Friday, July 31, 2009
On this last day of my first month of the Web Comic Project I sent in a submission to the upcoming "Monsters of Web Comics" exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum as mentioned previously. If accepted that will be great (free) promotion and a nice honor.
In the main, I'm happy with the first month. With almost no publicity the numbers on the blog are heading in the right direction. Hits for the Java Town comic are lagging behind but I'm not worried at this point. The flash interface has been unpopular and the irregular schedule hasn't helped (it will also continue to be a problem however) but getting the comic out more often will be my primary Web Project job this next month. Of course, I will need to put a bit of time to promotion and general house-keeping (I want to streamline and consolidate the Web Project pages) too.
In other news: Comicraft Fonts is having a half-off sale that ends August 3rd. They make good letters at a fair price so this is a fine, fine deal.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Programming Note: I will be out of town for a few days so activity around these parts will be very minimal.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Promotional Example of the Day: Give the star of your web comic a Twitter feed: Chippy from Chippy and Loopus.
Good News: ComicPress 2.8 will have a theme usable with Blogger (via Frumph).
And Finally: ComicDish (appears to be a webcomic community) has the best quote so far about the current financial status of my Web Comic Project: "As of this writing, he's up to negative $20."
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
"What's the difference between a comic book writer and a pizza?" "A pizza feeds a family of four." - Bah-boom! I apologize if I'm misquoting this joke by Mark Evanier but I think I've got it mainly right.
I believe that people who create -- who make things (comics, music, whatever) -- have value and should be valued but I have no illusions that life is always fair. I'm very skeptical about the likelihood of my being able to make a significant living from web cartooning so, no, I don't expect to entirely support my family on web cartooning. I am simply curious -- and very motivated -- to see what is possible and to try to find a way to make web cartooning as viable as possible for me. And I'm willing to share my mistakes and stumbles and general discoveries along the way because I think it's interesting and I think that others might find it interesting too. As always conversation on this topic (or any topic related to web comics) is welcome.
Related link (from earlier this year): Phil Foglio shares some web comic numbers.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I also ran this at Drawn! for several hours:
It was a dud (and a relatively expensive one at that). It's an attractive ad, it just has all the wrong components and doesn't prompt a response. A side note: when I asked my son, who was sitting at his laptop, to bring up the Drawn! page so he could see my ad on a mutually enjoyed blog I discovered the kid runs AdBlocker (et tu, boy?).
The upshot of all the ad activity is that someone, seeing one of the ads or otherwise stumbling onto this blog, twittered his find and my page views and unique visitor hits really spiked (the numbers weren't spectacular but the increase was very dramatic). I'll have the hard numbers up on the data page as soon as I can.
News for Web Cartoonists: I got this info today (from Mr. Dan V.) and I'm passing it on:
Here’s a special announcement from the Cartoon Art Museum for those of
you who write or draw webcomics:
Thanks for your interest in the Cartoon Art Museum’s upcoming Monsters
of Webcomics exhibition. As you may have heard, the exhibition
features the artwork of ten notable webcartoonists, and their art will
be displayed in our traditional “frames-on-walls” format.
In addition to the framed artwork, I’m including a “Virtual Gallery,”
which is a fancy way of saying that we’ll have a computer monitor in
the gallery for showcasing webcomics in their native on-screen
For your work to be considered for this gallery (and also for possible
inclusion in future webcomics exhibitions at the Cartoon Art Museum),
here’s what I’ll need from you:
1. Please send me three (3) samples/pages/strips of your comic in jpg
format at 72-300dpi. The comic should be viewable on a standard
computer monitor without any scrolling, since we’ll be displaying the
comics in a “slideshow” format. If you work in full, comic-sized
pages, you may need to reduce the size of your comic slightly or
divide your page into two or three sections.
2. Please include your name, the name of your comic, and your website
(URL) with your comic. We will need this information when we format
your art for our slideshow.
3. Content of the comics that you submit should be “PG-13” or tamer.
The more graphic the content, the less likely we’ll be able to include
it in the exhibition.
4. Send your submissions to email@example.com by July 31. Feel
free to pass this information along to any friends who might be
5. “Monsters of Webcomics” is in need of a logo. If you’re
interested in submitting a design, you can send those to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org I was thinking of something in the “Monsters
of Rock”/heavy metal vein, but I’m open to other ideas.
6. If everything goes according to schedule, I’ll be able to notify
all of the artists chosen for the Virtual Gallery around August 2. At
that point, we’ll start our pre-opening media blitz, and ask the
participating artists to tell all of their friends, fans, family and
anyone who will listen to visit the Cartoon Art Museum in San
Francisco to see the exhibition in person. We’ll also make
banners/buttons available so that you can link directly to the Cartoon
Art Museum’s website from your own.
Thanks again! Again, please send your comic art to
email@example.com; logo submissions and questions about the
exhibition can be directed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Spent Project time today and yesterday drawing and thinking a lot about flash versus non-flash presentation. I'm leaning toward completely retooling how I present Java Town. As much as I really like the flash-based method it finally occurred to me that going against the flow right now is probably a waste of time and energy. It's only a matter of time before e-readers of some type will be ready to present comics and I think preparing for that future instead of working against current web-based standards (such as they are) is probably not a bad thing to do.
Update: What a bunch of weasels. (via TPM)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
This ad, not so effective. I'll show the hard numbers in a moment but first, a little background. I ran this ad at www.belfrycomics.net, a web comic list that caters to Furries (I know -- hang on and I'll explain). Here's the thing, the site appears to have a very comprehensive list of web comics of all types, not just fuzzy-centric ones. Back when I first was doing Java Town last year I got belfrycomics.net to add it to its New Web Comics list. That listing stayed up for a month and generated hits every day. So remembering that relative success I knew it would be one of the first places I wanted to place an ad. I could tell pretty quickly that this first ad wasn't really doing its job so I came up with a new one (and, really, I should have gone with this to begin with):
Unfortunately, it was out-bid after only a few hours but as you can see from the following, this ad turned out to be more effective than the first ad (click to embiggen):
No real hard conclusions just yet but I'm more likely to do further WCP ads than Java Town ones in the future.
I wanted to call attention to the back-and-forth between me and Nathan Olsen (of Haiku Comics) in the comments of the day 10 diary. I come off kind of crabby but I actually enjoyed the conversation (and I highly recommend his -- and his brother's -- comic).
"If we stop valuing -- and buying -- craftsmanship, the very idea of making something with care and expertise is destined to die, and something of us as human beings will die along with it." - Not about web comics as such, but a good point by Stephanie Zacharek in a review of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture in Salon.com.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
The jury is still out on whether Twitter will be useful to me or not (it is a bit early yet). I'm mostly getting (and getting rid of) spam followers (spwitterers?) right now. SLG (home of the Java Town web comic) did anounce Java Town's return on its Twitter feed but the 1,200+ followers were largely un-moved to check out the free comic so I'm not sure what to make of that. I think I'm anoyed. It could just be I'm really out of sync with SLG's hard-core fans or that the news was just lost in the noise of billions of tweets. I have no idea.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Earlier today I was talking to my kidney specialist about, of all things, POD, ebook readers and the future of newspapers specifically and printing in general. It's my favorite topic these days. I was completely surprised that my doctor not only was interested in the subject but was knowledgeable about it as well. And just a week or so earlier, the father of one of my son's friends wanted to talk about digital interfaces for reading comics on devices like the iPhone. Something is in the air. I have a few predictions about where we're headed but my brother-in-law has just arrived for an extended stay and I should go be sociable.
To those reading this on a feed: I've got charts and data that are not included in these diary entries so if you're interested in getting the Full Monty (so to speak) then you need to see "Now What?" in its native form.
Monday, July 6, 2009
On the promotion front: had to reschedule the interview with The Pulse for the end of the week. My fault.
Mostly because it seemed like The Thing to Do I signed up for both Twitter and Facebook (as you may have noticed). I'm not naturally drawn to either but I can see the use for Twitter. Facebook not so much. Asking people to be my friend seems too uncomfortably grade school to me. I've taken some photos of my office since I like it when artists share that sort of thing and will post them on Facebook soon. Other than that I have no idea what to do with it.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Resources: The text of my first press release can be found here.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
First off, a web cartoonist needs a web comic and I have one -- Java Town -- which you can find here. You can find out more about Java Town in this post.
And here's our first bit of data:
Number of hours spent drawing Java Town web comic and preparing this blog and other supporting blogs since June 18, 2009 right up to the moment of this post: 57 hours, 35 minutes, 49 seconds.