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  1.  (7686.1)
    I just did an interview about webcomics with Mr. Media. In it we discuss the virtues of violence, why motion comics aren't as awful as you think, and how free comics sometimes hinder a comic's growth.

    One thing I didn't get to was that in Zuda, a free webcomic suddenly has value because it's perceived as more legitimate. It has a stamp of approval from a major comic company. There needs to be more of that, more gatekeepers of coolness (in order to throw those gates wide open). Maybe another Act-i-vate or something.

    Grass Roots was a start, but we really need an art collective to act as a hub. Just looking at the Webcomics Week thread above, how do you even find, let alone keep up, with this much goodness?

    Hurm. Rumination. Your thoughts?
  2.  (7686.2)
    Personally, I think it's too big to keep up with - even with "Webcomics week," which was great idea that I just wasn't able to wrap my head around. I mean, there were plenty of links for me to browse, but the sheer volume of choices was a little overwhelming. A hub would be nice, some kind of nexus where comics are organized and searchable by tags.
    Now is a perfectly legitimate time to accuse me of being pretty lazy. I follow comics that people tell me about - the 'word of mouth' process still works for me. But that's pretty slow, I know.
    As far as validation? That's tough. The market is flooded, because it's so easy. I think sites like Zuda are a mixed blessing: anytime you have inclusion you have exclusion; anytime you validate a comic by its association with a 'legitimate' company you skip half a dozen 'indie' comic creators who have been producing great work all by themselves. But if Zuda gets people to read comics they weren't reading before, then it's a positive internet force, isn't it?

    You were actually very interesting to listen to, even if the interviewer didn't seem to be paying that much attention. You have a great sense of humor, a healthy helping of self-depreciation (haha) and seem to have a real focus on what you want to accomplish.
    I enjoyed the crap out of that conversation. Well, your half of it anyway. But it got me to your site and I am now browsing your work - so I guess it was a success.

    I started thinking about embedded flash animation against still images. The first thing idea to cross my brain was third frame in FA #82, where the 'Angels are looking up while the sky is twisting so fast the stars are a blur. That could have been in motion. The possibilities are endless; metal weapons could shimmer, blood could splatter, rain could fall, stars could twinkle - I guess the question then is a case by case basis of "does it add anything to the comic?" But that certainly got my brain-thoughts ticking.
  3.  (7686.3)
    The nearest thing to the kind hub for webcomics you're talking about is Comixpedia, which is a wiki so everybody can add their own comics and favourites, and they can be pretty much infinitely categorised.
  4.  (7686.4)
    See? I had no idea that existed. 'Course, when I try to look, the website breaks. I'm bad news.
    • CommentAuthorEmperor
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2010
    The beauty of RRS feeds and their ilk is that you can just bung them in your reader along with all the other blogs and bits and bobs you track but you do have to find them first which is where the hubs come in.

    I did some research when I set up ours and found a few sites that operate like webcomics hubs, The Belfry allows people to class the webcomic by genre and people can subscribe to them there and check out new pages when they appear. The Webcomic List does something similar. Neither are things of beauty but they do the job. The thread here was great - I picked up quite a few new ones to keep an eye on.

    Still you soon run into the same problems - there is so much out there with little quality control. So you've still got to try and get the word out to the kind of people who might enjoy your work and if someone likes it enough to recommend it then that is a form of filter (John Freeman gave us a mention on Down the Tubes and that got picked up by the Forbidden Planet blog, both of whom are also active on Twitter so a simple retweet can help). Social networking sites can work well as people pass on their recommendations in a less formal way and you can generate a lot of traffic and interest that way, especially if someone with a lot of fans gives you the nod (Kev Walker gave us a thumbs up on Facebook at round about the time Rufus Dayglo mentioned us on his blog and there was a big spike in traffic). That is all down to the old-fashioned spreading links around, having a word with people you know, dropping an email to someone influential and general pimpery. If you can keep the momentum going and work all sorts of angles then it should keep building but it is clear no one way is going to do the job.

    I suppose the main problem is they tend to be lone ventures so are spread very thin but I wouldn't be surprised if we see more publishers working electronically as their principle medium (exploiting various platforms) with an ultimate print option. Perhaps have an editor to keep an eye on the content and to recruit creators and you'd essentially have an online comics anthology where people could mix and match what they want to read, possibly using POD for trades. Guaranteeing a good quality of comic is important (as you'll get goo word of mouth and repeat visitors) and, if you can get your business model right too, it could be doable. Cool Beans World was probably a little too early in the game but Komikwerks is still going.
  5.  (7686.6)
    Yeah, I'm thinking if there's a hub trying to pick out the best work, a republic might do better than a democracy for tapping the good stuff.
  6.  (7686.7)
    You're onto something I think. The idea of having groups in which the members are chosen by each other as a display of each other's work rather than the egalitarian model would make it easier for the community at large to have a choice and a portal through the increasing volume.