As a writer, I’ve learned rules about collaborating on webcomics. Something to understand that isn’t a rule is the fact that writers are a horrible and entitled bunch, especially when it comes to being a webcomic writer who is unwilling or unable to pay the artist. I say this from personal experience because without noticing it, I became what I didn’t want to be. I remember when I’d studied graphic design that I thought knowing how long it took me to draw would keep me from being a dick to artists. In the end I jeopardized some friendships, lost some contacts and learned important lessons that I’ll share with you. These aren’t all that I’ve learned, they don’t always apply but these are more important than most webcomic creations guides I’ve seen.
Love Me Nice is a webcomic by Amanda Lafrenais that deals with the dark side of Hollywood fame in a world where cartoons are actual movie stars, somewhat akin to Who Killed Roger Rabbit, or more similarly, Three Fingers (which is great, by the way). We reviewed the webcomic, so find out what we thought after the jump.
I had a weird flashback this morning to choir back in high school. A friend and I were discussing webcomics and I was like “oh cool!” and he suggested Penny Arcade. I went to the site, checked out the page and couldn’t work my way around the navigation. They had small buttons and archive issues and after 20 minutes of trying to get into a grove I went back to reading Dominic Deegan (and holy crap was that years ago).
A few years later once I had working wireless and a laptop I went through, read through the archives and was like “Ok, this isn’t amazing but they improved over time.” I bought their first two games for my Mac two years later when I was sunk down with depression and they were okay. I ended up watching Penny Arcade TV which was okay again.
Penny Arcade has been this always there, but nothing really special force for me. I’d had other favorite video game comics come up and when I stopped caring about games I’d still read it.
But Penny Arcade has done good things with it’s money that I like. The Child’s Play Charity is something that I can get behind. Hosting the Extra Credits video series is pretty fantastic because the series is really well done. I have a group of friends who go to at least one PAX every year and they rave about it. And despite some of the stuff tied to Scott Kurtz, I’ve enjoyed other videos on the Penny Arcade TV thing.
So you get where I am coming from – I don’t hate the Penny Arcade guys. I wish I had their success and money so I could do something but I don’t actively oppose them – but I really hate their Kickstarter – not because of them, but because it is a poorly run Kickstarter.
I’ve run a few Kickstarters, I’ve paid into a few and I’ve had friends do the same so I support the work that I do. It is a great tool to try and get donations easily while also giving people something worthwhile for their hard earned money. It is a way to honestly show your appreciation for what people do. Penny Arcade has now infamously done this in the one of the worst possible fashions (though not as good as the Kickstarter about a bet who would go to hell and Osama Bin Laden who was a demon.)
Greetings Samantha Leriche-Gionet of Boumerie!
For those who are unfamiliar, what is Boumerie about?
Boumeries is a journal comic I’ve been doing for more than a year now! It’s a record of silly anecdotes in comic strip form. I draw three strips a week.
It reminds me more of Kid With Experience than a lot of other journal comics – it is like a slice of life thing as opposed to a daily list of events.
Oh, I love Jess Fink’s work! That’s flattering. Well to tell the truth, I started these on Hourly Comic Day in 2011, and since Hourly Comic Day is about making a comic an hour about what happened during the hour prior, I was wondering how to make the whole thing more interesting than just “Here’s what I did. Mostly, comics.”
Haha. That makes sense.
Then people told me I’d started something good and that I should keep doing it. So the webcomic was born.
Now do you read a lot of other journal webcomics?
I try to keep myself updated, yes! Lately I’ve been reading Caffeinated Toothpaste, Boredom Pays, Looks Like Rain, American Elf, Christopher… I also love Emily Partridge’s journal comics, but she does them more sporadically. But there’s a lot more out there I’m probably forgetting about right now.
There are. A lot of stories and a lot of perspectives. Now are you also a fan of print comics?
Oh yes, I’m running out of space on my bookshelf (it doesn’t help that my partner is also a big comics fan). I try to read more local stuff now (I’m from Quebec, Canada), but I can’t resist buying good comics in print form, even if they exist on the web. My latest book crushes are Mike Holmes, Ross Campbell, Faith Erin Hicks, Vera Brosgol, Jen Wang… the list goes on.
Now outside of comics, do you do any art or drawing?
Well, I’m an animator by trade and animating is what I do for a living right now, so if you consider that drawing, then that’s what I do all day! But lately I’ve been flooded by comic projects and opportunities which leave me little time for personal illustrations. I still try to find some time and work on something different every once in a while.
Are you able to share any of those comic projects that you are working on?
I’m preparing the second Boumeries book that should be out in July, but I’m also working on my first professional comic book, a graphic novel titled “La petite révolution” (The Little Revolution), published by Montreal-based Front Froid this fall. It’ll be in French, but I’ll do whatever it takes to release an English version one day. I’ve just finished the thumbnailing stage and should start pencils this week. (I did a related illustration today to celebrate the milestone). I’m also planning to start a webcomic with a good friend of mine, Cab, once we have enough time to sit down and talk more seriously about it. We’d alternate drawing pages. A collab comic of some kind.
Cab is your friend who is in the comics about FF7 on the computer right?
Exactly! We’ve been hanging out for too long now, haha.
I had that game too and mine bugged out on the first disc after that big materia speech.
On the Playstation? Or the PC version? Cab’s computer was the least compatible thing for a game of this magnitude. (Also it was in French, and the translation was terrible.)
The PC version.
Yeah. It was also 5 years after people stopped supporting it. What is “La petite révolution” going to be about?
It’s set in a fictional world that still somehow connects to ours (kind of an alternate timeline or something like that). The main character, a little orphaned girl named Florence, wants to be part of a revolution that is being plotted to overthrow the current dictatorship. It’s pretty different from my Boumeries… I don’t know what people’ll think of it, haha.
Is there anything else that you’d like to promote?
Well, I’m going to be at TCAF with my book (and a little zine), so if anyone’s going, drop by and say hi! I’m really hoping to attend conventions in the US as soon as possible. Right now I got my fingers crossed for NYCC, but I’m looking into SPX and MoCCA for next year. That would be fantastic.
SPX is a pretty fantastic show.
It’s not too far away from where I am, either. The one that’s absolutely hopeless for me right now is Stumptown — with no direct flights from Montreal to Portland (and also approximately a 10-12 hour flight), there’s no way I could afford the trip. Sadly…
Yeah. I’d love to do Stumptown but coming down and across from Canada can be difficult. Thank you for doing the interview with me Samantha.
No problem! Thank YOU!
Gaining an astonishing amount of fame in it’s short existence is Dracomb’s Orb, a fantasy webcomic dealing with a fairly generic fantasy setting while also dealing with the existential crisis of the characters inside with metaphyiscal threats, reader interaction and this palpable sense of dread the builds up in the series. The biggest problem though is that the comic relies solely on the fact that the comic may or may not update – not due to scheduling problems but with quantum mechanics. Dracomb’s Orb is first quantum literary piece – a webcomic in constant states of update and non-update that only leaves that state once the site is pulled up or is refreshed.
George Crosky, the engineer behind the comic explains, “The simple idea of Schroedinger’s Experiment is that if you limit the outcome to one event and seal it off where you can’t view the result, while the experiment is in progress it is in a quantum state of being both completed and non-completed. The cat is the most famous example where there is a radioactive material that will kill a cat in the box eventually. If you cannot sense what is going on in the box after 5 minutes the cat could be alive or dead and that is the quantum uncertainty. With Dracomb’s Orb we delved into some more advanced quantum mechanics but what we do is we have accessed random servers from other worlds every time the page loads. Until that page loads we cannot but sure if there is an update or not placing it in a quantum update state. Luckily with thousands of readers constantly refreshing, we’ve pulled in some 2000 updates in the past week.”
While there are some issues with the storyline not matching up or different art styles the popularity of a quickly and infinitely updating webcomic appeals to millions of comic fans who will do what they can to keep the comic updating.
*Due to the quantum state, we were unable to acquire any images of the comics.