good point.

But I'm going to continue to doom and gloom simply because pessimism is rarely met with disappointment.
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BuckBeaver
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also think that's an overly pessimistic view of things. I don't doubt that as soon as people like Scott, Joey and/or others have worked out really good, really successful models for webcomics the big guys will swoop in to try to make as much as they can with a lot of lousy content. I know some people are horrified by this idea, but the huge influx of readers DC or Marvel could bring in to webcomics might be a good thing for independent creators. For every eight to ten readers checking out Superman or Spiderman one or two are bound to read Makeshift Miracle or The Right Number.

Like Greg I also think that it's too late to turn the Internet in to a proprietary software system (AOL and MSN already tried that) not that Microsoft will stop trying anytime soon. Being big doesn't mean you'll build a better (or more successful) mousetrap. True innovation and creativity trump size almost every time as iPod and Google have shown in their respective fields.

There's actually tremendous resistance in most big media companies to allowing Microsoft to have too much control over standards for digital content. Business 2.0 magazine has an interesting article in this month's issue talking about Hollywood's long reluctant dance with Bill Gates. Media companies just don't trust Gates given the fact he's screwed over just about everyone MS has ever done business with.
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, if Marvel, DC and Image went to the internet, sure you could worry about them taking over the market, but for every Spider-man comic in print at Marvel there is a comic like Bone at a independent company like Cartoon Books that still manage to get high numbers too while outside the genre. It would be safe that the current web comics could survive without a corporation to back them because there are still popular independent print comics competing against them in print now.
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