Thursday, August 04, 2005

WCN accused of "Lying to Our Faces"!

The newly launched WebcomicsNation Service has been accused of false advertising.

Matt Wilson, a poster at the Keenspot forums, launched an angry tirade directed at WCN, quoting a post from the WCN support boards that allegedly said:

"We say "unmetered" bandwidth, but we don't say "unlimited" bandwidth. If your bandwidth usage is causing a problem for the service as a whole, and interfering with our other customers' ability to serve their pages, we will want to talk to you about that."

Which was interpreted by the poster to mean "Summary: the bandwidth IS metered and we lied to your face"

"My thoughts are... that they call themselves the solution for professional cartoonists is hilarious. apparently if you like having your own web design, using CGI, PHP, or MySQL, or just having any control over your work in general, you're not 'professional.' and just think, you get the blessing of paying them 10 dollars a month for this glorious relinquishing of well-travelled experience.

This will be something to keep an eye on, a year down the road, to see what horror stories emerge, or what features (like "unmetered bandwidth") disappear when someone actually becomes successful (which is unlikely since noone will remember your url if it's in a folder). i still think the lack of personality or individuality is a serious mistake, but hey, it's up to you. you decide with your dollar."

Although Wilson denies intending to lead a smear campaign against WCN, he admits to having previous tangles with the MT-conglomerate which may have soured his relations towards Joey Manley...

" I keep finding his decisions questionable. I was myself involved in a short lived Modern Tales animation site that could've happened but didn't due to factors like this (and lack of communication... and RICH V STONE....)."

Joey Manley has yet to comment on this issue, but then again, we haven't asked him about it yet.

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BuzzComix Returns!

After 3 months of downtime, ultra-popular web-comic ranking site BuzzComic has risen like an inefficiently-coded phoenix from the ashes. Crude rankings are disdained by those higher in the web-comic-echelons, but BuzzComix and Top Web Comics have become a key way for indie-web-comics to get traffic and publicity, and is considered partly responsible for the rise of RPG bad boy Order of the Stick.

Already, the smaller comics have clamored for their voters to return to the competition, garnering publicity for their sites. A significant traffic shortfall since May has devastated the field, and optimists hope the publicity will replenish their ad revenue.

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Penny Arcade and PvP Go to Warcraft!

Having demolished their nemesis Squidi, Penny Arcade has turned to renewing their rivalry with web-comic-cartoonist-mentor Scott Kurtz of PvP Comics. According to Kurtz “It’s on!”

World of Warcraft is the popular massive multi-player online RPG that consumes all who play it with obsessiveness and leveling-up. PA and PvP, as well as other top comics like Ctrl-Alt-Del have committed their remaining mortal hours to leveling up their characters and ignored the normal summer slew of games. Many webcomics have begun jokes or story-lines based solely around the characters and mechanisms for WoW, as it is known on the street. PA was even hired to do illustrations for the official strategy guide, garnishing further envy from their independent-web-comic critics.

When Kurtz created a PvP-fan-based Horde guild on the WoW server “Dark Iron”, called Panda Attacks, PA responded by starting their own guild “Knights of Arcadia” as Alliance. Both guilds filled up very quickly due to the popularity of these web-comic giants, and had to cut non-active members to stay below their 500 player maximum. Soon that was not enough as the players continued to join, PA created a secondary guild “The Fancy Lads” which filled quickly, and PvP and PA claimed the server entire as their own. From now on, every combat and raid on the Dark Iron server will be for the honor of these dueling web-comic-communities. Blizzard has only responded with amusement and tacit endorsement.

Since WoW has already had imbalance issues in the Alliance-Horde ratio, the extra popularity of Penny Arcade is expected to only contribute to the problem. Already it is difficult for new characters to complete their quests because of how many previous characters have already caused “mass extinction events” as they compete for monsters to kill. As well, the overwhelming populations on these PvP servers make any lone character likely to be massacred by marauding bands from the opposing teams. Lag in the capital cities where teams try to find refuge, is reported to be “catastrophic”. It’s a war zone out there.

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Squidi Retires!

Spoken of in hushed tones in comic conventions across the country, Internet ne’er-do-well and pixel-comic-cartoonist Squidi is abandoning the broadband as he has grown tired of this whole, "internet thing". “For eternity hereafter, will be remembered only as a footnote - the guy who tried to sue King PA over some feet or something.” And simply put, PA won’t have Squidi to kick around anymore.

Squidi started a fight years ago getting in a tussle on the Penny Arcade forums about forum-goers who used his art for such vulgar and unpermitted purposes as forum-avatars. He threatened to sue the behemoth PA for allowing his icons to be used, and for the unsuing flame-war that soiled his reputation.

Despite iconoclastic dislike of PA among the more indie-webcomic-cartoonists, Squidi’s attitude and his use of the dreaded internet term of “copyright” earned him no friends among the web-comic-critic-circles.

Says Websnark forum-goer Shaenon, “I hate to say anything against the guy's essay because apparently it'll make him cry and possibly shoot up a post office, but his petulant description of getting interviewed by T Campbell – ‘He didn't want to talk about anything else, like how AMD has single handedly fought for the legitimacy of the pixel art genre it defined’ -- is one of the funniest sentences I've encountered on the entire Internet, and I hang out on John Byrne's message board. Actually, that entire paragraph is awesome.”

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Editor's Note: We originally mistakenly attributed the Websnark quote by "Shaenon" as "Shaeron". WvW apologises for the mistake and reflects once more why we cannot be accused of good journalism.