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The Rebirth of Comics 186

Posted by michael
from the mary-worth dept.
Malfourmed writes "The Sydney Morning Herald is running a story on web based comics and how the new medium can change the traditional "left-to-right in a rectangular frame" paradigm. Concentrating on the work of Scott McLoud it also mentions geek favourites Dilbert and The Matrix, among others. Micropayments are discussed, with the article claiming that after you pay your 25 cents "most of which goes straight to McCloud, cutting out the middlemen that make it difficult for comic artists to make a living from their work, and in the process doing justice to their talents." One of the more interesting sites discussed is the Oz Comics 24 Hour Gallery, the result of a competition in which artists had 24 hours to create an original, 24-page comic. So popular was the contest that the server suffered from a veritable slashdot effect."
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The Rebirth of Comics

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  • no middlemen? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by proj_2501 (78149)
    Then who are web hosting providers and ISPs?
    • Re:no middlemen? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lawbeefaroni (246892)
      They're like the pen, ink, and paper suppliers. The provide the medium (or access to it). You might say they're like the distributors, but print comics aren't really traditional in that sense, what with the syndicates and all.

      • wouldn't the distributors be middlemen? anything that gets in the middle between me and the comic is a middleman, no?
        • Re:no middlemen? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Lawbeefaroni (246892)
          Well, generally middlemen tend to take a cut. ISPs charge a fee non-dependent on what an artist takes in. Of course the more viewers, the more bandwidth so probably more charges but $10 a month or $0.25 a month they don't work off of revenue.

          Is the owner of a building a shop keeper leases a "middleman?"
        • Re:no middlemen? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zathrus (232140)
          No more so than the telephone company is a middleman when you make a long distance phone call. Yes, without them you wouldn't be able to make the call. But they're not buying the conversation from you and selling it to the person on the other end.

          A middleman is someone who purchases from the producer and sells to the consumer. The ISP/webhost isn't doing this -- they're merely providing transport. And, yes, this is an important economic and (more importantly) legal discrimination. The ISP/webhost is not re
    • Re:no middlemen? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ziriyab (549710)
      Then who are web hosting providers and ISPs?

      They are the web hosts and the ISPs. A middleman is a person who buys from producers and sells to consumers. The web hosts and ISPs don't buy his work and they don't sell his work.

      If this dude sold his comics out of his apt, would you call his landlord and the electric company middlemen?

  • Comics.. (Score:1, Funny)

    by grub (11606)

    Ah yes, it's been years since I've thought of comics; Archie & Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Darl McBride & the Goatse.cx guy...
  • by larsoncc (461660) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:26PM (#6852090) Homepage
    I check Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com], Little Gamers [little-gamers.com], and Real Life Comics [reallifecomics.com] an awful lot. Probably too much to be healthy.

    Why? Because the web provides me access to humor that is very, VERY specialized. Find comics like these in a Sunday Paper, or a comic shop, or anywhere else.

  • I think that media like comics, video, etc. will start to flourish online with things like Micropayments, but more with the increase of bandwidth. It is remarkably difficult to set up a server that will receive & redistribute 10,000 comic strips a day, versus one that just gets 10,000 hits per day.
    • It would be in a lot of their benefits to use vector files rather than raster. I mean, they develope in vector files anyway. I believe Gabe [penny-arcade.com] and Greg [reallifecomics.com] both use Illustrator then save as jpg or gif for their websites. Isn't there a vector plugin [adobe.com] or something? Heck they could use Flash and make it one freaking frame. Surely it would be smaller.
  • Unfortunatley. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anonymous coword (615639) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:27PM (#6852104) Homepage Journal
    A lot of the web comics are poor quality, make obvious jokes [hackles.org], and have lame characters. Sure there are some good ones. and I do like the cheap laughts, but reducing the barrier to entry also reduce the quality level.
    • Re:Unfortunatley. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Saige (53303)
      It also allows a lot more comics that are far from mainstream in their topic, but are well done, to survive with audiences of varying sizes. Yes, I agree, there are plenty of amateur comics around, plenty that haven't been updated in months (most of Keenspace's comics fit that), and so on.

      But every once in a while one does well - such as Venus Envy [keenspace.com]. Perhaps only a few hundred fans, but very dedicated. Heck, the author needed a grand to make a move across the country, and the fans had no problem donating
    • Re:Unfortunatley. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:06PM (#6852490) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, these guys should strive for the level of quality found on the comics page of your local paper where the jokes are always fresh and the characters interesting...

      If you hadn't noticed, 90% of the comics page is stuck in a rut so big it's been reclassified as a box canyon. It seems that paper editors choose the least offensive most watered down cheap fare they can find for the comics page. This practice has turned the whole thing into a tremendous waste of time, as the same few jokes are told over and over again by the same old tired characters.

      so, what are the Lockhearts up to this week? Fighting again? Andy Capp is in a bar or falling down drunk? BC is preaching again? Ooh! The Family Circus has another one of those dotted line things.
      • That's the only problem I had with the article. It's stuck on Scott "OMG d0tted L1nez!" McCloud's attempts to peg this as a business model for newspaper comics and not anything in and of itself. I mean, outside of Calvin & Hobbes, newspaper comics suck.

        If you get away from Scott "Flow Chart" McCloud's sphere of influence, you get stuff that's good and not just Ziggy with tits and crack. Exploding Dog [explodingdog.com] is at least 90% absolute genius, Cat and Girl [catandgirl.com] is doing quite well, Poe's [errantstory.com]... Poe, and Kung Fool's [transpect.net] bee
        • --Kudos for mentioning Exploding Dog, it takes a special kind of person to understand that kind of artwork. ;-) It really makes you think sometimes.
      • Re:Unfortunatley. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by li99sh79 (678891) <sam@cos m i c - h i p p o . org> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @04:11PM (#6853061) Homepage Journal
        If you hadn't noticed, 90% of the comics page is stuck in a rut so big it's been reclassified as a box canyon. It seems that paper editors choose the least offensive most watered down cheap fare they can find for the comics page. This practice has turned the whole thing into a tremendous waste of time, as the same few jokes are told over and over again by the same old tired characters.

        There are also comic strips that run in real time and let the characters grow and change, and then there are strips in between. "For Better or For Worse," "Luann", "Crankshaft", "The Norm", and "Doonesbury" all experience the passage of time and character growth in one form or another.

        The Funny pages are as much a place for "comfort" good as they are cutting edge humor. Most of the big hitters have been in the game for twenty years or more, people are familiar with them and they don't like chance. For years the Detroit Free Press tried to drop Modesty Blaise but everytime they did there were howls of protests. In fact, when artist/writer of Modesty Blaise decided to end the strip the Freep had to run a notice that the strip was over for a week in the strip's palce to make sure people were clear on what happened.

        Then again the technical quality of most of the strips that run in your local paper are better than most of the web comics out there. It's also not a given that all print strips are uncreative crap. Strips like "Get Fuzzy," "Pearls before Swine" and "Boondocks" are all just as good, if not better, than even the top-tier webcomics.

        Besides, how many webcomics did jokes about how big the X-Box is? How much character development have Tycho and Gabe undergone over the run of Penny Arcade? Webcomics can be just as predictable and static as the newspaper funny pages


        -sam, really should start outlining his /. posts

        • Yeah but Penny Arcade is *still* [penny-arcade.com] frequently [penny-arcade.com] very [penny-arcade.com] funny [penny-arcade.com] even if you're not a gaming nut.
      • Coming up with something new and making it popular is not at all easy. My friend and I work on this comic [lobsteraliens.com]. I'd say its different from the funny papers but also different from most of the webcomics that are out there right now. Sure we have a decent readership but we aren't bursting our bandwidth caps or anything like that.

        A unique comic is very lucky if it gets a lot of readers that stick around, unfortunatly most people stick with what they know.
    • Re:Unfortunatley. (Score:2, Informative)

      by TXG1112 (456055)
      I'm suprised no one has mentioned Sinfest. [sinfest.net]

      IMHO one of the funniest on-line comics around.

    • Re:Unfortunatley. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "A lot of the web comics are poor quality, make obvious jokes, and have lame characters. "

      So? A comic need only entertain you. It doesn't have to do it every time, it just needs that defining moment.

      The nice thing about the internet is any comic'll find its audience at no cost to the end user.
    • --Hey, making a webcomic (any comic for that matter) that's funny EVERY DAY is a hard job. Even harder when they do it for no money. Check this one out:

      http://www.hackles.org/cgi-bin/archives.pl?reque st =7
  • Oh, really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Unknown Kadath (685094) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:28PM (#6852106)
    So popular was the contest that the server suffered from a veritable slashdot effect.

    Think they're ready for the real thing?

    -Carolyn
  • Hmmmm. No Sluggy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dejaffa (12279)
    No Sluggy Freelance reference. This story describes what it calls "specialized" comics, but Sluggy seems to have wider appeal than much of what they describe.
    • Re:Hmmmm. No Sluggy? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:37PM (#6852219)
      And I was hoping to get the first Sluggy post.. ;-)

      Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com] is possibly the finest web daily out there. The following is powerful enough that when the author (Pete) found out that the comic was making no money, he cried out 'Help Me!' Shortly thereafter, they had a flood of small payments from loyal readers.

      A fine example of how online entertainment should be handled. The online comic is free (save a banner ad). You can pay to rid yourself of ads. You can pay to get merchandise (printed books, tshirts, etc). No 'required subscription' or any of that bull$hit.

      Worship the comic. Go read some archives. 6 years of comics are online, for no charge. Go get addicted, and give Pete some money.
      • It was sorta, at one point. been wandering in the wilderness since "Fire & Rain" and was rendered unreadable by Kitten II.

        I think it is not rad at all that I have seen no references to Achewood [achewood.com] yet. WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE?
  • Okay... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mschoolbus (627182) <travisriley@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:29PM (#6852115)
    I assume "The Rebirth of Comics" is following "The Death of Comics"? Anyone?!

    Up next, "The Rebirth of Linux!"
  • all for it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NetMagi (547135) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:29PM (#6852116)
    I'm all for ANY distribution method where the artists actually get a sizaeble sum of the profits. .
    • Making money on micropayments isn't easy, by definition. Here's an article from Wired about them [wired.com].

      Apparently, Bitpass merchants pay a transaction fee of 15 percent for items under $5 and 5 percent plus 50 cents for more expensive things. e-gold fees [e-gold.com] are a 1%/year storage fee and up to 1% of the transaction amount, with a maximum of 50 cents (US$) worth of metal for their fee, no matter how large the transaction.

      Of course, the ability to do micropayments (or macropayments, for that matter) is hardly new -
  • Misnomer? (Score:2, Interesting)

    How many widely read comic books are really comic these days?

    Wouldn't "dramatic" or "tragic" books be a more apt name?

  • Stan Lee (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Worminater (600129)
    Does anyone remember the late stanlee.net?

    Ah, such great expectations till it crashed:-p
  • Or if you're bored (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yoshi1013 (674815)
    I agree that specialized comics are probably one of the best things about webcomics. Plus, since they're not controlled by someone in a suit (unless the artist wears a suit) and they can have content that you might never see in a newspaper. The site of the character in Penny Arcade banging his head against the wall drawing lots of blood comes to mind, or zapping the N-Gage pimp with a cattle prod or whatever that was. I made a webcomic 'cause I had nothing to do while unemployed and needed some type of ch
  • Lest we forget? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TyrranzzX (617713) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:36PM (#6852194) Journal
    Megatokyo.com Machall.com
  • by Cutriss (262920) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:37PM (#6852205) Homepage
    Concentrating on the work of Scott McLoud [scottmccloud.com] it also mentions geek favourites Dilbert and The Matrix, among others.

    Is this an unintentional spelling error of Scott's last name, or an intentional jab at what some people [penny-arcade.com] think of his ideals?
  • by Brahmastra (685988) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:37PM (#6852209)
    e-comics, e-books, et. al. just don't work for me because I cannot lie back on the sofa, sit on the toilet seat, read while eating, etc. Good old paper is my preference until there's a more handy way to read e-books. Handhelds don't work well for me either since they just don't contain as much information in 1 page as a book and require frequent scrolling.
    • What? You can't eat/sleep/shit while connected to the computer? You mean you haven't modified your computer chair/display to tilt to a reclining position so that you can nap or relax while computing? And you haven't install that toilet-plumbing system in your chair either? And -- horror of horrors -- you don't have a microwave and a ready supply of ramen and Easy Mac within reach of your main box?

      JUST WHAT KIND OF A /. READER ARE YOU?

  • I recall (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:39PM (#6852231)
    I remember an article that Scott Kurtz (pvponline.com) posted a while back, on how the sunday comics haven't been funny for the past 10 years. Blondie, while starting off in the depression, actually had a plot based on romeo and juliet, with unlikely characters Blondie and Dagwood. Anymore, it just doesn't have the magic, or the humor. The great thing about web comics is that they do not have to have an audience in order to thrive. The greats like Penny-arcade, Megatokyo, and Mac Hall, are all very specialized and niche-based humor. Whereas, in a syndicated comic, it would be hard to be successful while making jokes about video games, anime, and other relatively 'outside' subjects.

    Not to mention the fact that free hosting and no need for an editor produces a lot of general crap, but that's really just the price to pay for the really good quality webcomics that are out there.
    • Re:I recall (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mmm coffee (679570) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:39PM (#6852777) Journal
      I'm a big webcomic fan for the fact that you will find a LOT of comics online that no publisher in his right mind would consider going near. I don't think I've laughed at a mainstream print comic since I was six. But get online and you're looking at a whole 'nother ballpark.

      A perfect example of this is Sexy Losers [sexylosers.com], my personal favorite. (Warning, comic so NSFW it's not even remotely funny.) The most quoted strip - Girl is about to commit suicide. Guy asks her if he can have sex with her before she jumps. She calls him a pervert. Guy says "Well, I'll just have to wait until your body washes ashore, then." Man, I wish they'd print *that* next to Garfield.

      Online comics can go, do, and say things that 99% of publishers wouldn't consider printing, and as such tend to be a lot more origional than the rest. Yes, the vast majority of webcomics are total and complete crap, but every now and then you come across a [keenspace.com] few [keenspace.com] gems [keenspace.com] that drag you in and make you read each and every comic several times over. (I am specifically talking about Venus Envy which I linked to above in the word "a", I never dreamed I would become a huge fan over a comic about freakin' transsexuals, for christ's sakes.)

      • Sexy losers is one of the few comics that makes me laugh out loud. At times it''s hilarious. Just because the subject material os a bit unconventional shouldn't put people off. Think of it as perversion slapstick.
    • by danila (69889)
      Crap is good, because
      1) it means someone is taking risks
      2) someone is trying to do stuff
      3) you never know what will turn out good
  • by Psychic Burrito (611532) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:39PM (#6852236)
    Interesting article [ipaya.com] about the same subject.

    Summary (from the site): Although micropayment is a great thing in principle, existing implementations contain big problems which block their success. This article analyzes these problems and proposes a new solution without them. The solution lacks most traditional spending features, but still preserves the "spirit of micropayment".

    Cheers! The Psychic Burrito
  • by ianscot (591483) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:41PM (#6852248)

    Anyone familiar with the publishing of Web-based ads -- you know, banners? banners with standard sizes and pricing for levels of traffic? -- could tell you that Web publishing faces some of the same constraints traditional paper models do.

    Strips within Flash movies -- to use an example from the article -- just replace the four-panel, left-to-right constraint with another set of limitations. Have the right player? How big a monitor? Do sites that might want to syndicate your comic have a layout that'll accomodate your "infinite" canvas? Maybe we should agree on some standards to help people along... Sound familiar? Take a look at the flash-based ads you see around; they're a standard size, usually more or less square, so as to be set into a variety of text articles.

    I'm not convinced that a subscription service is the model that'll reach critical mass, either. A dedicated site of comics for $3 a month will reach solid fans, but it won't have the same broad appeal as the funnies in your paper. And there was already a specialty market for graphic novels, right? We're talking about freeing the popular, daily strip from the tyranny of four-boxes-in-a-row. To do that you'd want to get to a sort of syndication model: ISPs might allow their users' custom home/news pages to include a certain comic, something like that. Again, you're facing some standardization to make something like that work.

    It's a publishing thing, not just a magic Web thing.

  • No fair! I demand the chance to get involved in any Slashdotting!

    On a more serious note, Dilbert fans please note do *not* forget the "t" in the web address when at work.
  • i host two [studio-e3.com] sites [squarecatcomics.com] that use a crappy bash CGI that I wrote... although they do the first 90% of the job, is anyone aware of any comic specific CRM packages available? I've been trying to teach myself enough PHP to finish a half written phpnuke module I wrote that does the same as the bash above, but I mean... c'mon. Admitting I wrote a CGI in bash is embarassing. Help a brother out with a handy hyperlink!
  • by YllabianBitPipe (647462) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:45PM (#6852293)

    Ah another comic thread on /. I really like the idea of web comics but the comic world is going to run into the same problems the music biz is dealing with. First off, there's a lot of people saying, let's do a comic on the web, it's so cheap, we'll get more of an audience, we don't have to go through a publisher. Well, then there's the whole issue of how do artists get paid, how do artists keep their work from getting ripped off, etc. but I think a lot of these topics miss a key element of web comics ... is the medium even appropriate for the type of comics that you create?

    I think the type of comics that are most suited for the web are strip comics like the dailies in your local newspaper. Reading a graphic novel on a computer screen via the web is, frankly, a huge pain in the ass. I don't care how you present it, panels to fit the screen, no scrolling, click on the image to go the next page, I just find it tedious. The content is too long for the medium in my opinion. And I WANT to read graphic novels ... it just seems like, not on the web. I think what needs to change is, higher resolution monitors.

    So I think graphic novel type stuff CAN work on the web, it just needs to be created with the web in mind from the beginning. Make the pictures standard screen size, use nice readable anti aliased fonts, make the art appropriate for web reading: large, not tons of tiny characters that look like blurs, and LENGTH. I don't really want to click through 100 images and bore myself to death.

    And, I would argue, as soon as you start thinking of putting multimedia geegaws like audio, just go Flash all the way and animate your whole project.

  • This one is sometimes pretty good.

    Here's the LINK [normalbobsmith.com] and the url: http://www.normalbobsmith.com/pfss_comic10.html

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ... at a theater near you. http://www.americansplendormovie.com/main.html [americansp...rmovie.com]
  • "So popular was the contest that the server suffered from a veritable slashdot effect."

    Yes, and now they will suffer from a real Slashdot effect. Bravo.

  • talking about webcomic, here's one I like a lot: A Modest Destiny [squidi.net], a few days ago, the owner's forum was kind of attacked by people From Mall Monkeys, who were jealous because AMD reach 3rd on the top web comic [topwebcomics.com]...
    it's a hard business to be a web comic...
  • Think The Devil's Panties [keenspace.com], which is probably one of the most creative comics I've ever seen. Always funny. Usually twisted. %-)
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @02:53PM (#6852392) Homepage
    Some of my favorite weekly comic strips have made the journey from print (in news weeklies) to online. Presumably, these guys don't get paid to reprint their comics on the Web, but it increases their exposure and maybe convinces their fans to lobby to get them into local weeklies.

    Tony Millionaire's Maakies [maakies.com] is pure genius.

    Try Underworld [kazunderworld.com] , by Kaz, if you want to tickle your cynical side.
  • I think these two comic formats have very different venues from each other. A comic book is meant to have more than a 10-second total viewing time, and usually has a more involved story and has a larger time to develop the action. The strip, on the other hand, must be satisfy the reader on a daily basis, and usually has to stick to formulaic jokes in three or four panels to succeed.

    Correspondingly, in the physical world, the comic book is sold by itself, while the comic strip is tossed in amid a sea of oth
  • homestarrunner.com (Score:4, Insightful)

    by efflux (587195) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:10PM (#6852520)
    not comics (more like an interactive cartoos)...but definately worth a look, and it definately shows off the media potential of the internet.
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:20PM (#6852594)
    Bill Watterson broke this a while back in the later years of his Calvin and Hobbes strips. Once he got popular enough to be able to dictate some things for artistic sake, he declared that his comics will only be published in a rectangular area where he has free rein inside, free from panels or any other limitation within. Most papers required all comics to be broken into panels so they can be arranged how they saw fit. Watterson hated those limitations, especially for a strip that was so involved with fantasy and imagination. Some papers had to actually shrink his area in order to keep the proportions right and for other comics to flow right around it, but he remained steadfast, and thats how the sunday strips were presented until he ended the strip, a strip still sorely missed by me and many others.
    • Bill Watterson's work on Calvin & Hobbes was absolutely brilliant.

      I was really saddened when the strip came to an end.

      Any word on what he's up to now?
    • I agreed with many of Watterson's controversial points of view involving comics and how they are sold and marketed

      I really respected his decision not to license any Calvin & Hobbes products, although I did think perhaps a single item- a simple plush Hobbes doll identical to the "toy" Hobbes in the strip- would have been cool. There's also a part of me that feels a *little* fan service is a good thing.

      And I still I think C&H could make a killer cartoon in the right hands.

      • And I still I think C&H could make a killer cartoon in the right hands
        It was a killer cartoon because it was in the right hands. I'm glad Watterson did things his own way. It's gone now but I'm happy with the memories I have of the stip; bringing it back now in anyone's hands but Watterson's would jsut cheapen it.

        As for the Hobbes plush...<aol>ME TOO!</aol>
        • I meant with the right animators. I wouldn't want it done unless Watterson was at least the head writer.

          Is Miyazaki busy? ;-)

          I alwasy thought a series would be fun. Use traditional 2D hand drawn, but switch to toon CGI for Spaceman Spiff or Stupendous Man segments. That would be to make Calivin's fantasies look crisper and more realistic than the mundane world. :)

    • Watterson went way out on a limb with that decision but he felt it was the right thing to do - and he was very right! He lost space in a lot of papers (my parents got both of the big local Sunday papers and I'd always go for one in particular because they printed C&H properly - large) and lost some papers altogether, but the art was worth the sacrifice.

      I still have the final C&H strip tucked away in my high school yearbook. Yeah, it was a little cheezy. So what.

      I too miss C&H but I'm glad t
  • I used to really love Magic Inkwell [magicinkwell.com] by Cayetano Garza. He's been into this whole weird mexico-type stuff for a little while now that I don't really dig as much as his older stuff, but I still really like his style.
  • Order (Score:5, Funny)

    by HarveyBirdman (627248) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:23PM (#6852628) Journal
    the new medium can change the traditional "left-to-right in a rectangular frame" paradigm.

    I find this to be quite true when I look at comics in the *.jp domain. Everything is right to left for some reason, and the characters speak in little picture symbols. Must be the Internatioanl Date Line.

    I have a hard time with comics from the *.au domain, thought. They appear on my monitor upside down.

  • I can't believe that nobody's mentioned e-sheep yet. e-sheep [e-sheep.com] rocks! Apocamon, The Spiders, Barracuda, they're all great. And jwz loves 'em too [livejournal.com].

  • If you have an open mind and want a good laugh. You should check out this site :

    Sexy Losers [sexylosers.com]

    You may be grossed out by a few of them at first, but they are just so funny.

  • Irregular Webcomic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ondo (187980) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:34PM (#6852735)
    I'm a fan of Irregular Webcomic [dangermouse.net], which seems more innovative than any of the examples mentioned in the article. The comics are pictures taken with a camera, rather than drawn. Generally pictures of Legos or painted miniatures, with some shots of the script's creator in there.

    Lots of funny strips, especially the Star Wars ones.
  • Money (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shky (703024)
    Most of the webcomics out there that are generating profit from their sites are doing so because they never had that intention to begin with. They set out to do something they enjoyed that they hoped others would also. For a webcomic to be successful, the creators have to enjoy it, because it's a lot of work and it takes a long time to build a fanbase, let alone start making money.

    The webcomic I write, BandWich [bandwich.net], has a very limited fanbase despite being having been around well over a year. It takes a lot
  • In the spirit of those people promoting their own stupid comic strips, I'll mention my established Album-a-day project [spacebar.org] , wherein participants are challenged to create an entire album in one 24-hour period. There's like 60 albums there.
  • Some good webcomics (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @04:54PM (#6853539) Journal
    8-bit Theater [nuklearpower.com]. Remember Fighter, Thief, Red Mage, and Black Mage from Final Fantasy? Well, they're the main characters in this strip. Archives go back a year or two. Rather entertaining.

    d+pad [www.dpad.ca] covers the goings-on at a video game store. The artwork is pretty crude, but if you're into the gaming world at all, you'll enjoy it.

    Goats [goats.com] is a VERY disturbing strip. The early artwork was a lot less refined than it is now, but how can you go wrong with a strip that involves overclocked lemons and a Satanic chicken named Diablo?

    PvP [pvponline.com] is a strip about a fictional gaming magazine. Sometimes crass and goofy, but often hilarious (go to any geek gathering and see how many people laugh when you shout "Panda attack!"). I know I'd subscribe to any magazine that had a 300-year-old blue troll as an intern.

    And, of course, Sluggy Freelance [sluggy.com]. Best. Webcomic. Ever. But you really have to go all the way back to the beginning of the archives. There's years of great stuff in there. (Worship Bun-bun!)

    I know that no day is complete without reading all my webcomics... which is really easy using bookmarked tabs in Mozilla. I just click on one bookmark, and the browser opens up a dozen separate tabs with all my comics loaded.
  • Marvel initiated a "web comics" version of their popular comic books a few years back called DotComics [marvel.com].

    During that time, they had a full issues of Ultimate Spider-man and Ultimate X-Men released every month in Flash format. The UI is pretty interesting, as each comic panel is magnified as the story goes. There's advertisement in between.

    I haven't been on DotComic for a while (a year or two), notably because they started having only the first half of the comic books as a trailer, and also some of their

  • It's at www.sinfest.net [sinfest.net].

  • by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @07:40PM (#6854708) Journal
    In general, voice talent for online content is grotesque. But for comics it's positively criminal.

    Why?

    Because when comic artists use their own, untrained voices to act out the lines they write, you can hear every bit of their insecurity, apprehension, false bravado, delusion, and contempt.

    And if they use their friends', you can hear their inability to understand the material, as well, which is a failure of both acting and directing.

    (This problem extends to Pam Anderson's "performance" in Striperella on the actual television, so don't expect it to get better online just because a few people pro-up.)

    (Okay, Homestar Runner isn't too bad, but after six or eight characters, they hit their limit, and now it's undeniably The Strongbad Show featuring Homestar Runner.)
  • One nice thing about webcomics, is that anyone can do one, ie: me.

    I have actually been doing mine two days a week for over a year on keenspace.com, and have really enjoyed it. Since the hosting is free, the only thing I have to worry about is setting aside the time to do it - usually at 2am.

    It's really been a good creative outlet, and I've even written a game to go along with it. And though it's not a stand-up great comic, I do have a few fans.

    As far as goals, I don't make any money from it, and don't
  • Hey, cool! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tsuzuki (442471) <komala@[ ].com ['mac' in gap]> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @08:38PM (#6855035) Homepage
    One of the comics in the 24 hour gallery is mine! :D (It's Tabeshounen, hint hint)

    Thanks to the Intarweb it's been a lot easier to get publicity for an Australian (or any indie) comic. The article was really focused on web comics, but there's still a great zine/small press scene happening here. Now all we need to do is get more of the female creators (there are a lot!) into the spotlight and everything'll be just peachy.
  • Patrick Farley's e-sheep [e-sheep.com] collection is the greatest thing on the internet bar none. Farley has redefined the art form. And make no mistake, this is art all right, in the serious meaning of the word.

    Take some time to visit e-sheep [e-sheep.com] and look at *everything*. Clear your desk first because you'll be there a while.

    Prepare to be moved.

    And if you're half as impressed as I was, don't forget to throw some pennies in the hat. We need to keep Patrick hard at work, he deserves to make a living at this and it would

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