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Wednesday: [w] So. What happened with the Keenspot panel?

This past weekend, Keenspot had a panel up at Comic-Con International(*). Big two-hour panel. And they had a newsbox, advertising the panel, up over the weekend. There were to be Major Announcements during their Big, Two-Hour Panel.

I waited patiently. We've heard a lot about the ebbs and flows of Keenspot over this past little while, so I figured that this must be something significant. And, since it must be something significant, someone would see to it that the annoucements were disseminated to the general population within short order, right?

Yeah.

I waited.

I waited a bit longer.

Nothing.

I checked the Keenspot forums. Nothing.

Followed Jeffrey Stevenson's CCI panel writeup link feed. Nothing.

Followed the Sequential Tart blog. Nothing.

Kept an eye on Comixpedia. Nothing.

Posted to the Snarkoleptics community on LJ. Alun Clewe had made it to the second hour, where it was mentioned that some sort of incentive system is in place for artists who keep their updates consistent - unusual, but not a Major Announcement that one foreshadows in one's newsbox, right?

It's Tuesday. I still haven't turned up a thing beyond Jeff Darlington's photo slideshow for Wednesday and Thursday of the con (Darlington was apparently doing a significant chunk of Keen-herding for the con, so my money had been on announcements getting mentioned in his reports).

Now, I realize that people are still tired and recovering. But it strikes me as odd that we've heard other webcomic-related stuff out of the con (e.g. Shaenon Garrity's Lulu of the Year award; the Wired article and Kurtz's side of it), that con reports are filtering out, that we're seeing people's photos and so on -- but nothing about these Major Keen Announcements. Not even on the forum about Keen's presence at CCI.

I concede that this confuses me somewhat. I'd kind of like to know what the fuss was, or if I'm missing some desperately useful piece of information.

Then again, I'm also confused that the news about Penny Arcade's publishing deal with Dark Horse reached us via DH's press release (which I was scanning for manga acquisitions) before anything else. It's safe to say that I'm easily confused.

Anyhow. Was it the Two Lumps thing? Did anyone else neat join? Did a show get sold to TV? Someone getting married? We'd like to know. I'd like to know.

Thanks.

[EDIT: We have answers in the comments! Thanks, Aeire!]

(*) Now featured on a triple bill with World Series and Miss Universe. But I digress.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at July 19, 2005 3:17 PM

Comments

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at July 19, 2005 3:53 PM

I bet it's that the Fred the Slime Mold plushies getting married to the Dragonbo plushies. Whole clans merging. And those will be weird children.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at July 19, 2005 3:58 PM

Wait, there was something involving Wired magazine and Scott Kurtz reacting to it? Why wasn't I notified sooner?

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 19, 2005 4:03 PM

There were a couple of major announcments, and apologies that you haven't seen anything about them, everyone is still en route back from the convention and recovering from four days of madness I think.

The incentive program that you mentioned is sort of Keenspot's own version of the 'Iron Man' competition - only it's not really a competition. They're now offering bonuses to comics that keep a regular and consistent update schedule - reruns do not count, filler art does not count, guest strips do not count. As we all kind of like the money Keenspot brings in and like to see more of it, this means that readers should see less spontaneous hiatuses and more solidly updating strips.

Also, Keenspace was undergoing a name change, and the new name picked was Toonspace, but as there were a lot of people that really didn't seem to like that name at all, more input was taken on a suitable name that sounded good and would make people happy as well as get rid of that brand name confusion that's been plaguing Spot/Space for all these years. Keenspace/Toonspace will now be known as Comic Genesis - and holy cow they had a new logo and everything at the panel, and it looks *nice*. I for one am really pleased that they came up with what I think is a really good name, and the Keenspacers in the crowd seemed to be pleased as well.

There is indeed a TV show in the works. I remember hearing much the same a few years ago, and it ended in nothing, so I was understandably wary about hearing about this - I mean it could just be another instance like last year. Uh...however after talking to Gav, who spent a lot of Saturday in meetings with people, this is not the same as a couple of years ago. This is very, very real and very close to being a done deal. That's all I can say about it really, except that I'm VERY excited because if this property makes it, they might look at others, and uh holy shit QoW as an animated series yes please, although I don't know if that would ever happen I do know that it's a little more likely than it was last week, because the connections are there now.

I'm trying to remember what else was said, but I can't, because I'm still kind of eee about meeting Phil Foglio and saying hello and getting my book signed and getting a sketch and also meeting Joss Whedon and seeing the Serenity screening.

Oh and dude, River? Totally made out of chocolate. PA was RIGHT!

Comment from: Paul Southworth posted at July 19, 2005 4:09 PM

Something tells me the big outing of this information shouldn't have been in the comments section of Websnark. Get on the friggin' stick, Keenspot!

Otherwise, good news.

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 19, 2005 4:15 PM

Yeah, well, I figure they'll get to it eventually but hey, the man asked and we already publically told people, y'know? ^-^

Comment from: Paul Southworth posted at July 19, 2005 4:16 PM

No no, I know, that wasn't a slight against you for posting it, just Keenspot for not being in control of their own press.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at July 19, 2005 4:18 PM

Technically, it was a woman who asked.

Wednesday is many things, but male isn't one of them.

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 19, 2005 4:28 PM

>.>.>.>.

I missed the 'w' in the corner. Sorry Wednesday!

Comment from: Fletch posted at July 19, 2005 4:39 PM

I still want a digital copy of the Wacom sketches from the panel... especially that last one. Genius at work.

Also, Aeire seems to have beat me to listing the stuff at the panel, so I'll add an unnecessary detail: they gave some of us shirts for asking questions. Nice ones, too.

Comment from: Steve Troop posted at July 19, 2005 4:42 PM

How come nobody's mentioned the opera?

Oh, yeah....;)

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 19, 2005 4:51 PM

It makes me want to switch out the front page to Comic Genesis, since it's ready...

Unfortunatley, the server decided to die on me.

Comment from: Wednesday posted at July 19, 2005 4:52 PM

It's okay, Aeire. It just means I'm getting closer and closer to a convincing Eric impersonation. Just gotta grow the damn beard. :) Thanks for the info!

Comment from: Milligan posted at July 19, 2005 5:00 PM

Other announcements:

Keen advertising budget: $25,000/year.

Co-op advertising (I can ask Keen to match what I spend on advertising).

DJ Coffman brought on board to head up the syndication of Keen strips as he was successful in self-syndicating to 50 newspapers.

Full-time ad salesperson to be hired!

Low ad rates for webcomic artists *cough*lowerthanblanklabel*cough*

Google adsense to be implemented with each archived strip to be transcribed for targeting and searchability.

Premium members to be able to download Keenspot Comics and KeenToons to their PSPs.

Oh and by the way... I find it remarkable that a two-hour panel presentation at Comic-Con International isn't considered "the big outing of this information." hmm

Comment from: DanShive posted at July 19, 2005 5:40 PM

I recall some debate on how specific to get on the details at this point (i.e. CPM rates, etc), so that's probably part of it.

I don't know exactly how it was announced at the panel because I volunteered to man the booth for the first half (SOMEONE needed to be there ^^;). I was only there for the second half, which was pretty much all wacky Q&A (and I do mean WACKY.)

Comment from: David W Boyd posted at July 19, 2005 5:51 PM

Oh and dude, River? Totally made out of chocolate. PA was RIGHT!

Except they were really talking about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. THAT'S RIGHT! I'M SPOILING IT FOR YOU! THE RIVER IS TOTALLY MADE OUT OF CHOCOLATE!

I'll be selling T-Shirts tomorrow.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at July 19, 2005 6:13 PM

Milligan: I expect that there were a LOT more interested people NOT at San Diego than were AT the thing. So it's not a "big outing" until the info can reach beyond the privileged few. :)

Comment from: SeanH posted at July 19, 2005 6:19 PM

I find it remarkable that a two-hour panel presentation at Comic-Con International isn't considered "the big outing of this information."

Well, some of us didn't go to Comic-Con. Some of us are in England, and we're wondering why "International" now means "San Diego".

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at July 19, 2005 6:30 PM

Low ad rates for webcomic artists *cough*lowerthanblanklabel*cough*

Come on, man, I thought we weren't in competition! Don't label us.

Comment from: Chris Crosby posted at July 19, 2005 6:34 PM

Our policy is to only make announcements in Websnark comment threads.

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at July 19, 2005 6:48 PM

I posted a press release in a Fark comment thread, but they wouldn't read it until I added that I would hit it.

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 19, 2005 6:55 PM

Chris: No wonders why there's alot of miscommunication between you and us here at Comic Genesis!

Shall I post the new website now?

Comment from: Phalanx posted at July 19, 2005 7:13 PM

Ah drat. I haven't finished validating code for those new Comic Genesis site templates yet.

*has too much to do*

Comment from: miyaa posted at July 19, 2005 7:17 PM

The name Comic Genius sounds a lot better than Keenspace. I hope the design looks a lot more crisper and cleaner than the current Keenspace logo which honestly looks crappy.

Comment from: Chris Crosby posted at July 19, 2005 7:17 PM

STrRedwolf: No, let's wait until Websnark and Comixpedia start asking about when the new Comic Genesis website will be up!

Comment from: Milligan posted at July 19, 2005 7:17 PM

Who said you had to BE in SanDiego? It seems to me your beef would be with Comixpedia or your favorite webcomic news outlet for dropping the ball when it came to covering the event.

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 19, 2005 7:21 PM

I'll wait until I back up every site on the Genesis main server.

Comment from: Greg Dean posted at July 19, 2005 7:56 PM

Well, in any case, the announcements are on the Keenspot mainpage now, where they belong. Comixpedia isn't required to cover anything... but KeenSpot should definately publish any press-release type thingies on their mainpage first and foremost.

Comment from: Bo Lindbergh posted at July 19, 2005 8:00 PM

Obviously, there should be five new servers named mike, peter, phil, steve, and tony.

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 19, 2005 8:27 PM

Don't get me started on server codenames. Hopefully we'll get one working again, and get another for more comics to be put on it. But if the new servers get named, I think they should be peter, paul, george, ringo, and mary.

Comment from: kirabug posted at July 19, 2005 8:50 PM

I always thought the best name for a server would be Ralph. That way, when the server started vomiting garbage I could say, "Ralph did."

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 19, 2005 9:13 PM

'Space (now Genesis) was on a server named "Schlock" for a time. At the time, it fit, because:

* Schlock Mercenary came from 'Space.

* Schlock, the amorph in the comic, is basically an organic hard drive and CPU.

* Some of the comics, well, you probably know that joke.

We're now on "Butch" and "Sandy", Butch being from 'Spot and Sandy being from a Genesis comic, Fallen Angel Used Books (faub.comicgen.com)

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 19, 2005 9:58 PM

My server's name is Fluffy.

It makes me giggle every time I log in!

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 19, 2005 9:59 PM

Come on, man, I thought we weren't in competition! Don't label us.

>.>

It's okay man, your reputation is still spotless.

Comment from: marlowe posted at July 19, 2005 10:16 PM

Nooooo! River actually made out of chocolate! *head explodes*

Kidding, in case that wasn't obvious already. :)

Seriously, though, while Comic Genesis is a cool name and all, it feels a little self-important. Better than Toonspace (what were they thinking?) but still... Anyone else feeling this way?

Comment from: Connor Moran posted at July 19, 2005 10:19 PM

"Oh and dude, River? Totally made out of chocolate. PA was RIGHT!"

References to this joke have become a critical part of my household's lexicon. In fact, when I was halfway through reading this post, not thirty seconds before reading the above statement, my roommate removed his nose from Harry Potter 6 just long enough to inform me: Harry Potter?

Made of choclate.

Comment from: Connor Moran posted at July 19, 2005 10:20 PM

not to be confused with chocolate

Comment from: Daniel "Teammayhem" Orta posted at July 20, 2005 12:00 AM

Great to hear all of this new info about the future of keenspace. It was pretty interesting to see the whole debate that went on about the name of the comic, and I'm happy that the name has been chosen out. I wish I could have been at comic con this year, but time constraints held me back from doing so.

Oh, and Aeire, congrats on the possible show.

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 20, 2005 12:28 AM

Ha - there's no 'possible show' on my end man. But I'm excited that Keenspot comics are being looked at for such things.

Comment from: Daniel "Teammayhem" Orta posted at July 20, 2005 12:36 AM

Whoops, sorry bout that.

Hey, QoW would be one hell of a show. I'd like to see it as a live-action show... honestly, there aren't funny characters like Kestrel around on TV...

Comment from: Phil Kahn posted at July 20, 2005 12:51 AM

"Obviously, there should be five new servers named mike, peter, phil, steve, and tony"

I totally endorse this idea. Totally.

Comment from: STrRedwolf posted at July 20, 2005 1:06 AM

If one of the servers is named "phil," then I'm going to ask for it so in IRC, I can say:

* STrRedWolf whacks Phil over the head with his mallet.

<STrRedWolf> WORK! I fixed your )!@(#* log problem already.

Comment from: Aeire posted at July 20, 2005 1:30 AM

Hey, QoW would be one hell of a show. I'd like to see it as a live-action show... honestly, there aren't funny characters like Kestrel around on TV...

Actually, I'd thought about what QoW would look like animated at one point in time, and I always pictured it as a Daria-esque series of shorter cartoons.

...speaking of which, why the hell isn't Daria out on DVD, anyway?

Comment from: DanShive posted at July 20, 2005 1:34 AM

Yeah, why isn't Daria on DVD? It's like they don't want my money o_O

Comment from: John Troutman posted at July 20, 2005 1:42 AM

Pft, those announcements are small potatoes. We all know what the REAL news is - The Basil Flint: Year Three book collection was released at the convention! Celebrate this announcement by purchasing several copies.

Comment from: nothings posted at July 20, 2005 1:48 AM

"They're now offering bonuses to comics that keep a regular and consistent update schedule - reruns do not count, filler art does not count, guest strips do not count. As we all kind of like the money Keenspot brings in and like to see more of it..."

So wait, see, I don't know what Keenspot's model for paying authors is in the first place (has this ever been stated publically?), but since people have always implied different authors make different amounts of money I always assumed this would have been tied in part to update rate (or page views, which would tend to be proportional to update rate for any given comic). But if the bonus-money-for-more-updates is new, then what is the existing structure?

Comment from: Flower of December posted at July 20, 2005 1:48 AM

MTV didn't think about selling their TV shows retail back in the day. So they got broadcast and synchronization licenses for the music but not mechanical reproduction licenses. They'd have to renogotiate to be able to include any of the soundtracks or they'd have to cut out the music (as they did on the original VHS release which tanked).

Elph of fatwetdog.com knows more about this than I do if you need to ask someone.

Comment from: gwalla posted at July 20, 2005 1:48 AM

One change is that they're hiring somebody to be in charge of promotion. Presumably that job involves not forgetting to put out a press release with their big announcements after teasing said announcements.

SeanH: The convention everybody refers to as San Diego Comic-Con is officially named Comic-Con International (as is the organization that runs it, WonderCon, and Alternative Press Expo), and has been for years. The subject of the Con is international, not the location (how can it be located "internationally"? It has to be somewhere that wouldn't be considered overseas for someone, unless I guess they held it on Sealand or on a cruise ship in international waters...hey, that probably wouldn't be a bad idea...).

Comment from: John Troutman posted at July 20, 2005 2:09 AM

Keenspot's core business model (ie. comic viewing, NOT merchandising) is one based upon ad-views. Which is to say, the mores pages a comic has in it's archives, the more ads are viewed, and the more money a comic makes. The practical upshot of updating consistantly is that a) you create more archive pages and thus more ad-carriers and b) you create far more incentive for readers to blow through those pages with ads, as someone is more likely to read the archives of a currently updating comic than a dead one.

I can only assume that the "bonus" money will come from another revenue source, most likely from Keenspot's cut of the ad revenue. And for the record, this incentive program is more or less likely a direct response at those who say that once a comic gets on Keenspot, it swiftly goes on hiatus. When extra money hangs in the balance, hiatusing becomes far less likely.

Comment from: R. L. Peterson posted at July 20, 2005 2:38 AM

I also remember that there was the announcement of a new KeenToons series, but I can't remember the name of it. The preview was really funny though, and I think it was pretty well-received.

The bonus system is quite cool, too. I wish, however, that they would give us a good idea of when we have to switch over. If we pre-maturely change all our image tags/links, our sites will look like crap until they decide to finally enable the new name (which may be months as far as we know.)

Comment from: SeanH posted at July 20, 2005 3:45 AM

gwalla: Yeah, I know, I'm just making trouble ;)

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at July 20, 2005 5:41 AM

I posted a press release in a Fark comment thread, but they wouldn't read it until I added that I would hit it.

If you want response from your Fark-based press release, it has to feature Admiral Ackbar saying that many brave Gungans died to bring your info to its target audience.

Comment from: SeanH posted at July 20, 2005 11:04 AM

Radlein: If memory serves, Ackbar didn't say that. Ackbar declared that it was, in fact, a trap.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at July 20, 2005 11:21 AM

Also, don't anyone get up their hopes of seeing Daria DVDs anytime soon. Think, this is Viacom responsible. They're just getting around now to releasing The Adventures of Pete & Pete on DVD. I'm not holding my breath for any others (I'm personally waiting on The State).

Comment from: Tangent posted at July 20, 2005 12:54 PM

Yes, it was a lady in her 30s who said that many brave Gungans died to bring this information. I can't remember her name, but basically she was the actual "head" of the Rebellion. She's mentioned in several of the novels, and in fact is still in charge during the superb Thrawn trilogy (and I still hate Lucas for his blanket dismissal of all of the Star Wars novels as non-canon, because the Thrawn trilogy was not only light-years better than the travesty that is Lucas's prequel trilogy, but also quite a bit better than the original Star Wars trilogy.

Robert A. Howard

http://tangents.keenspace.com

Comment from: Kate Sith posted at July 20, 2005 1:14 PM

Yes, it was a lady in her 30s who said that many brave Gungans died to bring this information. I can't remember her name, but basically she was the actual "head" of the Rebellion.

That would be, I believe, Mon Mothma. Yesh?

Comment from: PatMan posted at July 20, 2005 2:03 PM

Sigh....

Mon Mothma said,

"Many brave BOTHANS died to bring us this information".

Un-nerds.

Comment from: Wednesday posted at July 20, 2005 2:48 PM

This is when the sage words of Lloyd Robertson come into play:

"Aw, who cares, Dale?"

;)

Comment from: Kazriko Redclaw posted at July 20, 2005 4:11 PM

Milligan: I hope they're paying the people transcribing those comics well. As the person who typed about half of the comics for Schlock Mercenary on Mercenary strip search I can tell you it's a lot of work. That's just for one comic too. A comic with only 4 years of archives. Imagine the ones that have been running for an eternity on Keenspot.

Comment from: Stan posted at July 20, 2005 5:15 PM

'Mon Mothma said,

"Many brave BOTHANS died to bring us this information".

Un-nerds.'

If many gungans had died, there would be much rejoicing, not the look of thankfulness for their sacrifice.

Comment from: McNutcase posted at July 23, 2005 5:51 AM

"If many gungans had died, there would be much rejoicing, not the look of thankfulness for their sacrifice."

Like when Arthur's knights had to eat Sir Robin's minstrels?

Although given what the minstrels had to sing about Sir Robin, I'm betting he was first in the queue for steaks...

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