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Eric: Sometimes "adult" doesn't mean "tits."

Bohemianrhapsody

Something kind of wonderful is happening over at the Adult Webcomics Telethon.

See, the Webcomics Telethon (which is in the held-over day and still churning out comics every twenty minutes. And they're not done yet. I know this because dang it, the Gossamer Commons strip hasn't come up yet. And yes, I obsessively check for it on the hour, at twenty after and at twenty-til) has done truly great things -- we're up over twenty-five grand and people are feeling really great about what's going on. But when Blank Label put the telethon together, they decided to keep stuff (mostly) in the Safe For Work/PG-13 category. Which is fine. (Though it meant I had to revise my script, because Trudy? She likes that word "Fuck.") And they also wanted to have everything "in hand" before they actually went to 'press,' so they could set everything up and test it out before the telethon went live. As a result, people who want to jump in and help (or participate) who didn't get something in by deadline don't get a chance.

Well, the Adult Webcomics Telethon was created to be a refuge for people who want to participate in the process but... well, let's just say its for the folks whose comics don't fit into the above. And at first, it was the White Lightning Productions regulars and the like who jumped in. And, of course, there was nudity and sexual content. I mean, duh.

But then... something started happening. Something that's in the beginning stages right now, mind. But something cool.

I guess it started with Chris Crosby and Owen Gieni, who decided to do two crossover strips between Superosity and Sore Thumbs. The Crosby-drawn strip went up on the Webcomics Telethon. The Gieni strip -- which, in Crosby's words, was a little more "spicy" (though I think it would actually run in a PG-13 movie without trouble) appeared on the Adult Telethon.

Then, Ryan "how many hours of the day does he put into comics, anyway" Estrada discovered that Welton Colbert had produced a strip and sent it along (featuring "gratuitous nudity" that doesn't actually show anything that directly ties back into the Webcomics Telethon strip Colbert appeared in). Now Brad Guigar, who was the coordinator of the Webcomics Telethon, has thrown in one of his Courting Disaster strips. Which is... as they all are... "spicy." But again, it's not like it has actual nudity or sex in it.

Now, there's plenty of nudity and sex in the donated strips. I'm not going to claim otherwise. And hey, cool. Long live nudity and sex. But it seems to me that something even cooler is happening here. People are beginning to use the Adult Webcomics Telethon to participate in a broader, more general way. Israeli artist Eva Speranza produced the comic strip I thumbnailed and linked to, above -- a strip with no adult or salacious content at all -- and sent it on in. A strip that seems more to be an expression of grief and pure artistic expression than anything else. A strip that no one at the Webcomics Telethon would have batted an eye at running.

And it hits me... the Adult Webcomics Telethon is on the cusp of becoming something entirely different. If the Webcomics Telethon is one professional collective's response (doing tremendous work and operating with very specific guidelines), then the Adult Webcomics Telethon, operating without restrictions on content and happy to accept new submissions right now, is on the cusp of becoming a freeform poetry slam. It's on the cusp of becoming interactive, where strips can even react to each other.

I mentioned before that the Adult Webcomics Telethon might be a good place for Fetus-X or other strips where outrage can't be contained by PG-13. And that's of course still true. But it seems to me it could also become the place where, freed of all content restrictions, people contribute strips less in the "please give generously" mold and more in the artistic one.

I know I'm thinking about it. I should get together with Greg or Weds -- someone who knows the business end of a pencil better than I do -- and see if they might be up to doing a strip where Trudy says "Fuck."

And maybe some poetry. Because I have a lot of emotion wrapped around this tragedy that wasn't a good fit for the Webcomics Telethon... and it might be nice to have a place to express it where it might do some good.

EDIT: There's some residual weirdness in the navigation links between strips at AWT. But this page has direct links to all of the currently published strips. Obviously, there is no guarantee that any of the links on that page are even remotely 'safe for work.'

Posted by Eric Burns-White at September 15, 2005 9:48 AM

Comments

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 15, 2005 11:06 AM

Kris has asked me for a piece. I have even drawn one, but I was reluctant to put it up, because, well, two reasons. One, prospective employers know Google exists, and I will someday be looking for a new job. Two, and perhaps more importantly, seeing as I haven't donated more than pocket change so far myself (and can afford to, I'm not poor), I'm not sure how I feel about exhorting others to donate. But on the other side of the coin, I don't want to donate myself just to avoid feeling guilty.

All that aside, I think I will send in my piece (hopefully no one uses the same joke before I did before it goes up, tho). Unfortunately, something went wrong in the final saving of the file or in the uploading, because it's all jagged and the text is unreadable, so it'll have to wait until I get home tonight.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 15, 2005 11:19 AM

Addendum because I realized I may have phrased things poorly at the end of the first paragraph. :)

I was raised Catholic. It took me a while to realize that guilt alone was not always a valid reason to do or not do something. So I don't want to let guilt alone prod me into doing ANYTHING, and that includes donating to a cause. Not singling out Katrina in this matter.

As you were.

Comment from: wbd posted at September 15, 2005 11:22 AM

Dave,

You can always ask Kris to use a pseudonym... I just use my first name and last initial combined, which is enough to foil google, but still lets people know that I made the piece

Comment from: RyanE posted at September 15, 2005 11:56 AM

These days?
All of them.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 15, 2005 12:02 PM

Ryan Estrada -- ZOMBI CARTOONIST!

"Miiiicrons... *miiiicrons!*"

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 15, 2005 12:11 PM

WBD: Nah, if I'm gonna do it at all, it's going to be under my own name. I decided there's already enough stuff out there that if someone really wanted to crucify me for my online life, they could do it already.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at September 15, 2005 12:16 PM

"Well, everything is in order, Doctor Van Domelan, but in checking our records we seem to have evidence you think John Byrne has done little but hackwork since She Hulk. I and my signed copies of Generations 3 bid you good day, sir."

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at September 15, 2005 12:45 PM

I look at it in two parts.

First off, to thine own self be true. Hackneyed as it might be now, but you shouldn't hold back something that you believe in because of other potential hangups. I'd rather do something I believed in and pay consequences for it than back off and wonder what could have been.

The other is from Something Positive, a quote Milholland attributed to Stan Lee: I'm my own biggest fan. I have to be. You've got to like your own work and let it stand on its own, or else you can't expect anyone else to.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 1:11 PM

Eric: Still some lingering navigation glitches? I thought I FIXED all of those? Where is it?

Dave: I'll be glad to have the strip! Also, if you feel bad about exhorting folks to give, do you have something at home you could offer at auction? (Since eBay kept de-listing all WLP's charity auctions, I won't recommend THEM anymore, but you could either have us run it on the Telethon site or do it yourself, accepting emailed bids...)

As for 'art jam,' the AWT is for people who -run- adult or mature-audience comics, -or- for adult or mature-audience benefit comics- not necessarily any conjunction of the two. If it turns into an art jam, that's cool by me, but right now I'm just trying to keep the donated comics trickling in.

And thanks AGAIN for the exposure.

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 15, 2005 1:54 PM

Intriguingly, there's not actually any nudity in any of the strips so far save one (which has some serious full frontal happening). It's adult, yeah, but nudity and sex have no been the real order of the day so much as sexual reference, teasing, etc.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 2:29 PM

Jack: Don't speak too soon- I just uploaded two more strips, one very not-adult and one, well, considerably adult indeed...

Comment from: JackSlack posted at September 15, 2005 2:45 PM

I did say "so far". :)

Comment from: wbd posted at September 15, 2005 3:08 PM

Yeah, I was worried that the site was becoming too "high brow", so I decided to lower the tone as best I could...

[as if I could get anything done that quickly]

I'm not sure if I can help with the intelligent discussion and discourse part, however- my next comic, though not showing anything "naughty" is still very, very low brow.

That having been said, I've been really impressed with the concepts and creations that I've seen so far on the telethon, and really hope that there are more people with a bit higher-concept mindsets than me participating, or that will be.

Comment from: SeanH posted at September 15, 2005 3:16 PM

I'm doing a photocomic for the AWT (I assume you're accepting all kinds of comics). I've taken the source photos, just got to stick them all together and add captioning...

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 3:35 PM

So long as there's no nudity in the photos, there shouldn't be any problem.

(Photographic nudity leads to all sorts of legal hassles, though, thanks to the Bush Admin. using Federal regulations on porn and copyright to crack down on adult Internet sites... they crush you with paperwork, then drag your corpse out the bottom of the pile and throw it into the prison...)

Comment from: SeanH posted at September 15, 2005 3:55 PM

Oh, no. It's not adult at all, actually, which is something else I meant to ask - it doesn't have to be anything above PG, does it?

Comment from: SeanH posted at September 15, 2005 3:56 PM

Wait, of course it doesn't. I've seen strips that didn't. Sorry, I'm kind of not thinking straight. It's been one of those days, you know?

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at September 15, 2005 4:09 PM

The Gossamer Commons strip at the Blank Label telethon went up at 4:00 Eastern. I didn't know there was anyone else who'd thought of that pun.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 4:18 PM

To restate:

The AWT was originally done to give adults-only or mature-audience comics, like WLP's, a place they could post stuff to encourage donations to the Red Cross. At this point, though, it should be obvious that the welcome mat is out for ANY comic to donate a strip, so long as it doesn't mind associating with porn comics in the process.

The comic can be straight G clear on over to XXX. Preferably no rape or really twisted stuff, but otherwise you're good to go. (Me, I'd prefer a little naughtiness in general, so as to allow the adult/mature comic artists to fit in better, but it's entirely up to you. Tits are NOT A REQUIREMENT.)

(Oh, and Eric? Why is it, in order to post, I have to type something in the URL box, hit 'Enter,' and then the entire design of the page changes and I can actually SEE what I'm typing in the Comments window and actually USE the Preview or Post buttons below it? Is it Netscape 7.01 or something on your end?)

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 15, 2005 6:45 PM

Well, the joke my contri used ended up posted before I got home ("shirt off your back," which really HAD to be done at least once in this thing), but I think I came up with a good replacement. :)

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 7:19 PM

http://www.wlpcomics.com/telethon/comic7.html

As you might notice, although not in so blatant a fashion, Chichi-chan did that gag too.

(And for my money, the WLP version is much funnier. }:-{D )

Comment from: David Morgan-Mar posted at September 15, 2005 8:04 PM

And they also wanted to have everything "in hand" before they actually went to 'press,' so they could set everything up and test it out before the telethon went live. As a result, people who want to jump in and help (or participate) who didn't get something in by deadline don't get a chance.

BUGGER. I was wrecked from lack of sleep when they were calling for submissions. When it began I pried my eyes open to make a strip and sent it in. They never acknowledged it and only now I find out I'm too bloody late. Damn it. Now that it's running smoothly, can't they stick more on the end of the list? Isn't it better to keep it running and get more time and exposure for the cause?

Yes, I'm upset. I wanted to contribute and help.

Comment from: wbd posted at September 15, 2005 8:11 PM

Kris, Dave,

Perhaps we can just say "great minds think alike", and forget about the less positive corollary.

Comment from: wbd posted at September 15, 2005 9:11 PM

My apologies for double posting, but I've noticed something:

Kris set up an "Adult Only" webcomic telethon, and while it features nudity, it also has thoughtful commentary and interesting features. I think I've seen a parallel to this in the print world...

Now all we need to do is set Kris up with a smoking jacket, a nice pipe and a mansion.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 15, 2005 10:09 PM

WLP - Playboy for the Z-Cup set.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 10:18 PM

I've just sent an email to Brad asking about the main Telethon's late submissions and what (if anything) they're doing with them.

For those who have NOT yet drawn something, but still want to take part... Eric's not quite accurate in saying the AWT has -no- rules, but so far as content goes, here are some fairly strong suggestions. (They're suggestions because I need update fodder too badly to turn anything other than the truly abusive or craptastic away...)

* I'd prefer that the strip be at least a little sexy or mature-audiences, however you want to interpret that... but it certainly doesn't have to be.

* I'd prefer that the strip have something to do with Katrina, New Orleans, the Red Cross, giving, remembering those in need, etc... but if what you have in mind doesn't work with incorporating any of that, I understand.

* I prefer NOT political. Never mind aid and politics, -sex- and politics seldom mix well. Look at how few votes Mary Carey got for California governor, or how few votes Marilyn Chambers got in Utah for Vice-President. But if you have a Boondocks vibe going, far be it from me to crush it.

* DO talk about Fight Cl... er, be sure to link back to the AWT. That is more or less a rule, but the use of the banners I cobbled together is optional. But preferred.

And finally, wbd: I only wish. These days the thought occurs to me, more and more often, that it takes a peculiar and tragic talent to LOSE MONEY PRODUCING PORN...

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 10:27 PM

Just got the reply back from Brad: they had to cut off submissions after the 12th except for extremely unusual and special cases. He reports that the strips they DID accept will take until SATURDAY to complete running.

(pause for jealousy here)

Oh, and the late submission emails, he regrets to report, were deleted, so he can't forward 'em to me or ask if they'd like to go to the second-string telethon. }:-{D

So, if you still want to participate, draw something, send it to me, post a link to the AWT somewhere, preferably let your mailing list know... and let's do this thing!

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 15, 2005 11:01 PM

And uploading another two pages- Dave's and one submitted by one of Eric's webcomic-blogging competitors... It'll take a few minutes, but be patient...

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 12:19 AM

And to set a personal record for longest string of comments on Websnark, I just checked yesterday's traffic logs for the WLP website (upon which the AWT is hosted).

http://www.livejournal.com/users/redneckgaijin/30712.html

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at September 16, 2005 12:37 AM

I kind of wanted to submit a picture of Chex having sex with Dot, but it doesn't really have anything to do with hurricanes or New Orleans. If I have until the 21st I'll consider something else.

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 1:15 AM

... K, this late at night I really can't tell if you're serious or just jerking my chain.

If you are serious, all I'll say is I'll take the comic pretty much however I can get it. Preferences are one thing, but trying to keep the attention of the ever-wandering Internet user is quite another...

(The hurricane having sex with New Orleans? Hm... no, not an idea to pass on to my artist friends. It's definitely be non-consensual, and thus not WLP material...)

(Sleep, need sleep...)

Comment from: David Morgan-Mar posted at September 16, 2005 5:12 AM

Okay, since I missed the main Telethon deadline, and I don't think the AWT is appropriate, I've simply posted my hurricane comic to my site's home page.

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at September 16, 2005 11:22 AM

Say, Kris, you ought to call it Hurricane Adult Webcomic Telethon. Because then it'd be HAWT.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at September 16, 2005 11:24 AM

Oh, snap!

Comment from: larksilver posted at September 16, 2005 12:03 PM

Wow, David.. who'd have thought your regular comic environment and backstory would be so perfect for this? Clever, and funny, and stuff! Yay you!

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 2:09 PM

David: Thanks, now I have the mental image of the Croc Hunter in an airboat going through the flooded streets of the Ninth Ward, holding a baby over the side and shouting, "'Ere, gatah gatah gatah gatah!"

Paul: Yeah, well, hindsight will never need glasses.

Everyone: I've just posted another update, two more pages. As page 20 will probably indicate, I've emptied out the reserves thus far- I've only got one page left, and I'm seriously wondering if "I'll take anything" includes it or not...

I'll probably run it tonight, since my Plan B for updates is to draw a comic myself and risk the cerebral hemhorrage of the browsing audience, and I have no room to criticize the quality of other people's comics if I'm planning to post one of my own...

Comment from: Kris@WLP posted at September 16, 2005 11:27 PM

Updated, and a certain image link fixed.

And I followed through on my threat- I posted a self-drawn comic that does several very bad things to do with a web comic.

Forgive me, Eisner, for I have sinned...

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