Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 29, 2007

When Internet Comics Models Collide

* Josh Roberts of ComicSpace and and Joey Manley of the WebComicsNation family of comics sites have announced a merger and an infusion of capital from an investment company called E-Line Ventures. This involves merging some of the sites from both companies under the ComicSpace name and re-energizing some of the more strongly branded Manley company initiatives. I think this is a smart move and fairly interesting one in terms of it providing both companies with access to skills and resources and a stabilizing influence that could be hugely beneficial; my initial hunch is that this falls short of making likely a revolutionary change in terms of things like growth and the passion held for these efforts. I'll try to find out more. For one thing, this seems to be the only time "E-Line Ventures" has ever been mentioned on the Internet.

* Unless I misunderstood, today is the day that Zuda Comics goes live. That's DC Comics' web initiative, which basically seems like a lot of other webcomics efforts (lots of fantasy features with enough sprinkles from other genres to portray itself as diverse; a vast range of skill involved, a crowd-pleasing element in a lot of what's on the docket) except they're going to be driven by a wide call for creative contributions, they'll be paying people at a certain level of publication, they can offer the promise of eventually getting down on one knee and offering the cartoonist a ring that means a media property-gigundo corporation development marriage, and there are massive questions regarding the terms of that money and partnership in terms of how much control it gives DC over the creation -- with the consensus on that last point being "quite enough it should give someone pause." However, like most things in comics there's a calculated resignation combined with a careerist impulse that makes short work of those concerns, at least enough that the more difficult fight is against other willing participants. It's also probably worth noting that while the history of comics right up through modern times demands we cut the analysis of such deals absolutely no slack when it comes to catch the tiniest whiff of exploitation, there are severe deals that have worked and do work to the satisfaction of many cartoonists. What I'm interested in is that if this deal works in terms of delivering readers and development resources to such projects in a fashion that justifies the expense of investment and the cost of playing ball.

* Graeme McMillan catches word I missed that comics property development company Platinum, of "all the licensing and movie deals of a comics publishing, little actual publishing" fame has ended its relationship with the comics information site Broken Frontier. Apparently, this took placed back in July. I'm not sure what you can say about either the development or how BF benefited from the partnership in any way -- I'm not casting aspersions; I really don't know.
posted 10:14 pm PST | Permalink

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