§ El Santo responds to Brigid Alverson’s 8-page rule:
But most webcomics aren’t limited by Zuda’s hard-coded (and unwieldy) Flash-based Zuda browser. Hence, more often than not readers are introduced to elements that happen further on down the story. I personally was introduced to my favorites, — Gunnerkrigg Court, Scary Go Round, and Octopus Pie — in medias res. Later chapters were posted by enthusiasts, I was hooked onto the worlds and characters, and then later I would skip back to the early, more primitive chapters. In a sense, the hook itself didn’t need to be at the beginning.
Establishing the hook far better applies to, say, book stores and comic book shops. We naturally skim through the first pages to see if that’s what we want to read, and then, in those short moments, decide whether or not we want to go forward. But is that the case with long-form webcomics? With the browser environment, we are far more at liberty to jump around to see if the story gets any better in later chapters.
§ Over in the NY Times, Douglas Wolk reviews Carol Tyler’s You’ll Never Know:
“ ‘You’ll Never Know’ ” unfolds like a rambling reminiscence, except without the boring parts. It skitters around in time, every observation setting off another memory or meditation or visual flourish. Tyler’s artwork flutters between representation, fantasy and symbolism, sometimes even in the same panel, but her stylistic virtuosity is a steadfast guide through her chronology’s loops and pivots. On one page, she shows us an imagined scene in her family’s backyard in the early ’50s — kids playing in buckets of water, her mother hanging up a towel reading “Always Do Your Best,” a TV set and a pair of pedal pushers floating in midair — then carefully annotates the anachronisms. She draws her father as a sturdy young man in an Army helmet and as a grouchy retiree in a trucker’s cap, but also as a little boy in church with a halo floating over his horns, as a fox seeking out a peach labeled “Mom,” and as a tree trying to teach fortitude to its fragile sapling of a daughter.
Tom Spurgeon interviews Sethand it’s hard to pick just one pull-quote. Is it this kind of stuff?
I had an excellent working relationship with the Times and it was a very valuable experience doing the strip — I learned a lot about editing my own work while doing Sprott. But I cannot say I received a great deal of response to the work while it was running. Since it finished I have received a smattering of remarks here and there, nothing much worth commenting on. As an artist you like feedback but I have learned not to expect it. That’s one sure way to be disappointed. I must say, though, that the high profile venue was a “feather in my cap” and I have “felt” some vague effect from having serialized a strip there. Hard to explain what I mean by this, though. The lack of direct feedback may simply be the nature of newspaper and magazine publication — I mean, George Sprott (the book) has only been out a couple of days and I have received significantly more feedback than during the entire run of the strip.
Thoreau MacDonald is always up there in my mind as a potent life example — along with Glenn Gould and Robert Crumb. People I admire enormously and think about almost every day. He was modest and hard working and had a profound connection to the world — specifically the fields and farms of Thornhill, Ontario (now a depressing Toronto suburb). He was smart and had exquisite, austere sensibilities and I wish I were more like him.
Oh, just go read the whole thing.
§ A story has been going around about how a potential planted viral marketer may have slipped up on 4chan, the great floating therapy session of the internet, but according to Bleeding Cool, it was just another 4chan hoaxer.
§ T Campbell is twittering a rereading of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.
§ This profile of the original Chaka, Phillip Paley, was of great interest to us since we were with Paley on the memorable night we met “Naked John” and we always wondered what happened to him. Paley, that is, not NJ.