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Pretty Little Hatchet Job- NYT
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William G
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003
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Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Pretty Little Hatchet Job- NYT Reply with quote

So folks... what are we doing wrong that we arent winning these people over to webcomics?

I have my theories that you've heard from me a million times before, I'd like to hear others.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those coming in late, the link to the NYT article is this one, as mentioned on Scott's blog today. He also provides some links to other conversations at Comixpedia and Websnark.

I don't know, Mr. G., are we doing anything wrong? We are mostly pioneers (and those closely following the pioneers- settlers, to continue the metaphor). We're bound to make a few wrong turns. I'm certain that there are things which can be done better, but many of the things I think are areas in need of improvement are being developed by people already.

Not that there's nothing to talk about, no areas to improve or no things to stop doing. But I think that it's incorrect to say that we "aren't winning these people over." I think it's happening as the medium matures. And I think it's got a lot of maturing to do.
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Eric F Myers
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't cater to a certain audience, and nether do 99% of the webcomics that I read. But maybe that's the problem, that's what makes them so "inaccessible." We cater to ourselves. What makes a movie or television show "mainstream"? They are written for the masses, making the final product dull and meaningless. Look at the biggest hits in terms of percentage of profits in the movie industry. The low budget films that break out into the main are biggest winners. They usually have a certain unique voice that is not grounded down by the Hollywood machine. The same goes for comics. The Scott Mills, the Craig Thompsons, the Will Eisners, the James Kochalkas, etc.. have a unique voice that is not mainstream but reaches to a mainstream audience. Even in the large comic companies, it's the Neil Gaimans and Alan Moores following a different path that make the biggest splashes. What are we doing wrong? A lot to some, nothing to others. What are we doing right? We're making comics.
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William G
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll wait to see what others think, but it was pretty obvious from the article that an outsider came in, found webcomics lacking, and gave us a thumbs down.

I'm doubtful that she's a minority because all of her meaningless-to-us complaints have been heard many times before. And it's not unreasonable to assume there's a large number of people out there who think the same way she does about our not-impotant-enough-to-be-worth-the-bother medium.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would take little stock in an article about comics that's printed in a newspaper that has never even had a comics section. That's because the Times is an elitist paper that has usually turned its nose up to the art of comics, yet has embraced almost any kind of slop that hangs in museum and is considered "modern art".

If you want to read "the funnies" here in New York, you have to buy the Daily News or the New York Post (and sadly the comics sections in those papers are not nearly as good as they could be.)

To me, web comics today is all about experimenting; trying to adapt an old artform to a new medium. Many of these experiments fail, for various reasons, but many others are quite innovative, enjoyable, and in a few cases, revolutionary.
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William G
Reinvents understanding


Joined: 15 Jan 2003
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Location: South central...Korea. Word.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunatey, the survey I posted up on a messageboard totally unrelated to comics or general geekery, seems to have met the cruel fate of the topic prune.... But her complaints were similar to the majority of the reasons people gave me for not reading webcomics.

So it's something we need to take under serious consideration. Because eventually we WILL run out of web-geeks who are willing to send money to suppliment our incomes, or buy Modern Tales subscriptions, or make micropayments work like they have for Itunes... basically, it's the outsiders that can make all of our comiking dreams come true.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William G wrote:
I'll wait to see what others think, but it was pretty obvious from the article that an outsider came in, found webcomics lacking, and gave us a thumbs down.

I'm doubtful that she's a minority because all of her meaningless-to-us complaints have been heard many times before. And it's not unreasonable to assume there's a large number of people out there who think the same way she does about our not-impotant-enough-to-be-worth-the-bother medium.


I've been thinking about this and I have two points I'll make as briefly as I can.

Firstly, it is clear that the article talks about issues that we've discussed, wrestled with, put into action and refined for the last few years, making the sources cited obsolete. Such is the state of the art so far as webcomics are concerned. This makes it easy to dismiss the points raised in the article. I think, however, that dismissing those specific objections runs the risk of dismissing a larger issue.

Which brings me to the second point I'd like to make and is in agreement with Mr. G's statement that "an outsider came in [and] found webcomics lacking." I'm wondering how could they not? I was originally going to say that almost all of the current webcomics are rubbish, but in looking around, I see that there's a good deal of quality. But it's the sort of quality that it takes a familiarity to recognize, I think. The comics at e-sheep are amazing, but how many are there like that? How much of Bill Mudron's work-in-progress, Pan, is there? Is there anything else like it? I was hoping that Keenspot would provide me with ample examples of lousy comics, but there's a whole bunch of good stuff there. (Ugly websites aside.)

Maybe it's just the wide range of stuff that's available and the fact that the web is so democratic. How can we tell a good comic from a bad comic when a good comic's website may be as ugly as the bad comic's site? How can an outsider, who doesn't traditionally read any comics outside of "For Better or For Worse" or "The Far Side" know how to discriminate between good and bad webcomics?

I don't know that we're doing things wrong, but it seems that there's a whole lot more we could be doing better.

Or maybe I'm just grumpier than usual today.
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DOOM2099
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a relative newbie to webcomics I believe this: Many peopole don't know they exist. Seriously, your ads need to be on non webcomic related sites, rather than on sites that cater to a crowd that already reads a gazillion strips a day. I am not taking on any new strips bcause I can't keep up with what I'm reading now.

New readers means new to webcomics readers.
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