General Discussion

QUACKCAST 173 - "The marvellous World Of Tomorrow"
ozoneocean at 8:27AM, June 12, 2014
(online)
posts: 25,116
joined: 1-2-2004
“The marvellous World Of Tomorrow”
 
For Quackcast 173 we're going to be talking about the womderful furture of webcomicing!
 
 
We would love you to tell us your own ideas of what we see in store for the future of webcomics:
- What are your ideas are about where webcomics are headed?
- What improvements and good things will happen?
- What terrible, shitty, bad things are ahead of us?
- Can you imagine stuff changing? Maybe you can't and beleive it will just stay pretty much as it is?
- What about sprite comics, will that trend go away or increase?
- Auto generating webcomic programs like Bitsripts: will that becomea major presence?
- Will netnutrality or the lack of it badly affect webcomics and webcomic hosts?
 
Whatever, those are just sample questions, come up with your own speculation if you like, we'd love to know!
 
last edited on June 14, 2014 5:19AM
Gunwallace at 12:50AM, June 13, 2014
(online)
posts: 265
joined: 10-13-2010
First off, I’m both incredibly impressed with the quality and professionalism of the newer webcomics on this site and others, and depressed because if those comics can’t get ‘traditionally’ published what chance do I have?  I think that’s an obvious direction for webcomics … the quality of free content is going up.  This is partly because paid comics are in retreat.  Sales of printed titles are down.  Way down.  Even paid webcomics are not doing anything near what was hoped for.  There’s a strange and horrible feedback loop going on … as traditional publishers retreat they reject more quality titles, and those try paid for webcomics and many get nowhere, so they end up giving away their content for free, which means there’s more quality content available for free, so there are less sales of webcomics and print comics, so they go into retreat even more … and so on.

This is great for comic readers on a budget. Bad for comic creators wanting to eat and pay rent.

I can help think more and more professional content will be given away free.  Not just the occasional issue one, as happens now, but entire collections of independents, and maybe even major titles.  The first twenty, fifty, even 100 issues of a title might be given away as a teaser to hopefully gain subscriptions for future issues.  I can’t see it succeeding, however.

There’s less spending money for most people these days (the squeezed middle-class, etc.) and printed comics are expensive for what they deliver.  A graphic novel is often twice the price of the DVD of the film it was take from, and half as interesting.  Print comics are in an inevitable decline.

Sprite comics, like poser comics, are here to stay.  Some are hilarious, some are cute, many are both and more.  But sprite comics are rarely sexy.  So poser seems to be winning the war of the computer generated content, since sex sells.

For users of Drunk Duck, well, we’re used to the slow-lane of the web.  The loss of net-neutrality will probably not effect static images that much. Animated webcomics, which seems to be a rising trend, may very well suffer, and suffer majorly.  

Webcomics are booming.  Numbers and content quality is increasing. But making money from webcomics is at best static, and probably going downward.  A few titles have huge followings, but it’s rare for new titles to get close to the established ones, no matter how well marketed, or how well drawn and written they are.  If you read comics on the web then you are in for a great future of quality free (or insanely cheap) content.  If you want to make money from creating webcomics … well, perhaps you should invest in lottery tickets instead. 
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
ozoneocean at 4:41AM, June 15, 2014
(online)
posts: 25,116
joined: 1-2-2004
Wow Gunwallace… You've said that all better than I could.
I'm going to have to think hard to do a useful contribution after that.
 
Ok, here's something I see growing:
Consumption of media on mobile devices.
 
Webcomics and traditional comics have been increasingly moving onto mobile devices though e-book platforms for a while now, through Wowio, Amazon, Google books, the Apple bookstore and others, but something else I've seen growing is apps;
 
There are some apps designed to grab and show lots of different webcomics, some of those apps are paid, some are free, but they all parasite the creator's content, ripping them from their proper contextes with advertising and such. That's a worrying trend, for work that already pays little and gets little recognition.
On the other hand there are some webcomics with their own custom apps which show them as the author intends. I think some are paid and some are free, but even the free ones can make money from ads as well as oving the author the recognition they deserve.
 
That's a tremd that could be pretty great, especially if there was some sort of custom system develiped to make it very simple to create these apps for webcomic artists, index them together as provide easy access to subsidury features like forums, commenting, rating, and the ability to buy artist merchandice.
 
Increasingly though we also have traditional pro comics invading the mobile space, with special apps. There' a lot more money and promotion behind them and I feel those often inferior established properties overshadow and shut out lesser known types of comics.
I don't know what will happen with that in future, who will win? But my feeling is that as the quality of amuature work continues to improve and be recognised that people will slowly but continually move away from the pro work and the balance will shift slightly, though I don't see them ceding dominance any time soon.
 
Another trend is that creators are becoming more and more directly conected to their readership- Of course webcomics have long had instant feedback through comments and emails, but now with the use of things like Patreon, kickstarter, Indegogo etc they're beig encouraged to connect directly move and more, through specilised “rewards” such as items, personal messages, gifts (to and from the creators), videos… as well as the connections through social netwrking through thinks like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and more.
This is further breaking down those traditional barriers between creator and consumer, that still mostly exist at the more pro levels.
In future I see the pro properties following that trend, like they seem to have followed all the other trends started by amauter comics, and I see amature comics on hosts like Drunk Duck (if we EVER get our shit together), streamlining things to provide creators with all the social network, app, and money raising options right off the bat.
 
Gunwallace at 1:48PM, June 18, 2014
(online)
posts: 265
joined: 10-13-2010
Well, we seemed to have killed that topic then.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
ozoneocean at 8:03PM, June 18, 2014
(online)
posts: 25,116
joined: 1-2-2004
It's just that no one is as intelectual us us Man.
 
Us antipodean geniuses are alone in our intellectual dominance and superiority. It’s a tendency of the Southern Hemisphere to produce such rare masterminds such as you and I.
This is a trend I see increasing in the coming decades.
 
last edited on June 18, 2014 8:09PM
Gunwallace at 11:17PM, June 18, 2014
(online)
posts: 265
joined: 10-13-2010
Strewth, mate. I think you're as right as a cold beer and a BBQ on a hot day when the bushfire smoke wafts in on the breeze. We are the two most bonza blokes on the whole of the Druckedee drunk Duck.  The future is ours, mate. Ours and ours alone. Well, aside from a couple of good-lookin' Shelia's to kneel by our sides as we stand astride the colossus of future wecomics.  
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
ozoneocean at 1:16AM, June 19, 2014
(online)
posts: 25,116
joined: 1-2-2004
FAIR DINKUM!
 
Ironscarf at 4:16AM, June 19, 2014
(online)
posts: 1,160
joined: 9-9-2008
Once upon a time, if you wanted to write or draw comics you had to convince a publisher you were worth their effort and if you were lucky you might get a chance to prove yourself on a fill in strip. If that worked out you might get some minor work and if editors and fans were both happy, you could be in, providing you kept meeting those deadlines. There would be quite an apprenticeship before you could become Frank Miller.
Failing that, your only option was to print it yourself or join some small press collective, distribution being your biggest problem. There was no way you could bring your magnum opus to the entire planet.
 
Now, anyone can publish their work for free and distribute it to the cosmos at the touch of a button. Great - but what webcomics lack is any apprenticeship, or any editorial input of any kind, resulting in a tsunami of dreadfulness that sweeps away anything of value. How can anyone find the good stuff, unless it's already popular? Getting ahead in webcomics ends up being even harder than getting ahead in print.
 
Since there's an obvious appetite for making and reading these things, what we need is the missing editorial input: sites dedicated at least in part to highlighting and championing quality - a subjective thing, but that's what editors and critics do. I don't know what form this would take - so far we have sites like ours featuring comics, which is more about bringing new work to the fore, or the listing sites, which offer nothing more useful than a popularity poll.
 
Would such sites be worthwhile? If the right person/s made a name for themselves as offering a hub for great webcomics, then creators would want to be part of those sites and that could lead to an increase in standards. Publishers would soon catch on to a source of new talent and you might even see artists, writers and others teaming up in the way they do for print, in order to make the grade. Hollywood is beckoning!
 
The independent creator who wants to just do their own thing is pretty well served now, but a different approach could see webcomics achieving some of the quality, popularity and diversity print once had. Let's face it, they don't cost much to read: there's absolutely no reason why everyone shouldn't be reading 'em!
 
last edited on June 19, 2014 4:20AM
bravo1102 at 8:53AM, June 19, 2014
(online)
posts: 3,409
joined: 1-21-2008
Now we just need Genejoke and Banes to reply so the Commonwealth will be well represented. Too bad we can't find a Scot and an Asian Indian too.

As the token Yank let me be the pessimist.   I personally have no future in webcomics and will eventually give it up as a useless enterprise unless something changes markedly which it will not.  The status quo will persist and it'll be more of the same into infinity with the same rehashed stories and plots.  People will merely recycle plots from the garbage bin that is TVtropes.  Manga will always have robots and harems, superheros will be lame angst-driven yawners and cute vampires will dominate horror to the exclusion of anything even remotely scary.  Crap rules and quality only matters as far as artwork.  A script with anything but traditionally drawn art may as well be in braille for all the viewers it'll get.  Poser/3D will always considered be one step above porn no matter how well executed.   Nothing ever changes and whatever evolution occurs will eventually devolve.

So go watch some Igmar Bergman movies, get depressed and feed your angst, whine, bitch and moan because more of the same awaits.   

You want things to change?  Start with yourself.  Change up what you read and be different.  That just might make a difference and Canute really could stop the waves from coming in because he was such a great king.  With such a dark view almost any change would make me leap for joy. :-D

And I have my jumping shoes on. ;-)
Ironscarf at 10:09AM, June 19, 2014
(online)
posts: 1,160
joined: 9-9-2008
Which would be Acme jumping shoes? With the springs on the bottom?
 
last edited on June 19, 2014 10:10AM
bravo1102 at 6:59PM, June 19, 2014
(online)
posts: 3,409
joined: 1-21-2008
Ironscarf wrote:
Which would be Acme jumping shoes? With the springs on the bottom?
Yes indeed. Got them cheap at a garage sale by a rather defeated looking coyote who had relocated to NJ to get away from it all.
Gunwallace at 1:17AM, June 20, 2014
(online)
posts: 265
joined: 10-13-2010
bravo1102 wrote:
Ironscarf wrote:
Which would be Acme jumping shoes? With the springs on the bottom?
 Yes indeed. Got them cheap at a garage sale by a rather defeated looking coyote who had relocated to NJ to get away from it all. 
New Jersey?  Sure!
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
El Cid at 11:30AM, June 20, 2014
(online)
posts: 973
joined: 5-4-2009
The future of webcomics? Well, sites like this one will be around forever. There will never be a shortage of enthusiastic hobbyists looking for someplace to share their creations and meet like-minded weirdos.
 
The future of professional print comics… I think could be on the web. I don't know if it's the case that print comics are struggling (too lazy to look into it, but it's something I hear from time to time), but if they are, I don't believe it's because of webcomics. There just aren't enough regularly updating webcomics of high enough quality to substitute for the entire DC/Marvel/whoever universes out there, so it's probably more a case of them not attracting new readers and losing ground to niche markets and other forms of entertainment. But one way they can reduce costs is to try to either augment or replace their print titles with some kind of paid membership site, maybe with some kind of print-on-demand option and a marketplace for trade paperbacks and merchandise. I don't know if they're already doing that (again, too lazy to look into it). If they haven't already, it'd be interesing to see how that works out.
 
I believe there were some ill-considered plans at one point to make this site, or at least part of it, a paid members-only type of deal. That never would have worked. There are too many hobbyist webcomics out there for free for too many people to pay a membership fee to read them. Webcomics, in general, are just one of those things people have come to expect not to pay for (yunno, like music and movies). Even for webcomics that do earn any non-advertising revenue to speak of, my bet is that most of it is charitable patronage in one form or another, be it direct donations or purchasing merchandise you really don't want (or at least don't value at the price you're paying for it). Even the very little money people do expend on webcomics is more than they actually value them.
 
One cool idea that I don't think gets explored enough (because it's hard to do) is building interactivity directly into the webcomic. I've seen only a few Flash webcomics that do this, and are really a hybrid comic book and interactive game. That would be neat if more people started going that route, but I don't think many will. A lot of work and not much payoff. I've considered trying something like that, but as far as I know, there aren't any easy-to-share/upload formats that allow interactivity and animation while using non-vector image formats. So, short of programming my own computer game/comic book, it's not something I'll be able to seriously pursue.
kawaiidaigakusei at 2:29AM, June 21, 2014
(online)
posts: 230
joined: 3-23-2007
The Internet has given rise to globalization, more specifically for webcomic creators, it has made the comic world a smaller place. The Drunk Duck community consists of a user base that spans several countries around the world and we found this site because of a mutual interest to read or draw comics. As a result, we have become more interconnected through language, drawing techniques, and sharing ideas.

Two decades ago, webcomics did not exist. Hardcore comic book collectors flocked to the bookstores buying special mint edition comics and placing them in plastic sleeves with cardboard backing. Those comics were never to be read or destroyed with greasy finger print stained pages. These days, we have digital tablets or e-readers that allow us to page through webcomics in a similar fashion as a book. The introduction of new technologies will continue to be invented making old ways of reading comics obsolete.

The beauty of webcomics is that the range of art styles can vary between stick figures to full-colored professional work and readers can be forgiving. As long as a comic can make us laugh out loud, distract us from our day-to-day, or set up a story that readers want to follow, they will be around for the long haul. In fact, webcomics are already ahead of the curve because they are adapting to newer technology as the world gets technologically savvy.

Bitstrips is a very popular app and it is helpful in making custom avatars for autobiographical comics. However, it is very limiting in terms of originality. Background images, character designs and facial features all come from the same cookie cutter mold. I do not see Bitstrips replacing webcomics because it is a mass produced comic generator that would only fit into the Real Life genre.

In the financial stuggle to market webcomics as a money making venture, comic pay sites that charge readers to subscribe to comics have been used. Free sites will always be preferred over paid subscriptions.

It might seem insane how comic creators can spend so much free time making a comic page and pouring out so much of their soul onto a page just to put it on the Internet for free. The idealist in me knows it is because creating comics is a work of passion and putting a price tag on it would be like selling out. The realist in me knows that in an industry where there is profit to be made, an art thief would find no qualms in stealing webcomic art and claiming it as their own. I think one of the biggest concerns in the future of webcomics is how easily Intellectual Property Rights are discarded online with art theft and how there are little repercussions for copyright infringement of online images.

Another cause for concern is the censorship of websites through government regulation. Comics are a platform for free speech in art and writing and can challenge certain ideologies. There might be a time in our lifetime when we will look back on these years and say, “I remember when I used the Internet to make comics.”

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved