Some Fine Reading for the Weekend

Some things that have been interesting this week:  

First topic of note, David Malki! vs Comic-Con. I imagine most people have seen this by now – if not, it is worth watching, both due to the classy comedy of Malki! himself… but also due to providing a good look at the convention for any who weren’t able to go, and putting faces to the names of many of the webcomickers who were there. That’s good stuff.

Secondly, I mentioned two weeks ago that Scott Adams was providing advice to Scott Meyers on getting Basic Instructions into syndication. That advice wasn’t confined to a single post, however, and it continues to be interesting to see the different attempts they are playing with, and their discoveries as to what seems to be working and what does not.

Scott Adam’s Advice: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 
Scott Meyer’s Thoughts: 1, 2, 3
Also, compare one of his original works with the attempts to retool it.

And if you’ve managed to wade through all of that but haven’t actually read through his archives, you should probably do that too. The archiving system at the site is a bit of a pain, but this is a damn funny comic that is pretty much unique in concept.

There has also been a number of new webcomic blogs appearing recently, especially ones that are pretty… aggressive in nature. Your Webcomic is Bad was the forerunner of them, and while I had hoped it would simply fade away, it doesn’t seem inclined to do so. The biggest thing that bothers me about his posts is that they often have genuine, insightful criticism… buried under a festering mound of invective and obscenity, thoroughly obscuring the point from anyone who might be able to make use of it. But given his admitted goal is simply to entertain himself and those of like minds, I suppose that isn’t a surprise.

What was a surprise was the other blogs that have sprung up in his wake, and the fact they seem to be getting progessively more useful. Me and You and Mary Sue is largely about drama in webcomics. I’m still not really a fan of spite for spite’s sake, even if he focuses on the (largely deserving) Buckley. However, the information to profanity meter is pretty good, and having an actual catalogue of all this nonsense will probably simplify things years from now.

But the winner would seem to be Your Webcomic Can Still Be Saved, which thus far has a number of really useful advice on fonts, a somewhat overlooked issue with many webcomics. (And jumping on the stupid anti Comic Sans bandwagon doesn’t count.) Anyway, the site only has a few posts thus far, but this is the sort of solid, technical advice that people need to see, so hopefully it will keep going.

Anyway, in an attempt to balance out some of the negativity of those blogs, I’d like to direct folks towards T Campbell’s recent posts on Broken Frontier, which are recording his thirty favorite moments in webcomics.

I may not agree with all of them, but he isn’t putting this out there as a definitive list – just as scenes that have stuck with him. But as he has gone through them… well, there really are some powerful scenes in there. I found myself having to hold back from rereading all of Narbonic and Questionable Content, or hunting down the non-theoretical work of Scott McCloud.

It can be good, to remember why these comics are great. It can be good to remember the moments we are reading for.

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