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LINK: PvP comic for 5/23/02
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 10:47 am    Post subject: LINK: PvP comic for 5/23/02 Reply with quote

It may be framed as a joke, but Scott Kurtz is making a very important point in today's comic:

http://www.pvponline.com/archive.php3?archive=20020523

This is not a new thought, but it bears repeating for anybody who's either not heard it before or has heard it but doesn't believe it. Being a real comics artist is as simple as making some comics.

Now, how long in this storyline before Skull decides to follow Biff's lead and put his comic on the web?
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japanimationfist
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 6:30 am    Post subject: Hmmmm Reply with quote

I caught the beginning of the story yesterday, and the follow-up today, but I am afraid I don't know Scott well enough to know where he stands on this. The opinion is not new, of course, and I suspect it applies to a fair percentage of what's out there, both on paper, or in cyberspace, but I think that this is an incredibly important stage for comics. In a sense, we are seeing the democratization of certain technologies, which make it cheap and inexpensive for anyone with the desire, to make comics.

Even printing up a few dozen mini-comics at the local Kinko's is a fairly recent development when you look at comics long-term. There's been an explosion in "alternative" print comics, as it becomes easier to layout, print and distribute your vision to others, and the web has only made that easier.

Of course easier doesn not necessarily mean better, but I tend to see the glass as half-full in this instance, because the more people doing comics, the more chances there are of someone writing/drawing something brilliant, that might never have done so otherwise.

I remember reading the press-release from Stephen Speilberg and Ron Howard a few years ago, when they were planning to launch a site for amateur film makers to put their work up on the web. They seemed to think that by putting the technology to create films in the hands of anyone with a the desire to make films, might mean that they might uncover some wunderkind - a Mozart of movies, child prodigy, or otherwise. Their particular site fell-through, but there are lots of others that have come forward since then, and though there are a lot of bad films on the web, there are quite a few gems. It reminds me of something I read in "The Artist's Way", by Julie Cameron, which goes something like: 'You take care of the quantity, and the quality will take care of itself.' In other words, the more you make, the better they will get (eventually), and I think that is as true of webcomics/alternative comics, as it is of individuals.

I suspect that Scott is trying to call attention to this attitude, and perhaps even work out a little frustration, since he works hard to produce a a high-quality webcomic and a comic book, which for all intents and purposes, are thrown in with a steaming heap of other "alternative" comics out there. The one thing I would say in response, if that is the way he is feeling (like I said, I don't know the guy) is that it is always easier to spot the flowers in the dung heap, than it is to spot a flower in amongst the flowers.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really know Scott Kurtz's views of such things either. It seems that often his comic speaks for him but, as with all fiction, sometimes the comic expresses views that he does not hold. A good barometer of what he actually thinks can be found in his rants and touching this topic in particular in his Could success kill your webcomic? (part 2) rant.

Having said that, today's comic is a bit less charitable toward alternative, independant comics, but I don't suspect that this is not 100% his view because he himself publishes an alternative, independant dead-tree version of PvP.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2002 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so for some more of Scott Kurtz's feelings on these strips, check out this thread at Comicon.com:

http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=8&t=000871

As usual, strong views, stated strongly.

But the point of this thread, over here in the Zwol forum, is a reminder that no matter what Kurtz is attempting to point out about the relative quality of the work or the attitudes of those doing the work- In order to be in the business of making comics, it's really as simple as just... making comics.
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2002 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, what's great in online comics is the way to make comics an art like everything else!

Let me explain:

    I know several guys and gals who are into an artform on an amateur basis. Music (amateur bands, or just playing the guitar at summer camp, etc...), Painting (at a local evening class, or just for fun to hang on the wall, or give as a present), etc...

    Only one artform is really having difficulty finding afficionados: comics!

    This is because


a it takes time to finish
b it isn't viewed "mature" by most adults
c people aren't waiting for comics to read
d once you made a comic sharing it is the point! You rarely make comics so you can be the only one to read them (as is the case with a lot of private poetry/writing)


    The web leaves us the freedom to really "just make comics"

    As Scott Kurtz states, this gives a lot of shit, but hey, did we ever worry about the vast amount of bad guitar players? As long as we're not FORCED to hear them on the radio (for instance) WHO CARES?



Now we can finally become an art like any other with its big group of amateurs being able to show their work, even when it's bad or "only for fun". This attitude is already living on the comic jam forum and it's a good thing, cause now and then a small, humble cartoon artist will become a previously unknown pro, and show he's got the right stuff (wether this happens online or in print doesn't matter).

It reminds me of the tons of cartoons I did in high school and in college, and the small comic jams I did with a friend of mine. Now this doesn't have to stop when we grow up and get so-called "real" jobs (I myself hope to go comic pro, but as I have still to prove what I'm worth in the marketplace, I prefer to stay humble).
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