My name is Luke "Koltreg" H*** and I like to read and write webcomics as well as run a blog where I review webcomics to help people find good ones. In theory your website, The Webcomic List should also help people find quality webcomics. This is based on the idea of what a search site is supposed to do which is to help people find quality content so they don't need to wade through bad content. Instead though, The Webcomic List is a visually abrasive, poorly managed abyss filled with mostly bad webcomics.
Now, as much as I enjoy webcomics through my pursuit of the genre I have come to the revelation that not every comic is good. Not every comic deserves notoriety. Not every comic deserves a chance. Its like how not every Little Leaguer will become a professional baseball player. A majority of the people who make a business of hosting webcomics and following this practice hold little or no care about the genre that you are supposedly supporting. I am talking about DrunkDuck, ComicGenesis and SmackJeeves. These sites are the tools of the desperate and the undedicated comic creators. There is a reason Chris Crosby of Keenspot created Comic Genesis, to keep the name of KeenSpot somewhat untarnished. To show the cream of the crop. You show all of the crop and this is a bad business practice.
What I am suggesting is that you find people who care about the genre of webcomics to fix the site, to provide content and to generally clean up the dead comics, look for actual quality work and elevate it up. Have editors sections. Have weekly suggestions that you make if you care about the genre. Reach out into the online community and find people who are talking up quality work. Invite comic creators to use your website. Invite blog writers to write content for you for extra views. If nothing else, fix the web design.
A small list of things to fix:
- Orange is a poor color to base a site design on. Change it to something more professional. You are a professional web designer and yet the site is ugly and looks unprofessional and this is coming from a 1st year web design student and the opinions of three other students who are in the work field.
- The square links to comics at the top are annoying, there seems to be no quality control and it seems to serve little purpose other than to scare away potential users.
- Fix the ads that you have and hold some tact. Remove the Evony ads if nothing else so that some webcomics can buy space there and even then, don't sell the ads to any webcomic. Hell, you let The Outer Circle post and that is a horrible webcomic composed of pure copy-paste art, misogynistic-humor and cookie cutter characters. One of your ads is just a black and white blur.
- It is hard to tell what are and what are not links. The W3C made web links blue and underlined for a reason, so you could tell what they are. The FAQs have no underlines at the top so for all that I know, they could be simple text.
- Overall it is cluttered, difficult to navigate and it shows a lack of care.
- Check for update patterns on the webcomics that are on. Yes it is unfair for comics that infrequently update but it is a business. If you were to only make a site every few months, you would be out of a job.
Luke "Koltreg" H***
Not quite sure what the point of this email is, other than to offend?
I’m curious what makes you the expert? J
Evoluted New Media
You can help create something that people want to actually use to find new and quality webcomics. I see that the way to do this is by making is harder to be featured. If a person pays the $15 fee and then stops updating you have the money but you also have a dead webcomic. The lists themselves are hard to navigate and unless you know the exact name of what you are searching for it is a hassle to find it. If this is what the visitors to the site are doing then they normally have their own link to the webcomic and then your site serves no purpose.
I spent my time looking at other webcomic websites where people at least make somewhat of a profit. These writers and managers do things different and while not perfect, they do something that I see is better. Other webcomic sites reduce what they advertise to what they see as being worth it, not to any site waving a stick (and most use Project Wonderful created by a webcomic creator supporting the genre). Other webcomic sites hold actual reviews and create a sense of community by having recognizable names and personas for the people who work on the site. Other webcomic sites have been able to get actual webcomic artists to create content for them for free and for more than just being a publicity stunt.
Like I said though, I am not an expert at all. I am an amateur (which is what any reviewer is until they are paid). I am still an art student learning a lot of the generic stuff. It is my love of the genre that gives me a reason to send these emails though. It is the fact that when I used your site to find new comics randomly, 18 out of 20 that I found had not updated in over at least a year. It is the fact that I showed the site to web and graphic designers, they said that the site look unprofessional. It is the fact that you are the third site that comes up when I google "webcomic" and this should mean it is a useful site.
I really have no strength though. I have no power and nothing of value that makes me right or that means you have to listen to me. I am just one person on the Internet trying to improve a site on something that he loves and love is worth fighting an impossible fight.