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Scott Kurtz knows best...
August 12th 2004, 19:27 CEST by Matt Perkins

Scott Kurtz (you might know him of PvP fame) has decided syndication, as it stands, doesn't work for him.  So he decides to give his shit away.  This grand scheme wasn't paid much attention by most, but others thought it wasn't half bad including Michael Jantz.

Come a couple of days later, it turns out those that are syndicated don't think someone from the outside has all the answers.  Then Scott posts, at the bottom of that last link, "...I may have a better chance at this than you all suspect, which is like adding some as of yet undiscovered uber jet fuel to the fire and the rants and raves (and derision) continues on for many more pages.

Do we believe this is just Mr. Kurtz's ego growing even bigger (who knew it was possible) to completely disregard many others already syndicated (and many not), or is this really a decent idea?  Or is it some of both?  Oh, and the PA Guys think this new plan is lovey dovey.

Oh, and notice the Friday news post...  Scott is a little cranky.


links stolen from other sites...paraphrasing is mine.
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#1 by gaggle
2004-08-12 19:31:07
I tend to enjoy PvP.

What's this about his inflated ego, and is it a common opinion?

superman flying in the movies is a plot hole because there isn't any reasonable method of propulsion
#2 by Ashiran
2004-08-12 19:31:14
Take that evil fiends!

"After viewing explosive anal bleeding I vowed to never use the internet again." - Anonymous User
#3 by Ashiran
2004-08-12 19:31:33
I hate you more then ever.

"After viewing explosive anal bleeding I vowed to never use the internet again." - Anonymous User
#4 by gaggle
2004-08-12 19:32:19
And I didn't even try. Ahh.. life is good.

superman flying in the movies is a plot hole because there isn't any reasonable method of propulsion
#5 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 19:34:31
After seeing this topic and reading a few references to PVP in other places I decided to go read a lot of Scott's strips last night. I wasn't particularly impressed. Though, it is a lot better than the endless ripped sprite fest that plagues the interweb.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#6 by Ashiran
2004-08-12 19:36:38
If I launch my comic before yours there will be hell to pay.

PAPAL HELL!

"After viewing explosive anal bleeding I vowed to never use the internet again." - Anonymous User
#7 by Matt Perkins
2004-08-12 19:38:05
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Uh oh, idea man competition on PC!  Everyone grab and armchair and go!



gaggle, I wouldn't say everyone holds that opinion, but reading his rants gives me that opinion.

"I mean, who knows what a fucking zombie would do in the first place?  Maybe if you were a zombie and Satan said "Get in that closet and wait until someone comes by" you'd do it.  Because he's Satan." - Foodbunny
#8 by Ashiran
2004-08-12 19:45:20
On topic: I read PvP every day as its storylines tend to go somewhere most of the time. However, I never read his rants, unless directed to it.

So as far as I'm concerned he's just very fat!

"After viewing explosive anal bleeding I vowed to never use the internet again." - Anonymous User
#9 by Shadarr
2004-08-12 19:48:11
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I've never been impressed by PvP.  His art doesn't hold a candle to Penguin's.  And I've never once laughed while reading it.  Granted, I haven't read very many strips.

However, I think he's right in this case, and all the syndicated cartoonists who are even less funny than Kurtz deserve to be forced out by him and people like him.  There's no money in newspapers anymore, and having a good comic page doesn't bring in any more money than not.  The papers would be stupid not to take the free filler content when it's offered.
#10 by BobJustBob
2004-08-12 19:48:33
Nth post!

Dood.
#11 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 19:50:03
Shadarr, I agree with the concept of giving the strips away. That being said, I deal with newspapers a lot for clients that I design ads for. They are pretty stuck in their ways. It'll be interesting to see if this catches on.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#12 by Shadarr
2004-08-12 19:51:46
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Oh, yeah, I'm not saying they will accept it, only that they'd be stupid not to.  But as you say, a lot of them are stupid.
#13 by Ashiran
2004-08-12 19:52:38
And I've never once laughed while reading it.

Funny you say that, I mean where does it say that webcomics should be of the funny kind? Despite the fact that the webartists in question seem to think so as well.

"After viewing explosive anal bleeding I vowed to never use the internet again." - Anonymous User
#14 by ProStyle
2004-08-12 19:53:41
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
Imagine if an aspiring cartoonist could create a feature, own it and through some talent and hard work, get it into major market newspapers without having to sign over his rights and profits to a syndicate who really has nothing to offer him or her.

What profits? If nobody pays you for your work in the first place I fail to see how giving it away for free publication will help pay your bills. At the very least I'd imagine they'd laugh him out of their offices and charge him for advertising space like everyone else. Much like most web-centric people, he has no idea of how print media functions.
Imagine if newspapers were soon filled with features that were creator owned, free of charge and most importantly....actually funny. It's a crazy dream, but I think it's possible. Even doable.

Right. Smoke that bong. Get gaggle in here, he'll help you finish it off.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#15 by Sgt Hulka
2004-08-12 19:54:13
Scott Kurtz answered my email once.

#16 by m0nty
2004-08-12 19:54:49
http://tinfinger.blogspot.com
K, so I hear this groovy new UAComic thing is gonna be pretty sweet lol huge. Got links to preview pix? kthxciao OXOXOX =^.^=
#17 by BobJustBob
2004-08-12 19:56:22
The entire comic industry began and ended with Gary Larson and Bill Watterson. EOD.

Dood.
#18 by Shadarr
2004-08-12 19:56:33
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
ProStyle,

Kurtz is supported by his merchandise sales, I believe.  The syndicates wanted him to sign over the merchandising rights, which is why he said no.

Ashiran,

There is no rule that says all comics must be funny.  I'm sure there are some very good graphic-novel style comics on the web, although I'm not into that sort of crap.  The thing is, if you're trying to do "three panels and a joke" as PvP seems to be, then there had better be a fucking joke at the end.
#19 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 20:01:34
Think of the strip in the paper as running a free advertisement to the user curculation of the paper. Lots of companies pay for that exposure, this would be a way to get it for free.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#20 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 20:03:27
I am more into horror comics, myself. I'll draw the funny strips cause it's something to do. Anything I would spend the time on to develop for myself would be a more serious thing mostly devoid of humor.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#21 by BobJustBob
2004-08-12 20:08:06
So Penguin... if I request custom porn drawings....

Dood.
#22 by LPMiller
2004-08-12 20:12:08
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
oh, here we go with the "it's not funny" crowd. Blah blah blah, you people suck.

It is a funny strip, if a little inside at times, so I dunno how well it will do in newspapers. Still, more power to him.

When LP says he's bringing Armageddon, he brings fucking Armageddon. - Caryn, 6/01/2004
#23 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:12:22
#14 ProStyle
What profits? If nobody pays you for your work in the first place I fail to see how giving it away for free publication will help pay your bills. At the very least I'd imagine they'd laugh him out of their offices and charge him for advertising space like everyone else. Much like most web-centric people, he has no idea of how print media functions.

Print media pays for comics.  If they can get them for free, they will do so.  Doing so will give all these webcomics an audience in the print comic world.  Kurtz sells merchandise and collections of strips, so this is basically free advertising to him.  The papers will probably eventually realize that they're being used and will start charging for it, but right now will basically be a free-for-all.  I'm not sure you really understand how print media works.

убийство!
#24 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 20:12:27
Given enough free time I could probably come up with something for you.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#25 by mgns
2004-08-12 20:15:50
Penguin,

Which files were you supposed to move to speed up acrobat? I re-installed some stuff today, and now everytime I start acrobat, I want to kill someone.

this one goes out to the one I love.
this one goes out to the one I left behind.
#26 by ProStyle
2004-08-12 20:19:04
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
The papers will probably eventually realize that they're being used and will start charging for it, but right now will basically be a free-for-all.  I'm not sure you really understand how print media works.

Great, you're high too.

PenguinX - I'm having a hard time thinking of the last horror comic I read through... I think the title was something along the lines of 'Psycho Boy Jack', but it was pretty cool.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#27 by Your Friend
2004-08-12 20:21:05

What's this about his inflated ego, and is it a common opinion?
[/quote

A big guy needs a big ego!

#28 by Your Friend
2004-08-12 20:21:44
Fuck you, quote tag!

#29 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:23:35
#26 ProStyle
Great, you're high too.

I have a degree in Journalism.  I learned layout and advertising from a former New York Times editor.  Newspapers are really struggling right now to make sense out of giving their news away for free online.  For now, someone handing them free content will make them happy because it will increase circulation, which lets them sell advertising on the advertising pages.  It will take time for them to figure out just precisely how they're going to screw over cartoonists next, so for now it is an untapped resource.

убийство!
#30 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 20:30:41
Mgns, I don't know off the top of my head. Charles posted it awhile ago in his MMORP thread.

Wait, here it is:

-Go to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader.
-Make a new directory called "plug_ins.old"
-Move everything from plug_ins into that new directory, except for EWH32.api and search.api

A good horror comic to look for was a mini-series named Spring Heel Jack. I liked the black and white art and the story was good to boot. It was published in the UK, I think.

Serious graphic novels are cool but hard to come by. Look at Poopshet if you want to find some neato keen independent comics.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#31 by ProStyle
2004-08-12 20:32:13
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
#29 Jibble
I see your point a little more clearly now, at first I thought you were just iterating my statement and calling me retarded for making it in the first place.

I just have a hard time seeing how the fan-base of a webcomic like that will port themselves away from that kind of media to even make a stab at it worthwhile.

Fabricated like the word absurditive
#32 by mgns
2004-08-12 20:33:03
Oh, it wasn't you? I could've sworn... Thanks, though.

this one goes out to the one I love.
this one goes out to the one I left behind.
#33 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:33:23
#31 ProStyle
I just have a hard time seeing how the fan-base of a webcomic like that will port themselves away from that kind of media to even make a stab at it worthwhile.

I think the idea is that the print media is an untapped fan base for most webcomics.  They don't want to give their fanbase an alternate method of getting the strip, they want to attract new fans.

убийство!
#34 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:33:39
Also, anything that's free is always worthwhile.

убийство!
#35 by Shadarr
2004-08-12 20:36:38
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
I don't think it matters whether the fanbase ports.  The newspaper will be replacing something that costs them money with something that doesn't.  It doesn't matter whether anyone likes either comic, because newspapers have no competition and therefor don't have to worry about having better comics than the other papers in the market.  Whatever value is added by having a comics page at all will still be there, but now the only cost is the paper and ink.
#36 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:52:30
#35 Shadarr
It doesn't matter whether anyone likes either comic, because newspapers have no competition and therefor don't have to worry about having better comics than the other papers in the market.

This is a very important point and should be repeated.  There used to be several different newspapers directly competing with each other in any given area.  Now the number of "two paper towns" has dwindled to next to none.

убийство!
#37 by Max
2004-08-12 20:54:57
http://massivebraincase.org/
I dunno, I'd be real surprised if anyone takes him up on the offer.  I think it's just Scott Kurtz' big-fish-little-pond mentality talking.  His strip is popular cause it's targeted at the only market that can view it.  People who get their comics from the paper are going to say "buh" at about 95% of the strips' subjects, and if I'm a PvP fan I'm sure as shit not going to buy a newspaper to read it.

I'll become a freegan just as soon as the soulless corporations stop creating such wonderful products. -Shadarr
#38 by Penguinx
2004-08-12 20:55:17
Chicago still has the Suntimes and Tribune... Though most anyone with half a brain reads the Tribune.

"No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair." -General George S. Patton
#39 by Max
2004-08-12 20:56:26
http://massivebraincase.org/
Seattle has the Times and the PI, but they're basically the same paper - there's a JOA in place.

I'll become a freegan just as soon as the soulless corporations stop creating such wonderful products. -Shadarr
#40 by Jibble
2004-08-12 20:58:21
#37 Max
People who get their comics from the paper are going to say "buh" at about 95% of the strips' subjects, and if I'm a PvP fan I'm sure as shit not going to buy a newspaper to read it.

You're not getting it.  If he gets a 5% return from a newspaper's circulation, it was worth it.  The reason?  IT'S FUCKING FREE.

Someone comes up to you on the street and says: "We have some stock in the market right now that we'd like to offer you.  It's not worth anything right now, but it might be someday.  Here's a stack of shares.  You don't have to sign anything, and you'll have no contractual obligation to us at all."

Are you going to say "fuck off, that probably won't be worth anything."  No.  Because IT'S FUCKING FREE.

убийство!
#41 by None-1a
2004-08-12 21:01:31
#33 by Jibble
I think the idea is that the print media is an untapped fan base for most webcomics.  They don't want to give their fanbase an alternate method of getting the strip, they want to attract new fans.


I can't see most webcomics making the transition well at all. They're a bit too "nerdy" to really bring in fans that don't already know how to get it. For print media most people will be looking for either kiddie stuff (grabs young readers) or middle management type stuff (something bob from accounting can pass around the office), not really the type of things you tend to see out of webcomics. I suppose one could try running them as filler on the tech page rather then the traditional comic page, but you'd probably be better off running original content there instead.

#35 by Shadarr
The newspaper will be replacing something that costs them money with something that doesn't.  It doesn't matter whether anyone likes either comic, because newspapers have no competition and therefor don't have to worry about having better comics than the other papers in the market.


They might not be stealing people away from other papers with better comics but they are stealing people away from other news sources. The comic page is a nice draw that tv/internet news sources don't have going for them.

This whole free comic syndication idea only has two ways to go really. Most likely it'll just be a tiny bump in the road with a few small papers using them for a few months then going back to the traditional methods. If it takes off papers will start charging advertising rates to run comics (killing the comic page since nobody will be able to afford a decent circulation for themselves), or they'll drop the page completely in favor of something with more draw or simply cut cost by dropping 2-4 pages.
#42 by Shadarr
2004-08-12 21:01:53
shadarr@yahoo.com http://digital-luddite.com
Vancouver has two papers owned by the same company.  They target different markets.
#43 by Max
2004-08-12 21:02:45
http://massivebraincase.org/
No, I get that.  My point is, why would the newspaper want to pick it up in the first place?  They don't understand the medium or the subject of the particular comic, and right now all they know of Scott Kurtz is that he's that dick who's trying to fuck with our established order.

I'll become a freegan just as soon as the soulless corporations stop creating such wonderful products. -Shadarr
#44 by Jibble
2004-08-12 21:06:41
#41 None-1a
For print media most people will be looking for either kiddie stuff (grabs young readers) or middle management type stuff (something bob from accounting can pass around the office), not really the type of things you tend to see out of webcomics.

A lot of Kurtz' humor revolves around office politics.

They might not be stealing people away from other papers with better comics but they are stealing people away from other news sources. The comic page is a nice draw that tv/internet news sources don't have going for them.

Actually, a lot of internet news sources do have comics.

убийство!
#45 by Jibble
2004-08-12 21:08:16
#43 Max
My point is, why would the newspaper want to pick it up in the first place?

Let me break this down for you.  I think all this complex accounting talk is making it difficult for some people to understand.

Thing A costs ink, paper, and licensing fees.

Thing B costs ink, paper, and nothing else.

Thing A and thing B are basically the same.

убийство!
#46 by Squeaky
2004-08-12 21:09:26
#42 Shadarr
Vancouver has two papers owned by the same company.  They target different markets.

One targets people that want to read the news, the other targets people that are too afraid to read the Weekly World News in public.

"I'm really tired of hearing that eating a few too many pieces of broccoli is going to increase my risk of getting nose cancer." - Caryn
fuck you all
#47 by Squeaky
2004-08-12 21:10:06
...and they weren't always owned by the same company.

"I'm really tired of hearing that eating a few too many pieces of broccoli is going to increase my risk of getting nose cancer." - Caryn
fuck you all
#48 by coda
2004-08-12 21:10:46
http://fragged.org/
Heh, the fact that somebody is happy to circumvent a system that does not suit them, does not give justification for the syndicates and others to shout 'murder' as if Kurtz is singlehandedly killing the comic industry.

It should make it more competitive and varried, if any measure of an impact can be expected

Oh, btw Jibble, meant to ask you: what exactly is the purpose of your sig, anyone we know?

Linux is only free if your time is worth nothing.
#49 by Hugin
2004-08-12 21:10:53
lmccain@nber.org
In a universe where Dilbert and Foxtrot have newspaper-based popularity, I don't see why PvP wouldn't attract a few eyes. It's geek jokes, video games, office politics, and relationship politics.  It's just not that obscure.
#50 by Jibble
2004-08-12 21:11:51
#48 coda
Oh, btw Jibble, meant to ask you: what exactly is the purpose of your sig, anyone we know?

It's a reference to a character named in some Doom 3 mod that's supposed to take place after the second coming of Christ.  The whole thing was so ridiculously funny that I had to sig part of it.

убийство!
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