Wednesday, September 29, 2004
|Haven't been able to go online since last friday due to the installation of my new cablemodem and the slooooowness of my Internetprovider. Anyways - I've started working on the final version of 'The New Comic' (and it isn't called 'The Wall' as some of you might've assumed already). I've made some sneakwallpapers of it including a few wallpapers for RCH, which you'll be seeing as soon as my internetconnection at home has been fixed.
Friday, September 17, 2004
|Here's a little round of 'Us in the media' only about sites that have recently linked to us. I appreciate every link to our little initiative, especially if just out of appreciation for all the hard work we put in. So I'm taking this bit of time (during my short vacation, so feel special !) to put in a special mention for those sites who have honored us recently. It's also a small 'fuck you' to the sites who haven't linked to us - we're not gonna give you any love if you're not gonna give us any.
So here goes.
First off, Het Stripschap will soon be adding us to their list of links. It's a majorly appropriate location, and it's their own initiative after I contacted them for more information on how to get the booklet (see previous post) delivered to them. Thanks !
Secondly (I'm trying to put them into order of personal preference here) my favourite bar, Cul de Sac, added a link to our site in their newly redesigned homepage. Of course, I did kind of post a teasing request in their forum, but hey, they're under no obligation whatsoever (despite the large amounts of money I spend there, and the fact that I'm one of the old regular customers) so that was just.. cool. Really cool. For those of you who may have missed earlier mentionings of this awesome bar, it's located here in my home city, Tilburg, and even though their focus is mainly on (great) music, the place is crowded with local comic celebrities, including myself. People like Gummbah, Jean-Paul Arends, Patrice v/d Linden, Ivo van Leeuwen, and several other reasonably well-known people are often found there getting shitfaced. It's a spectacle and if you're ever in the neighbourhood, you should come check the place out. Besides comic artists hanging out there, they've in the past put some of my own drawings on exhibition, they've hosted the Eefje Wentelteefje Roadshow, and De Bedenkelijk Kijkende Grondeekhoorn-evening, so they can deny their link to the comics world as much as they want but they're not gonna get away with it.
(In honor of the link, I've decided to start a new category on Probeersel.com's link page, Comic artists-friendly bars, so if anyone wants to suggest other such bars, feel free to submit them to us.)
Thirdly, a really extensive comics links list, the Belfry Webcomics index, included a link to The Grim DotCom just a few days ago and already it's upping our statistics quite heavily. I'm impressed with the result, which I really didn't expect. Then again, I did request the link, and added as information that it included all of the following: Adult Situations, Adult Language, Nudity (hey, there has been some here and there), Graphic Violence, and Explicit (NC-17). That's bound to get people interested, apparently. Useful tip for other artists looking to increase their popularity, perhaps !
Fourthly, and this goes a while back already, but there's a site called TriggerHappy which has had an (older) picture of our own Bandirah on there for a while now, with a direct link to his info on Probeersel.com. They're also showing up reasonably stubbornly in our statistics so their generated traffic is more than appreciated. Apparently the story is that Bandirah had to sleep with the webmaster there to get this done (or something, he was vague about the details) so here's another piece of excellent advice to starting cartoonists: stock up on vaseline.
Last but not least, we've been on the links page of Martin's Misdirection for ages (ever since I reviewed the site, I think, since shortly after I received a kind email from James Burks thanking us and mentioning that he linked to us) and it's never left our statistics either. That link has been a reasonably steady source of audience for years. Thanks man !
Now, there are quite a lot more sites that link to us, but I really wanted to shout out to these five, and proceed to mention a few sites that have posted some kind words about us in addition to the link:
- André Gerrits
- Tino Nauwelaerts
- Pim Steinmann
- Grim DotCom-fan Xan
And of course anyone else I may have forgotten here. Thanks ! Linking to us helps us reach a wider audience, so in a way, you're contributing to our community and helping our hard-working comic artists a bit further on their way to fame. So that one day soon, they may get a great contract from a publisher and you'll have to pay to read their comics from there on. Wait, forget I said that last bit.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
There's a new comics convention coming up in the Netherlands, the annual Str!pdagen in the Archeon, Alphen aan de Rijn. It will be on the 23rd and 24th of October, and Probeersel.com will be there !
Well - we're not there with a stand or anything, and we're not on the guest list - as with previous conventions, I will be there merely as a visitor, and who knows, perhaps some of the other artists will come as well. We'll see. I will, in any case, be there to promote the site, chat with artists and fans, perhaps hand out some free shirts, etc.
But we're all working hard right now to also present all the members of Het Str!pschap (the organisation behind this event), which mostly consists of people interested in comics (in other words, our target audience), with a little artist showcase booklet that shows off the work of our artists. It's already taking shape now and I'm glad to report a lot of the artists are joining in, so it should be an interesting little book.
Unfortunately, this booklet will be in the special free-stuff-bag that only members of Het Str!pschap, the press, and other invited guests will receive. Still, there will be 1500 bags handed out, so we're reaching a lot of people here. You can have one of these limited-edition booklets, too, simply by becoming a member of Het Str!pschap and showing up at the event. Being a member also gives you free entrance (Archeon is also a theme park, so admittance is kind of hefty). Visitors who are not members and of ages 4-11 pay 10,20 and visitors over 11 pay 14,20. Visitors under the age of 4 are allowed inside free, by the way. They are offering you a discount if you print out the discount text and show up with that. Membership of Het Str!pschap costs Eur 19,95 per year (so if you go both days and are over 11 years old, you've already earned that back). Annnddd, as said, if you're a member, you will receive the free goodies bag with this one-time print Artist Showcase booklet.
So, now that that bit of free advertising is over with, who's going ??
Friday, September 10, 2004
|Comic artist Dirk Arend is being interviewed here about his very informative weblog. It's in Dutch (both the interview and the weblog are) but it's worth checking out. He also mentions our blog !
But that's not what I wanted to think out loud about here. I got thinking about Doug TenNapel's comics earlier this week, and the shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. What is the link between both ? Something I'm thinking of calling self-balancing escapism.
"René, what the hell are you going on about ?" Well, it's really easy, to be honest. If you think about it, Buffy, Angel, Firefly - Joss Whedon is on the cutting edge of some kind of modern sense of humour. After all, the jokes in those shows aren't really that great - except when placed in the context. What context ? Well, really strong, well-written, escapist stories that catch your attention and take your hand and guides you along storylines that, if written by anyone else, would just seem absurd, ridiculous, but the way these stories have been fed to you, you just get caught up and take it all as it is. This is the same thing TenNapel has mastered: completely preposterous storylines that are being told to us in a very human, natural, believable way. They leave room for emotions, natural human responses, that make us accept what we're seeing.
So when does it get funny ? When some character, at an unguarded moment, sums up the absurdity of the situation that has just been fed to us. Dr.Ong in Creature Tech, hiding from a demonic cat by getting his symbiote to camouflage him against a tree, and then the cat doesn't notice him but does pee against the tree, and Dr.Ong soon after exclaims "I am covered in demonic cat pee !" is where the humour is at. Not only are these absurd sentences that would never ever ever be able to be used in any other situation, but they make you realise, once again, that what you're reading is completely absurd. So the stories masterfully tug you into this completely believable escapist fantasy, and then yank you out of it from time to time with these weird jokes. And that, my friends, is what I see as the current cutting edge in the field of humour. I don't see too many people and tv-shows doing this yet, nor have I seen them do this in the past. This is new. This is humour of the '90ies-'00s.
So where are the webcomics ? Why are they still copying old (newspaper) approaches ? I mean, admiring the artists that got you drawing in the first place is one thing, but really folks, webcomics are supposed to be at the cutting edge as well ! We need more webcomic artists taking this young medium where young people (who get this new breed of humour - and they ALL do) like to go.
That, and this self-balancing escapism is completely addictive and I need a fix as well.
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
|Well, the alcohol has worn off by now: another new headline at ComicBase.nl has dropped our booze fest off the front page. Still, our statistics have shown AND are showing promising growth currently, but the referrers are a bit unclear if you want to figure out where these visitors are coming from (URL-wise). A lot of people visit our site from this blog, which makes me wish Blogger had statistics available as well.
Note to self: MUST integrate the blog into the new Probeersel.com setup (and, of course, provide the possibility for an own blog for each of the artists) and then, of course, find a way to log statistics of that so we get a better view on wether or not that article did us any good.
Perhaps it's just all our fans having been on nice long summer vacations and finally returning to find loads and loads of new material and new artists.
I'm looking forward to Greg's new work (previous posts) and of course Béné, Troy, Jon and Satan are sporadically updating with really good stuff. I also hope Sionnain returns soon, if only because it means she'll have made a full recovery.
Then there's also Bandirah's internet radio shows to enjoy (see his blog), and I'm personally working on a short story (whenever I have time) that I kind of need to keep a secret for a while, since it's a collaboration project. But you'll be sure to hear about it on here when the time is ready, and get this: it'll be an actual comic book, the kind you can order and hold in your hands and snuggle up against at night. So if anyone out there was waiting impatiently for my work's first official appearance in print (I know several people are, including some of my old teachers who have pre-ordered it over a decennium ago, in complete faith that eventually I would appear in print) keep your eye on this blog !
What I guess I'm trying to say is: if you guys keep visiting, we'll try our best to make every one of your visits an interesting one.
Sunday, September 05, 2004
| The third RCH episode is nearing completion now. The storyline's done as is the inking, all that needs work is filling in the characters, scanning it and aligning it all in PSP.
'The new comic' is taking shape now. It's going to be the most ambitious comic I've made so far because it'll involve some hardcore drawing action (yeah baby!). Maybe I'll squeeze out a teaser wallpaper in the coming week...
Saturday, September 04, 2004
| For those of you who don't know yet: I have made a bet with René. I've said that if Bush gets a second term, God.inc will make a comeback. I'm just putting it down here so people can remind me of it in 2 months :)
That is, íf Bushy the Pubic Prezzy gets another 4 years in the White House. We'll see...heeeheee.