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How did the Morning Improv Forum become part of Zwol?
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Kris Lachowski
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Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Posts: 192
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:13 am    Post subject: How did the Morning Improv Forum become part of Zwol? Reply with quote

I'm interested in learning a little history on why, how, and when the Morning Improv forum came to reside in Zwol. I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was originally not going to be permanent and it seem to be pretty permanent now. I wouldn't want the forum to change or separate, but I am curious how this came to be.
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Greg Stephens
Forum Founder


Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: A brief history of the Morning Improv forum Reply with quote

Short story, made very short: I volunteered.

Much longer version:
Back when Scott was doing Zot! Online, there was a message board at Comic Book Resources. It was a good, friendly place with a lot of discussion about Reinventing Comics which was recently published. It was suggested at that time that somebody set up an alternative forum for discussion when the CBR Zot! Online forum became defunct, though it was not obvious at that time that the CBR-hosted board would vanish entirely (as it seems to have done). I had started a forum for my toddling webcomic, so it was easy enough for me to set up a Reinventing Comics message board on EZ Board. It seemed to work out fairly well, with many of the participants making the switch and Scott endorsing the idea through showing up to participate.

Anybody who's used an EZ Board message forum for some time knows that it's not really the best system these days- over crowded servers, lots of ads- though at that time it served its purpose. At that time, they were starting to introduce some of their more aggressive advertising systems, which really turned me off, and I was learning to code in PHP so I knew that I had the skills to bring the message board under by own domain. I discovered the excellent open-source PHPBB forum tool (at that time, version 1.4, which is not so snazzy as the current version and not nearly as popular as it is today) and made the switch to Zwol.org.

At Scott's suggestion, the old EZ Board discussions have been preserved for browsing here at Zwol.org.

The Reinventing Comics aspect of this forum has lessened over the last couple years, as the ideas from the second half of that book have become to be seen as less outlandish than they were at the time and have been absorbed into the webcomic culture (heck- that there IS a whole webcomic culture sort of illustrates that fact), but the Morning Improv section started when, at some point, Scott suggested at the footer of the then-current improv (I think it was during "The Parallelogram's Revenge") that people might wish to post their thoughts in the R.C. forum (the Parallelogram's Revenge topic still gets new posts added, even now, as people discover the comic and want to offer an interpretation). I suggested to Scott that I could set up a new forum specifically for M.I. discussions and he agreed.

And here we are.

That Scott continues to read and participate in discussions here, and endorses the forum with a direct link from his Morning ImBlog and each of the Improvs is something for which I'm very thankful to him. I remember reading Understanding Comics straight through in one sitting and it's one of the few books that radically adjusted my way of thinking as I read it, so the opportunity to not only give something back, but to have Scott's approval is quite gratifying. Just to be clear, though, just because Scott knows who I am doesn't mean that when I met him last I didn't behave like some kind of demented fan, because I did. I was so tense that I probably shouldn't have been allowed near people that day, but time waits for no one and now I'm degressing horribly and really, there's no more to the history of the M.I. forum except to thank Scott once again for giving us something to talk about.
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Surlyben
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Joined: 31 Mar 2002
Posts: 99
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:39 pm    Post subject: Thread Hijack! Reply with quote

Quote:
Just to be clear, though, just because Scott knows who I am doesn't mean that when I met him last I didn't behave like some kind of demented fan, because I did. I was so tense that I probably shouldn't have been allowed near people that day, but time waits for no one and now I'm degressing horribly and reall


I hate that demented fan thing. I'd never experienced it before I went to San Diego last summer, and I was completely surprised that I had it in me. (Demented fan reaction to: Carla Speed McNiel, Andi Watson, Gabrielle Bell. Fortunately I fled the scene before I could get too bad. I handed Scott McCloud a copy of my mini, but he was talking to other people, and I had to meet people I was there with. So I didn't get a chance to act like an idiot.)

I think I hadn't experienced it before because usually the people I'm a fan of (ie, an actor or a musician) are nowhere near as accessible as comic authors... You can see a band, but you don't really get to stop and chat unless you happen to already know them.

Anyway. I though it was awful. I meet these people, and my brain goes "wow! I really like [artist]'s work! And here they are! Say something clever! Compliment them!" But nothing comes to mind. Then the panic sets in. I'm lucky if I can manage a stiff "Your work is awesome." No sir, I don't like it.

Then again, I had a nice chat with Donna Barr. And I like her work a lot. She was delightfully curmudgeonly.
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Rip Tanion
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 12 Apr 2002
Posts: 635
Location: The Riptania Sky-Palace in da beauuuuuutiful Bronx.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee, and I thought it all got started when Greg planted a magic bean, which soon sprouted into a giant beanstalk, reaching into the McClouds.
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