No Clever Title Needed #4

Bits of info that go no farther than this.

I’m expecting to be busy this week, so this post is it for the next few days. But, hey, I updated three times last week. I’m happy with that, especially since my writing made a little bit of progress. At least I felt that way. (Just read the First Wave post and compare it to anything previous). My writing still needs work though, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Most posts I write hold a “clunk” in their flow and my word choice lacks, but I’m working on it. I’m searching for the right flow, I’m cracking the code of verb choice, and I’m finding my voice in the words. I’ll crawl my way there. I hope.

Last week was good, though. The Chemical Box, after a four month absence, finally made its return. For those on the outside, The Chemical Box is a comicbook centric podcast hosted by Joey Aulisio, Just Jean, Chris Johnson, and myself. Why absent that long? Every other time we recorded, the show went sour. Plus, I had a bad case of “radio-Alec,” and I kept taking away from the show by trying to sound pro. Lesson learned. I’m loosening the tie and using podcasting as the escape. As it should be.

Listen in, though. We should be somewhat consistant now. link.

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Erik Larsen took some shit last week. He tweeted a few thoughts on web comics, and people went crazy in true internet fashion. Larsen said:

Every crappy submission can “see print” on the web–every reprint book that would sell three copies in print would work on the web. The web is the great equalizer. Every crappy thing can get tossed up there. If it all went digital nothing separates a pro from an amateur. Print is far more discriminating. There are fixed costs which can’t be ignored for long. It’s not the wild west like the Internet is. That’s why the web doesn’t excite me a whole lot. Every nitwit can put stickmen telling fart jokes up–there’s nothing special about it.

Stickmen telling fart jokes is Watchmen as far as the internet is concerned, @BizzaroHendrix.

I mean–there’s things on the internet that people are willing to read but they would never pay for–and those are the success stories.

It’s an entirely different level though, @NoCashComics– even the worst pro comics have a modicum of professional standards.

I’m not saying everything on the net is bad–no need to take offense, @tsujigo @BizzaroHendrix just that there is no filter.

I disagree and I don’t disagree, @IanBoothby — how’s that for being agreeable? There are plenty of groundbreaking things in print as well.

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the best online work is on par with good pro comics but the worst is far worse. I don’t think there is a web only comic that’s as good as Watchmen or Dark Knight. Correct me if I’m wrong. There are certainly web comics that are good for a laugh–and better than what’s in the Sunday Funnies–but not at a Watchmen level–yet.

Point being–anybody can do a web comic. There’s nothing preventing a completely incompetent idiot from doing it, @215Ink.

No. Nothing promising falls through the cracks, @drawnunder if you can’t get your proposed book in print somewhere–your book sucks.

Now, this wonderfully organized collection of tweets originally saw “print” here, at Robot 6. The have every right to report on this. I mean, I’m “reporting” on their reporting. I just feel Larsen’s point was unfairly twisted.

“I’m not one for Internet triumphalism, but it seems awfully churlish — and odd, for an artist and publisher — to greet the Internet’s enormous boon to speech and self-expression in this way, quite aside from the question of whether he’s accurately characterizing webcomics to begin with,” the article comments.

First off, I do not feel it is “odd” for to Larsen speak his honest opinion. The guy holds a reputation, so this type of outburst should come as no surprise. I actually champion him for being so outspoken. Why? Bullshit grows old, and a lot of the “opinion” offered by comics pros never rings completely true. I understand why the tongue must be bitten at times, and I would probably follow suit if I too worked at Marvel or DC. Larsen does not work for either, though. The guy creates Savage Dragon and holds a comfortable relationship with Image Comics – who, in terms of quality, is probably the strongest publisher in the business right now. A guy should speak up when in that postion, holding that many years of experience. He will have things to say, and people will listen. The honest voice provides a nice break in the manufactured PR.

As for the point, all Larsen said was that web comics are open everyone, and they lack a professional standard because of that. That’s it. The guy told no one directly that they suck, nor did he say web comics are completely useless. They are just open. And he’s correct; web comics are open. Filters do not exist for quality nor does a professional standard. Sure, any “idiot” with a pile of cash could publish a bad print comicbook, but compared to the workload web comics require how many would go through with a print book? Then there still remains the question of Diamond and distributing your print comic to stores. Print weeds out the unnecessary just through its basic operation.

Granted, maybe Larsen could have been more direct in his statement. Someone just glancing at the twitter speech could take it farther than it needs to go. When the entire statement is blogged about though, I would expect people to actually read. People react to headlines, though. That’s the nature of journalism. People skim. I would be surprised if anyone actually read this far into THIS post.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go scour eBay for that Dart miniseries…,” the article says.

Oh, and I know it’s not cool, but I do like Savage Dragon. I would happily read that Dart miniseries.

———————————————

Matt Seneca writes about comics, and he is quite good at it. The man reviews for The Comics Journal, produces a column for Robot 6, writes for Comics Alliance, and he has a blog. Matt Seneca runs all over the internet, but his recent blog post, entitled “HarmoniComix”, is by far my favorite thing he has written. Matt knows a lot about the medium. I love when he shares his thoughts on it because his voice is so distinct, and his writing feels like a peak into another outlook I would never come up with.

Anyway. Matt wrote a mind blowing piece on color and its function in comics. To Matt, color and music are basically one as they both produce specific sounds and tones. Comics may not look the same to me anymore.

Read. Be Educated.

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Enough. I have other topics and thoughts, but this one is running long. Next time is down the road.

Also, I have a new job – a web editing job. The staff of The Daily Athenaeum, WVU’s student newspaper, has for some reason accepted my offer to care for their website. I won’t question it. I’m excited about the position and the opportunity. Hopefully, I can implement some cool online content in the next year. Plus, I have the option to write, and I plan on taking full advantage. Just another avenue.

Peace.

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