Web Comics and the Future

Building a Cartoon Entertainment Website for Fun and Profit

Part Five — Ongoing Changes in the Internet

Web Comics and the Future

The internet keeps changing, and people change with it, especially today’s youth who are so inclined to follow fads. Just two years ago blogs were all the rage, but today blogs, websites and even e-mail are considered old media. Today the fads are Twitter, Facebook and videos on You Tube. You Tube is today’s new television — people are much more inclined to watch a video on You Tube, especially on their cell phones. But probably in another year or two even Twitter and Facebook may be passe, replaced by something else that hasn’t even been invented yet.

So the current talk is, are comic strips and graphic novels being regarded as too static and old fashioned by today’s youth? How large a niche audience can a comic strip hang onto? I’m told that animation might be the only form of cartoons that will continue to hold young people’s attention on the internet. Would it be different for older people who are perhaps more inclined to look at their computers at home? Might these folks be the last niche market for comic strips?

There are currently a lot of comic strips on the internet, so I’m hoping that people who are currently doing these will write in and share their experiences and opinions.

The technology of computers and television is rapidly beginning to merge, so perhaps it will be soon that children and other family age groups will be watching shows on wall-size TVs that originate on the internet, similarly to today’s network and cable TV shows — even while the hormone-crazed teenagers go running around with their faces glued to their cell phones. Surely some cartoonists will create ways to tap into these disparate audiences.

For now I will leave this page open, as a sort of bulletin board, to be added to as more people propose ideas of where cartoons will likely fit into this newly evolving media environment.

UPDATE (6-27-13): Just recently, fellow cartoonist Milton Knight and a few commenters on Facebook articulated perfectly the main marketing problem we face today: The importance of just hanging on long enough to establish a brand name. These days, most people seem to buy (or at least look at) only what someone else tells them is good, which is referred to by a name — of a character, or a cartoonist, or whatever — one’s brand name. I quote Milton Knight and his commenters here:

Milton Knight: “I’m finding more often, a lot of people don’t look at the art anymore; it’s who did it that counts. If it’s not ‘somebody’, it’s not worth looking at.”

Jeff Overturf: “People don’t learn what good art is or how to appreciate it, they just learn the names of who they’re told is good and pursue that as a point of status. No more time is spent learning to discover for yourself, I agree.”

Milton Knight: “I know a guy who’d never nose around in a bookstore; he’d rather go to Amazon and never leave home. Discovering the unexpected is what makes life livable for me, but it’s going out of fashion.”

Charles A. Brubaker: “That’s too bad. I love going to bookstores just to see what I can find.”

Ghastly Gilbert Smith called our present day the era of on-demand entertainment, and went on to say: “We hailed the internet as the coming of an era of weird, experimental and new ideas coming from every direction, but it also makes it very easy to avoid everything that you don’t already like.”

Milton Knight and Charles A. Brubaker are currently selling their comics in print and on CD-ROM, mostly over the internet. This allows them to charge money for their work rather than just post it on the internet for free. I wish them well. I myself will be offering an e-book of erotic stories in about a month, which I will use to cross-promote Viagri’s cartoon websites. Little by little, establishing my brand name.


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