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Webcomic Beacon #342: Comic News & Discussion for May 12th, 2013

Kittyhawk rejoins Ben CarverTerence,  and Fes Works for another edition of the newscast! Comic News & Discussion this week: Penny Arcade’s new Kickstarter, webcomic Apps, Wacom’s FINALLY updated driver for tablets, Comics Alliance shutting down, and more!

Actually, there was a tangenting after-show discussion on the condole video gaming industry and the state and progress of American mobile phone companies. It was interesting enough that I just added it after the show. If you like this sort of extra content (even if it is not really related), we’ll keep including them after the show.

WCBN – The Artistic and Business Sides of Making Comics and Webcomics
Three panels recorded at Anime Detour 2013 with Randy MilhollandLee & Lisa BlauersouthGerbil, and Fes Works. These three panels (in six video parts, totaling about 3 hours), cover everything from starting your comic, getting into the webcomics scene, and business aspects to consider.
Check out all the videos here: 
► The Artistic Side of Making Comics
► Breaking Into Webcomics
► The Business Side of Making Comics

The New Webcast Beacon Network is Here!
The website is here, with a greater focus on articles and content not needing to be tied to a specific podcast (like the Webcomic Beacon or Webfiction World). More opportunity for editorials, event reports, special focuses, reviews, etc. In a few weeks, we hope to open up public submissions for articles as well, with the opportunity to also have them posted as audio articles. As with every time we try something new, it is an experiment moving forward. Also we welcome WCBN’s first new integrated affiliate: EpiGuide’s EpiCast!

Penny Arcade DLC Podcast Kickstarter
After PA’s “controversial” KS for an ad-free site, they’re back again with a KS for a podcast with a funding goal of just $10 (reached in seconds, lol). I think this is performance art criticizing the use of KS, but hey, maybe they’re using it to get buzz too. Bonus!
►Penny Arcade post► Penny Arcade DLC Kickstarter

Webcomic RSS Aggregation App now on iTunes Store
And this time it uses creator permission! It’s called Comic Chameleon. It is a free, ad-supported App. Creators, whose webcomics are on the App with permission, get a percent of the revenue made through the App’s ads! Ok, possibly not an RSS aggregation app, but we discuss it and give our first impressions of it on the show.
► iTunes Link

Apps Are Where It’s At… Or Maybe Not?
A post by Tom Falco, of webcomic Tomversation, talks about the value of an app for your webcomic, over at the Webcomic Alliance. Is this good advice? A few notable webcomics have experimented with this as a distribution format (I know of CAD and C&H as two off the top of my head), but does anyone know how this actually goes in practice? Is the app market an avenue to head down to grab new readers, or does the loss of website hits (ad revenue, etc) and low visibility of your webcomic (within the massive market that is mobile device apps) cost you more in effort than you get back in value?

Wacom Feel IT Driver Update
After… YEARS, Wacom finally releases an updated driver for tablets (i.e. ‘slates’) and Tablet PCs that “have Wacom feel IT technologies or Wacom Pen based technologies.” and “older Penabled Tablet PCs running Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP Tablet Edition.”
► Wacom Feel IT Driver Download

Old News by Now, Comics Alliance Shut Down By AOL
As reported by basically everyone, including at Comics Beat and confirmed on Robot 6, AOL shuts down the comic news site, Comic Alliance. Didn’t know that they were owned by AOL? … Didn’t even know that AOL was still around? Anyway, Scott Kurtz was getting a little heat over a comment on Twitter, sarcastically asking where will he get his comic news now. Aside from being a fairly big comics news site shutting down and people losing their jobs; there really isn’t a shortage of comic news sites.

Also, AOL is still around?
Remember when AOL meant sub-standard dial-up internet connection, at ridiculous rates, and you could get their “free trial CD-ROMs” by tripping over them in the street? Well, apparently they used their pre-.com-bubble money to buy up more successful properties. Of course these sentences may make no sense to millennials who have no idea what I’m talking about. Dammit, I’m old. (They own Wimamp AND The Huffington Post? Huh.) We do have a bit of a conversation about AOL and JCPenny actually.

Free Comic Book Day
How was it? Who was involved? Did Fes get enough footage for the indie movie of the century?

STEAMPUNK LEGOS!
Every LEGO and Steampunk nerd out there is probably nerding out hardcore to the new LEGO line. Heard through The Mary Sue, which links to The Brick Blogger. While not actually called “steampunk LEGOs”, it’s a part of the Master Builders Academy. “Level 4” to be more precise. Anyone out there working on LEGO Brick based comics should be incredibly excited. If not for the “future through the past” theme, then for all the new LEGO pieces.

Hyperbole and a Half is Back!
After a long hiatus, Hyperbole and a Half is Back, and it comes back with a powerful two part comic about Depression.
► “Part 1″ Depression post from 2011
► Pre-Cursor for 2013 post
► “Part 2″ Depression post for 2013

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