Saturday, June 10, 2006


I have been reviewing quite a few web comics for the website Independent Propaganda. I am actually really enjoying this independent stuff. These are diamonds in the rough and I feel that I can give a good boost to the stuff that's well done.

But I have one issue so far with web comics that I don't know how to fix.

I recently did an interview for a pretty cool web comic called Bub's World. The only problem that I have so far with Bub's World is not Bub's World ís alone. In the time since it started, more than a year, the archive has only produced 48 strips in the series. This Mr. Patrick tries to do a page every Monday, once a week. I know he is probably a very busy guy and he is putting these up for free, for strangersí enjoyment. A lot of webcomics are doing this. Sometimes the schedule is more erratic than that. The issue overriding here is the fact that there has yet to be a complete story in the comic. It is a series of adventures and I will be following them in the future. Will I remember to come back? Will my RSS feed work every time? because a lot of times the RSS feeds do not work on my My Yahoo! page. When I do remember, will I have to go spend time going through pages to find where I left off?

Should these webcomics only put up one page at a time? Should they wait and put up several? A whole series? How many pages are good? If the story does not end after 48 strips, and if it doesn't that's fine, how big would the file be that you would have to download? Will we download a 10 + MB file?

This may be resulting in that same technological infancy of when the internet started. I remember logging on to a World Wide Web page in the mid-90s and found it excrutiatingly slow when graphics were involved. I remember that The Simpsons did a parody of this when that guy that runs the comic shop would talk of downloading nude pictures of the Star Trek cast and we see one pixelated line at a time slowly forming on the page. Web comics will become more prominent and easier to access as speeds get higher again.

I think the best way that I like to see these comics is when they have an episode or issue to download one at a time. They don't have to be complete stories and can be continued. They should only be about ten-twenty pages maximum. I think that would be small enough to download a zip file and read the comic. But here we go again with accessibility. Not a ton of people know how to manipulate a zip file. Then it gets hard and technical for some readers when all they want to do is read it.

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