What Will It Change?
News broke on Friday afternoon that Mark Waid, long time mainstream comic book writer, will be launching a new webcomic venture called Thrillbent on May 1st. Scott Kurtz and D.J. Coffman both have very good write-ups about how they see this new venture that you should all go read (after you’re finished here, of course).
In short, I get the feeling that everyone is seeing the monolithic comic book companies and creators coming over the horizon, thundering toward webcomics with a heavy sense of change filling the air. In my opinion (and I could be completely wrong about this) I don’t think this will change anything. I’ll concede that it MIGHT change the opinions of webcomics for the general comic buying public. It MIGHT also change the general attitude about webcomics that most average people have, but I don’t think it will change much about the way comics are made or consumed – at least not in the short term anyway.
The internet is such a vast and diverse space with little to no strangle hold on it by government or large corporations that there is no real set rules of how things must be done, sold or bought. Sure, the big creators and companies may be coming into webcomics, they may be about to change the way webcomics are marketed on a mass market level, but those of us that have been doing webcomics in the past 10-15 years aren’t interested in mass marketing, we sell to niches. Niches are where we live. We live in the nooks and crannies of the market, we thrive in the valleys that consider us akin to celebrities or gods. We care nothing of mass markets because we can’t, and don’t want, to serve the mass market.
So. Yes, I am excited about large creators finally waking up to the fact that there may be something to this web publishing thing that we’ve been doing for almost two decades now, but I’m mostly excited for THEM. They’re going to finally start feeling the joy of making comics again for the audience and the people that really matter, YOU guys!
I don’t think that their presence will change much for us, the webcomic creators of now and the past, because we’ve got out niches. We’re doing our thing and loving our audience. But it’s gonna be a huge change for the new webcomic creators, so let’s all be nice