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AlterKeen Dropdown - A dropdown for 'Alternative Webcomix'

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:35 am
by [AOD]
If I knew how to do the dropdown thing I would... but here's just an idea for you all.

We all know that there's such a thing as underground/alternative comics in the 'real' comic world (what with the publishing and the paper books and the inking and the [dr Frink]gloy-VYN-MAYVYN...[/dr Frink]) and these tend to be... well... rather 'odd'. Underground/Alternative cartoonists tend to be very experimental - they play with borders, format, layout, colour, line, the whole shebang is their toybox. They defy conventions and break rules. They go against taboos and social restrictions.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but there tends to be a certain kind of 'standard' with webcomics. Most webcomics tend to fit into one big ... uh... category... uh- thing, and many webcartoonists tend to follow these general trends. But there's got to be a minority of webcomics that defy these standards, breaking rules, and going into wild territory without much care for the will of the general 'masses' and straight into comic-self-expressionism!

Not surprisingly, such comics tend to have very very small audiences made up of wierd cult-ish type people that wear black all the time and say "Ni".. Okay, maybe not the last part, but you get my point.

So - let's make a dropdown for 'alternative webcomics'!

Who's with me??!

?~AOD

EDIT: 'Alternative' includes very Surreal webcomics (like mine, for instance), and very controversial webcomics who deal with very controversial issues - sex, drugs, violence, etc, as well as comics that are just really don't fit into any exact category - the ones that'd be considered 'just plain wierd'.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2004 7:12 am
by McDuffies
Good idea but you'd have to deal with several tought issues:
1. What is alternative? Everyone can just call himself 'alternative', it's almost a matter of prestige for some people. But their comic still might be convencional, because being unconvencional is a matter of original ideas, not just a good will.

2. Webcomics already are alternative; They already employ a number of elements that are unimaginable to printed mainstream comics. In other words, who do you think would more likely print Sexy Losers: publishers like Marvel and DC or publishers like Fantagraphics and late 'Zap'?
Also, alternative comics are sometimes defined as comics that do not care about taste of general audience, but where artists follow their personal impression. However, this applies to most of webcomics.
Sometimes alternative is defined as 'indie', 'independent publishing'. In webcomics, the most popular comics are considered 'indie' because they're not on any of 'big' webcomic servers.
Therefore, we may ask ourselves if there really is 'alternative' in webcomics.

3.
EDIT: 'Alternative' includes very Surreal webcomics (like mine, for instance), and very controversial webcomics who deal with very controversial issues - sex, drugs, violence, etc, as well as comics that are just really don't fit into any exact category - the ones that'd be considered 'just plain wierd'.

I don't think that definition is correct, actually it's unprecise. My comic is often described as 'weird' but I don't think it's alternative. Addmitedly, most of comics I do apart from 'mcDuffies' can be fit into alternative.
But I think both surreal and controversial issues are not exceptions in webcomics, but rather integral part of webcomics.

4. A very strong stream of artists around here sees alternatives 'Scott Kurtz style', as people who can't draw but want to be artists and tag 'alternative' brand on themself just to sound important, and can't wait to point a finger at someone and yell "sellout!"
If you start this, you're probably gonna have to deal with bashing from that side. Often flamewars included. Ready for that?

Don't wanna diss your idea, I just wanted to make you pick your brain a bit more on this issue. You know, work some things out before you start. :D

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:42 pm
by [AOD]
Well... in reply... yes. I think that most of you said is quite true, and I'm not contesting it. You could consider the entire webcomic medium to be 'alternative', at least in regards to print comics like Marvel and DC and the newspaper syndications.

But there's still gotta be a raw edge even in this medium. Consider: webcomics have been around for at least 9-10 years. In that time, we've seen very many trend-setting events; comics like Sexy Losers, Framed!, Road Waffles, Penny Arcade, Sluggy Freelance, and about a bajillion others that you could think of, that have set the standards of webcomics and influenced everyone to some scale or another.

However, within that time, we must look at the broad overall thematic trends and overtures to see what has been the dominant zeitgeist for the webcomic medium.

Given that, it's only logical to assume that somewhere, somehow, a subculture of 'alternative' webcomics, taking the genre one more step in any particular direction - whether it be through the use of the digital medium, content, design, or otherwise - and would not be considered the 'usual' kind of webcomic.

Obviously, as all webcomics may include such themes as surreality, violence, sexuality, experimental layout, etc., the overarching ethos of the 'alternative' webcomic must be that it devotes itself entirely to the study and extension of one of the aforementioned.

And that's the general purpose of this dropdown thingy, I think: to at once begin to understand the general 'webcomic culture', to make sense of the basic fundamental ideas and map out its boundaries, and thus to transcend its boundaries.

In summary: I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about and I should shut up about it all. Go away. Don't listen to me. I MEAN IT!!! :evil:

@~AoD

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:01 am
by Phact0rri
I think you might be looking at perhaps experimental comics. the use of the infinate canvas?

The thing about webcomics is that there are a lot of "used" genres, Anime/manga styles, videogames, RPG/Fantasy, college roommates, Real life events, sprites, ultra violent, etc that do take the cake. But I'd not neccessarily call comics that are not these things as an "alternative"

by and large Alternative/indie press comics are not always any diffrent than thier big company counterparts. there are NEC comics which deal with super heroes, for example, as well as slave labor, and Fanagraphics, darkhorse and countless others. DC's vertigo line as well as paradox press, published comics that looked a heck of a lot like the indie/alternative comics, as has marvel in the past. And well Image has such a collectic arsenal of comics (or did when I last was reading comics) that it blured the lines as to what was suitable in print comics.

if we were looking for "alternative comics" in my world that would be comics that were an alternative form the popular ones and houses. alternatives for Graphic Smash, Keenspot, Real life, penny arcade, PVP, etc. and I'd go so far as to say in the webcomic world, they'd also be alternative to Keenspace and Drunk Duck.

and I don't think this is what you mean..

perhaps experimental or otherwise, trying to find new functions in which webcomics can be created and digested. but even then I think most of us experiment. heck the whole of webcomics (at least to me) is one big experiment in digital media and seqencial art. thats why I do a webcomic.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:20 am
by McDuffies
I think serializer is trying to pull something like that.

[AOD] wrote:Well... in reply... yes. I think that most of you said is quite true, and I'm not contesting it. You could consider the entire webcomic medium to be 'alternative', at least in regards to print comics like Marvel and DC and the newspaper syndications. ...


Can't argue with that. You should try to make it, I'm kinda sorry my comic probably wouldn't qualify.