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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2002 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Z. of the Makeshift Miracle is considering an offer to join a new online comic venture. The site would always offer the latest comics from associated series for free, but the archives (for ALL comics that join the site, not for EACH comic) would be about $3/month to read. Jim's soliciting discussion here:

http://www.keenspace.com/forums/Forum490/HTML/000081.html

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Tailsteak
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2002 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, crap.

I rather like having the archives freely available to any given comic. Not just because I'm a cheap bastard, but also because I like to throw up links to appropriate strips in casual conversation.

I do rather like The Makeshift Miracle. The art's great and the story so far is mesmerizing. I am, however, among the masses sans credit card, and thus would not be able to efficiently pay for archive access.

Oh, well. I guess I'll just have to make sure to read regularly.
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buzzard
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Joined: 30 Jul 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2002 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A curious thing I've noticed is that I almost never like comic strips recommended by comic authors I like; there's something about humor that isn't transitive or something.

So the problem with a scheme like this (well, not that MM is a funny) is if there's only one author you're interested in, it kinda feels like a rip-off. And yeah, I kinda doubt I'd have gotten into a lot of the comics that I have unless I could wade through archives; coming back daily or whatever isn't really a distraction I can afford--but I may be on the fringes of the target audience, I guess.
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Zubkavich
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Joined: 31 Aug 2001
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2002 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the plug, Greg. It's been an interesting discussion indeed.

If you check that thread again, I've recently gone through and answered a lot of the questions people have had about the system.

I've also got another thread going with details on the site that's being pulled together and the people involved:

http://www.keenspace.com/forums/Forum490/HTML/000085.html

It's a pretty crazy line up. It's a great variety of published award-winning talent and up and coming artists. Indy-flavoured, manga-flavoured or serial story based like mine.
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[ This Message was edited by: Zubkavich on 2002-02-07 14:43 ]
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Zubkavich
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2002 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New FAQ at this thread by the way. Hopefully that'll answer everyone's questions:

http://www.keenspace.com/forums/Forum490/HTML/000087.html

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Tragic Lad
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

So the problem with a scheme like this (well, not that MM is a funny) is if there's only one author you're interested in, it kinda feels like a rip-off.


The nature of an anthology work is that you'll run into one work that's really really good - one work that absolutely stinks - and a lot of things that fall in between. I personally don't think ModernTales will disapoint (the lineup of creators comes darn close to mirroring my list of bookmarks).

I see the paying for the archives akin to the collections of comic strips. Today's strip in the paper is, for all intents and purposes, free of charge. But if I want to peruse through a lot of old 'For Better or Worst' strips, I've got to go out and buy Lynne's collections.

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Alexander D.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I see the paying for the archives akin to the collections of comic strips. Today's strip in the paper is, for all intents and purposes, free of charge. But if I want to peruse through a lot of old 'For Better or Worst' strips, I've got to go out and buy Lynne's collections.


This is a fair analogy, but I see two main differences that could cause problems. The first is in building a following -- getting the causal reader interested in buying the anthology means turning them into a loyal reader, which is very difficult to do with a single strip. Newspaper have a big advantage -- their potential audience is going to buy the newspaper one way or the other, putting the comic right in front of them. Since it's right there, they'll end up reading it often enough to get hooked by pure happenstance. Web comics don't really have this advantage, and as a result, are far more reliant on the availability of the archive to hook readers. My thought on how to deal with this is just to give a partial archive -- maybe make the ten most recent strips available for free, but require pay access for anything older than that. That way, you're giving the reader enough strips to decide whether they're really interested.

The second main difference is in price. At first glance, $3 seems pretty inexpensive. However, the money you pay for the FBoFW book is a one-time expense, whereas at this site, you'll be paying that $3 every month. After only five months, you've spent as much as you would have on the one book, and are going to continue to spend it for as long as you're a subscriber. After a few years, this adds up to a mighty expensive anthology.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the subscription fee vs. book price is probably a little lopsided, but the newspaper vs. web sort of balances it out- in your analogy, the "Newspapers have a big advantage -- their potential audience is going to buy the newspaper one way or the other, putting the comic right in front of them," however the web reader is also most likely already going to be be on the internet one way or another, and the regular daily visit to the web site is free (leaving aside the cost of an ISP). Therefore, the newspaper is charging a daily fee to read whatever daily content- including comics- while the website is not charging this daily fee. An annual fee of (right now) $20 for a year's worth of a whole boatload of comics does seem more favorable when compared to, say, $15 each for collected dead-tree volumes which probably don't cover an entire year of the comic.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, when you consider the number of comics you get, the cost of subscription is much more reasonable. As someone suggested, it's a rip-off if you only want one comic -- but when you have so many choices, the odds that you'll only be interested in one comic is fairly unlikely. So, volume seems to be the solution to the problem.

I still disagree about the other problem, though. Yes, readers will be on the Internet anyway -- but the Internet is a very big place, where it's nearly impossible to stumble across something accidentally. In the case of a newspaper, it's nearly impossible to not notice the comics -- you're reminded to check them out because you already see them. On the Internet, a person has to make a point to go look at that site -- it takes a conscious effort. The issue here isn't whether taking a look is free -- it's a question of whether readers will A: even remember that they had the intention of checking on this site, and B: be willing to make that conscious effort for a site that hasn't yet proven its value to them. The fact that it's free and easy really isn't enough motivation for a lot of people - they have to be actively interested.

However, I think we may already have the solution to this problem, and it's the same as the solution to the price issue -- volume. If it were a question of only one comic, I really think the inertia of laziness would prevent most people from reading often enough to build up the desire to subscribe. But when you have a large number of comics in one place, the chances of generating interest are much greater. The more comics you offer, the more incentive people have to come back, and the better the chance that something will really catch their interest.
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Alexander D.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops -- didn't mean to be anonymous there. I think I got logged out while writing my response. I should probably add a sig file so I don't have to worry about that.

--Alexander
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buzzard
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2002 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading the manifesto, and it appears that authors will get paid in proportion to the number of strip-views they generate. This seems like it's going to "discriminate" against authors who put more work into each comic but update less frequently. It could also lead to silliness like "I'm going to post one panel a day"... er, not that there's anything wrong with Morning Improv, but that doing it just for the sake of points/money would be goofy.

I'm not sure what else they can do, though, other than split the income equally.
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Tragic Lad
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the way I understand the point system - an arbitrary amount is awarded to begin with that is based upon the quality/quantity of the work submitted.

This helps balance out the difference between a quickly spat out sketchy strip and a time consumingly gorgeous illustrated work.

for example:
Arthur's comic consists of a dozen panels, all richly coloured with pastels and oils, would begin with 100 points. Bob's comic is two panels of stick men drawn in ball point and begins with 5 points.

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