Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tomorrow's Available URLs Today

Yet Another Balloon Oriented Logo
Fun time! There's enough new comics-oriented sites for another summary. Possibly for the first time in the history of this blog, all of them are puzzling and tubercular-looking.
Comic 1 has managed several updates since April, which should be reassuring for those who want to believe they are "the first website to check for your list of all the most popular webcomics and top new & coming comics!" The Top 100 List shows the usual lack of familiarity with great comics that for some reason have yet to be stamped TOP 100 and POPULAR. Yes, I did hear about them from, and why Delos was so tolerant I have no idea. I know he's a nice guy, but this is like bird-hunting with Dick Cheney, where everything is fair game. How often do you get to review a site that is actually dragging comics backward in time?
XPASE is, if I understand correctly, a search engine that has a "category" for webcomics.  I believe I managed to trip this category and noted that Comic 1 was the 5th result. This was not reassuring. Neither is the unreadable explanation for webmasters explaining why they shouldn't fret if XPASE traffic is messing with their heads.
Komix is a bookmarking/rating/chatting site from the UK with a habit sure to upset a few otherwise level heads: it looks for those tiny buttons, the obsolete size, and if it doesn't find one for your site it manufactures ones from your story art. These are displayed in a big array on the search page. It's fun to play spot the forgery, because some are laughable, but what should we make of BUNNY written as caps on a plain background? Is it Antibunny, Fox Bunny, Half Bunny, Angry Bunny, Ninja Bunny, or what? There's also a "Today's New Comic" feature which suggests a mighty slow rate of progress. But then, they have all those banners to make. The involuntary joining mechanism might also provoke some spilled pints and fisticuffs. What really keeps the fledgling list sites from receiving a stampede of members is the failure to adhere to Google's "1oo links/page maximum" guidelines, making the site appear a link farm and diminishing the value of joining. This one has the best prospects of the lot, but any site that recruits by impressment presumably lacks essential social skills.
Webcomic Stop is a redundant bookmarking site that greets visitors with the kiss of death: "Welcome to my own little corner of the internet." I've never visited without the Featured Comic being Girls With Slingshots, suggesting that Danielle Corsetto is behind the whole thing.
King Tractor Press is a mix between an online store for original comics, warnings that Bush will destroy the U.S. and advice to "pimp your comic by Stumbling each other." I checked, and the site is not three years old and simply failed to update. The actual Shop is a battery of links to Amazon and similar sites. Clicking the "Manga" category brings up an Xbox 360 review. Clicking "Comics" resuscitates the Stumble advice and announces that Virgin Comics is kaput. What gives here? The proprietor is invited to post 50 words or less on the topic "What I am Thinking."
Sitting here in my tin shack, allowed by an old zoning mistake to remain sandwiched between the Pixel Factory and the Sequential Art Think Tank, I would think that some of these entrepreneurs would pass through, collecting the freshest and most promising ideas instead of duplicating the ideas of others, but as duplicators of the errors of others, they don't.
P.S. Upon review, portions of this piece did not come across as being light-hearted and humorous. Please allow me the occasional lapse in editing skills, and know that people named were not intended for criticism. Until I learn to be a better reviewer, anyone offended by something I write should contact me for clarification. The site reviews are meant to express a befuddled dismay, and while negative, they are not intended to mock. People named are friends and acquaintances, and I appreciate their tolerance for silly ribbing. Some may wonder why I am am apologizing, but I can see where my intent didn't come across.