Jul 25, 2022
The risks of online creative success We live in a wonderful time where you're able to turn your creative passion into a job that can support you just by using freely available online services like YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, Patreon, Ebay, Paypal, Etsy, Webtoons etc. You can start with nothing more than your computer or phone and end up with a thriving business based on your passion project. It's not easy, achieving enough success where you can quit your day job still tends to take a lot of work, but once you get there it can be amazing. However, that's not the end of the story unfortunately.
Topics and Show Notes
The services that you use do not have too much compassion or care for their creators. They are not subjected to the same regulations or legal responsibilities as traditional businesses. They are not neutral services that you can use to build a business around and always have the same expectation of stability.
To use an analogy- it's like a business park office complex offers tenants free space and basic services if they set up their businesses there. So of course you leave your previous rented office spaces because it's pointless managing two locations. In return for the use of the space and services you help bring in multiple new customers who want to see you, but they're able to also redirect them to their other tenants and show their advertising to them as well. That system seems to work great for both of you, till they decide they want to redirect all of your regular customers to their other tenants because they don't like what you do for their image anymore; or they decide to shut down your offices which erases all the money, time and effort you've put in to making your business a success…
If that happened in the real world, you could very easily have a legal case against them. But there is zero recourse like that in the digital world. Instead they pretend that they're just providing free tools and nothing more, and so they have zero responsibility for the real world investment of money, time, and energy that people put into their work to build their audiences- Audiences which are the real capital and what Google, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Spotify and all the rest REALLY need the hard work of the creatives for. These “free” services use the effort of the creatives as a free resource to build and maintain a larger user base that they exploit in various ways; data-mining them, trading personal-information, up-selling subscription services, and selling their time to advertisers.
So they DO have a lot of ethical responsibility to their creative user-base, but not a legal one because the law hasn't caught up yet unfortunately.
There have been many thousands of instances of creators being shafted because the service they used suddenly screwed them over. Patreon, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Tumblr, Paypal, Facebook to name a few have all carelessly harmed creators/users in various ways.
So, you can become a huge success, but you can also have that success robbed from you by the very system that you used to start yourself off. How do you combat this? You could try lobbying politicians to bring accountability to these large companies that control the internet, but more realistically there are sensible precautions you should take: Don't quit your day job- always have a real source of real world income; Don't put all your eggs in one basket- use multiple services and sites and accounts for your work if you can; Try and own your own domain name so you can point users to a new service if your old one betrays you. I'm sure there are other ways too.
Lastly, we can sort of put The Duck Webcomics in this category too since we offer a free service to creators and we benefit form the audiences those creators bring in. However, we haven't changed our rules for over a decade, the service were provide is fully stable, our entire motivation is about maintaining a good neutral place for creators to host their comics, we don't make any profit on the site, and we don't mine our site audiences in any way at all: no data-mining, no selling of information to marketers, no up-selling of subscriptions or other services. But even so you shouldn't just put all your eggs in our basket either because no site is 100% reliable in perpetuity.
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to Cribal Series - Raw, wiry electric guitar weaves in and out in an exotic tangle, threading around this tune to create a barbaric themed melange from a distant time and place.
Topics and shownotes
Black Parade - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/19/featured-comic-the-black-parade/
Cribal Series - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Cribal_Series/ - by Trebuxet, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Become a subscriber on the $5 level and up to see our weekly Patreon video and get our advertising perks!
Even at $1 you get your name with a link on the front page and a mention in the weekend newsposts!
Join us on Discord - https://discordapp.com/invite/7NpJ8GS
May 23, 2022
We start off with the idea of talking about art techniques, tips and tricks we've mastered and could help people with but the cast turned into a discussion about drawing male and female characters- also trans, androgynous, etc. There's an art to representing gender in imagery! It's super important to remember that the way we see gender in art is mainly culture based rather than an innate biological reaction and the perception of gender in art is different according to your cultural background. It's basically a visual language that everyone learns, but as an artist you have to learn to actually “speak” it, and that's not as straight forward as you think.
Apr 11, 2022
BANES RETURNS! …to talk about boobs with the rest of us. The topic of the discussion this week was brought to us by Tantz's newspost on the 2nd of April about bosoms and how their shape and size doesn't matter. In the crusade against “sexualisation” in comics people tend to focus too much on big or “unnaturally shaped” boobs, but the truth is that any type of boobs can be fetishized and by reacting against one type you just cause a new form of exclusion.
Apr 4, 2022
Creation is a process with a lot of ups and downs: Agony and ecstasy! The easiest way to think of it is a simple inverted parabola- you start of feeling good about your idea and its potential. As you work though you feel worse and worse about it till you get to the nadir of the curve, then things turn around and you start feeling better and better about it as it finally comes together and you finally manage to finish it!
Oct 25, 2021
This year for Halloween we've decided to do another commentary! It's of the 1980s Zombie movie “Return of the Living Dead”. It's extremely 1980s in style. There are zombies, punks, yuppies, electronic music, toxic waste… It's quite an entertaining, quite comedic, nihilistic cold war zombie film with very good effects for the time that really hold up today. Even the gore is tasteful. I am NOT a fan of horror in any way, Banes and Pit lobbied hard for this movie… but even so it was not a bad film. The zombies are animated by a man made chemical contaminant, which is quite an 80s theme in of itself. They're not contagious like modern zombies, there's no infection or outbreak to contain. The problem here is that they're virtually indestructible because of the chemical that animates their flesh, they're also fully intelligent and fast moving, this makes the zombies far more menacing and scary than any modern shambling brainless decaying infected version.
May 23, 2021
Tantz made a great newspost about this little trend of “fixing” people's art to make it less sexy, as if there was something wrong with sexy art. I think worst about it though is the implied moral superiority of the “fixer”. They're judging the art as non-realistic and “bad” (because it's sexy), and they set about “fixing” it to gain some sort of social kudos, slimming busts, increasing the girth of the figure, making their pose less provocative etc… I think the exercise would be perfectly fine if the context and the attitude wasn't one of “I judge this art to be BAD because it's sexy, I am fixing it to make it non-sexy and that will make it better! And you will all agree that the original was shit and I have improved it!”.
Apr 12, 2021
Mary Sues are always a fun topic! There are some misconceptions about them though… Mary Sues aren't all female, they can be any gender. Being super powerful or super popular or super pretty etc doesn't equal a Mary Sue, not even if your character super stands out next to all the others, those things ONLY indicate they might possibly be one. What equals a Mary Sue is a character that doesn't have to struggle very hard for anything, a character that is almost universally admired, and or loved (even by the enemy), a character that masters hard skills with ease and ends up teaching the teachers and beating the masters, a character that's destined to succeed and does in spite of internal story logic… All these things and more can add up to make a Mary Sue.
Oct 19, 2020
We are the Pretty Things That Live in the House! We all dressed up for a Halloween themed cast today! You can see our weird looks in our Patreon video ($5 and up subscribers). Pitface was a yellowfaced corn vampire with amazing teeth (very midwest), Banes was an old, oooooold terrifying baldy vampire, Tantz was a beautiful, big eyed doctor vampire, and I was an 18th century Vamp (Lestat/Varny), with a face messy with the blood of my victims! And I had in rubber fangs held in by chewing gum, just like a REAL vampire, because the denture glue didn't hold in my good fangs… it just filled my mouth with disgusting glue that stuck all over my teeth XD