Episode 593 - Risky Business

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

Links

Featured comic:
Black Parade - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/jul/19/featured-comic-the-black-parade/

Featured music:
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/

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Episode 589 - AB positive

Jun 27, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

A and B stories… And C, and D etc. It seems that it's more popular than ever to have stories with multiple concurrent threads. This is when you have a main story and a bunch of other sub stories all happening at the same time. These might come together at the end of the story or they might peter out. We don't get many stories just made with just an A-plot and nothing else these days.

Episode 588 - Revisiting Old Ideas

Jun 20, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Sometimes it's worth revisiting old ideas because you can do them better or explore them deeper. This could be in the form of a full reboot, or it could be as simple as reusing a pose in a panel or using the same theme again like Pixar does with 90% of their output i.e. “coming of age”. Like them you don't need to feel obligated to always do something totally original, revisiting old ideas is a great way to refine them, create better work, or explore different aspects of them you hadn't considered before and put new and interesting spins on things. Consider that Pixar's Turning Red, Encanto, Moana, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, and Luca all share the same “coming of age/childhood independence” theme and yet all do it in unique and original ways, exploring different aspects of the idea from all sorts of angles.

Episode 586 - Working with disability

Jun 6, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

How do you keep on with your creative output when something happens to you? When you lose function or are impaired in some way, how do you adapt or relearn so you can keep on as you were before? Maybe you can't and have to change to another medium that's a better fit for your abilities? Comic creator Bravo1102 once talked about how he moved from drawing to using action figures to make his comics partially because of his eyesight. My own eyesight has suddenly started to go bad and I'm having to adapt to that, and Tantz tells us how her deteriorating eyesight forced her to work digitally.

Episode 584 - Drawing gender

May 23, 2022

2 likes, 0 comments

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.

Episode 577 - The Agony and the Ecstasy.

Apr 4, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

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!

Episode 576 - Retro Adventure heroes

Mar 28, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Retro adventure heroes are an interesting and unique sort of hero. The trope was revived and crystallised by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg with Indiana Jones, but it had existed long before then and continues to persist now in many forms. They're not without their problems But I like these characters. I love their outfits, their competency, intelligence, self sufficiency, and their penchant for exploration and discovery.

Episode 574 - Odd-ball, norm-ball, every ball!

Mar 14, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

I consider Drunk Duck (or the Duck Webcomics) to be the Heavy Metal of webcomic hosting sites, because like that excellent anthology comic publication we celebrate the oddballs. On DD we have comics of all different styles, many that would find it hard or even impossible to promote themselves anywhere else. We're open to all skill levels and all styles. We only promote things we consider to have high quality or high potential in our features, but we don't have a particular style prejudice, we don't only feature things that give us a homogeneous, unified look. We're proud of our variety! We don't gate keep or block anyone from access to our site and we feel that's one of our greatest strengths.


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