Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How To Get Into Webcomics - Part 3

Apparently at least two people have found the previous articles in the series helpful. The number is rather small and I dare say that I wish I could be sarcastically joking about my number of readers, but alas this is not the case. Nonetheless, as part of my promises that I make from time to time, I must finish this series and then just maybe, my goal of summoning a talkative and positive community of blog readers shall be completed successfully. Holding off on this article any longer would increase the likelihood of instead summoning an elder god whose very presence and eldritch typing would reduce me to a gibbering shell of a man.
In the previous sections I have discussed finding comics you enjoy in Part 1 (will link this) along with the building of communities, an idea I expanded upon in Part 2 (will link


So far I have only talked in detail about joining a webcomic community while reading webcomics as if this were the only way to "read" webcomics. While I am a rather social animal and desire this relationship between myself and similar fans, not everyone desires the companionship and community that I do. This is in the same way that everyone may not desire a companion as seen in Firefly or a community as seen in the TV show of the same name (both are highly recommended for viewing).

The point of being in a community is to be socially interactive as you, most likely a nerdy person, may not be prone to be. While on this note I am basing the lack of a social life on stereotypes of the nerdy community at large. I am aware of the following facts as well:
Not all people who read webcomics are nerds.
Not all nerds are the pasty, skinny, glasses wearing nerds.
I myself am rather tanned, have good vision and I also enjoy popular music, consorting with people in "the real world" and eschewing my former nerdy habits and hobbies as a sort of ritual cleansing to prepare myself for the adult world. I ramble though and for that I apologize, you nerds.

If you want a rich experience from reading webcomics without the social interaction, then simply read them. I wish that I might be more specific than that but I can’t. You simply need to read webcomics.

As this article deals with social interactions involved with webcomics, if you are not a person who enjoys this topic then I can say your interest might fade after this point. I am about to further discuss the webcomic social interactions as pertaining to forum activity and conventions. I apologize as well for being longwinded right now as a side effect to listening to books on tape (It is John Hodgman's first book if you wanted to know).
Now, the forum community is a rarely changing place, except on the very minute scale. The general face and feel will stay the same (unless some massive mod action occurs) and as such, the chances are that you can tell the state and alignment of the forum after a short time there. As I am a recovering nerd, the word alignment made me apply the Dungeons and Dragons alignment scale to forum types. For examples examine The Table Below.

The Table Below:
LG: The forum is run mostly with moderator control and the rules are enforced but only as a way to make sure little or no trolling happens.
LN: The forum has mods but they only act when things truly get bad or when there are spambots.
LE: The forum has mods who are dicks and use the rules to ban members often for their fun.
NG: The forums are self moderated usually by karma with people quickly weeding out troublemakers.
NN: The forums are self moderated but they allow people to mess around as long as nothing too bad happens, unless it is hilarious.
NE: The forums are self moderated in theory but about 6 people really control everything.
CG: The forums are a social ground where there are no rules and people simply believe in working together.
CN: The forums are a social network with people who you like or dislike and avoid if you hate them.
CE: See YouTube, 4chan and pretty much the stereotypical Internet. Chaotic but entertaining. You ask them for computer help and you end up erasing your memory with a magnet.

The alignment of the community generally affects how you should act and if you should be there at all. If you are nervous when you are about to post a comment, you may be at the wrong forum. Once again, I cannot speak any more specifically on the topic nor can I necessarily find a good example for each alignment as it is your journey to make.
I myself am currently active on a LN forum, the VG Cats forums and a LG forum, the MS Paint Adventures forum. I was previously on hybrid LN/LE forum over at the Slackerz but my actions there garnered me some derision and I have since vacated it.

Conventions are the final topic of the article and are the aspect of the webcomic community that I am least familiar with. I have attended gaming conventions which I reported on and I also have attended a comic-book convention though it was small and only had two webcomic artists there (thank you again Mr. Guigar). I have so far lacked the transportation, motivation and money to travel to a webcomic convention so far

though I hope this will soon change.

As such is the case I cannot say much on the topic other than if you are going, treat each webcomic artist with respect (though you may loath them in some cases), respect everyone there (even if they reek of onions) and try and support the artists if you can by buying something (as booths and travel and hotels are all expensive). If nothing else tell them that you enjoy their comic and what you like about it. Also if you get stuck in line, be patient and don't seem like you are in a hurry. You don't want the webcomic people to rush your turn so make them not rush other people’s turns.
Hopefully now you know more about the world of webcomics than you previously did. I know slightly more myself though my knowledge pertains more to the school of not promising three articles when you give the basic stuff you need in the first article. That is all as it is currently late and I am behind on several projects.

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