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Eric: Someone at this collective better put out an anthology of train songs. That's all I'm saying.

In case you've missed it, there's been another announcement of a webcomics collective being formed -- this time, it's Boxcar Comics, swearing to reach the hobo demographic!

Boxcar seems to be another "shared resources" collective, along the lines of Dumbrella, Dayfree and Blank Label. As with those other collectives, they have a good number of well established strips and webcartoonists behind them, including 21deadmonkeys, Beaver and Steve, Bigger than Cheeses, The Coffee Achievers, Housd, Hey Suburbia, Joe and Monkey, The Kenmore, Niego, Rob and Elliot, Yirmumah, and You'll Have That. I read a large percentage of these comics -- most notably Yirmumah and Rob and Elliot, but Joe and Monkey and Bigger than Cheeses are both powerful good soup too, and other strips I've been exposed to in the collective am good too, boss.

The member I'm most interested in tracking is Mitch Clem. With this, he's connected directly to the Boxcar collective, but his strip Nothing Nice to Say looks solidly entrenched over at Dayfree. Is he an ambassador, or a dirty double agent. And if the latter... which side is he really on?

The smaller, guildlike collectives have been interesting me. There are ways that I think they're the best model out there right now -- sharing some of the administrative costs and infrastructure, but not formally going under a central editor. One of the things that intrigues me about Webcomics Nation is its capacity to build communities -- it'd be interesting to see guilds and collectives begin to use the Manley technology for their own purposes. (And it'd be interesting to see the capacity for a subcollective to be built into the WCN engine, letting members pool together and build central web pages -- possibly even letting them virtual host under their collective's name instead of WCN's. But I digress.)

With Blank Label having so many "mainstream" webcomics, and Boxcar having several demimainstream and alternativesque webcomics, it'll be interesting to see how they grow and develop over the next several months. (I quote "mainstream" above because the distance between the most very "mainstream" webcomic and the most very "independent" webcomic is miniscule compared with the gulf between, say, Eightball and Batman or Ernie Pook's Comix and Foxtrot.) In any case, we're seeing more and more folks coming together and building structures to build businesses with their comics, helping each other along the way instead of seeking either online or print syndication options.

This is an exciting time to be watching.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at August 1, 2005 1:25 PM

Comments

Comment from: Phil Kahn posted at August 1, 2005 2:04 PM

Exciting indeed.

Comment from: Sam Logan posted at August 1, 2005 5:55 PM

You better believe Mitch is solidly entrenched over at Dayfree. The first thing we did when we brought him on board was force him to sign a crippling exclusivity contract. Under its terms, 99% of all Mitch's gross income is now garnished directly into my bank account. Also, editorial control of NN2S will soon be switching over to Little Gamers.

Seriously though, Mitch is in Boxcar because he and Boxcar artiste Joe Dunn are working together on a comic called The Coffee Achievers. If you get a chance to visit Wizard World in Chicago this week, you'll see Mitch C and Tom Brazelton sharing a table with Joe D and Zach Miller. Me and Jeph are pretty tight with Jason S from Niego, too, and I think Dumbrella STILL hosts the Boy on a Stick and Slither forum. This is what happens... when cartoonists are FRIENDS!

*lightning crashes*

Comment from: ghostcat posted at August 1, 2005 7:05 PM

Yep, Mitch is a member of Boxcar in his capacity as a writer. The member pages aren't up, but when they are, it'll say, "Mitch Clem : writer for The Coffee Achievers." :) There's a lot of cross-overs in webcomicdom. Beaver and Steve and Bigger than Cheeses are also Gewd Guy members, and Housd is part of another group too.

Comment from: Kazriko Redclaw posted at August 1, 2005 11:25 PM

One thing I've never understood is why people think that WCN and the other Modern Tales derived sites have a decent setup. It has always seemed one of the slowest, clumsies to navigate, and least flexible to me. Just trying to read the main storyline of Narbonic which is arranged one week per page with between 1 and 20 pages of weekend filler shows how annoying a comic made with that interface can be. There's no real bookmarking, there's tons of obfusication to prevent unauthorized views, and there's no real quick access or any sort of link on the table of contents to show you your current position. It makes trying to read a comic there once a month or once every few months a nightmare.

Dumbrella's WIGU comic has a nicer bookmark cookie setup that I do like, and I really prefer calendar based archive access and dropdown storyline access to the clutzy table of contents page with everything slushpiled together that most Manley comics have.

Comment from: imtroubl posted at August 1, 2005 11:56 PM

Train songs here: http://www.trainsinger.com/train/songs.html

Just for you.

Comment from: Brandon J. Carr posted at August 2, 2005 12:32 AM

Well, I know DJ plays the uke and I know how to blow through a harmonica. Maybe we'll whip up some...err...Hawaiian trainyard tunes.

b

Comment from: miyaa posted at August 2, 2005 2:47 AM

Wasn't there a Family Guy episode where Stewie and Brian sing about riding a train up to Rhode Island?

Comment from: Mitch Clem posted at August 2, 2005 3:08 AM

Well, considering we named the collective after a Jawbreaker song, I think it should be easy to know which direction REALLY to go in...

Comment from: gwalla posted at August 3, 2005 12:40 AM

Eric, Eric, Eric...

It's Ernie Pook's Comeek.

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