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April 18, 2013
How Is Self-Publishing Like Web Comics?
Author, artist, and web-comic maker Ursula Vernon has an interesting piece up on her "Tea with the Squash God" blog about the equivalence of these two forms. At least, as they're currently constituted, the two art forms share a lot of features, not least of which are their lack of ability to make a lot of money for a lot of people.
Vernon recounts her own experiences as a self-published author, as an author who has worked with publishers, and as a comic artist. Although she resists drawing bigger conclusions I think her primary thought - there is on one true right way - jibes with what we've explored in this blog. We find ourselves still in the infant stages of both these kinds of publication and it's a mistake to draw too many definitives out of the air just yet.
Vernon's other point I noted is that fans are having a disproportionate effect here. We've noted how fans of some artists - most famously Amanda Palmer - have made the artist's efforts successful well beyond expectations, but what Vernon is talking about is how fans of a genre or artform can shape or stifle debate and particularly criticism. That's a serious problem, not just for the people being criticized or shut down but for our ability to judge, compare, and improve these infant forms.
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