Hypothetical question, inspired by too much sugar

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Tim Tylor
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Hypothetical question, inspired by too much sugar

Post by Tim Tylor »

Suppose I was owed a favour by a mad scientist or high-power business guy or magic trout or whatever, and I wanted them to do something for the cause of webcartoons and webcartoonists in general. What would be the best thing to ask for?
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Re: Hypothetical question, inspired by too much sugar

Post by William G »

Tim Tylor wrote:Suppose I was owed a favour by a mad scientist or high-power business guy or magic trout or whatever, and I wanted them to do something for the cause of webcartoons and webcartoonists in general. What would be the best thing to ask for?
Is there a way to answer that without seeming self-serving?
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Post by Tim Mallos »

Oh, ye magic trout, I ask that every aspiring web comiker magically have the time and financial means to fully realize the creative vision they have in their heads, while, magically, not neglecting family, friends, or participation in VERY IMPORTANT ELECTIONS.

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Greg Stephens
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Post by Greg Stephens »

With sugar on top.
Good morning! That's a nice tnetennba.
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Post by losttoy »

I think Tim said it best ... here here!
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not just about time to create

Post by davem »

we need to get people to see our work, we need to lift webcomics out of the tiny obscure niche, we need to be using the possibilities that the web gives us - the web isn't just about hypertext and flash.

How about taking advantage of the networked aspect of the web?

How about the way Amazon maps people's taste and recommends other books? maybe this could be extended to recommend web or print comics I may like also. try to get bigger audiences.

how about the audience participates in the webcomic? our webcomics are too traditional - we create and present to the public for consumption.

What about trends in slash fiction?
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Re: not just about time to create

Post by Tim Tylor »

davem wrote:we need to get people to see our work, we need to lift webcomics out of the tiny obscure niche
That's been on my mind a bit. A strip in a paper is put before the eyes of all the paper's readers, who might enjoy and start following it even if they don't have a general interest in comics. A strip just on a website will only be seen by people who visit the site on purpose to see it and so will be mostly webcomic readers already. Maybe we need to work more on getting webcomics "on to the street".
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Post by losttoy »

how come online new sources that don't print newspapers don't publish webcomics on their sites?
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Post by russ »

losttoy wrote:how come online new sources that don't print newspapers don't publish webcomics on their sites?
I'd hypothesize it's because of bandwidth, text being much more efficient on the web and all. But that is a good question - if there was a clear demand for comics at online news sites, they might start doing them more.
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Post by Pumpkin Pie »

:D Six annual regional webcomic-only conventions in the US, six in Europe, six in Asia, and six in Central & South America. Heck, six in Africa and two in Australia.

Webcomics that also appear in comicbooks, paper magazines, or newspapers would not qualify for consideration. Compilation books though wouldn't disqualify anyone. The idea is to have only "pure" webcomics. Otherwise, the "pure" webcomics will once again be standing in the shadow of those others. Also, no other celebrities invited. Not even extremely cheap "Midget That Wore An Ewok Suit In Star Wars" pseudo-celebrity or such. The stars of these conventions would only be webcomic creators. 8)

The six in the US would be done so there is one regional convention every two months. The regions being Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Central South, Northwest, and Southwest. Within each region, I would advocate rotating each year amongst three major cities that are not too close to each other.

Northeast: NYC, Boston, and Washington DC.
Southeast: Atlanta, Orlando (ideally Disney World), and Memphis.
Midwest: Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Kansas City.
Central South: Dallas, New Orleans, and Denver.
Northwest: Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Portland (or Vancouver, Canada).
Southwest: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.

Similarly, each region of the world would also have two months separating each of their six annual conventions. As for where to hold the cons in each global region:

Europe: London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, and Istanbul.
Asia: Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Calcutta, Seoul, and Bangkok.
Central & South America: Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Panama, San Juan, and Guayaquil (Ecuador).
Africa: Johannesburg, Cairo, Casablanca, Lagos (Nigeria), Banjul (Gambia), and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
Australia: Sydney and Melbourne.

The above cons should never overlap thus 32 weekends a year would be covered by them. Those webcomic creators that do them all would then have twenty weeks off a year from doing this convention circuit. I'd have the off-weeks be over holidays and so there's roughly three weeks off every two months. The two in Australia would have six months separating them.

Two level of tickets would be sold. A "basic" ticket geared to the poor college student and thus cheap ... but not done at a loss. A "premium" ticket geared for those willing to spend more to get more. The premium ticket would determine just how many webcomic creators would be paid to attend the convention. And by "paid", I mean each given a round-trip business-class airline ticket, a respectable room within the hotel the con is taking place, and a $1,000 honorarium. The more premium tickets sold, the more webcomic creators would get paid to attend. Premium tickets are all advance tickets and they would allow the ticket purchaser to vote which webcomic creators they want sent an invite and paid to come. As another perk of being a premium ticket holder, they get let into the convention's vendor hall two hours earlier on the first day of the convention. Other premium benefits are special colored convention passes, a premium-members-only lounge with lots of comfy sofas in a room in the middle of the convention, and being part of a group photograph of all premium members plus webcomic creators that attended the convention with this taken at a good time on Sunday.

A special perk I would give to premium members would be the chance to have a meal with at least one of the paid webcomic creators of the convention. The premium member gets to pick which creator they would like to spend a meal with. The premium member would be allowed to list more than one they'd like to have a meal with and, if they do so, scheduling would determine who they get. Then over the course of the convention, multi-table private meals would be held where at each table nine premium members and their webcomic creator of their choice sit down for a meal together. The meal could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner and premium members can make their preference known which of these they'd like it to be. I would also allow premium members to purchase additional tickets to these meals so if they have more than one webcomic creator that they desire to share the long table with, they can ... as long as there's enough meals during the convention to accommodate them. I would split the revenue for those extra meal ticket sales with the webcomic creators that premium members are willing to pay extra to be sure to sit with for a meal. Needless to say, the creators would eat free. :wink:

For aspiring webcomic creators, these conventions would host a series of workshops and lectures educating them on how to start a webcomic and make it a financial success. A wannabe creator should be able to go to the con and spend the entire time going from one of these classes to the next. These workshops and lectures should only require three instructors that would alternate running them. I'd have one be an IT person, another be a marketer, and the third an art/writing instructor. Each would have at least a decade of work experience. To give a flavor of what these offerings could be:

"How to draw the human body." (workshop)
"Shading made simple" (workshop)
"Making Photoshop your friend." (workshop)
"How to manage sex-crazed groupies" (lecture)
"Website construction and innovation" (lecture)
"Marketing, marketing, marketing." (lecture)
"Story development" (lecture)
"Squeezing out penny profits" (lecture)

In between the above workshops and lectures, I would assemble panel discussions of the webcomic creators that won paid invites. If there is a lot of them that did, I'd hold more than one panel discussion so no more than six creators are on a panel at a time. And if there was more than one panel discussion, I would try to group the creators so those with the most in common sit on the same panel. For example, one panel featuring creators of gaming webcomics, another featuring "mature" comics, and another furries.

As for vendor booth allocation, those webcomic creators that won paid invites get first pick and do not pay for their spaces. After these, webcomic creators that didn't win paid invites get first pick. If there's more webcomic creators than stall spots, simply sell them to highest bidder. If there are not more webcomic creators than stall spots, creators get theirs free and pre-approved businesses (ones that would make sense for the convention) bid against each other with highest bidder getting first pick.

Naturally, it would be best to start these conventions off small ... or initially plan for them to start off that way. No grand plans and stellar dreams for the initial ones ... or initial years. Advance ticket sales (both premium and basic) would help determine the projected size of these conventions and thus facilities needed. It is better to have con-goers feel the facilities were a "bit" packed than empty. No one likes going to an empty convention. If need be, have it in a couple small hotel conference rooms. A common complaint of con-goers should always be "God, they need bigger facilities. That con was packed!" and not "What was really depressing was the echo."

These webcomic-only conventions would go a long way of helping webcomics develop a following and their own identity. It would showcase them. It would also help webcomic creators not feel like they exist in a vacuum. And possibly most important of all, they would signal to the art world that webcomics have come of age and are now a player on the world scene.

Yup, that's what I'd ask for. Financial help in getting this all started and continued help until they can stand on their own two feet. :)
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Post by ArcTanGentleman »


Those who will succeed will succeed, those who will fail, will fail. I use myself as an example. I will fail. Why? Because I am selfish, unwilling to relinquish ownership of my creations (I fear, I would rather let them die in some folders that will be forgotten forever), and unable to negotiate reasonable terms with an artist. (Admittedly, they would quit. I could do... but I would not... for it is not what I create that is chained to me... but I who am chained to my creations.

Webcomic creators do exist in a vacuum. Not literally. Many of the greatest earliest comic artists would say simply 'Illustrator' or 'writer' and felt embarrassed by their work.

If you could do one thing it would probably be to increase the material in the public domain from which many great artists draw. Find a loose, interesting, copyright and intentionally either release it for free to everyone, or form a corporation, which owns another corporation, and liquidate it in such a way that the material it's self is not transferred back to you, but is in fact dumped into the public domain. Or, sell it to the government to be published for a penny so that the people as a whole own it.

Something unique, generic, a good basis for new and innovative creations.

If I had a lawyer, I have a question I'd ask them... but I'd never tell anyone but them and the results would never be known, so it's meaningless to your question, but it would change my world.

As for a magic trout or mad scientist.... I'd probably wish for a real life female superhero, a [deleted due to spam filter], or something else from our fantasies. Or, you could wish into reality something that had only been fiction. You see, once something is real then it's no longer copyrighted but an object. At least one of the things I am writing about, I have invented and can make. It's rediculous, fantastic, and I could even claim it as a super-power... and it's real... but I'll never tell anyone.

Like ALON, aluminum oxy-nitride. Remember the transparent aluminum from star-trek... it's real now... so you can write about it. It's not a fantasy anymore. Every thing that exists is a tool we can use to write.

Find old public domain art, scan it, make it available. Research ancient legends. Hire a translator to re-translate (with full stock license) 'the monkey king'. Wish for ancient tomes to be converted to english, rewritten... in general, the best thing you can do for any artist is to either give them an idea, or to enable them to create something.

Me, I would kill for an artist... but at the same time I can't take one for free... has to be work for hire... and yet I'm broke... but what would I have drawn... I answered that question 4 times already, but didn't have a comic artist... here's hoping it turns out well... but thus far, it's a struggle to convey what I want within the limited words I am allowed to convey.

That said, I've never completed anything, the worlds inside my head will likely die with me. As fantastic as they are... I lack the focus and the means to make them a reality... they just grow and grow endlessly trapped like some giant tumor eroding away at my focus and distracting me from this world.

And still I love them.