This is NaDruWriNi in Action – The Second

Webcomics. For me and everyone else involved in this community, this activity, this art form and brand new medium and every other grandiose adjective we can possibly apply to it… The word has gravity. We capitalize it. We emphasize it. We live in this utopian intenet culture called Webcomics and it’s filled with every one od us, convinced tht it is the ultimate. It cannot be beaten, it is the brace new world for sequential art.

I often wonder if it’s being taken too seriously. And this is coming from the guiy who does more than one podcast about Webcomics.

I’ve been labeled as the Quintessential Webcomic Enthusiast. I would gladly consider myself this. Hell, I love Webcomics so much there’s nary a thing involving them I don’t do. Except make them, it would seem.

I look forward and I see the future of Webcomics. This Age of Webcomic history that will come in 15 years or so. Wehere Webcomics are a household name, a common item, and perhaps even overtaking and supplanting the newspaper strips. We’ll have movies and TV shows and your children will be waering Webcomics pajamas on their way to bed.

I wonder who, amongst us, we could see participating and achieveing that. I assure you, it won’t be one of us. It’ll be someone brand new, someone from the outside coming in, taking with them their fame and notoriety that came from their previous career(s). They will go to Webcomics, and the public will go with. He or she is the one that will bring Webcomics to Grandma and Grandpa.

It won’t be one of us.

It might not be any of us at home.
In the common dwelling, where they boot up their arm computers and read their webcomics over coffe. The average person may not be reading Penny Arcade or PVP. They’ve got a narrow topic in gaming, they have taken and gilled that niche. It’s foreseeable that they cannot grow outside of that niche. It ill be the new webcomics, which will be accessable and readible ny grandma and frampa, It will be gamiliar and it will be traditional in srtlw.

It will be familiar.

Er eill not see the success that will come to the mOm and Pop comic. We’re inmdy, we’re alternative. we appeal to the minority. The majority need will be filled, for good or for ill. And that’s where Webcomics will be a thing.

And that bums me out, frankly. I’f really like tosee the blank label guys or PA get that success.

But it won’t be the same. Do you understand what I’m sauing?

I hope you do, because I don’t.

This is NaDruWriNi in action, folks. I have no ide what’s going on, and I seem to have lost most of my luvidity.

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I… wasn’t looking at the keyboard just then. As far as I can surmise, that’s nigh indecipherable. Basically, what I said what truly makes Webcomics the medium that it is, is less the comics themselves, but the delivery method and the direct creator-reader communication. Where we see as infinite, it still has its limits. And somehow, we need to identify these limits and detsroy them.

Are the limits our topic choice? Is it our deliberate off-the-beaten path content desicions what’s keeping us from becoming that household object? Is it our nerdcore nature? is it the profanity we use, and the harshness that comes with being edgier humor?

Are our very creative desicions keeping us from becoming that household name? Is it by simply being ourselves?

I do wonder.

There’s a less utopian vision I have. More hellish. I also wonder if this is all just temporary. If one day, the bubble will burst and everything comes crashing down. I do worry about that. I’d like there to still be a Webcomic “Industy” by the time I’m ready to make my move. Oh yes, I’m biding my time. That must be it.

I’m on this topic because a friend, a mentor, gave me the idea to talk about how I see the future of Webcomics. The truth of the matter is I can only speculate wildly, because I don’t fucking know. I’m not a future predictor, I’m not a planner. I’m an improvisor. So I’m not worried about where we’re going, or where we’re headed, because I know i’ll be along for the ride. Cuz I’m Phil Fucking Kahn.

Mother fuckers.

8 Responses to “This is NaDruWriNi in Action – The Second”

  1. Blue says:

    Good topic. And an interesting view. But I’ve got to wonder –

    Something about this medium is unavoidably tied up in technology. Sure, the point of the glorious INTARWEB is that anyone can use it – but how much? And what for? The way I use the internet is different from my mother, and from my grandmother: it’s different from my husband, it’s different from you. What are we likely to see? And I guess… what makes a medium “legitimate”? For webcomics, is it grandma & grandpa reading? It’s a tricky question – I know this because we’re getting more people of ages and genders gaming – yet are video games respected as a medium? Kind of? They’re lagging behind comic books, I can tell you that much.

    I guess… what do we feel can kill a medium? Once something’s opened its eyes and stretched its limbs like this (or, for the most cynical out there, when it’s started making money – even in a very small way), can it ever be killed completely? Well, I suppose if something killed the Internet… but on the whole – aside from the Net Neturality Act, should we worry about this? Should we panic?

    I think you’re right that the big “explosion” of attention won’t be one of us, that it’ll be in the reverse… but who in that reverse direction will be able to make that jump? Will it be easier for them to come here and be a success than for one of us to leap into another medium? Gaming is the perfect mate for webcomics, I think, because of how the Internet began to orignally expand in power and popularity: from the nerd elite to the masses – just like gaming. And with gaming growing more mainstream… PA on the internet. Hop to gaming. Hop to… something? Will they go from there? Will it be them? What do we call PAX, then? Do they WANT to go further?

    I think that brings us to another bit of this: we’re in control of our own destinies here, kinda. Success is a crap shoot so much of the time, yes: but when we get success, it’s up to US what to do with it. We aren’t controlled – we don’t have sponsors screaming for us to do X or Y – we don’t have agents signing us up for jobs we’d rather not do. We don’t have publishers demanding features of us. It’s just us – our selves – our readers. Maybe some other people, but hey – we have freedom. That might change someday – but for now it’s refreshing, kinda, don’cha think? ::wink::

  2. Dan says:

    Hell, I happen to be drunk, so I’ll just throw down a contribution to NaDruComNi. (National Drunken Comment Night.)

    Tossing aside the idea of household recognition, because… meh. What exactly makes webcomics a new medium? That idea has been tossed around for years now, sometimes by me, so feel free to say shut up you hypocrite, but seriously, now, what is it, like… 95% of all fifteeen billion webcomics are four-panel daily gag strips? Some damn good ones that I make sure to read each day, but shit. Nothing new about that, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Not that there needs to be anything new, but it seems to me that with the exception of a you-can-count-’em-on-one-hand number of wild experimental awesome loonies, (within a field of umpty-kajillion webcartoonists,) the only thing new about webcomics is a new method of publication and distribution. And that method, while kinda radical six years ago, is just an assumed fact nowadays. Half of America has a website of some kind, where they distribute information about their business, creative endeavors, or pictures of their cat. And the other half is saying, “Oh, look! The cat is standing up, and there’s a caption saying, ‘All your base are belong to us!’ How adorable!”

    So… distributing informtion via the internet? ‘Kay. Four panel gag strips? ‘Kay. (Again, some amongst them are ones I consider some of my favoritist comics of all. But nonethelss, as far as the new goes… ‘kay.)

    When you come down to it, the psycho newness of webcomics seems obsolete to me. New? Fuck yeah, if you happen to have hopped in a time machine and traveled to 1996, when people were still wondering if this “e-mail” thing was gonna take off or not. Brand spankin’ new if you happen to have folded space all wrinkle-in-time-style and hung around the year 2000, and proclaimed in astonishmet, “HOLY SHIT! I CAN LOAD THIS PAGE OF JPEGS IN LESS THAN AN HOUR! THIIS SHIT’S GONNA CHANGE THE WORLD!” But here and now? Distributing information via the internet is just what people do now. So sure, it applies to cartoonists as much as it does to anyone above the poverty line. But it ain’t radical anymore. It isn’t new and exciting, and while the potential for radical formal experimentation still exists, that potential has existed for print comcis for something like 100 years (or back to the depths of ancient Atlantis when they carved comics on walls, blah blah blah) without anyone doing more than scatching the surface of the tip of the iceberg. I don’t see an overwhelming amount of evidence that webcomics will fulfill its potential any more than print comics do, and no reason to assume that the distibution-method-formerly-known-as-new shouldn’t be seen as anything other than a standard fact of daily life.

    The lesson of the day? “Shit, I get fucking cynical when I drink.”

  3. Minivet says:

    Here’s that paragraph, letters transposed one key to the left.

    We are bcomics. We are the medium. This medium ius not si,polky the formal elements of th art and writing and composition of Webcomics. The direfct reader-creator cinnubucation, the delivery method. This is what makes us Webcomics, dammit.

  4. lucastds says:

    ^ awesome!!

  5. Will G @ work says:

    I’m in the bubble-will-burst camp.

    Mostly due to the inevitable destruction of net neutrality. Also, comics will never reach the grannies. The medium is far too damaged for that.

  6. Are the limits our topic choice? Is it our deliberate off-the-beaten path content desicions what’s keeping us from becoming that household object? Is it our nerdcore nature? is it the profanity we use, and the harshness that comes with being edgier humor?

    Are our very creative desicions keeping us from becoming that household name? Is it by simply being ourselves?

    It’s the fans. And the fact that comics are being made by fans for other fans. Fans are overly notorious for treating their pet entertainments as their personal playgrounds. And every time a fan says, “This isn’t who Reed Richards is. Civil War is wrong!”, or leaves death threats on the answering machines of a producer of a movie or TV show that changes things, (like whiat happened with Beast Machines) or spams a messageboard talking about what a hack Brian Bendis is, or treats someone who doesn’t know all of the ins and out of the piece of entertainment like a moron, and as long as fans will continue to look down upon the “mundanes” the medium will never have mass appeal.

    because when they do get into positions of influence in comics or whatever, they’ll be at a loss to understand why comics is such a ghetto medium.

    Yes, internet fanboys are the minority, but the majority of fans will always sit back and allow them to do this because they want to keep the sandbox to themselves as well.

  7. On second thought, I should have added, “As long as fanboys and fanboy creators continue to to things like flame Joey Manley for suggesting comics could be better”… but whadda ya gonna do?

  8. I like to think of my webcomic as general interest. But then, I also admit that it’s King Arthur fanfiction; and I use things like the countdown clock on Studio 60 for punchlines which even some of the readers I have don’t get. So I get to daydream that mine will be the webcomic that breaks the mainstream barrier, but not to actually believe it.