Links: Left to our own devices

Writing at Broken Frontier, Tyler Chin-Tanner is tired of all the gloom-and-doom surrounding Diamond’s new minimums, and he offers a sensible business plan for those who just can’t quit making comics:

Step 1. Put your heart and soul into creating the best comic you can, one that will resonate with its readers.

Step 2. Get as many people as possible to read this comic.

His point: The end of the road may have come for floppies, but not for comics; there will be other ways to survive, but first you have to have the content.

Not only that, you have to market it properly. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson takes a look at a clumsy attempt to repurpose a print comic as a webcomic—at a higher price point.

On the other hand, this article about the founder of 4Chan is a bit troubling, because it makes the point that eyeballs don’t always equal dollars: The guy not only launched one of the most successful websites evarrr, he also created the highly lucrative ICanHasCheezburger meme, which made a lot of money for someone else, and contributed to the revival of Rick Astley’s career. And yet not only is he not making any money off 4Chan, he’s paying the server fees with his credit cards.

ICv2 notes that IDW has put a number of their titles online at the Eagle One digital comic store, which sells comics as PDFs for 99 cents or more.

Off the big screen, NPR has a segment on motion comics for the iPhone that are being developed by a small company, Catastrophic Comics. (Via Blog@Newsarama.) Lori Henderson discovers Calibre, cross-platform e-book mangement software, at Manga Xanadu and she also finds some links and videos regarding manga on the Sony E-Reader. Nurse in Cyberspace finds a way to read classic manga on her iPod Touch by simply adding it as pictures; I suspect she downloaded a scan. Meanwhile, the Comic Book Guy test-drives comics applications for the iPhone and learns that some comics make a better transition to the small screen than others. Melinda Beasi explains why she doesn’t like reading comics on a screen.

Boom! Studios released the first issue of Hexed for the Google Android Mobile Operating System, and 10,000 copies were downloaded in the first 48 hours, proving that people like free comics, I guess. In case you were wondering, the first Creative Commons comic released for the Android is Misery Depot, which was recently highlighted here at DS.

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3 thoughts on “Links: Left to our own devices

  1. And lo and behold, the marketing part is the tricky bit.

    Obviously you need to get the simple stuff right (don’t put your primary content behind a pay wall, etc. etc.), but Lord help you if you actually expect “If you build it, they will come” to be sound business logic.

    It still takes a lot of advertising, a lot of tweaking into whatever its “final form” should be, and the type of comic matters too. Even with all of this in your favor, it still takes YEARS to get a palpable following, let alone one big enough to justify the typical webcomic business model. ‘Course, you’re spending those years out in the open vs. toiling and trying to get some gatekeeper’s approval, but still.

  2. I just wanted to point out that the NYT article doesn’t say that Christopher Poole created Lolcats or was in any way directly involved in the Rick Rolling “phenomenon,” but that they were started by 4chan users.

    And 4chan could maybe just possibly make a little more money if it actually had a worthwhile adbox. Methinks Poole does not try hard enough to monetize it.

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