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What is a webcomic?
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LukeSurl
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: What is a webcomic? Reply with quote

In these awards we're probably going to have to define the term "webcomic". Though common sense will probably prevail in most, if not all, cases, I recon this could be quite a fun discussion.

So, what is a webcomic? Do syndicicated cartoons, such as those on comics.com count as they are now freely available online? What if you're serialisng something already compliled into a book? How much animation can one include before it leaves webcomics territory and becomes something like weebl&bob? What if your "comic" is 100% amusingly labelled graphs? How about a collection of illustrations someone has used for forum posts?

Most of these questions are probably irrelevant, but fun to discuss nonetheless.
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jaygee
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a toughie...

Webcomic (definition). A website providing gags or stories narrated in one or more subsequent stills which are either hand-drawn, CAD'd or photographed and which might contain prose or lyrics in designated areas (called speech bubbles).

How does this sound?
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mooncity
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always find it helps to define what a thing is not.

Flash animation is not, in my mind a "webcomic." Animated anything is a whole 'nother world.
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n9uxu



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mooncity wrote:
I always find it helps to define what a thing is not.

Flash animation is not, in my mind a "webcomic." Animated anything is a whole 'nother world.


Ah Calculatus Eliminatus! A very valuable technique. I'll get Thing 1 and Thing 2 right on that....

Dave

Though for the purposes of the awards, I would have to look at how it started. If it is originally a print comic that is also available on the web (Non-Sequitor), I would not think of it as a webcomic. If it is originally a webcomic with some printed material or an author that has transitioned from print to the web (The Foglios), then they qualify.
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LukeSurl
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump cos the guest account ate it
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ttallan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Rumiko Takahashi's Rin Ne? I mean, I think it qualifies as a webcomic-- it's being serialized on the web and will probably go to print eventually, but web is the first appearance. She's got to be one of the richest comic creators around, which is not exactly the demographic we're looking to promote with the Twickles. But is there any good reason to not accept the nomination, if someone decides to vote for it? Or any similar media-backed webcomic?
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wendyw
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I never saw this. I saw that there was some guest account or bot related activity but I couldn't see anything missing. That makes sense.

I agree with n9uxu and mooncity on their suggestions for what is and isn't a webcomic. When it comes to the animation issue I would say it's okay to include sites that use both comic strips and animations if either the comic strips outnumber the animations or are in their own separate archive on another part of the site. In the second case we could count the comic as a separate spin off entity and ignore the animation when checking on archive and updates, not that I think we'll encounter many of them.

I would also add that sketch blog's are also not webcomics. This one would have to be something that was judged case by case, because there is a slightly fuzzy line between these and single panelled silent comics (Silent Kimbly comes to mind here).

As for ttallan's question about media-backed webcomics, I can't see any good reason to give not to. We could make it an independent webcomic award, but then how do you define independent? Where does the likes of Sinfest fit in? It's an independently ran webcomic but is now being printed by a major comic publisher as well. Do comics on Drunk Duck count as independent considering their hosting is supplied by a multinational corporation these days? Personally I think we should include them all, corporation support or not.
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Canetoonist



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:53 pm    Post subject: Re: What is a webcomic? Reply with quote

My thoughts:

LukeSurl wrote:

Do syndicicated cartoons, such as those on comics.com count as they are now freely available online?


Only if they have a significant enough web presence. Just being put up on the web as an afterthought, with syndication being the main thing doesn't seem like enough. A comic like Candorville MIGHT count, though, since it's both on comics.com and its own site.

LukeSurl wrote:

What if you're serialisng something already compliled into a book?


Kind of the same as the answer for syndication. Depends on how important they feel the web is.

LukeSurl wrote:

How much animation can one include before it leaves webcomics territory and becomes something like weebl&bob?


I'm thinking it should involve some semi-static imagery/panels. I'd call MSPaint Adventures the cut-off (as in, it barely counts as a webcomic).

LukeSurl wrote:

What if your "comic" is 100% amusingly labelled graphs?


I think it should, but if we're going for a strict definition then no.

LukeSurl wrote:

How about a collection of illustrations someone has used for forum posts?


As long as you can link to it, then yes.


ttallan wrote:
What about Rumiko Takahashi's Rin Ne? I mean, I think it qualifies as a webcomic-- it's being serialized on the web and will probably go to print eventually, but web is the first appearance. She's got to be one of the richest comic creators around, which is not exactly the demographic we're looking to promote with the Twickles. But is there any good reason to not accept the nomination, if someone decides to vote for it? Or any similar media-backed webcomic?


I changed my mind several times about this in the past five minutes, but I'm gonna go with "no". Rumiko Takahashi doesn't appear to interact with the readers much at all (as evidenced by the event they're running: "We have a rare chance to submit a few short 'interview' questions to Rumiko Takahashi for publication on The Rumic World website. Initially I was going to come up with all of them, but I thought why not give the fans a shot?").

So, I'd say the most important thing (for our purposes) is creator-reader interactivity (Before anyone asks, Tatsuya Ishida at least has a blog and e-mail, so I guess he counts).
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LukeSurl
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:20 am    Post subject: Re: What is a webcomic? Reply with quote

My thoughts personally:

webcomic
Free online publication is the primary method of distribution.

webcomic
In terms of animation, animation should be sufficiently understated such that the primary method of depicting the passage of time is done through the arrangement of images in space.
In terms of graph comics and their ilk: If the essential quality of the product arises from the juxtaposition of words and images (or just images): comic. If it's just words: not comic.
LukeSurl wrote:

How about a collection of illustrations someone has used for forum posts?
Thinking about it, such a "comic" hasn't got a cat in hell's chance of winning nothing, so its not really worth considering.
Corporate backing: I agree with wendy. If you create what is by all other definitions is a comic on the web there's no good reason to exclude it just because they recieve money from a third party or don't talk much.

Overall tho, the nomination process means that the webcomics community at large is going to define the term in a big fuzzy democratic hive-mind sorta way, so defintion probably doesn't need to be very strict, or could be completely absent. Borderline cases, by their nature, are going to recieve fewer nominations than clear-cut ones and there's not much we can do about that.
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ttallan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree that we can't bar certain webcomics just because they happen to be popular. Or, you know, actually really good. Wink We're going to have to be willing to accept the fact that the popular webcomics are what will win, because they are popular. So my suggestion-- which I've mentioned before, in some past thread-- is to allow these superstar webcomics to each win two or three awards, either in the same year or over the course of several years, and then put it in "The Twickle Hall of Fame" where it can be honoured but no longer nominated.
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funnyninjas



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttallan wrote:
So my suggestion-- which I've mentioned before, in some past thread-- is to allow these superstar webcomics to each win two or three awards, either in the same year or over the course of several years, and then put it in "The Twickle Hall of Fame" where it can be honoured but no longer nominated.


I agree with this, and Luke's idea of having a definiton absent. As he said, it won't matter much if we have a clear-cut definition, because the ones on the border aren't as likely to be nominated. And if they are, you would think it would be easier to look at them on a case by case basis, since we have to look at each comic anyway.
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Zoe Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I think this classes as a webcomic and I love the way the mouseover animation means all the art is visible until you want to read the comic. I'd love to use this technique myself some time:

Link to TellTale Games' Sam and Max comics

So...is this a webcomic under the competition's definition? I tried to look at that manga one but it's region-restricted; which I think should rule it out as a competitor right away, regardless of other factors.
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jaygee
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZoŽ Robinson wrote:
I tried to look at that manga one but it's region-restricted; which I think should rule it out as a competitor right away, regardless of other factors.

Zoe's got a point - a "webcomic" should have world-wide accessibility. At least in theory...
Luke Surl wrote:
Free online publication is the primary method of distribution.

I second Luke. I mean, the Twickle is about art and writing... and the fact that some webcomics make money by merchandise and by selling art or printed versions doesn't affect the artwork or writing...
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dpat57
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting questions... and some interesting spanners thrown into the decision machinery. Smile

If a webcomic has been printed and distributed in any form, is it still technically a webcomic?
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jaygee
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dpat57 wrote:
If a webcomic has been printed and distributed in any form, is it still technically a webcomic?

If the printing and distributing happens subsequently to online publishing and if the material is still fully available online, I'd say yes...
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