Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Miscellaneous Comic Ramblings (from Twitter)

Being the lazy person I am (and probably pretty annoying as well) I figured I'd write up a quick set of ramblings about stuff I've seen on Twitter recently. Sorry if I don't give credit to the people who passed along the info to me, I'll try to give credit where I can though.

First up, Ernesto Priego has a lot to say about this article about the internet being good or bad for high end artists. Now I don't have the business savvy to really say how things are going to turn out for comic artists/companies. I think there's no doubt the internet is changing things and companies may find themselves falling behind and the issues are plenty. But in terms of web comics (I'm using this term for comics generated for the web and not print comics scanned in) I do have to wonder where things are going.

Now I'm going off topic from the original article so bare with me if you will. For people looking to make a living from comics jumping into the web comic arena can be seen as a logical step. To get your work out there you simply have to do it and post it, there are plenty of sites you can post to or you can build your own site. This probably won't get you discovered though and this is where you have to do the self promotion thing. But in the end, you have to look at making money. Now I've never tried but my understanding is that advertising revenue just won't do it and you have to look elsewhere. Selling print versions or merchandise seem to be the top choices in my mind. But then I start to wonder, what is your primary product? Is it the webcomic and are the for sale items a way for people to support your comic? Or are those sale items the real product and your webcomic is just a way to hook them? Is your webcomic really just a promotional tool for your merchandise? And does it matter?

Getting back to the article, in the end I don't really see the internet as good or bad for all artists necessarily. It will be good for those who find ways to take advantage of it and bad for those who don't. But that's probably just me.

My second rambling comes from this post on the term "graphic novel". I know it's not a new discussion but it's still ongoing. Yes, I've used the term and I generally feel bad doing so. I don't like it and yes, I often get odd looks from people (especially non-comic people who instantly think it's a novel with lots of sex and violence, and then seem to get more weirded out when they find out it's a comic I'm reading). The problem for me is that no other term really gets the point across. I know, it's a comic and most of what I call "graphic novels" were originally a comic series collected in one volume but if I say I'm reading a comic called "Watchmen" people seem to assume I'm collecting a series of books. But now that I think of it, perhaps that's probably the way to go because non-comic people seem to be confused no matter which way I go. Okay, I've decided, they're all comics.

Lastly, Nancy Lorenz posting this "25 Essential Expressions Challenge" to fill out when designing a character (good for new characters or artists taking over a book). This seems like a great idea. I'm hoping to see some examples with a "pouty" Batman or a drunk Superman. And what to do with fully masked characters like Spidey or Iron Man? :P

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