My New Comic Site
January 12, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

My New Comic Site
Well, my comic – Loose Parts – has been around for awhile but when my syndicate cut back on its web presence, I decided to build my own. This is the first site I ever created. Let me know what you think ... or what you'd like to see.
posted by lpsguy (14 comments total)

my first thought was "Where are the comic strips?" It took me a little bit of time to figure out that the link for "Color Cartoons" was where you kept the Sunday Full Color strips. As near as I can tell there are no other strips on the site. My only suggestion, then, would be to have a pretty obvious "go here to see strips from Loose Parts" type of link, since people would likely visit the site looking for a quick comic strip to tide them over. Otherwise, nice sight and good luck with it!
posted by shmegegge at 10:57 AM on January 12, 2009

I second shmegegge. The links to the strips themselves weren't intuitive enough for the average visitor. Why hide your work on a secondary page? Maybe have the most recent strip right on the front page. You want to rope in visitors immediately and make them want more. You may also want to thumbnail some of your strips so they can be read.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 7:33 PM on January 12, 2009

yes: as the point of a comics site should be to get people to read your comics (and hopefully, having read and enjoyed your comics, to buy a book) I think you should try and make it easier to navigate between comics, i.e. with a "next" and "previous" button on the page where the comic is displayed.

I'm only being critical because of my deep love of comics and my desire to have them all immediately and conveniently at my fingertips. So, you know, keep up the good work.
posted by cmyr at 1:40 AM on January 13, 2009

Thanks for the kind advice. I will take it to heart. What you should know, though, is that I'm working under a unique set of circumstances.

My comics used to be available, and archived, on the Tribune Media site. Tribune Media syndicates Loose Parts to newspapers and everyone else. As a business decision, that archive was removed. Why? Well, we are asking newspaper clients to pay for the comic and then giving it away for free on the web. For better or worse, right now, the most viable financial way to try and make a living off of comics is still through newspaper syndication. I have to respect that, while still making a nod to the internet model. Hence, I've decided not to post every Loose Parts comic on my site. Rather, I tried to split the difference. I tried to build a site where Loose Parts fans could go and get a deeper look at the cartoons and the process and then I hoped those not familiar with Loose Parts would be intrigued enough to become fans.

Apparently, I split too close to one side. I'll try to add a wider selection of Loose Parts comics and make them more apparent.

And I'm way open to advice as to how I serve both masters: an internet that demands open access, and a newspaper world that actually pays the bills and concretely underwrites Loose Parts actual existence.
posted by lpsguy at 6:14 AM on January 13, 2009

honestly, i think the behind the scenes stuff and the supplemental material is great, and can totally be the focuse of your site. the only thing I'd even really put much thought into changing is just to have some big shiny thing that's completely obvious somewhere on that front page that is very clearly a link to a sample comic or comics. expanding your selection isn't that much of a concern to me. it's more that I'd like to know precisely where the selected strips are right off the bat, before I even notice that there's a link to buy a book. it endears the viewer more to feel like the free stuff comes first and the sales come second.
posted by shmegegge at 9:47 AM on January 13, 2009

Damn, schmegegge, (may I call you schmeg?) you're right. I look like a damn mercenary. I'll do just that. And I'll probably add some more past comic anyways. Keep your eye out over the next few days and let me know what you think. Thank you. Thank you.
posted by lpsguy at 1:40 PM on January 13, 2009

You use Microns -- so -- from my perspective -- you get points alone for that!
posted by RubberHen at 8:10 AM on January 15, 2009

Okay, gang. Made some changes over the weekend. Does that make things easier?
posted by lpsguy at 6:04 AM on January 19, 2009

yes. absolutely. much improved.
posted by shmegegge at 4:00 PM on January 19, 2009

Dude, how far is a total rip-off of Gary Larson gonna go anyway?
posted by telstar at 12:04 AM on January 20, 2009

Telstart, Dude, I've heard this before. The answer is about as far as Gary Larson ripped off Kliban and Wilson and a bunch of others ... which is to say that nobody here is out to rip off Larson. And that incudes Coverly and Pirraro and a bunch of others just like us who admire and try to perfect this form. There is only one guy like that and he's sorely missed. Do I work the same side of the street? Absolutely. You would think that if you liked the Far Side you'd want to see more stuff like it. Apparently not. But that's just the way my brain's wired. And I've been at this for ten years. I learned to draw later in life and I'm just not talented enough to draw any other way. So, I'm sorry it bothers you. I wish it didn't. Many people seem to like what I do. I wish you were one of them but I'll understand if you're not.

In the meantime, can I ask what it is you do so I can publicly question your ethics without knowing anything about you?
posted by lpsguy at 6:17 AM on January 20, 2009

Waitaminute... you're that guy who did that "Wendell: Evil Taxidermist" comic?!? And it was published 4 days after you joined MetaFilter?!? I'm so vain, you'll bet I think the comic's about me. Anyway, I loved it, copied it and blogged it (with a link back to your page). And if I'd seen it while I was still married, it would've been an inspiration.
posted by wendell at 7:05 PM on January 21, 2009

My only beef with the site now is just that the text is teeny (the blog blurb, the "click here or on the toons below") and even a little blurry for parts of it. You might want to boxify it up a little with the individual parts a little more clearly delineated. Also I'd put your name in the title: Dave Blazek's Loose Parts or something.
posted by jessamyn at 7:31 PM on January 21, 2009

Wendell, I can take credit for that cartoon but not as much as the guy who helped me install the cameras in your house. And if anyone asks about your wife, you just tell them the line between taxidermy and extra Botox is a very thin one.

Jessamyn, yeah, you're right. I'm sawing off table legs now. Time to remake that front page to be a little cleaner and a little more fun ... and maybe a picture of me in a bikini for some sizzle.

Thank you all, really. It all helps.

And if there are any more thoughts, keep them coming, preferably before I put this baby back up on the lift.
posted by lpsguy at 6:10 AM on January 22, 2009

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