Webcomic Beacon Newscast: Comic News & Discussion for April 22, 2012 with DJ Coffman

DJ Coffman and Jason Embury (Hero by Night) and T. Campbell (Penny & Aggie) join us for this week’s news discussion. But first, bringing you the news, Marie Tary (Evil Space Cat) returns with Thomas Revor, Eric Kimball, and Jason Strawsburg!

There was some contention after the recorded show, in regards to some comments during the discussion. Please check the first comments for for those details from DJ Coffman and Jason Embury.



ReviewsZ: In His Likeness Universe
Webcomic Review by Caitlin Hart

Top Stories

Mark Waid teases his new site Thrillbent
Original Source: Digital Spy
Additionally: Comic Book Resources & USA Today


Tim Burton is judging Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-inspired fan art submissions
Original Source: FearNet.com
Additionally: He’ll also be judging art for the Dark Shadows movie (DeviantArt)

Another Adventure Time comic by a Webcomicer
Original Source: Bleeding Cool


Topatoco’s Spring Books
Original Source: Comics Alliance

Achewoods Honor system store
Found via: FleenOriginal Source: Achewood

“Rolling Thunder” and “Wonder Momo” come to Shiftylook as webcomics
Original Source: Comic Book Resources


The mystery of DC, ComiXology, and the Kindle Fire may never be publicly solved
Original Source: Comics Beat

Javascript framework licensing change
Original Source: GiGaOM

UX and UI visually explained
Original Source: Design.Org


Wizard Teams With ‘The Situation’ for a Superhero Comic and Convention Appearances
Original Source: Comics Alliance

Dave Kellett is offering free, no DRM download of his Eisner nominated book
Found via: Comics AllianceOriginal Source: Daily Cartoonist

‘The Graphic Textbook’ Comic Seeks Kickstarter Funding in the Name of Teaching
Original Source: Comics Alliance


Shia LaBeouf’s Self-Published Comics May Be a Secret Code from Space
Original Source: Comics Alliance

Someone has invented the Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who
Found via: Tor.comOriginal Source: The Mary Sue


Call for Eisner’s to expand their digital categories
Original Source: Comics Alliance

Scott Kurtz on Thrillbent
Original Source: PVP

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There was some contention, after the recorded show, on twitter with Jason Embury and DJ Coffman. So, here is the conversation from twitter:

Jason Embury
@WebcomicBeacon Thanks for having us on the podcast guys! While we didn’t all agree, it was GOOD to hear so many opinions on digital #comics

D.J. Coffman
@JasonEmbury @WebcomicBeacon Yeah, opinions and totally misleading information regarding Mark Waid and Thrillbent (via TCampbell) #ugh

Jason Embury
@djcoffman @WebcomicBeacon I think the big misconception, is to think of this like Zuda or anything that has gone before. different tech..

Jason Embury ‏
@djcoffman @WebcomicBeacon ..different reach, different opportunities. no 1 has had tablets, smartphones etc before to experiment.

Jason Embury ‏
@djcoffman @WebcomicBeacon u can’t compare the ventures whn the parameters around them are so completely different.

@JasonEmbury @djcoffman I have yet to list to the show, (this is Fes), sounds like the show got a little interesting.

Jason Embury ‏
@WebcomicBeacon Fes, it was an HONEST conversation. Which is what u need in order to make any progress, more than 1 side to any story

Jason Embury ‏
@WebcomicBeacon @djcoffman what I hope comes across, is that there is no WRONG answer here. from any1. just different experiences/tastes

D.J. Coffman
@JasonEmbury @WebcomicBeacon but also a difference between an opinion and making weird statements as facts (T)

D.J. Coffman
@JasonEmbury @WebcomicBeacon Refering to T saying Mark Waid doesn’t give props or to webcomics. He does it all the time. Just not YOURS

Go listening to around the 48:15 mark, the opinion about wanting to win an Eisner or award because you think it equals money and airfare is redonkulous, and makes me a little sick to my stomach. Just sayin.

Listening back there seems to be a lot of weird bitterness on the indy webcomic creator side of things. There are a lot of comments like “well I can’t get that…” or “Well I was doing this long before…” — stop trying to plant meaningless flags in things or feeling upset that you or “webcomics” isn’t getting the credit it’s due and instead focus on the craft and get involved. The comments about Mark Waid wanting to relive the 90s??? WTF does that even mean in context? There were no digital comics in the 90s (really) and barely any internet to boot. And we haven’t seen any of the new content from Thrillbent yet, but what I have seen is nothing at all like anything that was done before in this way. And I’ve been around. I guess my point is, be patient and see what’s coming before tearing it down.

Also… T Campbell is a terrible audio guest. He drones on and on and on and it just makes you want to go to sleep. Good lord almighty, I bet half the listeners won’t get through his first comment set…zzzzzz

Speaking in general: As always, I appreciate a range of opinion, especially if we have great disagreements, on all of the shows at The WCBN. I do hope that personal attacks stay at a minimum, if non-existent, of course.

I also hope that any misinformation, from ANY of the shows, is made known, and corrected promptly. Whether it had been made by ignorance, or on purpose.

Clearly there was some great disagreement on the show and possibly misinformation. I always prefer no animosity towards people, nor drama, in spite of existing online. I welcome our listeners to evaluate for themselves, as well as to check out Mark Waid’s twitter and websites, to form your own opinions.

Additionally, I would LOVE to win an Eisner, or any professionally recognized, or peer formed award. Mostly for the recognition and kudos. But also for what that award can mean for you. Yes, it CAN open up some opportunities.

It’s the website and community awards that, more or less, “worthless”. Yes, there is a matter of traffic, but they are chosen by votes of ANYONE, and not decided by a peer group. Such as the academy awards.

Certainly professional and peer awards have their politics and their own problems, but awards that REALLY matter is when your peers… or rather people more or less ABOVE YOU professionally, and in recognition, feel that YOU have what it takes and are producing good stuff.

Crowd-voted comics “awards” are really pointless, and severely stacked. It’s purely a popularity contest at that point. Literally.

It is fairly unrealistic to do a proper award with webcomics, because there are so many, and there are so many factors to try and judge and consider. The manpower to encompass all of webcomics is almost unrealistic.

Anyway, my point is that I don’t feel that ANY web/webcomic-based webcomics award has ever been qualified for an “overall” award that would compare to the Academy Awards and movies. And I’m not entirely sold that the established comics awards are ready to do that yet.

Still, it is nice to be recognized and awarded, but the existing webcomics awards are not end-all, be-all.

I guess I am pretty jaded when it comes to awards. I work in an industry that is driven on certification which are types of awards in my mind. With certs you have to be goal driven and keep your eye on the bottom line.

Is a CCNA better at managing a network than a non-certified tech? Not at all.

Does a CCNA get paid 10% than the non certified tech. Absolutely.

Given how unscientific all these awards are I don’t really see how there are a source of pride.

Is an Oscar winning movie the best movie released in a year. Probably not.

Is an Oscar winning movie the movie that is most like previous Oscar winning movies. You bet.

Also given the democratic nature of the web you don’t really need an award to tell you how good your comic is. 100 K uniques a day is 10 times better that 10K uniques. Every day we get direct feedback on our comic from the entire world. Why do we need feedback from a much smaller subset of those people? I mean comics are entertainment so if the comic is entertaining is succeeds at it’s goal. If not then it fails.

So I look at awards the same way I look at certs. If it furthers your career by increasing your profits (free con appearance) or your exposure (significant increase in hit) it’s worth perusing. If not there are lot easier ways to feel good about yourself. Volunteer for a soup kitchen, build homes for victims of a natural disasters.

I never got the whole “validated by my piers” thing. Again that may just be from working in IT where my piers are geniuses in a very specific set of skills and anything beyond that not so much geniuses. I would not trust MY piers to pick the best pie at a single entrant pie contest, they’d end up awarding the prize to the tablecloth.

I didn’t say “validation” by peers, I said “recognition”.

Also, yes, “Academy Award Winner/Nominee [actor name]” is higher billing potential than “[actor name]”. Same would go for Eisner Awards. A Convention is more likely to fly in and comp an “Eisner Winner [artist]” than an unknown artist. Why? Because the convention can, in turn, use that person as a draw for their event. They can put that on their website and advertisements: “Guest of honor “Eisner Award Winner [artist]!”

Of course, this only really works will well establish awards that are widely recognized and respected as “authorities”.

Now, of COURSE, people get to be guests of honor in their own rights, without an award. Most certainly. But you understand what I mean about the award title, in any case.

An recognized award only helps.

Now, any comic news site, or comic community, especially webcomic based, can have their own awards, but they really don’t amount to much except hopefully traffic and more peer recognition. But that award really won’t carry THAT much weight. Especially the ones that are “everyone can vote”.

The better award events are where the votes are merely nominee, or eliminations for a final round for actual judges to decide. But there is nothing currently in place that could speak as a true “academy award” for webcomics.

I think it would be inaccurate to compare certifications to awards, particularly something like technical certs to artistic achievement recognition.

Certifications are an achievement, yes, but not an award. Anyone with the inclination to learn the material and ability to take the exam can get one. They are a guarantee from a professional body that the person in question has assimilated a satisfactory amount of knowledge on a subject(s), much like a degree is. But the important thing is anyone who passes the test gets one. Its education not honors.

I think we can also probably agree that just because something is popular, it isn’t necessarily good, and just because something is good, it isn’t necessarily popular. Also just because something has won an award, it’s not necessarily good (by a commoner’s standpoint) or popular.

You are also comparing the technical field to the art/creative field, which is very different as far as career path and advancement/value works. It’s not even like comparing apples to oranges; it’s like comparing apples to cars. Just try having the “what is art” debate with a handful of fine artists, and you’ll see why non-artists (ie: the suits who hire you) like to rely on a combination of awards and other people you’ve worked for/projects you’ve worked on to judge how valuable a talent a particular artist is rather than on portfolio alone.
The value of an award, ultimately, really isn’t in the award, It’s in how it changes people’s perceptions and values of you and your work. Oscar winning actors get paid more money. Award winning artists get paid more money, sometimes significantly more than 10%. You get projects funded; people who wouldn’t give you the time of day are suddenly willing to talk to you; you get raises and respect; clients are more willing to pay you more; clients who didn’t take you seriously suddenly do, etc. It’s honestly a bit mindboggling if you’ve never experienced it. Nor is it really logical. Don’t try to apply rational logic to it, you’ll just make your head hurt. But for an artist, peer recognition can be a hell of a lot more valuable in advancing your career than any certification or educational stamp of approval.

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