Okay are you sick of Zuda speculation and commentary yet? If you just can’t get enough of it, Todd Allen has the ultimate guide to parsing Zuda pr complete with speculative monetary breakdowns, and the idea of the “Citizen cartoonist.”
“Citizen Cartoonists” have been around for quite a while. It’s the basic premise of www.webcomicsnation.com. Generally speaking, its popularity that turns a “Citizen Cartoonist” into a professional webcartoonist (or print, as that line blurs as popularity increases). If this talent search is really paying proportional rates, that would be extremely egalitarian. It also serves to further blur the line between professional and amateur. This may not be a bad thing, depending on your perspective, but it’s going to be really interesting to see if the pro set gets frustrated by attention paid to this talent search and Intellectual Property development lab. Or if the rates are much lower and it really is a cheap place to develop and test market new ideas.
The other Zuda must-read is Newsarama’s webcomicker opinion round-up, in which Warren Ellis sensibly points out that Zuda goes great with Flex, the mobile phone technology DC recently acquired a stake in.
First off, you have to immediately assume Zuda will mesh with Flex, the comics-on-phone company DC invested in. Secondly, Zuda is high-concepted for news stories: it’s Pop Idol/American Idol for comics, essentially. (It’s a MainStream Media story only — you can’t successfully spin this as, say, a Web 2.0 project.) That demands the third point: the concept begs the formation of an online community around it. It’s probably compelling enough that DC will be able to access a sizeable and active audience, and that’ll give them a base to expand internet operations from. Which has to happen, because, as much as people continue to say “well, no-one likes reading comics on screen,” it doesn’t seem to be making scans, scanlations, comics torrent sites and e-books go away. Quite the opposite.