Monday, July 20, 2009

Webcomics Community: A Summary

Nothing in the responses to last week's series on the failures of webcomics did much to alter my conclusions. I see these problems in webcomics:
  • poor role models
  • exiting and aversion by real talents
  • immaturity
  • poor performance compared to other comic media
  • exaggerated claims of financial success
  • hype
  • dishonesty
  • meager talent in most new arrivals
  • embarrassing, abusive behavior, childish behavior and general dereliction of grown-up conduct by those who would tell you what to do
  • a pipe-dream community where webcomic dreams not only don't come true, they give many art school grads their first taste of reality
  • the corruption of awards
  • the failure of responsible parties to acknowledge errors and correct them
  • the goofball tone of public nerd romances and open-diary publishing
  • the illusion of community
  • the intellectual shallowness of gurus
  • intellectual cowardice/ suppression of "bummer news"
  • uneven internal media
  • amateurism that permeates all aspects of what we think of when we think of webcomics
  This isn't much different than many online communities, or from real life places. Go anywhere where civil servants work and you will see similar conduct.

  The main difference is that many people are young and lack the critical skills to recognize these realities. Last week's series was a wake-up call to anyone who has been dozing in the webcomics pipe dream. 

  No one can say I didn't listen to the recommendations, study the history or put my own work on the line. If you think I am a bitter person out to demolish webcomics out of some personal grievance, that's your delusion. I am for what works, as long as it doesn't require stooping to unprofessional conduct.

  I will not pretend to feel compassion for people who could have acknowledged their errors, inappropriate attacks and guidance blunders as early as last year, but chose to stonewall, proudly defiant and confident in their position. I think they regret their actions now, but lack the spine to correct themselves so late in the game. Some practical advice: when you screw up, fix it as soon as you can, and make amends. 

  Soon I will offer my opinion as to what to do if you are a serious aspiring stakeholder in an online comic career. Ironically, I hope the people who most need to listen ignore me, and I think the people who least need to hear me are already in agreement.