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Thomas
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2002 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The topic title pretty much asks what Id like to know. I mean are they just things we put up that we have scanned and just slapped up or should they be interactive and use the things that are uniqe to the internet? What are your opinions? Thanx.


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[ This Message was edited by: Thomas on 2002-01-14 11:14 ]
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fredirc
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2002 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, in my case (gah, I feel like I'm plugging), all of my comics are drawn on my computer (with a mouse, not a tablet), so mine start out digital. And yes, from time to time, some of my creations take forms unique to the web.

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Thomas
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:37 pm    Post subject: Web Comics.... Reply with quote

Fredric,

Yeah I have begun to go more and more toward the digital end. I still draw all of my comics with a pencil on paper and scan them, but I am not doing it by page but rather by panel then "inking" the panels within the computer and after all the panels are done i arrange them in the composition I like.

All of the comics that will eventually be up at our site will make full use of what the internet has to offer from flash, hyperlinks, to video as well. I think using as much interactivity as possible in conjunction with the traditional panel by panel comic form is what will eventually bring comics to evolve into the web more freely.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that the method of creation matters, but presentation certainly does. In RC, McCloud makes a pretty persuasive argument that once you add multimedia to comics what you get isn't comics... it's multimedia. Interactive comics? Sure. Flash comics? Why not? Hyperlinked comics? Of course! But I'd have to warn one to be careful with how much animation and video you can incorporate before what you've got isn't a comic any longer. Sure, it'll still be a perfectly valid art and wonderfully entertaining and amusing and magical and touching and tragic- But will it still be comics? Well, I suppose it would be if enough people said it was...
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Thomas51471
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 7:50 pm    Post subject: Web Comics.... Reply with quote

Greg,

That last thing you said there I think is what hits the nail on the head. Something dosent become something until enough people say it does. I agree that if a person uses too much video or animation in a comic it does change the nature of what comics are definded as, but is there a way to meld the two (sequential art and video or animation) in such a way that the work still fits within the definition of "Comics"? I believe there is.
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 10:43 pm    Post subject: Yipe! Reply with quote

Yoinks! We're teetering on the edge of THIS discussion again!
Check out some blasts from the past:

do we really need to reinvent comics? (Jan 15 2002)
http://www.zwol.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=270

Defining "comics" (Dec 13 2001)
http://www.zwol.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=226

Comics? (Nov 02 2001)
http://www.zwol.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=202

I'm not tryint to squelch discussion of a handy definition for comics / web comics, just seed any ensuing conversation with past discussion!

Tim
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And let's not forget:

Is THIS a comic? (Dec 1 2000)
http://www.zwol.org/old/ezboard/fzwolfrm26b49.html
(sorry- page 2 of that thread is MIA.)

But I think we'll always bring this one up again, because our notions of what "webcomics" are will surely change with time.

I'm probably going to fall into the "Reborn McCloudian" camp on this one and accept limited animation (as in "When I Am King") but not think too highly of attempts to meld full animation with comics.
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Jack Masters
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen lots of examples of animation happening INSIDE a panel, but no one seems to be using animation to move the panels themselves around. It seems like the perfect use for animation, personally.
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catgarza
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

make comics. use the web. make comics that make use of the web.
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 8:23 am    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Thanks Greg! I knew that thread was in there too, but I couldn't find it. It was driving me crazy.
Thanks!

Tim
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Craig J. Quack
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my case, my comic is created entirely in Photoshop. I don't draw anything -- mostly because my drawing skills are rudimentary at best -- but rather manipulate images that I've grabbed from other sources. Add in dialogue and whammo*, I've got a comic. It's unique to the internet, but that's mostly because I don't see it being accepted in any other medium. (Would you buy a Dada book?)

I haven't done anything with Flash or other methods of animating panels because I'm still exploring the possibilities of four regular panels a day, and right now that's enough of a challenge. Besides, I don't think a webcomic has to be all tricked out with web things in order to qualify.


*Well, not really whammo. Lately each new strip is taking on average an hour and half to complete, but that's mostly because I'm so picky when it comes to dialogue.
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rcar
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best part about web comics is pushing the limits. Does it really matter what they are called? As artists we should be pushing the medium for all its worth, that's the fun part. For once money is not driving the medium so we can experiment much more.

As for animation, I was going to put some on my comic. I am going to have a fishing segment on my strip soon and thought it would be cool to have the boat rocking a little. My problem is time. Drawing and writing are my love. The computer stuff is work for me. That is why I am now doing a minimal strip, drawn, scanned, posted. I would love to experiment more but I barely have enough time for what I am doing now.
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I draw my comics on a big truck and then smash them into random buildings. The police were kind enough to let me in on the fact that those comics did not fit the definition of online comics..... but my lawyer suggested that I try to convince a jury of my peers that they were. Now I'm totally lost....
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japanimationfist
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 6:40 am    Post subject: Is it reinvention? or, Is this just evolution? Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong, I am definitely a McCloudian (Does that sound as geeky yo you as it does to me?), but as I was reading through the posts on this thread, it occured to me that I'm not sure if what is happening in webcomics right now is so much a reinvention, as an evolutionary step. To say that comics are being "reinvented" seems to imply a purpose, and a direction, that I am not really sure is there... at least not consciously.

To some extent webcomics are precisely what many people see them to be: extensions of their print and paper cousins. That is not to say that there aren't a few "trail"-blazers out there (wow, I never thought that would become a pun), or that there isn't an openness to experimentation and exploration, only that the thrust of this comics evolution, which is webcomics, is much bigger and more amorphous than the will of any one group or person. It's like adolescence. It happens, and the only influence we have, is in our attitude and approach. Webcomics have a momentum now, and as long as there are people with the impetus to create, and other people with the desire to be entertained, I think they will continue to evolve, as comics have over thousands of years.

Maybe Scott will disagree, but I think the changes we are seeing now are inevitable, and though perhaps when comics seemed to be in trouble a few years back (okay, some forms of comics are still in trouble) it sounded as though a reinvention was necessary, but I think that Scott does an admirable job in UC of showing us that comics have endured the rise and fall of countless civilzations, without so much being reinvented, as evolving as technology and communication evolve. Calling it "reinvention" to me, suggests that there is one form of comics that has been consistent, and is now in need of some sort of renewal, but I think if we look a little closer, this thing we call comics, like language itself, is a living growing thing, and akin to a force of nature, in that it cannot be defined, or held onto indefinitely.

So, what are webcomics? They're another step along the way, and more than likely, those people who embrace it (like those people whp embraced adolescence - unlike me) will be the ones to lead the way, though I think that the direction they go in will have more to do with the means of communication available (technology) and the openness of creators to experiment, and explore the limits of said means.
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 9:34 am    Post subject: What are we Reinventing? Reply with quote

I'd agree that comics as a medium is just evolving. However, "Comics Continue to Evolve" is kinda a lousy title.

But seriously folks.... I think"reinvention" as discussed in the book was more a reinvention of the comics industry. The elimination of the middle man in the whole process.

A middle man who starts and chooses categories for prominent comics awards, by the way. Perhaps the lack of online categories is merely a manifestation of some sort of economic survival instinct...

But I digress (as usual).

Tim
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japanimationfist
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 2:25 pm    Post subject: You're right of course Reply with quote

I would have to agree with you there, on both counts. RC makes for a much snappier title, and implicates the people who do comics, so that they don't just sit around on their butts and watch it happen. I think that's important to what is happening right now in comics, and the main reason why there isn't much recognition available to webcomics in general. A

lot of people out there, in the general reading public think of webcomics as a venue for people who can't draw, or couldn't get picked up by any of those "Middle Man" companies that are doing all the printing because they simply don't have what it takes. I know there is an argument to be made for that, but for the most part I think it is just a convenient way to disregard something that is slowly coming into its own.

There was a time when comic books, and the people that peddled them were considered the scum of the earth, with little or no artisitic merit. Things have changed, and the perceptions of webcomics will change too. It's ironic though, that the industry that worked so hard and so long to lose its junky image, is now treating the web-thing it spawned much the same way it was once treated. When did comics go and get all high falutin' anyway?

- Bill (japanimation fist)
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
lot of people out there, in the general reading public think of webcomics as a venue for people who can't draw, or couldn't get picked up by any of those "Middle Man" companies that are doing all the printing because they simply don't have what it takes. I know there is an argument to be made for that, but for the most part I think it is just a convenient way to disregard something that is slowly coming into its own.


I think it's a convenient way to do things you do best (= drawing comics), while not having to do things you aren't supposed to do well to have an artistic merit (= doing job interviews and/or handling a lot of inconveniences like publishing and printing)

These days putting up a website is becoming straightforward and even fun and creative to do, so it really saves a lot of effort that could go into creating comics

The traditional arts could benefit from this too! George Lucas or Steven Spielberg said in an interview that in the near future more and more film makers will be able to make excellent movies in their garage, with a reasonnably small budget and do their distribution on the internet.

Most of the classical arts (painting, sculpture, etc... ) have still a lot to do with having to find galleries, museums and knowing the right people in the biz... when internet art really gets on its way, this might shake up more than just the comics industry, and i believe --even as i know some comic book shops that are really great and run by people who love comics and love to share this passion with others-- that it isn't the job of comic book shops to sell 50% promotional wares (statues, special overpriced editions, collector's items, etc...), but that they should sell comics for their content, to readers and not (as happens even in Europe) to collectors.

I know a friend of mine who once loved reading comics, that is now only collecting them, losing so much time checking what is sold and what is old, he doesn't even get to reading the 50 high priced comic books he buys every month!
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are all fine ideals, and are even occasionally encountered online, but the reality is that there are a lot of sites out there that are worth just about as much as a pizza in a smelly toilet.

I guess that's the basic nature of the internet: anyone can publish, so there is going to be a lot of crap. But, I suppose that is important because without all that crap you wouldn't get those few gems, and even the people churning out the crap will hopefully get better by practice which might not have come their way without the instant publishing promises of the net....

Don't get me wrong, I love online comics and have encountered a few real great pieces of entertainment out there.

By the way, I LOVE the handle "Japanamationfist"!!!

vince
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chrisSturhann
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill,

Something you said made me think of something I'd never thought of before.

I'm surprised that the comic industry doesn't embrace webcomics, rather than treating them like their bastard children. A big problem has been that anyone with enough money self-publish a comic has been able to do so. Admittedly, there have been some great self published comics, but for every great one, there are dozens of bad ones. And the plethora of bad comics makes it that much harder for the few good ones to get noticed. In recent years, it has become much harder for an unknown to self publish through traditional channels.

You would think that the industry would encourage newcomers to do webcomics. First if you're not really ready, webcomics would give you a chance to hone your skills. If you can't get anyone to read your comc for free online, you probably have no business doing anything more than zines anyway. And if you are doing good work, webcomics is the perfect way to build a following for your work.

Chris
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 6:52 pm    Post subject: It IS reinvention! Reply with quote

I believe Scott WAS right to talk about reinventing: Never before have comics (and i'm speaking of comics in general, enclosing all historical comics too) been seen to go digital, and the rethinking of comics as a multimedial art IS a way of inventing something new, even if all comics don't have to go "reinvented".

Unlike the traditional arts, comics are still very much linked with the art of entertainment, and i do hope they will stay that way:

Even Scott McCloud, main "reinventor", is still at its best when doing classical comics, and his extremely experimental work can be of value, but ZOT could never have been created if his only aim was to be as original as possible. (The point I'm trying to make is that original doesn't necessarily rhyme with good)

But there IS some reinventing going on: comics don't have to be visual-only, limited rectilign 2D objects, and who will tell what is coming our way since raw computerpower has been added to the classical canvas-approach.

Online comics won't be just digitized (digitalized?) versions of otherwise unprintable comics for long!


Quote:
I guess that's the basic nature of the internet: anyone can publish, so there is going to be a lot of crap. But, I suppose that is important because without all that crap you wouldn't get those few gems


I wonder when someone is going to start a full-grown online comic directory, and starts adding rewards and appreciations...

...This might be the next step to the reader-public, and I hope it gets done without major corporations interfering
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japanimationfist
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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2002 7:47 pm    Post subject: The future is now! Reply with quote

I think that the web provides comics creators with a great equalizer. Anyone can make comics that could be read by anyone with the internet (and a fast enough connection). Anyone. Sure that means that there is bound to be a lot of crap, like Vince was mentioing earlier, but the opportunity for those gems to appear is there, and if webcomics seem like a viable form of self-expression, and even a way to get noticed, then the right people will do it (and are).

I think Modern Tales is an excellent example of how things are changing for the better. People subscribed in the hundreds, all willing to pay money for the chance to see their favouite creators do webcomics. The response far-exceeded the original MT business plan, and there are plans in the works for several more MT-related sites. That's pretty amazing. Even if creators are just making enough to cover their costs, that is still a pretty substantial step towards legitimacy. Of course, Modern Tales is only the first step. If the model works, it won't be long before people are rushing to copy it (as I type, I'm sure) and once that happens... well, I guess we'll see.

I don't know if this necessarily a good thing, by the way. I mean, I am an MT subscriber, and I am glad to support the creators on MT, but these sorts of collectives are ultimately very elitist (it's the nature of the beast I am afraid), and you're either IN, or you're OUT (Keenspot vs. Keenspace springs to mind). Until a creator's work can stand on its own merit, and readers can pay for those works easily and without hassle (back to Scott and the loose-ends he left us in RC), we're really no further ahead than print comics are right now, with a few big names ruling the roost, while some languish in obscurity... But [in his best Scott McCloud] the web doesn't work that way. This too shall pass, and then, when the holy micropayment is coin of the realm, it will be every webcomic for itself.

Which brings me to a wholly different question, but one closely-related to the question that started this thread: What do you call a webcomic artist/writer/creator?

- Bill (Japanimation Fist)

P.S. My handle is the name of a webcomic that has yet to leave my drawing board. I am currently looking for somewhere to put it. I applied for my own slice of Keenspace, but it seems to take quite awhile
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Bob Stevenson
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been waiting for the web to become the great democratizer of entertainment for a while. A few years ago, I assumed that by 2002, we'd all have incredibly fast connections and access to high-resolution streaming video with stereo sound. Instead, I'm still worried about load-time for the majority of the world that are still on 56k or less. We're forced to compromise with color(flash) or detail(jpegs and gifs). My question is no longer what's going to happen next but how fast is it going to happen and for what percentage of the population.

You're right - Moderntales.com is a good start and you're also right to note that it's a good start for only a few creators and a few thousand fans.

As far as micropayments, I recently heard a story on the BBC or NPR about the successful IPO of Paypal, one of the only successful high tech IPO's. Is it still rolling? It's all coming together but when?

Bob Stevenson
www.journeyintohistory.com
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...I got all excited about the possibilities of the web after reading "Reinventing Comics". Faster download times, real people finding real good stuff on the net, micropayments, etc.

I imagine that all that stuff will come into being. I suppose that we are seeing the birth of it right here and now. MT is a great start, as mentioned above (even with its necessary "evils").

But I'm not holding my breath any more. I just want to enjoy lots of entertainment (which includes the act of creating comics for me), and not get all concerned with the nuts and bolts of the evolution or reinventing of comics (will that statement loose me my title?).

If comics online have not reached our lofty goals yet, then that's fine, I'm willing to wait. I'm willing to scan around on the net when I have free time and look at all the cool stuff out there. I'm also ready to put more and more of my own stuff online.

But until micropayments are a reality, and until there are more efficient ways to direct potential audiences to good sites, and until there is a way for my site to be heard among the clatter and din, then I am not going to make online comics my main form of creation or enjoyment as a fan. In other words, in the mean time I will continue to enjoy the heck out of making and reading paper comics. (of course, I'll always love paper comics....)

Anyhow, I'm sure that most of the things we all seem to want should be here within at least 10 or 20 years at the most, so that's fine.

Vince
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gazorenzoku
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2002 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, I love the infinite canvas and other novelty uses of the web that online comics have at their disposal. There are tons of sites out there doing some interesting things with space and whatnot that can only be done here, online.

I also love how colors look on a monitor.

Though who, besides my personal entourage of idol worshipers, cares if I like something or not? That's not even the point of this thread.

By the way, what the heck do you call people who do paper comics? Some people have been known to call themselves "cartoonists". I am still clueless how to describe things like these to the non-comic consuming masses. In Japanese, the language I speak most of the time now adays (does it show? is my English getting worser?), they have an easy way around it. The word used for people who make comics litterally means, "a person who makes comics".

Howabout "weboonist". It sounds like someone brings boons to the web. Or maybe "netoonist" or "online-oonist". Ok, that's going way to far. I'm sorry....

Don't forgive me, it'll only make me act worser.

vince
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